Posted: 10/12/2005 1:49:06 AM EDT
Here's my preliminary comparison of the 1100CM to the SX2 Practical, made at a very early stage of use:
After getting my 1100CM, I was very jazzed about that shotgun (and I still am), but now that I've got a Practical to compare it to, I'm really wowed. They're both great shotguns, but the Practical Mk I is really a slick machine with some features which give it the advantage.
This afternoon I bought the Winchester and disassembled it down to the trigger group, cleaned out the preservative, lubed it up with FP-10 (my favorite cleaner/lubricant/protectant) then went out on my property and proceeded to push a box of 25 Estate Heavy Game loads (3.25 dram 1 1/8 oz. #6 shot) through the gun. Not a bobble or stumble of any kind and at least half the box was shooting as rapidly as I could... the gun just flies and loves doing it! It's early yet, but perfect reliability using the lighter load gas piston so far. I think I'll stick with 3.25 dram 1 1/8 oz loads for the first 200 rounds or so as a break-in before I try the really light loads. My intended use for the gun is to be one of my home defense shotguns, so full pop 00 Buck will be what I load it with for "duty".
Here are some of the features of the Practical that I prefer over the 1100CM:
• the bolt release is easier to access and nicer to operate;
• the mag extension (permanent) is much smoother and more securely done and much better protected (it's inside the outer protective sleeve that's visible)... and it doesn't require a securing bracket. If the aluminum protective sleeve over the mag tube gets dinged or damaged, it can be replaced in about 5 seconds, just unscrew the mag cap and slide the sleeve off the gun - the extension itself stays in place and operational. The design of the entire mag extension on this gun is a master-touch, in my view.
• the built-in, cantilevered rail is really nice to add a holographic or other sight with no further ado (looks cool too);
• the flip down rear sight is very useful, convenient, and well designed
• the ability to use different gas pistons makes for great flexibility;
• no rubber o-rings to have to replace;
• the SX2 has the front sling attachment on the front of the forearm vs. having to use the barrel/tube bracket on the 1100CM (I don't like the bracket).
• the SX2 is easier to load... the carrier/elevator is a breeze to push up out of the way... with the 1100CM you have to make sure the shell pushes the little "release" lever which is nestled inside the carrier.
• the gun is designed to operate at amazing speed, capable of 5 shots in just 1/2 second - you can potentially empty the gun of it's 9 rounds into an attacker before the first empty hull even hits the deck! That's mind boggling defensive power in my view. (This speed isn't really "necessary", but it's sure nice to have it, if you want it!)
None of these differences in the Practical, taken individually, are necessarily huge, but they all add up to make for a superior shotgun. Add to that the presumed longer life of the components (1100 parts are not known for longevity - from what I hear anyway) and that makes the SX2 just a head above the 1100CM in my book.
Things I prefer with the 1100CM:
• Slightly shorter LOP (about 13.5" vs. 14" with the Practical)
• Slightly shorter overall length (the 1100CM is nearly an inch shorter than the Practical)
• The forearm feels more solid and not "hollow" whereas the forearm on the Practical feels just a bit less solid and has a little "hollowness" feel to it.
• The entire gun has a solidness to it that just edges out the overall feel of the SX2... and I think most of this lies in the solid feel of the stock & forearm, nothing to do with the receiver.
• The fiber optic front sight is a tad larger and easier to pick up.
Personally I'm happy with both the 1100CM and the Practical... they're both great guns. But if I had to give one up, I'd think I'd give the nod to keeping the Practical!
Good review! Thank you!
Does the SX2 come from the factory with the lighter load gas piston?
Did you ever try to upgrade the Remington with a Easyloader? I think this is the only way to load the 1100 or 1187 fast.