SOLD FOR: $1225
Model: 31 Special Police, Department of Water and Power Property
Serial Number: 37529
Year of Manufacture: 1940 (DJ Date Code)
Gauge: 12 Gauge 2 ¾” Shells
Action Type: Pump Action Shotgun with Tubular Magazine
Markings: The left side of the receiver is marked “Remington / REG. U.S. PAT. OFF. / MODEL 31 / 37529”. The left side of the barrel is marked “12 GA. FOR 2 3/4 OR SHORTER SHELLS.”, “37529”, “DJ” and with inspection marks. The top of the barrel is marked “REMINGTON ARMS CO., INC., ILION, N.Y. MADE IN U.S.A. U.S.A PATS. 1,176,665 / 1,763,714 – 1,786,213 – 1,834,410 – 2,023,929 – 2,039,814 OTHERS PENDING”. The right side of the barrel is stamped “REP” in an oval and with a test mark. The right side of the receiver is marked “POLICE GUN – PROPERTY OF DEPT. OF WATER AND POWER”.
Barrel Length: 18 1/2″
Choke: Fixed Improved Cylinder
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a metal bead fixed to the barrel at the muzzle. The top of the receiver has a serrated raised sighting plane.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are walnut with a pistol grip, straight comb, and serrated black hard rubber Remington buttplate. The buttstock is smooth and the forend is grooved. There is a sling stud in the belly of the buttstock and there is another on the magazine tube mount of the barrel. There are a few minor scuffs and draglines. There are a few scattered little marks through the finish which have mostly colored with age. There are a few minor compressions and light handling marks. The LOP measures 14” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has some scattered nicks, scuffs, and scratches. The stocks rate in about Fine overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and there is no erosion.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 80% of its metal finish. There is finish loss on the edges. There are some scattered little nicks, scratches, and dings. There are some scattered little spots of oxidation. There are some areas of thinning and discoloration, the most noticeable is on the bottom of the receiver at the front of the port. There are some areas of mottled discoloration. The magtube has operational finish loss. The pins are intact. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun rates in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this shotgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be required to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: In 1938 Remington introduced a new line of guns aimed at the law enforcement market. The lineup consisted of the Model 11, Model 81, and Model 31. The guns had slightly different features compared to the standard offerings, like the 18 1/2″ barrel on this Special Police Models 11 and 31 as opposed to the 20″ barrel on the Riot Models. Remington roll marked the receivers “POLICE GUN – PROPERTY OF” and the purchaser could pay to have their department’s name engraved. The sales were poor and limited quantities were made, many departments opted for the cheaper Riot Models or standard models. There are not many known to exist and this is the first Model 31 Special Police we have seen, cooler still is the name engraved on it. It was Purchased by the Department of Water and Power of California. While not your typical law enforcement agency, it would make sense that the DWP would have a few guns for security, especially after the Water Wars a few decades prior to when this shotgun was made.
While the earlier bottom-ejecting Model 17 had good sales, Remington knew a side-ejecting shotgun was needed to compete with the Winchester Model 12. The Model 31 was made from 1931 to 1949 and was Remington’s first-ever side-ejecting shotgun. It was available in 12 gauge, 16 gauge, and 20 gauge. Its action is extremely smooth, so smooth it was called the pump with “the ball bearing action” (although there are not really any ball bearings.). It did well but was not up to the task of beating the Model 12. With less than 200,000 produced of all gauges combined, the Model 31 would soon make way for the Model 870 shotgun which had as good or better reliability than the Model 12 at a drastically lower price. Still, some claim the Model 31 has the smoothest action ever designed. The design was so good that Mossberg simplified a couple of parts and used it as the basis for their popular Model 500 shotgun. This is a tremendously rare Model 31 and would make an exceptional addition to any collection but especially the collection of a true Remington die hard. Please see our photos and good luck!