some remington 870 questions

Discussion in 'General Shotgun Discussion' started by jeffm, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. jeffm

    jeffm New Member

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    I am looking to purchase a Remington 870 shotgun for home defense and to shoot for fun (possibly a work gun if I get hired by sheriff's, I also have a benelli m4). I see some of the "tactical" versions at stores for around $399.99 (usually on sale for 329.99 though) but online Remington has them for $50.00-$100.00 more is that not a real tactical version? I also saw a youtube video from 2013 and the guy did not recommend the 870. I will try and post video when I find it. Also what is the difference between an 870 and express 870? I am looking at either the express 870 tactical or 870 synthetic (which is 7 rounds, I like that version the best so far).

    do any of you have the express tactical or synthetic ?

    Sorry if it's hard to understand too I have been up since 4:00 am on my day off from work :mad:
     
  2. artbrownsr

    artbrownsr Forum Chaplain Lifetime Supporter

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    This is an old argument (Rem. 870 vs Moss. 500) one is chosen by military, and the other by LE. Both have proven reliability. I own the 870 Express and an old 870 Wingmaster, I believe the main differences between the Express and the tactical is the barrel length, the capacity, the stock design,and the material of the stock. Maybe the better way to say it is the only thing the same is the receiver and pump.
     

  3. Triumphman

    Triumphman Active Member

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    When you compare the "new" 870's to the older 870 models(pre 2000 and older) there is no comparison.

    Wingmaster is much better, by it's smoother, more refined action over the Express, but for home defense I'd take the "Tactical" model everyday.

    The Tactical has machined steel action parts over "mim" components in the Express. I'm unsure of the Wingmaster parts. You CAN get Tactical receiver parts and swap into the other models if need warrants it.

    This alone is why the Tactical is used for LEO work.

    One thing Remington did continue to do with the 870's and that is keep the receiver in steel for strength.

    The Express 20ga I have has a hard, gritty pump action. It's easy to short-stroke due to this, but if you think about it, it performs well. They say that the action gets smoother with usage. I'd like to know when, as I have about 250rds thru mine.

    I seriously would seek a Tactical model(synthetic furniture) and put a Saddleback Mount over the receiver and use either a EOTech/MeOptic/AimPoint sight and put a good GI nylon adjustable type sling on it.
    A shell extension tube couldn't hurt, along with a shell holder mount on the stock for extra shells. Couldn't get more serious for your family's safety.

    If you get hired by Sheriff's Office, you might not be able to use your own weapon, due to liability, but I have heard some small town offices use self-owned Hi-Point Carbines as backup, so anything is possible when money is involved.
     
  4. Virginian

    Virginian Active Member

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    Both have been used by the military and law enforcement. Both are good guns. The 870 Express is built down to a Price point. Some MIM parts like the extractor. If it isn't smooth enough for you, sit in front of the TV one weekend watching football and cycle the action the whole time; that should do it. 250 rounds isn't going to do much in an action designed to go 250,000 rounds plus. A few years ago they had some with excessively rough chambers, but that appears to have been solved, and they guy in the U Tube video is no doubt a self styled expert and he doesn't like Remington. I do. The Tactical is a configuration, the Police Models are a different build quality (no MIM parts, stronger sear spring, etc.). If you get the one with the one piece larger capacity magazine tube, you cannot swap barrels unless you make an adapter. Apparently a bunch of people did not look into that and are now whining about it.
    In my opinion you are usually better off to buy a plain basic gun and add only the components you want from a quality vendor.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
  5. Seargent_York

    Seargent_York New Member

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    Prices on manufacturers sites are always more than what most would pay for retail.
     
  6. jeffm

    jeffm New Member

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    thanks everyone, I went to sportsman's warehouse to check some out and to my surprise after I talked to the guy he told me the $359.99 is way better than the $499.99 for what I need/want it for. I will be picking it up within the next couple months hopefully.
     
  7. artbrownsr

    artbrownsr Forum Chaplain Lifetime Supporter

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    In general I have found the gun counter guys at "Sportsman's Warehouse" a tad better than other big store operations, and a LOT better than "Wal-Mart".
     
