Shotgun Evaluation: Remington 1100 Waterfowl

The Remington 1100 is without doubt one of the biggest, and most essential, semiauto shotguns ever made, and even because it nears its 60th birthday, it’s nonetheless a favourite of many hunters. We introduced an 1100 with us on our duck hunting shotgun check at Pintail Hunting Club, together with together with the present crop of waterfowl weapons, to see if the previous, early-60s traditional nonetheless had a spot in 21st century duck searching.

Transient Historical past of the Remington 1100

Revolutionary is an over-used phrase, however the 1100 was precisely that within the day. As the primary profitable gas-operated semiautomatic, it was the gun that modified shotgunning and turned so many People into semiauto shooters. There have been gasoline weapons earlier than the had been 1100s. John Browning was inventing gas-operated machine weapons in 1900, however when it got here time for him to invent a semiauto, he used the long-recoil methodology. World Warfare II noticed a number of advances in gas-operation design, and, after the battle, gunmakers tried designing gasoline shotguns for the civilian market. Making a semiauto shotgun that might cycle all kinds of hundreds reliably is a tricky process. Remington engineers used computer systems to assist design the 1100; in some methods, it was the primary trendy shotgun. When it appeared in 1963, the 1100 was instantaneous success. Goal shooters and hunters instantly realized the benefit of a dependable semiauto with the recoil-reduction benefits of gasoline operation. In the event that they stored their 1100 clear, it could shoot reliably and kick softly, and the gun had a inventory that match nearly anybody.

The 1100 was made in configurations starting from short-barreled youth and upland fashions to lure weapons. It was supplied in each gauge apart from 10 and in magnum and non-magum 12- and 20-gauge variations. Remington 1100s have shot nearly every little thing that may be shot with a smoothbore—from doves to deer to all of the clay goal video games. With Remington’s recent bankruptcy, manufacturing of 1100s ceased however it’s attainable that the brand new homeowners will as soon as once more produce 1100s.

The most recent Blue E-book of Firearms Values lists 12-gauge 1100s in high situation at $600 or so, with smallbores fetching $750 or extra. Individuals are beginning to snap these previous weapons up and costs are rising.

The Nuts and Bolts of the 1100

Specs on the Remington 1100 Waterfowl

  • Gauge: 3-inch 12-gauge; 2 ¾-inch 12-gauge (examined); 16; 2 ¾- and 3-inch 20; 28 and .410
  • Motion: Fuel semiauto
  • Capability: 3+1
  • Chokes: Fastened
  • Barrel: Flat vent rib
  • Barrel Lengths Accessible: 26, 28 (examined), or 30 inches
  • End: Gloss walnut, blued metal. Some artificial variations had been made
  • Size: 47 3/4 inches
  • Size of Pull: 14 inches
  • Set off Pull: 4.9 kilos
  • Total Weight: 8.1 kilos

By in the present day’s requirements, the Remington 1100 has a number of components. In its time, it was a mannequin of simplicity. Two steel friction rings/seals and a rubber o-ring slide onto the journal tube, with the o-ring becoming contained in the barrel ring, and the steel rings butting up in opposition to the piston. As with all gasoline semiautos, ports within the barrel (within the 1100, as with most gasoline weapons, the ports are contained in the barrel ring) bleed increasing gases out of the barrel and direct them into gasoline system, the place they drive the piston backwards. A hyperlink from the piston to the bolt opens the motion, ejecting the previous shell and a return spring within the inventory drives the bolt again into battery whereas a lifter raises a recent shell from the journal.

The transferring components of the gasoline system retailer, then launch, recoil vitality, which is why gasoline weapons have such gentle felt recoil. Whereas the whole quantity of recoil is identical, it’s unfold out over a for much longer time than it’s in a fixed-breech gun, and it looks like a shove, not a punch.

Remington 1100s predate each choke tubes and all 2 ¾ and 3-inch functionality. Any 1100 made earlier than 1986 can have mounted chokes. The one approach to shoot each mild goal hundreds and heavy 3-inch magnums was to purchase a magnum receiver and two totally different barrels for it. Artificial shares got here alongside for the 1100 within the ’90s, and you’ll nonetheless purchase them aftermarket if you want. The gloss end on the walnut-stocked 1100s, by the way, was developed by then-parent firm DuPont Chemical as a varnish for bowling pins, so it’s made to be banged round. The barrel and metal receiver are deeply blued, which is out of vogue in as of late of camo and Cerakote, however our fathers and grandfathers had no drawback killing geese with 1100s.

How We Examined the Remington 1100 Waterfowl

patterning sheet for remington 110
We patterned the 1100 at 35 yards. Stephen Maturen

Since 1100s aren’t at the moment manufactured, we borrowed one for the check—a pre-choke tube, 2 ¾-inch, 12-gauge gun with a walnut inventory and stuck Modifed choke. Sadly, there was an ammo scarcity happening, and we weren’t capable of finding 2 ¾-inch waterfowl hundreds for the gun. With solely 2 ¾-inch lead goal hundreds available we needed to do all our capturing with it at clay targets.

We additionally patterned the gun at 35 yards and checked its level of impression. We used 1-ounce, 1180 fps Remington Gun Membership goal a great deal of 8 shot. The gun shot an important 78-percent sample with the goal hundreds and would doubtless do even higher with more durable, bigger metal searching hundreds. The purpose of impression was a dead-on, flat capturing 50/50 above and under level of purpose. Since we couldn’t take it searching, all of us shot it at 5-stand as a lot as we may. The issue was, the 1100 was everybody’s favourite gun, which made getting a flip with it robust. However we shared as greatest we may, and all shot the 1100 fairly properly. The set off broke at 4.9 kilos, which is about pretty much as good because it will get for manufacturing facility shotgun triggers.

