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Remington 1100 12 ga. questions

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Joined: September 2011
Posts: 10
Posted: November 16, 2011 11:43 PM
Got 2 of these in to work on from same person. Both were bought used from pawn shops, so owner doesn't know anything about their history. One is S/N 274***V and the other is S/N N625***V. Can anyone tell me the ages of these? Here's the weird thing. Owner says they have identical malfunctions. First, they stopped cycling the action. Then after a while, they stopped firing even the FIRST round. Owner took them in to a gunsmith for a cleaning, gunsmith supposedly cleaned them, gave them back to the customer telling him they cycled fine. Owner goes out to shoot them and NOTHING. No first shot, no cycling etc. Now they are in my lap to figure out. I've never worked on one of these before, but from searching the web, it looks like I need to check the O ring, gas piston seal, gas ports in the barrel, and disassemble and clean the action spring and tube. Take apart the bolt and look for anything obstructing the firing pin or breakage. Anything else I am missing? Would appreciate any advice from the experts here. Thanks
Joined: January 1900
Posts: 389
Posted: November 17, 2011 12:16 AM

The 1100, is one of the easiest guns to work on. Its problems are usually basic, and very minor. i.e....its mechanic proof! If its not firing at all (unusual problem), gotta be a firing pin issue, or either the bolt is not locked up all the way. Also, watch out for this one, I have had them come in with similar problems where the customer changed his own gas 0 ring, with a hardware, or auto store, 0 ring. The 0 ring in the 1100, is unlike any other, and nothing SAE, etc. can replace it. An incorrect dia. 0 ring will not let the slide system seat up properly, and go far enough forwar to lock up the bolt, and you will get a no fire. Also, practice complete dissassembly a few times. It is so basic, you will amaze yourself. Make sure the two gas ports, on the underside of the barrel, in the mag tube lug, are cleaned out, and the two gas pistons gaps are 180 apart from each other on reassembly. And, its a fact, some 1100's will not cycle low power 2 3/4 " shells, but some will. If yours wont cycle low brass shells, take it up a notch with a littler higher power shells. Never, ever cut off recoil spring coils, or somebody ends up with a face full of metal! he.e..

Joined: January 1900
Posts: 14
Posted: November 17, 2011 08:50 AM

1963- 1988 would be all i have listed for the model 1100 there is variations i dont have D.of M for those

Joined: August 2011
Posts: 5695
Posted: November 17, 2011 09:53 AM

While you got them..pull the buttstock and clean the Action Spring tube..this seldom maintained tube collects all sorts od detrius that dampens bolt travel..both in length of travel and speed. I have found unburnt powder residue to shredded leaves in there often prevents cocking on the rearward stroke and bolt into battery on the forward stroke..The inside of the tube may be well rusted and a hone needs to be used to smooth out the rough spots and then a finer grit to polish...and only a dry film lubricate should be used.

Joined: September 2011
Posts: 10
Posted: November 27, 2011 07:56 PM

Ok guys, got them both apart and here's what I found:

Gun #1 : Nothing obviously broken. Gas ports open, piston rings on correctly, look kind of original/rusty, but look like they would seat up. O-ring not nicked. Trigger group could use a good spraying out. Buffer on aft end of bolt not cracked, but kind of mashed along top area around 10:00 to 2:00 area. Firing pin & spring ok. Question about the firing pin. There is no protrusion when I flush up the aft end of the firing pin with the buffer. The forward end of the pin is still buried approx .05 inside the bolt. If I take a punch and push the firing pin in from the aft end all the way, I get maybe .04 protrusion max out the front end of the bolt. Is this normal? Does this gun require the momentum of the firing pin to overcome the spring force and fly all the way forward to strike the primer? Also, it seems from observation that the locking bolt has to be in a certain position or it blocks the firing pin internally from going forward to strike the primer. Is this correct? The hammer seems to have some slop in it and about a .10 gap between it and the end of the bolt after the trigger is pulled when viewed through the slot on the right hand side. I can't get the stock off because I can't get the nut off the action spring tube with the screwdrivers that I have. It's tight. I guess there is some special tool I need to get to get that off? One more thing. Feed latch fell out when I pulled out the trigger group. Is this normal? So, reassembled the gun, cycled the action, tried to pull the trigger and thought the safety was on. Nope, safety not on, bumped the bolt handle a little forward, trigger pulled. Sounds to me like the bolt is not going into battery due to a weak action spring, therefore gun won't fire. What do you think?

