Remington Model 11

Semi-Auto Shotgun

The Remington model 11 semi-auto shotgun was licensed by John Browning & introduced in 1905.  It was made in 12 ga 2 3/4"only.  It was practically identical with the then current Browning Auto 5 & shared some parts interchangeability.   It was to become also known as the square sterned or humpback model by some.  It held 4 rounds in the magazine

The butt plate was made of hard rubber, the stocks were non checkered & had a pistol grip.   The early safety was a sliding bar in front of the trigger.  The carrier was one piece.   The front trigger plate used a pin retainer & the rear screw had not lock screw.   Initially the firing pin was similar to the rectangular Browning version.  There was no left hand extractor in the breechbolt as the case rim is held in position by the LH side of the barrel extension.

Early model 11 showing the forward slider safety

It utilized a recoil operated system incorporating a bronze friction piece & heavy recoil spring around the magazine tube.  The recoil spring around the magazine tube pushed against either one of 2, or a combination of the 2 steel friction or bronze friction rings that were driven rearward by the barrel lug at the front & inside of the forearm.  Here by placing these friction pieces in different positions, the firearm could be modified so that ammo varying from light to heavy loads could be shot with reliability but not interchangeably.

The forearm was held in place by a threaded magazine cap.  There was a action spring inside a tube located inside the buttstock.   The tube was threaded into the rear of the receiver.  There was a fiber cushion riveted into the inner rear of the receiver acting as a breech-block stop. 

The barrel utilized an extension protruding into the receiver which the breechbolt's locking block locked into this extension when for lockup at bolt closure.  Using this method, barrels could be interchanged by the gun owner.

These models function differently than most people envision, in that upon firing, the recoil forces the barrel & breechblock rearward, but it is still locked to the breechblock's locking lug until it reaches it's farthest rearward movement, then the breechblock is locked back, the locking block unlocks & the barrel travels forward under the recoil springs power.  The ejector is a fixed stud on the left hand inside of the barrel extension, so as the breechblock is held back when the barrel starts forward, the ejector now pushes the LH side of the fired case forward, pivoting it under the RH extractor & out the ejection port.   At this same time the magazine spring then pushes the next live round back against the cartridge stop, which is ultimately tripped allowing the round to go onto the lifter, tripping the lifter dog & with the new round positioned, it is now fed upward & forward into the chamber by the action spring pushing the breechblock forward.

The model 11A was introduced in 1911.   This model had checkered wood stocks.  And & was made in 12, 20ga 2 , & 16ga 2 9/16 chamberings.

 Barrel could be had in 20" riot, 26, 28 & 32" plain or matted rib barrels.  The safeties were changed to a cross-bolt type behind the trigger.

The Remington model 11A

 1921 saw a Police Special in 12ga 20 riot gun in all gauges.  The Sportsman 11 was a 3 shot, semi-beavertail forearm version was introduced in 1931.

During World War II when importation from Belgium of the Browning FN guns became impossible due to Nazi U Boats, Browning had Remington produce the Remington, (with slight cosmetic modifications) & marked it as Browning for sale in the US.

 All models of the model 11 were discontinued in 1948, being replaced with the 11-48.

 The Rest Of The Story:    This model was invented by John Browning in 1889.   John had invented many firearms that he sold the rights to Winchester over a period of 19 years.  He did not like to do paper work so Winchester would do all the patent applications & get the patents in John's name.  Then they would outright purchase the rights to make the gun.   However with this model, he knew was extraordinary & he had different ideas as to payment.

He left two sample guns with Winchester for testing & patent research.  After 2 years with no conclusion as to whether they would accept this model, he became rather upset & made the trip from his home in Ogden Utah to the Winchester plant in New Haven CT. & confronted the president.  He wanted the normal payment for the patent as a deposit & then a royalty after that.   His request was denied & he went into the drafting room & recovered all his papers & the two guns & walked out in about May of 1900.

John then in January 1902 made contact with the president of Remington & set up a meeting.  On the appointed day,  John was in the outer office waiting for his appointment.   While there, the president's secretary came out & informed John that the president had just had a heart attach & died just a few minutes before.

John then took the guns to the Belgium FN factory & had the guns produced there.   He later (1905) made arrangements with Remington to manufacture the gun in the US.

Winchester had done their patent research so well & in John's name that they could not produce an equivalent model without patent infringement.  Their competitive model was made around John's patents & it was Winchester model 1911.  A very awkward & poorly designed firearm.

Later Savage also made the same gun as the Remington model 11, but under the model 720, 755, & the lightweight 745 & 775 (aluminum receiver).  Savage made theirs from 1930 to 1949.   During World War II, both Remington & Savage made these guns essentially as riot guns or for anti-aircraft training for the military. 

Gunsmithing the model 11:    These models like all it's siblings to follow did not tolerate lots of oiling.   The magazine tube, which the bronze friction ring was compressed against needed to be only lightly oiled with a motor weight oil.

Placement of friction rings for functioning with different ammo.

The firing pin was re-designed in 1932 to a round design using a coil return spring, instead of the mechanical retraction system of the earlier square rear type Browning firing pin.  

The rear of the forearm utilized 2 metal dowels that inserted into the front of the receiver & acted as a non-twisting type anchor the the rear of the forearm.  Like the guns to follow using this same basic design, the forearm cap has to remain tight.

All of the recoil, or even gas operated firearms need to he held tightly against the shoulder to give enough resistance to allow the firearm to function properly.

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