Sidesaddle installation


September 18, 2006, 03:35 PM
I'm thinking of adding a side saddle to my 870 and am trying to get all the info before I decide to buy. I did a search and found some installation info, but am still not 100% clear on how it attaches.

It sounds from what I read that screws replace the trigger pins and hold an aluminum plate onto the left side (for my right-handed setup) of the receiver. The side saddle attaches to this plate. Is this correct? If so, does the saddle attach/remove from the plate in some kind of quick release fashion?

My shotgun is an 870 Express Super Magnum with the wood forearm and a non-rifled cylinder 18.5" bbl. I'd be looking to add either a 4- or 6-shell side saddle. I have a magazine extender and keep 6 00 shells in the magazine. The side saddle would be to hold rifled slugs, I think.

Right now, I just have the one shotgun, so I change the barrel fairly frequently to shoot skeet. I'd like the saddle to be pretty easily removeable for the same reason.

Thank you very much for reading and your help.

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September 18, 2006, 04:19 PM
SS does not 'quick release' from aluminum plate; it is removed by unscrewing the screws that replace the trigger pins.

The plactic 'shell holder' portion of the unit is attached to the aluminum plate by way of four small screws. Those screws are notorious for backing out under even moderate use. Folks who use thier guns will therefore either tighten those screws enough to distort the plastic or loctite them in place, or both.

Because of this, I don't think regularly removing the plastic portion from the aluminum plate would be a very good option.

September 18, 2006, 04:25 PM
Hmm, that doesn't so so great. Seems like a QR type of setup would be the natural way to go. Some kind of tab on the bottom that would allow it to slide off.

Those who have them and use LocTite, does that hold up under heavy use? Having it semi-permanently attached to the gun might not be bad - could be the impetus for me to get a proper skeet gun.

September 18, 2006, 04:39 PM
My experience is that anything you bolt onto a shotgun will eventually come loose, if you are using the shotgun properly :) .

I've lost loctited screws from an SS - they have to be regularly checked like everything else.

For a QR sidesaddle option, check out the 3gungear velcro-mounted sidesaddles. No personal experience with the product, but it seems to fit what you are looking for:

September 18, 2006, 04:50 PM
That shell-covered man was much too scary. I had to shut the window.

I don't mind checking something as part of maintenance, but I don't want it to become unreliable after a couple boxes of shells either.

I wouldn't mind a little reliability enhancing modification to the side saddle either. I'm probably intrigued enough at this point to order the damn thing just to fool with it.

September 18, 2006, 04:55 PM
They work well, they must as Wilson Combat sell them and they don't sell junk. As has been said, there's no QD option, but it's not a big deal to put them on off. No harder than pulling the trigger assembly pins for a complete fieldstripping.

Also, remember that you must use a police (i.e. short) style forearm on the 870's if you want to reliably use the 6rd SideSaddles. The standard field foreends come back around the receiver when at full travel, which will run into the 6 rounders.


September 18, 2006, 04:58 PM
I should be able to give my fore-end a trim with the old Dremel to accomodate that, though, shouldn't I? Seems like I've read that it isn't a huge overlap.

September 18, 2006, 05:05 PM
You can indeed do a trim job. As I recall, it's significant enough to give a person plenty of room to botch it. But if you take your time (after running the kids, dog, spouse/SO out of the room) and have it in a steady position, you should be fine.

Take Care,

Fred Fuller
September 18, 2006, 05:11 PM

If your gun has the standard field length forearm (9" IIRC) you'll have to take off a couple of inches to use a 6- shot Sidesaddle, at least on the side the Sidesaddle is mounted on. And IMHO it's best to take the forearm off the action bar assembly when modifying it (ymmv). Otherwise there's a 4- shot version of the Sidesaddle that will fit with no mods to the forearm.

There's no reason I know of the Sidesaddle ever has to come off save for deep cleaning the gun (put a light coat of RIG grease or petroleum jelly on the side of the receiver under the plate when you install it). It doesn't get in the way for me, other people hate 'em for some reason.


September 18, 2006, 06:44 PM
Thanks, Lee. I was actually thinking of the 4-shot anyway, so maybe I'll give that one a whirl first.

September 18, 2006, 07:29 PM
My experience is that anything you bolt onto a shotgun will eventually come loose, if you are using the shotgun properly


1. Take the "loop" or "fuzzy" part of Hook & Loop [Velcro] and cut to fit Sidesaddle. Use a hole punch, to punch holes where reciever pins/ Sidesaddle bolt will go through.
This tends to assist in staying more snug longer, and alleviates some of the scratches and such folks have with Side Saddles.

2. Visit a Trophy Shop. Offer to buy some of the Double Stick Tape they use for attaching plates to plaques.

Pay attention here.

a. Once applied, it is the devil to come off IF it will ever come off unless soaked in solvent. Sometimes it will not come off then.
Make darn sure it is where you want it the first time.

b. Thickest Tape that comes from Germany is the one you want.
There is (best recall) 3 thicknessess. Germany makes the best , and the thickest acts like a cushion, aids in preventing scratches to receiver, and lasts ....

This comes on a roll, it is Expensive and Germany makes the best. So it comes off the roll sticky, use clean dry hands, and do not get yourself stuck to the roll! Once on, then remove the peel off back and both pieces are "stuck".

Measure Three Times on scrap paper - Cut once. Use this for a Template, You only get one shot to get this double stick tape on where you want it.
Wherever it gets stuck - is where is stays stuck.

No, My personal guns do not have side saddles. My uses may mean I have to punch pins to drop trigger group to remove mud, snow, rock, dirt, seeds, pellets, primers, and who know what else.

I have used Shotguns with Side Saddles...that was me taking a coat hanger to the innards to remove a glob of mud while I sloshed gun in a stream, used a garden hose,or self car wash sprayer ....
Car Wash sprayer works bestest...:)

September 18, 2006, 09:02 PM
A small dab or two of silicone caulk between the saddle and receiver will hold it as well. Its waterproof, does not hold moisture, and cleans off easily. It'll keep from scratching your shotgun if the SS gets to moving around on you too. Just don't over do it as it doesn't dry real fast.

When you want to remove it you can use a length of fishing line with a loop at each end to cut through the silicone.

I've even uesd it to glue tin beer signs to a refigerator in the basement bar and it works well. No damage to the frige or the sign when removing.

September 19, 2006, 04:46 AM
It seems in your situation you would be better off with just a haversack of some sort to hold a bunch of loose shells, or one of those belt pouches that hold a box of shells. You would be amazed at how fast you can dig out shells and have two ready in your weakhand fingers when the need arises. Just hang it next to your shotgun. Grab the shotgun, sling the pouch over your neck, grab a couple of shells out of the pouch as you move to the danger and you are ready with two quick reloads and plenty more where they came from.

September 19, 2006, 07:39 AM
Yeah, that was my other thought. That's pretty much the setup I have with my AR, a pouch that carries six extra mags right next to the gun. I was thinking for this, maybe a divided shell bag with 00 in one side and rifled slugs in the other.

Bob F.
September 19, 2006, 10:37 PM
Saw a MOLLE ammo pouch in a catalog (cheaper than dirt?) that looks promising, $11.95 maybe. Delta Force has the Police forends for $19.95.

Stay safe.

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