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 Post subject: 11-87 HD Build
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:22 pm 
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Hello to all, this is my first post here.

I purchased this 11-87 Premium new with a 26 inch, vent rib/pressure compensated (.116” dual gas ports) barrel nearly 20 years ago. Though it got some use early on busting clay pigeons, it has been mostly a safe queen. Recently, I decided to do something with it – build it into a home defense SG.

One of my goals was to maintain a traditional, “non-tactical” look. The finish on both the metal and wood remains a pleasure to look at, though I did take down the super-gloss finish that came on the wood with some fine steel wool. My other goals were to modify it for the intended purpose – shorten it and make it as reliable as possible with my 2-3/4” loads of choice.

The mods so far include the following;

- Shortened the barrel to 18-3/4 inches and re-installed the RemChokes
- HiViz CompSight PM1002 - Competition Shotgun Sight (same as used on the 1100 Tac4)
- Cut the stock down to 13” LOP and re-installed the original Remington butt pad
- Choate 2-shot magazine extension
- Dave’s Metal Works Easyloader
- Vang Comp dome button safety
- Remington Seal Activator Ring
- Brownells stainless steel magazine follower

Here is how it stands currently;

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I will be installing a CDM Gear BMT Clamp to mount my Surefire X300 on one side and a QD swivel on the other, and the GG&G QD Rear Sling Attachment and use a 2-point Vickers sling, the same setup I have on my AR (I figure consistency is good).

Range Test

With a fresh o-ring and the seal activator installed, the Federal PD132 00 buck load cycles perfectly with strong ejection. Even the softer-shooting Remington 8-pellet, 00 buck “Managed Recoil” load cycles without a hitch, though the ejection is not quite as strong as the Federal load. Based on my testing thus far, the Federal load has been 100% functionally reliable and I have no reason to believe it won't remain that way.

As expected, the Federal load with its Flight Control wad produces tight patterns. At 50 feet, the load patterned at 4 inches or less with an improved cylinder choke installed – one shot put 8 pellets in a 2-inch group. The load cycles the action briskly with strong ejection, but yet is easier to shoot than the Federal P154 00 load I’ve used in the past (the P154, non FC wad load also has over double the spread at 50 feet).

I also have a 21 inch rifle-sight slug barrel (.083” dual ports, non-pressure compensated) for the 11-87, and it always shot Federal Premium P127RS Hydra-Shok HP slugs very well. To my delight, the “new” barrel shoots them extremely well too, producing a 3-inch, perfectly centered group at 50 yards. It’s great to have one barrel shoot both the reduced-power 00 buck and full power slug loads well. The vent rib with HiViz sight gets on target very fast yet offers good precision for slugs.

So far, so good - once I finish this project I will post some more pics. Thanks for taking a look!

Update 9/2013

Here are the photos showing how the SG is currently set up. The rest of the thread provides the details;

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11-87 HD Build


Last edited by NH Shooter on Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 11-87 HD Build
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:24 pm 
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I dig that. I dig that a lot.

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 Post subject: Re: 11-87 HD Build
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:44 pm 
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Awhile back we finished building the Rem870 SBS demo gun which had a 14" including the KA-1212BR breaching attachment, looking to do the same build with an 1187 now, those guns are tanks and suck up a lot of the recoil

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 Post subject: Re: 11-87 HD Build
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:12 pm 
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Very Nice. Definitely like the practical tactical look


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 Post subject: Re: 11-87 HD Build
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:42 pm 
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Well done NH!


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 Post subject: Re: 11-87 HD Build
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:42 pm 
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looks great to me !


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 Post subject: Re: 11-87 HD Build
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:11 pm 
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Usually when I see a post titled "HD Build", especially when it's a Premier, Auto-5, etc., I cringe and have actually quit looking at some of these posts. Some guys butcher up the guns so badly, and you just want to say "My Gawd man, why didn't you just use an Express or 500 if you wanted to paint it black and chop it so much"

But I opened this post and was pleasantly surprised to see that you did a very nice job, and the gun looks great. Even better, it sounds like you put a lot of thought into reliability and functionality, while maintaining a lot of the beuaty of that nice Remington.

