Review: The New 2015 Remington V3 Shotgun

post

Take a brief walk down shotgun-history lane with me. In 1963, Remington introduced the Model 1100, a gas actuated semi-auto shotgun that ushered in a new era of shotguns with noticeable improvements not only in felt recoil but in its consistent cycling. In fact, in 1978 a Model 1100 LT-20 was used to set a firearms record for most shells fired through a semi-auto shotgun without malfunctions or breakage of any kind – oh, and without being cleaned, either. That record was a rather stunning 24,000 rounds, and although other manufacturers have tried to break it, they have yet to succeed. The M1100 remained a favorite among hunters and sport shooters alike for some time, in fact it wasn’t until nearly a quarter of a century later that Remington came out with their next popular shotgun: the 11-87.

The 11-87 featured what was then an innovative self-compensating gas system. High pressures within the barrel were relieved by excess gas being released through two little holes underneath the barrel and the way the gas cycled shells meant the recoil energy was dispersed over a longer stretch rather than occurring all at once. The result was less felt recoil, but that wasn’t all the 11-87 had to offer. The 11-87 gave shooters something they’d been after for awhile: the ability to shoot everything from lighter target loads to heaver magnum loads from the same gun. That meant both 2 ¾” and 3” shells could be fed into the 11-87. The gun even gained a little Tinseltown fame by being used in the Coen Brothers’ movie “No Country for Old Men.”

DSCF9055 (1)

In the years after the 11-87’s debut there was a shift in the shotgun market. The majority of shotguns used to be made with pride right here in the USA, but in the 25 years following the 11-87’s creation, manufacturing shifted from the United States to overseas. Companies like Benelli – which is located in Urbino, Italy – and Beretta – which is located in Brescia, Italy – have overtaken the shotgun market in staggering numbers. And one of the companies to make a splash in the realm of shotguns made specifically for women, Syren Tempio, has its roots in Italy as well. Franchi, Perazzi, Caesar Guerini – Italian. The shotgun has become not just a foreign market but an Italian one; approximately eighty percent of shotguns being sold here in the States are foreign-made. It’s high time American manufacturers took the market back, and in 2015 Remington is looking to do just that with their new 12-gauge shotgun, the V3.

Slide10

A quick word about the V3’s predecessor, the Versa Max. The Versa Max was first introduced in 2010, a full 23 years after the 11-87; that quarter-century gap between shotgun innovations seems to be becoming a bit of a habit – until now. What made the Versa Max ground-breaking was the Versa Port which was, indeed, a significant advance in the inner workings of a gas-regulated shotgun. The Versa Port works through a series of ports that regulate internal gas pressure according to the length of the shotgun shell. In the Versa Max, when a 2 ¾” shell was chambered, all 7 ports were left open, while with a 3” shell 4 ports were open and with a 3 ½” shell, 3 ports were open. Those ports help the gun cycle rounds with impressive consistency and also serve to decrease felt recoil. The latter is managed by drawing out recoil energy over a longer time rather than leaving it to one quick action: by drawing out the process and controlling that high pressure, felt recoil is significantly reduced. An added bonus of the Versa Port system is that as the high pressure is released with the shell it cleans itself, In the Versa Max this technology proved itself in more ways than one thanks to its 7 ports, and in the V3 Versa Port technology proves itself to a greater extent with not 7 ports but 8.

DSCF9062 (1)

The 8th port in the V3 allows for better performance from the pressure-compensating valves in each chamber which translates to a decrease in felt recoil and an increase in performance with 3” shells. In the older technology it was the smaller shells that had greater pressure behind them, and that meant greater performance. With the V3 you have more pressure behind the larger 3” shells, too. The V3 is designed to cycle everything from light 1 ounce loads to heavy magnum loads.

Another improvement over the Versa Max ‘s Versa Port is that the V3’s is also more compact at just 8.36” compared to the Versa Max’s 9.27”. This is a truly compact gas system, and not just because it’s shorter overall. We’re all aware of the importance of shot placement when we’re slinging lead down-range, well, placement is important in the construction of firearms as well. Competitors tend to place their gas systems 9” to 11” down the bore, but Remington places the V3’s SASG2 right in front of the receiver. The result is better balance and an ergonomically designed forend; with the V3, the gun’s weight is distributed centrally, and that makes pointing it not just natural but instinctual.

