Remington® Versa Max® Sportsman Camo Shotgun
FANTASTIC Semi for waterfowl plus!
This is a Great Semi! The Sportsman model only comes with modified choke tube, so I added carlsons Pro Bore extended waterfowl tube set and a screw on HiViz PM2011 fiber optic sight. Now the gun is exactly as I'd have designed it! Cycles great with trap loads, 200 rounds no problem at the range. I've used 2.75, 3, and 3.5 inch steel thru it with not a single problem. In the blind I put a 3 inch BC close range in the chamber, and 3.5 inch 1.5 oz black clouds below. No noticeable difference in recoil. Comfortable, easy on the shoulder, accurate and sharp looking. Buy it!
December 8, 2014
Versa Max has some Issues
Let me first start by saying that I normally don't write reviews. However, since I did a fair amount of research before this purchase, and since I didn't find any of the issues I have experienced noted, I thought I would call it out as a potential concern to others.
I bought the Versa Max with the hopes of getting a 12 gauge that has flexibility in loads along with reduced recoil. On paper, the Versa Max seemed like the perfect shotgun. The shotgun handles 2 3/4 up to 3 1/2 shot-shells.
Let me also say that I am a Remington fan - I have shot a 12 gauge Model 1100 for the last 30 years and I absolutely love it. I was also a competitive shot gunner and have put 1000's of rounds through the 1100 without issue along with many other types of shotguns.
When I picked up the Versa Max I noted that it pointed just like my 1100 - it certainly had the same weight and feel, albeit some minor differences. And on the range, the shotgun performed flawlessly. Not once did it jam, not even on the first round. The weight and feel is just wonderful. The oversized safety is awesome and there are lots of other design features that really make this a nice shotgun.
And here is the however. However, after 100 rounds of sporting clays (light loads# my cheek was swollen to the point where I was developing a flinch. For whatever reason this shotgun is just not kind to my cheek bone. It could be a personal fit issue #although I have never had any other shotgun behave like this# and this issue is unique to my body. The swelling was bad enough that when I got home my wife asked me why the right portion of my face was so puffy, so it was clearly visible.
Where I think I went wrong, but I am not sure... I bought the Versa Max Sportman model, which doesn't appear to have the same cheek protection that the original Versa Max retains #at least when studying their pictures on the Remington website). I will obviously try to resolve this issue by adding an after market cheek pad. However, one shouldn't have to add a $20 part to a $1000 shotgun, that's just irritating...
My other surprise is how the shells are loaded into the magazine, although this is a nit. When loading the shells into the magazine, the feeding mechanism requires two hands. Failure to use two hands results in the thumb getting pinched in a rather unpleasant manner. This is definitely different as compared to the 1100 which allows for easy one hand loading. I am sure there is a design reason for Remington to use this configuration, but as a hunter, this is quite irritating. Oftentimes when dove hunting and things start moving fast I often load with one hand. If you are wearing gloves, it's going to get a bit ugly to do anything quickly. This probably isn't an issue if you aren't using the gun as a hunter, but for me, that's an issue.
My advice, before investing the $1000, I would find a friend and shoot a 100 rounds of trap, skeet or sporting clays to see if the fit is right. I can say now that I wish I had done so ahead of time as I would have made a different decision.
Anyway, I share this because I didn't see this posted elsewhere when I was reading up on the Versa Max. My intent isn't to give Remington a hard time, I just wanted to share my experience with the Versa Max. Who knows, maybe things will work better after my after market cheek pad arrives.
December 31, 2014
Purchased the sportsman duck blind camo just a few days before opening waterfowl season. Was a little worried about using it on opening day knowing I wouldn't have time to do the recommended break in using target loads but decided it would be a good test to see how reliable this gun actually is. I was able to squeeze 15 target shells in the night before just to help me sleep a little better and get a feel for the gun but come Saturday morning it was game on.
Right out of the gate using black cloud 3 inch #2, dropped the first bird 10 minutes before sunrise on a passing shot over the decoys. Then from there it's been a combination of 3" BB, 3.5" BB, more target loads, #3 shot, in all different ways and combinations with no hiccups. If you can feed it then this thing will eat it. Feels nice, swings nice, and points nice.
It is a little on the heavy side compared to other autoloaders that I've shot but you'll understand why after you rattle off those 3.5" BB popping out of a layout blind.
November 23, 2014