I recently got back from a two-day, condensed version of Gunsite Academy’s 260 Shotgun class.
While it was great to get some training from their world-class instructors, the main goal was to put the new Remington V3 Tactical shotgun through its paces.
New for 2019, this tactical line of shotguns are designed with home and personal defense in mind. The combination of Remington’s Versaport gas system, which self-regulates gas pressure based on the length of the shell, and their Supercell recoil pad made for an exceptionally reliable and incredibly soft-shooting 12 gauge shotgun.
The V3 Tactical model features an oversized charging handle, bolt release, and safety button—as well as a flared loading port, all designed for easier and faster manipulation when in a defensive situation.
Outfitted with an 18.5” fixed cylinder bore barrel, and available with a traditional shotgun vent rib bead sight or XS low profile rifle sights, the gun is designed to make both shotgunners and rifle shooters feel right at home when they shoulder the gun and take aim.
I opted to shoot a V3 Tactical outfitted with rifle sights.
I’ve shot plenty of brass bead shotguns over the years and just wanted to try out one with rifle sights to see if it really made any difference. Plus, I felt that I could probably get better aimed shots on target more quickly with rifle sights than with a brass bead.
With that said, I don’t know that it really makes a difference. None of the other shooters in the course using brass bead sights had any issues with speed or accuracy.
Gunsite is a 3,200-acre training facility founded in 1976 by the late Colonel Jeff Cooper. Though he passed away in 2006 and had sold the business years before, his legacy lives on through the devoted attendees who flock to the 200+ courses taught there each year by 50 instructors with military, law enforcement, and other specialized experience backgrounds—many of whom were trained by Cooper himself.
To say that an attendee and their firearm(s) are put to the ultimate test while there would be an understatement.
The course I took was led by Gunsite’s Training Director, Dave Hartman, and Gunsite’s Chief Operating Officer, Ken Campbell. Between the two of them, they have more than 60 years of law enforcement experience and more than 35 years of instructing at Gunsite alone. Without a doubt, we were in very capable hands.
During my abbreviated shotgun course, the V3 Tactical and I experienced all of the hallmarks of a Gunsite experience: blistering hot Arizona sunshine, lots of gusts and dust, and even a torrential downpour. Despite all of this, my shotgun ran through 500+ rounds without a single hiccup.
Throughout the various exercises, we shot 00 buck, bird shot, and one-ounce slugs, depending on the scenario at hand. Because of the Versaport system, the gun adapted to the three different loads with ease.
The Versaport system is a self-regulating gas system that adapts to different length and power shells. Instead of the gas being bled off in the middle of the the barrel, it’s bled off at the chamber right in front of the shell. The actual hull of the shell blocks or exposes ports that lead into the gas system. When a 2-3/4″ shell is used, seven ports are open, allowing the maximum amount of gas from the shell to cycle the action. When a 3″ shells is used, only 4 ports are open using less gas and not over-pressuring the system; a 3-1/2″ shell only leaves three ports open.
All that means the gun will pretty much shoot anything with no adjustments at all. You can even stack different length shells in the magazine tube—something most semi-auto shotguns can’t deal with.
Once we got the guns patterned, it became evident that almost anything was possible given the right gun, the right load, and the right user. I’ve shot skeet and trap before, but I am not what you’d call a “shotgunner” by any stretch of the imagination. I tell you this because I went into the event having had no formal shotgun or tactical training.
Despite this, I rang steel with slugs at 50 yards, cleared a shoot house successfully, ran both the “Scrambler” and “Urban Scrambler” courses, performed tactical reloads on the move, and repeatedly carried out hostage rescue shots at 10 yards with 00 buck, all without injuring the hostage with even a single pellet.
Reliability is the most important thing when it comes to a defensive/tactical shotgun, and the V3 Tactical proved that it is nothing if not reliable. Through all of the conditions mentioned above, I did not clean the gun at all. At the end of the first day, a few drops of oil were dabbed on the bolt, but that was it. I didn’t wipe it down, swab it out, or anything else that even remotely could be considered cleaning and/or maintenance.
From the first shot to the last, this shotgun flat out ran.
To me, the most impressive aspect of this gun was in the felt recoil, or rather, the lack thereof. After shooting through a couple boxes of target loads with my vintage Browning Auto-5, I can feel it in my shoulder. After two days and countless rounds through the V3 Tactical, I didn’t feel a thing. That’s a testament to the Versaport and Supercell combination.
Before taking this course and shooting the V3 Tactical, I hadn’t seriously considered a shotgun for home defense. Now that I’ve done both of these things, I would definitely consider trusting my life to this Remington platform. Big Green has had its share of problems in recent years, but the V3 Tactical shotgun is most assuredly not one of them.
Additionally, though I didn’t utilize it for an accessory it at Gunsite, the barrel clamp on the V3 Tactical includes an M-LOK slot on either side for attaching a rail section or an M-LOK gun light or laser sight, making it even more adaptable for home defense needs. I used the left slot as the front attachment point for my sling during the course.
Available now, both versions of the 12-gauge V3 Tactical are 39.5” in overall length, have a capacity of 6+1, and weigh in at 7.625 pounds. The model with a vent rib bead sight has an MSRP of $995 and the model with the XS low profile right sights has an MSRP of $1,045.
REMINGTON V3 TACTICAL SPECS
• Gauge: 12 ga.
• Capacity: 6+1
• Barrel: Smoothbore – fixed cylinder choke
• Barrel Length: 18.5″
• Overall Length: 39.5″
• Weight: 7 lbs. 10 oz.
• Action: Semi-auto w/ Versaport gas system
• Sights: XS Low Profile or Vented Rib Bead Sight
• Receiver Finish: Black or Black Oxide
• MSRP: $995 – $1,045