January 20, 2010

Remington 11-87 Police 12 Gauge, $850


This law-enforcement version of the Model 11-87 shotgun is all business. The Model 11-87 Police series guns feature synthetic stocks and fore-ends, Parkerized metal finish, and a choice of bead (No. 9859), rifle sight (No. 9861, tested here) or a Wilson Combat ghost-ring rear sight and an XS front sight (No. 9849). There is also a 14-inch-barrel version (No. 9847) with rifle sights.

In our testing over the years, Remington’s gas-operated autoloading action has proved itself to be reliable and durable in hunting and competition situations. In this use, its low recoil means excellent control in high-rate-of-fire situations with heavy buckshot or rifled slug loads. For training and familiarization, this shotgun also handles lighter loads.

The receiver, barrel, magazine extension, and bracket are coated with a Parkerized metal finish that minimizes reflections and provides moisture and abrasion resistance.

The polypropylene stock and fore-end have a matte-black finish that won’t reflect light, and the stock has molded checkering and is finished with a 1.2-inch-thick black ribbed R3 recoil pad. Stock dimensions included a length of pull of 14 inches and a drop at heel of 2.25 inches from the top of the action. The gun didn’t have a comb. The drop at heel from the sightline was 3.0 inches, and the stock had a lot of pitch.

The gun had a maximum width of 2.1 inches across the receiver at the action handle, and the polypropylene pistol grip handle was 1.4 inches thick and 5.0 inches around at the top. The fore-end was 1.9 inches thick. This gun measured 38.7 inches in OAL with an 18-inch barrel. Its overall height was 7.1 inches, and unloaded it weighed 8.3 pounds. It carried six rounds in the tube.

Remington 11-87 Police 12 Gauge

Courtesy, Gun Tests

This gun had nearly everything our entry teams wanted: soft, reliable recoil, good control of the grip, capacity, surgical precision for shooting slugs. For police or home defense, this is a great option, especially when low-recoil ammo is used.

The receiver was matte-black steel, just like the barrel. No choke tubes were provided, and the muzzle wasn’t threaded for tubes. It was choked Improved Cylinder to allow it to shoot slugs. Our gun’s buttstock included a fixed sling-swivel stud in the buttstock and swiveling stud on the barrel/magazine bracket.

There was a lot to like about the 11-87. In particular, it had a compact feel, topnotch fit and finish, and the recoil pad made it comfortable to shoot. Also, the crossbolt safety was easy to disengage, but still offered a positive "click" when it came on and off. The blaze-orange magazine follower permitted quick inspection of the chamber and magazine.

Our testers thought the pistol grip was too long, but the shelf at the bottom offered a comfortable place to rest the hand. The top of the grip also felt too square for our tastes, and we’d probably buy this gun with the ghost-ring sights given the choice.

But the Remington won this evaluation on the strength of its ease of operation, soft shooting action, and accuracy. As we noted above, loads pounded our shooters when they emptied the magazines, but the recoil was much worse on the HK/Fabarm and FN guns, in our view. One tester commented, "We’d shoot a full magazine from one of the others and get stung, then pick up the 11-87, shoot it and say, ‘How nice!’"

Remington 11-87 Police 12 Gauge

Courtesy, Gun Tests

The polypropylene stock and fore-end have a matte-black finish that won't reflect light, and the stock has molded checkering. The pistol grip stock was a huge aid in doing quick reloads.

Reloads were easy, too. To test reload speeds, we’d load one in the chamber, fire it, then load another and fire it. Shot-to-shot times were much faster with the Remington. Our shooters would start with rounds tucked between the belt and the pants (civilian style), or in a shell holder in full police gear. Once the first round was fired, keeping the gun shouldered, the shooter could control the shotgun with the trigger hand on the pistol grip. Then, he could tilt it slightly counterclockwise to expose the now-open ejection port, drop a shell into the receiver, hit the big carriage-release lever on the bottom of the follower with the left hand to close the action, then in the same motion, continue sliding the left hand onto the fore-end. That took about 3 seconds. If getting the next shot off wasn’t crucial, the shooter could just as easily feed more shells into the bottom of the gun until another threat appeared.

