View Full Version : Rem 1100 loads & malfunctioning

October 24, 2000, 03:39 PM
What is the real story on loads for keeping 1100s working, assuming proper firearm maintenance?

I have seen them malfunction with light "game loads" from Wally World. Should they work with anything one can purchase over the counter?

October 24, 2000, 04:57 PM
I am not sure what you are talking about? Since when is this a "major" or "common" problem? You are asking the question like problems with the 1100 are a common occurance? It seems that you are "trolling" for a response by posting a vague & inflamatory posting? Asking for the "real story" implies that the 1100 is junk and there is some kind of conspiracy to "hide the truth."

Sorry for being so abrupt but if you have a real question, post it, and we can help out. What type of 1100 is it? What types of loads were they? Did they work at all? What was the malfunction like? Did it happen with every round? etc...

My 1100 runs fine with everything I have run throught it. In fact I just put two boxes of that really cheap 7/8 oz. junk that Wal Mart sells and it ate em' up with zero problems.

I have had my 1100 for 15+ years and it has never had any problems. As long as I clean it once in a while(almost never)it runs like a champ. I use it for hunting, shooting skeet and shooting 3-gun/combat matches.

Al Thompson
October 24, 2000, 06:05 PM
My experiance with 1100's has been very positive. The light "loss leader" loads can jam some guns some of the time. Interestingly, other makes have more reported problems. Usually it's a "wearing" in sort of problem/solution.

As far as working with everything sold over the counter - no. If you require that, a 870 gets the nod. Heck, they sell 12 flares don't they?


October 24, 2000, 06:28 PM
My 1100 has NEVER choked on a factory load and the ONLY handload I EVER had problems with were some 3/4 oz. loads (12ga.). The 1100's ability to digest the lightest to the heaviest loads is well known.

I guess any gas operated semi-auto can malfunction, if you use a load that delivers insufficient pressure to the gas port (or operating system).

Regards! DaMan

October 24, 2000, 06:52 PM
Thanks so far, guys.

Intel6, Not trolling. An 1100 is my current house gun. Since I am no shotgunner, I have asked various uninformed sources following seeing that 20 ga. 1100 (not my housegun) fail with loss leader ammo whether it possibly needed hotter loads. That occurence was years ago and I don't know how well that shotgun was maintained but do remember the loads were light field loads from Walmart or Kmart. It didn't jam close to every shot, but wasn't 100%. People have since told me all sorts of stuff like "use only high base shells" to "autos aren't reliable".

You gentlemen are shotgunners so I felt you would know the 'real story', and I meant that in a noninflamatory way.

Today I picked up some game loads (loss leader type) and noted that the twelve ga. shells have only 7/8 ounces of shot so I was wondering whether they would cycle the mechanism reliably and thought I would ask before shooting them in my house gun and possibly losing confidence in its reliability. I was wondering if there was a general rule, like don't go below an ounce of shot, or you need XYZ drams equivalent, or it should work with everything.

Dave McC
October 24, 2000, 07:49 PM
No 1100 expert, but maybe this will help.

A HD shotgun is a wonderful tool, for a shotgunner. Become a shotgunner, and my guess is the problems will diminish. That will take practice, of course, and maybe lessons from a qualified instructor.

Meanwhile, find a reliable load for that thing, and use it for HD.That could be buck, birdshot in high or low brass loads, or thin dimes rubbed in garlic and with notches in the rims(G), as long as it's reliable.At typical HD ranges, that could be any of the above. Also,if you have an occasional glitch with the cheap stuff on the clays range, what's the harm? When it hits the fan is not there, and once you find a reliable load, you use that in the house.

Al Thompson
October 24, 2000, 08:23 PM
Don't forget the breath mint loads................................................................................................



October 24, 2000, 09:59 PM

Sounds like you were given a bunch of dubious advice. I owned an 11-87 Sporting Clay (a later version of the 1100) until the over/under bug bit and it never bobbled a shell except for Winchester Low Noise/Low Recoil. These shells are so light they didn't reset the inertia trigger on my over/under. Everything else worked including some pretty light handloads.

As Dave noted, find a load that works for HD and stick with it.

Any semi-auto needs to be kept clean. When they start to act up, they are most often dirty inside.

Another point and please don't take this the wrong way. You say you are not a shotgunner but have one for HD. I hope you are getting some practice in. I shoot the clay games with an over/under and hunt with a side by side but at least once each month the 870 gets taken out for some practice because it is the gun I depend on when I really really need a gun. Besides, you might find you like breaking clay targets and that's about the most fun you can have with a gun.

October 25, 2000, 09:00 AM

I am glad that your post was just as it appeared. I apologize again for being abrupt but I have seen too many "inflamatory" posts that are psoted just to get a rise out of people. They do get a rise out of me, especially if it goes against what I know from experience and they seem to be drawing from nothing.

Now the info from yor second post was good and enables up to be more helpful.

First off, about the 20 ga. 1100. The 1100 is a gas operated shotgun which bleeds gas from the barrel to unlock the bolt, allowing the backward inertia from firing shell to then push it to the rear and cycle the weapon.

