The Remington XP-100 single shot pistol was originally developed in 1963. The action is based on the Remington Model 600 rifle.
Originally the pistol was offered exclusively in .221 Fireball caliber. This is a shortened version of the .222 Remington cartridge.
Savage Arms noticed the popularity of the Remington XP-100 pistol – and introduced the Striker Pistol in 2000.
The centerfire Savage Striker pistol action is based on the proven Model 10 bolt action rifle design. Unlike the Remington XP-100, the Savage Striker uses a left handed bolt and features a two round internal magazine. This allows the shooting hand to remain on the pistol grip, while the off hand cycles the bolt. An Adjustable Muzzle Break (AMB) tames the recoil experienced when firing centerfire rifle class cartridges.
Remington XP-100R .22-250 pistol
To address the new shooter market Savage has also introducted the Sport Striker in .17 HMR and .22lr – featuring a 10 shot detachable magazine. With a retail price of under $220 US, this is a very affordable bolt action pistol.
The Remington XP-100™ pistol was a spin-off of the fabulously successful Nylon 66 .22 semiauto rifle, which was conceived and developed by Remington’s
then-chief designer of firearms Wayne Leek and his team of engineers in the late 1950s. The Nylon 66 rifle was radical for its time, utilizing a
one-piece stock/receiver made entirely of DuPont Zytel 101 nylon.
Following the introduction of the Nylon 66 rifles, Leek and his team visualized another new and radically different firearm. Its experimental project number was 100, and it was conceived as a long-range bolt-action varmint pistol firing a hot .22 centerfire cartridge. This initiated a new genre.
It was the first of the breed of powerful single-shot handguns, which later included the Thompson- Center Contender. Since rapid fire is not an issue with this type of gun, it was designed from the ground up as a single shot, utilizing the Remington shortaction bolt receiver also used with the Model 700 and 40-X rifles. It was to be housed in yet another nylon stock, as futuristic-looking (if not more so) as that of the Nylon 66. Leek and his staff designed the
stock to be a “one size fits all” sort of arrangement that could be fired either right or left-handed. At first under development, the pistol fired the .222 Remington cartridge, but Leek thought that it burned way too much powder to be efficiently utilized in a shorter pistol barrel.
The pistol is a favorite among target shooters. Recently, it has become popular among hunters with the introduction of other calibers including:
.221 Remington Fireball
7MM Bench Rest
.350 Remington Magnum
So he pushed the shoulder of the .222 back some, trimmed the case back to 1.4 inches, and got what he wanted – sufficient velocities for varminting with a 50-grain bullet, and much-reduced muzzle flash and blast. The new .22 centerfire cartridge was christened the .221 Remington FireBall™. In spite of its name, it utilized standard .224 diameter bullets. In a 10-1/2 inch barrel, it could drive a 50-grain bullet in the 2600 – 2700 fps range with ease. At 2650 fps, the 50-grain bullet generated 780 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle, making it the most powerful handgun of its time. It proved to be an exceptionally accurate cartridge, also, with a mid-range trajectory of only 2.6 inches when zeroed for 200 yards. At this range, the little bullet still had 360 foot-pounds of terminal energy.
The new pistol, logically named after its experimental designation, was called the Model XP-100™. It was introduced for $99.95 in 1963, complete with a fitted black zippered carrying case. It had a Buck Rogers-style Mohawk Brown Zytel stock replete with inlaid white plastic diamonds similar to those used on the Nylons 10, 11 and 12. The foreend reached almost to the muzzle, and the fore-end cap was very similar to that used on the Nylon 66.
The 10-1/2 inch barrel was topped with a racy-looking ventilated rib. The rear sight, mounted on the rib, was adjustable for both windage and elevation.
The front sight was virtually identical to that used on the Nylon 66. This combination gave a precise Patridge sight picture, and was unusually effective.
However, the pistol was primarily designed to be used with a long-eye-relief scope, and it was drilled and tapped for scope mounts in the same pattern as
for the Remington 700 rifle. It measured 16-3/4 inches long, and weighed 3-3/4 pounds.
The strange dogleg bolt handle was also later used on the Remington 600 carbine. The fore-end of the pistol was fitted internally with five holes of a size to hold .38 special wadcutter bullets. Thus, the owner could tailor the weight and balance of the pistol to his or her personal taste.
In its original form in .221 Fire Ball, the futuristiclooking pistol was in the Remington line until 1985.
In later years, in somewhat modified versions, the bolt-action pistol was offered in .22-250 Remington, .223 Remington, .250 Savage, 6mm BR Remington,
7mm BR Remington, 7mm-08 Remington, .308 Winchester, and 35 Remington. Variations were the XP-100 Varmint special (1986-1992), the XP-100 Silhouette (1980-1994), the XP-100 Hunter.
