Blast from the Past: Remington 11-48
After licensing the Auto 5 design from John Browning and producing it as the Model 11 since 1905, Remington redesigned it in the late 1940s. In so doing, they took advantage of mass-production techniques learned during World War II. Introduced in 1948, the 11-48 retained the long-recoil action of the Model 11, but Remington produced it at a lower cost. Not only did the gun make use of stamped parts, but also common parts. It shared several components with the Remington 870 pump, which debuted in 1950. Here’s a fun fact: the 870 12-gauge is built on a 16/20 gauge 11-48 receiver, which is one reason 870s are trim guns.
The 11-48 was made in 12, 16, 20, 28, and .410 gauges and it was popular as both a hunting and skeet gun. Remington discontinued the 11-48 in 1969. However, you can still find previously-owned 11-48s from online gun brokers, at pawn shops, or among other used guns at your favorite gun shop.
My brother won this Remington 11-48 in a long pheasant tailfeather contest about 60 years ago. A friend of his shot the bird and entered it under my brother’s name and told my brother what he did. In the end, my brother won the gun. He went in to pick it up and gave a made-up story about “a long cornfield shot” and got his picture in the paper.
About two years ago, my brother gave the gun to that friend’s son. Later, I was in a gun shop and saw it in a rack. I recognized it by one particular scar in the stock.
When my wife heard me tell my son about it, she said I should buy it. I went back a few days later to get it, but it was gone. My 73rd birthday rolled around and the family celebrated at the pizza shop with gifts. We were about to leave when my son said “Pops, I went to the gun shop and asked about that old gun but all they had left was the magazine cap. I thought you’d like it as a keepsake.”
Memories came flooding back when he handed it to me. Then he said, “The rest is in my car, I couldn’t bring it in the restaurant.” So, the old gun now sits in my rack—a piece of firearms history, and now our family history.
Keep the old gun pictures coming to [email protected] The entries have been a little shotgun heavy lately, which is fine with me, but I could use some more stories about rifles.
REMINGTON 11 48 shotgun PRICE AND HISTORICAL VALUE
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Remington Model 11-48
|Remington Model 11-48|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Used by||United States|
|Wars||Korean War, Vietnam War|
|Designer||L. Ray Critendon, Ellis Hailston, and C.R. Johnson|
|Mass||6.6 to 7.7 pounds (3 to 3.5 kg)|
|Length||varies with model|
|Barrel length||Up to 30 inches (76 cm)|
|Cartridge||12, 16, 20, or 28 gauge (maximum length 2+3⁄4 inches), or .410 bore|
|Feed system||Tube magazine 4+1 rounds, or 2+1 rounds on the Sportsman '48|
|Sights||Single front bead|
The Remington Model 11-48 is a semi-automatic shotgun manufactured by Remington Arms as the first of its "new generation" semi-automatics produced after World War II. Released as the replacement for the Remington Model 11, it was manufactured from 1949 to 1968 and was produced in 12, 16, 20 and 28 gauge and .410 variations.
The Model 11-48 is a long-recoil operatedsemi-automatic shotgun based on the Model 11, itself based on an 1898 design by John Browning. Shells are stored in a tubular magazine under the barrel. When a chambered shell is fired, the barrel and bolt recoiling together (for a distance greater than the shell length) re-cock the hammer, eject the spent shell, and feed another shell from the magazine into the action.
The Model 11-48 was revolutionary in that it ushered in stamped steel components for a lower cost of assembly, and featured truly interchangeable parts not requiring fitting by a gunsmith, and was reliable in the extreme. The impact of these changes can be seen on every Remington shotgun since, and is also prevalent on competitor's models. The Model 11-48 differs from the Model 11 in the shape of its machined steel receiver and the use of less expensive stamped steel internal parts. The easily removable aluminum trigger housing was also featured on its successors.
Like the Model 11, the gun operated by way of two return springs. The first, located in the buttstock, serves as the resistance to the bolt. The second spring, located over the magazine tube, serves as the barrel recoil spring, allowing the barrel to recoil several inches into the receiver. The 11-48 differs from the Model 11 in the friction ring placed at the forward end of the barrel recoil spring. The Model 11 had a brass friction ring with one blunt end and one beveled end. The ring fit into a corresponding cut in the barrel underlug. For heavy loads, the ring was turned with the beveled end facing the lug. For lighter loads, the blunt end was turned to face the lug. The 11-48 features a similar friction ring system but is modified to be self-adjusting so as to work with all loads.
In 1956, Remington introduced the gas-operatedModel 58, which proved more expensive to make than the Model 11-48, and was also less reliable and heavier. Remington chose to replace the Model 58 with a model that combined its best features with those of the Model 11-48. The resulting Model 1100 introduced in 1963 immediately replaced the Model 58 and proved so successful that it soon also replaced the Model 11-48.
The Model 1148 introduced a streamlined look that was designed by John Vassos and continues on present day Remington shotguns., Vassos was RCA's foremost industrial designer, credited with designing radios, broadcast equipment, and the first mass-produced television for RCA seen at the 1939 New York World's Fair. A decorated veteran of World War II, Vassos was chief of the OSS "Spy School" in Cairo, Egypt, from 1942 to 1945, responsible for training agents sent to Greece, the Balkans, and Italy.
The Sportsman '48 was a variant introduced to comply with various American hunting laws that limited shotguns used for hunting to three shells. It came with a crimped magazine tube that allowed it to be loaded with only two shells in the magazine. One additional round placed in the chamber brought its total capacity to three shells. It came in 12, 16, and 20 gauge variations. The dimples pressed into the magazine tube can be removed with a round file from the inside, allowing the magazine to accept a full complement of four shells. The Model 1148SA was designed for skeet. The Model 1148 was also available in higher grades with fancy wood and custom engraving.
Small numbers of the Model 11-48 were purchased by soldiers for use in the Korean War. Small numbers were again purchased by soldiers and fielded in the Vietnam War by the United States Marine Corps.
- ^ ab"Model 11-48 Autoloading Shotgun". Remington Arms. Archived from the original on 8 January 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
- ^"Model 11-48 Sportsman 48 Autoloading Shotgun (user manual)"(PDF). Madison, North Carolina: Remington Arms. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
- ^Shapiro, Danielle (July 24, 2018). "Vassos and the streamlined Sportsman model Remington Arms Shotgun". johnvassos.com. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
- ^Hueck Allen, Susan (2013), "11", Classical Spies: American Archaeologists with the OSS in World War II Greece, Ann Arbor, Michigan: The University of Michigan, p. 204, ISBN
- ^"VIDEO: How to Lie for Your Life from World War II Spy School | Smithsonian Channel". smithsonianchannel.com. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
- ^Doundoulakis, Helias (2014), "1", Trained to be an OSS Spy, Bloomington, IN: Xlibris, p. 14, ISBN
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