Designed by John Pederson to compete with the lever-action rifles so popular at the time, the pump-action Remington 141 Gamemaster, available in various calibers, never achieved the status of the lever gun. Nevertheless, it was a stalwart in the eastern woods as a deer and moose rifle.
Lever-action rifles ruled the American gun world at the turn of the 20th century. Marlin, Savage and Winchester all had rifles with a loop-like under-lever chambered for everything from pistol calibers like the .44-40 to the thumping .405 Winchester and beyond. Smokeless powders came about in 1893, bringing with them new chamberings that provided high velocity along with rapid firepower. American shooters—with their insatiable appetite for whatever is biggest and fastest—eagerly sought the lever guns.
Remington looked for a way to enter this market but could not find any vulnerability. The lever-action market seemed saturated. What was desired was another fast-firing, high-velocity design that would be competitive. In 1908, Remington released the Model 8 autoloading rifle, designed by John Browning. But the Model 8 operated more like an oil-drilling rig than a rifle, and it was heavy and homely to boot. The brass at Remington said they wanted a light, fast-repeating rifle with sleek and sexy lines. John Pederson—the designer of the Pederson Device for the Model 1903 Springfield rifle some years later—took on the duty of designing a rifle to compete with the lever action.
His first iteration came in 1913, when Remington introduced the Model 14 pump- or slide-action rifle. Four chamberings—.25, .30, .32 and .35 Remington—were initially offered. The same case was used, differing only in neck size and some minor shoulder dimensions. A companion rifle Remington christened the 14½ was chambered in a couple of the more popular pistol cartridges of the day, the .38-40 and .44-40 WCF. During the next 23 years, the Models 14 and 14½ were fairly popular, with some 125,020 units finding their way into the hands of hunters. In order to compete with the lever guns, the rifle had to be sleek and light. The Model 14 has three design features that are novel. Its magazine tube has a spiral built into it that prevents the point of one bullet from resting on the primer of the next cartridge. Also, the magazine tube moves fore and aft with the forend during cycling. Lastly, the bolt has a button on its side that releases the bolt so that the magazine may be emptied by cycling the cartridges through the gun.