Bourjaily: Remington's Competition 1100 Prototype

Clearly, the gun in this picture is not your father's 1100.

It's a prototype Competition 1100 sent to me by Remington's shotgun product manager Brian Lasley. The gun grew out of a conversation I had with Lasley about affordable youth target guns. I cannot take credit for the result because Brian sensibly ignored 99% of what I told him to do and took the project in a totally different direction.

What he came up with is an adult-sized dedicated target gun that is extraordinarily soft shooting and fully adjustable. The 1100 gas system, the recoil reducing buttplate, the soft pad and the gun's 9 pound, 1 ounce weight all combine to make the gun nearly recoilless. The comb is fully adjustable for drop and cast. The buttplate adjusts up and down and cants in and out. Future iterations of the buttplate will feature a spacer system for changing the length of pull. This version has a 30-inch overbored barrel and comes with five extended choke tubes.

The stock is regular synthetic dipped to look like carbon fiber. The finish gives it serious eye appeal as I learned when I casually uncased it and set in the rack at our high school trap club practice last Saturday. Kids picked it up because it looked cool, but they wanted to keep shooting it because it didn't kick at all. When I tried it I found it easy to hit with. Between the semiautomatic action and the compressible buttplate, the sensation is of the gun squishing against your shoulder rather than kicking.

Of course, you can find tricked-out 1100s at any gun club. What makes this one different is that it will come like this out of the box, and Lasley says he hopes to keep the list price under $1000. If he can do that, it will be a bargain.