EVERY TIME I THOUGHT the morning flight was over, I would look up to see 50 more mallards dropping from the clouds. Sitting 10 yards from me, my friend Mike would hunch down lower in the weeds, clutching his old Remington 11-87 semi-auto and reaching for his call. I’d do the same, except I had a Remington V3 shotgun in my hands.
Tucked into the grass with no blind, I was confident that the black synthetic stock and dull metal of the Remington V3 wouldn’t betray my presence to the decoying ducks until it was too late. When it came time to shoot, the gun’s oversize safety was easy for my cold fingers to find. The gun pointed surely, an by 8:30 a.m. I had a limit of southbound mallards. Mike had his birds, too, and before we picked up decoys I showed him the new V3.
He took it from me, hefted it, and said, “It’s so light. I can’t believe it’s a Remington.”
Remington V3 Features
The V3 is not your father’s Remington 1100 or 11-87. As Mike noticed, it’s lighter than previous Remington semiautos. It also shoots a wide range of 2 ¾ and 3-inch shells very reliably, it runs a long time between cleanings, and it offers such niceties as shims to help adjust stock fit.
The receiver is drilled and tapped for a scope for turkey or deer hunting, and its barrel has front and middle beads that are helpful for target shooting. It comes with Remington’s soft, proprietary SuperCell recoil pad, a crisp trigger with a 5½-pound pull, and an integral sling swivel stud in the stock. The best part, though, is its price: at $799 for a basic black synthetic model, it’s a great value.
Ducks, Upland Hunting, and Skeet
A few days after the duck hunt I collected a limit of big Canada geese with the V3. I then turned my attention to the upland birds. I switched out the modified choke included with the gun to a more open improved cylinder—the better for shooting upland birds over a pointing dog.
I took my shorthair, Jed, on a pheasant hunt in the fields around home. At 7¼ pounds, the V3 isn’t a burden in the uplands. It carried easily and helped me keep up with Jed, who had his paws churning as he tried to pin down running roosters.
I made use of the V3’s magazine cut-off several times that day when I had to cross fences or steep-banked ditches. Sliding the button on the trigger guard forward blocks the magazine, allowing you to remove the shell in the chamber without loading the next one. It’s a handy feature that saved me from having to completely unload the gun every time I wanted to climb or clamber safely.
We cornered two footloose roosters that day, as well as a covey of quail that sat tight in a standing cornfield. One of those birds made the mistake of swerving out of the tall stalks and into the open, and I added it to the pheasants in my game bag.
I also shot skeet with the V3 several times last fall and winter. My test gun cycled standard light 1-ounce target loads perfectly, but sometimes balked at functioning with my 7/8-ounce reloads.
For its harshest test, I took the V3 to the gun club on a cold, windy, 8-degree day and set it in an outdoor rack with a couple of my other guns. I then waited for an hour while the guns chilled. My regular goose gun turned sluggish, but the V3 spat out empties perfectly as it had all season in the field.
Breaking Down the V3
After the season I broke the V3 down for cleaning. The gun’s gas system is entirely contained in a gas block beneath the chamber. It does require a nail or an Allen wrench to take the gas system apart and remove the pistons for cleaning, but it’s a snap, and you don’t have to do it often.
Removing the bolt handle per the instruction manual lets you pull out the bolt and reveals another unique feature of the V3: rather than having a single recoil spring (the spring that pushes the bolt forward after it ejects the spent shell) in the stock, the V3 has two smaller recoil springs inside the receiver. It’s convenient from a maintenance standpoint, because it’s easy to pull the springs out for inspection, cleaning and eventual replacement.
Stock mounted springs common to other designs are not only a pain to remove and clean, they get surprisingly dirty and sometimes rust despite being enclosed in a tube inside the stock.
Another advantage of the V3’s recoil spring design is that, because there is no spring and tube in the stock, it is possible for Remington to make all kinds of folding/telescoping stock versions for home defense and tactical use.
That’s all in the future, along with a possible 20 gauge V3, and, I would bet, a slug barrel very soon. As it stands right now there’s just one version of the V3, a 12 gauge, with a 28-inch barrel, but it’s as close to a gun for all seasons as you’re likely to find.
Remington V3 Semi-Auto Shotgun SPECS
Gauge: 12 gauge, 3-inch
Weight: 7 pounds, 4 ounces
Length: 49 inches
Finish: black synthetic, matte metal; camo dipped or satin walnut and matte metal
Barrel: 28 inches, white front bead, silver middle bead
Choke: Threaded for RemChokes, comes with one modified tube
MSRP: $799 (black); $899 (camo or walnut)