The 5 Best Remington Guns To Get While They’re Still Here
Remington, the oldest gunmaker in the country, recently filed for bankruptcy though Remington guns are still in production…at least for now. They may come out unscathed, but if they don’t it would be a shame given their contributions to the firearms industry and beyond.
Are there any Remington guns that belong in anyone’s collection? That almost anyone should have due to their inherent excellence?
As it happens, there are. Here are 5 such Remington firearms, currently in production (for the time being) that anyone who wanted to have this class of firearm would be very well-served in owning.
Remington 870: The Standard By Which Pump Guns Are Judged
Some of us might have a friend or acquaintance with a lovely semi-auto shotgun but who still takes the Remington 870 they bought decades ago to the duck blind, goose field or turkey woods every year. There’s a reason for it. The 870 is a workhorse gun and since its introduction in 1950 has become the standard by which any pump-action shotgun is judged…or any shotgun for that matter.
No other scattergun has sold as many units, nor is known for being as reliable or shooting as well relative to the low price of entry, which is as low as $300 in some stores.
In the late 1940s, Remington’s Model 31 pump-action shotgun weren’t as popular as the Winchester Model 1912. However, Big Green got the idea that if they were to simplify the action and make a new gun that was reliable, accurate, built like a tank to absorb all sorts of punishment, and priced relatively low, they may be able to put one over on them. And they did.
More than 11 million of them have been made, as the 870’s various iterations have been sold in almost every country on earth. It’s a great home defense or tactical gun in that guise. You can put a whole lot of fowl on the table, and swap out the smooth bore for a rifled barrel to hunt deer and other large game with slugs.
Among firearms, the 870 – just as with similar shotguns like the Ithaca 37 and Mossberg 500 – is as close as one gets to a factotum.
Remington R1 1911
The Remington R1 1911 is a more recent development, first released in 2010. Remington turned away from handguns starting in the 1930s. However, Remington made a brief run of M1911 pistols for the US Government around World War I. Many, many years later, they thought they’d try their hand at it again and in 2010, released the R1 1911.
The R1 is a modern GI-spec 1911, with some refinements like checkered walnut grips. Fixed sights are replaced with dovetailed three-dots, and you’ll find tighter machining than many entry-level 1911 pistols. The R1 has gained a reputation for shooting nearly as well as 1911 pistols costing twice as much despite the plain adornment. MSRP is almost $800, but you can expect to find them in stores for as low as $600 in many cases.
Remington 7600 Pump Action Rifle
One of the most curious of the available Remington guns also happens to own a particular niche: the Remington 7600 pump-action rifle. That’s right, a pump-action rifle.
It’s part of a lineage. Remington couldn’t compete with Winchester lever guns, so designer John Pedersen created a pump-action rifle using a similar action as his Model 10 shotgun, dubbed the Model 14. Semi-autos weren’t popular with the hunting crowd and bolt-action rifles were largely military guns, so it was a natural choice for a manually-operated firearm. The Model 14 had a spiraled magazine, which kept bullets from impacting the next round’s primer. It was superseded by the 760 Gamemaster in the 1950s, which relied on a box magazine, which was in turn replaced by the 7600 in 1981.
The 7600 comes tapped for scope mounts but the first, best use of this gun is with the iron sights and in dense cover. If stalking river bottoms for wallowing white tail or hogs, you just can’t get much better. It only comes in .270, .308 and .30-06, so plenty of power for every type of game short of the great bears.
If you need to get up close and personal, with fast follow-up shots, this is one of the best rifles to do it with.
Remington Model 1100
The Remington Model 1100 was not the first semi-auto shotgun. It wasn’t even the first popular one; the Browning-designed Auto 5 (which Remington copied as the Model 11) was the first semi-auto shotgun that became truly well-distributed. The Model 1100, however, was the first semi-auto shotgun that was pleasant to shoot.
Designers moved the gas piston outside the magazine tube. The effect was more reliable cycling, venting of excess gases and therefore, drastically less felt recoil compared to other autoloaders of the day. That quickly made the 1100 a hit with trap shooters and waterfowlers when the gun was first released in the 1960s. The gun has since become iconic.
Today’s 1100 is offered in classic guise, blue steel and walnut, with a gold trigger and twin target beads atop the vent rib. A synthetic stock model is offered for competition, but you had best look elsewhere for your tactical scattergun.
Granted, the quality will cost you; the lowest MSRP is just under $1300. You can save by opting instead for the 11-87, a simplified version of the 1100 design that costs hundreds less, but there’s something to be said for getting the real deal. In-store will be less, of course, but you’re still getting one of the finest semi-auto shotguns money can buy that isn’t a Benelli.
Of all Remington guns, the two that more people own than any others are the 870 shotgun and the Model 700 rifle. The Remington 700 is now, and has always been, one of the best rifles money can buy for an affordable price.
Remington’s engineers and other staff figured out that a truly successful product requires production volume. Manufacturing processes of the day for many rifles weren’t conducive to making large numbers of guns, such as the Winchester Model 70 and it’s Mauser-derived design that required hand-fitting and extensive milling.
In designing the Model 721 and 722 (long and short action length bolt-action rifles) the received was changed to a cylindrical design, which could be lathed instead of milled for cheaper and faster production. The bolt design is simplified as is the extractor in comparison with Mauser and Mauser-derived rifle designs. However, the receiver is made with the tightest possible clearances and tolerances for greater accuracy.
The result? The Remington 700 was just as accurate off the shelf as many of the much-ballyhooed Pre-’64 Model 70s despite a significantly lower asking price. This is still true today; the most affordable Remington 700 is about $300 cheaper than the least costly Model 70.
Granted, the Model 70 is the rifleman’s rifle, the closest to a custom-shop gun you get without paying custom prices…but the 700 action has also been adopted by the US military as well as others around the globe for deployment with snipers. Police snipers likewise are issued the 700 more than any other to this day. Sportsmen the world over put game in the freezer with one.
There have been some issues. The 700 was plagued by rumors of accidental discharges for years, which was denied repeatedly until the evidence was overwhelming and a recall followed, which wasn’t handled in the best manner. The issue has since been fixed and the 700 remains one of the best Remington guns available.
About The Author
Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He resides in the great Inland Northwest, with his wife and child. His varied interests and hobbies include camping, fishing, hunting, and spending time at the gun range as often as possible.