Remington Arms has long been known for making quality firearms. And that reputation is definitely upheld when it comes to their Versa Max Series. 

The Versa Max Tactical is the centerpiece of Remington’s Versa Max family. It retains the trustworthiness of the original but adds on a Picatinny rail, forward barrel clamp side rails, and an extended magazine (8+1).

Now, let’s take a further look into this weapon and find out if the Remington Versa Max Tactical is the right shotgun for you!

Remington Versa Max Tactical

MSRP~$1456.00

Reliability: A+
Customization: B+
Accuracy: B
Ergonomics: B
Value: A

Final Grade: A-

The Remington Versa Max Series: A Revolutionary Shotgun

What if I told you that you could fire a 12 Gauge that only kicked like that of a 20? And not only that but fire reliably regardless of the choice of ammo?

You’d probably think I was crazy. But those were the questions that Remington engineers took on as a challenge. The first generation of Versa Max shotguns were released back in 2010 and left a lasting impression on the gun community.

Since then, many reiterations of the Versa Max have been introduced–including the Versa Max Tactical–and each hold true to their predecessors. The Versa Max does more than just lower recoil and improve reliability. This is accomplished through features such as their internal alloy coatings for durability and oversized features for comfort.

GUN Specs

Operating System Versaport Gas System
Guage/Bore 12 Guage
Weight 7 3/4 lbs
Overall Length 43 15/16″
Barrel Type Vent Rib

Remington Versa Max Tactical Features

1. Receiver Mounted Picatinny Rail
Allows for any Picatinny compatible accessory to help customly optimize the shotgun.

2. Enlarged Trigger Guard Opening
This feature comes in super handy (and adds more safety) when firing the weapon while using gloves.

3. Nickel Teflon Plated Internal Components
This particular coating makes the firearm much more durable to the elements and adds a major boost in corrosion resistance.

4. Oversized Bolt Release and Bolt Release Button
The oversized components allow for a much more comfortable shooting experience.

5. ProBore Choke System w/ both IC and Tactical Extended Choke Tubes
The different chokes tubes allow you to further customize your gun by helping you to shape the spread of your shots.

Remington Versa Max Tactical – Our Take

Summary: The VersaMax is an amazing shotgun platform, and our very own Ryan Cleckner still swears by it as his go-to shotgun for 3-gun competitions. However, there are some quality control issues that have previously plagued this scattergun.

 

It is so rare in the firearms industry that true innovation happens – the Remington VersaMax is one of those moments.

You see, semi-auto shotguns used to kick… hard! Manufacturers worked to invent a system that was reliable but softened the recoil of the system. Unfortunately, shotguns aren’t as easy to make into a gas operated semi-auto system as a rifle is – a rifle has fairly consistent pressures and velocities from different brands and types of ammo. A shotgun on the other hand needs to be able to fire super light target loads and sometimes super potent 3.5 inch magnum shotgun shells.

Most manufacturers (Benelli excluded) use a gas system that uses a small port in the barrel to redirect the gas pressure down and into the handguard area (the port in the barrel is usually as far forward as possible without being past the handguard) where some combination of pistons, springs, and operating arms would then push the operating mechanism rearward.

This has worked well for MANY years. The small downside is that there sometimes isn’t enough gas pressure for super light loads and too much pressure for super heavy loads. Also, these systems were prone to getting dirty (and not working as well when they did).

Enter Remington’s VersaMax, a truly revolutionary operating system that fixed all these issues.

Instead of ports a ways down the barrel, the VersaMax has 7 ports right in the chamber area that lead to two short and self-contained pistons. When a short and super light shell is in the chamber, all 7 ports are unobstructed and can help operate the pistons. However, when a longer and stronger shell is in the chamber, many of the ports are blocked by the shells body and therefore fewer ports are used to operate the system – GENIUS!

versamax ports

The VersaMax port system is SUPER reliable and is known for running any type of shotgun shell (2-3/4 to 3-1/2) that you can throw at it.

 

Another thing Remington did right? The controls on the shotgun.

