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Review: Remington V3 Waterfowl Pro & Peters Premier Blue High Velocity Steel Shot

Review: Remington V3 Waterfowl Pro & Peters Premier Blue High Velocity Steel Shot

My first impression opening the Remington box was...What a cool lookin’ gun! The Burnt Bronze colored Cerakote receiver and barrel set off by the Realtree Max-5 stock and forend make this gun a real eye catcher. You can also match Burnt Bronze with Mossy Oak’s Shadow Grass Blades or Patriot Brown Cerakote paired with Realtree Timber.

I took it to the range and ran most of a box of Peters Premier Blue Steel—we’ll get there in a minute—1 ¼-ounce 1,400 fps duck loads through it on the pattern board and a few clays. The recoil on this gas-operated semi-auto was very light even in shirt sleeves on a mild spring day. Remington says their SuperCell recoil pad reduces recoil by 54 percent when coupled with their Versaport gas system; this gun made me a believer. The one-inch-thick pad is made of cellular polyurethane and fitted well to the synthetic stock. Molded into the stock is the lower sling attachment and the other end goes on the magazine cap, making for hands-free carrying along with decoys, blind bag, stove, recliner, six dozen donuts and two pizzas.

Moving forward past the pistol-grip stock that—with the forend—has a stippled sort of checkering that doesn’t seem to affect grip one way or another, we come to the trigger group. The safety that’s right behind the trigger guard is a fat half-inch-wide raised button that is easily felt through gloves or with chilly fingers. It takes a little force to snick it off, but with frozen fingers that’s a good thing. The trigger is a wide 5/16". Years back, shooters bought “trigger shoes” to widen their trigger for better feel when shooting. When I worked up the gun, I checked the trigger pulls with Lyman’s excellent and sensitive Digital Trigger Pull Gauge, and the average of five pulls was a light 4¾ pounds. You could add 10 to that as trigger pulls are often heavy. Those on this V3 were excellent with some preliminary take-up that doesn’t distract from the crisp let off.

Hidden Heart

The Burnt Bronze Cerakote action has some surprises too. Cerakote is a ceramic-polymer hybrid baked-on coating that provides “exceptional corrosion protection, hardness, impact, chemical and wear resistance.” Bottom line, it does all of that and looks cool to boot. So once you wipe your drool off the receiver, you’ll notice the 1¼-inch long charging handle that gives an easy grip when you yank back the bolt. The V3 has a one-piece carrier so the bolt stays locked back; no little tab to trip to keep the bolt open. To close it there’s a nearly inch-long paddle on the right side of the action that you just need to whack and the bolt slams shut.

The heart of this gun lies hidden by the forend just below the barrel and in the bolt. The patented Versaport gas-operating system is truly unique. The seven gas ports that bleed off the high-pressure gases that vary between 8,500 and 10,500 psi lie at the front of the chamber. Depending on the length of the shell they send the gas to the twin pistons located beneath the barrel that then drive rearward, opening the bolt and cycling the action. When a 2¾-inch shell is fired, all the ports are open; put in a 3-inch shell and three of the posts are covered.

By taking the gas right at the source, Remington says it makes for more reliable cycling while retaining the light recoil of a gas gun. The V3’s rotating bolt has locking lugs that engage notches in the very short barrel extension to ensure shells are ready to fire. The owner’s manual illustrates the tool-free, disassembly of the bolt for cleaning and lubrication, and the gas pistons are easily removed for periodic cleaning that takes all of five or 10 minutes depending on your number of thumbs.

The Burnt Bronze Cerakote-coated vent-rib light-contour barrel ends with a black ¾-inch extended choke tube; the V3 comes with three. I checked the cylinder-bore diameter with my digital bore micrometer and it measured on the wide side of standard (.725) at .730. The three supplied chokes, when compared with the cylinder bore, have diameters of Improved Cylinder .007, Modified .009 and Full .013, all wider than standard dimensions.

