Remington 11-87 Super Mag

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I have been hunting with firearms for over fifty-six (56) years and it would be scary to see all the firearms in a pile that I have owned during that time period.  Back in the middle 1970s, I horse traded for many firearms before all the red-tape and regulations got kicked in controlling legal third party gun sales, etc. which isn't necessarily a bad thing.  However, no law or regulation will prevent a criminal from obtaining a firearm.  Such laws and regulations only affects the law-abiding citizen and does little to reduce crime and prevent horrendous acts of violence from happening.  It is the moral conscience of mankind that keeps us in check with proper training started at home from God fearing and respecting parents while we were still infants to lead and guide us in the proper direction by example, to become law abiding citizens.  I have strayed from my review but I have a natural way of getting a little side tracked from time to time.


Since I will be talking about the Remington 11-87 Sup Mag, I will recap some of the earlier shotguns that I have owned, of which I started out with a Winchester model 37 chambered in 20 gauge that had a full choke barrel.  That was my first shotgun and killed many squirrels, rabbits and a few quail with it but with the tight choke, you had to be right on the money with your aim.  I have also owned a full set of the Browning Belgium made A5 shotguns (blow back design) with the prominent hump at the rear of the receiver; 12 gauge regular, 12 gauge light, 2 Sweet Sixteen's, 1 regular 16 gauge and one light 20 gauge of which I do not own any of those shotguns anymore.  The Browning A5 shotguns all pointed high for me when I shoulder the gun and not the ideal wing shotgun for me.  I have also owned a Ruger 12 gauge over and under Sporting Clay Red Label model which was the best pointing shotgun that I have shot; simply because it was designed to point low from the start and other than maybe an Ethica model 37a pump shotgun which I didn't own or don't think I did.  I had a Beretta Gold Mallard 12 gauge but the shotgun pointed too high for me even with the stock shimmed but it was one of the best made shotguns I have owned and also gas operated.  I have also owned a couple other Remington shotguns, the Marine Magnum and also a standard 870 express with magazine extension tube and pistol grips.  All of those shotguns were traded and/or sold off over the years for whatever reason.  I do remember converting some of the latter shotguns into cash and purchased wood working shop equipment when I started making my turkey box calls and have gotten more use out of my shop equipment for other wood working projects as well.  Those shotguns sold, were collecting dust.  Now,  we are getting close to the review of the Remington 11-87 Super Mag. 


I have killed several ole Long Beards with a regular 12 gauge shotgun Browning A5 with a full choke barrel using only 2 3/4 inch length high brass # 5 shells and it worked fine at close range; 30 yards or less.  The current rage and trend is to shoot the big 10 gauge magnum and the newer 3 1/2 inch 12 gauge magnum dubbed "The Super Mag" which does extend the hunters effective killing range out to about 70 yards with the right ammunition and choke tube.   I traded Roger Long (deceased) who owned Long's Sporting Goods in Monroe, NC out of my Remington 11-87 Super Mag, Special Purpose camouflage finish with a synthetic stock also camouflaged around 10 years ago, maybe more and that has been my only shotgun since then, whereas I obtained it mainly to turkey hunt.  I found out very quickly shooting the 3 1/2 inch length Hevi-Shot Remington shells with 1 3/4 oz. of shot, the shotgun kicked like a mule that had a briar under his harness.  The first time I fired the shotgun, I had my face down tight against the stock cheek and upon firing the first shot, the stock slammed hard into my face of which I thought I had broken something.  I fired about 5 shells to get the Tru-Glo sights adjusted and you could not have paid me to shoot it again.  Upon the advice of Captain Quinton Thompson, retired NC Department of Public Safety, I added a Cheek Eez cheek protector to the shotgun stock which tamed the upward felt recoil of the stock.  The barrel would literally come a foot or more off the rest when firing the Hevi-Shot shells but they delivered an awesome pattern at 40 yards plus.

Getting back to my informal and unscientific product review, I must say that I have had more shell jams with this shotgun than any shotgun I have owned in the past.  A few years ago after firing one shot and putting a Long Beard down, the bolt in the receiver would not retract to unload a chambered round.  I had to remove the trigger group assembly when I got home in order to unlock the bolt.  If I had fired a shot with the bolt locked in this position, I would hate to have seen what would have happened to the linkage and other parts that were out of their normal track and any shrapnel produced by the bolt retracting to the rear at 100 miles per hour with parts out of place and not connected to the recoil spring plunger.  I contacted Remington Customer Service in Madison, NC and they had come out with a new part to keep the linkage from coming loose from the recoil spring plunger caused by the increased inertia created by using the 2 and 2 1/4 ounce shot shell loads.  Their solution was to increase the length of the recoil spring plunger about 1/4 inch which would keep the two pronged ends of the linkage from jumping out of the plunger.  I guess they forgot to let the Remington 11-87 Super Mag owners know about the availability of the modified part which I ended up having to pay for anyway.  The trigger group assembly is made from an alloy casting and most of the other parts are thin stamped metal.  When removing shells from the magazine tube, there are sharp edges at the end of the tube that will cut heavy gashes into the plastic shells when cycling them out by hand.  You certainly don't stick your fingers inside the ejection port with the action open, otherwise you can certainly draw some blood.   Most people will tell you that the majority of trouble with an auto loading shotgun is lack of cleaning or maintenance, but in my case, I took the shotgun down after firing the shotgun at the end of the day or as soon as possible.  Also, I was a certified Remington Armorer for their shotguns since around 1995 while working with the NC Department of Correction aka NC Department of Public Safety, Division of Prisons, therefore I know my way around their products.

The gas rubber O ring seal will definitely not last that long if firing a lot of rounds even with proper high temperature lithium grease applied to it and the shotgun gets erratic when firing less than magnum type loads.  Many brands of auto loading shotguns will allow you to fire standard velocity shells and magnum shells without having to change, add or remove any gas piston parts to keep enough operating gas pressure to cycle the action.

In summation, Remington's standard pump shotguns; 870 Express and Wingmaster are far more reliable than this 11-87 Super Mag.  If I had to do it over again, I would not purchase their 11-87 Super Mag shotgun but spend a few more hundred dollars and go with either Browning, Benelli and if money was an issue, go with a Mossberg which is an excellent shotgun for the money.  I will no doubt shoot this 11-87 until something really serious goes wrong with it, like a malfunction that causes me to not harvest a long beard, but so far, I have been able to keep it running with a little extra effort.

I recently swapped the Tru-Glo sights out on the 11-87 for a Bushnell Red Dot scope and used a saddle mount that uses two bolts through the trigger plate group assembly to secure it in place.  You must be careful not to over tighten the two screws, otherwise you will squeeze the lower receiver portion in just enough to impede the bolt traveling to the rear.  I didn't have a tap for 6x48 screws and a gun smith friend recommended the saddle mount first before drilling and tapping four (4) 6 x 48 screw threads into the receiver since the three (3) forward screw threads have only a few threads connecting into the Weaver rail mount or Picatinny rail because the upper forward receiver portion is very thin.  I used Locktite on the screw end threads to keep the mount snug and in place.   I ran about 11 rounds, seven (7) of the Hevi-Shot shells through the shotgun and first got zeroed with four (4) regular 2 3/4 inch # 4 shells to get a good POA at around 36 yards and will test fire it a few more times to see how stable the mount/scope is before next years annual Turkey Season comes in.  Pix of the shotgun with the Bushnell Red Dot scope and saddle mount:

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter 05-28-13.


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