There is a Remington XP-100 pistol up for sale on at Cabela’s. You will find it if you click here.
Remington’s XP-100 was an interesting idea though not necessarily an original idea in the sense that individuals had shortened rifles in the past to turn them into convenient “handguns” and sawing off a shotgun was a popular thing to do for those planning impromptu, illegal withdrawals from banks. Olympic Free Pistols in .22lr had long been based on small actions that were similar to a rifle action such as the Drulov, which used a bolt action operated by a round knob on the end of the bolt, and the Vostock and Hammerli Free Pistols which used falling block actions like the Martini.
Remington were, to the best of my knowledge, the first to create a bolt action centre-fire pistol and put it into full scale production. The new XP-100 pistol was based on the Remington 600 rifle action with the trigger mechanism moved forwards into what might nowadays be referred as a “bull-pup” location, except this was a pistol. The Remington 600 and the XP-100 received mixed reviews when they first appeared. The bolt handle was described as being “crooked as a dog’s hind leg” and the XP-100 was criticized for having the bolt handle on the wrong side for a right handed pistol shooter (although it was perfect for southpaws). These Remington short actions from the 600 and the XP-100 were very much in favour with Bench Rest shooters who would buy a rifle just to get the action out of it. My own .220 Russian bench rest and varmint rifle was based on a Remington 600 action.
Initial development work on the XP-100 pistol used the full size .222 Remington cartridge. It was realized that the short 10¾” barrel could not utilize the .222 Remington fully and that it was creating rather more of a sharp report that was desirable so the .222 case was shortened to create the .221 Fireball for it. This still produced a sharp bang which some reviewers noted but it was well balanced for the handgun. As an aside my own .220 Russian rifle based on a Remington 600 was fitted with a heavy profile and very short 16½” Shilen barrel for stiffness and that made such an unpleasantly sharp bang that I used to wear earplugs under my ear muffs on the range. Nowadays with the .223 being the common NATO calibre and its being used in very short barrel rifles such as the Steyr AUG can be I think shooters generally are more used to the sharp sound these things can make.
Remington essentially created a whole shooting sports genre with the XP-100. It remained in production for more than 30 years from 1963-1998. the original model featured a plastic stock shaped somewhat like what one would expect to find on an Olympic Free Pistol. The XP-100 is well balanced for single handed off hand shooting and is comfortable for two handed use also. It proved to be an excellent varmint handgun.
Over the decades shooters have wanted the Remington XP-100 in larger calibres and so it has been produced in .221 Remington Fireball, .223 Remington, 22-250, .250 Savage, .260 Remington. 7mm-08, .308 Winchester, .35 Remington, and 350 Remington Magnum in various single shot and repeater versions.
For those interested in the XP-100 and customising work there is a good article in PDF format over at Berger Bullets.
You will find it if you click here.
The XP-100 has proven accuracy in a small package. It is a wonderful hunting pistol.
Jon Branch is the founder and senior editor of Revivaler and has written a significant number of articles for various publications including official Buying Guides for eBay, classic car articles for Hagerty, magazine articles for both the Australian Shooters Journal and the Australian Shooter, and he’s a long time contributor to Silodrome.
Jon has done radio, television, magazine and newspaper interviews on various issues, and has traveled extensively, having lived in Britain, Australia, China and Hong Kong. His travels have taken him to Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan and a number of other countries. He has studied the Japanese sword arts and has a long history of involvement in the shooting sports, which has included authoring submissions to government on various firearms related issues and assisting in the design and establishment of shooting ranges.