Kudos to you NH. Great job!


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 Post subject: Re: 11-87 HD Build
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:48 pm 
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Thanks to all for your feedback!

My inspiration to do this actually came from perusing this forum, long before I registered. In the pic thread there is a Model 11 with a shortened barrel and I really like the look of it. I actually had a Speedfeed 13" LOP furniture set on the 11-87 for a while and though it feels good in the hand, I never really cared for the look of it with polished blue metal. I considered having the metal bead blasted and reblued, but instead pulled out the original wood furniture, cleaned it up and sent off the stock to be shortened, along with the barrel. The gunsmith at State Line Gun Shop in Mason, NH did the work and I am very pleased with the job he did.

I will be mounting a Surefire X300 light on a CDM mount and will be adding a sling with QD attachments, and with that I think I'll be done. And stock up on more of that Federal PD132 load....

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 Post subject: Re: 11-87 HD Build
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:22 pm 
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Very nice!

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 Post subject: Re: 11-87 HD Build
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:31 pm 
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You did a very nice job on that shotgun. I like it a lot.


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 Post subject: Re: 11-87 HD Build
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:17 pm 
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Welcome to the Basement, NH Shooter. You have a great 11-87. Did your gunsmith have any concerns about shortening the stock?

Here is a pretty good deal to help you to stock up on Federal LE 132-00, sir.

http://www.targetsportsusa.com/p-3082-federal-law-enforcement-12-gauge-2-34-00-buckshot-9-pellets-ammunition.aspx

Box of five rounds, IN STOCK, SKU:TSLE132, Regular Price: $5.29; On Sale For: $3.99

Case of 250 (50 Boxes of 5), IN STOCK, SKU:TSLE132-BULK, Regular Price: $264.50, On Sale For: $199.50

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 Post subject: Re: 11-87 HD Build
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:38 am 
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wfb18, thanks for the welcome and for the link!

Gunsmith had no concerns about shortening the stock by 1 inch, though he agreed that is about as far as it can be cut. I was concerned about the ability to grind down the OEM butt pad, but it came out perfect.

We actually had more of a conversation about the barrel - he suggested that he open up the gas ports to .120" at the same time. I decided to try them at .116" first and make my decision from there. Turns out that the .116" ports worked just fine - I was cycling Remington low base Dove & Quail #8 loads without a hitch with the shortened barrel, even with a worn o-ring seal.

Even though it worked fine with the low base birdshot loads, I decided to add the barrel seal activator and along with a new o-ring seal, the Federal reduced-power 00 buck load cycles the action very robustly - I no longer have any concern about this load functioning reliably with the way the 11-87 is now set up.

The CDM BMT clamp with 3-slot rail showed up yesterday and I installed it, along with a Surefire X300 light that has been living on a Glock 17. It worked out very nicely with the light mounted on the right side, and I am using the CDM QD sling swivel on the left side of the clamp. Once I add the GG&G rear QD attachment (that sandwiches between the front of the stock and the rear of the receiver), I will be adding a Vickers 2-point sling as the final mod - being able to secure the SG while freeing up the hands to run a handheld flashlight, open doors, etc. are IMO important for a HD SG.

I'll post some more pics this weekend. My thanks again to all for your comments and welcome!

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 Post subject: Re: 11-87 HD Build
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:22 pm 
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Two years ago we discussed that the Remington 11-87P can switch between 14" and 18" barrels, but we did not know if the barrels' gas port diameters are the same.

wfb18 wrote:
For nowool's purposes, however, he can forget about enlarging the gas ports on his 18"-cut-down-to-14" barrel. The only purpose would be to help his 11-87 to cycle light loads, whereas the owners manual says to not use light loads with short 11-87 barrels. Remington recommends 2.75" or 3" magnums for all barrels shorter than 26" on the 11-87. Shooting magnum loads through that barrel with enlarged gas ports might stress his gun past its design limits. I am guessing that the gas port diameters are the same on the 14" and the 18" barrels, 0.0820".