DSCF9045

Speaking of weight the V3 hits the sweet spot at 7.2 pounds, placing it right in the middle of other shotguns. For example, that 11-87 came in at 8 pounds and the M2 American weight 6.9 pounds. At 7.2 pounds the V3 has enough heft to absorb recoil energy while remaining light enough to be comfortably carried during a day of duck hunting.
We were given the opportunity to try out the V3 at a beautiful outdoor range in West Virginia. Its wide-open spaces made it ideal for long guns of all kinds and for the new shotgun we had the use of individual stations for shooting clays. The front of each station was equipped with an automatic trap that was operated by pushing a button.
First we were given a quick run-down of the V3’s operation, specifically its loading options. The V3 can be loaded either by feeding shells into the loading port one at a time, pushing the port open each time, or the port can be locked open for quicker loading. Although locking the port open allows for a bit more speed it’s really more a matter of personal preference with a field shotgun like this first V3 offering.

PA130066

The V3 will be available with a 26” and 28” barrel, and the shotgun I used had a 28” barrel and was black synthetic. I first loaded it with 2 ¾” shells which were target loads. Before trying the gun on clays I fired one round simply straight ahead in the same direction clays would soon travel. The first shot answered my first question: what would felt recoil really be like? It’s definitely less than that of the average 12-gauge. I own several shotguns myself including some from Mossberg, Winchester, Remington, and Browning, and I’ve fired shotguns from other manufacturers including Beretta, Savage, and FN Herstal. The V3 has no recoil spring in the stock and utilizes the aforementioned Versa Port technology, and the result is a 12-gauge with less felt recoil than many similarly-sized shotguns. Yes, you still feel that kick, but it isn’t quite as sharp as you might expect.

PA130068

Mounting the V3 to my shoulder felt smooth and natural and the stock was easily tucked under the edge of my collarbone. It’s designed for a slightly reduced length of pull (LOP) and as someone with long arms and hands I would have preferred it be just a bit longer, but it was still comfortable. Down the road there will most likely be other stocks offered including a tactical folding stock and an adjustable stock.
PA130071

It’s worth mentioning I haven’t spent a significant time skeet shooting. I prefer either targets or live game on the ground, although bird hunting is something I’d like to get into. I mention this because testing the V3 was done using clays. It turns out trying out the V3 this way proved its pointability; this is an instinctually pointable shotgun, and swinging it up to shatter clays was both easy and enjoyable. Too many people forget shotguns are inherently point-and-shoot guns, not take-careful-aim guns like rifles, and a shotgun’s pointability is an important factor in its function. The V3’s balanced construction and the slight contouring to the barrel made shooting it fun and delivered the satisfaction of watching clays being annihilated.

PA130063

The trigger was crisp and had a nice return; it was neither overly light nor frustratingly heavy. The V3 ate what we fed it, both 2 ¾” target loads and 3” slugs, and had no malfunctions or failures. In fact, during testing the gun had a less than 0.5% failure rate, which is fantastic compared to the 2% (or worse) failure rate of most shotguns. It was an enjoyable gun to shoot and I believe will make a nice field gun both for new and experienced shooters. I’m looking forward to spending quality time with the V3 both at the range and hunting – and, yes, it’s getting some time destroying watermelons this summer.

PA130070

This field V3 comes pre-drilled and tapped. Although the initial offerings are for field guns with 26” and 28” barrels, Remington said they will be releasing tactical and competition V3’s later in 2015. And who knows, maybe they’ll have a surprise for us at SHOT Show 2015.

Typically this is where I’d put together a suitably stirring/poignant closing, but this time I’m going to use Remington’s own words. They’ve put together a brilliant ad campaign for the V3, building on the very real importance of American-made firearms, and this tag line is from one such ad: “Please don’t buy the V3 because it’s made in America. Blind loyalty was sent packing with the redcoats. Ours is a land where the best man wins. In 2015, we’re proud to say the finest autoloading shotgun in the world isn’t built in Italy, Belgium, or Japan. It was born right here. Powered by our VersaPort gas system and the fierce spirit of competition that only thrives here, where the best shotgun wins.”
It’s about time we took back shotgun production; don’t you want your guns to be made in America? I know I do.

V3 Specs:

Chambered in: 12 gauge
Rounds: 3 (2 ¾” or 3”)
Shell sizes: 2 ¾” and 3”
Sights: Twin bead
Stock and Forend Finish: Walnut, Black Synthetic, Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades, Real Tree APG
Barrel: 26” or 28” (Real Tree in 26” only; Mossy Oak in 28”only)
Barrel type: Light contour vent rib
Choke: Rem Choke 2
LOP: 14 ¼
Drop (Comb): 1 ½”
Drop (Heel): 2 7/16”
Weight: 7.2 pounds empty
Overall length: 47” to 49”
MSRP: $895 Black Synthetic/$995 Walnut, Mossy Oak, Real Tree

