First shotgun?


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ny32182
June 13, 2005, 12:27 PM
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=33384360

I might be in the market for a shotgun soon... nothing super special, just a general use 12 gauge for range fun, occassional 3 gun, and possible home defense (with the right loads, would probably be preferable to a rifle or pistol in my apartment).

The problem is (blasphemy, I know :what: ) that I have never owned a shotgun, and know very little about them.

In the link above is a shottie that I think would serve me well for my intended use.

-says it can fire 2 3/4 and 3" shells... I'd fire mostly the former, but having the capability to use the later would be nice... are all guns with 3" chambers like this?
-18" barrel... good for moving indoors
-7 shell capacity... this pretty high, right?

First, am I headed in the right direction?

Second, with shotguns in general: How does choke work? This add makes no mention of it. Thanks.

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Rupestris
June 13, 2005, 01:34 PM
In the link above is a shottie that I think would serve me well for my intended use.

Yyyep. Thats the one. ;)

Don't be surprised if Angles sing and the sun shines on you like Jake Blues when you first pick it up. :D

ny32182
June 13, 2005, 01:43 PM
Is there any place where I can see an outline of all the versions of the 870 that are in current production? Looks like the Remington website is good for this, but they still don't explain choke very well.

ReadyontheRight
June 13, 2005, 01:46 PM
Don't be surprised if Angles sing and the sun shines on you like Jake Blues when you first pick it up.

:D

Elwood:
Jake, you alright?

Ray of sunlight shines through the church onto Jake

Jake:
The 870... [louder] The 870...

Dave M:
Do you see the light?

Jake:
(louder) The 870!

Dave M:
Do you see the light?

Elwood:
What light?

Dave M:
Have you seen the light?

Jake:
Yes, Yes! *$&%# % &*%#@$, I have seen the light!

Jake starts dancing with the others

Jake:
The 870 Elwood. The 870!

Elwood:
The 870? ... The 870. The 870? The 870!!

Dave M:
Praise God.

Elwood:
And God bless the United States of America!

Fred Fuller
June 13, 2005, 05:16 PM
That would be a good one for what you want to do. But check the local 'big box' stores (Dick's, etc), sometimes these are offered at a discount, usually about $300 or so. And it would save you shipping plus the transfer fees if you ought locally.

"Choke" is merely a constriction near the muzzle of a shotgun barrel intended to narrow the dispersal of shot. See http://www.chuckhawks.com/shotgun_chokes.htm for more.

A cylinder bore shotgun has no choke at all and is apt to produce the widest possible patterns. But patterning is an odd sort of thing, every shotgun barrel is a law unto itself and few assumptions can be made about what a given barrel will or won't do. In addition, some new developments in ammunition are allowing considerably tighter patterns out of open chokes these days.

Stay safe,

lpl/nc

ny32182
June 13, 2005, 08:14 PM
Ok, good info, thanks... so I probably want a "cylinder choke" then?

I do almost all my business with a local shop here, so I will likely buy through them again.

With a 3" chamber and cylinder choke, I should be able to fire *any* 2 3/4 or 3" load: all types of shot and slugs, right? I imagine that shooting a slug with a choke is asking for a big explosion.

Fred Fuller
June 13, 2005, 08:46 PM
Nope. Your imagination is running away with you.

Slugs do OK thru IMP CYL and MOD for the most part, and often group better with a bit of choke in the barrel. See the thread at http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=142335 for more on slugs in smoothbores. See also the links at http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=2766 for more on shotgun FAQs.

lpl/nc

ny32182
June 13, 2005, 10:58 PM
If I get an 870 with a cylinder choke and decide at a later date that I want a different choke... I can switch barrels, right?

Dave McCracken
June 14, 2005, 04:03 AM
Yup, 870s switch parts like Lego sets. 870 barrels are neither scarce nor costly.

Many folks have more than one barrel for an 870. Some have short barrels for defense, long ones for sport.

A caveat, 3" shells can only be shot if both the receiver and barrel are 3" capable.

ny32182
June 14, 2005, 10:12 AM
Good deal; I assume that any gun sold with a 3" chambered barrel has a receiver capable of firing 3" shells?

Looks like I'll end up with an 870 similar to the one linked above. Thanks again.

1911 guy
June 14, 2005, 12:08 PM
The 870 is a good gun, I'll not steer you away from it. One thing I will steer you towards, though, is going to a real gunshop and getting one with interchangeable choke tubes. That will save you hundreds of dollars in barrels. If the fit so strikes you, get a short barrel for HD (I'd recommend it). Now you'll have all bases covered, F, Mod, IC, and Cyl. at your fingertips, 18 1/2" for HD, and only two barrels you need. FWIW, there's even a rifled tube for slugs, and you're still at two barrels.
BTW, all chambers marked 3" will shoot 2 3/4 and 3" shells. You can shoot shorter shells than marked, but NOT longer.

ny32182
June 14, 2005, 02:02 PM
Well I called my local shop and they happened to have one in stock, so I went by and got it for $304 out the door. Wow. That didn't hurt my bank account nearly as much as a rifle does. :what: If I knew they were that cheap, I would have got one a long time ago, heh...

