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Author Topic: The venerable Remington 870 from the "used" rack  (Read 7173 times)

MTK20

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The venerable Remington 870 from the "used" rack
« on: June 13, 2015, 03:49:30 am »
There has been a change in my tastes over the years, I'm not really sure what to make of it. I used to be all about Glocks and AK's. I still have a very soft spot for AK's and Glocks are my top pick if I have to use an auto, but my focus has changed, I'm slowly (or maybe not so slowly) being drawn to fascination with something more dated. Pump guns and revolvers. Now I always profess my love of the wheel gun on here, but for this discussion it will have to wait it's turn. This post is all about shotguns, the Remington 870 to be exact. I don't know why I didn't do the math before, used guns aren't bad and goodness knows there are plenty of used 870's out there that are in serviceable condition. I can get a dependable and rugged design from the "used" rack while still satisfying my perpetually empty college student wallet.

Here are my questions to you: while I know what to look for when venturing in the used revolver market, what are potential 'problem areas' you inspect when looking at used Remington 870's? What would you consider a "fair price" at your LGS (yes, I realise that prices vary from state to state)?

Really the only features I want are a full length tube, I don't want to be limited to just 5 shells. 12 gauge. Your standard Remington choke. Lastly, I want a stock, I don't think replacing a pistol grip would help me with the goal of saving money.

George's mild ;) fondness of the 870 may have assisted in me hatching a plan to search the used 870 market:

http://madogre.com/?p=4231

http://madogre.com/?p=533

http://madogre.com/?p=206
Texas
Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

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    870policemag

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    Re: The venerable Remington 870 from the "used" rack
    « Reply #1 on: June 13, 2015, 12:46:39 pm »
    I'd find me a police trade in or a beat up Wingmaster and start from there. Both are strong and don't have MIM extractors. I still own an express magnum. They're not bad at all but their actions aren't as buttery smooth as their pricier counterparts.
     
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    Re: The venerable Remington 870 from the "used" rack
    « Reply #2 on: June 14, 2015, 07:32:32 am »
    You've got some conflicts in your desired features. The extended mag tubes are usually found on the police trade-ins or tactical models, which are generally cylinder bore and not threaded for chokes.

    The various hunting models will generally have threaded barrels 22" or longer, with no extended mag tube.

    The good news is, extended mag tubes are easy to add. Just hop over to Nordic Components site and you can order extensions up to +9.
    TexasFortuna Fortis Paratus

    MTK20

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    Re: The venerable Remington 870 from the "used" rack
    « Reply #3 on: June 14, 2015, 10:26:52 am »
    What? Shoot  :facepalm. I would like to play with different chokes, so I guess I'll have to go to https://nordiccomp.com/categories/new-nc-mxt-shotgun-extension-complete-assembly-12ga/ . This may be more of an under taking than I initially thought. I don't mind a project gun, in fact it'll be fun, but it'll be slow going considering current funds.

    Eta: Kind of a rookie mistake, but seeing as I was previously under the impression the "rem choke" came standard on all Remington shotguns, I will now have to figure out how to discern which shotguns have it and which do not at my LGS.
    « Last Edit: June 14, 2015, 10:53:11 am by MTK20 »
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

    Kaso

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    Re: The venerable Remington 870 from the "used" rack
    « Reply #4 on: June 14, 2015, 11:02:59 am »
    It may be more cost effective to buy a beat up 20" model with a cylinder choke and full length mag tube, and then try to location a 20" barrel that is already set up for chokes.  I don't know if such a thing exists, but I would look to see, before I go the other route.



    Kaso

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    Re: The venerable Remington 870 from the "used" rack
    « Reply #5 on: June 14, 2015, 04:52:46 pm »
    Main thing to try to shy away from are the Expresses with the J-lock and/or the dimple mag tube.

    My 870 had both of those. I was able to easily remove them and add an extension, but it's just something that can easily be avoided once you know about them. 

    Other than that, throw a proper non MIM extractor on there and go to town as far as the Express models are concerned.

