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Remington Versa Max Sportsman Review

by Payton Miller   |  March 13th, 2013 6


Remington introduced its Versa Max autoloading shotgun back in 2010. Since then, there’s been the inevitable morphing—black tactical versions, waterfowl versions, etc. Up to now, the MSRP of the Versa Max began at around sixteen hundred bucks. The latest addition, however, the Versa Max Sportsman, was obviously conceived to ameliorate sticker shock among old-time 11-87/1100 shooters who might have a hard time envisioning paying that much for an auto from The Big Green. The Sportsman lists for slightly over a grand—a bit over most of the company’s 11-87 lineup but not quite up there with the “B-initialled” Italian autoloaders either.

The heart of the Versa Max operating system remains unchanged in the Sportsman version. In short, it’s a twin-piston gas-operated 12 gauge that’ll handle 2¾-, 3- and 3½-inch shells. The gas ports are just ahead of the chamber and set to accommodate all three shell lengths. Cycling pressure is regulated based on the length of the shell.

What’s different? According to company literature, the Versa Max Sportsman is “a workhorse shotgun designed for today’s American sportsman who wants the ultimate in autoloading technology and performance but doesn’t require a full-featured gun like the groundbreaking original.”

Obviously, some of the bells and whistles of the full-priced Versa Max have been left by the wayside in offering the Sportsman version. So, what are they? Well, you don’t get the adjustable drop-and-cast feature, the overmolded grips, the hard carrying case or the length-of-pull shim kit. Plus, with the Sportsman, you don’t get the Hi-Viz sights (just a straight front bead/mid-bead setup) or the five-pack of various Pro-Bore choke tubes (just one). One feature Remington (mercifully) does retain on the Sportsman is the very effective SuperCell recoil pad.

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