HD shotgun mods


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High Altitude
September 19, 2006, 12:04 AM
I don't have a lot of money so I am trying to get the most bang for my buck in building a basic HD shotgun.

I just bought a new 18" 7shot 870 and have a couple questions about a couple modifications that I want to do.

First, I want to replace the safety and get rid of the J key safety. I was planning on going with Wilson. Any suggestions or comments?

Second, I want to get a sling on this thing. Any suggestions on how to accomplish this and what type of sling to get?

Third, Side saddle. any brands that you prefer? Do the side saddles in anyway cause any problems by removing the pins and replacing them with screws? What about using a shot holder that goes on the end of the stock?

And last, I would love it if I could afford a new surefire light forend, but that isn't going to happen for a long time. Does anyone sell something to mount up a surefire G2 or something similiar to the extension tube or barrel?

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45Guy
September 19, 2006, 01:11 AM
IMO a sling doesn't belong on a HD shotgun, but it is your gun.

Tac-Star side saddles are awesome, I've got one on my 870HD, the 4 shot version. Cheaper Than Dirt.com has em for $20. You can also look for barrel clamps for lights on that site.

I have no idea on the safety though, sorry.

Good luck, and have fun shooting that 870, I know I love mine.

-45Guy

Waywatcher
September 19, 2006, 01:26 AM
I have only had good experiences with Wilson Comabt products, and seeing as how they make high-end custom shotguns I think the safety will be better than stock.

I second the sling comment, my shotgun has swivels for deer hunting but I put the sling on only for the season, using my hands to grab branches/logs etc.

I have no experiences with this company, (http://www.3gungear.com), but I hear they make good side saddles that dont involve screws. I cant provide any links but I have heard of issues originating from screwed-on side saddles. Perhaps overtightened screws?

I haven't seen any decent alternatives to a Surfire Front-End, but if you find one, be sure to let me know!

Rob1035
September 19, 2006, 12:01 PM
I don't have a lot of money so I am trying to get the most bang for my buck in building a basic HD shotgun.


BA/UU/R

sm
September 19, 2006, 12:21 PM
I don't do Wilson for anything personally.

-Find a quality gunsmith that will sell you and install a factory safety , with spring and detent, he kept when he replaced safety for an owner that had to have a goopy tacktickle one.

-Quaility Gunsmith orders a Vang, turns it down in a lathe to match factory one, again doing the springs and detent.


Take a bone stock gun to a training class, such as Awerbuck. Let Instructor assist you on gun fit and any additions he feels YOU need for YOUR tasks.

Personally I run bone stock shotguns for serious use. No mag extensions, no sidesaddle , no nothing.

I do use guns that fit, are reliable with ammo , have been shot for groups with slugs (my preference for serious situation loads) and pellet loads for patterns.

Best investment is Training, Gun fit and 5 cases of light loads. Then buying varieties of ammo for your task, finding what your gun shoots best, and buying more of same.

Always continuing to do repetitions of correct basic fundamentals and shooting lots of light loads for practice.

Better shooters have more invested in Training and Ammo than they do the Gun and Accessories.

Fred Fuller
September 19, 2006, 12:49 PM
The most bang for the buck modification you can make to a defensive shotgun is training and practice for 'the nut that holds the butt.' No, it doesn't get you any kewl points, doesn't make for neato webcam pics to show off your new toy. But if you are serious about defensive shotguns, you need to know that the shooter is more the key than the shotgun. Software trumps hardware.

Louis Awerbuck suggests a short list of necessities for a defensive shotgun. Since he is unarguably one of the top instructors on the planet, I'd be inclined to listen to him. His list, from my notes at http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=202292 :

1) A stock short enough for the operator to shoot effectively. Many shotgun stocks are too long as they come from the factory.

2) A sling or carrying strap. Yes, in the house. I thought differently until I took his class, now my house gun wears its sling indoors too.

3) A white light source that is substantial enough not to be damaged by recoil, that can be switched on and left on if needed.

4) Sights, if the shooter needs them.

Louis' video is available in the Lending Library if you want to borrow it, see the stickies at the top of the index page of the Shotgun Forum.

You bought an 870 Express. That's the same gun Wilson Combat uses as a platform to bolt on the accessories they sell as part of the package (except they won't change out the lawyer-lock safety for you). And you got a factory Remington magazine extension, the best in the book. You're already ahead of the game.

I sure wish Remington would include the sling swivel stud in the magazine clamp on their HD guns with mag extensions. That would save trouble. A couple of folks have used a pop-in swivel in that hole, it seems to work OK. There are several threads on slings here, give 'em a look with the SEARCH THIS FORUM feature on the index page.

Big head safeties I can take or leave, I do think getting rid of the lawyer-lock is a great idea- they have been known to lock themselves without using the tool. The standard replacement safety button is like $5 from Remington. IMO it's best to replace the safety spring and detent with the old style parts as well, some people say they can't tell the difference.

I like TacStar Sidesaddles, some folks prefer the 3GunGear version, some don't like any of 'em. Buttstock shellholders unbalance the gun IMHO, receiver mounted holders keep the weight between the hands where it isn't a problem. I like extra ammo on the gun itself.

