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The Remington Model 11-48 recoiling barrel autoloading shotgun chambered for 2 1/4" shells spanned a Royal Flush of 12, 16, 20, 28 and .410 gauges during its 20 year production run that created over 450,000 of one of the company’s finest guns.

Whether the Remington Model 11-48 semi-automatic is an evolutionary or revolutionary derivative of its Model 11 direct ancestor is fodder for good conversation. Maybe you can help decide. The Model 11-48 was designed in 1948 and entered production the following year. It took the best traits of the Model 11 and then simplified production by using truly interchangeable and more easily produced stamped parts. Moreover, it streamlined its predecessor’s lines by lowering the Model 11’s signature tall boxy receiver into something that looks like seemingly every semi-auto shotgun that’s followed.

Model 11-48 production ran 20 years from 1949 to 1969 and was ultimately replaced by the Model 1100, which is still in production all these years later. Remington made over 450,000 in that time.

The shotgun was offered in various grades (models), which included the Model 11-48A Standard Grade, Model 11-48R Riot Grade, Model 11-48B Special Grade, Model 11-48D Tournament Grade, Model 11-48F Premier Grade and Model 11-48 RSS Rifled Slug Special. There were also two variants, the three-shell Sportsman 48, Sportsman 48 Skeet Grade and the Mohawk 48.

Regardless of grade, the 11-148 showcased good ergonomics. It was hammerless, recoil operated, used side ejection and had a tube magazine. It had a nifty self-compensating recoil reducer system that permitted using different load types without any adjustment.

As mentioned above, the 11-48’s profile was redesigned. The receiver was lowered to more “classic” silhouette instead of the tall receiver profile of its Model 11 predecessor. Giving it an upscale look and feel, the gun had finely checkered American walnut for its forend and stock. It also featured a pistol grip with cap, a crossbolt safety by the trigger and a black butt plate. The stock was 14” long with a 1 5/8” drop at comb and a 2 1/2" drop at heel.

The higher-end Sportsman 48 Skeet Grade had an ivory bead front sight, white metal rear sight and only one barrel option: 26” with Remington Special Skeet Boring.

The different gauges had both plain and ribbed barrel options. All had integrated chokes. Barrel lengths were 28” for full choke, 28” for less constrictive modified choke and 26” for the even more open improved cylinder. The 12-gauge guns had additional 30” length options in both plain and ribbed barrels. 28 and .410-gauge had 25” plain or ventilated rib barrels.

The standard 11-48A had a 5-shot capacity but sold standard with a free 3-shot plug. The 28-gauge version had a 4-shot capacity and weighed 6.25 pounds. As mentioned before, it had a 25” barrel; its stock was 13 7/8” long with a 1 5/8” drop at comb and a 2 3/8” drop at heel.

The guns weighed about 7.5 pounds for 12-gauge, 6.75 for 16-gauge and 6.5 pounds for 20-gauge.

The gun was thoughtfully designed to be taken down to separate the barrel from the rest of the gun, increasing ease of portability for travel, etc. and was actually sold and delivered in “take down” mode.

The gun’s extraordinary standardization for the time meant fewer trips to the gunsmith. Owners were able to do more maintenance on their own and a surprisingly high number of parts could be fitted on one’s own. The gun even used interchangeable barrels that required no fitting. Thus, cost of acquisition and cost of maintenance dropped, all of which were reasons the 11-48s sold so well. These guns were made in America.

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