11-87 vs. 1100


May 2, 2006, 01:34 PM

1100 is a true classic, but it's heavy and limited to 2 3/4" rounds, even in 12.

11-87 Premier 12 Gauge is similar, a tad lighter, balances nicely, looks great, and will shoot any round I'd ever want it to.

Clearly, people like the 1100. Remington tried to can it 20 years ago, but now makes more variations of it than ever, due to sustained strong demand.

What's the difference?

Is there a good reason to stick with an 1100 for an all-around gun? What about a 20 gauge for upland birds?

I don't care much about 3" 20 gauge shells, but the 11-87 is really nice in 20/26", or with a straight grip and 23" barrel.



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Dave McCracken
May 2, 2006, 09:43 PM
Like 870s, 1100s are the little pink drum beating bunnies of the shotgun world. A few newer designs claim longer use without major surgery, but replacement of springs and buffers can keep an 1100 going for a very long time.

Smith Bill Gillette says he's worked on some with hundreds of thousands of rounds behind them, worn razor sharp inside.

11-87s had the unenviable task of replacing an auto that lots of folks loved. 1100s point well, cost a reasonable amount and created lots of memories since the 60s.

And a 20 gauge, including the nigh legendary Special Field variant, would make nearly anyone a better uplander.

The new G3 versions and the latest 1100 Competition have some tweaks. I'd like to wring one of each out.

May 2, 2006, 09:46 PM
The big difference, IIRC, is

The 1100 is gas operated, using a piston - rod arrangement to operate the bolt.

The 11-87 is a long-recoil design that works similar to the old Browning Automatic 5 or the Remington Clone, Model 11.


May 2, 2006, 10:09 PM
Both the 1100 and the 11-87 are gas operated semi-auto shotguns.

From Remington's website, "Its patented pressure-compensating gas system . . .

Take the time-honored, all-weather dependability of the Model 11-87 action and combine it with the capability to handle high-payload shotshells. Now prepare to rule the flyway. Ultimately versatile for today's varied waterfowl (or any other) hunting situations. Its patented self-cleaning pressure-compensating gas system, delivers reliable shell cycling with virtually any load.

While I am the proud owner of two 1100s, one a 'Magnum' (1983 model), the other a 'Standard' (1980 model) and have NO desire to own an 11-87, I for one, think that Remington realized that the 1100 is a better platform than the 11-87 and that's why they are bringing the 1100 back, with renewed enthusiasm.

May 2, 2006, 10:28 PM
Sorry BigG , but byf43 is correct in that the 11-87 is a very simular to the 1100 gas operated shotgun.

The difference is that Remington developed a simple pressure release system for the 11-87 . This allows the gun to shoot low pressure loads and operates off the lower pressures.

When a higher pressure is developed using magnum loads the excess will bleed off through a port with a spring tensioned ball located at the front of the gas piston system.

If working properly this allows the 11-87 to shoot a much wider range of loadings than the 1100.

May 3, 2006, 08:48 AM
Oops - sorry guys. You learn something new everyday! :)

Dave McCracken
May 3, 2006, 09:06 AM
G, perhaps you were thinking of the older 11-48. It was blowback operated....

Jim Watson
May 3, 2006, 09:10 AM
The ones I saw, usually being worked on at my neighbor, the gunsmith's shop, were long recoil operated. Remington's attempt to streamline the basic Browning design.

May 3, 2006, 02:21 PM
Hey mnrivrat, or anyone else-

Is the pressure compensating system the only real difference between the guns?

Here's the thing... I can get a near-new 11-87 for under $500. But the 1100 wasn't even made in 12 gauge for a while. I know that, if I get an old one, I'll be replacing some parts soon enough, and the parts are not free. So I'd just as soon get a near-new gun that's also a tad lighter and happily shoots heavy hunting and sporting clay loads as a bonus.

Anyone know the minimum Dram Equivalent for the 1100 and 11-87 actions to function reliably? Do they work with light loads?

Thanks again

May 3, 2006, 02:36 PM
11-48 is the one I was thinking of. Thanks, Dave! :)

Dave McCracken
May 3, 2006, 10:55 PM
Jim, blowback and long recoil are the same to a dunce like me. Thanks for the correction....

May 4, 2006, 12:57 AM
Anyone know the minimum Dram Equivalent for the 1100 and 11-87 actions to function reliably? Do they work with light loads?

I would be surprised if someone can answer this - each gun is a little different so to put a 100% certainty on the function with a specific load is difficult to do.

The 1100 came in stanadard 2&3/4 inch guns and the magnum 3 inch versions. The only difference that I have ever seen is in the gas porting of the two barrels. The magnum has only a single gas port while the standard model has two ports. The size of the ports are different so the standard gun does not get twice the amount of gas as the magnum.

Like all production products the gas port holes have a + & - tolerance . This can and does effect the function to a level that some guns will shoot a load that others will not.

Magnum loads : both 2&3/4 and 3 inch should be used in the magnum barrel of the 1100 . Heavy field loads will function in some guns but not all.

Standard field loads: From the low base loads to the light magnum loads should be used in the Standard 2&3/4 " chambered 1100 gun. Shooting heavy magnums (2&3/4") will be more violent in the standard gun and cause some pre-mature wear but they will function.

Yes - the only significant difference between the 1100 and the 11-87 is the gas system . The 11-87 in theory at least should give better overall service allowing the use of most all 2&3/4 and 3 inch loads.

PS: I can live with the word blowback to discribe a recoil operated gun. It is for the most part a friction controled blowback system.

May 4, 2006, 02:03 AM
I've had an 1187 for 17 years now and it has never malfunctioned on me. I do keep my guns clean and don't neglect them. My 1187 has taken all types of water fowl, more deer than I can recall and loads of small game. I still use it for skeet and trap with cheapo loads and never a problem. I have also used it in 3 gun matches. Others may not have had the same results but I love mine. Oh yea, I've never had to replace any part on it.

pete f
May 5, 2006, 06:41 PM
When i worked at the shop, we had a couple of trap guys who claimed astronomical numbers for their "beer cans" or model 1100's. One of the guy claimed his had shot a 1/2 millions rounds. Once bored, we sat and did the math and he probably had or close to it. All he had done was replace some springs and seals. The other claimed 200k rounds with NO parts other than seals. Kept clean, they seem to run forever.

May 5, 2006, 07:48 PM
I bought a new 1100 skeet gun when they came out, about 1965. I shot hundreds of thoushands of rounds through it. Sadly the reciever split sometime in the late 80's. Repair was minimal. I always carried a repair bag. A link, firing pin, barrel support, rubber seals, etc. If you were at a major shoot, the Remington man would give you free parts. The 1100 and 1187 are the same gun. Some minor differences, like a stainless magazine tube on the 1187. The gas system parts are interchangable. The trigger groups are interchangable.

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