Remington Model 31

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Remington Model 31
Place of originUnited States
Service history
WarsWorld War II
Production history
DesignerC.C. Loomis
John Pedersen
ManufacturerRemington Arms
Produced1931 - 1949
No. built196,000
VariantsModel 31L
Cartridge12-Gauge, 16-Gauge, 20-Gauge
BarrelsPlain, solid rib, or vent rib
Feed systemTubular magazine

The Remington Model 31 is a pump-action shotgun that competed with the Winchester Model 1912 for the American sporting arms market.[1] Produced from 1931 to 1949, it superseded the John Pedersen-designed Models 10 and 29, and the John Browning-designed Model 17. It was replaced by the less expensive to manufacture Model 870 in 1950.[2]


While the Remington Model 17 enjoyed some success, a solid, 12-gauge featuring side-ejection was needed to compete with Winchester. C.C. Loomis sized up the Model 17 and adapted it for side ejection. The Model 31 was Remington's first side ejecting pump-action shotgun. Stocks were walnut with checkered walnut forend and later changed to a ribbed forend. The Model 31 was made in three gauges with 121,000 12-gauge models made and 75,000 16- and 20-gauge examples also produced. The Federal Bureau of Investigation acquired one Model 31 per office in 1935 in response to the Kansas City Massacre.[3] The model 31L was a lightweight version featuring an aluminum receiver and trigger housing.

During World War II Remington produced a Model 31 riot gun for military use. These were stamped "U.S. Property" on the left side of the receiver and had an approximate serial number range of 51000-63000. Except for a single prototype, no Model 31 trench guns were produced.[4]

Despite being well received, sales still lagged far behind the Winchester. Remington went back to the drawing board and designed the Model 870; this shotgun matched the durability of the Model 12 at a significantly lower cost. Despite the overwhelming success of the 870, many shotgun connoisseurs consider the Model 31 to be the ne plus ultra of pump shotguns with its "ball-bearing" slide action.[5]

The Model 31 was later used as a basis for the Mossberg 500 and related shotguns. The Mossberg is simplified and cheaper to produce. Notable differences are the use of a two-piece bolt with separate locking piece as well as a significantly simplified barrel mounting system. Further, the bolt locks into a barrel extension rather than directly to the receiver.


  1. ^ Remington's Magnificent Five – Page Two
  2. ^ "Firearm Model History - Remington Model 31". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-06-14. Remington history page
  3. ^ Vanderpool, Bill "Bring Enough Gun" American Rifleman October 2013 pp.80-85&115-116
  4. ^ Canfield, Bruce (1992). U>S> Infantry Weapons of World War II. Lincoln, RI: Andrew Mowbray Publishers. p. 132. ISBN 0-917218-67-1.
  5. ^ Simpson, Lane. "Remington's Magnificent Five", Shooting Times, May 2000