New to shotguns... what did I get? [Terminology and other newbie questions]


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PaladinX13
September 28, 2006, 11:42 AM
I just received a lightly used 870 Express Magnum (what it says on the receiver, the website for the same model number- 25565- calls it an Express Deer gun).
http://www.remington.com/products/firearms/shotguns/model_870/model_870_express_deer_specs.asp
I think I know some basic shotgun stuff, but it couldn't hurt to ask a couple questions:

What does improved cylinder mean? Can I- do I want to- adjust/alternate chokes?
Does magnum simply mean 3" chamber?
What makes this a deer gun... the rifle sights? Does that preclude me from using it as a bird, trap, clay, or defense gun?
Does the 14" LOP fit anyone? It's pretty uncomfortable for me. Especially with thick clothes on? Without wood-working tools, I assume the best way to shorten the LOP is simply to get a new/aftermarket one... any suggestions?
Almost new there was already a little speckled rust on the sights/barrel... is this finish prone to rusting and needing extra precautions/care?
Anything else I should know?


The role of this gun would be first and foremost to simply have a pump action shotgun to round out my collection, but after that, light plinking, informal clays, deer hunting, and tertiary defensive weapon (handguns first due to multiple placed in the house and frequency & familiarity with use; rifle next because there's only one and it's less familiar; shotgun last as the least familiar of the weapon for now).

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mete
September 28, 2006, 01:13 PM
The improved cylinder choke is one of the more open chokes .Are yours interchangeable ? There are 2 3/4", 3" and 3 1/2" magnum shells. The gun should list the shell length .Only use shells of the listed size or shorter ones , NOT longer ones.Deer guns have sights or even scope bases, some have rifled barrels. You can cut down wooden stocks and some plastic ones or get a "youth stock".For slight rust take some 0000 steel wool and gun oil and remove the rust .Keep a light coating of oil on the gun.

Fred Fuller
September 28, 2006, 01:19 PM
What does improved cylinder mean? Can I- do I want to- adjust/alternate chokes?
Remington has been making most of their short barrels with fixed ImpCyl chokes for several years now. ImpCyl means about .010" of constriction, in a nominal 12 ga. bore of .729", an ImpCyl choke would be a constriction down to .719". Bore size varies a bit, so those numbers are approximations of course. Your barrel may be different.

Does magnum simply mean 3" chamber?
Basically, yes. If the serial number on your 12 ga. 870 ends with an M, it is a magnum or 3" capable receiver. You'll have to have a barrel with a 3" chamber to shoot 3" shells mounted on that receiver to safely use 3" shells.

What makes this a deer gun... the rifle sights? Does that preclude me from using it as a bird, trap, clay, or defense gun?
The rifle sights make it a deer gun. Sights make it more useful as a defensive gun, if you can ignore them they will not get in the way of using it for wingshooting or clay games. It may not be an optimum barrel for those pursuits but it can work.

Does the 14" LOP fit anyone? It's pretty uncomfortable for me. Especially with thick clothes on? Without wood-working tools, I assume the best way to shorten the LOP is simply to get a new/aftermarket one... any suggestions?
Factory issue stocks are for averagepeople, there are few average people. If the stock is too long for you, it is relatively easy to have it shortened and a premium recoil pad added- IF the original stock is wood. Some of the plastic stocks are a pain to cut down. It is likely to be cheaper to have the original stock shortened than to buy a new replacement with a shorter LOP, and the gun can be better fitted to you as well. Ask around for a local gunsmith and check on getting your original stock shortened.

Almost new there was already a little speckled rust on the sights/barrel... is this finish prone to rusting and needing extra precautions/care?
Some people find it so. Go over it well with something like Ballistol, then give it a good coat of Johnson's paste floor wax, metal and wood. That should cure the problem.

Anything else I should know?
Lots.

Most of it however you will find in the '101' threads that are stickied at the top of the Shotgun Forum index page- http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=2766 . Mostly starg getting yourself some trigger time ONCE THE GUN FITS YOU. Start with light loads, 1 ounce or even 7/8 ounce of shot if you can find 'em. Get your stance and gun mount down pat and have fun.

lpl/nc

PaladinX13
September 28, 2006, 03:40 PM
Thanks for the help guys!

Start with light loads, 1 ounce or even 7/8 ounce of shot if you can find 'em.Regarding that, any recommendations for light/soft-shooting slug loads? The plinking range only allows for slugs...

Fred Fuller
September 28, 2006, 07:54 PM
Major manufacturers offer reduced recoil slug loads, particularly in their law enforcement offerings. They are still apt to be a bit brisk compared to genuinely light birdshot loads, but won't be nearly as abusive as the full-velocity slugs. BTW, no need for more expensive sabots in a smoothbore barrel- the rifled slug or Foster type offerings will do fine for you.

Do make sure to get the gun fitted to you first... ingraining a flinch as a beginning shotgunner will not help things at all.

lpl/nc

BoomBoom25
September 29, 2006, 12:51 AM
Hey im with mete on this except for the rust. If you have it id recemmend hoppes gun meteal polish. For me there is no better rust remover if you can find IT.

If you enjoyed reading about "New to shotguns... what did I get? [Terminology and other newbie questions]" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!