View Full Version : Versa-Max

November 23, 2011, 12:42 PM
I've used the search feature, but I'm not getting any responses that make sense.

The Remington Versa-Max. I use a shotgun for occasional hunting and occasional clays shooting. Is this shotgun all that it's cracked up to be?

November 23, 2011, 02:17 PM
I've seen a couple of reviews of the Rem Versa Max ...and I think its getting decent reviews...but so are most of the gas guns from all of the big mfg's these days....

In my opinion....Beretta and Browning/Winchester are probably the 2 leading companies in gas guns these days. Both companies make guns with systems that will cycle a variety of heavy and light loads - without fooling with the mechanisms like we had to do 40 yrs ago.

Browning/Winchester each have separate lines / but they both owned by FN now - and they use the same gas system in their new lines of guns ...Maxus, Silver, SX3's, etc ...

Here's a link to just the Maxus line ..

Beretta has at least a dozen models in their 391 series / and the A400 series - in all kinds of configurations.


On the Inertia side - Beretta also owns Benelli. Beretta in their own line is staying with gas guns / and Benelli is staying with Inertia guns....and in the Benelli line they have 7 or 8 models. The Inertia guns shoot cleaner than any gas gun / but they'll give you more recoil than a typical gas gun / unless you buy a Benelli with a synthetic stock that has their "Comfort Tech" system built in for recoil reduction. Benelli's will often have an issue shooting loads that are slower than 1200 fps reliably ...but the cleaner you keep them / and well lubed the better ...and I think they perform very well.

Remington is still a player in the semi-auto market ...and I don't know what their market share is ...but they're still making the 1100's as well ...that have been good gas guns for a long, long time. This new gun is just Remingtons way, in my opinion, of getting into the newer market and updating their technology a little.

Is the Versa Max worth a look - sure, probably ---- but is it really unique / probably not...and I don't know that I'd believe the marketing dept's info or what I read in a gun mag. There is a link on the forum where Dave McC is testing one of the new Berettas...

November 23, 2011, 03:29 PM
First, a little background for the newbies…
Typically gas guns have a rule of thumb: the closer the gas port is to the chamber, the greater the chance of the port(s) being blocked/fouled. An early gas rifle, the M1 Garand, had the gas port near the muzzle, its successor, the M14, moved the port to mid barrel. With most gas operated semi and full auto rifles and shotguns, the gas port is located at mid barrel.

Since the get-go, the makers of gas guns have been looking for a way to meter, or equalize, the gas for varying loads. Rifle designers have it pretty easy since they typically design their guns to operate within pretty narrow pressure variations. On the other hand, shotgun pressures vary significantly. Back in the day, a gas shotgun that was designed to shoot target loads would be beaten up by heavy loads and a gun designed to shoot heavy loads probably wouldn't cycle target loads. Of course, many shooters wanted a shotgun that would satisfactorily shoot a variety of loads.

With first generation gas shotguns, like Remington's 1100, the solution was to vary the size of the gas vent to match the intended use of the barrel. An 1100 long duck barrel has a smaller gas port than an 1100 Skeet's short barrel. Second generation gas guns, like the Beretta 390, have a valving system to equalize the gas.
The Remington Versa-Max has a linear array of vents in the front of the chamber to accommodate 2-3/4, 3 and 3-1/2 inch shells. The shorter the shell, more vent are exposed -- the longer shell case, the more vent holes are covered. This is an ingenious solution to equalize the gas from a variety of loads. As I've mentioned in the past, my concerns with this system are fouling (the gas ports are all the way back) and possible hull damage. If you keep your gun clean (all guns should be kept clean) you'll have no problems with a Versa-Max. Long hulls (3 and 3-1/2 inch) might have a shorter reloading life than those shot in other guns.

Note: There was a recall with the early units, see Remington's safety notice (http://www.remington.com/pages/news-and-resources/safety-center/safety-warning-recall-notice-VersaMax.aspx).

Boom Boom Boom
November 28, 2011, 01:38 PM
here we go again.... based on how pissy it got the last time i said something like this, i am reluctant to post, but i cant resist.

Take apart a Benelli M4 Argo gas system, put it next to the "NEW" versa max....yet again another big firearms company (browning being the other) are copying a system they spent years trying to discredit.

Remington copied the Benelli Argo gas system on the versa max, and they apparently did a **** poor job of it--which is was recalled.

for the money, get the best---Benelli.

