Remington's Model 1100™ Sporting
Shooting a Birdie - A perspective on golf and shotguns
I want RealGuns to be taken seriously as an
electronic publication, and what better way to say "We ARE a
publication" than to open with a photograph that obscures the detail
and character of an excellent firearm, by surround it with artful,
superfluous, irrelevant and distracting objects. With smoke
machines, light pipes, mirrors and invisible hanging systems on
order, we look to the future with sense of pride... and hope.
I don't often cover shotguns. Shooting shotguns is
like the first, last and only time my youngest son tried to share
his passion for golf with me. He took me to a driving range and I
turned it into batting practice. Someone hands me a shotgun and I
mount front and rear FireSights and load it with slug ammo. In
summary, I like the concept of a shotgun, I am just not cultured
enough for them to like me. Shotguns may, however, hold the key in
determining if I will be successful hunting deer in ol' "branches
slapping me in the face", densely wooded Maine.
Looking through a scope at a deer a couple
hundred yards out, even a moving deer, there is time to pick and
place a shot. Maybe have lunch simultaneously. When a deer
steps into a ten foot clearing and is on
the verge of going someplace else in a hurry, an opportunity for a shot is
measured in a handful of seconds. Learning to point and shoot with a
small bore shotgun is an excellent way to sharpen quick shot skills.
Why a .410 bore? Gas operated and light recoiling, the emphasis
on shooting skills, not an ability to absorb recoil. Additionally, there is less shot to
hit the target so more precise pointing
is required than would be the case with a larger gauge gun.
At the time of this writing, the Remington Model
1100™ Sporting 410 is the only mainstream gas operated .410 bore shotgun on the
market. The model carries an MSRP of $1,159. Not in as generous
supply as 12 gauge guns, when the Model 1100 410 can be found, it is
typically sold at or near retail price.
Model 1100™ Sporting 410
Gas - Semi Auto
||2.5" & 3"
27" Ventilated Rib
7 lbs 7 oz
||5 lbs 1 oz
Weights and Measures
The Model 1100 Sportsman 410 utilizes a
single gas port to actuate its gas piston and cycle the
firearm. The barrel is marked ".410
Bore 2½" or 3" ", indicating either 3" magnum or 2½" ammo
use is appropriate.
After running lots of 2½" and 3", shot and slug
loads, from a number of manufacturers, I can honestly
say the Sportsman is on the high side of gas operated ammo
handling versatility, and particularly for a small bore.
Outside of the extremes, slug loads and very lightly charged
2 1/2" #9 shot size target loads, the Model 1100 digested
As a gun geek...
I converted all of my AR 15 guns to
adjustable gas systems so they would
accommodate a wide variety of factory and handloaded
ammunition. Seems gas regulation would not be a
difficult feature to incorporate into the 1100, but then I
didn't try. Usually, the reason shooter adjustable systems
aren't offered by manufacturers is the manufacturer's
concern that someone will open up gas flow to
accommodate low velocity ammo and leave it at this setting
when firing high velocity ammunition. Without proper
reciprocating part dampening, there is the chance the
increase in mass velocity will damage the gun and the
manufacturer will have to service a problem that is not of
their doing, and do so under warranty. At any rate,
this is just me wandering off the road into a ditch, so to speak, as the
Remington operates, as is,
reliably and with any reasonable ammunition consistent with
the gun's intent.
Floats like a...shotgun,
stings like a...shotgun
The Sportsman 410's metal and wood fit and
finish is very good and there certainly isn't a shortage of
aesthetic appeal. Based on earlier experience with a tiny CZ
side by side .410 bore, I think I was expecting the
Remington to be quite small, but it is a full size gun,
right to its weight of 7 lbs 7 oz. That said, the guns is
very balanced and tracks well. The 410 bore choice is
one of control over power, recoil and range and scale to a shooting environment,
not a dedication to a youth model firearm.
