We torture tested eight new shotguns in our 2011 Gun Test.
Remington Versa Max
The Remington Versa Max has an innovative gas-operated action that regulates the amount of gas used to cycle the action based on the size of the shell (see “Innovations,” page 100). This ingenious design has only two moving parts and is about as bombproof as they come, which is one of the reasons the shotgun scored so high in the performance category.
The 3 1⁄2-inch Versa Max likewise garnered high scores for its ergonomics, shootability and the easy way in which it can be adjusted to achieve a custom fit by altering the length of pull, comb height and drop and cast with a system that even the least mechanically inclined can master. It also managed recoil so well—thanks in large part to its cushy butt pad and soft cheekpiece insert—that the test team found it comfortable to shoot even with stiff waterfowl loads.
The construction of the gun—with its grippy rubber inserts in the forend and stock, the extensive camo coverage and the internal use of corrosion-proof coatings and materials—makes it ideally suited for ducks and geese, though it points more nimbly than its nearly 8-pound weight would indicate, making it a viable option for upland work. To really excel in that arena, Remington needs to come out with a scaled-down 3-inch receiver, which I hope happens soon, as I think it would make for an outstanding all-around shotgun.
With a suggested price of $1,599, the Versa Max should compete well against established 3 1⁄2-inch autoloaders.