Is America’s favorite autoloader all it’s cracked up to be?
Semi-automatic shotguns have been around since 1900, and their uses vary almost as much as the people who shoot them. While the market is full of ultra-modern shotguns, from the hunting grounds to the trap range to the field of battle, the classic Remington 1100 has remained as popular as ever.
First introduced in 1963, the Remington 1100 represented a huge leap forward in automatic shotgun design, and it changed the American shooting public’s perception of firearms. In recent years, however, it’s faced some pretty stiff competition.
With all the various options on the market, has the Remmy lost its luster? Or is it as desirable as it once was?
Here’s why you need a Remington 1100.
The Remington 1100 was introduced as a successor to the Model 58 and Model 878, both gas-operated semi-auto shotguns. While few shotguns can truly be called groundbreaking, Wayne Leek and Robert Kelley’s design truly changed the shotgun world forever. The 1100 was the first semi-auto to offer a significant reduction in recoil and real-world reliability.
It’s the most widely produced automatic shotgun in U.S. history, with more than 4 million produced. The fact that it remains in production and is still popular with military and police units, as well as hunters and competition shooters, during 50 years after its introduction really says something.
Here’s a film produced internally by Remington in the 1960s. Not only does it offer an inside look at the 1100’s design and a great sense of nostalgia, the narrator also has that classic narrator’s voice that will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day. You’re welcome.
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While there are more modern autoloaders that may be more reliable than the 1100, the soft-shooting Remington is still the standard by which all others are judged.
In fact, in 1978, the record for most rounds fired out of an automatic shotgun without malfunction, cleaning or parts breakage was set with an 1100 LT-20. Its record of 24,000 rounds still stands to this day.
Modern shotguns vary wildly in appearance, from the classic and high-end to the totally bizarre. The Model 1100’s sleek lines, in addition to making it a great handling gun, retain the classic look that many shooters covet without it looking old or dated.
It’s a design that has stood the test of time, and it still looks great, even today.
Remington currently offers seven different versions of the Model 1100, each designed with a different type of shooter in mind. From the eight-shot, synthetic stocked Tac 4, to the Competition and Competition Synthetic models for dedicated target shooters, there’s a Model 1100 out there to suit your needs.
As with any gun that has enjoyed a long production life, there is an enormous amount of aftermarket support for the 1100. With a little bit of creativity, you can craft one that meets your every need and is unlike any other.
Value does not, in this case, mean “cheap.” In addition to its groundbreaking design, long heritage and great reliability, the 1100 is also a fantastic value for the money. While there are certainly cheaper gas-operated semi-autos, any that can rival the 1100’s pedigree and performance come at a premium.
The used market is also full of great deals on 1100s. Anyone with a computer and a credit card can find a new 1100 for less than $1,000, and if you have even more patience and fairly low standards, you can find one for less than $500.
Very few firearms were truly groundbreaking at their introduction, and even fewer are still relevant today. The Remington Model 1100, however, is one of those. It possesses a great pedigree, and when combined with its historical reliability, modern versatility, classic design and all-American construction, it still stands as a superstar of the shotgun world. Oh, and it shoots pretty well.
We know, we want one too.