First Shotgun, Remington Express 870 18"?


October 6, 2006, 10:41 PM
Have been perusing for quite some time now... looked at the nova, moss. 500 and the 870 is my favorite of all the guns I have looked into. Was in Sportsmans Warehouse tonight with my brother and really fell in love with the 870 express 18"...

I planned on using it for HD, targets, and clay pigeons. I have very little experience with shotguns though but from what I can tell the 18" barrel is too short for clay pigeons (but perfect for HD). Is it possible to change barrels for different occasions? :confused: Or would I be better off getting the 28"?

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October 6, 2006, 11:07 PM
Welcome to THR.

You can't go wrong with an 870 with 26" and 18.5" barrels. That's my setup. I use the long barrel for skeet and the short barrel plus a mag extension for home defense.

Dave McCracken
October 6, 2006, 11:20 PM
Yes, you can change barrels on 870s freely. I've 6 870s here and 9 barrels.

Get the long barrel first, then the short one. After busting a few hundred clays, you'll be better prepared for defending self, family and community.

October 7, 2006, 12:31 AM
Thanks alot guys! I appreciate the quick an informative replys!

I'll be sticking around :neener:

Colorado Fatboy
October 7, 2006, 01:07 AM
There is also a $30 rebate running on any express right now.

I have one and love it. I would get the short barrel. My research has shown that the shorter barrels are generally more $$. There are alot listed on E-Bay, check it out.

October 7, 2006, 02:22 AM
can you change barrels on any 870?

Dave McCracken
October 7, 2006, 09:32 AM
Yes, Hanzo. Exceptions are the 870 Competition trap, which is a single shot using a recoil reduction system powered by gases. And the Special Field models, which do not interchange with standard barrels.

October 7, 2006, 01:11 PM
An interesting tid-bit on why the SF wont work on standard 870s.

There are no barrels other than the 23" Rem Choke Vent rib Special Field barrels available for the Model 870 Special Field. The Special Field shotgun has a shorter magazine tube than the standard 870. This being the case, the barrel guide ring is brazed to the barrel closer to the chamber. The guide ring on standard barrels won't reach the magazine tube because of its shorter length. On our site we have a listing of obsolete parts dealers that may offer replacement Special Field barrels. Go to the Support - Parts Information section than choose "Parts for Older and other Firearms".

October 7, 2006, 01:44 PM
Where's a good place to order barrels from? I want to get the 18" one.

The Deer Hunter
October 7, 2006, 01:57 PM
the internet is usually cheaper. Just google it or something, maybe even ebay.
And i dought big companies like cablas would have it cheaper.

October 9, 2006, 02:03 PM
Midway has good prices on Rem 870 barrels.

October 9, 2006, 06:42 PM
Mossberg makes an 18.5" barrel for the 870 - makes it kinda look frankensteinish, but hey, who's gonna see it? A home invader won't care how pretty your HD shotgun is. I agree with Mr McC - get the long barrel first, pick up the other after you've thrown some birdshot downrange for a while. Muscle memory works on the back half of the shotgun more than the front half.

October 19, 2006, 02:08 AM
i want to be able to change the shotgun's setup. i plan on getting the 870 12Ga.

a setup for home defense. a setup for trap /skeet shooting. and a setup to make the shotgun rifle like, being able to shoot long distances, and hunt deer.

would that be possible?

if so

what would you think the best setup for 3 of those.. barrel lengths and type of barrels..

all of your opinions would be helpful
thank guys

October 19, 2006, 02:19 AM
Chillmaster, welcome to THR. IMO, you've come to the right place with questions.

Knowledgeable people will be along shortly to offer advice.

Me? Right now, I have only one barrel on my 870, mainly designated for HD.


I still plan to acquire a slug barrel and a duck/goose barrel, so I'll be reading responses, too.


PS: 870 12 ga = good choice. ;)

October 19, 2006, 04:59 AM
Takes maybe a minute to swap barrels. Screw off the magazine cap, slide off the old barrel and pop on the new one. I have a rifled barrel for deer (good up to maybe 150 yards) and a 28" vent rib.

