Friday, August 29, 2008

Remington Spartan Gunworks SPR 100 Nickel .410 Review

When it comes to the Remington SPR 100 Nickel youth model, "Spartan" is an accurate description.

To be fair, I have not and likely will not shoot either of these 2 .410s that I just got in. .410 is just nothing exciting to me at all.

Introduced in 2005-2006, and imported under the Remington "Spartan Gun Works" name, these guns are basically Russian Baikal IZH-18M-Ms with a nickle-plated receiver and a vent rib attached. These 24" barrel single-shot .410s are currently priced at under $180 each.

The 2 examples I received in yesterday were noticeably different from each other, even though they are identical in model number ( a customer ordered 2.)

The 2 barrel assemblies were identical, with the exception of one barrel being laser-engraved under the chamber with "Read Manual Before Use." This could prove to be a real trick in itself, as the manual consists of paperwork folded up similar to a road map, and then stapled together. It seems that is should unfold so you can read it, but the pesky staples are in the way of opening it up all the way.

These guns are a hammerless design, with an opening lever behind the trigger guard and an action that cocks on closing. The safety is a cross-bolt design, and while ads say the trigger is titanium coated, they both look like that were hot salts blues to about a straw color- probably because of the rough finish prior to plating (or whatever was done to them.)The cocking indicator is a piece of off-white plastic "nub" that sticks up from the top of the receiver. (Red would have been better.)
One gun came with a nifty trigger lock assembly, a strange little plastic "dome" type doohickey that locks over the entire trigger assembly with a key that looks like a mini barrel busing wrench. I'm not sure why no such device was included with the second gun.

Both boxes had "Youth Handgun Safety Notices" included, which struck me as kind of odd. Perhaps the distributor adds them to all shipments.

Gun "A" has a blued trigger guard, really fat, with edges sharp enough to cut steak, and a crisp and decent opening lever at the rear of the guard.

Gun "B" has a plastic trigger guard, and the opening lever at the back of it looks like it was made from a leftover 10-speed bicycle brake part.

Back to the barrels: the finish is good on the barrels on both guns. The bluing is really nice-where there is bluing. The strangest thing to me about these little .410s is how nice the bluing is on the barrels, and how the muzzle end looks like it was terminated with a CHOP SAW. There is 0% Blue on the muzzle end of the barrel of either gun. Very odd; it is all I can do to restrain myself from hitting both muzzles with cold blue before delivering these.

The wood on both guns is very nice, I'd say about an 8 on a scale of 1-10 (for what these guns are.) The forearms, I like- the stock, specifically the grip section, pisses me off. It is so thick that a kid or a petite lady would likely have a hard time keeping a secure hold of this shotgun. I do not have massive hands myself, but can handle a full sized 10mm Glock with no problems- yet holding this .410 feels kinda like holding on to a 2x4.

Weight on this gun is excessive; I'm guessing because of the wood, and the extra beefy receiver (guessing the same as the 12 gauge receivers on other Baikal single-shots.) The actions on both guns are very stiff right out of the box; many kids would have problems getting these opened OR closed. There is an ejector "override" switch on the bottom of the receiver, which is kind of unique.

The packing was secure; but you would think that Remington or Baikal would bother to inspect the nickel for plating "spots" and actually remove the machining gunk, oil, and debris from the assembled actions prior to packaging (apparently not.)

Final thoughts:
If I was Remington, I would want some serious improvements on the QC on these before my name was attached to them- at the VERY least, in the arena of cleanup prior to shipping.

Will this gun shoot? Most certainly. After all, they are single-shot .410s, and as they are brand new, ok acquisitions if you can get them for under $200. Given my druthers, though, I would hunt pawnshops for a 60 year old plus American single-shot .410, and get by with paying $100 or less on something that can be refinished the way I want it, and easily repaired by any 'smith with some common sense. Overall, I'm very "John Kerry" ambiguous on this one-I can take or leave the SPR100.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I picked up the non-youth model for $90 bucks from Wal Mart a while back and it is my favorite squirel gun. It is reliable, feels good in my hand, light for covering ground. The thing I like the best about it is knowing I paid less than $100 bucks means I don't worry about it. If it gets scratched, fine. If it get's used as a brush stick, fine. I don't keep it in a case, just toss it in the truck and go.