A Piece of History

by Dave

My mom went out to Packwood, WA to visit her father awhile ago as his health seemed to be failing him. He actually bounced back quite well despite the circumstances.

While there her father gave her three guns to pass on to me and my brothers. I received a shotgun: a Remington Model 11 semi-automatic 20 gauge, to be precise. The shotgun looked old and had a patent number with the name Browning next to it. This piqued my interest.

I did a bit of research and found that the gun was originally designed by John Browning in 1889. Browning designed guns but did not actually produce them himself. He brought his designs to Winchester, who filed the patent paperwork in his name and then purchased the rights to produce the guns. Browning had issues with Winchester regarding the Model 11 and wound up ending his relationship with them in May of 1900. After a series of strange events, he made a deal with Remington in 1905 to produce the Model 11 in the United States. The Model 11 was produced from 1905-1947 and was the first autoloading shotgun made in the US.

I emailed Remington for information regarding the gun as I’ve not owned a shotgun before and it didn’t come with an owner’s manual. I know how to use it and have shot it, but I was mostly concerned about properly maintaining the gun. They said my gun was produced around 1941 (based on the serial number) and that they would send me a manual once I provided my address. I thought that was a nice bit of customer service.

It was interesting talking to my grandpa last week on the phone about the shotgun. He said is was one of his favorite guns. I’m looking forward to taking it out to the range to blow up some clays and get a feel for it. Thanks, Grandpa.

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