View Full Version : "Tactical" 11-87
I'm thinking about building a "fighting/tacticool" semi-auto shotty. A Benelli is more than I want to spend and I have a line on a nice used 11-87. What mod's have you guys done to yours if any? I plan on getting a SF foreend and a shorter stock if they make one. I may register it later and get a 14 inch barrel. Any other suggestions? Pics are always good too. Oh and I also couldn't find a single point sling adaptor either. All of them only said 870. Do they make one for the 11-87 or will the 870 fit it also?
Two of the guys I hunt with both run 11-87's. Neither of the guns has had the kind of reliability I would want for a defensive weapon.
They run 3" shells through the guns for turkey and deer season. The guns probably see 100-150 rounds a year, this # includes sight in and pattern checking for turkey.
The guns require a new O ring every year, even with this pm one of the guns is a semi when very very clean and well lubed. This does not last for long in a hunting situation. So Cory automatically reaches up to make sure the bolt has made it all the way into battery after each shot.
Donald's gun is has had less malf's but his will hit right out of the blue, then not repeat for several days.
I realize that two guns do not make a signifigant sample, but I would look at saving for a benelli or get an 870, before I trusted my life to an 11-87
I've had a couple of "tactical" 11-87s over the years. Here's my advice: If you eventually want to shorten the barrel, stick with a pump gun. I've never seen a short barreled semi auto I would trust my life to.
If you plan on shooting anything other than full power loads, stick with a pump gun. An 11-87 with a short (23" or less) will not run reliably, if at all, on light loads, even with modifications (opening the gas port). The gas system (unless they've changed it recently) is not designed for light loads.
On Benelli's: I had a M1 Super 90 "tactical" and it was a nich shotgun, but it didn't like light loads either. One of my best friends uses as short barreled Benelli at wotk and it WON'T run on light loads or even reduced power buchshot, etc.
They do make shorter stocks for the 11-87 (Speedfeed call them their LE stcoks) and there are single point plates for them (I think they are the same one as 870s).
If you want a "tactical" semi-auto, look at this:
Scroll down and look at the 1100 TAC-4. I'm getting ready to order one as my 3 gun shotgun.
The 11-87 has never been the first choice for a tactical shotty... reliability being a big question.
I suggest that if you really want a good 11-87, you get it in the hands of a guy that knows how to make it work... Hans is one of the best names in the business and he does work on 11-87s
I don't have a lot of experience with them to be honest, I (like a lot of folks) played with 1100s and figured the best thing to do with an 1100 was sell it to a hunter and buy an 870... the only gas gun that I have ever been impressed with is the X2
I have an 11-87 that has about a 4000 round count on it. I used it for clays for a while before I realized that I suck at shotgunning and don't have the depth perception to gauge things well in flight. I was frustrated more than anything...
With low power loads in a 28" barrel it didn't run that reliably unless it was run really wet with lots of lube. With high power loads it worked much better. Now that it is broken in a little more it runs light loads much better, but the gas/piston system does require cleaning and new O-rings to work best and still runs into issues with lighter loads.
I ended up with one of the short 20-21" rem-choked rifle sighted barrels that Remington makes. It worked ok with slugs, buckshot and heavy loads, but didn't work well at all on lighter loads.
I have never liked the 11-87 bercause of the weight, the rough action, and the loading gate. it just doesn't feel good to me.
I have a Browning Gold (same as X2). It is a nice, reliable, soft shooting shotgun, but it is slow and rather heavy.
The M2 Benelli is an entirely different story, and it allowed me to finally sell off my brain-jarring pumps. The guns is light, fast and easy to shoot or carry. Cleaning is much easier than the gas guns and it has fewer parts.
As far a light loads go, I have found a light 2 1/2" 7/8oz. load (~1100fps) that functions 100% with the 5 shot mag tube. However, it is less than 100% with the 8 shot tube. I do not know if I have a rare example or what, but it always suprises me to read reports of the Benelli's stumbling on light loads, as mine shoots this powder-puff load better than I expected. Standard loads of 1 oz. @1200 fps or heavier loads get digested without a hiccup.