(1993-1994), and the XP-100 Custom (1986-1994).
All versions of the pistol were removed from the Remington line by 1995. The .221 Remington Fire Ball cartridge lives on with many enthusiasts, and Remington even produced a limited-run Model 700 Classic rifle chambered for it in 2004. In rifles, the cartridge fills the low-noise, low-recoil, varminting niche perhaps even better than the time-honored .22 Hornet.
In 1979, original XP-100 pistols were the subject of a factory recall, as were many of the boltaction rifles of the Model 700 flavor. Early pistols could not be unloaded when the safety was engaged; the bolt was locked by design in the down position when the safety was pushed forward (“safe”). The recall modification allowed the bolt to be retracted and the pistol unloaded while the safety was engaged. The program also, under certain circumstances, substituted a new trigger assembly.
Factory-modified pistols have an “O” (approximately 1/4 inch high) stamped on the left side of the receiver tang opposite the letter “S” on safe position. Remington may be contacted for current details on the program.
Disassemble of the XP-100 is fairly straightforward, requiring the removal of the two stock screws.
The procedure for the removal of the bolt, however, is not obvious. It requires, after the bolt is retracted, pushing down the bolt stop in the receiver to the left of the bolt just behind the left bolt lug. This can be accomplished with a small screwdriver or other tool. Be aware that there is a small part called the trigger balance that is held loosely in the stock by a torsion spring equipped with upright arms.
Remington XP-100 .221 Fireball pistol with Leupold M8 2x pistol scope installed
It is absolutely essential that this part be re-installed correctly before fitting the barreled receiver back into the stock. The trigger balance then fits into the slot for it in the long trigger link bar. Bolt disassemble is the same as for the Remington Model 700 rifle.
Although this gun is in fact somewhat of a shortbarreled rifle, it is still legally a handgun, since it was made from the ground up as handgun with no
buttstock, rather than by shortening a rifle’s barreled action and fitting a handgun stock. Such a custom short-barreled modification of a rifle would be
would be subject to federal laws and would be illegal without registration and payment of a tax.
Scoping the pistol is quite easy, since it is drilled and tapped for a scope base. There are two tapped holes in the receiver over the chamber, and one on the receiver bridge. One-piece bases made for the Remington 700 rifle will work. If the base extends back beyond the rear of the receiver bridge (interfering with bolt travel), it can be easily modified to proper length with a hacksaw or the cut-off wheel on a Dremel tool.
Although factory rounds for the .221 Fire Ball are getting harder to find now, they are available.
The cartridge is easily handloaded, and brass can be formed from either .222 Remington or .223 Remington cases. If cases are made from these longer ones, the necks should be reamed so as to provide proper neck thickness. Reloading dies are readily obtainable. Because of the 1 in 14” rifling used, it is best to use bullets in the 40- to 52-grain range. Heavier bullets would require a faster twist.
A benefit of the slower twist used in this handgun is that excellent short-range accuracy and economical practice can be obtained with chamber inserts which adapt the pistol to fire the .22 Long Rifle round.
I found that setting up the XP-100 for shooting was a snap. I located an aluminum one-piece base for the Remington 700 rifle, and trimmed it to proper length with a Dremel tool cut-off wheel. Using mediumheight Weaver rings, it was easy to mount a Leupold 2X long eye relief scope, which had proved ideal for pistol shooting for me in the past. I sent off for a .221/.22 LR chamber adapter, and ordered a supply of factory .221 Fire Ball ammo. In short order, I was ready to go shooting.
Using the .22 LR chamber adapter, I got the pistol printing on the target at seven yards, and then moved the target back to 25 yards for some
serious shooting. I laid the pistol on top of my Dillon range bag for steadiness, and used a firm two-handed grip. The grip of the pistol does not
lend itself to getting the firing hand directly behind the pistol, but I found that the classic isosceles hold worked well.
The crosshairs were centered, and I lightly touched the excellent crisp trigger. I didn’t know what to expect with respect to recoil, but I was pleased to find out that the pistol felt about like a hot .38 Special when it went off. There was a fireball of flame from the muzzle (appropriate to the cartridge’s name) and a sharp report. My next two shots made a neat cloverleaf in the target.
A few twists of the Leupold scope’s adjustment knobs brought the center of the group into the center of the target. There is no doubt that this is one heck of an accurate pistol. If you have a chance to pick one up on the used-gun market, this classic handgun will serve you well as a precision varminter out to about 200 yards.