February 2008

The ‘Surgical’ Tactical Option: Remington’s 11-87 Police Gun

When we poured hundreds of buckshot and slug rounds through 12-gauge semiautos from Big Green, HK-Fabarm, and FN, the tried-and-true Remington handled best and shot the softest.

Many of the advantages of a tactical shotgun are the same as that self-defense shotgun you might have propped in the corner of your bedroom: devastating firepower, mechanical reliability, ease of use. But your bedroom shotgun and working tactical shotguns do have differences: beefy tactical guns are ready to go on the offensive to serve warrants, root out armed bad guys, and break stuff with either lead or steel.

We recently had the mixed blessing of handling three tactical or police shotguns we purchased from Fountain Firearms in Houston (www.fountainfirearms.com). We know they were guns of that type because their names told us so. The players were the now-discontinued HK Fabarm Tactical 12 Gauge 3-in., $999, a similar version of which will be available from Fabarm in 2008; the $875 FN Self-Loading Police 3-inch 12 gauge No. 3088929010; and Remington’s 11-87 Police 12-gauge 3-inch No. 9861, $850. We say it was a mixed blessing because the heavy 2.75-inch buckshot, slug, and birdshot loads we used delivered a wallop at the line, and made us wonder why the guns came chambered for 3-inch shells. The 2.75-inch shells were plenty.

Nonetheless, we banged ahead, because though these guns are built to handle more offensive tactics if need be, they also would be fine self-defense shotguns for the home or trunk. Their big magazine capacities, good sights, and autoloading actions make them good house-clearers, whether from the master bedroom or through the front door.

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