Bourjaily: Thoughts on the Remington 870 Competition Trap

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