I am not sure where I found that, and it turns out that the correct openings are 0.1100", but Wisner's does say that the two gas ports are each 0.0830" on the 21" Special Purpose Deer barrel.

aippi wrote:
The only 18.5" barrel (they no longer make the 18") made for an 11-87 is made for the 11-87 Police and the gas orifices are 0.1100" and will not allow you to shoot anything but buck shot, slugs and some of the very heavy game loads like turkey loads. The barrel is made for a specific model and is designed like this. Yes, it will work on any 11-87 but limits what you can fire out of it. Also, Remington highly recommends you do not tamper with the gas orifices on the barrel. - JD McGuire, Owner, AI&P Tactical

Your gunsmith was definitely under-informed and you were wise to stick with the original 0.1160" gas ports for now. I am not trying to start a commotion, but you may even want to buy an 18.5" police barrel. I simply do not want you to beat up such a nice firearm just so that you can shoot light loads.

jmr40 on another forum wrote:
If you start cutting 11-87 barrels down shorter, you will have reliability problems with light quail loads. The barrels are designed to operate the action within a certain pressure range. The shorter the barrel, the less time the pressure has to build up and work the action. Any factory Remington barrel less than 26" is meant for 2.75" and 3" magnum loads only. Even the 26" barrels are slightly less reliable with light loads than the longer barrels.

It is possible to have the gas ports modified to work with the lighter loads, but then you will lose the flexibility of using heavy loads without damaging the gun. This is true of all gas operated guns to a degree, but the 11-87 is particularly picky about it.

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 Post subject: Re: 11-87 HD Build
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:44 am 
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NH Shooter wrote:
... Even though it worked fine with the low base birdshot loads, I decided to add the barrel seal activator and along with a new o-ring seal, the Federal reduced-power 00 buck load cycles the action very robustly - I no longer have any concern about this load functioning reliably with the way the 11-87 is now set up...

From what I have read, the barrel seal activator is a great fix for shooting light loads, but perhaps you should be cautious and remove it each time before shooting buckshot and slugs, and each time before your 11-87 does HD duty. I am trying to find some knowledgable opinions, and I am just concerned that the barrel seal activator might damage your gun when shooting HD loads.

O.K., I found some.

Bryan 45 on another forum wrote:
The activator should be removed for heavy 2 3/4" loads and all 3" though.

Virginian wrote:
... I always cautioned the owner to be sure - positive - and remove it before shooting anything stout.

Remington 1100/11-87 Owners Manual, page 7 wrote:
REMOVAL OF THE BARREL SEAL ACTIVATOR IS RECOMMENDED ONLY WHEN USING 3" OR 3 1⁄2" LOADS. [ETA: And IMO, 2.75" Magnum loads.]

cromanos wrote:
...a tech rep... told me that the activator should absolutely be removed when shooting heavy loads, he even said "it's in the manual", though I pointed out that the manual only makes that recommendation for the 12-ga 11-87 Super Mag, not the 20, and he agreed that it was unclear and needed to be amended.

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 Post subject: Re: 11-87 HD Build
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:13 pm 
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Good discussion on the barrel seal activator ("bsa" for short) and port size.

The 11-87 pressure compensation system - as I understand it - works like a relief valve. When pressure builds up to a certain point, spring tension is overcome and bleed-off ports open. Thus, larger ports can be used to cycle light loads and heavy loads have a portion of the pressure bled off through the compensation ports to avoid excessive pressure.

Not all 11-87 barrels have this sytem, such as the shorter "special purpose" barrels (like my 21 inch slug barrel) and the skeet/trap barrels that are intended for light loads only.

As far as I can tell after taking a close look at how the bsa fits in the barrel cylinder, it in no way blocks the bleed-off ports of the pressure compensation system. I believe all it does is to push the barrel o-ring foward into the bottom of the cylinder, providing a better seal. Some people have stated that using double o-rings helps with low power loads - I think doing this has the same effect as using the bsa. So in my mind, all the bsa does is to ensure that a good/consistent seal is made by the o-ring at the bottom of the cylinder so all pressure is used to cycle the action. The pressure compensating system continues to bleed off pressure when it reachs a certain point.

Using my 21 inch slug barrel (.083" ports, non-pressure compensated) with full-power 2-3/4" loads feels no different recoil/action cycling-wise than using the cut down pressure-compensated barrel and bsa.

In any case, this barrel/barrel seal activator combo will be used exclusively with the reduced power loads I have set it up for, which are softer shooting yet cycle the action reliably.

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 Post subject: Re: 11-87 HD Build
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:13 pm 
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I'll say it too...that is a really nice set-up you have there. Along with what some others said, I almost didn't even open this post but you have really done a classy job with that gun.


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 Post subject: Re: 11-87 HD Build
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:00 am 
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shotgunworld wrote:
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From Remington: The 11-87 Owner's Manual schematic has not been updated with the most recent version of the barrel seal activator. In this corrected diagram the barrel seal, piston seal assembly and barrel seal activator are shown in the proper positions on the 11-87 Super Magnum magazine tube.

A barrel seal activator is used on the 11-87 Super Magnum to improve performance when shooting 2¾” shells. You should remove the activator when shooting 3” and 3½” shells.

I think that you should consider not using the barrel seal activator whatsoever. You could buy a short barrel and open the gas ports as necessary to shoot light target loads, and only shoot 00 buckshot and slugs through your 26"-cut-down-to-18.75" barrel.

I understand that you trust the spring steel cover over the gas ports of your cut-down 26" barrel will open to vent the excess gas when a magnum load is fired, even when the barrel seal activator is not removed. Significantly, I find no one saying that if you do have a pressure compensated 11-87 barrel, you do not need to remove the barrel seal activator when shooting heavy loads.

I would not equate "low-recoil" 00 buckshot and "light load". It takes a greater powder charge to push the greater payload, and it is the opposite reaction against the literally heavier load in a gas-sealing wad flying down the barrel that cycles the action. In that sense, perhaps both 2.75" low-recoil 00 buckshot and 2.75" full-power 00 buckshot could damage an 11-87 with the barrel seal activator installed. From what I have read, that damage may be a broken feed latch and extractor, or you could crack the barrel.

Remember that the tech said that the owners manual needs to be amended, and that ShotgunWorld agrees. Someday Remington (read that Cerberus) might amend it by also advising against shooting 2.75" field loads, buckshot or slugs with the barrel seal activator installed.

You have done such good work with your gun, and I hope that you will not find me disagreeable. Best wishes and good luck, sir.

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 Post subject: Re: 11-87 HD Build
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:07 am 
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C Kerley wrote:
I'll say it too...that is a really nice set-up you have there. Along with what some others said, I almost didn't even open this post but you have really done a classy job with that gun.


Thank you!

Here are some photos of the new barrel clamp set up. Full disclosure - I'm not a fan of "a lot of stuff hanging on the gun." That said - and while trying to maintain a "classic look" - I also know that certain accessories are really called for on a HD SG, such as a weapon light and a good sling. Being able to quick attach/detach both was also a goal so neither the sling or light would have to remain mounted when not needed.

I decided to use the CDM Gear BMT clamp system that includes a 3-slot rail and QD swivel socket. This single device serves as a barrel/magazine clamp, a mount for my Surefire X300 and a place for the foward attachment of a 2-point sling. I'm pleased with how it worked out.

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 Post subject: Re: 11-87 HD Build
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:32 am 
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wfb18 wrote:
You have done such good work with your gun, and I hope that you will not find me disagreeable. Best wishes and good luck, sir.


Not at all, I appreciate the input! Next range session I will run my loads of choice without the bsa installed and if it functions reliably, it will stay out.

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 Post subject: Re: 11-87 HD Build
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:46 pm 
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please keep us updated on this whole project. i've done this with a few 870's and have an 1187 i've also been wanting to but have held out for some time due to the stated concerns. and yes i'll also say Nice Job!! chris



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