  8. jeffm

    jeffm New Member

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    One time at big 5 I asked the clerk about the benelli m4 shotgun (before I owned one) and she handed me a Savage 22 rifle. Don't get me wrong I am by no means a gun expert and have a lot to learn but even I know the difference between a rifle and shotgun let alone the name of the brands on them.
     
  9. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    Summit gun broker is a good online site to check out for police trade-in pistols and shotguns. They had some 870 shotguns on there not too long ago. Those duty weapons would posses all the high durability parts most folks would be looking for in a defensive shotgun.
     
  10. kbd512

    kbd512 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I own a Remington 870 Police Magnum. From handling and shooting 870 Express models, the 870P model has more attention given to the fit and finish of the components. The action of the 870P is smoother and it has a parkerized finish. The 870P also has an aluminum trigger guard and machined extractor. The 870 Express models have blued finishes, polymer trigger guards, and MIM extractors.

    My take on the trigger guard is that either is just fine. The MIM extractors wouldn't present any problems if they were manufactured properly (correctly dimensioned and heat treated). For whatever reason, the MIM parts were not correctly dimensioned. I have no idea about the heat treatment. Naturally, this lead to extraction problems for some users and MIM became a dirty word to 870 owners.

    I do have a strong preference for parkerized finishes over bluing, which is one of the reasons I spent the extra money on the 870P over the 870 Express. If this will be a duty gun for you, spend the extra money on the Police version. I've never heard anyone complain about having a high quality, reliable shotgun.
     
  11. jeffm

    jeffm New Member

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    thanks everyone, I have read some reviews that the 870 has problems extracting the shells but those reviews were a few years ago and heard Remington has upgraded and no longer a problem.
     
  12. artbrownsr

    artbrownsr Forum Chaplain Lifetime Supporter

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    I have had ZERO problems with extractions or chambering of rounds of various shot and slug configuration from #7 through #4, BBB through T Rem and Win 1 Oz. slug and Brennake 1 1/4 Oz. I have NOT put Buckshot through any of my guns so I could not evaluate their response to that round.
     
  13. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    The "Express" version has a matte Phosphate finish, MIM parts, gritty feel and a magazine tube designed to not accept an extension. The tube can be modified, the action smoothed with use and MIM parts replaced if you feel that is necessary.

    Once Remington corrected the weak barrel several years ago (I believe Mossberg makes the barrels now) the only real issue I have with them is the shell stops. They are swaged/staked in the receiver and are prone to coming loose. I feel this is a faulty design, poorly executed.

    The Mossberg 500 is in a different class (inferior) than the 870. The 590 is in a class just above the 870.

    None of them are as strong as the Winchester 1200/1300/FNP series. The Winchester design uses an aluminum alloy receiver but the bolt locks into the barrel (like the AR-15). They are far smoother than any of the above and faster to cycle. Fewer aftermarket accessories exist, but they do not need any. An FNP with ghost ring sights and a side saddle is better than ANY Remington or Mossberg
     
  14. kbd512

    kbd512 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Robocop,

    I have a tiny quibble with your posting.

    Phospate finish (manganese phosphate or zinc phosphate) means parkerizing. The Remington 870 Express models have a "matte" finish, Remington's abbreviation for their matte blue bead blasted finish. The finish issue is addressed in the "Q & A" on their law enforcement website, but one of their 870 Express Tactical models is also advertised as having a "matte blue" finish. At least one 870 Express Tactical model has a grey powder coat finish. The matte blued finishes look like they're parkerized in their product photos, but they're not. So far as I'm aware, only Remington's LE models (870P, 11-87) have phosphate/parkerized finishes.

    I always thought FNP was a line of pistols and that the FN P-12 was their pump shotgun.
     
  15. Virginian

    Virginian Active Member

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    Robocop, I take great exception to your remarks. I do not know where you get your information, but it is fraught with errors. The shell stops on an 870 are only staked to facilitate reassembly. When they are in place the trigger group and pins holds them in the correct location, they do not have to be staked at all to work. There were no "weak" barrels, only some money hungry lawyers. The settlement of the suit was sealed so you do not know any more about it than anyone else, and no barrels were recalled. Mossberg makes some 870 barrels for only one reason, to make money. They are made in Mexico and they can sell them for less to the delight of those in search of "as cheap as possible".
    The Winchester 1200/1300 series are not a pimple on the 870s OR the 500s butts. The 1200s were awful, the 1300s better, the Speed Pump better again, and the current iteration, the SXP, is made for FN in Turkey and is better yet again, but it has a VERY long road to go to begin to be mentioned in the same breath as the 500 and 870. Over that same time span plus 20 years the 870 and 500 have received exactly zero redesigns because they didn't need it. The differences between the 500 and 590 are minor; the action is the same. The bolts of the Winchesters, the Mossbergs, and the Remingtons ALL lock into a barrel extension.
     
