remington 740 mystery


February 16, 2013, 03:56 AM
You may have seen a previous thread of mine where i found an old 740 in a pawn shoppe and was going to use it as a donor for a project...
then I got to playing with it.
I stripped it down, cleaned it, and took it to the range. In short order 2 things became apparent: This was not a rack-grade factory 740, and it was working just fine and hadn't been shot too much at all. The inside looks un-worn. There is no throat wear i can see. The rails are fine, and there is no sign of the dreaded receiver wear from the bolt...
It has a recessed target-grade crown and the trigger is the smoothest, nicest single stage trigger I have felt on any remington ever, quite possibly any gun without a modern adjustable. Someone, somewhere, has done a lot of work on this thing in all the ways that matter. Now here is why I am enamored with the rifle: with all these hot-rod things done to the mechanics of it, some real gunsmithing went into this rifle and it proves in the shooting. Contrasting that: this rifle is beat to hell cosmetically. - the bluing on this is shot and the receiver has some legit little dings in it.

This rifle has a 5 digit serial number (55xxx) and the rocker-bar ejector, so it is definitely one of the first made. The wood matches the standard 740a.

(hang on, I'm gonna get boring for a sec, but please read it's worth it)

So I go online to find remington production codes, and then I get really confused. On the left side of the barrel it has "+K P" and then a "42" which, if i am reading the decoding diagrams right, means the K is the month and the P is the year. 'Cept no 740s were made in 1967... sooo, it can't be a 740 barrel because that had a different barrel extension thread, unless the bolt was also replaced (???) and then they would have had to machine the rocker-extractor groove into it instead of just letting the more modern plunger extractor do it's job (in which case, the person was insane- if you're building a parts gun there's no need to do that)
If it helps the other side of the barrel has a "J" inside a triangle and a couple other glyphic marks

I can't be sure but my best guess is this rifle was owned by someone who really valued performance and accuracy but didn't shoot it much and carried it in a pickup behind the seat for his whole life. Not certain. Thoughts?

If you enjoyed reading about "remington 740 mystery" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
February 16, 2013, 06:12 AM
Could have belonged to a gunsmith.

Old Shooter
February 16, 2013, 06:46 AM
Could this rifle have had the barrel replaced with one from a 742?

The 742 was produced from 1960-1980 (at least per web search).

That may explain the "42" mark on your gun.

February 16, 2013, 11:21 AM
The 740 had problems with design and function. But engineers worked out the bugs and the model 742 was born. Perhaps your 740 was sent back to the factory with problems and the fix included some 742 parts.


February 16, 2013, 02:51 PM
i'd consider it, but didn't the bolt and barrel extension on the 742 have different lug pattern and pitch than the 740? because this bolt almost HAS to be the original 740 bolt or it wouldn't have the rocker extractor.
So maybe it's a 742 barrel fitted to the original 740 barrel extension and bolt?

Old Shooter
February 17, 2013, 07:56 AM
I looked on the Numrich site and the barrel, barrel nut and breech bolt all have the same part number for both the 740 and 742.

They list a bolt assembly for the 740 but not the 742.

Don't know if this helps or not.

February 17, 2013, 09:32 AM
that helps a lot- thank you! I bet the idea you had is right, someone "custom made" a new 742 barrel fit.
It's a very nice gun and I am proud to own it. I hope it doesn't break on me!

If you enjoyed reading about "remington 740 mystery" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!