Versamax review... and why I sold it...

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Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby vertical_edge_800 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:01 pm

I've been a remington kind of guy my whole life... I've owned piles of 870's, and still currently own a 14" barrel 870, (2) 28" barreled 870's, and a 20 gauge 870... as well as an 1100 magnum... So, I thought it would only make sense to go ahead and buy the latest and greatest 12 gauge remington has to offer, the versa-max! I bought it well before the season started, months in advance.. the first thing I did with it was to take it to the skeet range and shoot several rounds of skeet through it. No problems cycling my light 1oz target loads.. I didn't like how the magazine cap turned itself loose after a few shots no matter how tight I put it on. Anyway- months go by, I patterned a few of my favorite duck loads with it... pretty darn good patterns.. so far, everything is going wonderful with me and my new versamax. Duck season... day 3 of duck season and I finally make it out to go shoot some birds. I took the boat out and tried settin over decoys, it was too windy nothing was flying. So I went to another marsh where jump shooting is the method of choice.. here we go, a true test of a shotguns durability, walking 5 miles through chest deep mud and thick weeds.... So, at the end of the day, heres why I decided that I hate my versamax (which I no longer have, a buddy of mine really wanted it, so I sold it to him..)

1) That F&*@(ing magazine cap.. it doesn't matter what you do, it will come loose after you shoot with it for a while
2) Its overly long.. I don't understand why a 28" barreled gun has to be so long.. its like the receiver is at least 30% longer than it should be
3) Hello 7.7 lbs... hello heavy shotgun...
4) Its a pain in the @$$ to unload this shotgun... you have to eject the shell out of the chamber, then either close the chamber and dry fire it to release the next shell, or manually release the shells from the magazine with your fingers.. good luck doing that with cold hands.. and having to dry fire your weapon to release the next shell is just begging for an unfortunate malfunction to happen eventually.
5) The shell carrier has a U notch in it that opens up into the receiver, when you are walking in the weeds, vegetation hangs up on this U notch, tears off, then finds its way into the receiver. Hello failure to feed malfunction, how are you today? Me, I'm pissed, because you are causing me to fire a single shot weapon!!
6) It doesn't kick any less than any other 3.5" gun I've ever shot, and they toot their horns saying it does... a 3.5 kicks hard no matter what it comes out of I guess. Even a 7.7lb shotgun...
7) Good luck finding a replacement barrel to make your ridiculously long 28" barreled gun shorter.. can't cut the barrel and rechoke either, because its tapered and fatter at the end of the barrel.
8) Did I mention that out of 1 box of Kent 3.5" #2 @ 1550 FPS, I had 4 jams where the next shell got stuck on its way into the receiver? Cost me a few birds. Might as well get an H&R single shot.

Well... I couldn't stand the idea that I payed so much for a shotgun that I really can not stand. A buddy of mine fell in love with the idea of the versamax and was going to go buy an identical one to mine anyway- so he bought mine off me for $100 less than what I payed for it. So he's happy, I'm happy, and also the happy new owner of a Winchester SX3 in max-4 :hammer:
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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby remingtonarms38 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:44 am

I picked me up a SX3 in max 4 as well....Great shotgun no complaints here
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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby bigdane » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:09 am

Ive heard nothing but bad things about this gun. Some of the guys I talked to and hunt with in arkansas said after a case of shell said the wear and tear was showing up quick and they had already traded theirs in. When I looked at the gun it seems very poor built to me. Im not a die hard of any brand, I have lots of browinings and benellis, few 870's, a 10 gauge remington, even a winchester sx3. I like everything I own, but Im not impressed at all with the versamax.
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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby rmb79 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:52 am

you must really like jump shooting if you walk 5 miles to do so.
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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby The Drake » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:00 am

1) Rem fixed the mag cap with a new one, free of charge :biggrin:

2) The reciever didnt magically grow since you bought it I am guessing. :eek:

3) Arent you the one that bought the 8 lb. gun that I am guessing weighed that at that time ? :no: And yes they are 8 lbs not 7.7 lbs.......Why would you buy an 8 lb gun if you are walking 5 miles ?

4) The Versamax unloads identical to a Benelli. Click the bottom button to get he next shell onto the carrier and pull the bolt back, the shell in the barrel ejects and the next shell chambers...... :fingerhead:

5) Again just like most guns. :no:

6) I've shot 11-87's M1's, SBE's, SX3's, SX2's, 390's, Maxus, and A400 Xtrema.......Yes the Versamax kicks less than all of them :yes:

7) Replacement barrel ? Didnt YOU buy the 28" barrel ? ? They make a 26" gun in camo, you realize that right ? :hammer:

8) Based on your knowledge of unloading the gun I have to question your cleaning of the gun if it was jamming...... :oops:

I have seen very very few up for sale used, that tells me alot........ :beer:
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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby POKER1 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:30 am

rmb79 wrote:you must really like jump shooting if you walk 5 miles to do so.



