View Full Version : Sportsman or Model 11?

December 28, 2010, 10:20 PM
I'm having trouble identifying this gun I received from my Dad, which was originally my grandfather's. It hasn't been taken out of the bag in many years.

It is a 16 gauge that I originally thought was a Remington Sportsman because of the bolt marking. Remington's website says that the serial number range for the 16 gauge was only in the 200,000's. The serial number on this weapon is 1,578,325.

It seems like the serial number on this one is closer to the Model 11 range, though still outside its listed range.

Any input on what this thing might be?

December 28, 2010, 10:27 PM
My Remington 11 safety is inside the trigger guard, not behind it.



December 29, 2010, 12:13 PM
Any ideas why the serial number is outside the 16 gauge block listed on Remington's website?

December 29, 2010, 01:33 PM
Greetings jkschneider and welcome aboard,

No worries, your 16-ga Sportsman is marked exactly as it's supposed to be. You miss-understood the Sportsman numbering scheme: Until number 200,000, the Sportsmen were numbered separately from the other 16-ga M-11s. After that number, the 16-ga Sportsmen were numbered in sequence with the other regular model 11s, and no longer done separately.

guy sajer
December 29, 2010, 10:14 PM
It's been my experience that the easiest way to tell the difference at a glance is that the Sportsman has a short 2 shot magazine with the forearm retained by a bolt that screws in from the front into the top of the mag tube . The M11 has a longer mag tube with a screw on "cap" like an 870/1100 .

December 30, 2010, 02:19 AM
Its a SPORTSMAN. It says so on the breech bolt. I don't think I've ever seen a Sportsman breechbolt used to replace a Model 11 breechbolt but maybe it could happen. However the pheasant rollmark on the breechbolt side of the reciever is of a pheasant on the ground, and that's definitely a Sportsman rollmark.

Model 11 breech bolts are stamped MODEL 11. The pheasant scene rollmark on a Model 11 is different than on a Sportsman. The Model 11 rollmark is of a flying pheasant.

Interestingly, identical-looking flying duck rollmarks are found on the opposite side of the receiver from the breechbolt rollmarks on both guns.

In addition to these things, the original wooden forearm on a Sportsman is different (it's flatter) than the original wooden forearm on a Model 11. I think the Sportsman forearm style was called a "beavertail". Some liked it better. Some didn't. I've owned both. I didn't care. The magazine cap is different too. Google a Model 11 and look at the forearm and the magazine cap and compare it to your Sportsman and you'll see the difference.

The most important difference it the Model 11 and the Sportsman is that they have different ammo capacities. Model 11's hold 4 shells in the magazine and 1 in the chamber for a total capacity of 5. (Due to some states hunting regulations, Model 11 magazines are sometimes temporarily plugged to accept only two rounds, giving a total capacity of 3 like the Sportsman, but the plug is removable and anytime you want to go back to a 5 shell capacity you can.) The Sportsman model was made to only hold 2 shells in the magazine; no plug is required to give it a maximum capacity of 3. That's all it will hold, Limiting the capacity like that was supposedly done as a sop to sporting men and conservationists who objected to hunters using 5 shot autoloaders for hunting. I guess they never thought of bag limits back then. The capacity reduction to 3 still gave the Sportsman Model a 1/3 firepower advantage over a double-barrel gun

In good condition with uncracked stocks and forearms, either of these guns are still great hunting guns and at the dirt cheap price they sell for these days every home should have one. But magazine capacity is an important consideration especially for people who own only one gun, an all purpose shotgun that's used in part for home defense. (In a place like Alaska, you probably need something for bear defense too.) For either of those purposes, I'd prefer a 5 shell capacity. I'd pay no more than about $150 for a 12 gauge Sportsman in good condition because of its limited capacity. Well, if it was in great condition I might go to $175. I'd probably pay $250 tops for a 12 gauge Model 11 in very good condition. Those would be great prices for an autoloading shotgun in good condition. A 16 gauge might go a shade higher than that. I don't know. They're a little rarer, but personally, I'd have no use for a 16 gauge gun.

PS Logs gun has a different safety of the type utilized on on early Model 11's. Not for nothing were they called suicide safetys. I've read that Remington stopped making the kind of safety Logs has in 1928. (Interestingly, FN Browning A-5's which are nearly identical to Remington Model 11s kept that old style suicide safety through about 1939.) But after 1928 Remington went to the safer button behind the trigger.

January 2, 2011, 02:52 PM
Thank you all for your expert responses!