    Police and Wingmaster models are preferred, obviously, but Expresses are no slouch if you aren't seeing a lot otherwise.

    The average 870 can handle an extremely high volume of shooting. Very few will have even seen past a couple thousand rounds.

    South Carolina
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    GeorgeHill

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    Re: The venerable Remington 870 from the "used" rack
    « Reply #6 on: June 15, 2015, 06:48:27 am »
    MIM extractors?  There's a non issue.   
    Extended tubes... Aftermarket, all day long and any gunshow.
    Choke tubed?  With an 18" barrel, you can order that as well.
    Your wants can be realized.
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    Mississippi556

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    Re: The venerable Remington 870 from the "used" rack
    « Reply #7 on: June 15, 2015, 05:29:24 pm »
    A well-used Wingmaster is what you seek.  They are virtually indestructable, and when they do need parts the market is full of them.  And old Wingmaster action will be slick as greased lightning.  You can order a screw in choke barrel of your choice. 

    The Wingmaster is likely to have come with a fixed choke barrel, as did most shotguns until somewhere in the '80s.  You just swapped out the entire barrel depending on the need.  Guys tended to keep three or four extra barrels in different chokes.  I have older semi-auto Remington 1100s with multiple barrels and also Belgian FN Browning Auto 5's with extra barrels. 

    If for personal defense, just get a fixed IC barrel with rifle sights and be done.  Federal FlightControl buckshot likes IC.  I think they are 21 or 22 inches.
    Mississippi"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe"  Words of Jesus, Luke 11:21 (ESV).

    GeorgeHill

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    Re: The venerable Remington 870 from the "used" rack
    « Reply #8 on: June 15, 2015, 11:38:54 pm »
    That's  funny...
    Try to find a good used Wingmaster locally anywhere.
    They are either over priced or worn completely out.
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    MTK20

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    Re: The venerable Remington 870 from the "used" rack
    « Reply #9 on: June 16, 2015, 12:17:12 am »
    That's  funny...
    Try to find a good used Wingmaster locally anywhere.
    They are either over priced or worn completely out.

    Neither over priced nor worn out goods is the goal here  :facepalm.

    From the sounds of it, what I want won't be too terribly hard to find, just have to price them.

    MIM extractors?  There's a non issue.   
    Extended tubes... Aftermarket, all day long and any gunshow.
    Choke tubed?  With an 18" barrel, you can order that as well.
    Your wants can be realized.


    This makes me hopeful  :cool. For the sake of academic curiosity, why 18" length specifically?
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

    Mikee5star

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    Re: The venerable Remington 870 from the "used" rack
    « Reply #10 on: June 16, 2015, 01:59:14 am »
    There are two things I am kicking myself for not loading up on 10-15 years ago.  One is shotguns.  My favorite used gunshop then, it has gone down hill lately, had probably 5 racks of shotguns anything and everything and maybe 10 or 12 of them were over $400.  I bought a like new 11-87 for $300, could have bought a Wingmaster in decent shape for $200-250.  I am with George, all I see now for used Wingmasters are over $500 or so beat and rusty I would not bother, and they want around $300 for them.
    Alaska

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    Re: The venerable Remington 870 from the "used" rack
    « Reply #11 on: June 16, 2015, 09:54:31 am »
    I picked up a used, roughly 50 year old Wingmaster for about $200 back in late 2011.  The original barrel was a fixed Full choke, but it had been cut and threaded.

    The finish is well worn, but has a nice patina, only a tiny amount of surface rust (I cleaned that off)...and I doubt the trigger group had been cleaned since the Johnson administration.

    I've used it for 3-gun, and she runs like a champ.

    This thread did make me think of one thing I used to see all the time at gun shows, but are very rare now: guys with a table of almost nothing but separate, usually used, shotgun barrels.  Not guns, just the barrels.  Used to be at least 2 or 3, if not more, at any decent size gun show.  Haven't seen any in a few years, now.
    TexasFortuna Fortis Paratus

    Mississippi556

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    Re: The venerable Remington 870 from the "used" rack
    « Reply #12 on: June 16, 2015, 10:58:13 pm »
    If you want a real Belgian FN Browning barrel for a Belgian Auto 5, though, it will be a fixed tube.  The screw in tube barrels are Miroku.  Not necessarily a bad thing, as Miroku Brownings are nice, but it is a shame to mix and match. 

    Much less concerned with authenticity with Remmys.

    Still can find decent pawnshop Wingmasters here at decent prices if you are patient. 
    Mississippi"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe"  Words of Jesus, Luke 11:21 (ESV).

    MTK20

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    Re: The venerable Remington 870 from the "used" rack
    « Reply #13 on: June 17, 2015, 12:35:09 am »
    Checked the LGS today, employee behind the counter said that any rem choke models they had would be of the long barrel hunting variety. Dang.
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

    coelacanth

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    Re: The venerable Remington 870 from the "used" rack
    « Reply #14 on: June 17, 2015, 03:34:48 am »
    A well-used Wingmaster is what you seek.  They are virtually indestructable, and when they do need parts the market is full of them.  And old Wingmaster action will be slick as greased lightning.  You can order a screw in choke barrel of your choice. 

    The Wingmaster is likely to have come with a fixed choke barrel, as did most shotguns until somewhere in the '80s.  You just swapped out the entire barrel depending on the need.  Guys tended to keep three or four extra barrels in different chokes.  I have older semi-auto Remington 1100s with multiple barrels and also Belgian FN Browning Auto 5's with extra barrels. 

    If for personal defense, just get a fixed IC barrel with rifle sights and be done.  Federal FlightControl buckshot likes IC.  I think they are 21 or 22 inches.
    ^ This ^ .   Wingmasters in fine shape are still out there if you are patient.  The plain Jane version usually came with a fixed choke in modified or improved.  The actions are butter smooth and the triggers were decent if not quite up to trap gun standards. 

    If you are willing to broaden your horizon a bit there are other pump shotguns out there that might be well worth a look.  The Remington Wingmaster 870 is a classic for a reason but I would not dismiss a clean old Ithaca model 37 from consideration.  The Browning BPS and the Winchester 1300 are usually lower cost alternatives as are the Mossberg guns if price becomes an issue in this quest. 
    Arizona" A republic, if you can keep it."

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    GeorgeHill

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    Mississippi556

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    Re: The venerable Remington 870 from the "used" rack
    « Reply #16 on: June 19, 2015, 04:51:17 pm »
    Mississippi"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe"  Words of Jesus, Luke 11:21 (ESV).

    RMc

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    Re: The venerable Remington 870 from the "used" rack
    « Reply #17 on: June 19, 2015, 05:48:28 pm »
    Some interesting barrel configurations are currently "sale priced" direct from Remington:

    870 Barrel - 12 Gauge, 18.5", Rifle Sights, Fixed Cylinder, Parkerized
    870 Barrel - 12 Gauge, 18.5", Tritium Bead Sight, Fixed Modified, Parkerized
    870 Barrel - 12 Gauge, 18.5", Tritium Rifle Sights, Fixed Modified, Parkerized
    870 Barrel - 12 Gauge, 18.5", XS Rifle Sights, Fixed Improved Cylinder
    870 Barrel - 12 Gauge, 20", Rifle Sights, Rem Choke
    870 Express Barrel - 12 Gauge, 21", Vent Rib, Turkey X-Full Rem Choke, Matte

    The 870 barrel in bold above is an especially interesting combination. The modified fixed choke represents sufficient constriction to significantly improve "standard" buckshot load patterns, while still open enough for rifled slug performance. Tritium sights round out the package.

    http://www.shopremingtoncountry.com/Replacement-Barrels-Barrel-Parts-Shotgun-Parts/b/4601831011

    Also the 870 Express - 12 Gauge, 18", Bead Sight, Cylinder Bore barrels are listed under a "C" note.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On the other hand you could have your existing barrel shortened and threaded for choke tubes.

    Mike Orlen has done excellent work for me and his turn around is quite fast.
    See below for price list and contact info:
    http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=36237

    Useful information:

    Smoothbore Express fixed choke slug barrels are thick enough for fitting with Remchoke tubes.

    Remington Remchoke vent rib barrels can be shortened to a minimum of 18.75" -  This is the shortest the rib posts spacing will allow. 

    This last option even applies to the Super Mag 870 and lets you shorten a spare 3.5" vent rib barrel for defensive use  and maintain the ability to use any shotshell the platform can handle.

    « Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 06:36:47 pm by RMc »
    Alabama

    RMc

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    « Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 11:40:36 pm by RMc »
    Alabama

    RMc

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    Re: The venerable Remington 870 from the "used" rack
    « Reply #19 on: June 19, 2015, 11:35:06 pm »
    If you are changing the stock out on a 1998 or older 870, the old stock bolt may not fit. 

    This was from Brownells back about the time the bolt stock change was made. I found this looking through my notes as it is no longer on the website:
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "In 1999 Remington introduced a design change to allow the 870-1100-11/87 models to use one common family of butt stocks. To accommodate this change, the specification for the depth of the stock bolt counter bore in the butt stock was changed to the shallow 1100-11/87 depth on all versions.

    The millions of Model 870's produced prior to 1999, with the exception of synthetic stocked guns, use an 8 inch stock bolt, #767-185-710 / Rem #18571. This stock bolt can not be used with the shallow counter bore stocks as it will be about 2.75" too short.

    When used on a Model 870, shallow counter bore wood stocks and all factory original synthetic stocks require the use of the longer 10.75" stock bolt, #767-970-220 / Rem #97022."

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    « Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 11:50:52 pm by RMc »
    Alabama

    MTK20

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    Re: The venerable Remington 870 from the "used" rack
    « Reply #20 on: June 20, 2015, 12:09:51 am »
    http://www.brownells.com/shotgun-parts/barrel-parts/barrels/remington-870-front-blade-sku155000199-54805-111225.aspx

    Yes! Or maybe even the same 18 1/2" but with rifle sights:

    http://www.brownells.com/shotgun-parts/barrel-parts/barrels/remington-870-replacement-barrel-prod73557.aspx

    Screw in choke tubes, too. I have a similar one, but with fixed IC rifle sighted barrel on one of my Remington 1100s.

    Wow, I'm running out of problems to throw at you guys, concerning this build :thumbup1.

    Thanks for the options!
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

    RMc

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    Alabama

    RMc

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    Re: The venerable Remington 870 from the "used" rack
    « Reply #22 on: June 21, 2015, 05:08:04 pm »
    http://www.brownells.com/shotgun-parts/barrel-parts/barrels/remington-870-front-blade-sku155000199-54805-111225.aspx

    Overlooked the Remington OEM version of the Brownells barrel.  However, it must be said the Brownells version has the advantage* of a chrome lined bore.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/516311/remington-barrel-remington-870-express-12-gauge-3-18-1-2-rem-choke-bead-sight?cm_vc=ProductFinding

    * Perhaps some members here can chime in on their experiences with chrome lined bores regarding lead and plastic fouling resistance - particularly with rifled slug use.



    Alabama

    MTK20

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    Re: The venerable Remington 870 from the "used" rack
    « Reply #23 on: June 21, 2015, 11:51:07 pm »
    Overlooked the Remington OEM version of the Brownells barrel.  However, it must be said the Brownells version has the advantage* of a chrome lined bore.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/516311/remington-barrel-remington-870-express-12-gauge-3-18-1-2-rem-choke-bead-sight?cm_vc=ProductFinding

    * Perhaps some members here can chime in on their experiences with chrome lined bores regarding lead and plastic fouling resistance - particularly with rifled slug use.


    Where is alone when we need him? I understand that he's shot quite a bit of shotgun  ;).
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

    RMc

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    Re: The venerable Remington 870 from the "used" rack
    « Reply #24 on: June 22, 2015, 06:11:35 pm »
    Alabama

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