They changed from their standard bolt release system on the lifter of the shotgun and changed it to a button on the side like everyone else. 🙂

For the VersaMax tactical, Remington put a HUGE button that is super easy to press under stress or with gloves on. This is an upgrade that many competitive shooters would do on their own – it is awesome to have this from the factory.

We’re also big fans of the large trigger guard and the trigger. For a tactical shotgun, the VersaMax tactical trigger is my favorite.

The bolt handle is also oversize and easy to use. However, this can start the explanation of the problems that early VersaMax shotguns had (although they appear to be fixed on new models).

Early VersaMax Tactical bolt knobs (the oversized ones) would either break or fly off – neither are a good thing. They were so long that the leverage was too much so they’d snap or they’d go missing during shooting and it was difficult to safely unload the gun.

The early VersaMax shotgun barrels were crooked (this is fixed now). Although 3-gun competitors raced to get themselves a VersaMax tactical shotgun, they all knew that the shotgun worked fine until they tried to shoot slugs and would watch them fly feet to the left. Remington was aware of the problem and they worked to fix it.

This shotgun is is our number one pick for a tactical semi-auto shotgun. 

Remington Versa Max Tactical Pros and Cons

Revolutionary gas system

High capacity

Soft shooting

Reliable and easy to operate

Early quality control problems

Heavy

Report card

Reliability The VersaMax shoots everything you feed it

A+

Accuracy Early problem here, but it seems to have been fixed.

B

Customization Not much to customize – this is a good thing because they’ve already done it for you!

B+

Ergonomics This shotgun fits us well but we’re big – if you’re smaller framed, it may be too big and heavy for you.

B

Value It’s a bit pricey, but it’s worth every penny!

A

Final Grade: A-

Check Out the Remington Versa Max Tactical in Action!

This semi autoloader shotgun has been touted by many to have much less recoil and overall smoother operation than most other options available on the market. And that includes other autoloaders and pump-action varieties.

Let’s take a look at some footage of this shotgun in action and see just what this bad boy can do.

Our Top Upgrade Picks for the Remington Versa Max Tactical

When it comes to your shotgun, you should be able to upgrade and customize to fit your needs and wants. And there are definitely some options available when it comes to the Remington Versa Max Tactical. Here are some of our choice selections.

Best Stock Adjustment/Insert for Remington Versa Max Tactical

Remington Comb Insert– This stock attachment can definitely make your shooting experience a much more comfortable one.

Best Red Dot Optics for Remington Versa Max Tactical 

Aimpoint Micro T-2 Sight– When firing your scattergun at close range, you really don’t need too much more than a bead sight. However there are many situations where a red dot can become exceedingly helpful–such as firing slugs. And this is by far one of the best options to consider for your reflex optic of choice. Best part… It’s Picatinny compatible so installation is a breeze.

Best Sling Attachment for Remington Versa Max Tactical

Padded Sling Strap Assembly by Remington– For those of you looking for a good no-frills sling, this might just be the way to go. Remington’s padded sling assembly is easy to install and padded for maximum comfort.

Best Pistol Grip for Remington Versa Max Tactical

Urbino Pistol Grip Stock with Mohawk Forend– This is a perfect attachment for those working in Law Enforcement. It allows for the use of body armor without sacrificing control of the weapon by shortening your reach. Also, if you are wearing bulky clothes–such as cold weather hunting gear–you may want to consider a high quality pistol grip.

Is Remington’s Versa Max Tactical a 3-Gun Shotgun?

For those new to or unaware of competition shooting, there is a particular area known as 3-Gun. This tests your skill, speed, and accuracy with a pistol, rifle, and shotgun. So when looking for a 3-Gun shotgun, you need to ensure that you find a weapon that can cover the size and weight requirements, dependability needs, and comfort features for competition shooting.

The Versa Max Tactical can actually give you all that. The oversized features helps you to reduce time caught in the trigger guard or operating the firearm. It’s a super dependable platform and is lightweight enough with minimal recoil to make it a great starting choice for a 3-gun competition.

Check out these two articles for more on this situation: