Despite its introduction in 1963, the Remington Model 1100 remains one of the most popular game shotguns around and has seen overall production surpass four million units, besting even the best-selling Browning Auto-5 where autoloading shotguns were concerned. The design was attributed to Wayne Leek and Robert P. Kelley who developed a new recoil-reduction system which made the Model 1100 more manageable to fire. Remington released the Model 1100 in 12-, 16- and 28-gauge forms as well as .410 bore to go along with varying barrel lengths spanning 18- to 30-inches long. The Model 1100 initially debuted in its 12-gauge form in 1963 and this was then followed by the 16- and 20-gauge forms of 1964. The .410 bore arrived in 1969 with the Matched Pair version (.410 bore and 28-gauge) arriving in 1970. At the time of its arrival, the Remington Model 1100 replaced the both the Remington Model 58 ad Model 878 shotguns then available.
As in the successful self-loading/autoloading Browning Auto-5, the Remington Model 1100 made use of an effective gas-operated feature which powered the self-loading mechanism, allowing for semi-automatic repeat fire. The internal arrangement proved very reliable with few malfunctions reported between proper firings and adhered maintenance. The basic civilian-minded Model 1100 featured a limited, though still effective, four-shot tubular magazine to which the operator could chamber a shell and feed a fifth shell into the magazine for a total of five shots. Overall weight was approximately 8lbs when a standard 28-inch barrel was fitted. The general configuration of the firearm was highly conventional with its solid shoulder stock integrating the primary hand grip, a forend for supporting the frontal weight of the weapon and a clean rectangular receiver with side ejection port/cocking handle and underside loading port.
While primarily recognized as a leading "duck-hunting" shotgun (as well as clay, trap and skeet shooting), the Model 1100 was adopted by a select few military- and law enforcement-level agencies including Malaysian special forces and the amphibious minded Mexican Naval Infantry Force. The Model 1100 was also widely used by United States law enforcement since its inception. These versions differed from their civilian kind by adopting a lengthened tubular magazine which brought the standard ammunition count to 11 shells (assuming one was chambered and the magazine topped off). Beyond its acceptance as a military and sporting firearm, the Model 1100 was also highly regarded as a "proper solution" in the realm of home defense. Such was the reach of the Remington product.
The Remington Model 1100 remains as popular as ever today as it did in its heyday. Remington currently (2013) offers its Model 1100 through the following forms: Model 1100 50th Anniversary Limited Edition, Model 1100 Competition Synthetic (in silver and black finish), Model 1100 Classic Trap, Model 1100 Competition, Model 1100 Premier Sporting Series, Model 1100 Sporting Series and Model 1100 TAC 4 (in all-black finish).