If there’s one thing Remington is known for, it is arguably their shotguns. From the ubiquitous 870 pump gun to the 1100 and 11-87 semi-auto shotguns, their line of scatterguns has truly stood the test of time, and to be honest those old models are probably some of biggest benchmarks any modern shotgun will be measured against. Given the 1100 was introduced in 1963, that’s really saying something.
But when the Versa Max debuted a few years back, it was a massive departure for Remington, and one that was generally well-received. Trading the 1100’s conventional gas system for an almost Benelli-like dual piston system, the Versa Max brought similar levels of reliability to the table, but did so with a lot less complexity than the 1100 required. But, unfortunately, the Versa Max isn’t a terribly cheap gun. And to be blunt, it wasn’t designed to be. Having invested huge amounts in making sure the Versa Max is an all-doing, all-shooting shotgun, it’s really intended to compete with some of the competition hailing from Italy.
So Remington went to their Elizabethtown, Kentucky R&D facility and asked their designers to make a new shotgun using the same Versa Port system as the Versa Max. That brilliant system, for those that are unfamiliar, uses a series of ports in the chamber to meter the gas flowing into the gas piston assemblies. Chamber a 2-3/4″ shell, and 7 of the ports in the Versa Max remain uncovered. Chamber a 3-1/2″ shell and just three ports remain open, with the other four sealed off by the hull itself. So, lower-powered shells automatically allow more gas to flow into the gas system, while larger shells keep gas volume restricted to keep the gas system from beating itself up.
But this new Remington V3 shotgun, while using the same system, had some different priorities. While the Versa Max’ chief priority was utter reliability with everything from 2-3/4″ promo loads to 3-1/2″ goose beaters, the new gun prioritized affordability. So, the designers reduced the chamber length to just 3″, which in turn allowed them to better tune the Versa Port system for lighter loads (the new V3 leaves eight ports exposed during 2-3/4″ shell operation), and shorten the gas system overall. That also made the gun lighter.
So who is the Remington V3 perfect for? Two sorts of people: Those that are budget conscious but don’t want to compromise on their shotgun’s country of origin or design… and hunters. Why? Well, to speak to the former buyer, the V3 has enough Versa Max DNA in it to make us incredibly interested… and to be honest, the lack of 3-1/2″ shell compatibility isn’t something we’d miss. It’s made in ‘Murica, quite well machined and assembled, and something most owners could be proud to call their own. In short, it’s a high value proposition at the $1,100-or-so asking price they’re carrying.
As for the hunting crowd, well, if you don’t need the 3-1/2″ capability of the Versa Max the V3 provides the same operation in a lighter, more compact package for less money. And like the Versa Max, it keeps all of the moving parts inside the receiver, so it’s easier to service and maintain and you needn’t worry about a spring or housing rusting away inside your stock.
Which brings us to the best news: The first major shipment of V3 shotguns has finally arrived in Canada. Although debuting a while back in the US, demand for the new shotgun had outstripped supply until now, so Canadian orders were not able to be filled. But Remington’s Canadian distributor, Gravel, just took delivery of a bunch, so look for Remington V3s to be arriving on retailer shelves soon… and reviewed right here!