Thanks for the advice -- New (old) 870


June 25, 2005, 04:46 PM
I've lurked and searched here quite awhile absorbing advice for the purchase of a HD shottie. After reading, fitting, thinking, finally narrowed it down (I thought) to a 1300, 1100 or an SX2 I found with a 20-inch barrel. All were in 20 ga. except for the 12 ga. SX2.

The main attraction for me of the semiauto was the long fore end which permits resting the supporting hand closer to the receiver than do most pumps. (The Nova is set up ths way, but that gun doesn't fit me.) Also the enhanced recoiol ability of the semi was a positive consideration. Still in the back of my mind I couldn't shake a nagging worry about reliability.

But then, lo and behold, I came across an old 870 wingmaster 20 ga. riot gun. The foreend was quite long, not as long as a Nova's, but long enough to make supporting the gun much more comfortable. To make matters even better, the stock seems to fit me. The action is not smooth, however, so it's off to a gunsmith to have that repaired before I take delivery. Assuming the repair is satisfactory, it'll be mine in a week or so at a very attractive price.

Thanks to all who have advised people like me in search of the ideal HD shottie. This site is so comprehensive I never even had to post a question.


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June 25, 2005, 05:57 PM
Congrats Maxer and welcome to the congregation!
The offering tray will be passed shortly.
A tithe of spent hulls and recoil induced slow grins would be greatly appreciated. :D


Member -
Detroit Chapter of the Terre Haute Torque and Recoil Society.
Church of the Applied 870.

Dave McCracken
June 26, 2005, 04:03 AM

Remington never made a "riot" 870 in 20 gauge. However, there's plenty of them out there converted from sporting arms.

As soon as you can, go shoot it. Repeat until it's smooth.....

June 27, 2005, 07:40 PM

That's interesting and bothersome. Maybe I should pass on it. So Winchester is the only one with a 18-inch 20 gauge pump?


Dave McCracken
June 27, 2005, 09:06 PM
Don't pass it up. The 20 gauge YE here I got for the kids has a 20" RS barrel with an IC choke. It also has a vent rib barrel that's a nominal 21" and takes choke tubes. Either comes close to optimum as a "Serious" shotgun. I did a few fast COFs with 3 buck a while back. Effective as heck. It's not as smooth as my 12s but they've got way more rounds behind them. Smoothing up any pump is easy. BA/UU/R.....

The Upland Special variants one sees occasionally also will do the job nicely.

The 20 gauge 870s built on the LW frame(All newer ones are) make very good house guns for smaller shotgunners, and not bad ones for us behemoths.

You mention a long forearm. My hunch is someone reworked a sporter WM. No better pumpgun exists.....

June 27, 2005, 11:54 PM
Thanks for the reassurance. I'll see how she works after the 'smith's finished next week.

Dave McCracken
June 28, 2005, 10:14 AM
I'll wager the usual flagon of mead that you'll be completely satisfied. Chances are the smith is just truing up the action bars and polishing the wear marks as written in the floater on Breaking In New Pump Guns.

Now, go BA/UU/R.....


Fred Fuller
June 28, 2005, 09:58 PM

Don't want to be contradictory, but according to Swearengen, Remington has traditionally offered its Riot guns in 12, 16 and 20 ga. versions, while the Police guns have usually been restricted to 12 ga. Riot versions of the Model 31 pump, known as the 31R, with 20" barrels- were first offered in 1932 in 12 ga. with 16 and 20 ga. versions following shortly. The Model 11 autoloader was offered in a 12 ga. 18.5" Police Special version and in a Riot version in 12, 16 and 20 ga. (p. 237).

On p. 242 Swearengen says, "Shortly after the Model 870 was introduced in 1950, it became available in two fighting- shotgun forms. These were simply short barrel versions of the field- grade sporting gun. One was designated the Model 870R Riot Gun. The other was the Model 870P Police Gun. The Model 870R was equipped with with a 20- inch (50.8 cm.) cylinder bore barrel that displayed a standard bead- type shotgun sight. It appears that the gun was to have been marketed in 12, 16 and 20 gauge to match the fighting- shotgun calibers of the 11-48 automatic."

Granted, nowhere I have found so far is it said definitively that 870R guns in gauges other than 12 were ever produced. But if an early model 16 or 20 ga. 870 with a factory 20" barrel marked CYL shows up, I wouldn't be surprised... . I haven't been able to find any other mention of the 870R to speak of, and so still have no definitive answer. Next time I call Madison, I will try to remember to ask them about it.


June 28, 2005, 10:09 PM

Nevermind...Resident Librarian, Researcher and fellow Rebel Rouser hath posted.

Thanks Lee. :p

Max...welcome aboard! You are gonna like the way that thing slings slugs....from contact to out yonder a bit...yep, you will be grinning big time!!

I likes slugs....

Dave McCracken
June 29, 2005, 03:44 AM
Thanks, Lee, never seen any. A 16 or 20 gauge 870 with short barrel can make a fine "Serious" shotgun.

Some B-more narcs use 20 gauge YE 870s built up with tritium sights and mag extensions for serving warrents.

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