First Look: Remington 887 Nitro Mag Pump-Action Shotgun
Introduced at the 2009 SHOT Show, Remington's new Model 887 Nitro Mag Pump has an obvious target on its bead: the Benelli Nova and SuperNova. Aggressively priced, the new 887 is a polymer-ensconced slide action 12 gauge presented for those looking for a durable waterfowl gun with 3-1/2 in. shell capability. Offered initially in two configurations, all black and all camo, this shotgun has a lot of appeal.
Compared to the Benelli Nova, it is softer shooting and a bit lighter as well, contingent on configuration. It also seemed free from the annoying Nova-esque rattles. Softer shooting out of the box, Remington does not expect you to pop for a $100 "recoil reduction system" either, as per the Nova line.
I heard many comments about this shotgun prior to seeing it. I heard it was "Made in Turkey" and "all plastic." Both rumors are completely false. It is made by Remington in Ilion, New York, USA and the receiver is steel, as are the dual action bars. It borrows a bit from the 870 design, obviously, with a new trigger plate that is reportedly easier to drop for cleaning. The new Model 887 was generally well received at the 2009 SHOT Show and it balances and functions well.
Remington does go a bit over the top with their touting of the Super-Cell recoil pad: "Ten years of rigorous R&D has produced a recoil pad far superior to anything the world has seen before. So effective in fact, our Model 870 pump shotgun now produces 54% less recoil than competing autoloaders with their factory pads."
This relentless advertising deserves commentary in return. Remington's Chinese-made "Super-Cell" is indeed a decent recoil pad. However, in my tests the Super-Cell was no revolution and hardly a game-changer to stun the world. Its recoil attenuation seems similar to the other high technology pads on the market and, according to my shoulder, it is inferior to (my favorite) the Limbsaver pads.
As far as 54% less recoil than "competing autoloaders," all anyone has to do is pull the trigger on a Browning Maxus with its factory pad and even Captain Obvious will quickly realize that the Browning is softer shooting than Remington's 887. Perhaps Remington calculated felt recoil with the help of some government economic bailout advisor's math. Still, it is a very good pad for this model of gun and the 887 is softer shooting than the vinyl crucifix pad equipped slide-actions out there.
It appears we have a steel receiver, made in USA, Model 887 NitroMag with a lot of appeal, an attractive price-point and a smooth action. This model may well sound the death toll for the Benelli Nova and Super Nova line. Expect a full test when Model 887's become available later this year.
Copyright 2009 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.