Here it is:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v212/ny32182/rem870_2.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v212/ny32182/rem870_1.jpg

1911, thanks for the info... maybe a little late now, but if the mood strikes me, I should be able to get an 18" adjustable choke barrel, and a longer adjustable choke barrel, have all all bases covered with only three barrels, right? Right now I don't envision doing anything with it that I can't do with the current barrel, but the flexibility is nice anyway.

I've got quite a few stupid newbie questions, but hopefully the only dumb question is the one not asked, right? ;)

-I've read all the way through the manual. I'm a little dissapointed in their dissasembly/cleaning directions. It says that it was shipped dissasembled (is that true?) but mine was on a floor rack, so I assume the guys at the shop put it together. Any tips on getting it apart/back together? I assume I've got to start with getting the magazine extention off, but they don't give instructions for that; only how to get a non-extended mag cap off.

-How do you lock the "action rail lock" in the unlocked position? Otherwise I'm going to have to press it every time I want to pump in a new shell.

That should get me started. Responses appreciated.

Fred Fuller
June 14, 2005, 02:32 PM
" Any tips on getting it apart/back together? I assume I've got to start with getting the magazine extention off, but they don't give instructions for that; only how to get a non-extended mag cap off."

Ahhh, big bidness strikes again. Number one, make sure the gun is completely unloaded. Get yourself a properly fitted screwdriver so as not to mar the finish and carefully remove the screw in the magazine extension clamp. Remove the clamp by pulling it slightly open and sliding it toward the muzzle. Unscrew the magazine extension from the threaded sleeve holding it to the magazine, making sure to control it so that it and the slightly compressed magazine spring don't go flying. Then unscrew the sleeve from the magazine as if it were the magazine cap in the directions you have. Everything should be 'by the book' after that.

"-How do you lock the "action rail lock" in the unlocked position? Otherwise I'm going to have to press it every time I want to pump in a new shell."

You don't. When the hammer goes down the action unlocks, unless the gun is malfunctioning. You only need to press the release to open the action when the hammer is cocked and the bolt is closed.

NOTE: Be sure to field strip your gun and give it a good cleaning and proper lubrication as a first step in getting ready to shoot it. New 870s come with a coat of rust preventing preservative that is best removed before use. It helps to have someone who is 870 savvy do the fieldstripping procedure with you the first time or two till you get it down pat.

Stay safe,

lpl/nc

ny32182
June 14, 2005, 02:51 PM
Thanks for the info; unfortunately I don't have anyone around here who knows 870's. I can see the factory coating on the bolt/carrier (?) especially. I'll try to break it down here in a bit. Hopefully I won't screw it up.

So when unloading the mag tube, you just have to hold the lock lever in?

Is it OK to dry fire?

1911 guy
June 14, 2005, 03:19 PM
All modern guns with the exception of rimfires are good to go as far as dry firing. As for complete disassembly, UNLOAD it completely, put the slide foreward. Now drive out the pin in the rear of the trigger mechanism. Pull this away from the gun and slide the front end out of the receiver. There are two thin sheetmetal rails that are held in place by the trigger mech. These should come out now. The bolt is a two peice affair, the bolt and a carrier that links by two slots and tabs to the action rods on the forearm. These lift out of the cavity the trigger group came from. All that's left is to slide the pump grip foreward and off the shotgun. Assembly is reverse. It DOES matter which side each of those sheetmetal rails came from, so pay attention and put them back on the same side. There should be small pins to locate them.

ny32182
June 14, 2005, 03:44 PM
Alright... I've got the mag extension off and the mag spring and plunger out. Now I'm trying to follow the book directions, but I'm stuck. It says to have the bolt/carrier halfway forward, and the barrel should slide off at this point.

The barrel doesn't seem to want to budge even a single millimeter. Here are some pics of the forend and action:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v212/ny32182/forend_1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v212/ny32182/action_1.jpg

In this current state it doesn't seem that the barrel wants to move.

EDIT: also, in which direction do the trigger assembly pins slide out? For when I come to that step.

WhiteKnight
June 14, 2005, 04:35 PM
Alright... I've got the mag extension off and the mag spring and plunger out

Take off the magazine cap too. Just look at the design - it should make sense.




EDIT: also, in which direction do the trigger assembly pins slide out?