We had no hiccups shooting any of the shotshells, and the accuracy with the Remington slugs was great. Point of impact was 2 inches above the aiming point at 15 yards, and the groups were about 2.2 inches across (the slugs tear ragged holes). But we had the confidence to shoot at pieces of the silhouette target (ear, shoulder, crotch) and get hits with the slugs. One of our testers called this "surgical" performance, which is notable in a shotgun.

Comments (10)

As a regular citizen who shoots alot, I can say that the 11-87 is crapola.
That O-ring has got the be the stupidest design I have seen. If you get the gray O-ring, they do last a while. I use my 11-87 for hunting, and have never had any issues, but I am using buckshot and heavy slugs. This gun likes heavy stuff...none of these reduced recoil LEO buckshot loads...

Posted by: vinmega | February 7, 2010 9:19 AM    Report this comment

The 11-87 is the updated version of the 1100. The problem mostly is arising with the short barrel police weapons.

Posted by: bubbinator | January 24, 2010 11:43 PM    Report this comment

What is the difference between the 1100 and the 11-87? They look awfully close to the same to me.

Posted by: Slipjoint | January 24, 2010 4:54 PM    Report this comment

My agency decided to order 14" 11-87s over the desired Benelli 14" and it was terrible. As an armorer I can't say how many O-rings we replaced (100s!) and it took power tools to clean the barrels after shooting slugs! We were very dissapointed. The Rem Reps lied to up about reliability when we questioned them on the 14" bbl issue, telling us there were "extra rings" that can be installed to enhance functioning-NOT. My personal 1100s have run A-OK since 1980, but the 11-87 LE sucks and that's from a State Police agency armorer.

Posted by: bubbinator | January 22, 2010 4:27 PM    Report this comment

I concur with the CA SWAT man, Buck1911. I was armorer for an AL State Police ageny and we requested Benelli 14" guns and got 14" 11-87 cause some head office A_H claimed to be a gun expert. They were garbage, ate O-rings like candy, took power tools to clean the barrels, and would not shoot anything but max load ammo with any hope of fair reliability! My 3 personal 1100s- never a blink since 1980! Would not recommend the 11-87 for any reason, + Rem Reps lied to us about "extra rings" to enhance reliabilty-NOT. They suck too! DO NOT BUY ONE OF THESE TRASH PILES!

Posted by: bubbinator | January 22, 2010 11:11 AM    Report this comment

My Remington 870 has been flawless in it's 16 years of use.

Posted by: Robert J | January 22, 2010 6:40 AM    Report this comment

Ditto with my Remington 870 Express pump with 18" bbl.

Posted by: Fred P | January 21, 2010 5:02 PM    Report this comment


Posted by: THE J MAN | January 21, 2010 3:55 PM    Report this comment

I spent 13 years on a Southern CA police department SWAT team entry element, armed with the Remington 1100. Flawless performance the entire time. Transitioned to the 11-87 Police model and it was pure garbage. Regardless of ammo type the only thing you could count on was that at some point it would fail to cycle (2x in 6 not unusual). I contacted Remington and they could have cared less; offered no advice and blew me off completely. The only obvious problem I could find was that it ate "O" rings like m&ms, but even after changing them out the problem continued. Not what you want for ANY reason, let alone the first gun through the door on a hot entry. Back to the 1100 but with a REAL bad taste in my mouth for Remington. I won't deal with them again.

Posted by: Buck1911 | January 21, 2010 1:35 PM    Report this comment

I had a Remington 1100 field model with english straight stock and short barrel in 12 guage, never had a problem with it after years of hunting and clay shooting finally traded it off for something else. I have heard others say the rubber O RING on the Remington 1100 and 11-87 can break not the best thing to happen on a self defense gun, noticed they did not say anything about it in the report so I wonder how much of a problem it is?

Posted by: PH/CIB | January 21, 2010 11:58 AM    Report this comment

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