In chest deep mud and thick weeds no less. You must be in some kind of super hero shape to pull that one off. :yes: That would kill any normal hunter.
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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby eastcoastsoxfan » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:57 am

The more I read about guns on the internet the more I tend to believe that most models are really good its just inexperienced owners and buyers.
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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby Specklebelly » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:08 pm

feel better now?
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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby Park Duck » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:41 pm

eastcoastsoxfan wrote:The more I read about guns on the internet the more I tend to believe that most models are really good its just inexperienced owners and buyers.

This I would bet that 90% of folks have no idea how to operate the weapon.
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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby Phild » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:47 pm

The Drake wrote:6) I've shot 11-87's M1's, SBE's, SX3's, SX2's, 390's, Maxus, and A400 Xtrema.......Yes the Versamax kicks less than all of them :yes:


I own them both and it does not kick less than the A400 Xtrema in my opinion with a heavy 3 1/2 shell. But I have had a small issue with mine but nothing like this. To each his own I guess.

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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby vertical_edge_800 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:12 pm

Well I gotta be honest- I bought it thinking, what's a few more ounces over an 870? If you sit in a blind I guess it doesn't matter really, and the length wouldn't bother you so much either. And that's how I usually hunt... So normally it wouldn't be an issue. They didn't have a camo one in stock with the 26" barrel, I waited and waited and one never showed up. Also- a jam is a jam don't matter how it gets cleared, it doesn't matter who pulls the trigger, if you pull the trigger and it don't go bang after the first shot, what's the point of a $1200 shotgun? I seriously doubt a new magazine cap would have prevented it from coming loose. It should work from the factory anyway.

I only jump shoot when the shooting over decoys sucks in my normal hunting areas- I'd like to think I've stayed in good shape over the years, the shooting is often so good in that area because most hunters simply cannot walk their fat 250lb, clogged artery ass out there. Which is also a good thing because most the people I meet out there are generally other military folks..

I walked and did the same hunt this morning with my SX3 shooting the same loads, shot 19 shells and walked out with 8 birds. No jams, it did kick less too. It might be a perceived recoil thing more than anything from a different fitting gun but I never thought "ouch" when I pulled the trigger.
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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby njonesy_07 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:35 pm

The Drake wrote:Yes the Versamax kicks less than all of them :yes:


I'm not convinced, not even close. I pattern many 3" duck/goose non tox loads in my Benelli M2 during the summer time when its nice weather (tshirt and shorts). I had the opportunity to shoot a VersaMax at a gun range several weeks ago under similar circumstances (tshirt). The Remington rep let us run 3" waterfowl loads through it to test it out....OUCH. IMO there isn't any difference between the recoil felt by the VersaMax or my Benelli.

It sure didn't seem to live up to the hype that people have created for it. It seemed large, bulky/clunky, and I felt like I could get a much better quality semi auto for a similar price range (Beretta being first in mind).
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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby waterfowlhunter » Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:08 am

I also believe there is no difference in the recoil of the Versamax. I have shot a lot of the 3.5" guns side by side and they all "feel" the same. On the weight issue, if your looking at a gun in the shop it never feels as heavy as it does after you carry it a mile in the marsh. :yes: and to me the gun looks and feels like it was made by Baikal. Has the same gritty feel as the SPR-453 / MP-153.
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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby The Drake » Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:57 pm

I dont know what else to say about the recoil.....Even the owners of the SX3 and A400 both commented how the Versamax recoiled less than their guns........I owned Benelli's for 11 years and the difference between them and a MAxus and Versamax is night and day !!

Few years ago I fired 50 shots with my M1 with Limbsaver pad and the next day my shoulder hurt........I have fired 250 rounds through my Versamax and felt perfect the next day. :huh:
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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby cootlover » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:25 pm

I can tell you i hate brownings but I shot a maxus the other day and it kicked less than my m2 20 gauge I would buy one if I didn't talk so much sh*t about my buddies shooting them.
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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby Calikev » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:38 pm

Versamax kicks less than the A400? Doubt it.

As far as the rant on the Versamax. Why do guys want superlight guns to shoot big shells? You want gun weight to help compensate some of the recoil of them big loads. Recoil is your biggest enemy in shooting not the weight of the gun. Walking in 2 miles or 5 miles, does a pound of gun really make a difference? That's ridiculous.

As far as its reliability, many folks have ran the gauntlet with this gun without fail so I expect there was a cleaning issue involved. If there is a fix for the end cap, sounds like you should have been on the phone with Remington getting a replacement. They stand behind their products.

As far as unloading the gun. Really? You weren't aware of how this gun was to be loaded and unloaded? Wow....

Sometimes I wonder what folks expect out of a gun. Felt recoil is variable as is the shootability of a specific gun to that specific shooter. Not everyone is going to like everything that hits the shelf or agree on how soft it is if they all shoot different loads under different conditions.

