OLD Remington 870 Wingmaster help! Calling 870 Guru's!


Black Majik
January 19, 2005, 09:45 PM
Hey folks,

So today I found a pretty nice old 12 ga. Remington 870 Wingmaster. On the receiver it said 870 Wingmaster Magnum, but the barrel said 2 3/4" only?

Can anyone date the Wingmaster? Serial #: V2560xxM

I'd like to know around the timeframe when this shotgun was made. Exact month would be best.

I would rate the shotgun at around 85% - 90%. The bluing is not worn, just some scratches. Only the forearm tube has some wear. There isn't any engravings like the new Wingmasters.

The wood is PERFECT! Only thing is a tiny chip on the forearm. The rear stock has no chips or dents. The finish is still very strong. The wood forearm has the same style as the current model 870's. No corn cobb forearm or police style.

The barrel is 26" fix choke. Improved Cylinder.

The wear:
- There are 2 light ring marks on the receiver
- Slight rust marks on the inside of the receiver (or not, since it looks more copper color)
- some pitting at the barrel clamp.
- slight pitting and very light rust on magazine cap. Magazine cap seems to be metal instead of the rubbery ones compared the new Wingmaster.
- There might be some rust on the end of the magazine tube. I couldn't really tell. It looked kinda wet, like brown grease. But I wasn't sure.

The Good:
- The bluing is still very deep and good condition. There aren't really any worn bluing. Some parts have some scratches into the bluing, otherwise very lovely to look at.
- Pretty much perfect wood
- Very smooth. Wow. I bet if I clean the gun up it'll be smoother! I think maybe slightly smoother than my current model Wingmaster.
- I dont have a 26" barrel Wingmaster yet.

If I do get this, it'd be a backup trap gun. Or lend it to my friends to shoot. We always argue over the 12 ga. currently. :D

Home Defense Shotgun:
I also thought of using this gun as a home defense shotgun. Get a blued 18.5" barrel and an extended mag tube.

How hard is it to get a blued ext. mag. tube? Do they all usually come in black? How about a blued 18" barrel? I noticed not too many current guns use a BLUED 18" barrel.

What else should I look for? I checked everything visually and it looks visually sound. Its a little dirty, but I think I can clean it up nicely. Any function tests I should do?

Now, how much should I pay for this? When are the most desireable shotguns made? 1950's? 60's? 70's?

Any advice to remove the rust spots? They're not heavy, but visible.

Thank you!

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January 19, 2005, 09:53 PM
The receiver is rated for 3" shells, but the barrel isn't chambered for them. You must procure a barrel that is marked for both 2 3/4" and 3".

Finding a blued mag extension tube shouldn't be a problem; most of 'em are blued, good luck finding a parkerized version! If you're not sure which one you're looking at, run your finger over it. The blued version will be smooth, while the parked version will be rough.

I can't help you with the manufacture date, but I'd estimate this 870 to be worth right around $200.

The rust spots might come out with a nylon toothbrush, otherwise careful application of steel wool may be necessary.

The only other input I would give is to try it out with snap caps. Make sure the action cycles properly.

January 19, 2005, 10:28 PM
Sounds like a fairly good used 870 which someone switched barrels on.

The receiver is a Magnum and the barrel is a standard 2 3/4".
You DON'T have to replace the barrel, unless you insist on shooting 3" ammo, which most people don't.

Magazine extensions usually come in a satin blue-black color, or parkerized.
Brownell's carry several brands in both finishes.

To remove the rust without doing further damage to the finish, get some penetrating oil like Kroil.
Soak the rusted areas dripping wet and allow to soak overnight.

Apply more lube, then use a small piece of brass with a knife edge and/or a brass "toothbrush" to scrape and scrub the rust off.
Unlike steel wool or other abrasives, this won't further abrade the finish.

Before shooting, I recommend stripping the gun, including removing the bolt and trigger group assembly and giving it a GOOD cleaning.

Disassemble the magazine tube and scrub it out inside.

Clean the bolt thoroughly and make sure the extractor isn't fouled with dirt.

Spray the trigger group soaking wet with something like Rem-Oil and allow to soak.
Drain and shake off the excess.

Reassemble and check function on the safety and disconnecter. Inspect the firing pin and extractor.
Since 870's are tanks, there's likely nothing wrong with it.

New BLUED 18" barrels can be bought from Remington and from Mossberg.
You can still find older blued Police shotgun barrels on Ebay.

You can also buy used longer blued barrels and cut them down.

January 20, 2005, 01:54 AM
Drop down to the 6th post in this thread link, but with the serial number you posted it may not help. You sure it starts with a "V" and not a "X" ?


Black Majik
January 20, 2005, 02:44 AM
thanks Gohon for the link. I've already checked it out.

