Remington 11-87 Sportsman No. 29825 3-inch 20 Gauge
One of the major reasons hunters choose a 20 gauge over a 12 gauge is the former’s smaller frame, weight, and recoil. Though they may already own a 12, many field sportsmen wind up reaching for their 20s because the smaller gun is just easier to handle, and there are just a few hunting situations—layback goose hunting and spring turkey hunting, to name two—in which the bigger payload might make a difference.
The Remington Sportsman line has two 12s and three 20s. The 12s come in 26- and 28-inch barrels and weigh 8.1 pounds and 8.25 pounds respectively, compared to the weight of our test 28-inch-barrel gun, about a full pound lighter.
The Remington’s numbers are just as basic as its finish. This gas-operated shotgun measured 48.0 inches in length and weighed 6.6 pounds. It’s heavier than the other two guns, a pound-and-a-quarter more than the Mossberg and three-quarters of a pound more than the Silver.
It handled 2.75-inch and 3-inch shells and had a four-round capacity. Its LOP was a standard 14 inches, with a ho-hum drop at comb of 1.5 inches and drop at heel of 2.5 inches, and a downward pitch of 2.5 inches. It had a synthetic stock and forearm, a stiff black-rubber buttplate, all-black finish on the trigger, bolt handle, and bolt-in contrast to the Mossberg, which has shiny spots in those places.
It comes with only one choke, a Modified tube, and like the other guns, needs to be drilled and tapped to accept scope mounts.
But it just shot so well. The added weight did make the gun slower than the Mossberg, but we can’t think of a target we missed because of that. Its patterning was biased low, with 68% of its shot charge hitting below the point of aim, but we still managed to hit targets with it. The sighting plane was clear and wide, and the trigger was a reasonable 6.6 pounds. It was easier to load than the Mossberg by using a shell to activate a tab on the elevator.
Its buttpad was stiffer than the others, but with these guns shooting 2.75-inch shells, it wasn’t an issue.