REVIEW: 2016 Remington V3 12 Gauge Autoloader Part One
Something like four years ago, Remington started research and development on what is now known as the V3 and has been shipping through the distribution system since mid-January, 2016. This 26 inch barreled V3 is a full-blown production model in retail packaging.
Externally, the V3 has not changed from the pre-production prototype I've been shooting for the last year. All that is visible, to me, is that the Remington Supercell recoil pad is perfectly fitted where on the prototype, it wasn't. Through the last couple of years, through the extended testing, there have been countless small tolerance and metallurgical changes, but that is part of the development process which is not trackable nor is it relevant at this juncture.
The V3 is shim-adjustable, the standard shim (which suits me perfectly) is installed, however no extra shims were supplied. Although my understanding was that the V3 was to be offered in its initial models with one choke tube, a Modified Remchoke, this production model comes with three stainless steel choke tubes: IC, MOD, FULL, with the Modified choke preinstalled in the barrel. The Full choke tube is clearly marked, “FULL: STEEL OR LEAD.”
Via calibrated electronic gauge, this V3 weighs 7-1/4 lbs. with a trigger that breaks at a very pleasing 4-1/2 pounds. As far as I'm concerned, the 26 inch barreled V3 is a remarkably better handling, better swinging, and better balanced shotgun than the 28 inch version.
When Remington developed the V3, the fundamental design parameter was to build the most reliable autoloading shotgun in the world. The V3 has been through the longest, most intensive torture and durability testing of any recently manufactured repeating shotgun that I am aware of. The V3 was not intended to be the most gorgeous shotgun in the world, the focus was on reliability, soft recoil, and bringing down the weight from the 1100 / 11-87 series, the best-selling autoloading shotgun in history. It also had to be manufacturable in Ilion, New York, USA, meaning affordable to average shooter. This shotgun, as supplied, retails at $895, putting the V3 at a significantly lower price point than many gas-operated autoloaders. For example, the matte finished 3 inch chambered plastic-stocked Browning Maxus Stalker in the same configuration as the V3 currently retails for $1379.99. Right now, the V3 is available in black synthetic or camo models, the walnut version is estimated to be available in early summer.
By now, most are familiar with the Remington V3's 8-port VersaPort system, so there is little point in redescribing it here. It should be sufficient to say that it is optimized for 12 gauge shells from 1 oz. 1200 fps loads on up, with automatic blocking off of four of the gas ports when using 3 inch unfolded length shells. There are no large gas pistons with ears to crack, no internal springs in a gas piston to crack, no magazine tube in the stock to bend, crack, or break.
The “answer” for many people is simply to go out and buy one. It is the best all-around autoloading shotgun Remington has ever produced.
Much more to follow in Part Two.
Copyright 2016 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.