Remington 1100 Sporting 12
By: Pete Moore
In keeping with his interest in classic American shotguns, Mark Stone turns his attentions to the latest version of Remington’s timeless automatic - the 1100 Sporting.
There’s something about a classic American shotgun that take’s the modern shooter back in time. Whether it’s the looks, the feel or how it handles, there’s just an aura they carry with them. Few of the design details have changed apart from material upgrades, yet even after all these years they still shoot as well as ever.
Before we look at Remington’s new 1100 Sporting as brought into the UK by importer’s Edgar Brothers, a quick outline of the model’s history is in order.
The 1100 has been with use for ﬁ fty years, in 12 bore Field Grade, Magnum Duck, along with various skeet and trap guns plus Tournament and Premier models appearing in 1963. One year later in 1964 the 20 bores versions were introduced whilst the lightweight models were introduced in 1966, the use of mahogany in place of walnut cutting down on weight. The same year also saw the 22” barrelled Deer Gun complete with ramped front sights come onto the market plus two 150th Anniversary versions in trap and skeet conﬁ guration.
Over the following years, .410’s and 28 bores appeared along with Youth Models and with the introduction of the Rem Choke multi-choke system even more variants expanded the 1100 range. Latterly, the G3 Exhibition grade gave enthusiasts an off – the – shelf high end model that came complete with luxury travelling case along with the Competition Synthetic, a fully adjustable clay breaker with a carbon ﬁ bre effect, a Nickel-Teﬂ on coating on the receiver and ﬁ ne tuned to 2¾” loads.
Purpose in mind
Part of Remington’s Competition Range, the Sporting 12 is a combination of modern technology wrapped up in the classic looks and handling of the original Remington 1100. A shortfall in my opinion is that the Sporting 12 doesn’t come with a case instead the familiar Remington green script cardboard carton containing a semi that oozes Americana along with four extended Briley chokes. Unusually, and as if to ensure you know what the Sporter 12 was intended for, the choke restrictions are skeet, improved cylinder, light modiﬁ ed and modiﬁ ed and before you start looking for the key there isn’t one, these long tubes are intended to be screwed in and out by hand and tweaked up no more than ﬁ nger tight.
Timber wise the sporter stock and forend are almost French cabinet like in ﬁ nish, high gloss lacquer heightening the grain and adding a durable protective coating. A soft recoil pad complete with a chamfered, snag free heel is attached to the butt whilst wide panels of elaborate checkering and a pommel depicting the old Remington logo ornate the narrow, ambidextrous pistol grip whilst the wide comb ensures the stock ﬁ ts comfortably against the cheek.
Almost a hallmark of the 1100, the long forend is trap-like in proﬁ le, deep ﬁ nger grooves either side giving way to more stylised panels of ﬁ ne cut chequering along the base, the whole ﬁ lling the shooter’s hand and giving the hand excellent levels of grasp and control. In turn the forend is kept ﬁ rmly secured by a deep, knurled mag cap, corresponding dog-ratchet teeth inside the cap and on the end of the magazine tube, ensuring the cap never loosens until the gun is disassembled.
The gloss black 2¾” chambered barrel is what Remington refers to as ‘Target Contour’ which means the outer diameter tapers ever so slightly and intended only for competition or light game loads. The vented 7mm rib features a white bead over the muzzle with a smaller pip in the centre of the barrel feeding into the receiver via a long extension. Beneath the barrel the ring which sits over the mag tube and in front of the twin rail action slider and spring, houses the valve along with the two usual gas ports, the simple valve quick to strip and clean after each outing.
In the case of the Sporting 12 on test the steel receiver, a feature common to most 1100’s, continues the barrel’s gloss black ﬁ nish with only the words Remington and Sporting 12 breaking up the surface. Turn the gun upside down and the black shell lifter and bolt release come into view, the release is a short protrusion to the rear of the lifter that automatically releases the bolt into battery as soon as the second round is offered up or is jabbed by the shooter’s index ﬁ nger just before it slides backwards into the slim trigger-guard that also houses the cross-bolt safety and against the short, gold-plated trigger-blade.