Lets talk about the first action taking place upon firing. As the shell is fired, the propelling gasses are vented off, mid-barrel, and push on a rubber type o-ring and two piece seal made out of metal which are riding at the front of the slide action bar (forget the proper name) which is connected to the bolt. This unlocking can basically be affected by two things. Not enough gas to unlock the bolt or dirty or worn gas seal parts. The amount of gas produced by the shell is dependent on the type of shell used and I will discuss them below. Now about the gas seal parts. The rubber o-ring can get worn and torn up and does need to be replaced. Some people replace them frequently but I have had the same o-ring in my 1100 for quite some time. I think keeping the system clean plays a part in how they wear. The two piece gas seal can get dirty and they will need to be cleaned. These two pieces have a seal like a valve on a car engine and when these are dirty they don't seal well and can cause functioning problems.

Now when I clean my 1100 I wipe down the magazine tube, clean the o-ring and gas seal parts and then I coat the mag tube with a little CLP. Now you have to realize that when I clean my 1100 it is because I want to, not because I have to. This is not a dirt sensitive system and I proabably put 300-500 rounds throught my 1100 before it gets a cleaning. Those two boxes of 7/8 oz. cheap WalMart loads I put through it two weeks ago pushed it past the 400 round mark without a cleaning. I am sure the others on the list can comment about the cleaning interval for their guns.

Now about the shells. There are two main things about a shells that are important. The dram equivilant of the shell and what I call the payload weight or how much shot it has. The dram equivlant is basically the power rating for the shell. It is a old unit of measurement that has no real equivilant today but it is still used to rate the power of shotshells. The three basic dram ratings you see are 2 1/2 (or somewhere close) 3 and 3+ or MAX (Max being the most powerful). This rating is important but it is not the only thing to consider about the shells. You need to also factor in the payload weight. The amount of shot a shell has is also important to the functioning of the weapon. The more shot there is, the more back pressure there is to put more gas into the gas system (to unlock the bolt) and the more recoil there is to cycle the action. The payload weight and the Dram equivilant work togeather. Basically the lighter charge of shot you have the higher dram rating you need. Since the lighter charge of shot creates less recoil and less backpressure to cycle the action, it needs more power to make up for that deficiency. If you have a heavier payload you don't need such a high dram rating because it gives you more backpressure and recoil to cycle the action.

Now about your specific situation. I think the 7/8 oz. should work in your 1100. They work good in my regular 1100 and should work in yours. If they don't want to work or you want something with more power, get those 100 rd packs of Federal shells WalMart sells. They have 1 1/8 oz. of shot and are 3 dram (I think) and will even cycle my 11-87 Police that doesn't work with those 7/8 oz. loads. These loads are better for training since they give you a more realistic feel. Praticing with the 7/8 oz. loads and them using a heavier load (buck or whatever) for defense isn't realistic. As a general rule sticking with shells that have a heavier payload is more important than a higher dram rating.

Whew! that was allot of typing. I hope it made sense and was informative. If I screwed something up I sure the others on the list will correct me :D If I didn't answer your specific questions or you have more, ask away.

[This message has been edited by Intel6 (edited October 25, 2000).]

October 25, 2000, 06:51 PM
Thanks for the additional info.

In regards to the training/practicing I probably won't get into shotgun games. I'm sure they would be fun, just as I'd probably like golf and skiing, but there's only so much time. Rest assured I do plan to get some practice and that is why I was out getting some shells yesterday. A few weeks back I had the M1100 and M870 out and fired four boxes of shells through them collectively.

That range session was subsequent to my 1911 pistol malfunctioning on me. The 1911 had been my house gun for years. Whatever the problem is is correctable I'm sure, but I've been down this road with 1911s before and am a bit fed up. That and a thread on shotguns for home defense on this bulletin board, particularly references to fight stopping wounds produced, motivated me to try the shotgun. After the 100 rds I was impressed with the rapidity of fire, particularly with the M1100, since I'm not used to pumping an action. I concluded after that session that if I fired the M1100 a few times a year so it was second nature I could do well if I needed it for real. I have an extensive background in rifles and handguns and fire them on a continual basis, so it isn't like I am starting cold with long guns. I'm just not a shotgunner.

Can I dry fire 1100s and 870s or will their firing pins break?

By the way I plan to clean the gas system after each range session. The simplicity of these designs, the way the forend and barrel field strip, impressed me.

October 25, 2000, 07:54 PM

I don't think there is a problem with dry firing the Remington's. I don't do it that much but I have never heard there is a problem.

One thing with the 870 is to not pump it too vigrously when dry firing. I had a friend who liked to pump his 870 fast while dry firing. Because there was no shell to cushion the bolt slamming home and being locked up, the barrel started getting peened by the bolt. It is kind of like not dropping the slide on an empty 1911. With out the round being chambered to slow the slide it can beat itself up.

[This message has been edited by Intel6 (edited October 26, 2000).]