November 28, 2011, 02:09 PM
In my opinion, one of the major differences between inexpensive guns and more expensive guns is the trigger response. The Versa Max should be considered a more expensive semi-auto. We had a guy bring one to the club a while back. I shot it. This particular gun had a terrible trigger, that must have been at least a 10# pull. I kept checking the safety, because I thought something was wrong as it wasn't going off. I finally pulled the trigger hard enough and it went off. This could just have been this particular Versa Max, but I was not impressed. Remington 1100s have acceptable triggers. Berettas have nice triggers. Mark

November 28, 2011, 02:48 PM
Remington copied the Benelli Argo gas system on the versa max, and they apparently did a **** poor job of it--which is was recalled.
Yes, Boom Boom Boom, we all know you're a Benelli fan, your postings mention little else. I don't see how a hammer problem (requiring the recall) with the Remington has anything to do with the similarity of its gas system with Benelli's ARGO. If you check the Benelli site, you may note that the sporting Benelli auto-loaders are inertia guns, the ARGO system is used only in their "tactical" model shotgun. It's one pound (and $225) heavier than a Versa Max, and not an ideal duck gun. On the other hand, if the typical Versa Max trigger is around 10#, as oregunner reports, then, IMHO, it makes the VM an expensive fence post.

November 28, 2011, 02:57 PM
Here's my opinion on considering the Versa-Max. Feel free to take it with a grain of salt.

With the 105 CTi, Remington went to great expense to design a new shotgun, and when it developed issues, they took it back, tweaked the design, and reintroduced it as the 105 CTi II. Then when buyers hesitated to buy it, worrying about the reliability (which seemed to be largely fixed), Remington discontinued it completely rather than trying to bring out new variants for other markets (they kept it as a field gun when they might have introduced versions for clay games).

If you bought a 105 CTi, you now have an orphaned gun with a short production run. No matter how much you may like it, the clock is ticking.

I've been impressed with how Remington took care of me with my CTi, but to be quite honest, I wouldn't go for a new Remington design until it's VERY clear they plan to stick with it. It may be a great design, but when you have an orphaned gun, you're not eager to shoot it lest it break and have no parts available. A real catch-22. So I'm suspicious... nothing against Big Green, I just expect a bit more when I look at dropping over a kilobuck on a shotgun.

November 28, 2011, 04:53 PM
Come on Boom-Boom ....the answer to every question ...can't be everyone is ripping off Benelli .../ and buy the Benelli ... ??

I own a pair of Benelli Supersport's ../and they're solid guns ....but it just isn't that simple ...
The OP is asking a legitimate question...

and discussing the gas operationg system that Benelli uses on the M-4 ...isn't really productive in my opinion. Maybe the system on the Benelli M-4 is similar / maybe not ...but I sure doubt that Remington would rip off a division of Beretta like that ...

November 28, 2011, 08:22 PM
May as well wiegh in...again.

Remington did "rip off" benelli, the bolts look damn near identical (slightly different dimensions) and the ARGO system is well copied, hell just look at the trigger guard and changible comb pads. Here's where it counts; the Remington has a gritty action and even worse trigger than the benellis do. The Rem rep had the "ness" to say, "we put an 870 trigger in it and in no way copied Benelli". Can't copy quality using a crappy manufacturer. :)

Oh and did I mention the fat forend and poorly shaped pistol grip?

BigJim I completely agree, and that is why it is so outragious.

No the shotgun isn't all it's cracked up to be, it is however, a very good design made to a less than satisfying level. I do think it will successfully fill the hunting roll, the system itself is very good, but your not getting a porshe. I do predict Remington coming out with a clays version in the near future, if they really have as much confidence as they do hype. They really need to slick it up first and be a bit more detailed in the trigger and stock dimensions.

November 28, 2011, 09:57 PM
Its's getting pretty bad! It seems like no one can post a new thread asking a question about a non-Benelli firearm without someone turning it to a ******* match about Benelli v/s every body else and how they are the best and everybody else copied them. Notice how it also seems to be some of the same people doing it? Not every body cares as much about Benelli as you good folks do and not everyone values your opinion as much as you do neither. It would be different if the thread was titled " Which do you like better, a Benelli or a Remington? " But we all know the answer to that! I just think it's rediculous how some peoples threads gets hijacked which leads to off the subject discussion or should I say arguing instead of answering the question the thread posed to start with. Opinions can sometimes be great but, people who are over-opinionated are most of the time annoying.

