Beginning Struggles

For Remington, efforts to develop a pump-action shotgun in the early 20th Century proved to be a struggle. Their first pump shotgun was the Model 10 designed by John D. Pedersen and introduced in 1908. The M10 loaded and ejected from a port underneath the receiver and provided Remington with a good start into the pump market. It was relatively popular and saw service in the trenches of WWI.

However, entry of the superlative Winchester Model 12 into the market spelled trouble for Remington. The Winchester M12 was a hugely successful side-ejection pump, which became very popular with competition shooters and hunters alike.

The Remington M10 was a good gun but was mechanically complicated and prone to breakage while shooters preferred the side-ejection feature of the Winchester M12 for the ease of single-loading a round.

Remington then introduced the Model 17 in 1921. This gun was a big improvement over the M10 with a simpler design and easier takedown, but retaining the bottom-ejection feature.

In 1929, Remington’s Crawford C. Loomis improved on the M10 and brought to market the Model 29. Still, none of these models could compete with Winchester’s M12 — whose sales far exceeded all three Remington offerings combined. Remington finally recognized the public demand for a side-ejection gun and the limited chamberings of their existing models. It fell upon Loomis to come up with a new design, with contributions from O.H. Loomis and C.H. Barnes. Development started in January 1930, and the first Remington Model 31 was shipped to distributors in August 1931.