Remington 1100 Sporting
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- Last updated: 16/11/2017
I remember my first Remmy 1100 in 12g back when I was 18, as I used it for pigeon decoying on my uncle’s farm in Kent and soon became my reliable and light recoiling shotgun in that regard.
The Remington 1100 has been with us now for over 50-years and is one of those designs that refuses to die, it was made right the first time. New incarnations have come and gone but the all-steel, walnut stocked 1100 has also held a special appeal to shooters globally, even with Remmy`s newer 11-87 and V3 models.
The Remington 1100 auto loading design now encompasses models such as the Classic, Classic Trap, Competition Synthetic, 200th anniversary and the Sporting series on test. The Sporting models are available as competition sporting clay use or for hunting and all encompass the steel receiver, highly blued finish and fancy grade walnut with a high lacquer finish.
Available in four calibres, 12g, 20g, 28g and .410g, you have a semi-auto shotgun for all reasons and seasons that has light recoiling characteristics and those classic good looks. I had the .410 version on test (a particular favourite) and it is the only semi-automatic .410 gauge on the market today.
The Remmy 1100 is so familiar and has been the inspiration for many a new semi-automatic shotgun today its overall design that has little changed, yet is still competitive.
The action is forged from a single billet of steel and uses the tried and tested gas operated system for operation. There is a single vent in the barrel that bleeds off enough gas from the cartridges to operate the sliding position on the magazine tube. The three-part seal, piston, piston seal and O-ring ensures a reliable operation with a variety of shells used. The twin operating bars attached to the bolt then cycle the action.
The Rem 1100 design won favour with shots for its fast and soft recoiling action, which is great for that second clay or missed shot at a fastmoving duck. It has that typical instantly recognisable long sloping rear section and slab sides that are enhanced with the Remington 1100 name engraved to the left side and Sporting 410 to the right. The top of the action has the six-inch depression that has longitudinal grooves that do allow a good eye down the barrel stance.
The bolt is highly polished and has a single extractor claw sited in the right face and a small grooved cocking handle that is removable to allow the bolt to be stripped. Ejection is via an ejector spur in the left side of the action wall. It holds open on the last round and the bolt is closed again by depressing the small inner chromed button in the action cartridge lifter.
The trigger and safety are housed in the Remington onepiece cage that is attached to the action via two cross pins; they are easily driven out with a punch to clean the un-burnt powder or debris from the trigger mechanism or action. The safety is a cross bolt design and works fine. The only thing I am not keen on is the thick trigger guard, it would look nicer slimmer and of blued steel.
The 27-inch length barrel is just about perfect for the .410-gauge, as it allows a good velocity to be generated and helps with a natural swing with the semiauto format. Its diddy in stature and you forget how little steel in a barrel is needed to hold a .410 cartridge, despite its slightly higher pressures. The outside diameter at the muzzle is only 17mm, but due to the Sporting series being scaled to the cartridge it uses, you have the perfect balance and feel, even with this small round.
There is the usual vented top rib of 7mm width and having 12 vents that are quite high due to the small gauge but looks good and allows air flow between the rib for cooling. There are twin beads, a silver one at 13-inches and a white bead at the muzzle for correct eye alignment. I know traditional bluing is not in vogue these days on a sporting arm, due to reflections out in the field, but on these Sporting series it looks superb and is really fitting. It has a deep, dark lustre that matches the action and complements the walnut stock very well.
Best of all, is the Rem Choke system that allows you to get the best from your .410-gauge. Many think of the .410 as a close-range pipsqueak vermin shell but there are many that use it for clay competition and sporting uses. The complete complement of five chokes are included, Cyl, ¼, ½, ¾ and Full chokes. This really helps achieve the perfect pattern for the range you are intending the Remmy to be used for and matching the shell size and shot size to gain optimum pattern density and spread.
