first 870!!got some questions....


March 23, 2006, 01:26 PM
I bought my first 870 the other day used from my local gun store. He said it was a retired police shotgun from a squad car. This isn't bad is it....I figured it probly wasnt used much and since the 870's are supposed to last forever it wouldnt matter.....also when i took it home i noticed that it didnt say police on the side like i expected instead its a wingmaster:cuss: ...what are the differences????It has all wood furnature but thats about to change and it has the mag real question is what is the difference between the wingmaster and the police version of the 870...thanks alot everyone

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March 23, 2006, 01:40 PM
The experts will be along shortly, but IIRC the only functional difference between the 870 Police and the 870 WingMaster is the trigger weight. That may not be true with an 870 WM used as a police weapon, it may be a standard WingMaster . For my use, I'd rather have a WingMaster -- actually I have three: one 3" magnum, one TB and a field gun I've modified for Trap.

March 23, 2006, 02:23 PM
if you want to get rid of that wood let me know so we can work something out. I need some for a project.

March 23, 2006, 02:25 PM
It's probably an older Police gun.

Years ago, Remington didn't stamp"POLICE" on the Police models, they were just marked with standard Wingmaster marks.
In fact, back then the Police was just a Wingmaster with a duller blue job, a short cylinder bore barrel, and oil finished un-checkered wood.

If your gun has a satin blue job, and plain, un-checkered wood, it likely is an earlier Police gun.

Today, there are some other differences between the Wingmaster and the Police, but these are primarily a matter of stronger magazine springs and a stronger trigger-sear spring.

March 23, 2006, 02:36 PM
Just picked up my first shotty today as well - A used 26" 870 Wingmaster through Gunbroker. Can't wait to get it home and strip her! :)

March 23, 2006, 03:13 PM
it is indeed uncheckard wood and its the 2 3/4.....

FGR39 ill get the wood to you but whats the deal????have any plastic for trade or paper or up for anything you can think of really as long as it is related to anything your willing to let go of shoot.....the wood isnt damaged but it needs to be refinished to be prestine.....i happen to refinish pianos for my uncle who has a buisness doing it so ill be glad to send it to you with a brand new finish to up the wages..just let me know

March 23, 2006, 03:15 PM
also...i dont mind he finish on the metal but it sure would be nice to have it parkerized....any at home kits for this and if not how much would it be to have it done if its possible or practical

March 23, 2006, 04:48 PM
mosquito, send me an email, don't need the wood redone, let me know how much you want for it.

March 23, 2006, 09:07 PM
If your gun has a satin blue job, and plain, un-checkered wood, it likely is an earlier Police gun.

And if you call Remington's "800" number and give them the serial number of your gun, they can tell you if it was originally built as a Police version or not.

Dave McCracken
March 23, 2006, 09:31 PM
A lot of Police style 870s have floated by me over the years. Most said Wingmaster on them. Finish,when new, varied from high gloss to something similar to the Express look. Real phosphate finishes are nigh universally retrofits.

I've seen original checkered wood, upgrade checkered wood, uncheckered walnut and hardwoods like Birch. I've seen some that were painted black at the factory for the military. The red trestle pad is the most common, but there's still some plates out there. These oft indicate very old 870s.

I've seen few true cylinder bores from the factory. Remington started using a few points of choke in cylinder bores before they made the 870 and carried it over. Old time ammo gave lousy patterns with a true cylinder for the most part.

Unless you get the old training shotgun, practically any surplussed 870 will look well used outside and near new inside. Even the trainer should work OK.

Flextabs show DOM of 1980 or later for the most part. Few retro'd 870s, though I've two here.

Nigh all are good deals. Frankenstein and my Deer 870 were agency weapons at one time.


March 23, 2006, 11:41 PM
Which brings me to a good question:
What EXACTLY is the difference between a Flex-tab BOLT and a non-Flex-tab bolt.

Remington's Flex-tab conversion kit includes a new bolt as part of the kit, but I keep hearing people claim to have used the standard non-Flex-tab bolt in a gun fitted with the Flex-tab, and, quote "It woks fine" unquote.

