The first models won't ship out for another month, but Cheaper Than Dirt! managed to get a sneak peek at Remington's newest autoloading scattergun, the VersaMax. Waterfowlers and dove hunters have long wanted a semiautomatic shotgun that could reliably cycle a wide range of shotgun shells. In the past, it took much experimenting to find out what loads a particular shotgun would reliably cycle and feed, and you could forget about having a shotgun that was capable of reliably cycling both light 2 3/4" 7/8 ounce target loads back to back with heavy 3 1/2" 2 1/4 ounce magnum loads. Remington has found a solution however.
Any Load, Every Time, Anywhere. That's Remington's motto for the VersaMax. Remington incorporated their patented VersaPort Gas Piston System which utilizes only 2 moving parts in the entire gas system: dual gas pistons on either side of the action smoothly operate the bolt with each shot. The VersaPort system changes the number of ports that are open based on the length of the shell in the chamber. Shorter and lighter 2 3/4" shells allow all 7 ports to be wide open and allows the gas system to extract the maximum pressure from the load. Longer 3" shells block off 3 of the ports leaving only 4 open while the longest 3 1/2" shells leave only 3 gas ports open.
The ability of the VersaPort system to automatically vary the size of the gas openings depending on the size of the shotgun shell enables a shooter to load shells of various lengths and power levels back to back in the magazine tube and fire them all without the need to adjust the shotgun between loads.
Above all, Remington wanted a supremely reliable shotgun when they designed the VersaMax. To that end, they put it through hell and back in testing. Waterfowlers know how important it is to have a shotgun that works under all manner of conditions. Remington engineers put more than a quarter of a million shells through a single VersaMax firing as many as 425 shells every day for more than a year. They tested it at temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit and experienced no failures whatsoever. They even fired more than 1,000 rounds as fast as they could reload and pull the trigger through a VersaMax, giving the barrel no time to cool, and still the gun functioned flawlessly.
There will be 4 models of the VersaMax released in 12 gauge over the next 4-5 months. The initial 28" model with the basic black synthetic stock
should start arriving on retail shelves sometime in September of 2010 and will be quickly followed by the Mossy Oak Duck Blind Camouflage model
in November of 2010, giving hunters plenty of time to practice with it prior to the spring turkey season.
In addition to being extremely reliable, the VersaMax is also very simple to disassemble and clean. It breaks down easily into 5 main components and can easily be assembled or disassembled in less than a minute. Remington's patent pending "self cleaning" gas system has no O-rings, no gas piston seals, and no springs to foul. You can easily run through thousands of rounds without cleaning the shotgun. In fact, quality assurance engineers at Remington's test facility did just that, firing more than 10,000 rounds in between disassembly and cleaning without a single failure. That's reliability you can count on!
Waterfowlers know how harsh weather conditions can be when you're trying to keep warm sitting in the duck blind. Freezing temperatures and howling winds make some shotguns difficult to operate while wearing heavy gloves, but the VersaMax features an enlarged trigger guard and oversized safety switch to make manipulation easy and sure.
In a departure from tradition, Remington used a new hard anodized aluminum receiver to make the VersaMax lighter and easier to carry on long hikes to and from the blind. Ergonomics are incredibly important for an accurate shotgun and this shotgun is no exception. The lighter weight of the VersaMax makes it fast and easy to mount the shotgun while the included shims make the drop and cast adjustable to fit nearly any shooter. The length of pull is also adjustable with the included kit, and super comb padded cheek piece set in the stock is fully adjustable for even more comfortable shooting.
Unlike many other bird guns, this new offering comes from the factory with interchangeable Hi-Viz fiber optic sights which allow the shooter to adjust them to suit their preference. Most other shotguns come only with a front bead.
Low recoil is very important when you're spending all day out in the field. A softer shooting shotgun reduces shooter fatigue and soreness while allowing hunters to stay on target and be smoother with faster follow up shots. You'll spend more time shooting and bring home more game with faster hits. The Super Cell recoil pad makes this new scattergun one of the softest shooters on the market today while the soft touch stock and forend with rubber overmolded grip panels give the shooter superior grip.
For duck hunters, water and moisture are an ever present nemesis threatening expensive firearms with rust and corrosion. Remington's new VersaMax has a TriNyte coated barrel and gas system with nickel plated internal components that provides superior corrosion resistance under any weather condition. A custom carrying case included with every gun sold provides further protection of the firearm while transporting it.
Remington's new VersaMax is the culmination of years of research and development by one of America's oldest and largest firearm manufacturers. Their revolutionary adaptive gas system enables virtually any 12 gauge shell to be reliably cycled through the action, and the enhanced ergonomics of the stock make it adaptable to fit shooters of nearly any size.