Removing .php From URLS

I’ve seen a few other posts, but no definitive answer.

I am migrating from an open source cart to CS-Cart because of the advanced features, but I would really like to keep the same URL structure from the old site. Ya, it helps with SEO, but that’s not what I am concerned about (which is why I didn’t post this in the SEO board) I don’t want customers who may have bookmarked an older page and have them come back and get a Page Cannot Be Found error.

Is the only option setting up a whole bunch of 301 redirects in the .htaccess?

Seems like there should be a better way.