I sugest that you try to handle the Benelli M2 and the 11-87 and feel the difference in handling for yourself. Shoot one of each if you can. In my opinion the M2 is well worth the extra money.
After all, its just money. You can always make more of it.
Thanks for all the replies guys. What got me started on this was I saw a guy with a Benelli M1 with a freaking 10 inch barrel on it! I guess if I actually want to use it as a "work" gun then I should stick with the 870.
I agree on hans as well, i also say look to john at Sage he built an 11oo for me yrs ago runs like a clock.......
I had a 1187 police model and after the 1st trip to the range I just had reliabilty issue's .
Benelli's M1's are all right but the recoil method of operation gets old quick. I havent been able to play with a M2 model yet.
Just my .02
I have had experience with several 11-87P's. We had both 21" and later 18" rifle sight barrels. All of the guns worked well out of the box except one. The local repair station fixed it basically over night. The guns were 100% reliable with full power slugs & buckshot. I cannot say the same thing for reduced power loads.
They get very dirty inside and are heavy for some users. However, they are relatively pleasant to shoot because of the gas action & their weight.
We had a T&E sample from Scatter Gun Tech. when it was still owned by Roger Small of Nashville, TN. It had his ghost ring sights, a 14" barrel, and a SureFire 6P (I think) with a pressure switch. I thought that it was a great setup, especially for indoor use like building entry and room clearing.
The gun was really dirty when I receieved it from another office. After a complete cleaning it would work with about five Federal tactical 00 buck of the day and them it would jamb. It was fine with full power slugs & buck.
Remington did not begin offering a 14" 11-87 until some time later. They were concerned about the action being beaten up but the cop users told them that they didn't care, they wanted them.
Remington redesigned the shell carrier latch release around the time they introduced the 1100 Competition Master, which was similar to the new TAC-4. They made the release longer so that it was easier for the user to hit it with their shells when loading the guns.
1. I saw a TAC 2 & 4 at a Gander Mountain. I really didn't like the feel of the pistol grip stock. It was like holding a 2"X 2" board. One of the fore ends fit poorly.
2. I have a plain SpeedFeed youth/LE/short stock on my 18" 870. I think that the same model fits the 1100/11-87. Brownells has them.
3. I'd love a 14" 11-87P!
My experience with an 11-87 (Police 18" model) that I owned mirrors everyone elses. It ran great on slug and 00B, but was tempermental with target loads even after I had Hans Vang www.vangcomp.com work his magic on it. Hans stated that the 11-87 gas action with shorter barrels did not like target loads. I didn't try putting two O-rings on it to see if that helped.
Anyway, I sold it as I needed the money. I may try one of Remington's 1100 tactical or competition models that I saw at the SHOT Show some time in the future. Til then the trusty VangComp 870 continues to work reliably.
If you are going to have after market work done on your shotgun go to Hans as he is the only gunsmith that Remington will not void their warranty if he modifys your shotgun.
You might take a look at the Tromix Saiga-12. I have heard of a couple of LEO's that use them for duty and they say they are reliable. I am actually looking into this as well.
I have been through the cool guy shotgun thing also. I carried a M-3 Benelli for a long time. I would only reliably cycle full power loads. It didn't like the reduced recoil stuff either. It was fun and I liked it but I eventually went with and 870. With the 870 I can use breaching and bean bags rounds. The Benelli wouldn't cycle those. I always wanted and 11-87 too. I almost bought one recently but it seem pretty damn heavy which put me off a little. Reading this and finding out reilaibility issues has pretty much made up my mind.
My buddy and I both bought 11-87 police guns. Mine was the rifle sighted. His the bead sighted barrel. Purchased around the early 90's. I have between 4-5K rounds through mine and his is probably twice that. I have not had a single failure. Wal-mart cheapy stuff, my crappy reloads, to Federal low-recoil OO stuff. A second firend just bought the civi one last year and has only a couple hundred through his, still without problem. I replaced the o-ring around 3000 round mark, because I read somewhere that I should, but not because of problem. I am not sure as to the complaints voiced here. They are on the heavy side, but I grew up hunting with a 26" 1100 so I did not know that a autoloader wasn't until I hefted a Super 90 at a gun show once.
