Thought I share a review on the New Remington 105 CTI II shotgun and how it compared to be SBE II. First of all I am by no means a shotgun expert, this are just my thoughts and opinions about this shotgun and my SBE II.
I was at first very hesitant to purchase this shotgun. Remington is know to have quality control issues and the first version of the 105 had a LOT of problems. Also I had a recent bad experience with a Remington 870 that was absolute garbage.
However I really liked this 105 CTI shotgun and I am not sure what drew me to it...but I had to have it for my collection...
Also this new version of the 105 CTI was supposedly fixed up, and did not have all of the problems like the previous version. I personally loved the looks of the 105 and how well it shouldered for me (gun fit is always one the most important parts in buying a shotgun). I also really liked the idea of bottom ejection.
So after shopping around I found a steal of a deal $899, the MSRP for a new one is almost $1600!! The shotgun I purchased I think may have been used ( the ad did not state if it was used or not) but was in excellent condition with very few minor dings (the 105 CTI 2 was released in March, so it is not that old). The shotgun came with a nice little plastic case with a few choke tubes.
Before I took the gun to the range I thoroughly took it apart and cleaned it. The shotgun was not very hard to take apart following the instructions. Thankfully Remington also designed the shotgun to only be taken apart and put back together one way, so it is almost impossible to put the shotgun back together the wrong way. The shotgun looked liked it had not been cleaned very well by its last owner (besides the barrel). I even found what appeared to be some original factory grease on the action. Fortunately it looked liked the owner had not fired very many rounds through the gun or used it very much. It may had been just test firing from the factory.
I inspected all the parts quite thoroughly, looking for metal burs or potential future problems. I was quick surprised that the quality was not that bad. As fare as internal working parts goes and functionality, on a 1 to 10 scale, 10 being the best, I would give it a 9.5. For the outside looks, wood, finish ect. I would giver it a 7 out of 10. There were only a couple of manufacturing flaws on the outside that I found concerning. One was that there was evidence of excess glue on the barrel where the sight bridge is attached. But is not that noticeable. The other problem was the wood on the fore end. On one side it has a small stained gold circle that looks out of place but it looks like this is part of the manufacturing process, because I have seen it on all the 105 cti's in pictures. Also when the wooden fore end is attached to the barrel it is ever so slightly lose, but most semi's due slightly rock even my benelli. The other problem is the inside of the wood on the fore end is exposed to the gunpowder and gases. So I don't know how well the wood will hold up over time with constant exposure to this.
The only other noticeable problem is that the sight bridge on the barrel does not line up perfectly with the sight bridge on the receiver. It is slightly to the left, however it not at all noticeable when you are in a shooting situation, it is just a minor detail that Remington overlooked but should have fixed.
So after cleaning the gun I was ready to take it to the range and see how it performed in comparison to my SBE II. The manual says that the gun needs at least a 2 3/4 inch shell with 2 3/4 dram eq. 1 1/8 oz of shot and 1290 FPS in order to ensure proper cycling. I bought one box of shells that met this requirement and tried some shells that did not meet this requirement.
At the range on the very first shot with the recommended shells the shotgun failed to cycle the next round in the chamber all the way. This was concerning to me, but after my next shot the gun cycled fine. (it may have been excess oil from cleaning the gas ports or something that caused it not to function the first time). The shotgun points and shoots like a dream for me. It comes to the shoulder very well and the balance is good, but the forward end of the gun feels a bit heavy.
Once I got the feel for the shotgun I was busting clays left and right. I then switched to using 2 3/4 3 dram eq. 1 1/8 oz of shot at 1200 FPS, it cycled the 200 rounds I put through it flawlessly. I had a slight problem with putting shells into the magazine tubes sometimes it was a bit tricky to feed it in right, besides that it was fine. The "auto loading" feature where the shotgun puts a shell right into the chamber for you is very nice. The recoil pad is a limbsaver that comes standard, and does a good job of absorbing the recoil.
I also took the time to shoot my SBE II to compare it to my new shotgun. First thing I noticed was that even with the comfort tech pad the 105 cti had a LOT less felt recoil overall and muzzle jump (I even tried a few 3 inch duck loads to see how it worked). However with that being said I definitely could feel the the benelli comfortech spread the recoil throughout my entire shoulder area where the 105 cti was a bit more concentrated. Despite recoil and muzzle jump the SBE II points a lot easier then my 105, I think partly this is because I use the custom shim kit on my SBE II, to give me that perfect fit. This is something that the 105 unfortunately lacks. The other thing I noticed is that the SBE II had the weight very well distributed throughout the entire shotgun, while the 105 cti's weight was a little bit more concentrated (the fore end and and the butt particularly), however it comes up to my shoulder a lot better than my SBE II. The other thing I quickly came to like a LOT on my 105 was the bottom eject feature. It was much easier to do follow up shots and concentrate on my target, without having the distraction of excess gases and shell casing flying in front of my face. In other words I found I could get back on target quicker and faster for follow up shots then my SBE II. So overall in my opinion the 105 is very competive in shooting performance when compared to the SBE II, however the shim kits make the SBE II have an advantage over the 105, because you can get that perfect custom fit (like I said earlier gun fit is very important).
If your are a trap enthusiast I would not really recommend this shotgun. Only because loading from the bottom all the time is a bit more difficult to do. However after some practice loading the 105 cti should not be that much of an issue. I got this shotgun for primarily upland game and occasional waterfowl, and this shotgun should be perfect for doing just that. It is slightly lighter then my SBE II and I like the fit and looks.
Well that is about it. I hope if you are considering buying this shotgun or another this helps you in some way. Any questions or comments feel free to add. This is for the information and benefit of everyone because there are not too many indepth reviews online about the 105 CTI 2.