Remington is set to unveil a brand new, American-made, semi-automatic shotgun next week at the 2015 SHOT (Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade) Show in Las Vegas, Nev. I got a sneak peak at Big Green's next-generation autoloader, the V3, in December, putting the gun through its paces on clays and upland birds at Colorado's High Lonesome Ranch. The V3 will immediately feel familiar in the hands of Remington fans, and it fits in nicely between the 11-87 and Versa Max in Remington's semi-auto lineup. In advance of its formal roll-out next week, here are five things you need to know about the new Remington V3.
1. The V3 features the Versa Port gas system, but isn't a Versa Max remake. Like the Versa Max, the V3 self-regulates gas pressure via gas ports that remain open or closed based on the length of the shell being fired, allowing it to cycle 2 3/4-inch target loads just as reliably as it does 3-inch Nitro Pheasant Magnums (unlike the Versa Max, the V3 isn't designed for 3 1/2-inch shells), while also helping to reduce felt recoil. In contrast to the seven gas ports on the Versa Max, the V3 has eight, a feature that, along with pressure-compensating valves in each gas chamber, optimizes performance with 3-inch shells and reduces recoil even further.
2. The V3 is light in your hands and light on your wallet. The V3 weighs in at a svelte 7 1/4 pounds, making it a full pound lighter than the 11-87. The V3 is not a compact shotgun, but it does sport a compact receiver that measures 8.36 inches, nearly an inch shorter than the Versa Max. The V3's compact gas system measures just 3 inches, compared to 9- or even 11-inch systems on other guns in its class, and is located directly in front of the receiver. All of this adds up to a gun that's easy to carry in the field with a balance point centered between the shooter's hands, which allows the gun to point easily and swing freely. The V3 will be a mid-priced shotgun, so expect to find them on shelves for around $750-$850.
3. A magazine cut-off feature allows for quick and easy unloading. Simply flipping a lever on the underside of the V3 cuts off the magazine and allows you to easily remove the round in the chamber and lock back the bolt without chambering the next shell in the magazine. This handy feature allows you to make the gun safe, such as when crossing a fence, without having to empty the entire gun.
4. There is no recoil spring in the stock. Recoil is reduced through the Versa Port technology and the pressure-compensating valves in the gas chambers, rendering a recoil spring in the stock unnecessary, thus giving Remington more flexibility in stock offerings for the V3, such as folding or adjustable tactical options.
5. Wood and synthetic 12-gauge field guns will be offered initially. With its lines and styling reminiscent of the 11-87, the V3 I tested was a black synthetic, 12-gauge Field Sport model, but the initial V3 lineup will also include a traditional walnut-stocked model, as well as waterfowl and turkey variants covered in Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades and Mossy Oak Break-Up Country camo, respectively. Expect to see 20 gauge, tactical, competition and youth models in the near future.