The Remington Firearms Company has enjoyed great success with their self-loading shotguns. The Remington 1100 series set a high standard and achieved legendary status on the Trap and Skeet scene as well as finding a huge following among avid hunters. Following that was the 11-87 series which proved to be almost as popular and I shot a sponsored Remington Sporting Clays 11-87 with great success and found much favour with it.
Their latest offering – the V3 Field Sporter – is another gun quite revolutionary in design as it features dual connecting rods from the gas-operated cycling system connected permanently to the barrel. This shows real foresight by Remington designers, though having the cocking rods permanently on the barrel is something of an innovation. From the outset when I visited Australian distributor Raytrade, I was immediately impressed with the V3 when I mounted it to my shoulder. The gun felt light and lively and with a mid-sight bead fitted to the top of the rib coupled with the slight step from receiver top to peak rib of the barrels, I was sold without firing a shot. This was remarkable as there are few shotguns which excite me on initial inspection.
In the world of shotguns – from expensive models in either double-gun or over-and-under configuration – I’ve long been a self-loading man. Having undergone four major back surgeries is genuine reason why I medically qualify for a ‘C’ Class licence. Reduced perceived recoil and the ability to throw the gun around using my arms and shoulders instead of rotating from the hips has become the only way I can move a shotgun and shoot, specifically due to perceived reduced recoil from a gas-operated shotgun, especially when considering 100 target-plus events.
I’m happy to use only two shells in my gun while shooting on a clay target ground but miss the additional firepower a self-loader can offer when hunting. I still enjoy the lure of the shotgun, having taken everything from mighty sambar deer to tiny stubble quail as it whirrs away to challenge the most skilled of shooters. During decades as a firearms enthusiast and 40-plus years as a gun writer, I’ve bought and sold many shotguns and tested all mainstream offerings. Raytrade also distribute Fabarm and I was convinced a Fabarm Velocity would be the ultimate, but after using the Remington V3 the lightness and liveliness of the gun won me over.
Measuring 27½” from the receiver, the barrel is completed with a matte finish matching the receiver. This was popular with the 11-87 models and is known as a Parkarised finish, whereby the surfaces to be blued are lightly glass-bead blasted rather than polished to a high finish before blueing. The matte finish is preferred by hunters as it won’t reflect sunlight which can cause glints to spook game. Being a Field Sporter it almost goes without saying Remington has built the V3 with a nod to the hunter, a point underlined by having tapped the receiver top in readiness for a scope mount and provision of a sling retaining fixture with the magazine cap for comfort on lengthy hunts.
Back to the barrel and the top rib is well constructed with a slight step upwards from the receiver top. I enjoy shooting guns with a higher-than-normal rib as it allows me to hold my head more erect when pressing my cheek down on the stock instead of tilting it slightly forward and viewing the target out of the top of my eyes, tiring when doing lots of consecutive target shooting. The barrel features a white bead sight at the muzzle and smaller brass bead sight midway down the top rib, a stamp in the barrel indicating the gun is suited to either 2¾” or 3” Magnum shells.
The gas operating system is a marvel of design with the containing tubes permanently mounted to the barrels while the pistons and gas exhaust tubes can be removed for thorough cleaning, this design peculiar to the new Remington V3 with totally different gas set-ups for synthetic and walnut-stocked models (these are detailed in the instruction manual with simple directions on how to clean them). The unique gas-operating system makes for exceptional recoil reduction and excellent reliability for recycling and loading cartridges from the magazine.
Made from lightweight and high-strength aluminium alloy the gun weighs 3.5kg. The balance of the gun with its 700mm barrel is excellent and feels comfortable and fast to swing and point – I was impressed. The cocking handle is substantial and should only be removed when the bolt is furthest forward and with the magazine empty and chamber clear ‑ in other words when the gun is completely empty. Outwardly the receiver looks smart with all necessary components to make the V3 safe and efficient.
The magazine release button under the receiver and to the rear of the magazine carrier is simple to use, the cocking handle substantial and bolt release button ample and quick to release the bolt forward once a round is chambered, readying the V3 to shoot. The ejection port is important for loading, unloading and removing the cocking handle for thorough cleaning and a specially scalloped section forward of the ejection port allows the cocking handle to be detached while taking the empty gun down for cleaning.
With the bolt at its furthest point forward once the barrel has been removed, the cocking handle is simply pulled free. This enables the bolt and trigger mechanism to be removed for more thorough cleaning as shotguns can accumulate powder-ash residue in the action which needs regular attention. Tapping of the upper receiver is perfect for accepting a set of mounts and scope for deer hunting or slugging pigs and I’d recommend inserting a rifled choke tube for such applications to spin the slug as it leaves the muzzle for increased accuracy.
Trigger pull is good at 2kg, design of the trigger foot comfortable with its broad surface and nicely raked shape. The safety catch to the rear of the triggerguard is in a traditional position and suited to convenience and safety and, leaving nothing to the imagination, when the red line of the safety catch is showing the V3 is ready to fire.
Stock and fore-end
These are of standard grade walnut with good grain running the full length of the stock with matching colouring. Novel chequering design is expertly machine-cut around the fore-end and pistol grip affording a firm and positive grip. Remington has fitted a substantial recoil pad, not so much to reduce recoil from light trap or sporting loads but to tame more significant recoil from 3” Magnum slug and SG loads suited for deer, pigs or goats (remember to use no tighter than modified choke as recommended in the instruction manual).
A sling ring is provided within the magazine cap which retains the fore-end but an additional sling fitting would be needed to complete the necessary attachments for a sling. The stock is in standard configuration without an adjustable comb piece. Two brass screws lend strength to the split fore-end piece though I was surprised at the lack of locating lugs for the rear of the fore-end, attaching to the receiver front. Without the locating lugs typically found on earlier models the fore-end felt a little unsteady.
In the field
I couldn’t believe the liveliness of the Remington V3, how fast it swung and how minimal felt recoil was even with some brisk 28-gram sporting loads. Using the modified choke, all targets challenged were smashed during several rounds of sporting clays. The shorter barrel coupled with the long receiver sighting plane didn’t affect accuracy and I was absolutely delighted with the feel and performance. For anyone considering a shotgun for clay target shooting I’ve no hesitation in recommending the Remington V3 – or for a primary producer on vermin control. I was so impressed I bought one – enough said.
Manufacturer: Remington, US
Australian distributor: Raytrade
Model: Remington V3 Field Sport 12-gauge shotgun
Overall length: 1255mm/49½”
Barrel length: 700mm/27½”
Overall weight: 3.5kg/7lb 10oz
Barrel weight: 1.29kg/2lb 13oz
Bore and chamber: Bore 0.728”, chamber 76mm/3”
Forcing cones: Lengthened
Chokes: Improved cylinder: 0.718”, Modified: 0.710”, Full: 0.690”
Trigger pull: 2kg/4½lb
Stock dimensions: Length of pull 380mm/15”, drop at comb 35mm/1⅜”, drop at heel 55mm/2¼”
Warranty: Two-year limited