GUN TESTS: A (BEST BUY)
The Remington V3 12-gauge self-loading shotgun features an all-black businesslike appearance. The shotgun is delivered with an 18.5-inch barrel without choke tubes. The V3 is a development of the Versa Max self-loading shotgun. The Versaport dual gas-piston system of the Versa Max is self regulating, and the length and power of the shell determines how the gas port performs. The V3 is chambered for both 2¾- and 3-inch shells. The gas cylinder features eight gas ports. A 3-inch shell exposes less porting than the 2¾-inch shell. On firing, gas is directed into dual cylinders alongside the barrel. The gas actuates pistons that move the bolt to the rear. An advantage of the system is that there are no recoil springs wrapped around the magazine tube. The bolt-return springs are contained in the receiver.
|Action Type||Semi-auto, gas operated|
|Chamber Size||3.0 in.|
|Overall Length||39.5 in.|
|Weight Loaded||8.5 lbs.|
|Barrel Length||18.5 in.|
|Finish||Anodized black aluminum|
|Stock Length of Pull||14.25 in.|
|Rear Sight||Drift-adj. V blade|
|Trigger Pull Weight||6.5 lbs.|
The V3 features a black forend and black stock. The forend and stock are strategically textured in a rough grain that allows good adhesion and abrasion when firing. The 18.5-inch barrel features a Cylinder choke. In our experience, a tighter choke does not necessarily make for a tighter pattern with buckshot, and it may actually result in problems with patterns if a tight choke squeezes buckshot down and deforms the shot.
The receiver is aluminum and drilled and tapped for mounting a red dot or shotgun scope. The trigger face is wider than most other shotguns, making for good leverage. The V3 is born of competition, but the same improvements are good for personal defense. The bolt-charging handle is an oversized unit. The crossbolt safety, located in the trigger guard behind the trigger, is oversized. The bolt release is also oversized. These controls greatly improved handling over shotguns we have previously tested.
A considerable advantage in competition is the loading port. This port is enlarged to allow rapid loading. None of us are able execute the famous Quad Load maneuver, but we found the Remington V3 to be a fast shotgun to load — and one of the raters managed a dual load. With proper hand technique, a practiced shooter may quickly load two shells at once with this enlarged loading port. (The thumb balances the shell head while the small finger guides the second shell into the magazine, the thumb finishes pressing the two shells into the magazine.)
Among the best features of the shotgun are the XS sights. This system features a fixed Express rear and white-dot front sight. It is a good compromise between a standard bead front sight and rifle sights. We found the sights excellent for fast work with buckshot and more precision with slugs.
We eschewed our usual procedure of using birdshot loads during the initial familiarization and went straight to buckshot. We elected to use several types to gauge the shotgun’s reliability. These included five loads — the Hornady Critical Defense 00 buckshot, Hornady Black 00 buckshot, Winchester #1 buckshot, Remington Ultimate Defense #4 buckshot, and Fiocchi reduced-recoil 00 buckshot.
We used three types of slugs as well, including the Hornady American Whitetail, Remington Managed Recoil slug, and Fiocchi Aero Slug full power. We fired a minimum of 120 buckshot shells in each shotgun and 15 slugs. The Remington exhibited no failures to feed, chamber, fire, or eject during the test. Firing at black-silhouette targets at 7, 10, and 20 yards, the Remington performed well. (We have a feature article on buckshot load patterns and penetration in the works, it is extensive and interesting.) We found 20 yards to be the maximum range for effective shotgun buckshot use in most shotguns, and the V3 did as well as may be expected with buckshot. Most of the loads landed the buckshot in the K-zone of the target at 20 yards. The Remington’s recoil was mitigated to an extent by the gas system. While lighter and more comfortable than a Remington 870 pump, the push is still hard shotgun recoil compared to a 223 Remington as an example, but we liked the way the V3 handled. The shotgun-style stock affords good control and made for rapid target acquisition and fast swinging between targets. When firing for accuracy at 25 yards, the V3 turned in an average of 2.0 inches with all slugs. This is excellent for a shotgun and offers an option for defense against dangerous animals.
Our Team Said: The raters liked this shotgun for home and personal defense based on fast handling, excellent sights, and solid reliability. During firing, the rear sight became loose at the end of the testing. We did not consider this to be a demerit because it tightened up easily. At the price we felt it is the Best Buy. However, its future is clouded by the company’s bankruptcy a few months ago.