The bolt itself, is the only piece of bright work on the gun, the chromed surface of the one-piece unit standing out when the bolt is in the forward battery position. Seemingly lazy in operation the bolt automatically locks into the rearward position once the last round has been ﬁ red.
Electing to ﬁ t the skeet choke it was time to face Huntroyde’s sporting layout but not before a few minutes with the Arrow Laser Shot. Like most semis the Sporting 12 displayed ﬂ at shooting characteristics, both the forward and mid beads lining up to produce the inverted ﬁ gure ‘8’ indicating the mount and sight picture was exactly as it should be.
The overall weight of the Sporting 12 is an exact 9lbs with an overall length inclusive of the extended choke of 48¾”, the ¾” the chokes add taking the barrel length out to 28”. Drops at comb and heel are 1 7/16” and 1 ¾” with what initially seems a short 14 1/8” length of pull that actually works well when the 1100 is being shot. And what seems a creep free heavy trigger pull of 6lbs 4oz seems in keeping with the rest of the gun, allowing the shooter to apply initial pressure before the ﬁ nal release.
Chambering up with 28gram Eley VIP Sporting ﬁ bres ﬁ lled with 7½’s the Sporting 12 was quickly on target, the gun’s weight and characteristics promoting a smooth controlled swing and handling. Balancing directly beneath the ejection port and with the forend ﬁ lling the leading hand, directing and manipulating the Sporting 12 soon becomes a reﬁ ned process of gently directing the muzzle to where it needs to be whilst the weight gives constant, ﬂ owing momentum especially on crossing clays is maintained with far more ease than would normally be experienced with lighter weight shotguns,
The Sporting 12’s other attribute is the fact that as soon as you’ve pulled the trigger you can feel the system working. The empty case is hurled from the ejection port whilst you can sense the long travel bolt moving to and fro, slamming the next round into the chamber and the 1100 is ready to go again. It feels slightly old fashioned compared to more modern offerings including Remington’s new Versamax but all these sensation come together as part of this gun’s personality, making the Remington 1100 what it is.
Other looks and sizes
For those who like the idea of a classic Remington 1100 in competition guise but want something a little can opt for the nickel plated receiver option with a plain or engraved ﬁ nish such as the Premier version. Like wise, there are 20 and 28 bore models all with 2¾” chambers along with a .410 that for competition purposes has a 3” chamber. I can say from experience that the small gauges, providing you use relatively powerful loads are some of the most entertaining little semi-automatic gas powered shotguns you’ll use.
different from the Sporting 12 as tested, you If Remington’s 1100 Sporting has a slight downside it’s the price, £1,700 an outlay that could well put the brakes on a potential purchase. It’s a fact of life that Remingtons don’t come cheap, the Sporting 12 a prime example but in defence of this what you’ll ﬁ nd is a semi-auto that’s built like a tank and will run for years. Also remember that unlike some other semis that will tolerate years of neglect, 1100’s don’t, they need to be looked after and maintained.
If you ﬁ nd the 2¾” chamber and extended chokes restrictive worry not. Like the 870 pump, providing they’re the same bore the barrels are interchangeable to a degree it wouldn’t be the ﬁ rst time I’ve seen a 3” chambered long or short game or trap barrel ﬁ tted to a skeet receiver with either ﬁ xed or ﬂ ush ﬁ t chokes, these tubes being readily available as aftermarket accessories.
Time will tell
Granted the Remington 1100 in whatever guise isn’t for everyone but once you’ve got used to the weight of the steel receiver, the graceful swing these shotguns promote, the feel and looks, I guarantee you’ll be hooked. The 1100 is a tremendous all rounder and in Sporting 12 guise is a competitive shotgun that’ll always reward in appearance, touch and ability. GM
|Name||Remington 1100 Sporting 12|
|Calibre||12 bore / 2¾” Chamber|
|Capacity||3 x 12 bore cartridges|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates