New-to-me 870: A Trading Story


August 26, 2008, 11:18 PM
Hillary is giving a speech right now, I gotta focus on the positive... :uhoh:

I had a 10ga. BPS Stalker for sale or trade, local FTF only. Had several offers from another forum, including a rather generous offer of a 500 with additional barrels including a cantilever deer barrel with scope. Of course that guy was from a neighboring state, so no-go.

Eventually I got an offer of an 870, 2-3/4" chamber, as mentioned in my ad. 28" Full, made in '79. Pics looked good, fella said we could deal on the ammo we had, etc.

Then I screwed up and asked how long he'd had the gun. I'm expecting a year or two, typical trade fodder, you know how it is. Instead I learn it belonged to a brother lost too soon, some 10 years ago, and that it was his dove gun. I also learn that the gun then went to the trader's father, whom also passed, about a year and a half ago. This fella had this gun and others as an inheritance, and was letting go of some old memories and guns he had little use for, having so many from himself and family members that have passed on. Now, what do I do?

"Okay, the guns seem like an even trade, as for the ammo if you have anything lying around, I mean, it doesn't even have to be for a 12, I got barrels for the NEF in every gauge but 10, so like 28, .410, 16..."

He said he had 16 gauge shells and nothing to shoot them in, so I was expecting some 16 gauge stuff. In the end, he surprised me by bringing a big bag full of ammo in 12, 20, and .410. I didn't ask what happened to the 16 as I saw sabots that by themselves were almost worth the ammo I had. I had thought about this old Wingmaster, and planned on buying some light loads to start with while I tweaked the fit. I look in the grab bag and there's a big box of 7/8oz loads and another of 1oz loads!

Yessir, he got a quick positive feedback on the site we met on. I love the lumber they put on older guns (I'd say I'm a sucker for nice wood, but I get enough sketchy emails) and this old Wingmaster has great figure and nice bluing, with a few minor scuffs, fingerprints, and a lot of wear on the action bars.

Did I mention how slick the action is? Holy cow! Did I note how light the gun is? It can't weigh much over 6lbs! It totes almost like a single shot, aside from the length! The checkering is gorgeous, it points very well for me, and I can't wait to give it a test drive. The original plan for getting an older Wingmaster was for home defense and fun shooting, but now I'm thinking about doves again... :D I have never used larger than a .410 for doves, but maybe these big bore folks are onto something...

Pics to come, if I ever figure out how to post them...


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Jeff F
August 27, 2008, 12:11 AM
Good deal, nice gun. I to am big into the older Wingmasters.

August 27, 2008, 01:34 AM
If it's a 12 gauge, it weighs 7-8 pounds, absolutely not a light gun.

Dave McCracken
August 27, 2008, 08:09 AM
Congrats on your new shotgun. A couple things....

Early 870s with original, non ribbed barrels run a bit less in weight.
A 30" Full choke barrel here from 1955 runs 2 oz less than a 30" LC barrel new 4 years back and 4 oz less than a 1978 30" Trap barrel.

Wood weight can vary greatly. I've seen riot 870s go as light at 6 lbs, 12 oz or so.

In any case you have a fine classic shotgun. Enjoy....

August 27, 2008, 08:39 AM
Re: the weight

Well, I did trade a 10lb BPS for it, so compared to that I guess I need to recalibrate again. I'll stick my 22" Mod 12 gauge barrel on my Pardner Youth and walk around the house so I can remember what a truly light (and hard-kicking! Son-of-a...!) 12 gauge feels like. :D


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