The Rem chokes are the extended type, which protrude from the muzzle. This is here to unscrew the choke with its heavy knurled finish, as no choke key is needed. Also, it extends the choke to two-inches in length, with the size clearly marked under the Remington brand name. The chambering is for 3-inch shells, although 2.5-inch function fine with the right loads. The barrel is easy to attach with only the forend needing to be removed to allow the barrel ring to slip off the front and the chamber end to lift from its action mortise.
To my mind, this is an iconic stock design that is simple in its layout and styling but really comfortable and elegant in the same way. Whether you like high gloss lacquer or not (I do not) but it’s typically American and actually highly practical for shrugging off the weather. It seals the walnut well but if scratched it leaves white grooves. However, next to the deep lustre of the blued steel it looks really nice.
On the Sporting models, Remington use a better quality of walnut as fancy grade. It really is nice, with a good colour and grain pattern and a good degree of figuring. So much nicer than some of the ‘enhanced wood’ we see now! This is further enhanced by the machine cut chequering with diamond type patterning covering the underside of the forend and sides to the pistol grip with a nice winged extension at the rear. You also have a black capped pistol grip with the Remington logo embossed in gold. To top it all off is the Decelerator recoil pad that has the plastic top to allow quick shouldering, then soft rubber to grip once shouldered.
The forend is quite long at 11.75-inches, with a subtle full-length finger groove that allows a good degree of differing holds to balance the Sporting .410 when out in the field. The length of pull is a little short at 14-inches, but fine and the drop at the comb is 1.5-inches.
Overall, I like the stock but I would be really tempted to remove the lacquer and have a nice oiled finish, as it would really make that nice walnut beneath show itself off.
This was a 3-inch or 76mm case length with a load of 18-gram lead shot load in No. 5 shot size. The fibre wadding and 1300fps typify the Eley 410 range and I had a total of 109 No. 5 shot pellets on target, with full choke at 30-yards range. There were 72 pellets in the outer sector and 37 within the inner 15-inches. Slight left bias but nice pattern.
Very nice load this one and especially for a semi auto, as it is 100% reliable to feed. It has a 3-inch length with 19 grams of No. 6 shot size. At 30-yards, I had a total of 135 pellet strikes, with a good even spread and 76 pellets to the outer 30-inch sectors and 59 dense pattern to the inner portions- perfection!
This 3-inch case holds 16 grams of shot, 2 grams less than the equivalent 3-inch Eley case with a plastic wad No. 7 shot on test. We had 151 pellet strikes, with 94 outer and 57 inner strikes and good even density to the pattern. I did try the Gamebore Target but failed to eject plus a blown primer!
This is a plastic wadded 3-inch case loaded with 19 grams of No. 6 shot, which hits hard and functioned perfectly in the little Remmy. I had a superb pattern with this load of 143 pellets within 30-inches spread, with 63 outer and a whopping 80 inner strikes with great distribution of shot. My preferred choice.
Remington’s 3-inch offering has a 11/16oz or 18-gram load of No. 6 shot. These always shoot well, as you would expect but are expensive to buy. I had a great 125 total pellet strike, with an even 64 outer and 61 inner pellet distribution. If you can get them cheap, buy them; excellent performance. All cartridges functioned very well and as expected recoil was non-existent and rattling off either a deliberate shot or three in a row being great fun. I really liked the Hull High Pheasant load, as this proved a really good squirrel load amongst the tree branches and soon thinned out a few troublesome tree rats.
It’s great to re-acquaint myself with the 1100 range again and particularly with this gem of a semi .410. I really like the styling and size of the Sporting 410 model and function and patterns thrown were excellent; I’d love to see the 20- and 28g in action.
True, the lacquer finish is a bit Marmite but practical and if you are looking for a good .410 shotgun for youngsters, vermin control or clays, I have to say the Remington 1100 would be my top choice. Raytrade are the new distributors and have everything in stock and are very helpfu –- Remington is back!
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