Gun #2 : Same problems as Gun #1 with one exception: the piston rings on this gun are warped/wavy along with being rusty. I can't see any way that this could have happened through use. The end gap is widened up, the ends don't even like up. There is no way this could ever take any pressure to cycle the action, even if they weren't rusty too.

I'm thinking action springs for both guns and new piston rings for at least the one gun. What about buffers? Could they have anything to contribute to these problems? Would appreciate your advice. These are my first shotguns and I'm really new at this. thanks

Joined: August 2011
Posts: 5695
Posted: November 28, 2011 06:32 PM

If your going to make a habit of working the Remington Shotguns, then an investment in a copy ofJerry Kuhnhausen's "The Remington Shotguns....M870 and M1100/M11-87 A Shop manual..It has it all on these plus the guns that led to,tools techniques etc. I believe that this is a must because, while the model designation remains the same, the date of manufacture makes one a bit different than another one. The 870 came to life in 1950 and is still in production..the 1100 in 1963.and the number made is great as of 1991 the 870 has 3,750,000 brothers and sisters and the 100 has 3,450,000 close kin..but while the name is the same..there have been many engineering changes since day one and to tell you that it is OK to do it a certain way may be the worse advice you can get..In a need to know its birthday to get it done the EZ way. there are date codes and serial number prefixes and post fixes.. to tell you what you have.The book lists this: M1100/M11-87firing pin interupter/ retractor system and protrusion checks and list 7 lengthy checks and finishes with this note(a summary) UPDATE NOTE when shotguns are brought in for repair or service always use the latest style parts...What Ican add is this..besides the book..tghe Remington man here is LeeRoy Wisner(retired but talkitive) You can contact him thru his son Jim at

Joined: December 2011
Posts: 6
Posted: December 22, 2011 08:40 PM

I have two 1100's one a 20 Ga and the other a 12 Ga. I bought the 1100 new in 1982 and the 20 Ga. at a auction.

According to my info the 1100 was first sold in 1965 and the last one before the 1187 came around was in 1986. The first 1100s without a prefix letter was those made when there was only 12 Gauges, the prefix letter started in 1970 and one with an N prefix are from Mid- 80s. a suffix of a V indicates a 12 Gauge Receiver.There were around 6 million 1100s made. the 1187 is a newer version of the 1100 but parts are not all interchangable. What I have seen is that all 12 Gauge receivers will interchange, and that is good.

The serial numbers will be fairly low on the early models.

The early 1100s had a wooden magazine plug and an steel, cup

shaped magazine follower and the triggers were more nicely made and many have"ALCOA" embossed on them, the forend support on the older 1100s was a flat piece of milled steel, earlier 1100s™ will have the bolt handle secured by popping a ball bearing into a dimple visible on the underside of the bolt handle stem. most of the 1100s (and all 11-87s) you will see

will have the ball bearing in back of and on the edge of that bolt handle stem and there will be an cut into the bolt handle stem for this. These bolt handles will also have the "dimple" on the flat underside, too

so that they may be used with an old 1100™ that has the old style action bar.

I got a lot of my 1100 info from:

Gene Batchelar, Wheaton, IL and Steve Loban from a wonderful article posted on the WWW. When my 20 gauge was torn down after my first outing with it was a bit frustrating, and I got lost trying to get it back together after the feed latch fell out when I removed the trigger group!

Joined: January 1900
Posts: 389
Posted: December 23, 2011 03:27 AM

This posting is so complicated, its hard to follow. Cant hardly mess up an 1100. Make sure your gas 0 ring is seated properly, and it has to be a factory 0 ring. Over the counter stuff wont work. Two friction rings, the first one has a flat side that must face the action bar, the other is beveled, and seats inside the first one. The piston ring end gaps, must be 180 degrees apart to function properly. The 1100 is basically mechanic proof. Hard to not get it right.

Joined: December 2012
Posts: 2
Posted: January 22, 2013 03:44 PM


Joined: March 2010
Posts: 108
Posted: February 4, 2013 09:38 PM

There were also Rem. model 1100 and 870's in 20 GA. that were built on what was then called a standard frame (a 12 GA. frame), then later on Remington began making the 20 GA.'s on a smaller frame with LC barrels. Remington still continues to make the 20 GA.'s on the smaller frames with the LC barrels to date. Some parts will not inter change between the two different frame sized shotguns. I know barrels will not exchange between the two different frame sizes. The standard frame (read 12 GA. frame) 20GA. models 1100 and 870 parts are getting scarce and are bought up when found, especially barrels. IIRC, the pre-1968 model 1100 20GA. shotguns had the letter X prefix at the end of the serial number. I could be wrong because my memory isn't what it once was. Duffman.