© Light Gauges 2006
Living with the Remington 1100
Special Sporting .410
Part 1: A tale of three 1100ís
By Tim Woodhouse
a funny thing really, when youíre but a young lad, you start off
wanting to launch the biggest and largest load of shot in the known
world, and get beaten up with recoil for the privilege; but bizarrely
love every minute of it.
However at about this time my Skeet shooting was just getting serious and I joined the NSSA, after things were proceeding well along the road to the perfect score (well nearly anyway) with a 12 gauge Remington 1100 Skeet gun. This was 1974/5 and It had to be said that when firing the then standard ounce and an eighth of shot, the gas operation really made all the difference after the second round of targets.
Like just about everyone else, the reloading of shells was mandatory if serious quantities of practice targets were to be on the menu. We tried the standard one and one eighth ounce loads to start and pretty soon had gravitated to lighter shells for practise, which proved just as deadly on the target; there was the added bonus of an extra couple of shells per pound of shot, which admittedly was fiscally appealing.
If one ounce was good then it seemed logical to push the boundaries still further and load just 7/8oz of shot; this too was capable of busting targets in a workmanlike manner but the total pattern spread of the seemed to be little smaller; being borne out with extended testing on the plate.
So thus began my love affair with the venerable 1100, I used it for all kinds of clay shooting, with its deadly effectiveness for pigeon roost shooting being a lasting memory of this era. Then one fateful day my Dad thought that perhaps it was time to move on to an over and under as my elevated growth had overtaken any real need to stick with a semi-auto.
So a week later the 1100 had gone as a trade in, to be replaced by a Miroku 800SW with 26inch barrels. This was fine for my lighter reloads, but not so clever with the one and one eighth ounce regular shells.
Eight years on, my next 1100 arrived after a chance visit to the local gun shop; I had been looking for something to cope with large numbers of rabbits, preferably with the capacity for quick follow up shots. It just so happened that there right in front of me was an early model 20 gauge Remington 12-20 1100 complete with 2 ĺ inch chamber and 28inch Modified barrel: perfect!
This rapidly became my favourite gun; it was handy, didnít kick with hunting shells and was a breeze to reload; soon it was to become my choice for clay targets too.
It rapidly became apparent that for the vast majority of my shotgun needs the 12 gauge was pretty well redundant.
The top one-ounce loading proved to be plenty for bird and rabbit shooting. Clay targets were taken care of in royal fashion by 7/8oz and 13/16oz shells, with even the light 3/4oz loads doing their bit surprisingly well.
It was at this point that after sampling all of the wares for the 20gauge, including some very special home brewed high velocity Ĺoz loads (for multi-shot rat control that would reliably cycle the action), that I decided to investigate further down the lighter load/gauge route.
Special Sporting .410
of my .410 shooting thus far has been with a side by side, over
and under or pump, not until now has the opportunity arisen to avail
myself of a self loader in this diminutive gauge.
having finally taken the plunge, I must say that this is a gun that
can coax some serious scores out of a shooter.
Also packed in the box was the comprehensive selection of choke tubes; Skeet, Improved Cylinder, Light Modified, Modified and Full. These are very nicely finished with clearly readable markings that look as if they will be just as legible from the first dayís use to the last, as no tools are required to install or remove them, there will be no worries over a lost choke wrench.
After assembling the gun from the box the first impression is that of Ďrealí gun feel; it might be a .410 but there would clearly be no need to add weights to the front end to maintain a good swing (unlike my over and under), to avoid the ever-present chance of inadvertently poking at the target.
With the longer 27inch barrel and extended screw in choke tubes it presents a longer sight picture than the other model, but comes into its own for serious small gauge sporting targets.
Iíve always found the stock dimensions to be very comfortable with all of the 1100ís that have made my acquaintance; apart from the inevitable inch or so extension needed to cope with my rather long arms (a slip on pad of about 1inch normally sorts this out), being no fault of the 1100ís but more to do with my anatomy.
First shot impressions
selecting the Skeet tube, my first shots were at the club skeet
range with a variety of shells that were handy from my loading bench.
It took a little while to adjust to the longer barrelís sight picture,
but after this the scores became smooth and consistent, in fact
the breaks were so good it was hard to believe that it was only
clays are after all the intended usage of this gun, so inevitably,
armed with a good selection of suitable factory loads
At this point I have to say that my friend Mike has to be just about the most committed .410 1100 fan in the UK. He has shot entire 12gauge FITASC series with his 25inch fixed Modified choke 1100 and won the respect and admiration of all who shoot with him. Indeed his main concern is that the organiser or target setter should feel aggrieved at his tackling their layout with his .410; happily this has not so far been the case.
has also travelled to Europe and shot with it in several countries
in FITASC including Finland!
always, shooting the .410 was a very enjoyable experience, the best
thing of all though with the .410 Remington 1100
the following articles of this .410 Special Sporting 1100 series
the other areas under investigation will be:
Remington distributors: Edgar Brothers, Heather Close,
© Light Gauges 2006