Unfortunately, I dont have the barrel date codes, but now it seems that the barrel on the Wingmaster isn't an original. :(

I'm sure the serial number starts with V. According to some research, it lands approx. in 1976 - 1979. Furthermore, as I understand, the "Magnum" Wingmasters started in the 1970's. Is that correct?

Dfarris and Devonai,
thanks for the reply. Hmm... now for some reason I feel hesitant to buy the shotgun knowing its not fully original. Plus it kinda sucks having a 3" chamber but not being able to use it because someone stuck a 2 3/4" barrel on it. :rolleyes:

After reading the prices you guys are picking up your older Wingmasters for, I feel robbed for how much they're asking. The shop is currently asking for $350 for the gun. I suppose the higher price is expected since I live in California. Plus rarely do I see a Wingmaster that hasn't been hacked or in good condition.

The shop is known for being higher priced than other shops. But I think I'd be able to negotiate the price.

Honestly I'm looking to use the Wingmaster as a home defense gun. Of which I'll get a new barrel for it anyways. Its just the thought knowing that the old wingmaster I bought isn't fully original that keeps me on the fence. Plus the high price the store is asking for the gun.

How are the 1970's Wingmasters? When did the Wingmasters begin to "decline" in quality?

I appreciate everyone's help. More responses are welcome. :)

Dave McCracken
January 20, 2005, 05:35 AM
CAll Remington at 800-243-9700 and give them the serial number. They'll date it to the month for you.

The Maggie Numb 3" 870 was introduced in 1955. They really started to sell in the 70s when lead was outlawed for Waterfowling. 70s and 80s 870s are fine guns.

A 26" IC barrel is good for upland stuff. While a 3" chamber is nice to have, I've had lots of fun last year with 8-10K of loads out of mine. Maybe 5 of those were 3".

IMO, $350 is a little high for what's there. See if they'll drop it any.

January 20, 2005, 08:30 AM
Your shotty was made between 1978 and 1983.


Black Majik
January 20, 2005, 01:49 PM
Well, I found out the Shotgun was made in 1979.

I'm gonna go back in the shop today to look it over again and possibly negotiate a better price.

Dave and 870, thanks for your help. :)

Black Majik
January 20, 2005, 06:23 PM
Just to update, I ended up passing on the shotgun.

I went in today to re-examine the shotgun, and told the dealer about the barrel not being original. There were 4 employees there from yesterday, and asked if I was gonna pick up the Wingmaster :D. I told them that I might under the right conditions.

Upon reinspection, I relooked over the barrel. Oddly enough though, there wasn't even the 2 letters on the barrel near the receiver to tell the date code.

When I told the dealer about the possible switch between the barrels, he denied it. Then I told him how the barrel only takes 2 3/4" shells while the receiver takes 3". He measured the ejection port and said "Nope, it only takes 2 3/4" shells. Thats just what its called "Wingmaster Magnum." Then I told the end of the serial number is M for "magnum." There would be a V if the receiver took only a 2 3/4" shells.

So after the fuss I finally got the chance to ask if he'd negotiate the price. His response was "Nope, we've marked them as low as we can go."

"Well, thank you for your time" I told him and walked out of the store. :(


I appreciated everyone's help.

January 20, 2005, 11:16 PM
I can not find words strong enough to express my disdain for dealers like that.
He is either stupid or a liar. Which is worse from a dealer?
Measured the ejection port? What kind of crap is that?
You were right to walk.
By the way, I have an '81 that had a broken ejector. I picked it up for around 40.00 (receiver only). I had a smith put in a 3" ejector and just like magic it's a "magnum". Oooooh.
My last WM (non-magnum) was 100.00 with a broken firing pin, really thin blue and rough wood but it's a '55, all original and smooooooth.
Keep shopping. You'll find your own deal.

PS. I've never shot a 3" shell in my life.

January 20, 2005, 11:45 PM
The price's seem to vary a good deal form area to area. I can pick up used 870's (including magnums) here for less than $150 most any day I want to.

If it's marked magnum the original barrel should also be marked "2&3/4 or 3.0 inch shells" .
The barrel was replaced on the gun as indicated previously. The only difference between a magnum and a standard receiver is the ejector. With the 3.0" ejector the reciever can be used with a 2&3/4" chambered barrel or a 3.0" chambered barrel . There is NO difference in the length of the ejection port between std. & mag. recievers.

Just varifying to you what has already been said. Find a different dealer to do business with.

Dave McCracken
January 21, 2005, 08:23 AM
Take your business elsewhere. The dealer is either lying or just plain stupid.

It's not unusual to find barrel and stocks swapped, one of mine is on at least it's third of each. That's the downside of the 870's modular design. They can be taken apart and put together like Lego sets.

There's 8 million 870s out there. Some of them are for sale at any given time. Good luck....

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