Gun Review: Classic Remington Model 1100

Gun Review: Remington Model 1100

CHRISTMAS, 1979, and my Old Man was at it again with his traditional – “Well, Jake,” he’d say with as mischievous a smile as my Old Man ever mustered. “You’d better look under the couch. There just might be something there for you.”

Or maybe it was another of his favorites, the box of ammunition with the handwritten note inside; the note, like his one-liner, directing me to peer into the darkness that was the underside of the davenport. Either way, the Old Man got his point across – there was something under the sofa, and I best be looking for it.

I was 15 that Christmas, and a veteran, or so I thought, of some seven hunting seasons. I had graduated from school to school in terms of field firearms, many of which you folks have read about here – a single-shot H&R .410, a Stevens M107B 20-gauge, and a Winchester M24 16-gauge double, to name but a handful of my diplomas.

But this year – 1979 – Boy Howdy, I’d hit the big time, for there was something underneath the sofa. A long green cardboard box bearing the white script REMINGTON across the top. Inside, the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen, including any icky ‘ole girl I’d encountered throughout the whole of my middle school career.

Laying there, encased in flaking white styrofoam, was THE shotgun – Big Green’s Model 1100 semi-automatic. Mine was identical to the Old Man’s never-without field piece, only instead of his 12-bore, mine was of a gauge to which I’d grown most accustomed – the 16. Here was my version of Ralphie “A Christmas Story” Parker’s Red Ryder BB gun, minus, of course, the compass in the stock. From his perch in his faux leather reclining chair, the Old Man watched, just a hint of a grin on his lips. Christmas, that year, was a success on several different fronts.

That was – Holy Cats! – 32 years ago, and since being first assembled later that same Christmas morning, the M1100 16-gauge has accounted for multitudinous species of North American game and fowl, including several whitetails.

It’s interesting to note that upon my receipt of the shotgun in ‘79, dedicated slug barrels, smoothbore or otherwise, weren’t available. Fortunately, my Uncle Jim owned a sporting goods store, and was able, I know not how, to obtain a shortened, no-rib tube for the 16 to which he had brazed a set of adjustable iron sights.

At least half a dozen Ohio whitetails fell to that combo over the years, including my first buck. Prairie chickens, sharp tails, ruffed grouse, doves, pigeons, snipe, rails, woodcock, teal, Canada geese; the only fowl not on the list for the M1100 is a wild turkey. But, should you be interested, I’ll keep you posted on that matter following this Spring season here in Iowa.

2 thoughts on “Gun Review: Classic Remington Model 1100

  1. Eightsouthman

    If any parts should break there will be a pattern of where it was to repair it. Any good craftsman with a couple of straight edges can align a part to exactly as it was before. The fore-end hanger can be held exactly with a clamp and spot welded again(think auto repair)or any other method including rod welded(oh yes), MIG welded, TIG welded or brazed. I’m not sure a good silver solder job like high quality silver solder used on a/c repair wouldn’t hold as well. Never say never.

    I have seen one gun I couldn’t fix after “fixing” it several times. A Weatherby Patrician after only several boxes of light bird loads broke the carrier than ran in a groove in the chamber off the carrier itself, a matter of two pins that held it in. There was one on either side but just the one side would break. After re-brazing, breaking and remaking new pins of a larger diameter and breaking again(always broke the pins loose)and re-brazing after a couple more pins of ever increasing diameter I finally gave up and sold the gun. Too bad about the design. It was the absolute lightest shooting 12 gauge I had ever used including a full weight A-5 Browning.

  2. 7x57

    The good and bad points on the Rem. 1100.

    The 1100 is probably the best auto loader out there but not as reliable or as well balanced as the old Browning recoil operated a-5 light weight. The 1100 to me personally has always felt like a club when swinging it.

    It is a heavy gun with its steel receiver which is good for competition but bad for hunting all day long.

    Like any auto-loader they do not last long when used heavily in competition so expect to replace parts in the 1100. The o ring should be changed once a year as it is noted for giving up the ghost.

    Keep the gun lubed and very clean as you would any other auto loader or expect functioning problems.

    Parts I have seen break are the ejector, bolt buffer, fore-end hanger (which is two pieces of stamped sheet metal spot welded together). Do not man handle this part when taking the gun down to clean it. I have seen the main spring housing break off and when this happens the gun is now a single shot. Do not attempt to re-braze this part yourself as it must be dead on or the bolt will not cycle. Remington by the way wants a whopping $300 bucks to fix this as was told to me several months ago by Remington.