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Remington Sportsman 48

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Milkmaster, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. Milkmaster

    Milkmaster Well-Known Member

    A friend of mine has come up with a 16 ga Remington Sportsman 48. He found it behind a plank in a closet wall of his old home place where he was raised the day before the bulldozers pushed the old house down. He asked me to do a little research for him on the shotgun. I have some info from the Remington web site like manufacturing dates etc.

    To my understanding, the model 48 is not the same as the 11-48 right? Any general info shared about this model is appreciated. Anything special about them? Collector's item? Were they good weapons?

    I have not seen the weapon yet. Right now he just says that it is covered in dust etc. I will probably offer to clean it up for him before he tries to shoot it. Any parts, o-rings, etc that I should expect to acquire before taking it apart?

    I would love to have a picture of the Sportsman 48 breakdown if anyone out there has one to post.
  2. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Well-Known Member

    The Remington Model 48 Sportsman is a 3 shot semi-auto that operates from a "locked breech", that is, the "barrel recoils into the receiver with the breech locked completely throughout the entire firing period." According to the Blue Book(23rd edition), this model was made from 1949 thru 1960 with 275,000 being manufactured. If the gun is in 100% condition (not likely, given the "storage" conditions you described), the gun is shown to be worth $300.00 ($325.00 with a vent rib).

    The 11-48 is identical to the Sportsman-48 in design. However, "it has a 5 shot capacity and there are slight exterior differences. the grip cap and the grooved fore-end of the Sportsman 11-48 are not carried on in this gun." The butt plate is walnut-covered instead of black. Both the fore-end and grip of the 11-48 are checkered.
  3. zinj

    zinj Well-Known Member

    All shotguns lock the breech when firing (otherwise they would be blowback actions). I'm sure what the book really means is that the 11-48 (and Sportsman 48) is a long recoil operated design. This means that when fired the barrel and bolt remain locked and travel to the back of the reciever, where the barrel is released and returns forward, ejecting the spent case with a stud on the barrel extension. The bolt returns to battery soon after, picking up a fresh cartridge from the carrier.

    Anyway, the 11-48 and the Sportsman 48 is essentially a Browning Auto-5 (which Remington produced under liscense as their Model 11) that has been simplified for easier mass production. One benefit of this is that the gun is easier to take apart (there aren't a dozen screws to remove like an Auto-5).

    The other big departure from the Auto-5 type is the recoil system. On an Auto-5 there are two settings, one that has less resistance to allow light loads to cycle, and a stronger setting that keeps the recoil from heavy loads down and prevents them from battering the gun.

    The 11-48 uses a much simpler recoil assembly. While it can cycle more loads than either of the individual Auto-5 settings, it doesn't handle the further ends of the spectrum well. Some light loads may not cycle, and heavier loads will have an inordinate amount of kick.

    There is a bit of a workaround for this, however. The amount of oil on the magazine tube controls the amount of resistance when the gun cycles. Thus the tube should have a reasonable coating of oil when shooting light loads, and be almost dry for heavy loads.

    Overall the 11-48 does have a good reputation, especially with the field loads for which it was designed.

    Here is a gunsmithing page dealing with the 11-48, although they are a bit negative about the design:

  4. kentucky_smith

    kentucky_smith Well-Known Member

    Hmm, yep.

    The 48 was much lighter than the humpback 11 and A5 and very similar in design to the 870.
  5. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Well-Known Member

    kentucky smith: When you say that the 48 " is similar in design" to the 870, do you mean in terms of its exterior looks? If not, I'm not sure how a pump-action is all that similar to a semi-auto and I'm interested to learn as to how so.
  6. zinj

    zinj Well-Known Member

    The 11-48 introduced the basic trigger group that has been used with minor modifications on all Remington pump and auto shotguns and rifles since 1948. The receiver also is very close to the 870 design. Even the bolt itself is shares many common components, like the firing pin spring and extractor. You could almost think of an 870 as a derivative of the 11-48.

    The later 878 and Sportsman 58 shotguns were essentially an 870 with a gas system added to operate the action. In fact, 870 barrels can be modified by drilling a gas port and be used on these guns.

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