& Harris - Gun
Reviews - Archive - Remmington 1100 .410
Remington 1100 .410
26 February, 2001
Remington’s 1100 has been with us now for upwards of 35 years. And with the
exception of a small break
in production sometime in the 90’s it has remained largely the same throughout
that time. This of course points to the fact that it has been a classic design
that has required little or nothing to improve it during that time.
In many ways the 1100 has set many of the trends for autos that other
manufacturers have only begun to catch up with in very recent years.
Particularly, I mean the fact that the 1100 was the first and for many years
the only auto to be made in competition configurations as well as field
In the USA where the 1100 reigned supreme for many years, the clay disciplines
were mainly skeet but also some trap shooting. And as the auto was, and to a
degree still is, the favoured type of gun for many American shooters, so the
1100 had to evolve into skeet and trap models. Sporting clay shooting has only
just started to take off in the USA, so for general purpose shooting, the field
gun was the most popular model.
Over here in East Anglia we have always been great supporters of the 1100. I
think that this is due in part to the fact until the thaw in the cold war we
had a great number of US Air Force bases around us; all of which had gun clubs
that shot skeet. Consequently a number of 1100 guns found their way over here,
and found a great deal of favour amongst the natives.
Of course it must be remembered that at that time competitors to the 1100 were,
although very functional, such as the Browning auto five, the
Breda, and the
Franchi hunter. All were recoil operated which seems clumsy compared to the gas
system of the 1100. But not only that they high backed actions to some degree
or another. However you look at it, none were as attractive as the 1100 with
its smooth rounded action back. Not least also was the enviable handling of the
Some would argue that there has yet to be another auto built that will handle
as well as an 1100, even by Remington. I’ve made it sound like the perfect
auto but they were perhaps not that. They certainly handle better than any
other, perhaps that is why Remington brought the gun back when the 11-87
couldn’t quite fill it’s shoes.
Perhaps the thing that let the gun down was its reliability; though in fairness
we should remember that the gun was designed to work with 32 gram shells. Also
it depended on good case quality to feed at its best.
The gas piston assembly and seals need to be kept clean and at their best to
work correctly. Plenty of oil is also needed to keep things moving smoothly.
Gas ports also need to be kept very clean so that the optimum amount of gas is
let through to give the mechanism the biggest boost possible. The piston seal
is subject to a great deal of heat and pressure and so it needs replacing every
so often unless very well looked after.
Certain parts do break and need replacing, such as the extractor claw, the bolt
link and the forend support. Though these parts are relatively inexpensive, and
are easily obtained and fitted.
One feature perhaps unique to the 1100 is that it has been made in nearly all
common shotgun gauges and some rifle calibres as well.
Not only that but each gauge was scaled to give the relative weight and
handling characteristics correctly for that calibre. I am not sure but I think
that I can once remember seeing a 16 gauge 1100. But certainly they have been
made in 20, 28 and 410.
It is a 410 that is the gun in this month’s second-hand gun test.
This particular gun is about 20 years old although it is difficult to be exact
as there is no clear way to date them from the serial number. However this gun
is in exceptionally good condition for its age and has done very little work.
It is a skeet gun and the last owner was a very good skeet shot a few years
ago, and had this gun for NASA skeet in the small gauge discipline.
The gun has a 25” barrel which sounds very short, but on a 410 looks perfectly
in proportion as this gun is so well scaled and is very elegant for an auto.
The stock length is a fraction over 14” and is still finished with its original
butt plate, but for some reason doesn’t feel too short when the gun is
The barrel is fitted with a ventilated top rib which is parallel and a fraction
over 7mm wide. Its top surface is very lightly matted to reduce glare. It has a
white foresight and is also fitted with a silver mid bead. Strangely, I
thought, it is chambered for 2 ½ inch cartridges only; as a 410 and more
particularly an American built gun I would expect to see 3 inch chambers, but
My guess is that the gun will only perform at its best with very good quality
and fairly lively ammunition in order to work the mechanism.
Mechanically the gun is very similar to the 12 gauge version, but with all the
parts scaled down proportionately. The receiver is finished in a deep gloss
black, classic on American guns. This goes for all the other metal parts with
the exception of the bolt and the floor plate release, which are bright silver.
The receiver has pressed in scroll engraving, which helps to break up an
otherwise plain area.
The gun has been restricted to comply with the magazine restriction
regulations. This was carried out in 1989 as indicated by the proof mark, which
is when this legislation was introduced.
The woodwork is in extremely good condition and has very few marks on it. It
still has the original glossy varnish finish that is common to Remington, and
has their classic pistol grip cap still in place.
The chequer pattern is classic of Remington; very decorative with the
fleur-de-lis motif. But it is pressed onto the wood rather than cut so it has
quite a smooth feel.
The stock drop is 2 3/8” which is quite a large drop and the gun does shoulder
very flat, but then again
it is a skeet gun and so should do as some targets
will be dropping when they are shot at.
This is a gun in virtually unused condition and combined with the fact that it
is so unusual it will command
good price, probably some where in the region
of £450- £500.
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