At the pattern range, I first checked the point-of-impact at the 16-yard plate. This distance makes a one-inch deviation from dead center, a sixteenth-inch correction to the stock. This V3 shot dead on vertically, but was about two inches left, so for me I would need to add about an eighth-inch of cast off that moves the stock to my right to bring the pattern dead on. It’s a minor difference, but at 40 yards is several inches. Remington has helped us fit the V3 to ourselves by including three shims that can put the stock pretty much dead on for many shooters.

Blue Bullets

I shot a series of patterns at the industry standard of 40 yards using the Modified (.009) tube with Peters Premier Blue High Velocity Steel No. 2s. The nominal count for 1 ¼-ounce of No. 2 pellets is 156, and I weighted a shot charge from a dissected Blue load that weighed 535 grains on my electronic powder scale that converts to 1.222 ounces, just a pellet shy of 1¼ ounces (1.25).

Using the standard 30-inch diameter circle with a secondary inner circle of 22 inches—the area contained within the two circles are equal—gave me the following results:

Circle    Average Hits    Percentage

Outer     32.4                    20.7%


Inner      54.8                    35.1%

Total      87.2                    55.8%

Fifty-six percent is right on Light Modified, which serves the average hunter very well for shots taken within 40 yards. Keep in mind its much easier to kill a duck or goose at 40 yards than it is to hit them!

Peters is a name you young whipper-snappers might not recognize, so here is a little background.

In 1855 Joseph Warren King purchased the Austin & Carleton powder mill and its company town on the Little Miami River, which he sold in 1877 and founded the Great Western Powder Works at a location that offered better waterpower to the mills. King’s son-in-law Gershon Moore Peters became head of the mill when King died in 1885. Peters then formed the Peters Cartridge Company at Kings Mill, Ohio, in 1887. In July 1890, a collision of two loaded railway cars triggered an explosion that killed 12 and started fires that burned the frame railway station, two Peters office buildings, the cartridge loading plant and six employee residences. In subsequent years they rebuilt all using bricks and reinforced concrete that didn't burn.

Over the years Peters used blue hulls for their shotshells, hence often called “Big Blue.” Remington purchased Peters in 1934, and moved production to its Bridgeport, Connecticut, factory. Remington sold the Peters buildings to Columbia Records in 1944 and they made 78 rpm phonograph records until 1949 when Columbia leased the buildings to Seagram Distillers as warehouses.

Remington made Peters shells for years with their traditional blue cases. They used the trade name Victor and we called them Peters-Victors, which we thought was the full name of the company. In the 1970s Remington began pushing Peters Blue target loads and had a wonderful art rendering of a black Lab with a box of Peters shells in his mouth. Following that the Peters name fell into disuse by Remington. But that’s all changed!

Unique to this renaissance is the use of a “stitched” wad. Most plastic wads come with the petals open at the top; the stitched petals of the new Peters shells are held by a fine line of plastic so that the shot is held tight as it goes through the bore and then once it hits the air, held for a fraction of a second until the petals separate, sending the shot home. In pattern testing, I think the stitched wad worked as the patterns held together quite well through the .009-constriction choke tube, showing expected pellet distribution.

The hulls of the Peters Premium Blue High Velocity Steel are of straight-walled ribbed design that provides plenty of room for all the necessary components. When I opened one I found a thin layer of eighth-inch plastic discs atop the shot that take up the last fraction of an inch of case space, providing a tight/firm crimp that’s necessary for consistent, positive ignition. Peters Blues feature Remington’s Kleanbore priming for positive ignition. Remington was one of if not the first to offer non-corrosive priming that has saved many a barrel. The primer and crimp are sealed preventing rusting of the steel pellets when you leave your shells in the bottom of the boat the night it rains three inches. High Velocity Steel comes in 3-inch, 12 gauge at 1,400 fps in BB and Nos. 2, 3 and 4 shot.

To complete the line and give you Dead-Eye Dicks out there some well-needed practice ammo there’s Peters Premium Blue Field & Target. Just the thing to break in your new V3. They come in 2¾-inch 12-gauge with 1 ⅛-ounce of No. 7½- or 8-shot with the choice of 1,145 or 1,200 fps.

Pairing the V3 and Peters Premium Blue might make your opening day one to remember!

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