November 28, 2011, 10:12 PM
Its's getting pretty bad! It seems like no one can post a new thread asking a question about a non-Benelli firearm without someone turning it...

It's worse on some other forums. Suggest you might buy a gun that doesn't start with a "B" and you'll get informed that you're wasting your money and all those broken clays or downed game are just a figment of your imagination. :D

November 28, 2011, 11:23 PM
I am not taking anything away From Benelli as they are good guns and I am an owner as well. But according to some people , before there was Benelli, there was , well basically nothing but crap. And since there has been Benelli, well basically everything else is crap. They have their pros as well as cons. But they are not the " Holy Grail" of guns as some may have you believe. And those people who feel that way just won't stop with the aimless pushing of the oh so great Benelli on people who have different opinions. Kinda like , you gonna see it my way or I aint gonna let it rest.Makes you wonder if some of em may be on the Benelli payroll the way they keep on. All I will say is even though I have not been a member of this forum for that long, I am no spring chicken and have been around and using guns pretty much every since I was old enough to hold one and fire it. Although I have a lot of knowledge about firearms in general I don't claim to know everything. I have my own opinions on which guns I like for me the best and which guns from my experience are more reliable for the times I have owned them. But I will not stand up and tell you that one Manufacturer or one firearm is indeed the best and try to force everybody else to see it my way or annoy the hell out of em untill they do. Everybody has their own opinion ( and thats just what they are) and just because it's yours doesn't mean it's the gospil.

November 29, 2011, 05:06 AM
Not at all, Remington still has their 40+ year old 1100. The Versamax is just a clear copy (albiet with a few issues), and were makeing sure that people are aware of that. Were not/I'm not saying "Benelli or nothing", just that the versamax doesn't hold up to greatly out of the box. The whole idea is excellent, and if another manufacturer would make the Versamax with a few changes and better overall quality, I'd buy it. As it stands, the Versamax isn't what it's cracked up to be.

Oh yes I'm on the benelli paytroll, just floating in cash from italy and loveing all the free Benellis. Oooo I love my Benellis. Grow the F up.

November 29, 2011, 06:42 AM
The Versamax is just a clear copy (albiet with a few issues), and were makeing sure that people are aware of that.

Okay, fair enough. I'm the OP and I don't mind the arguing, but it's been a few decades since I've played with shotguns and I thought that Benelli's are inertia guns. Are they gas guns?

Yeah, Remington's got the 1100, damned fine shotgun, but the few I've owned, I couldn't hit crap with. Stocks simply didn't fit. So, they went away. If I were looking for a target gun, I might pick up another Rem1100 and tinker with the stock. I'm not looking for a target gun.

What I'm looking for is a semi-auto shotgun that will shoot whatever I shove into the magazine, at any length, without flipping a switch, or changing a ring, or removing a forearm. Any shell, 2 3/4, 3" or 3 1/2 inch, target load or buckshot. The gun isn't even for myself. It'll be a gift to a much beloved son who really doesn't like pump guns.

For myself, I've got a Remington 870 that shoots everything I shove into the magazine. I'm a pump guy. I'm looking for a semi for my adult kid.

I really thought Benelli's were inertia guns, and I'm not looking for an inertia gun. I've got a couple of those, too. Browning A-5's that we love.

November 29, 2011, 08:51 AM
I am a grown man and not the one shoving my opinons off on evrybody elseto the point of annoyance like some spoiled kid. If you will look at previous post I am not the only one who recognizes this. Seems you are the only one who doesn't. Now who needs to grow up? If you want to argue any more send me a private message and leave this guys post alone.

November 29, 2011, 11:39 AM
Paw Paw,

All of the Benelli semi-autos / with the exception of the M-4 are Inertia guns ...

if you're ruling all of the inertia guns out ...I think your better buy is in one of the many options from Browning / Winchester - in whichever line of theirs you like that will give you a 3 1/2" chamber ( since that's what you want ) -- the Maxus, the Silver or the SX3's ....or in the Beretta line of semi-autos ....they're all gas operated guns / and they're all of the newer generation of gas guns / and they'll all eat whatever you shove in there. All of the newer generation of semi-auto shotguns from FN - Browning/Winchester and Beretta have a solid reliability record.