Gas System

Gas System

The V3 has the following features:
• Compact receiver design results in ideal balance and swing characteristics making the SASG2 one of the most natural pointing shotguns you’ll ever shoot.
• Light contour barrel further optimizing balance and swing characteristics.
• Versa Port Operating system with fewer moving parts than 11-87 and other competitive offerings offering more reliability, easier and less frequent disassembly and cleaning.
• Short piston stroke allows for a more compact gas system located directly forward of the receiver resulting in optimized forend geometry, balance and swing characteristics.
• Improved shell cycling reliability
• <=0.5% malfunction rate or 10% better than best competitor • No recoil spring in stock to get gummed up or rusted like competitive offerings. More flexibility in stock offerings especially in upcoming Tactical offerings (Folding stock) • Reduced bolt retraction force, easier to use for consumers • Recoil same as Versa Max (if not better!) • Rotating bolt head for superior round control and increased reliability. • Weight target of 7.2 lbs versus 8.25 lbs 11-87 from Remington Phil Note:

Katie pretty much summed the V3 up very well. I can add that it’s the easiest shotgun to swing on target that I’ve ever used. It really feels lighter than it’s 7 pounds. I attribute that to the weight being very near the shotguns center. Considering the gas system is directly in front of the receiver it only makes sense it would be a natural pointer and fast on target. Recoil is also less than I expected. Remington says it’s the same as the Versa Max but I think it’s lighter even with 3 inch magnum shells.

The first time I picked it up I was able to hit 12 out of 12 clays. I was impressed with the V3 being able to do that having never shot one before. Katie shot a video of the last few clays.

In short I want one and I can’t wait to see the Tactical model when it comes out.


Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


Advertisement

  • Love the history and the details on the new gun. It sounds great from your description.

    • Katie A

      Glad you liked it! I do like the V3, it’s a great shotgun, well-balanced, and I really am looking forward to taking it hunting.

  • Patrick Karmel Shamsuddoha

    Phil, does the V3 accept 800 patten stocks? Since there is no recoil assembly housed in the stock do you think it would be possible to modify a magpul SGA stock to fit the V3?

    • Patrick honestly I’m not sure. We’ll have to ask Remington about that which we don’t mind doing. It will most likely be Tuesday before we can get an answer for you.

      • Adam aka eddie d.

        It’d be nice to get a confirmation on this SGA thing!
        For selfloaders there aren’t too many quality options as far as I know.
        The Urbino stock or the buffer tube adapter from Mesa – that’s about all I can think of off the top of my head, and these are pistol grip options of course.

    • Patrick I got an answer from Remington the aftermarket stocks. There are none that will fit the V3 at this time.

      • Patrick Karmel Shamsuddoha

        ….Damn it

  • Bill Brandon

    I’ve already got the Versa Max Tactical and I LOVE it. If the V3 is anything like the Versa Max it’ll be a winner.

    • hardeho

      Agreed. I LOVE my VM tactical.

  • Mitlov

    Where does the statistic of 2%-or-more failures for “most shotguns” come from? Is that from Remington or an independent source? That seems awfully high.

    • Ben

      Agreed. The failure rate for my Beretta 682X (that I bought used for $900) is right around 0%. In all the years that I’ve had it, I can’t recall a single failure ever, other than maybe one or two bad primers.

  • You know I really hate that word shill. If you don’t like the article don’t read it but don’t jump on a writer for being positive about a good shotgun.

    • J.T.

      Might want to wait until the gun is released and review a production gun. We all know how badly the review of the R51 came back to bite you.

      • I don’t think it came back to bite us. When I wrote the R51 article I made it very plain at the time that these were prototypes and pre production guns. It came back to bite Remington but I reported what my experience was with that group of pistols.
        Also the guns Remington give us now are as close to or are production models. That stemmed from the R51 problems.

  • Never got that either but since they are releasing the 2010 rifle and others that were military/leo only maybe they’ll release those to the public. They will have a tactical of the V3 coming out.

  • hardeho

    Well, the VMT was heavily marketed as a 3-gun shotgun, and 18″ shotguns are a no-go for 3-gun. Maybe they didn’t think there was a big enough market for an 18″? I dont know, but I love my Versa Max Tactical, long barrel and all.

  • Recalled in 3….2…..1….

  • Many times these new guns lack the technical info you request. If we had been given that information it would have been provided.
    The trigger felt around 4.5 pounds to me. Magazine tube is stainless.
    Extractor metallurgy? I hope you’re kidding because if you can find a spec sheet that list that I’d be surprised. That’s just not something that’s ever provided or even asked about.
    On another note she liked the gun and it seems whenever a writer likes a gun and says so you get negative comments. I enjoyed the V3 a lot when I was shooting it and I can’t think of anything negative to say about it. I mixed all the ammo types we had and couldn’t get it to jam. It just ran and ran.

