Review

Remington Versa Max Shotgun

Quality
Reliability
Price/Value
Referability

Trusted Review™ Scorecard

Average Score: 4.5 out of 5.0

Each product or service is rated on Quality, Reliability, Price/Value, and Referability. Each area has an individual score, and creates an overall Trusted Review™.

Remington Versa Max

I admit it. Remington’s new Versa Max shotgun is starting to get on my nerves. I don’t normally become irritated with a gun and I realize it’s my own fault; I’m the one who made the decision not to clean it until it malfunctioned. At this point, it has 675 rounds through it from 3 ½” duck loads to 2 ½” RST super light 7/8 ounce shells meant for use in old vintage guns that might be damaged by modern high pressure loads. I even shot some 1,050 fps 7/8 ounce reloads and still… not so much as a hiccup. Every time I shoot it, it goes back into the safe dirty. I want to clean it but a promise is a promise.

Firing loads like this in a semi-auto is unheard of. I know of no other semi-auto that will even function with these low pressure shells, much less have the capability to shoot them and handle 3 ½” magnums in the same magazine without so much as an adjustment. By putting the gas ports in the chamber and allowing longer shells to block off some of the ports to manage the pressure levels, Remington Arms has come up with the most innovative shotgun in the last 50 years, if not more.

The Versa Max operates with seven gas ports and two gas pistons located just under the chamber. Apparently, since the chamber pressures are higher at the chamber than further down the barrel, the system is more forgiving than a regular gas or recoil operated system. Most three inch guns won’t cycle with a one ounce standard shell much less a light 7/8. My son in law didn’t even know you could buy 2 ½” shells much less get a semi-auto to feed them. As I explained that they even made two inch shells for super lightweight loads in super light British guns, I got an idea. Maybe I should get some two inch shells; surely the Versa Max wouldn’t feed them. Then I could clean the dang thing and quit worrying about it.

Now, Remington has brought out a tactical version of the VersaMax. With 8 + 1 capacity, a top picatinny rail and two side accessory picatinny rails, this gun promises to be a winner. Load this baby up with 3 ½” slugs and you have a package that can put out enough foot pounds of energy to stop a small herd of pachyderms, much less a home invader. It’s just a matter of time before this gun is chewing up the three gun circuit. At $1,399 the Versa Max is well under the price of the competition and promises to be a major contender in the shotgun market.

Quality

The VersaMax is a well constructed piece of equipment meant to effectively turn game into dinner. It doesn’t have the trigger pull of a Krieghoff trap gun or the stock finish of a Perazzi. It is a functional tool mass produced for no nonsense hunting. The quality is adequate to allow it to perform but it isn’t going to produce oohs and ahhs at the gun club. In its defense, it does have options that allow the purchaser the ability to fit the gun to them and their style of shooting, something few mass produced guns offer.

Reliability

This is where the VersaMax promises to shine. With a lot of rounds through this gun, I’ve yet to experience one hiccup. It has performed flawlessly with ammunition no other semi auto I know of will handle. This is the strong suit for the VersaMax.

Price/Value

Priced at about a quarter less than its direct competitors, the VersaMax offers real value. For shooters who don’t need the versatility, there are guns that cost less and are quite serviceable but the wide range of ammunition this gun handles makes it a great choice for the guy who wants a versatile working gun that can do almost everything and not a closet full of specialized shotguns.

Referability

Which company makes the best semi auto is not an argument I wish to get into but I realistically believe that anyone who’s buying a semi-auto shotgun would be making a mistake not to consider this gun.

Any views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of OutdoorHub. Comments on this article reflect the sole opinions of their writers.
  • Bryan

    First of all, I am a big fan of
    Remington guns. I have not had any
    problems until now, but these are major problems that paying customers need to
    know about. I purchased my new Remington
    Versa Max 28’’ barrel in MODB. I thought
    this would be a great shotgun after reading all of the reviews and reading
    Remington’s ads. I will tell you my pros
    and cons with this gun and then a short story on how the Versa Max failed after
    1 box of rounds through it and the customer service that I received.

    Pros in a nut shell: Great feel, rubber grips, TriNyte finished barrel and nickel/Teflon plated internal
    components for extreme corrosion resistance, Hi-Viz end sights, comes
    with nice case, supposed to shoot any load without fail, mostly good reviews

    Cons in a nut shell: It is heavy, the back end of the fore-end
    moves up and down even with the magazine cap fully tightened down, the bolt
    handle literally fell off into my hand after shooting less than 1 box of
    shells, the extractor sheared off causing this gun to become a single shot
    shotgun after 1 box of rounds

    Here is my story. I purchased this gun on a Friday 11/30/12. That night I took it apart, cleaned it, and
    assembled it. When the barrel is
    removed, there is no play in the fore-end.
    (PROBPLEM #1) When the barrel is installed, the
    back part of the fore-end moves up and down even with the magazine cap fully
    tightened down. I went duck hunting the
    next morning. (PROBPLEM #2)
    During the hunt the bolt handle literally fell off into my hand. I was in waist high water and this piece
    could have easily been dropped into the water and lost. For those who have not taken one of these
    guns apart yet, the bolt handle comes off and it installs with some force by
    pulling or pushing. There is a notch in
    the handle that locks the handle into the bolt assembly and keeps it installed. This piece was fully inserted when I started
    the hunt. To make sure that I did not
    lose bolt handle, I kept it in the boat and grabbed it from the boat if I
    needed to use it. (PROBPLEM #3)
    Shortly into the hunt, this Brand New Remington Versa Max Jammed Every Single
    Round! At this point I only shot 1
    single box of Remington Hyper Sonic 12Ga 3” #2 shot rounds through this brand
    new shotgun. The extractor sheared off
    and was completely flush with the bolt head.
    I am in the middle of my first hunt with this shotgun and the fore end
    is loose, the bolt handle is in the boat, and my Versa Max shotgun is now a
    single shot shotgun. I am furious with
    Remington and the Versa Max.

    That Monday morning 12/3/12, I
    called Remington and told them what had happened. All they said is “OK” and to send it back to
    the factory via UPS standard ground. The
    instructions Remington sent me to return the Versa Max said that “our returns
    process will take approximately 2-3 weeks to complete and a confirmation email
    will be sent once we have shipped your firearm.” I can’t wait 2-3 weeks! I talked with Remington because I already
    have a hunting trip planned before 2 weeks and that I need this shotgun to be
    sent overnight both ways because I already have money invested into this
    hunting trip. Remington told me that I
    could pay to overnight the gun, but Remington does not reimburse hunting trips
    and will not pay to have the gun sent overnight. This is Remington’s fault and they should pay
    to fix it and to get this expedited. Not
    only am I missing out on a big hunting trip, I am also missing a lot of local
    hunting.

    I am highly disappointed in
    Remington’s customer service and the Versa Max.
    My hunting partner that was with me is about to buy a new 3 ½ “ shotgun and was leaning toward the
    Versa Max, but after seeing what happened with mine he said that there is no
    way that he would buy one now.

    I am still contemplating if I
    should sell or trade the Versa Max after I get it back from Remington. It looks like I have 2-3 weeks to think it over.

    • DC

      Spreading the same story about that Lemon I see eh Bryan?