870 J-Lock Removal Question


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farscott
January 11, 2006, 08:50 AM
I have no idea how it happened, but last night I managed to get the ISS engaged on my 870 CT in the midst of an informal round of trap. Since I did not have the key anywhere on me, I do not think I locked it with an intentional action. I reflexively apply the safety (thanks to years of reminders coupled with a smack on the head by my father when learning to shoot safely) after shooting, so I frequently apply and deactivate the safety.

Since I did not have the key, it was the end of the night for that gun. Luckily (or not, based on my performance after the ISS locked) I had my older 870 SP with me to finish the round. I then trudged home to work on the 870 CT. Sure enough, the ISS had engaged. Once I found the key, I used it to deactivate the ISS.

So the ISS has to go. My questions:

1) Should I just get a replacement 870 trigger plate and be done with it? I see Brownells has them for a decent cost, and I could also look for one in the Classifieds here. This is really tempting to me as I do not want to mess with the lockwork if I can avoid it and would like the ability to return the gun to factory configuration.

2) If just swapping the safety, what parts do I need? Is this something I can do myself or should it go to a smith?

3) How the heck did the ISS engage? Did I do something stupid? This is an 870 for sporting competition, so the issue is about my confidence in the gun and my ability to properly use it.

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joab
January 11, 2006, 09:32 AM
putty and paint in the J-hole

Fred Fuller
January 11, 2006, 10:52 AM
So the ISS has to go.
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Yup. No place for one on any shotgun that is more than a wallhanger IMHO. Remington should have never foisted this abomination off on the shooting public to begin with.
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My questions:

1) Should I just get a replacement 870 trigger plate and be done with it? I see Brownells has them for a decent cost, and I could also look for one in the Classifieds here. This is really tempting to me as I do not want to mess with the lockwork if I can avoid it and would like the ability to return the gun to factory configuration.
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No need to go to the added expense of buying an entire trigger plate, unless you just want one for the parts box in case anything goes wrong on other guns. I started adding trigger plate and bolt assembly spares to the parts box here when the number of resident 870s climbed above six and the importance of keeping a gun running without professional attention downtime was high.

Best bet IMO is to get a new 'old style' safety button, spring and detent and swap out the necessary parts, it makes the safety 'feel' a lot better in operation than using the other spring and plunger. You're only talking about $20 or so worth of parts to do the complete replacement. Just keeep the lawer-proof junk to put back in if you want to return the gun to factory issue status, it's a simple operation to swap out and reverse parts as needed.
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2) If just swapping the safety, what parts do I need? Is this something I can do myself or should it go to a smith?
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See above- my vote is to DIY, it's pretty easy to do. And you can change it back if need be, once you know how.
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3) How the heck did the ISS engage? Did I do something stupid? This is an 870 for sporting competition, so the issue is about my confidence in the gun and my ability to properly use it.
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It engaged because Murphy rules. It just takes a twist to do it, and you are not the first to experience it. I first heard about it happening years ago, when the J-lock safeties first appeared, and it happened on the firing line of a class under a fairly well known fighting shotgun instructor. He discovered that the locked condition could be duplicated at will and set about condemning the presence of such a device on any serious shotgun.

If you want directions on DIY, PM me. If you can pull the trigger plate out of your 870 you can do the rest of it too.

lpl/nc

sm
January 11, 2006, 12:21 PM
Olive Pit Removal Tool has NO place on a shotgun.

Lee's Post +1

See I told ya...

boxcab
January 11, 2006, 02:22 PM
Will installing one of the after market "large head" safeties solve the problem or is there more to it?

Thanks,

-Dan

Fred Fuller
January 11, 2006, 05:45 PM
Boxcab,

IMHO 'big head safeties' on 870s/1100s/11-87s are solutions in search of a problem, but all the local 3-gun folks who bought them and wanted them installed on their 'game guns' left me with a supply of old style safety buttons that lasted through the ISS/Remington-no-sell-old-style-buttons drought with a few left over still.

I prefer to change out all parts of the safety that were changed to accomodate the (sometimes self-)locking button, which includes the safety button, detent and spring. I find that the old style button works more smoothly when the parts are installed it was designed to work with- the locking button's detent is cylindrical with a projection on the bottom and the spring is a bit shorter, while the old style detent is a small ball bearing and the spring is a couple of turns longer.

Remington lists all three parts at $3.00 apiece factory new, not likely to break the bank with a $9 plus shipping order... IF you want a big-head safety button, they run from $12- 20 or so last time I looked. Remington has only been selling replacement old-style buttons for a few months now, for a while there they would not sell them AFAIK.

lpl/nc

tomkatz
January 11, 2006, 06:11 PM
When I first picked up my 870 tactical, used from a friend, another buddy was looking it over and he engaged the stupid lock without the key.....I tried and tried and could not do it, but that convinced me that it had no place on my gun....
I put the wilson bighead safety on mine and it works fine.....I really didn't check here to see if there was a better way to fix it. It looks like I should have......tom

boxcab
January 11, 2006, 09:05 PM
I already have one of the big head safeties in the parts box, and if I understand correctly, it will fix the "problem". I'll give it a try some time (I have my single action revolvers apart for a spring jobs now). On my next order from Brownells or the like, I'll add the old safety parts in the shipment... just in case I don't like the Big Head.

Thanks for the help and guidance.

-Dan

Onmilo
January 12, 2006, 11:33 AM
Just for the record, I unlocked a Remington J lock with two eyeglass screwdrivers when a shooter brought his deer gun to the range locked and with no key.

I am no big fan of defeating these new safety locks.
If something, anything, goes wrong, you, and/or the gunsmith, will be liable in full and the gun company will dis-avow all warranty or liable claims on the firearm.

farscott
January 12, 2006, 02:25 PM
If my shotgun was not secured, it was not setting next to two other 870's without the J-lock, if the J-lock was a true safety, as opposed to a way to lock the safety, and it was not my trap gun, I would agree that removing the safety is not smart from a liability sense. However, only one of my 870's has the J-lock, and the J-lock's function is essentially and much more reliably replaced by storage in a locked gun safe.

After all, the J-lock can be defeated by a pair of eyeglass screwdrivers; as such, it is not suitable as a gun lock.

Sulaco
January 12, 2006, 02:41 PM
...would like the ability to return the gun to factory configuration.

If you get rid of the j-lock, you would be returning it to its original factory configuration.

...How the heck did the ISS engage?

Who knows, just replace the safety button.

tomkatz
January 12, 2006, 05:34 PM
If you get rid of the j-lock, you would be returning it to its original factory configuration.

This was my feeling exactly when I got rid of my lock.....it is just obviously a bad design and I would sell the gun if I had to keep the lock.
I am one of the outspoken critics of S&W revolver locks and then I end up with a shotgun that has one with an equally bad design(IMO). At least this one can be eliminated entirely unlike the revolvers.
.....tom

pokey074
January 13, 2006, 08:32 AM
These are the parts you will need (from Brownell's)

767-175-140 Safety Switch Spring
767-232-230 Safety Switch Detent Ball

Plus, whatever safety button you prefer. Replacement is a breeze (going off memory here but I did find instructions some where on the net.) After removing the trigger group there is a pin you need to punch out. This allows you to remove the safety switch spring and detent, which then allows you to remove the cursed J-lock. You then install the new safety button, ball, and spring. You need to compress the spring to reinstall the pin you took out.

The J-lock is an abomination considering you can engage it without a key, but need the key to unlock it.

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