The Sportsman 410 has virtually no recoil,
regardless the ammo selection. Both my wife and I shot the
gun extensively and, I have to say, it was a pleasure ending
the day without a head that was ringing like a bell or an
NFL class shoulder injury. The 1" thick recoil pad seems a
bit of an overkill, but it did serve to bring the stock to a
very comfortable length. I'd guess a smaller statured
shooter, AKA kids, could be accommodated by changing out the
recoil pad to something less cushy and trimming pull
length by an inch to 12 7/8". As an adult, pulling the gun
into my shoulder resulted in a very natural point, The
pistol grip angle and curve is comfortable, the forearm is
the right width and form for a steady and natural hold. Even
the checkering instills confidence as a no-slip
The trigger is...OK. I think I put in too
much time in on high powered centerfire rifles to be a judge
of shotgun trigger function. The Remington's trigger is not
gritty, the pull effort isn't excessive, it just seems a bit
long on release. I will recues myself from making a
judgment on this aspect of the gun as I understand, from
folks with more shotgun specific experience, this is considered
to be a quality gas shotgun trigger.
I am not sure what to do with a center
bead. Actually, I'm not sure what to do with the front bead.
I typically watch the target and my brain and peripheral
vision keep track of the gun's muzzle to make sure all
are in the same county. But for those who like beads and
know how to use them, they are very nice beads and the
center one is within 1/2" of barrel mid point. The center
bead is 0.80" brass the front 0.125" white.
Khaaaaaaaaa...Akkkkaaaaa...Agagurgle - Chokes
Five knurl ended screw in chokes are included with the
Sportsman 410. With the exception of the "LMod"
inscribed choke tube, all are listed as OK for use with lead
or steel shot. Slugs vary in
diameter and construction, however, Remington Express Rifled
Slug packaging recommends the use of an improved cylinder
choke for best performance. This is the case with most
hollow skirt, rifled slugs.
1100™ .410 Chokes
Modified - Lead Only
Remnants of a good afternoon...
NRA 30" pattern targets were placed at twenty five yards, within recommended range for the
.410 bore, as were conventional targets for slug accuracy
testing. The only variable I had to deal with was the flock
of wild turkeys that kept circulating from the surrounding
woods to the range where they feed. I can't help but take
their presence as a somewhat sad commentary on
my shooting skills. Very similar to the grouse that attacked
my boot one deer season and caused me to be cited by a game
warden for wanton and willful grouse kicking. A traumatic
story I'll save for another time.
3" Winchester X High Speed magnum game
loads, with 3/4 ounces of # 7 1/2 shot, put 88% of the shot
in the 30" circle with a full choke installed. Changing to
Remington Express Long Range and #6 shot with an Improved
Cylinder choke put 84% of the shot on target. Yes, tighter
than a 12 gauge or other larger chambers, but also shot at a
considerably shorter distance. The slug loads, shot mostly
as a point of reference and single round loaded, went 2 1/2" for Remington 2 1/2"
1/5 oz Express Rifled Slug and 3 1/4" for the Brenneke 3"
magnum 1/4 oz slug. Both three shot groups, both shot at twenty
Did you invite him? Not
For 3" loads, pushing 3/4 oz (328
grains) of shot and a powder charge of 16.0 - 18.0 grains of H110 is
good for 1,200 fps, with pressure levels below 11,000 PSI. The
result is 1049 ft-lb's of kinetic energy, which is .44 Remington
Magnum and hot .45 Colt (pictured far right) territory.
Remington 2 1/2" Express Long Range
loads, 1/2 oz of #6 shot at 1250 fps were probably the best hitting. They
allowed us to pop lots of targets during an impromptu mini clays
match...that I lost to my wife. I wouldn't mind so much if it
weren't for the smiles and email to family and friends that follow.
Slug load performance from the diminutive .410
isn't bad. At 115 grains the Brenneke 3" magnum slug generates
781 ft-lb's. of muzzle energy. The manufacturer recommends
the load for up to coyote size game. The 87 grain Remington slug load
generates 654 ft-lb's. of muzzle energy; better than
a .357 S&W Magnum. Of course, the low density, low BC
projectiles run out of gas quickly and are therefore limited in
effectiveness to short ranges. Not a problem as there are many more
shot based loads to make the .410 a great rabbit and squirrel gun.
Not a progression, predilection... or even a
The Remington Model 1100
Sportsman 410 has a definite place in the shooting world for both
young and mature, novice and experienced shooters. The
.410 bore isn't anymore of a transitional cartridge for a developing
shooter than a .38 Special is necessarily a path to the .500 S&W.
The .410 bore is the answer to specific hunting applications and its low BB count
serves as the basis for an excellent target shooting challenge.
Remington's Model 1100 Sportsman 410 is a well done
firearm, from its fancy walnut stock and nicely finished hardware to
its predictable and reliable behavior while shooting. I enjoyed the
experience. Yup, nice gun.