Guns of Pop Culture: “No Country for Old Men” & the Remington 11-87 By: Travis Pike

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No Country For Old Men introduced a younger version of myself to the Coen Brothers, and I’m eternally grateful for it. The film is a neo-western film from 2007 that takes place in 1980.

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Its overall plot is simple. 

Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men
Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men

An average Joe-type, Llewelyn Moss, finds millions of dollars from a drug deal gone wrong. He takes the money, but the cartels want it back, so they send a human terminator named Anton Chigurh to recover the funds. 

Along the way, the border towns of Texas get soaked in blood and violence as Moss deals with the insane and brutal Chigurh.

He has an arsenal, including a TEC 9, the famed captive bolt pistol, and a Remington 11-87 semi-automatic shotgun fixed with a custom suppressor. 

Remington 11-87 that appeared on screen
Remington 11-87 that appeared on screen in No Country for Old Men (Photo: Vickers Tactical)

Chigurh is a skilled killer and is well-trained with his weapons. Whenever we see an armed Anton, we know bad things will follow.

Does he have a favorite gun? Maybe not, but he relies on his 11-87 more than his other firearms.

Today we are going to examine the film, the Remington 11-87, and how Chigurh uses this gun in the movie. 

Remington’s Rapid Fire Shotgun 

Remington is no stranger to semi-auto shotguns.

Way back when Browning first designed the Auto 5 for FN, Remington was the licensed producer of the gun in the United States. Remington continued to embrace the semi-auto shotgun and released the Remington 1100 in 1963. 

Remington 1100
Remington 1100

The 1100 proved to be a reliable, easy-handling shotgun and a favorite with sportsmen. The gun remained in production for decades, and looked to update the weapon…that update became the 11-87. 

What’s the 87 stand for? Well, it stands for the year that Remington introduced the weapon, 1987. Wait…doesn’t the movie take place in 1980? 

Yeah, the 11-87 is anachronistic, but so are a ton of the guns in the film. Maybe he just took a Delorean to 1987 to get better guns. 

The 11-87 is a gas-operated gun. When a round is fired, gas is vented from the fired shot through two ports which force a piston rearward, which causes the bolt rearward to eject the spent shotgun shell.

Then, a return spring pushes the bolt forward once more and loads the next round in the chamber. 

Gas operation is highly reliable.

Gas operation
Gas operation

Unlike inertia-operated guns, you don’t need to worry about adding weight to the weapon, which is likely necessary to Chigurh with that giant suppressor attached to the barrel.

It also helps reduce recoil and takes the bite out of 12-gauge buckshot. 

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Chigurh & the 11-87 

Anton Chigurh’s 11-87 is all black with a vent rib and is likely a short barrel shotgun. At the end sits the famous suppressor. 

Chigurh with his Remington 11-87 No Country for Old Men
Chigurh with his Remington 11-87

As far as I know, this suppressor was created for the movie. It’s a big stainless variant that is ridiculously large. Heck, the modern Salvo 12 is fairly large, and it’s as modern as a suppressor gets. 

Anton is a criminal, so it makes sense in-universe that he’d have a criminal make a suppressor for him. 

In real life, that 11-87 is probably an 18.5-inch barreled gun on which the props department slipped a fake suppressor. This gives the barrel that shorter look and likely hides the blank firing adapter pretty well. 

Chigurh aims at the Mexican in bed No Country for Old Men
Chigurh aims at the Mexican in bed

The film is grounded but doesn’t get everything right.

First, the suppressor is crazy quiet. That’s a fairly common movie trope and one we’ve come to expect. It’s a shame that portrayal has likely pushed suppressor rights backward. 

Also, the muzzle flash is massive.

A little muzzle flash would be normal, but that thing is a flame thrower. Even with the massive flash Javier Bardem doesn’t blink, cementing himself as a skilled and experienced gunslinger. 

Chigurh fires his Remington 11-87 No Country for Old Men
Chigurh fires his Remington 11-87

Another slight issue is how the film interprets shotgun spread. It follows that famed myth of massive spread even at close range.

We see Chigurh fire a blast in the motel and a widespread hit the bad guy and the door he’s next to. 

That said, Chigurh aims the gun the best he can. He can’t see his sights over the suppressor and more or less point-shoots at close range. He’s fairly skilled with the gun and manipulates it well. 

Javier Bardem knows his way around a shotgun, and it shows. 

Final Thoughts 

Javier Bardem is really good with his shotgun, and the film uses ground gunfights, and while it tries to be real, it often fails.

Chigurh aims at the Mexican in the bathroom No Country for Old Men
Chigurh aims at the Mexican in the bathroom

While the guns are not portrayed as accurately as possible, the action is grounded, the direction superb, and if you like the film, check out the book too. 

What did you think of No Country for Old Men? Let us know in the comments below. To see more Guns of Pop Culture, head to our Fun Archives.