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Bourjaily: Thoughts on the Remington 870 Competition Trap

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September 17, 2010

Bourjaily: Thoughts on the Remington 870 Competition Trap

By Phil Bourjaily

Granted, a gas operated pump action falls under the heading of “solution in search of a problem” but still, how cool is an 870 trap gun coupled with an 1100-style gas system to reduce recoil? That was the idea behind the 870 Competition, a gas-operated single shot (!) trap gun Remington made from 1981-1986.


The idea was, it gave you the recoil reduction of an 1100 without flinging hulls in the direction of the Kreighoff in the hands of the shooter to your right. (semiautos make owners of high-end trap guns nervous and grouchy). Gas ports in the barrel ring bled off some of the gases and used them to drive a weight that unlocked the action. You can see the inside in the photo below. And, it works. I had a chance to shoot the gun pictured here this summer. Most 870 trap guns I have tried gave me a stout kick. The Competition shot just as softly as an 1100 and as it crushed targets. I was tempted to buy the gun, especially as it came with the case you see here decorated with a picture of the mythical Iowa Ringneck Pheasant* but ultimately I let it go.


*Loss of CRP, clean farming and three bad winters and three cold, wet springs in a row means we are headed for what is projected to be the lowest Iowa pheasant harvest since the state started keeping records in the 60s. Last year was no treat and this year looks to be worse

Comments (20)

Top Rated
All Comments
from yohan wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

Speechless is the only word that comes to mind .
Translates to ,.. I got nothin ,. yuk yuk

However the part about a solution waiting for the problem or words to that effect
is pretty good : )

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

Way too easy to shoot good scores. Most would prefer the clankity clank of a Model 12. :)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

I wonder how many of these guns Remington sold. Regardless the reasons for its somewhat short life seem obvious to me and have nothing to do with the unique mechanism. Most old time trap shooters I know, read Perazzi and Kreighoff boys, perceive the M-870 as a beginner's gun so would not be caught dead with one. Beginners most likely make the choice because the average M-870 is reasonable to purchase and operate plus they can usually burst clays quite well. They didn't understand or care for the extra expense of the gas/pump. So another good idea goes away or maybe is still searching for the problem. By the way a few years ago a fellow won the Grand with an 870.
Phil: Regarding the lack of pheasants, didn't wolves used to live in Iowa? Should I send you a few dozen to reinstitute the beasts back into another portion of their original habitat? From that point on you better enjoy clays because you will have little else to shoot in the way of game...bad winters and cold wet springs are temporary, wolves are forever.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mjenkins1 wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

I don't know how I've never heard of this gun, but I like the idea.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom-Tom wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

Talk about your lonely little petunia in an onion patch, this one certainly qualified. Browning made a Twin (or Double) Automatic that may have suffered a similar fate. Was it designed primarily for skeet shooters as well? As far as the pheasants go, when we were faced with a one duck limit, we bought our stamps and still hunted ducks but never took a gun along. We sat in the blind, called, drank coffee, and had fun. If you don't excited when they cup in and drop their feet into the decoys, someone had better shovel the dirt over you.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from nerffodder wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

(weeping) It's... so...so beautiful!
I want one

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from blackhawkbill wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

I never knew of this model but I like the idea of a lighter kicking pump. Hey isn't that what Benelli did with the Nova Pump. Maybe they got the idea from reading your blogs.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

Blackhawk...Benelli did that with their nova? The SuperNova has a kick reducer mechanism in the stock I think. The 870 was a gas operated reducer. Wonder what it did to the weight of the gun, and why couldn't it have more shots?..probably the gas function took up the magazine capacity?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

I stepped out of sporting goods in the spring of '80. Handled everything out there up to that point. We carried a few 101's, which were the Cadillac of the time along with all kinds of Citori's. We got a spattering of the Mod 12 "Y" series (2), 870's out the wah-zoo and a newbie to the field of pump guns, Smith & Wesson along with a smattering of the requisite Stevens.
Had two Mod 12 two barrel sets come through, one even had matching serial numbers. Got to see one 28ga. Mod 12. It was the customers, wife's, squirrel gun.

Bubba

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from nc30-06 wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

How could you pass up a beauty like that?

