Remington, one of the world’s biggest and most famous makers of semiautomatic guns has launched a new model onto the UK market for field shooters.
According to Remington the 3.1/2in chambered VersaMax functions reliably over the widest range of cartridges thanks to a brand new system of gas-bleed design.
The different approach taken by the makers can be seen as soon as you unscrew the conventional cap holding the fore-end wood in place.
Instead of finding a piston assembly surrounding the magazine tube you come across two independent pistons in a housing on the underside of the barrel.
These pistons are quite small and free float when the barrel is off the gun.
The barrel is overbored with a long forcing cone to help smooth out recoil then nickel plated for protection and easy cleaning. It has a special exterior blacking called Trinyte.
They are also spring loaded when the bolt is in the closed, forward position.
This is a new approach because the gas is taken from the chamber right at the point the cartridge is fully open and not, as previously, through two bleed holes several inches forward of the chamber.
Radical thinking – these free-floating pistons are central to this new gun?s success.
Instead of two holes in the barrel the VersaMax actually has seven gas ports which come into play depending on the length of cartridge being fired.
With a 2¾ in cartridge all seven come into play, but with longer cartridges some of the ports are blocked by the case length so a smaller proportion of gas is used.
Push out this pin to remove the trigger mechanism.
The more powerful the cartridge, the less gas is needed to work the mechanism. It’s a clever yet simple idea.
With a 3in cartridge four ports are open and with a 3½ in shell, just three ports are open.
The other advantage with this system is that the gun will not become as dirty as usual because no gas touches the magazine tube.
1. Spacers are supplied to increase the length of the stock to 15in and plates to adjust its cast and bend. It can also be set up for central vision.
2. The bolt?s rotating head locks into the cartridge and chamber recess when the gun is closed.
3. Day glow foresight with replaceable filaments – extra pieces and a selection of colours come with the gun. Plus a trigger lock and chokes.
Obviously the pistons will become dirty, but they can be removed for cleaning. Excess gas from the piston system is vented sideways through gaps between the fore-end and barrel on both sides.
1. The synthetic stock has a soft rubber inset cheek piece moulded into the comb and a thick recoil pad.
2. The fore-end insets maximise grip in wet, cold, weather.
3. The safety button is oversized on the push off side so it can be located easily with gloved fingers. The trigger guard has been made bigger for the same reason.
Thanks to this gas system, bore configuration and soft stock mouldings Remington claims a significant reduction in felt recoil. Certainly this 7.3/4lb gun felt comfortable to shoot with magnum loads.
This interesting gun is very well made and built to withstand the rigours of wildfowling.
That said, it will also be at home doing general rough shooting duties and pigeon decoying.
Remington VersaMax semi-auto shotgun
£1,848 black synthetic) but shop around for best prices.