You know those times when you meet someone and you can tell right away something special is about to happen? This is more than just a chance encounter. Better than anything you were expecting. This is going to be an experience of a lifetime and you are beyond exited to see what happens next! Such was the day I met Black Betty, the new Remington V3 Tactical Shotgun.
The Proving Ground – Gunsite Academy
It was an overcast July morning. A steady 73 degrees made it unseasonably cool for Prescott, Arizona, during the summer. I scanned the horizon. “Monsoon clouds,” a local gentleman announced. “Look for storms here in a few hours.” The weather seemed to understand what was inside my soul – calm and cool, with the promise of unpredictability. Keeping one eye on the sky, I tossed the rest of my gear in the back of the Jeep, slammed the gate shut and headed north.
As one of five writers invited by Remington for a media event to train with the new V3 Tactical I counted myself fortunate. Our venue? Just the largest tactical training school in the world, Gunsite Academy (I will talk more about this institution in my next article). A multi-day defensive course featuring Remington’s V3 Tactical waited for us.
My expectations were neutral. I was not indifferent, but with everything going on in my busier than usual world, I was quite distracted with the goings on around me. I suppose, in a way, I took this on as an assignment and was ready to check all the boxes through to completion.
Out of My League?
Upon arrival at Gunsite, we filed into the classroom and found our assigned seats. The Remington reps brought out a stack of boxes and began unloading their contents. V3 after V3 appeared, pulled out of its cardboard slumber. Each was checked over, slung up and laid neatly down, side-by-side, on a table for our viewing and selection. Half had rifle sights; the other half had bead-sights.
Our instructions: Choose whichever we V3 preferred, but remember the gun. It would be ours for the duration of this event.
The other writers, all with very impressive knowledge of firearms, both their history and function, resolutely chose their V3 Tacticals. They confidently walked up to the pile, made a decisive selection and returned to their seats. I was truly out of my league.
How was I supposed to know which sight I preferred? What were the pros? What were the cons? Which one would make me NOT look like an idiot out there with a class of gun geniuses, retired Marines, ex-law enforcement officers and one world champion shooter?
I timidly strolled back to the table hoping no one would ask for an opinion or request explanation for whatever my choice was to be. Still uncertain of my choice, I stretched my hand out towards the shotguns. Suddenly – in a single instant – like two magnets snapping together by some unseen force, my hand latched onto the most beautiful adventure I had ever seen.
Black Betty had chosen me. And things were about to get real!
Testing the V3 Tactical
Over the next few days, we’d run drill after drill, some focusing on marksmanship, some on speed, others on the ease of loading the V3 Tactical and shot preparation. Some drills focused on movement and others combined elements from each of prior drills.
We stood in the Arizona sun, ran in the rain, and crawled through the mud.
Black Betty and I competed with the men, cleared enemy hideouts, maneuvered around vehicles and even neutralized threats protected by human shields. We held our own, Betty and me.
Any time I started to feel inadequate or overwhelmed, I’d look down, give her a wink and off we’d go! Covered in mud, grease and dirt, she and I had the time of our lives!
She’s Built Just Right
Shot and shot pushed through Betty’s 18-inch, black steel, interchangeable barrel with mounted rails. Round after round with perfect consistency. Her extended magazine offered a 6 +1 capacity, greatly reducing the need to reload.
Every night back in the hotel room I would check for bruises…nothing. This blew my mind! I have come home from an afternoon of shooting clays looking as if I had lost a boxing match to a kangaroo with a vendetta against human shoulders. How in the world could I put over 400 rounds of buckshot, bird shot and slugs through this Remington V3 semi-automatic shotgun and not have a single mark on me?
Well, one of Black Betty’s best features hides inside the chamber. Her most incredible one is the industry-dominant, self-regulating, gas exchange VersaPort System.
Somehow Remington figured out how to build a shotgun that only uses the energy it needs to cycle any given round (a 2 ¾ inch shell is going to require less power than a 3 inch shell). The excess gas escapes through tiny ports almost like exhaust, not felt by the shooter.
Then, just to double down on greatness, Remington moved all this magical goodness to middle of the shotgun instead of housing it in the stock, the typical design of other guns. Not only does this allow for gun owners to change out the stocks, most notably, it has given the V3 remarkably reduced recoil. In my experience, this proved perfection with a trigger.
V3 Options – Dress for Any Occasion
One could make the argument that, given the interchangeable barrel and stock, this Remington V3 Tactical shotgun could serve as your go-to, ride or die, all-around, “exclusive rights to the gun cabinet” shotgun! Straight out of the box, it serves as a perfect companion for home defense or an afternoon at the range.
Want to impress your father-in-law, why not change out the synthetic stock for Remington’s high-gloss walnut or throw on some Mossy Oak details?
Hunting time? Swap out the factory 18-inch barrel for a 22 – 28 incher and head out for a day in the duck blind. Or grab a box of hog Hammer Slugs and go chase down some oinkers. With the versatility of the V3 Tactical, the possibilities are endless!
Saying Goodbye – For Now!
Sadly, just as fast as it has started, my Arizona adventure was over. I was back on the plane bound for Colorado. Life never quite feels the same after an experience like that. You feel bigger, better somehow. It could be skills you learned, the people you had the pleasure of meeting, or, in this case, the time spent with Black Betty.