It is fair for you to get rid of the gun because you don't like it, but the rest is all pretty much opinion.
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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby waterfowlhunter » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:56 pm

Calikev wrote:Why do guys want superlight guns to shoot big shells? You want gun weight to help compensate some of the recoil of them big loads. Recoil is your biggest enemy in shooting not the weight of the gun. Walking in 2 miles or 5 miles, does a pound of gun really make a difference? That's ridiculous.



Weight is a BIG factor in choosing a gun. That is why I sold the several 10ga's I had (but just bought 2 more to play with) they are just to heavy to tote around. I love the weight of the Benelli and it does not recoil any more that any other semi out there IMO. I feel the recoil more shooting 100 rounds of sporting clays with my O/U than I do shooting 3.5" mags all day in the blind. To me there is a BIG difference in carrying light gun compared to a heavy gun. I have a cart and sled for the decoys, seats and misc. so the the only thing I carry is the gun. I like the design of the gun, just not the gun itself.

You have to remember, Recoil from one shell is the same no matter what gun you throw it in. the weight of th egun helps the recoil "feel" lighter to some and the gun design can change the preception of the recoil but it is still there.
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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby jaysweet3 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:18 pm

vertical_edge_800 wrote:I've been a remington kind of guy my whole life... I've owned piles of 870's, and still currently own a 14" barrel

You have a special permit for that?
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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby War Wagon » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:37 pm

That 14" bbl is a Class 3. NFA rules apply. Better have a tax stamp.
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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby Specklebelly » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:51 pm

Ok, I will say it and sorry in advance if your offended. Unless your eight or a 110 lbs female, who really cares about recoil and does it really matter?

You guys are discussing which gun kicks more or less like your shoulders are made of glass. If recoil is an issue, get a 20 gauge auto.
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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby jack lowe » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:03 pm

6) It doesn't kick any less than any other 3.5" gun I've ever shot, and they toot their horns saying it does... a 3.5 kicks hard no matter what it comes out of I guess. Even a 7.7lb shotgun...
:hammer:[/quote]
It is a shotgun, it wil kick, and guess what it kick even harder with a 3.5 shell in it thats life. If you cant handle the recoil of a duck load then maybe you should find another hobby.
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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby hamernhonkers » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:31 pm

This thread is quite funny. I shouldered one a few days ago and thought, wow Remington is making a 12 gauge built like a tank now, like the sp-10 was/is. The sp-10 in my opinion is the best shotgun Remington made. Now after feeling how solid and heavy the versamax is I want one.

Anyway, wow wining about the weight at 8 lbs. Hell I am use to walking 5 miles in and out in snow, uphill both way’s :eek: to my jumpshooting honey hole for geese packing a sp-10 in and a sp-10 and 3 big honkers out. What a bunch of girls :tongue:

Then the recoil……really, my 5’7” wife who weighs in at a whopping buck fifteen can shoot a box or two of shells a day out of a sp-10 and not whimper a bit. If you guys are having that much trouble with recoil then you might want to take the time and get the gun fitted to you. I am guessing that most of you are shooting a gun that don’t fit and you are feeling it on your end :thumbsup:
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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby clampdaddy » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:52 pm

cootlover wrote:I can tell you i hate brownings but I shot a maxus the other day and it kicked less than my m2 20 gauge I would buy one if I didn't talk so much sh*t about my buddies shooting them.


:lol: I must say that I am guilty of the same thing. If my uncle ever sells his jam-o-matic HK SBE that I give him such a hard time about you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll be first in line with cash in hand. :lol3:
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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby sgtD » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:05 pm

It's a shame that Remington can't seem to get their act together. I have always been a Remington man.

In 1983 my dad bought me a 20ga Sportsman 48 that was made in the 50s. My wife still shoots it to this day.

I shot sporting clays with an 1100 for years, not to mention several deer and hogs with that same gun. I think it was made in the late 70s IIRC.

My dad shoots a 12 ga 1100 and my daughter shoots a 20 ga 1100.

I now shoot an 11-87 that was made in 1994 that is a dependable as they come. I just babied it a little this off season by installing it's first new bolt buffer & o-ring. I also completely tore it down and cleaned every part including the action spring and tube in the stock. The action spring had never been cleaned, but I usually keep the gas system well cleaned after every 200 - 300 rounds. I had been thinking about buying a Versa-Max, but I guess I'll have to keep shooting the 11-87, since the Versa Max seems plauged with problems. Until Remingon gets it's act together anyway.

Oh, and although I have yet to need them, if I want to shoot 3 1/2 mags I will just have to keep using my 870 Supermag I guess.
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Re: Versamax review... and why I sold it...

Postby TomKat » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:14 pm

I still love my Benelli M2.

I still dont know why anyone would want to own a 3.5" gun
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