Question about Buckshot patterning out of an 18"barrel


June 23, 2005, 05:38 PM
Hey, I am considering (strongly considering) purchasing a Remington 870 18" plain Barrel shotgun. (the one that has the mag tube extentsion)

I my only concern about the firearm is how will it pattern, I will be using this shotgun for selfdefense (if the need ever arises) and I want to be able to get decent patterns with 00 or 000 buckshot at 20 or 25 yards. What I condsider decnet is that I would like at least 5 out of 9 00 buckshot pellets in an 18-20 inch circle at 20 or 25 yards. Will I be able to have my expectation met with this shotgun? And also if you have a 18" barreled shotgun with no choke, what patterns do you get?

Thans in advance for your help, if I get some reassurance, I'll have a new shotgun tommorrow afternoon.

Oh and out of curiosity, if I wanted to, could I have a gunsmith modify the barrel to accept remington choke tubes?....and how much would that run cost wise?

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June 23, 2005, 06:21 PM
Barrel length seems to have no effect on buckshot patterns. Choke has little effect other than tending to uniform patterns some in Imp cylinder or MAYBE modified. Back boring or jug chokes may help some (as in Vang system).
The BRAND and type of buckshot is FAR MORE important to pattern size and uniformity. The Hornady TAP buckshot WILL group tighter than any other (using the CHOKE BRAND NAME WAD SYSTEM).You have to PATTERN several brands and see what works best in YOUR gun!
What you want is about 6" at 15 yards and about a foot to 15" at 25 yards, at which distance buck shot is about spent as a dependable stopper.
The TIGHTEST grouping shotguns of conventional buck shot I have seen were 2 off the rack Remington Express 18" cylinder bore guns in a class I attended this spring. These were shooting Estate 00 buck and did hand size groups at 25 yards and a ragged 2" hole at 15 yards!!! Go figure!!! :rolleyes:

June 23, 2005, 06:55 PM
You can always buy another barrel if you need/want one. They are not like a rifle and semi-permanently attached. You can order one from Remington, or somewhere on-line (midwayusa, brownells).

I had a co-worker do just the opposite. Got the 24" Wally-World special and ordered an 18" from Remington.

June 23, 2005, 06:58 PM
Yeah, I do have that option if I need goal however is to get a gun that works like I want when I lay down the cash....Barring a few small modifications like a sidesaddle and a wilson combat safety.

Thanks for the input so far, the gun has my name on it now...tommorow I shoul have it :)

June 23, 2005, 07:11 PM
My 18 1/2" 870 patterns all 9 pellets in the chest cavity at 25 meters with federal Tactical low recoil (le0032 i think) I wouldn't worry about the patern you're asking for.

June 23, 2005, 07:23 PM
Ammo will make a bigger difference, than barrel length (assuming same choke)...I load S&B 3" magnum 00 buck (15 pellets), which has no shot cup, and it spreads plenty from my 20" Mossberg...At 40 feet (max distance inside my house) its about a 20-24" pattern...which means BG is gonna catch at least half, if I've got the gun pointed pretty much in the right direction.

So, buy the gun, then experiment with different ammo, you should be able find what you want

June 23, 2005, 08:25 PM
As previously mentioned, its not barrel length but choke thats important. I shoot 3-gun and occasionally there is a stage where you have to shoot an IPSC target with 00 buck. They sometimes score the best 4 pellets. The "A Zone" of an IPSC target is about 6" wide and 12" high and is centered in the chest. In my tests with an 18" Benelli M1 @ 25 yards, I had 4 A hits with mod choke, 5 hits with improved mod, and 6 A hits with full choke. At 15 yards, the pattern spread was 7" with IC, 6" with M, and 5" with F. Hope this helps. Cylinder bore will not cut it @ 25 yards. Its great for knocking off bowling pins @ 25'.

June 23, 2005, 10:48 PM
I have two 870 Wilson built shotguns with 18 and 18.5" cyl bores. Both deliver good pattern density from 15 to 18 yds. with standard LE low recoil ammo, such as original Federal Tactical, or Winchester Ranger, or Rem. Tac. The typical distance you'd need the shotgun probably isn't any different than with a handgun. Close.

Update: Federal's new LE 132-00 Tactical buckshot with FliteControl wad produces extremely tight patterns in both of my cyl bore guns. About 4" at 15 yds, 6" at 20 and 7 to 9" at 25yds! This ammo is available from Ammoman. The wad controls the pattern size. Not the choke.

Hornady's TAP is essentially the same, only has lead instead of plated shot. The wad is the same as the FliteControl.

Bob F.
June 23, 2005, 11:04 PM
My 18" 870HD easily put all 9 00 pellets on a sheet of paper (8.5x11") @ 15 yds. That's with Hornady TAP low recoil. Should meet your demands. As others have implied, buy a bunch of different 5-round boxes and pattern your shotty. It (and you) will like some better than others.

Racked it just a few minutes ago; thought we had a burglar in the empty house next door. False alarm.

Stay safe.

A Cleaner
June 24, 2005, 09:54 AM
The 18" cylinder bore will do quite nicely for what you're asking. I have an HD and it is, dare I say, my favorite shotgun. Get one, you won't be sorry.

June 24, 2005, 06:31 PM
Well I got the shotgun today, and patterned it, I am going to post pictures of the pattern, from some federal tactical I bought, and I'll do a range report...but that will be later tonight, I need to borrow a friends digital camera to take pics.

I was happy with my results, thanks for your help guys :)

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