Either way.

ny32182
June 14, 2005, 05:10 PM
edit: got the barrel off.

ny32182
June 14, 2005, 08:38 PM
I have just one more question and I will leave you guys alone. How tight should the sleeve be that holds the barrel to the receiver/holds the mag extention? When I took it off, it was pretty tight. I needed channel locks to get it off. Should I retighten it like this, or is hand tight fine?

Fred Fuller
June 14, 2005, 09:59 PM
Hope you padded the jaws of those pliers with a strip of leather or something... someone got carried away putting it on. Or else the detent is working overtime.

No, it doesn't need to be gorilla grip tight. Hand tight will do. Put the sleeve on, tighten it, then put the mag spring in, put the extension over the other end of the spring and feed it all in as you position the extension. Then tighten the extension hand tight and replace the clamp. That oughta do it.

Re. the pins holding in the trigger plate, I like to remove them from left to right and reinstall them from right to left. A golf tee makes a good tool for removing the pins, or a chopstick from your favorite oriental restaurant.

1911guy said: "There are two thin sheetmetal rails that are held in place by the trigger mech. These should come out now. The bolt is a two peice affair, the bolt and a carrier that links by two slots and tabs to the action rods on the forearm. These lift out of the cavity the trigger group came from. All that's left is to slide the pump grip foreward and off the shotgun. Assembly is reverse. It DOES matter which side each of those sheetmetal rails came from, so pay attention and put them back on the same side. There should be small pins to locate them."

If by 'two thin sheetmetal rails' you mean the shell stops, WHOA! The shell stops are spring steel parts which are lightly staked into recesses on either side of the receiver, and THEY AREN'T SUPPOSED TO COME OUT. The front of the shell stops rest on either side of the receiver end of the magazine tube and are acted upon by the action bars which connect the forearm assembly with the bolt assembly. Their purpose is to regulate the feeding of shells from the magazine tube onto the shell lifter and they should be removed only by a gunsmith. PLEASE follow the fieldstripping directions in the owner's manual, and only fieldstrip the gun- further disassembly is not necessary, is not warranted, and is likely to cause damage to parts which are not user sevicable.

ny32182
June 15, 2005, 07:28 AM
I assume he meant the two long rails that the bolt is resting on when you remove the forearm. But, I didn't remove those either. Just wiped the stuff off them while they were sitting in the forearm.

I got it all back together, but now I might have a new problem. I loaded up the tube with 6 shells. When I try to rack them through the action, they don't want to feed readily. If a round does chamber, next time the action is racked, the chambered shell is ejected, but the next one isn't released from the magazine to be fed. Any idea what could be going on there? How does the release mechanism work?

only1asterisk
June 15, 2005, 07:50 AM
If a round does chamber, next time the action is racked, the chambered shell is ejected, but the next one isn't released from the magazine to be fed.

You may not be pulling the forearm back enough, "short stroking". Slide it back firmly until it STOPS. You may feel some resistance as the hammer resets. Don't stop there!

David

only1asterisk
June 15, 2005, 07:59 AM
How does the release mechanism work?

The shells are held by the stops that Lee described. When the bolt moves back to the rear of the reciever, the stops release the rim of the round next round and the magazine spring pushes it out.

David

ny32182
June 15, 2005, 01:18 PM
This is just feeding shells into and out of the chamber... not firing them, so the hammer shouldn't be resetting... Anyhow, I will give it another try this afternoon just to make sure I was pulling hard enough.

If I can't get it to feed at home, should I take it to the range and see if it will feed there, or should I return it unfired?

Also, if the foreend is pulled back firmly, but slowly, all the way to the rear, will a shell pop out of the magazine every time? Or does the forearm always have to be snapped back quickly/firmly to make sure the mag releases a shell?

Fred Fuller
June 15, 2005, 01:26 PM
It's a bad idea to function test a firearm with live ammo. Best either do it at the range where fire functioning is possible, or get some dummy rounds for function testing.

Remember the Four Rules... http://thehighroad.org/library/rules.html .

ny32182
June 15, 2005, 01:34 PM
It's a bad idea to function test a firearm with live ammo

Not the best situation, but I have to drive 40 min one way to the range. :( This is being done with safety on/nothing near the trigger/muzzle in a safe direction.

pete f
June 15, 2005, 02:26 PM
do you have a trap range anywhere around you ? I believe that shotgun has choke tubes. Someplaces are more likely to have trap and skeet places around then rifle ranges and you can shoot a round of trap for 10 bucks and learn toshoot the gun. Just tell the range boy you Know it is a HD gun but you are just making sure it works so they do not look at you like you are a numbnuts.

ny32182
June 15, 2005, 02:46 PM
I believe it is fixed/non-interchangable cylinder choke.

Closest trap range that I know of is at a private club about an hour away.

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