As to your question of modification: I have modified mine over the years...
Scattergun/Wilson ghost ring rear and post front. Both with night sights
Extended safety (Scattergun)
Extended charging handle (from Brownells not sure of the mgf.)
and a extended loading shoot/bolt release button. Hated the remmy orgional.
It sounds like people with 11-87 expierence mirrors what i have heard.......that they may not be 100%. Now i'm not a commando looking to be in a firefight any second but i am somewhat familier with shotguns and was in the military for 4 years,cop for 3 and Dept. of Corrections for the last 25.I also competed in 3 gun combat and we found if you wanted to win, there was ONE choice....the Remington 1100 auto.My good friend and i both used these for 3 years or a bit more and had no malfunctions.Both were 12 ga.Both used a load of 2 3/4 x 1 1/4 equiv. unless a stage called for 00 buck or slugs. We fired thousands of rds. during this period.I used a 21" barrel and a 24",my buddy used a 23".The only malfunction i ever had was one failure to feed one day when we were goofing around shooting one handed and it failed.We watched guys with Winchesters,Benelli's,Spas and whatever and if you wanted to be competitive you needed a Remington.Now,true this was a game not combat but ..... we found out day in and day out what worked and what did not.BTW...we would replace an o-ring very seldom and..... "keep the lube off the gas system parts"[piston,ring ect.] we wiped em with #9, gently wiped em back off and re-installed them.I had mine set up with a 10rd. mag. tube,custom big head-lefty safety,Choate bolt handle,speed bolt release and speedloader rail setup.I used stock wood as that was the most natural pointing for me. Anyway.....for me if i wanted an auto, the Remmy 1100 is it.
Take a look at this website, small MN company that is into 3 gun competitions:
I heard an interesting comment on shotguns at the excellent Rangemaster Tactical Conference this year. Our shotguns started out life as basically sporting blasters. They have been reformatted as LE and perhaps military weapons with mostly cosmetic changes. I don't know for sure that any of them are truly drop-safe, with the possible exception of the Mossberg. I suspect that most of their safeties just block the trigger, vs. blocking the sear.
A steady diet of full power slugs & buckshot would be an interesting test of any "tactical" shotgun.
It's interesting to note that when Remington developed their 1100 Competition Master, they obviously chose an 1100. It looks like it has now been basically repackaged as a green 'tactical" model. More of the same.
I have an 11-87 Police w/ the following:
Extended Charging Handle and Bolt Release
Mesa Tactical Side Saddle
Vang Comp Stainless Follower and Over Size Safety
Sure Fire 9v Side mounted
As long as you use full power loads (low recoil won't always eject) and keep the gas system clean its pretty much bomb proof, accurate w/ slugs, and very reliable.
(I've carried it on numerous K-9 tracks for armed robbery suspects and certainly wouldn't do so if their were any type of reliablity issues)
Still trying to figure out the pic thing sorry
I have an 1100 tactical 24" and love it. Just stay away from the cheap Tac Star side saddles or similar that replace the reciever pins with screws. If the rear (largest) screw is too tight, it will turn it into a single shot. You can get a good side saddle at 3-gun gear.com or through blue press. It "velcro's" on and off. The Tac Star side saddle is going on the other 870 reserved for hunting. But I have fed my 1100 tactical the lightest bird shot walmart has along with full power 2 3/4 slugs and buckshot. Only downside to the 1100 series is cannot use 3" shells so I have to keep all 3" hunting shells stored seperately with my 870's. Juts FYI, the 1100 Tactical was bought specifically for 3 gun matches but other than the side saddle issue, I have had no problems or malfnctions once I figured out that was causing it. I would however, if the SHTF, grab both my 870's first, just due to pure reliablity and can feed them anything I have in the house.
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