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from deadeyedick wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

No thanks. I have been using my 12 guage 1100 since 1972 and I do quite well with it. They make a snap on shell catcher to stop autos from flinging tose empty cases. by the way my 1100 is a field grade not some high falutin trap gun and it did not cost a small fortune

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

A Semi Auto Single Shot Pump gun?

Did I read that right?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

The wood looks sweet but I kind of wonder about it being a single shot. Very strange indeed, nice rare gun I had no idea they ever made such a creature... thanks Phil!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

Lets see-- single shot semi-automatic, pump. The only thing missing is a one round detachable magazine.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

I never knew Big Green ever made such an item. Learn something new every day! I saw one on Gunbroker when I looked it up after reading this post. Very interesting. My 870 is always a single shot at the trap range. If I ever run across one of these at a fair price, I might grab it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

Found this on Google sounds like they misht be available.

Crown Grade
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2003 11:30 am
Posts: 3477
The Remington 870 Competition Trap was a single shot trap gun that used a gas recoil reduction system. It was basically a hybrid of the 870 and 1100. However, only about 5500 were made between 1981-86, and many of the model specific parts are no longer available. Since over 9,000,000 M870s have been made to date, the Comp Trap is a rare variant.

Mint ones can easily sell for over $600, although I've read reports of people picking them up for as low as $300 from unsuspecting sellers.

I knew a guy who owned one when it was new back during the mid 80s. It was a great gun for trap singles. However, for your purposes, it might be easier to get an 1100 Trap with a shell catcher.

Read more: http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=110170#ixzz105HQEfiq

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Plotner wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

ice shot my grandpas 870 wingmaster and 1100 man if you had a repeter verson of that it whould be real neat i dident think the 870 wingmaster kicked that much...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

Mike...all shotguns kick. A trap shooter, that may shoot 50,000 rounds a season wants to eliminate the kick all together, and not have it something they might focus on, and end up flinching. Some of them anyway.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from countitandone wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

PB ~ That's what I like about your posts, these gems uncovered. But only if you like to collect.

Not about to part with the time tested 1100 as it has served me well.

Never say never when it comes to Remington's "think tank." Who knew, in concept, this R&D gem wouldn't take to the public? Theory is good...thank you.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Owen Travis wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

I used this model as a teenager in trap competitions in the early 1980s. The low cost allowed my entry into the sport and I definitely felt the "your from the wrong side of the tracks" attitude from the Perazzi and Kreighoff owners. The low recoil was definitely a plus for a young shooter and it crushed plenty of clays. The main disadvantage is that you need a second gun to shoot doubles and if that was going to be the case, you might as well just stick with the 1100 trap (shell catcher installed for singles) or go to an O/U system. I am in search of a replacement stock and foregrip--any ideas would be appreciated.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from ishawooa wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

I wonder how many of these guns Remington sold. Regardless the reasons for its somewhat short life seem obvious to me and have nothing to do with the unique mechanism. Most old time trap shooters I know, read Perazzi and Kreighoff boys, perceive the M-870 as a beginner's gun so would not be caught dead with one. Beginners most likely make the choice because the average M-870 is reasonable to purchase and operate plus they can usually burst clays quite well. They didn't understand or care for the extra expense of the gas/pump. So another good idea goes away or maybe is still searching for the problem. By the way a few years ago a fellow won the Grand with an 870.
Phil: Regarding the lack of pheasants, didn't wolves used to live in Iowa? Should I send you a few dozen to reinstitute the beasts back into another portion of their original habitat? From that point on you better enjoy clays because you will have little else to shoot in the way of game...bad winters and cold wet springs are temporary, wolves are forever.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mjenkins1 wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

I don't know how I've never heard of this gun, but I like the idea.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom-Tom wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

Talk about your lonely little petunia in an onion patch, this one certainly qualified. Browning made a Twin (or Double) Automatic that may have suffered a similar fate. Was it designed primarily for skeet shooters as well? As far as the pheasants go, when we were faced with a one duck limit, we bought our stamps and still hunted ducks but never took a gun along. We sat in the blind, called, drank coffee, and had fun. If you don't excited when they cup in and drop their feet into the decoys, someone had better shovel the dirt over you.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from nerffodder wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

