By the 1980s, Remington had become increasingly aware of the need for a 12-gauge autoloading shotgun that could handle both 2 3/4- and three-inch shells interchangeably. This was particularly important for waterfowling where the greater shell capacity required for larger, steel-shot pellets had dramatically increased the use of three-inch Magnum shotshells.
To meet this need, Remington introduced a new autoloading shotgun in 1987, the Model 11-87 Premier, calling it "the finest, most versatile 12-gauge autoloading shotgun ever made, by us, or anybody else." This gun incorporated a new Pressure Compensating Gas System that required no manual adjustment for any 12-gauge shotshells, from light 2 3/4-inch loads to three-inch Magnums. The design of the new Model 11-87 Premier also included a large number of additional internal improvements to provide a "fifty percent increase in overall performance endurance," including a rust- and corrosion-resistant, stainless-steel magazine tube. Vent-rib barrels were standard on all ll-87s except Deer Guns. Initial variations included:
Model 11-87 Premier came in standard grade with twenty-six-, twenty-eight-, or thirty-inch, vent-rib barrels including the Rem Choke system for $507. A mirror-image left-hand version came with a twenty-eight-inch barrel for $547.
Model 11-87 Premier Trap featureda straight-line or Monte Carlo comb trap stock dimensions and thirty-inch trap barrel with interchangeable Rem Chokes in Trap Full, Trap Extra Full, and Trap Super Full constrictions. Stocks had satin finish and Tournament-grade checkering.
Model 11-87 Premier Skeet was offered in 12 gauge with twenty-six-inch barrels including two Rem Chokes in Skeet and Improved Skeet constrictions. Remington Model 11-87 Premier Skeet and Trap models were designed for optimum performance with 12-gauge target loads and set to handle 2 3/4-inch shells only.
Model 11-87 SP "Special Purpose" 12-gauge guns utilized a non-reflective wood and metal finish practical for hunting where concealment was a factor. A recoil pad and a detachable, padded camouflage sling were standard. Both twenty-six- and thirty-inch, vent-rib barrels included the Rem Choke system. These guns were discontinued in December 1990. Reference to "SP" indicates wood stock, Special Purpose finish.
Model 11-87 SP Special Purpose Magnum Deer Guns featured the SP wood and metal finish and padded, camo-style carrying sling with quick-detachable (QD) sling swivels. Barrels were twenty-one inches long and came with rifle sights and Remington's rifled slug choke. These guns were not designed to function with 12-gauge 2 3/4-inch light field or target loads.
Subsequent variations of, or additions to, Model 11-87 shotguns included the following:
Model 11-87 Special Purpose Magnum Cantilever Scope Mount Deer Gun (1989) - This version came with a twenty-one-inch barrel fitted with Remington's new cantilever scope-mounting system. Integral scope rings and rifled and Improved Cylinder Rem Chokes were included.
Model 11-87 Premier Skeet and Trap Left-Hand Models (1990) - These mid-year introductions first appeared in the 1991 catalog.
Model 11-87 Premier 175th Anniversary Limited Edition Commemorative (1991) - Introduced to commemorate Remington's 175th Anniversary, this special-editon shotgun featured a twenty-eight-inch, vent-rib, Rem Choke barrel and a roll-engraved left receiver panel stamped Remington's 1816-1991 emblem.
Model 11-87 SPS Special Purpose Magnum (1991) - This special hunting gun was available with twenty-six- and twenty-eight-inch Rem Choke barrels.
Model 11-87 SPST (Turkey) Special Purpose Magnum (1991) - A special gun designed for turkey hunting, this variation had a twenty-one-inch barrel and Turkey Extra Full Rem Choke.
Model 11-87 Premier Sporting Clays (1992) - This version came with a three-quarter-pound weight reduction from the use of new light-contour barrels and a shortened magazine tube and forend. Its competition-style stock was 3/4 inches longer and 1/4 inch higher at the heel. Shooters had a choice of twenty-six- or twenty-eight-inch barrels with 2 3/4-inch chambers, lengthened forcing cones, and matched Rem Choke tubes in five constrictions. It was supplied with a two-barrel, hard gun case.
Model 11-87 Premier LC "Light Contour" Guns (1992) - These guns incorporated the new, light-contour Rem Choke barrels on all Premier Field specifications. Also introduced were a left-hand action Premier Field shotgun with twenty-eight-inch barrel and a Model 11-87 Premier fully rifled, cantilever mount Deer Gun with satin-finished stock and twenty-one-inch barrel.
Model 11-87 SPS Camo Guns (1993) - Two models of camo-colored guns were introduced in 1993. Both models had all exterior portions covered with Mossy Oak Bottomland or Greenleaf camouflage patterns. The Model 11-87 SPS-BG "Big Game" Camo (Bottomland) wore a twenty-one-inch, rifle-sighted, Rem Choke barrel. "SPS"indicated Special Purpose gun with synthetic stock. The Model 11-87 SPS-T Turkey Camo (Greenleaf) had a twenty-one-inch, vent-rib Rem Choke barrel. Camo covering changed to Realtree X-tra Brown in 1997.
Model 11-87 SPS (Synthetic) Deer Gun (1993) - This variation featured a black matte-finish on all metal parts and on the synthetic stocks and forends and a twenty-one-inch fully rifled, rifle-sighted barrel.
Model 11-87 SPS Cantilever Mount Deer Gun (1994) - This gun wore a black stock and twenty-one-inch, fully rifled barrel with cantilever mount. Also available was the Model 11-87 SPS Cantilever Mount Rem Choke Deer Gun with black stock and twenty-one-inch barrel with cantilever mount and Rem Choke.
Model 11-87 Premier SC NP (Sporting Clays Nickel Plated) (1997) - This gun featured a nickel-plated receiver decorated with fine-line engraving; thirty-inch, vent-rib, light-contour barrel; and satin-finished stock. In 1998 a twenty-eight-inch barrel was added.
Model 11-87 SPS-T Camo, NWTF (1998) - This was a special-edition gun saluting the 25th Anniversary of the National Wild Turkey Federation. It was covered with Mossy Oak Break-Up camo and had a twenty-one-inch, vent-rib, Rem Choke barrel fitted with TRUGLOW fiber optic sights.