Remington Versa Max: A Detailed Review

The Remington Versa Max makes a compelling case as a goose/duck gun as well as a three-gun competition shotgun due to its soft shooting, versatility with shell selection, low cost (for a semi-auto shotgun), and dependability.

The Remington Versa Max is a semi-automatic, gas-operated, magazine tube-fed shotgun that puts Remington’s hat in the ring of dynamic shotguns that work with a wide range of shells. Unlike the elderly Remington 1100, the Remington max versa employs an ingenious port-based system to adjust gas pressure based on shell length without the need for barrel changes.

The Versa Max also brings some of the ergonomic design of 1100 up to date. However, times have changed since the 1100s, and the Versa Max now faces stiff competition from a variety of other shotgun designs. Does it compete at $900 in the United States and $1,000 in Canada?

Remington Versa Max Specifications

  • 2 3/4′′, 3′′, or 3 1/2′′ 12 gauge
  • It is left-handed.
  • Stock in synthetic black or camo dipped
  • If you favor hunting deer with sabot slugs, use smoothbore barrels or rifled barrels.
  • Pro Bore chokes are used. I had a difficult time locating these. There are only a few local options.
  • Competition Tactical, Versa Max Tactical,  and Turkey are available in 26′′ or 28′′ barrel lengths.

Versa Max Gas System

The Remington Versa Max is a gas-powered rifle, which means it bleeds a small amount of high-pressure gas just beneath the shot cup down via some ports in the chamber into a piston system that powers the action. Functionally, the Versa Max is powered by two small pistons located just below the magazine tube. This is in contrast to the older 1100 design, which utilized a sleeve-style piston framework that wrapped around the magazine tube. The Versa Max should benefit from it because the smaller pistons must self-clean better, though they do add girth to the forend.

Should You Hit The Gas Or The Brakes?

Should You Hit The Gas Or The Brakes

The interesting part is how the gas transfers to those pistons. Remington crafted the Versa Max gas terminals, so that shotgun shells regulate gas depending on shell length once fired. Long, powerful 3 1/2′′ shells cover the majority of the ports, while shorter 2 3/4′′ shells leave more open, and 3′′ shells sit in the middle. This clever design provides sufficient gas to cycle the action on lighter 2 3/4′′ target loads while not overworking the action when firing big, bad 3 1/2′′ shells.

This system results in an incredibly versatile shotgun that really is equally at home breaking up clays, shooting geese, and even shooting a stage 3 gun.

Usability of Remington Versa Max

Some of the Versa Max showcases appeal, while others appear to be carried over from the 870 rather than being designed from the ground up.

Pros of Usability:

  • The shell discharge lock lever is ideally placed in the trigger’s upper front area. It functions similarly to a Benelli or the Stoeger 3500.
  • Increased security
  • Pull, drop, & cast lengths are all adjustable.
  • There are various cheek height inserts available.

Cons of Usability:

  • Just like an 870, emptying live rounds out from the magazine requires you to loop the action or snake your finger around it and depress that spring-loaded clip inside the receiver.
  • Take some notes from the competition!
  • The safety is located at the back of the trigger guard, next to the trigger.
  • The shell latch is stiff out of the box but softens with use.

Versa Max Sportsman Vs Remington Versa Max Synthetic

  • Remington’s Sportsman line is their budget-friendly line. Here are the distinctions between the two:
  • Fiber optic sights upon the Versa Max, bead sights on the Sportsman
  • Stock: The Versa Max has better overmolds than the Sportsman.
  • The Versa Max has five included chokes versus the Sportsman’s single included modified choke.
  • Internal components on the Synthetic are nickel Teflon plated.
  • The Versa Max Synthetic has a TriNyte barrel coating.
  • The Sportsman’s case appears to be worse.
  • The Sportsman comes with no length of pull shims.
Versa Max for Duck/Geese Hunting
Versa Max Geese Hunting

With a plug in the magazine tube limiting you to only 3 rounds approx, you’d think a semi-auto would be no better than a pump, but is there a difference?

Even with a quick pump operation, semi-shotguns are easier on the mind because you’re only thinking about leading the bird and not dealing with recoil and afterward movement upward and downward on the bead from cycling the action.

In practice, it allows you to take more shots, resulting in either extra accurate shots or more shots overall.

The Remington Versa Max makes a compelling case as a goose/duck gun as well as a three-gun competition shotgun due to its soft shooting, versatility with shell selection, low cost (for a semi-auto shotgun), and dependability.

It’s a little heavier, and the forend is a little bulkier than other shotguns on the market, but shotguns with better forends cost a lot more. So, if you’re looking for a dependable semi-auto shotgun that can handle anything you throw at it, consider the Remington Versa Max.


Where is Remington Versa Max made?

The new VERSA MAX Sportsman, like all Remington shotguns, is made in the United States.

Does Remington still make a semi-auto rifle?

The Remington model 750 is the most recent evolution of the modern semiautomatic hunting rifle.

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