(weeping) It's... so...so beautiful!
I want one

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

Lets see-- single shot semi-automatic, pump. The only thing missing is a one round detachable magazine.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from yohan wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

Speechless is the only word that comes to mind .
Translates to ,.. I got nothin ,. yuk yuk

However the part about a solution waiting for the problem or words to that effect
is pretty good : )

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

Way too easy to shoot good scores. Most would prefer the clankity clank of a Model 12. :)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

No thanks. I have been using my 12 guage 1100 since 1972 and I do quite well with it. They make a snap on shell catcher to stop autos from flinging tose empty cases. by the way my 1100 is a field grade not some high falutin trap gun and it did not cost a small fortune

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

The wood looks sweet but I kind of wonder about it being a single shot. Very strange indeed, nice rare gun I had no idea they ever made such a creature... thanks Phil!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

I never knew Big Green ever made such an item. Learn something new every day! I saw one on Gunbroker when I looked it up after reading this post. Very interesting. My 870 is always a single shot at the trap range. If I ever run across one of these at a fair price, I might grab it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

Mike...all shotguns kick. A trap shooter, that may shoot 50,000 rounds a season wants to eliminate the kick all together, and not have it something they might focus on, and end up flinching. Some of them anyway.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from countitandone wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

PB ~ That's what I like about your posts, these gems uncovered. But only if you like to collect.

Not about to part with the time tested 1100 as it has served me well.

Never say never when it comes to Remington's "think tank." Who knew, in concept, this R&D gem wouldn't take to the public? Theory is good...thank you.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from blackhawkbill wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

I never knew of this model but I like the idea of a lighter kicking pump. Hey isn't that what Benelli did with the Nova Pump. Maybe they got the idea from reading your blogs.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

Blackhawk...Benelli did that with their nova? The SuperNova has a kick reducer mechanism in the stock I think. The 870 was a gas operated reducer. Wonder what it did to the weight of the gun, and why couldn't it have more shots?..probably the gas function took up the magazine capacity?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

I stepped out of sporting goods in the spring of '80. Handled everything out there up to that point. We carried a few 101's, which were the Cadillac of the time along with all kinds of Citori's. We got a spattering of the Mod 12 "Y" series (2), 870's out the wah-zoo and a newbie to the field of pump guns, Smith & Wesson along with a smattering of the requisite Stevens.
Had two Mod 12 two barrel sets come through, one even had matching serial numbers. Got to see one 28ga. Mod 12. It was the customers, wife's, squirrel gun.

Bubba

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nc30-06 wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

How could you pass up a beauty like that?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago

A Semi Auto Single Shot Pump gun?

Did I read that right?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

Found this on Google sounds like they misht be available.

Crown Grade
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2003 11:30 am
Posts: 3477
The Remington 870 Competition Trap was a single shot trap gun that used a gas recoil reduction system. It was basically a hybrid of the 870 and 1100. However, only about 5500 were made between 1981-86, and many of the model specific parts are no longer available. Since over 9,000,000 M870s have been made to date, the Comp Trap is a rare variant.

Mint ones can easily sell for over $600, although I've read reports of people picking them up for as low as $300 from unsuspecting sellers.

I knew a guy who owned one when it was new back during the mid 80s. It was a great gun for trap singles. However, for your purposes, it might be easier to get an 1100 Trap with a shell catcher.

Read more: http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=110170#ixzz105HQEfiq

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Plotner wrote 3 years 30 weeks ago

ice shot my grandpas 870 wingmaster and 1100 man if you had a repeter verson of that it whould be real neat i dident think the 870 wingmaster kicked that much...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Owen Travis wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

I used this model as a teenager in trap competitions in the early 1980s. The low cost allowed my entry into the sport and I definitely felt the "your from the wrong side of the tracks" attitude from the Perazzi and Kreighoff owners. The low recoil was definitely a plus for a young shooter and it crushed plenty of clays. The main disadvantage is that you need a second gun to shoot doubles and if that was going to be the case, you might as well just stick with the 1100 trap (shell catcher installed for singles) or go to an O/U system. I am in search of a replacement stock and foregrip--any ideas would be appreciated.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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