By Lewis Potter
Monday, 22 October 2007
Remington shotgun: 44 years after it was first produced, Remington's most recent model of its iconic 1100 semi-automatic has remained true to its strengths.
The first Remington 1100 was produced in 1963 and became one of the guns favoured by the clayshooter who preferred a semi-automatic.
Now, some 40-odd years on, we have the G3 variant. An upgrade on what has surely qualified, in semi-auto circles, as a design classic.
The G3 is supplied in a travelling case of the quality one might associate with gentlemen's baggage.
It is easy to regard a semi-auto, whatever its pedigree, as something to dump in the back of a four-wheel-drive together with camouflage netting and pigeon decoys.
Remington seems to have developed a different philosophy.
The case includes four spare choke tubes, key and magazine restrictor plug all in a separate fold-down compartment.
For extra safety and security, a quite substantial trigger security lock is supplied and, very thoughtfully, a carrying strap for the case which, with all the contents, becomes a heavy item.
Documentation includes Edgar Brothers' own three-year guarantee, a comprehensive and well-illustrated owners' manual (which, as a nice touch, includes the 'ten commandments' of firearms safety).
Nothing, it would seem, has been left to chance or misunderstanding.
That solid feeling
The G3 weighs in at just about 8lb.
This was always one of the attractions of the original 1100 and left an impression of rugged reliability.
The G3 feels lighter than its actual weight and comes up to the point of aim quite nicely without any tendency to flick past the target.
With the gun empty, the point of balance lies just about in line with the cocking handle (or operating handle). Add two cartridges to the magazine and one in the chamber and it does move the balance forward a trifle.
In practice, when held normally between the hands it has no real effect, in the same way that one does not notice the change as the magazine empties or the effect on balance of the bolt cycling back and forth.
Remington has stuck with the reliable twin-arm action bar.
The Remington 1100 G3 VT PB is one of a range of self-loaders including a lightweight model with a skeletonised titanium receiver and similar variants with camouflage and matt-black finishes, plus a 20-bore option.
The new chequering on this G3 is better than the old style. Gone are the old pressed-in patterns and they have been replaced with clean and tidy laser-cut designs.
The drop measures a fairly standard 1.1/2in at the tip of the comb and 2.1/2in at the heel. The butt is fitted with what Remington describes as its R3 butt-pad with 'limb-saver technology' - which in 'Brit-speak' means it is fairly soft and comfortable.
Length of pull is 14.1/8in, which might seem a little short but is not unusual on this type of gun.
At 26in the barrel is long enough for good balance (28in is an option) while still leaving the overall length fairly much the same as a 30in-barrelled double.
It is well finished, both inside and out, with the twin gas ports clearly visible in this lower part of the barrel.
Proved at the Birmingham Proof House for 76mm cartridges, bore size is stamped 18.6mm or .734inch, which follows the present trend of over-bored barrels.
The external finish is flawless glossy black and, due to the heavy wall used for single-barrel guns, does not exhibit any flare at the muzzle to accommodate the screw-in chokes.
It is normal for chokes to be held in separate containers but in this case each of the four spares comes complete with warnings about unloading the firearm before changing the choke - now there's something worth taking note of.
The remington's receiver is plated instead of blacked.
Inside the receiver, the action is the 1100, but with modifications. These include some nickel Teflon-coated parts which aid to the smooth operation and ease of cleaning.
Crucial to reliable operation of a semi-auto is the sturdy twin arm action bar assembly that locates on to the action bar sleeve. Linked at the other end to the breech bolt assembly, this is what takes most of the load during the operating cycle.
Undeniably a Remington 1100
Patterns were even and consistent, recoil soft and functioning reliably with appropriate loadings.
Ejection is usually flawless; throwing the cartridge cases cleanly away and, as ever, the trigger pull is a little heavy and long but eminently safe for a gun of this type.
In spite of the comparatively heavy working parts, it is fast in operation.
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