Can you compare a Flex-tab bolt with a non-Flex-tab and tell me the difference.

Dave McCracken
March 24, 2006, 09:04 AM
The Flex bolt has another cut in it and I'll need to disassemble one of my "Serious" 870s to describe it further. I'll get back to you later on that.

Dunno how much the new bolt is needed. I've known folks who've machined the shell carrier to duplicate the flextab and not changed anything else.

March 24, 2006, 10:56 AM
Re: Wood

Yep, wood has character and soul, especially that older wood, and really neat is the wood off older Police Shotguns.

Now what is interesting are the folks that remove wood, install synthetic, hang fuzzy dice and curb feelers off shotguns.

1) attend a class and learn to undo the fuzzy dice and curb feelers, in training they learn what fits them for task. Now since some did not keep the wood, means selling/ trading the gun for one with wood , or buying a new stock that fits them. Wood also being denser assists in less perceived recoil...

2) folks that received the old wood (kept it as part of the deal) - well - funny, it ain't for sale. Includes selling back to original owner.

3) nor is any of the original stuff taken off to allow fuzzy dice and curb feelers to be added.

4) Now the feller that Bubba'd my former Express had to sell that gun he make up for his dad, took a hit too. The person that has it now, has it back "pretty much stock" - just the whacked barrel has had external knurled chokes installed , wood stock from someone else's removed put on, and does grouse, woodcock, and Serious Situation duty. Of course this new owner can "fell it with a stick". Always liked the 21" and 23" bbl lengths...I forget what my former one ended up being , one of these two lengths...

I paid $179 for that gun, sold it for $225. Bubba Accessories were ~ $200, fellow sold 'bubba" for $125,new owner had chokes and stocks - just out having the threads cut.

I still have the wood, original Rem safety...nope, not for sale, nor any of the older original parts I have for this or other firearms...

The dad the bubba was made for - using a 1100 in 20 for everything , found a used one, someone going thru a divorce - LNIB for $250.

Making changes are good, some folks get what they want - be it a bubba, cash, or older wood stocks and original better metallurgy in parts.

I read where Tamara snatched a Rem 11 Riot gun the other day. Wood and blue, I bet a dollar it stays stock...

Ain't America Great! ;)

March 24, 2006, 11:16 AM
I've got two set of Rem wood in a closet -- not for sale. Upgraded to wood that fit my cheek.

March 24, 2006, 11:54 AM
:D :D

March 24, 2006, 09:42 PM
Which brings me to a good question:
What EXACTLY is the difference between a Flex-tab BOLT and a non-Flex-tab bolt.

Silver bolt is a 1975 "non-flexi" bolt, black one is a '90's "flexi" bolt. The only difference is the cut out area at the lower front of the flexi bolt, otherwise they're identical.

March 24, 2006, 09:53 PM


Okay, we need this stickied and we really really need a Shotgun Folder in the THR Library So folks can see this picture when they go to the Library for other stuff I feel we need and I keep bugging Staff about...:)

Dave...oh Dave...I volunteer P95Carry to fix us up. :p

I come in handy around here sometimes...rare...still...


March 25, 2006, 10:34 AM
Okay, so when was the transition? I checked and the 870TB is definitely non-flexi, but suppose all TB's are non. Since I don't recall seeing anything different in the bolts, I think mine are all non-flexi. Should an '81 3" mag be flexi or non?

Dave McCracken
March 25, 2006, 09:03 PM
IIRC, the change was in the early 80s. It was about then that I got a couple kits for my two.

I believe the trap guns are still non flex to this day.

March 26, 2006, 05:44 PM
I took a shotgun armorer's class last summer.

The instructor purported that parts fitment was best on the newer Law Enforcement models, followed by the Wingmaster, then the lower end one which I cannot remember the name at the moment.

If it's an older one, a Wingmaster, the quality should be top notch. When everybody else was cheapening their shotguns to cut costs, Remington did not and in fact made improvements, yet.

The most prevalent modifications we made were to action slides by modifying their angles for smoother operation like the law enforcement models..the most common maintenance repair I can remember was peining the feed latches to the receiver...

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