Dave McCracken
October 19, 2006, 09:17 AM
One 870, two barrels can cover the whole enchilada.

Short barrel, defense and slug work. The 20" RS barrel with Remchokes is a fine choice. An 18" barrel with bead will do.

Long barrel with Remchokes for Clays, birds from quail to cassowary, and small game. Let this one be from 26 to 30" with the longer being the better choice.

A 23" Turkey barrel can be a compromise length, but like all compromises it is not quite as good as a mission specific tool for THAT mission.


October 20, 2006, 12:04 PM
Picked my 870 up last night, the last store I went to had it, the others didn't have the one I wanted.

870 express, 20" barrel with +3 extension, which I believe brings it up to 7+1.

It says it is a 870 express "magnum", what does the "magnum" mean, I assumed it just to mean that it could take 3" shells.

Cleaning also has me a little confused, I'm thinking about just buying on of those HOPPES cleaning kits... I hear they come with directions *wink*

silent knight
October 20, 2006, 03:29 PM
I'm having a hard time taking the darn barrel out of my express.

October 20, 2006, 04:43 PM
It says it is a 870 express "magnum", what does the "magnum" mean, I assumed it just to mean that it could take 3" shells.

That is correct.

Big Mike
October 20, 2006, 09:36 PM
My first shotgun purchased was the Express in 18". Still have it, shoots very well. Reliable and rugged and I recommend it as a first purchase. A search in this form will likely tell you the same thing as well. Good luck. Mike

October 20, 2006, 11:52 PM
Just shot mine for the first time today. It was too too fun, it has been a while since I have fired a shotgun and it took a couple shots to get my position right so I didn't hurt my shoulder :neener: The 8 shell capacity is awesome too, no complaints here.

I know generally 28" and the like is normal for clays, is there anything bad about using a 20" just for fun out in the desert. I thought I remember reading that a club may not allow it because it is too loud? But I don't belong to a club anyhow.

Dave McCracken
October 21, 2006, 11:00 AM
Go ahead and shoot your SBS, Imprez. Be safe, have fun and enjoy.

The longer barrels work better for clays and things flying, but I've put lots of meals on the table with short shotguns.

That rule is specific to one otherwise good range.

October 21, 2006, 05:17 PM
Thanks Dave!

loud-mouth shnook
October 22, 2006, 06:19 PM
(posted by silent knight):
"I'm having a hard time taking the darn barrel out of my express."

SN, the most common issue that I've seen when folks couldn't remove their 870 barrels is that they've forgotten to retract the forearm about halfway back first. The same thing applies to mount a barrel as well.

If, indeed, you have already done this, please disregard.
At that point, there are other issues that might be difficult to address in a print-only format such as a forum, at least for myself anyway.

Please keep us posted about your progress.

Good luck!:)

October 23, 2006, 11:58 AM
i've got a maverick 88 with the 18.5" barrel, it works pretty well for sporting clays and skeet...not so much for trap though. the 18.5" is a decent all arround length IMO

October 23, 2006, 07:43 PM
What kind of price did Sportsmans Warehouse have on the 870 express 18"??

October 23, 2006, 09:23 PM
Not sure about the 18" but I was looking into the 870 express combo for myself and it as $399.99 at sportsmans warehouse, $389 at Walmart. That may give you a general price comparison.

Just got around to checking the Sunday paper today even though it's Monday night.

At Dicks Sporting Goods(if you have any around you) Is having a sale on Rem 870 express combo for 339.98 after sale and $30 mail in rebate. PLUS for Remington purchases over 200 you get a free $25 dollar gift card by mail. and of course the ammunition is on sale too.
I'm planning on picking up the 870 combo in 20 ga for myself:)
Funny thing is, I usually avoid Dicks(The one around here is really small) because of their poor selection and usually crappy prices but this is making me think that I love Dicks especially if I can get a real good price And hopefully I don't hate my new shotgun:evil: (870 is good because my left arm bends when I hold it instead of being stretched out)

October 23, 2006, 09:28 PM

Pretty good price on an 18" 870. Would depend on shipping and transfer $$$.


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