How the Gun Carried out

Dealing with and Ergonomics

With its all-steel receiver, the 1100 is heavier than most trendy alloy-framed semiautos and it has a weight ahead stability. It additionally has a inventory that matches a lot of shooters. There’s sufficient drop to the inventory, and the comb is skinny sufficient, that most individuals, even those that often want a number of solid (lateral bend) to place their eye over the rib, discover that an 1100 matches them. Add very tender recoil, and the 1100 turns into a straightforward and nice gun to shoot. Even in the present day when different semiautos have turn into extra widespread for competitors, you may see why the 1100 cleaned up instantly at lure and skeet again within the Nineteen Sixties.

Workmanship and Aesthetics

The old-school walnut and blued 1100 stood out amongst all the opposite weapons on the rack, and if this check had been a magnificence contest, there was no query concerning the winner. The 1100 had deep, wealthy bluing, some respectable grain to its walnut, and the fluer-de-lis sample checkering (pressed, not reduce) has a gorgeous, retro look beneath a wonderfully utilized gloss coat. There’s a white diamond on the black grip cap that provides to its look as properly. The 1100 undoubtedly appears dated in the present day, however our total check panel liked its look, and the gun confirmed a stage of match and end you don’t see in comparably priced weapons in the present day.


Whereas 1100s have been used for every little thing a shotgun can be utilized for, the gun was developed earlier than the event of “all-load” semiautos that shot mild 2 ¾-inch goal hundreds and 3-inch magnums with out barrel change or adjustment. Additionally, older 1100s lack interchangeable chokes. You may compensate for mounted chokes through the use of totally different shells and shot sizes to fluctuate your patterns, however there’s a restrict to what you may accomplish. If you happen to discover a newer 1100, or one with a more moderen, RemChoked barrel, it can have tubes, rising the gun’s versality. Nevertheless, even a gun like our mounted Modified choke 1100 may function a duck, dove, sporting clays, and lure gun with ease. Discover some 2 3/4-inch Winchester Lengthy Beard or Federal or HeviShot TSS, and it could be your 40-yard turkey gun, too. At 8 kilos, it’s a heavy gun to hold, though numerous 1000’s—perhaps hundreds of thousands—of pheasants and quail have been shot with the Remington 1100.


As a result of this 1100 was A) borrowed and B) pristine, we babied it. However you don’t need to pamper 1100s. It is a robust gun, manufactured from all metal and, as I discussed, coated in a varnish designed to take hits from bowling balls. The largest distinction between an 1100 and a contemporary semiauto just like the Beretta A400 or the SX4 is frequency with which it is advisable clear it. The 1100 is straightforward to take down and preserve, which is an efficient factor, since you’ll need to do it each couple hundred rounds—whereas an A400 may run trouble-free for 1,500 rounds or extra between cleanings. Be sure to examine the o-ring for put on and perhaps hold an additional available. Put the 2 steel rings again going through within the right path and an 1100 will function very reliably.


You could find an 1100 in fine condition for $600 or so, and, to my thoughts, that makes it an important worth—as long as it matches your wants. The 1100 isn’t as versatile as newer all-load weapons with choke tubes, however it will possibly do a number of totally different shotgunning jobs, and it’s nonetheless one of many softest-recoiling semiautos ever made. It’s additionally a traditional, and if it appeals to you must personal a neat older gun, that makes the 1100 an excellent better option. You’ll not discover a trendy gun anyplace close to this value vary with the 1100’s stage of match and end.

What the Remington 1100 Does Greatest

The 1100 does greatest what it has carried out greatest since 1963: It’s a gun that makes nearly everybody who picks it up a greater shooter. The soft-recoil, stability, and very-usable inventory dimensions all mix to make this a gun that individuals wish to shoot, and that they shoot properly. Years in the past, I requested a gunsmith in Texas why nobody made a “dove particular” shotgun. “They do,” he mentioned. “It’s known as a 20-gauge 1100, and a few ranchers down right here hold ten available for visitors to make use of on September 1.” 

What the Shotgun Does Worst

Nice because the 1100 is, it is usually 59 years previous, and semiauto-shotgun design has handed it by. New weapons are lighter, extra versatile, and run longer between cleanings. As well as, it is advisable both restrict your self to mild or heavy hundreds, or purchase an additional barrel in your 1100. Or, if you happen to like the essential platform however need extra versatility, you may search for an 11-87, the 1100’s successor that got here out in 1987. It’s just about the identical gun however with a “self-metering” ring across the barrel that means that you can shoot 2 ¾- and 3-inch hundreds interchangeably, and all 11-87s have choke tubes.

Remaining Ideas

The Remington 1100 is arguably the second-most essential semiauto ever made after John Browning’s Auto 5. It modified America’s capturing habits and even in the present day it’s nonetheless an important selection as soft-kicking, simple gun to shoot. When my youngsters began capturing, and I wanted weapons for then and one other boy I used to be educating to hunt, the selection was simple. I picked up a pair of 20-gauge 1100 Youth fashions. They had been compact however pretty heavy weapons for 20 gauge, however that weight made them simple to level and swing, and the load and gasoline system made them very soft-kicking and subsequently nice weapons for rookies to start out with. The children shot their first geese, geese, pheasants, and one turkey with these weapons. At the moment, if you need an 1100, you’ll have to seek out one used, which isn’t a troublesome process provided that 4,000,000 had been made. We are able to solely hope that when the brand new possession of Remington (now RemArms) will get up to the mark they are going to begin making 1100s and 11-87s as soon as once more.

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