Gun Review: Classic Remington Model 1100

Gun Digest Gun Review Remington Model 1100.Technically Speaking

The first thing my Old Man did upon getting my new prize down into his corner of the basement was to, step by step, demonstrate the disassembly/assembly process. Having owned an M1100 since 1970, Pop was quite familiar with the mechanical workings of the autoloader. Today, in fact, he has enough spare parts – highly organized, mind you – to build a complete new shotgun, if, that is, he’d so wish.

Secondly, the Old Man’s rule on shotgun maintenance was, and still is, quite simple – if you take a gun into the field, it gets wiped down afterwards; if you shoot that gun, it gets broken down, cleaned, and reassembled. But I digress.

Though there have been some slight internal modifications to the M1100 over the past three decades, the gas-operated semi-automatic appears, both inside and out, much as it did back in The Day.

Outwardly, the M1100 – we’ll use my 16-gauge here as an exhibition item – falls, at least to me, somewhere between Moderately Ornate and Plain Jane. The American walnut stock and fore-end are finished in a high-gloss epoxy coating, with both the pistol grip and the underside of the fore-end being handsomely, albeit simply, checkered.

Present is the hard black plastic grip cap inlaid with Remington’s traditional, though now sadly absent, elongated white diamond. Both the receiver and barrel are blued; the left and right sides of the receiver sport tasteful engraved scrollwork, as does the chrome bolt.

The barrel, in this case a 28-inch tube, is topped with a wide ¼-inch pillared rib, and culminates in a fixed modified choke. Newer guns, not surprisingly, feature Big Green’s interchangeable Rem-Choke system. A single 3mm silver bead sits atop the muzzle. The M1100’s cross-bolt safety sits where it should – behind the trigger guard. The bolt/carrier release button is located underneath the receiver as an integral part of the carrier/elevator.

To disassemble the Old School M1100 is to understand its inner workings. Inside the fore-end and riding the magazine tube, two gas pistons – or, technically, a gas piston and a gas piston seal – assist in the gas-metering process.

Usable pressure enters the mechanism via two ports located underneath the barrel in the upper portion of the gas cylinder; the gas cylinder slides over the magazine tube as the firearm is reassembled. Upon firing, gas pressure forces the action bar assembly — it too riding the magazine tube — and bolt rearward. A metal link or rod connecting the bolt and bolt plate slides back, compressing the recoil spring in the stock.

The kinetic energy created assists in returning the bolt, bolt plate, and action bar assembly forward and into a firing position. In the midst of this instantaneous process, a fresh shotshell is released from the magazine, and elevated into an active loading position via a carrier.

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.