When considering fit ....look for adjustability in the stock / look for a model that has shims between the receiver and the stock. A few models have it / many don't ...../ that way you can adjust the fit a little - so it hits where you look.

If I had to recommend one gun out of the mix ....I'd say the Browning Maxus --- and this model, that comes in 3 1/2" - has shims for adjustability and retails in my area for around $ 1,500. Its a solid gun.


November 29, 2011, 03:18 PM
Cycle everything? Browning Maxus is best for that. The Beretta A400 is close, the action in the A400 is a bit stronger, but from what I've seen the Maxus can run 3/4oz loads with consistancy. Both guns will more than likely please you more than the Versamax, especially being as though you too don't prefer the Remington stock dimensions. Remember, all three of the formentioned guns have shim kits that help with fit and percieved recoil. If your kid is recoil sensitive, the KO system on the A400 works quite well. There is also a shock buffer in the A400 that alters the shooting characteristics as well (which is why the recoilspring is so light).

Yes, the sporting and hunting Benelli autos are inertia (untill further notice, hopefully they will put out an ARGO sporting/hunting gun in the near future), but the M4 is ARGO operated. Remington most specifically copied the Benelli M4 in the operation.

November 30, 2011, 12:41 AM
Amongst all the bickering, I think I did learn a few things about shotguns since I'm a newbie.

Have an 1100 in the familybut have not shot since I was a kid.

Was thinking about a newer gas and hit on the extensive marketing from the Remington Versa-Max. Read that stuff and you would think there has only been one kind of shotgun ever made and they are all crap compared to this new versa-max.

I was thinking of getting one but Browning seemed to be better quality. (Browning/Winchester/FN - that is).

Anyway, didn't mean to interupt the banter because it is reavealing certain characteristics of the companies and the guns.

December 2, 2011, 05:27 PM
Its's getting pretty bad! It seems like no one can post a new thread asking a question about a non-Benelli firearm without someone turning it to a ******* match about Benelli v/s every body else and how they are the best

I've noticed that as well, they're almost getting as bad as the gLoCkeR's.

I generally support bigjimp's comments with some additional food for thought.

Remington rested on the 11 series for far too long and fell behind. It worked for them because it is a decent gun and people will buy just because it says Remington, when there are better options out there for the same money. This gun hasn't been out long enough for an opinion to be established, but if it is anything like their recent history you'd be better served to look at the more established gas brands.

December 2, 2011, 08:11 PM
...but if it is anything like their recent history you'd be better served to look at the more established gas brands.
I'm curious, who do you think is a more established gas gun maker than Remington? I'm guessing the R-1100 outnumbers all of the other gas shotguns ever made.

December 2, 2011, 09:41 PM
I'm guessing the R-1100 outnumbers all of the other gas shotguns ever made.

Sure, if you like 20+ year old gas technology. Have at it as far as I am concerned.

It is pretty sad too, as it is a great example of a company milking a product, not investing in R&D and resting on it's laurels almost to the point where they'll never catch up. Zero innovation, and very few competitive new products. The quintessential sign of a company run by politicians, career managers and bean counters. -How long did it take them to release a 1911?

I'm curious, who do you think is a more established gas gun maker than Remington?

The B guns of course. Beretta (~500 year old company), Benelli and Browning followed closely by Franchi, Fabarm and Winchester. All of which I'd choose before any Remington, regardless of their history or sales numbers.

December 2, 2011, 09:54 PM
Sure, if you like 20+ year old gas technology. Have at it as far as I am concerned.

I get it, you like the latest and greatest. Nothing wrong with that...

Beretta (~500 year old company)

Uh, seriously? I thought time doing something meant little to you... :rolleyes:

You're forgetting that firearms are mature technology. The 1100 works great and at most you need to keep some O-rings on hand, but they're dirt cheap and easy to stockpile. Nothing against the newer B guns, but seriously, dude, you've clearly forgotten that the point of shooting is lead on target and not just having a technological arms race. Whatever helps you get lead on target is the way to get it done, whether it's Benelli's newest design or a Remington 1100 that came off the production line while Nixon was still trying to beat the rap.

December 2, 2011, 11:04 PM
You're forgetting that firearms are mature technology.

No I'm not and for the most part you are correct, if you look at it from the most simplistic view. However there have been significant innovative changes made by Beretta within and between the 391 series of shotguns.

