American Rifleman - August 2021 - 65

REMINGTON MODEL 721
Remington manufactured the Model 721 from 1948 until
1962, replacing the earlier Model 30 and Model 720. The
Model 720, an improved Model 30, was simply a Mauser 98
action that had been designed as the fl agship bolt-action
rifl e for Remington; however, production was halted during
World War II. The Model 721 was born after the war out of
Remington's experience building numerous military arms
more economically during the war. Manufacturing technology
had advanced to a point where Remington had a choice
of resuming the more complex production of an expensive
rifl e or updating the design to modernize production and
lower cost. The company opted for a re-design.
The Model 720's receivers had been machined from a
billet of steel, whereas after World War II, the Model 721
incorporated a cost-cutting round profi le that could be
produced on a lathe rather than a mill. The Remington
Model 721's breech embodied the concept of " three rings
of steel " for greater strength and safety-the recessed
bolt face encircles the cartridge head, while the barrel's
chamber surrounds the cartridge, all of which are contained
within the receiver.
The bolt re-design was made up of several pieces. A
small, but effective, extractor was mounted within the wall
of the recessed bolt face. A plunger-type ejector, located on
the bolt face, replaced the old Mauser-style blade mounted
in the receiver. The solid magazine fl oorplate was not
hinged, so loading and unloading the rifl e was done strictly
from the top of the receiver.
The Model 721 was offered in .264 Win. Mag., .270 Win.,
.280 Rem., .30-'06 Sprg. and .300 H&H Mag. with all chamberings
in the lineup exhibiting excellent accuracy. During
14 years of Model 721 production, a total of 118,000 rifl es
were made. In 1962, with the Model 721 having served
as the basis for its development, the highly successful
Model 700 series of rifl es was introduced.
On Safari
I bagged my fi rst African game with the Remington
Model 721-an impala-followed by a kongoni, Peter's
gazelle, zebra and a warthog. Of all the plains game we
hunted, I found the elegant spiral-horned lesser kudu to
be the most fascinating from the fi rst moment I saw one
The author mounted a
Redfi eld Widefi eld 4X on
his Model 721 in
the mid-1970s.
During its 14-year
run, Remington
produced 118,000
Model 721 rifl es in
.264 Win. Mag.,
.270 Win., .280 Rem.,
.30-'06 Sprg. and
.300 H&H Mag. All cartridges
in the lineup exhibited
excellent accuracy.
AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG
bounding through the bush. Collecting my fi rst lesser
kudu stands out in my mind as one of my most memorable
hunts. It was on Kisoli Hill in southeastern Kenya
where we spotted a magnifi cent lone lesser kudu one
morning. I was immediately gripped by a classic case of
buck fever, and managed to whistle two downhill shots
over the kudu's back before gaining enough composure
to connect with the third and fi nal round. It was not the
rifl e's fault, as I had failed to allow for the sharp downward
angle of the shots and had not adjusted my hold to
a lower point of aim accordingly.
When I swapped the Kenya bush in 1972 for Botswana's
Okavango Delta and Kalahari Desert, the Model 721 came
with me. For the demands of safari work, I mounted a
Redfi eld Widefi eld 4X scope on the rifl e, enabling it to
easily reach out and tag game at 200 yards or more. Always
in the gun rack while on safari, I frequently let my clients
use the Model 721 when they needed a reliable plains-game
rifl e. It added several new species to its list of accomplishments,
including even Cape buffalo when I was able to
acquire some 200-gr. solid ammunition.
On one memorable occasion, I was hunting in the
Kalahari with a Venezuelan client who was using my
Model 721. It was midday when we topped a rise to glass a
fl at stretch of country across a dry pan. I saw a small bump
in the distance that I confi rmed with binoculars to be a
lone springbok. Springbok were few in this particular area
and diffi cult to approach when you did fi nd them. We crept
down to the edge of the pan, which was as close as we
could expect to get to the springbok.
I suggested that the client have a go with my Model 721,
to which he nodded yes and took the rifl e, settling into
a steady shooting position. He asked me for the distance,
and I guessed it to be, at a minimum, more than 300 yards.
I advised that he should hold at least a foot or two over the
animal's back and watched him squeeze off the shot. I then
turned my attention to the springbok that, to my absolute
astonishment, suddenly and silently collapsed in his tracks.
After offering the client hearty congratulations, I fetched the
vehicle and we drove to the downed animal.
Using the Land Cruiser's odometer, we measured the
distance from where he shot to the springbok to be half-akilometer-that's
more than 500 yards. I don't think anyone
was more surprised by the hit than the client himself.
Not only had he hit the animal, but the bullet struck the
point of the shoulder at the exact place where you would
want to hit him. What a rifl e!
During her years in Africa, the iron-sighted, plain-vanilla
Model 721 rifl e provided unfailing reliability and superb
service, accounting for many excellent trophies and creating
fond memories that I treasure ever more with each passing
year. After more than 26 years on safari in Africa, I brought
the Model 721 back to the States several years ago in a sort
of semi-retirement. This rifl e was an integral part of many
memorable African hunts, and, in the back of my mind, I
thought it might also be fi tting to add a whitetail or mule
deer to her accomplishments-a goal not yet fulfi lled.
AUGUST 2021
65
http://www.AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

American Rifleman - August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - August 2021

Contents
American Rifleman - August 2021 - Cover1
American Rifleman - August 2021 - Cover2
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 1
American Rifleman - August 2021 - Contents
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 3
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