The Remington Model 1100 Sporting 20 (LT)
By Chuck Hawks
The Remington Model 1100 Sporting 20 (LT) is a sleek and streamlined repeater with a lot of eye appeal. You could call this deluxe, walnut stocked version with its polished blue metal finish the best looking regular production repeating shotgun on the market and get no argument from me.
Like all Model 1100s, the Sporting 20 is gas operated. This dramatically reduces its subjective recoil, making it ideal for a long day of shooting. By lowering the maximum amplitude of the gun's recoil and spreading it over a longer period of time the sensation of "kick" is reduced.
The Model 1100 Sporting 20 (LT) features a highly polished blued metal finish, semi-fancy walnut stock with a high gloss finish, and a light contour ventilated rib barrel. It is supplied with special (longer) Rem choke tubes and twin bead sights.
The specifications of the Sporting 20 (LT) model are as follows:
The Sporting 20 is neither inexpensive nor particularly expensive as shotguns go; rather I would call it a medium priced gun. The test gun has the best metal polish and blue job I have seen on a Remington production firearm in some time. Its semi-fancy black walnut stock has decent figure and an excellent high gloss finish. And, wonder of wonders, the forend and butt stock are well matched for grain and color. They clearly came from the same blank.
Other nice stock touches include attractive, well executed and extensive checkering, a fluted comb, and a sporting type recoil pad with a slick heel for error free gun mounting. This is one attractive autoloader, nicer in appearance than any of its imported competition.
The Sporting 20 (LT) also features a ventilated rib barrel with a sliver middle bead and a Bradley-type white front bead, a black pistol grip cap with an entwined "RA" (Remington Arms) logo in gold, a crossbolt safety in the rear of the black anodized aluminum alloy trigger guard, a gold-plated trigger, and the legend "Sporting Clays" (apparently) laser engraved on the right side of the receiver. The extended Rem Choke tubes are knurled for easy insertion and removal by hand, without the need for a choke tool.
The Model 1100 Sporting 20 fits me well. It balances right at the forward edge of the receiver and the twin bead sights form a perfect "figure 8" when I shoulder the gun. At 7.5 pounds, it does not have the light, fast handling feel of a good 20 gauge double, but it swings smoothly. For me, the gun shoots where it looks.
The trigger has a rather long but smooth pull that breaks at about 4 pounds. It's not great, but it is considerably better than the usual factory supplied shotgun trigger.
Best of all, the gun functions reliably (there were no malfunctions during the course of this review) and its gas operation really does reduce recoil to a startling extent. One of the Guns and Shooting Online shooters (and Technical Advisor) who has participated in several gun tests, Jim Fleck, had severely strained his shooting shoulder doing some ill advised lifting not long before we took the Sporting 20 into the hills for some informal clay target shooting. Jim fired exactly one shot with his 20 gauge double and set it aside with a pained wince. But he was able to break a string of targets with the Sporting 20 without serious discomfort. It was amazing to watch, and a dramatic illustration of just how effectively the Model 1100 action reduces perceived recoil.
Four shooters fired the Sporting 20 for this review. These included a 16 year old beginner, a hunter who shoots once or twice a year, and two of us (Jim and I) who have done a reasonable amount of shotgun shooting over the years. Everyone liked the gun and shot it well. We mostly used the supplied "light modified" choke (about a Quarter Choke), which decisively broke the targets thrown by our Outers Sporting Clays trap. I ran a long string of targets (for me), perhaps 20, before missing one.
The Sporting 20 comes with four included choke tubes: modified, light modified, improved cylinder, and skeet. I prefer a light modified or quarter choke for all-around use, but all of the supplied tubes seemed to pattern normally in our somewhat casual testing. We used Winchester AA Target loads containing 7/8th ounce of #8 shot. Patterns typically vary, of course, with different brands, loads and shot sizes, so be sure to test any gun with the shells that you intend to use.
Sporting clays guns are often quite versatile, sort of the "jack of all trades" among competition shotguns. They are moderately heavy to control recoil and swing smoothly, but are also required to handle and shoulder well. They are, of course, optimized for sporting clays competition, but can often do a credible job at 16 yard trap shooting, skeet shooting, and hunting. And so it is with the Sporting 20.
The Remington Model 1100 Sporting 20 (LT) is a handsome and versatile shotgun of which its owner can be proud. It naturally excel at sporting clays shooting, but could serve nicely as an all-around upland shotgun. I feel that the Sporting 20 represents an excellent value for the price and should be a top choice for anyone who wants a deluxe autoloading shotgun.
Copyright 2004, 2009 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.