Streamlight makes a couple of light mounts for shotguns that fit their M3 light, and any other light that will fit on a rail, like the $50 Ombu Z-5. There's a Model 69901 that fits on a magazine extension, and a Model 69906 that fits under the magazine cap. See
http://www.opticsplanet.net/streamlight-12ga-extended-mag-tube-tactical-mount-69901.html
http://www.opticsplanet.net/streamlight-rem-870-tactical-mount-69906.html
I use both these mounts, with either Streamlight M3 or Ombu Z-5 lights. I'd rather remove a light during daytime practice to keep down the amount of battering due to recoil (even Streamlight recommends taking out the batteries from their lights and using a 'practice plug' when the light is not needed).

hth,

lpl/nc

High Altitude
September 19, 2006, 08:29 PM
Big head safeties I can take or leave, I do think getting rid of the lawyer-lock is a great idea- they have been known to lock themselves without using the tool. The standard replacement safety button is like $5 from Remington. IMO it's best to replace the safety spring and detent with the old style parts as well, some people say they can't tell the difference.

This is my number one priority. I don't have to have a big head safety, I just want to get rid of the J lock. I looked on remington's site and they don't list these parts forsale. Does remington sell through a retailer or should I just call them?

357wheelgunner
September 19, 2006, 08:38 PM
Good idea to replace the J-lock safety I'd do the same.

Do go with the wilson combat safety, it is cheaper than the factory unit. Just make sure you have a good smith install it.

Buy Ammo, Use Up, Repeat. BA/UU/R

Spend your money on buckshot and slugs and learn how to shoot the shotgun. Get good and feel safe and confident.

Enjoy!

Oh and don't waste too much building up an Express 870, save your pennies and save for a Police model, they are much bettter quality and are worth it especially if you are going to dump money into modifying it.

High Altitude
September 19, 2006, 08:50 PM
I looked on Brownells and they have listed these parts for the safety, spring and detent.

http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=10855&title=SAFETY+SWITCH&s=27303#27303

http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=10842&title=SAFETY+SWITCH+DETENT+BALL&s=27290#27290

http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=10778&title=SAFETY+SWITCH+SPRING&s=27226#27226

isaidme
September 19, 2006, 09:26 PM
I have the same shotgun you have and so far the only thing ive added was an R3 recoil pad from remington.I am also planning on adding a shorter stock and CDNN has the Speedfeed youth synthetic stock for $40 that everyone else is trying to get $80 for.

glockcrazyjerry
September 19, 2006, 10:10 PM
I know I saw that for the Rems but I have a Mossberg 500 and they do not have any youth stocks. It sucks becasue it is alot cheeper than the 65 $ I have seen on all the other sites....... I have looked alot of places. I can not see paying that much for a youth stock.

Rob1035
September 19, 2006, 10:44 PM
glockcrazyjerry- quick google search came up with this:

http://www.speedfeedinc.com/products.html

The Deer Hunter
September 20, 2006, 09:00 PM
Well, you kinda said everythin you need.

Anyways, a 7-shot 870 is more than enough to repel intruders.

Mods:
sidesaddle
flashlight

elcaminos
September 20, 2006, 09:03 PM
I recently got my 870 and am going through the same process. I just got a surefire forend on ebay new for about $180 which I though was a pretty good deal. I am looking at changing stocks, and I am interested in the Choate Mark 6 (http://www.riflestock.com/catalog_page_detail.cfm?recordno=4&Product_CatalogID=2751&ProductNumber=01%2D01%2D14&ProductCode=23&ProductSubCodeID=167&NewProduct=0) but was wondering how it would perform in recoil reduction compared to the r3 pad. My 870 came with a solid pad, the choate has vents. The knoxx tactical stock looks like it would do a good job for recoil reduction but I'm not too fond of it's appearance. Any input?

steveracer
September 20, 2006, 09:51 PM
They make a very nice 12" LOP stock for the 870. This is the shortest "regular" stock I could find, and it's pretty comfortable. I like it for the HD shotgun, because it is very short, but has a thick rubber buttpad to help with the recoil, and the grip area is pebbled soft rubber. Very sweet.
Midway has them.

Waywatcher
September 21, 2006, 07:33 AM
Big head safeties I can take or leave, I do think getting rid of the lawyer-lock is a great idea- they have been known to lock themselves without using the tool. The standard replacement safety button is like $5 from Remington. IMO it's best to replace the safety spring and detent with the old style parts as well, some people say they can't tell the difference.

I see the detent is different for the two types of safeties, but is the spring too? I ordered just the safety and the detent, before you posted. When I took the safety mechanism apart the spring looks like it would still work with the new ball bearing detent. Will the old spring work?

glockcrazyjerry
September 21, 2006, 10:10 PM
You saw those on midway...... I did not see hogue overmolds ? Sounds like a really nice butstock.

saands
September 25, 2006, 04:29 PM
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=126882

Saands

MTMilitiaman
September 25, 2006, 06:18 PM
I am curious as to why people have beef with slings. It seems like you have plenty of nuts that will B&M about a long gun in the house because they feel it will be easier to take away from them in a scuffle. So they go out with a handgun. Okay, your headstone, whatever. But from my point of view, you'd think the one simple and cheap solution to weapon retention, the sling, would have people jumping all over it. It really makes weapon retention nearly a non-issue. There might be a snag hazard, but compared to the convenience on knowing your weapon is attached to you and not going anywhere, that there is no possible way even in a scuffle that a bad guy can manipulate the muzzle to point in any direction but his own, and that the sling provides hands free carry if you need to occupy your hands with something else (use your imagination), I think the benefits outweigh the risks.

Shawn Dodson
September 26, 2006, 04:35 PM
My shotgun is used to defend our safe room. If I have to go mobile (e.g., investigate an unusual noise or escort a family member to the safe room) then I prefer a handgun. Thus I don't anticipate the need for a sling. If, for some reason I have to manuever through the house with the shotgun, a sling is just one more thing to manage and I prefer to keep my mind free to solve tactical problems.

I'm also wary of having it attached to me because it'll be easier for an attacker to physically control me and pull me off balance: the sling will be pulled taut before my arms do.

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