  16. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Ok. Compared to the Winchester barrels the 870 barrels might as well have renamed of cardboard . I have assisted in tests to destruction and the 1300 barrels were twice as hard to split than the 870. Even then the Winchester was still serviceable.
    Putting an 870 back together with loose stops makes the Mossberg seem like child's play
     
  17. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    And Virginian. That is your opinion about pimples. I will stick to my guns. I have a 1200 that I bought new in about 1981. It has over 25,000 rounds through it, mostly buckshot and slugs. I can think of exactly ZERO repairs necessary.
    The Remington safety blocks the trigger and can fire from a solid jolt. The Winchester safety blocks the hammer and is a much superior design.
    Just because the masses buy millions of 870's does not make them better. They have more accessories available because they are everywhere. The FNP put the fan boy goodies on the 1300. Ghost rings, optics rail, barrel shrouds, etc. None of these make you more "combat effective" (as if any fanboy will last 10 minutes in combat.)
    The only 870 own is a 20 ga. That is my wife's gun. It was FREE!
    My agency used 1200/1300 shotguns for over 20 years. Some still have them in their patrol vehicles. They get shot regularly in quals and training. They still work fine. We got 870's for 5-6 years and had to send most back for a variety of reasons. We not only stopped buying them, but recalled all of them and traded them in for 590A1's with ghost rings. Our agency is the reason they started putting those sights on the Mossbergs. Yes, we have over 500 shotguns in the inventory. I train on them all, train others on them all and work on them all
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2015
  18. sandog

    sandog Member

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    I have the 870 Tactical and have not had any problems. I bought it three years ago, and have fired 800 rounds of buck, slugs and birdshot. It has the XS rear peep and rail, and I replaced the front bead with a Tritium one. I added a Spectre sling, side mounted, with a canvas shell pouch on the buttstock. I like the spare shells back there as it balances out the shotgun better than having them on the receiver.
    I would caution you against having both a pump and a semi auto as duty guns, though. Stick with one type and there will be no confusion during a gunfight. My friend has a Benelli M2, when he fires my gun, he forgets to pump it, as he is used to a self loader. (but when I shoot his M2 after shooting my 870 I don't try to pump the M2!). But in the heat of battle, you need as little confusion as possible. Stick with a pump or semi-auto, but not both.
     
  19. Virginian

    Virginian Active Member

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    I and others have drop tested 870s, and I can personally vouch that mine did not drop the hammer after a 20'-4" drop. (I was a bit scared but I did catch it on the bounce.) Theoretically it is possible. I have never seen an 870 barrel split except for an obstruction, and why they would need to be thicker is beyond me. The barrels on many fine SxSs get down to 0.040" thickness and have no issues.
    The poor track record of the Winchester 1200/1300/1400s is a fact. Yes, they did make some good ones that may not have broken their plastic parts ... yet, but they made many, many more that broke, period. I would no longer order 1200s or 1400s years ago. I only ever personally had issues with two 1300s, one had a defect from the factory that Winchester fixed and the other broke a part within 100 rounds and I fixed it with a part Winchester supplied me. They had a Winchester range near me, with trap and skeet, and they used to put broken guns in a cardboard drum and when it got full they would pack them all up and ship them back to Winchester. It was surprising how quick that drum filled up. The 870s and the 500s have service histories a mile long all over the country.
     
  20. jeffm

    jeffm New Member

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    I wouldn't use both on duty probably the benelli but the collector part of me wants the 870 as well just for fun at the range and home defense, I know some local departments only allow the 870 as well and then some let you pick what you want as long as it is a name brand gun (same with pistols and rifles). It is also a matter of where (If I) get hired on.