Beater 870 express


Brother in Arms
October 6, 2006, 09:10 AM
I went into a gunshop the other day and I found a beat-ass 870 exspress. It has finish wear all over it, the stocks where dinged and worn to the point where the checkering was hardly visible. The gun sported a 28 inch barrel with a ventilated rib and modified screw in choke. It also had a brownish rusty appearance. Like it might have been a duck hunting shotgun. Anyway the pricetage was $150 I didnt buy it beacause its an express not an express magnum. I was thinking about buying this gun and making a inespensive riot gun out of it.

Should I buy it or pass and spend a little more on a Express magnum.

Brother in Arms

If you enjoyed reading about "Beater 870 express" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
October 6, 2006, 09:21 AM
You might look into the mossberg maverick. Academy sells them w/ 28 in barrel and 3 in chamber for $137. They sell one with shorter barrel, maybe a defender model? They are made in the USA and have a little bit of a warranty. They are similiar to the Mossberg 500. $150 seems a little high for a beater. You can pick up a new express for around $225. Good Luck

Dave McCracken
October 6, 2006, 09:55 AM
All of the Express 12 gauge handle 3" Magnum shells. While that Cinderella looks rough, chances are it has thousands of rounds left to shoot and decades of service.

$150's a good price. Catch my drift?....

October 6, 2006, 10:23 AM
Also note the brownish appearance is likely a fine coating of rust, all my exresses will do this if they are not oiled when put away. On over night bath in breakfree and the brown will wipe right off.

Brother in Arms
October 6, 2006, 11:27 AM
thanks for the info on the maverick Im not looking to buy a mossberg. I have owned a few and I wasnt impressed.

As for the express reciever, are you certain that the express recievers are rated for 3" rounds? I know they can accept barrels that are chambered for 3" shell but I thought that is why they developed the express magnum recievers.

Its definitly a cinderella project. I kinda like it in its beat up form it looks like its been in combat. Its definitely fired alot of rounds the bolt its almost worn bright from wear but the action is smooth as glass.

Brother In arms

October 6, 2006, 12:17 PM
I'm sure, my uncle still has one of the early Expresses. The serial number ends in M for magnum and the barrel is marked 3".


Brother in Arms
October 6, 2006, 12:42 PM
I found this on the Guide to remington 870 collecting

1987 Remington introduced the lower cost Model 870 Express, which differs from the standard Model 870 line only in exterior matte finish and low luster hardwood stock and forend. RemChoke was now expanded to additional Model 870 12 gauge and 20 gauge shotguns. The Special Purpose line was expanded to include the Model 870 SP with 3-inch chamber, ventilated rib barrel and RemChoke. In this year, the Model 870 Deer Gun was made available in right-hand and left-hand versions in "Wingmaster" style

It would make sense that a shotgun no older than 1987 would be able to handle 3" magnum loads. I'll have to check to see if it the serial numbers ends in an M. I looked at my Express Magnum and naturaly its serial numbers ends in an M im wondering if the additional Magnum engraving on the reciever was used as a selling point of if there is actually any differences in the Exspress vs. the Express Magnum.

Any remington historians here? Looks like i'll have to go back to the gunshop to see if it has the M after the serial number.

Brother in Arms

Dave McCracken
October 6, 2006, 01:19 PM
Yes, Bro, I'm sure.

Sounds like this is "Pre Smoothed". Expresses take a little longer to slick up than WMs, but they can get like butter.

From your description, this seems to be a good candidate for contructing a "Serious" shotgun.

Brother in Arms
October 6, 2006, 01:39 PM
Its look pretty serious right now. Like something turned captured in Iraq. Which is part of what I like about it. I don't have to worry if it gets a little scratch on it. Mechanically its totally sound and it doesn't have those anoying dimples in the magazine tube (to limit magazine exstensions)

The idea of buying this gun is getting more apealing all the time. Im not to interested in the 26 vent rib barrel but the finish on it is so poor I dont think I could sell it for much. Perhaps I could shorten it, The only draw back to this is id have to remove the vent rib because of where the rib supports are on the barrel. Not sure if I cut it at 18 or 20 inches 20 being the standard Riot length, 18 being the shortest length legal without a short barreled rifle permit.

As far as additions to it, I think a barrel 18-20 inches is a good start, a magazine tube extension +2 or 3 depending on length. Definitly fit it with fixed sling swivels (not QD) I do think that id like a older style ringed forend and maybe eventually synthetic furniture. Putting rifle sights on it would be cool also but this all adds to the cost of the project.

Another cool thing (though maybe not as practical) is get a reproduction trenchgun heatshield/bayonet lug and attach that to it. I think that would be cool and only add to its already ghetto appearance it would also give me a front sling mounting point thats not attached to the magazine tube cap.

Sorry for all the rambling I just have alot of free time on my hands.

Brother in Arms

Fred Fuller
October 6, 2006, 03:59 PM
Best bet is to just buy a used 20" smoothbore barrel with rifle sights already factory installed. No need to butcher a working wingshooting/claybusting barrel when there are LOTS of extra 870 barrels around. Sights and a heat shield are usually mutually exclusive, though...


October 6, 2006, 05:49 PM
eBay is chock full of barrels.

Dave McCracken
October 6, 2006, 06:40 PM
Keep that barrel as is, there's plenty of barrels kickin' around. Last one I bought was a 28" barrel a skeet shooter had bobbed right behind the choke, leaving me a cylinder bore 26" long. Paid $25 for it, sold it to a friend for about the same.

A 20" RS barrel with Remchokes makes a very good "Serious" upgrade. So does a bare bones 18.5" with a bead sight. I'd get either first, and add some sling studs ASAP. The rest of the stuff can be added later, IF you still want it.

Next, buy ammo and use up until your 870 feels like a body part.....

Brother in Arms
October 6, 2006, 10:55 PM
I already have a 26 in barrel and a 20 in rifled slug barrel, for my 870 exspress magnum. This barrel is all scratched up and worn looking like the rest of the gun. The gun only cost $150 I can't see myself spending almost as much for a barrel. Unless someone had one for cheap. There is no shortage of 26 in vent rib barrels out there either.

Brother in Arms

October 6, 2006, 11:15 PM
0000 steel wool and some wd-40 will clean most of the rusty look off, then oil with a good perservitive oil. $150.00 is a good buy.

If you enjoyed reading about "Beater 870 express" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!