  • JSmath

    Reading through the article details I kept recalling other published information regarding “other manufacturers”‘ technologies. I’m not an avid shotgunner or shotgun technology whiz by any means, but the “Versa Port technology” looks eerily reminiscent of (rather, indistinctly similar to) Benelli’s Argo system to me. I’m sure Remington made sure to get that degree or two of difference, but I am still really wondering if it will be enough in the long run to avoid losing huge lawsuit.

  • joe

    i won’t trust anything made by remington.

  • Probably the second quarter of 2015

  • Later part of the first quarter

  • Ben

    I don’t think my Beretta will have problems with any of that. There are very few guns more reliable than a well made over/under.

  • Michael R. Zupcak

    If there’s no recoil spring in the stock like the diagram says, I’d like to see a tactical version with an 18.5″ barrel and a folding stock.

  • They obviously thought there was a market for it. It won’t affect Versa Max production.

  • Robert Kaschner

    It really looks like they copied the Franchi I-12. Except for the gas system of course. There’s too many similarities to just be coicidental.

  • Patrick Karmel Shamsuddoha

    well if you read between the lines this is a more mid range price point semi auto. It has features drawn from the High end versa max line but not a replacement of the versa max. it may in fact be a replacement of the 11-87 and a entry level 3-gun shotgun such as the Mossberg 930 JM pro series

  • spencer60

    Anyone really think Remmington can actually create a new product that works? I know I’m not holding my breath…

  • RaginVocation

    This is a gun that I have been waiting for Remington to produce. While the VersaMax is a solid gun, spending $1400 on a gun isn’t in my budget. This should have an MSRP of closer to $750 or so which makes it well within the reach of most hunters, especially guys like me that want an autoloader for a variety of seasons. It would be really interesting to see this be made available with a cantilevered rifled barrel as well so it could truly be a year-round gun. As far as the writer being positive about the gun, why wouldn’t he if he thought it was warranted? Ultimately if you want more info, use the search bar in your browser. Making this kind of purchase based on one review would be irresponsible anyway.

  • Not that I’ve heard

  • Well first of all it’s not he it’s she–Katie.

  • petru sova

    Remington still makes the 1100 for competition and for a good reason, unlike the later model Remington shotguns it is more reliable and you can still get it with a high polish blue job and a nice wood stock. The other later models like the 11/87 were not as reliable and the more recent models were cheapened with MIM cast unreliable parts, plasticky trigger guards and cheap looking dull blue jobs and pukish looking plasticky stocks. None of which are acceptable to most competition shooters who like good looking, and reliable weapons for competition. Whether this “latest and greatest” shotgun will be reliable or even accepted by the competition crowd remains to be seen but the old rule of thumb is ” Wait until a gun has been out for at least 2 years before you buy it” because in the manufactures greed to get the gun to market it is never, I repeat never is thoroughly tested to get the manufacturing bugs out of it. It is cheaper to let the public test it and have endless recalls before the manufacturer gets it right. Sorry I won’t be suckered into buying one of these when they first come off of the assemble line.
    I might add I never use even the 1100 for hunting as it swings like an unbalanced club. I will stick with my Browning Original A-5 (not the new garbage aluminum model) for hunting as its never let me down and it swings and balances almost as well as the finest European made side by side double shotgun. Not to mention it has steel forged parts not modern junk MIM cast parts, cheap aluminum parts or junk plasticky parts. True, it kicks like a mule but it was built for hunting and for completion I will stick with my Remington 1100 even though it swings like a club , it looks good with its high polish bluing and nice walnut stock and it gets the job done.

  • Flyingchipmunk

    This gun looks exciting for 3 gun shooting. The VersaMax has been popular for a lot of shooters who want something that kicks softer than a Benelli. I’m glad that they are going to come out with a 3 gun version, hopefully similar to what they did with the Versamax. The lower price tag is nice too.

    What really excited me though that was the loading gate locking up out of the way while loading. This could be a revolution for loading shotguns. I imagine it makes it similar to a mossberg 500 with the lifter tucked up which would be awesome.

    I really hope that Remington hits it out of the park with this one. They have had some quality control problems lately so I hope this is going to be a return to making high quality guns. If this is great I’m sure it will be the next big thing for 3 gun. I’ll be sticking with my Vinci for now though.

  • Guest

    Maybe I missed it, but what is the suggested retail price for this gun?