For instance, my 391 Urika is significantly more difficult to clean than my 391 Xtrema2.....and my Xtrema2 stays cleaner longer. The gas system is different and better in the Xtrema2 as compared to the Urika.

Gas system, configuration innovation, recoil absorbing innovation and other changes resulted in already great shotguns getting better. The A400 is yet another step up in that evolution that I don't yet have experience with because my other two Beretta's are so solid I have no reason to part with them.

I don't need O-rings either.

Uh, seriously? I thought time doing something meant little to you... Come on now.....Your putting words in my mouth.

December 3, 2011, 08:45 AM
That 1100 will never last as long as a 391 or Benelli, Remington just never worked as hard to insure the converse. As far as I am concerned, the 1100 system is outdated. How many people have 200,000 rounds through an 1100? Not many, they wear out and need major parts replacements before that time. HK is spot on about Remington being nothing special at the moment. The Versamax (just to return to topic) has potential in the hands of another company. I'm crossing my toes that Benelli comes out with an ARGO sporting gun along the lines of the supersport.

Dave McC
December 3, 2011, 10:40 PM
Some of my favorite technology in firearms dates back to 1911, another to 1950.

And while I do not commute in an awesome 1950 Hudson,had I one in running condition, I just might.

IMO, the Beretta autos are an awful lot of gun. They seem to run forever, and 1100s eat some parts periodically. However, Bill Gillette, one of the last of the old school gunsmiths, said to me that a well maintained 1100 will handle a zillion shots. He did also say that at that point the internals will have more sharp edges than a hatful of broken glass.

And I'll disagree with a comment by the OP. The banter on this thread shows more about the people than the shotguns.....

.300 Weatherby Mag
December 4, 2011, 12:15 AM
I would not trust Remington at the current time based on all of the problems i've had with their firearms and customer service in the last several years.. Also, as well as I shoot my 1100 skeet, I am hating on it at the current time as the carrier broke at approx 1000 rounds.. It's never been fed anything hotter than three dram Winchester AA skeet loads and never has it been fed a hand load.. Good guns but a pain in the behind to clean and mine has not shown any of the reliability or longevity that these guns are supposed to have.. This is not even a new gun but one purchased by my grandfather in the early 80s and never fired.. So this one is supposed to be a good one but it hasn't been kind to me... My father had one that went through thousands of rounds without any failures.. Can't say that about mine...

I would take a look at the offerings by Beretta, Benelli, Browning, and Winchester (in no particular order) and leave the Remington off the list..

December 5, 2011, 01:37 PM
Last summer, I cracked the receiver on an inherited 1100 that was my father's skeet gun for a couple decades. I needed a replacement and in August decided on a Versamax after having a chance to shoot one. I just surpassed 3,500 rounds through the gun last weekend and have not had any cycling issues. It has reliably run all 3/4, 7/8, 1, and 1 1/8 oz 2 3/4" loads I have fed it. Recoil is very light.

The gun is not without issues. When I received it, the threads were crossed on one of the gas port ferrules. After calling Remington, I had a new barrel before the end of the week. The finish is chipping around the ejection port a little bit, but shooting steel based Gun Clubs this has happened to every automatic I have used in the past. I don't know how well it will stand up for the duration, but right now I am happy with the gun and would give it a solid A- rating.

The green plastic case looks good, but will become useless if you swap the comb for a higher version or use the length of pull shims.

December 14, 2011, 07:02 PM
I'm guessing the R-1100 outnumbers all of the other gas shotguns ever made.

Sure, if you like 20+ year old gas technology. Have at it as far as I am concerned.

If you're referencing the Remington Model 1100, it's pushing a half century of production.

December 15, 2011, 11:06 AM
I have to admit the knowledge in this forum is impressive.I don't know about the Versa Max, but I have had a few auto shotguns,1100, 11-87, Winchester 1400, Spas-12, A-5. They all had good and bad points.
But my 930 SPX seems to me to be a better gun than any of the others I have had. It shoots anything, it looks great and it can be had in different configurations, home defense or hunting or sporting.
They had teething problems when they first came out, but that has been dealt with and I hear that their customer service is excellent.
You also can't beat the price for a automatic, I paid a little over six hundred for mine just recently.
Just my two cents and beside the SPX looks just plain cool......:)