Remington 870 Receiver


September 25, 2009, 05:55 AM
Is an 870 receiver cast? I know it doesn't matter, but I have an express and the thing seems cast while the perfect bluing of the wingmaster leaves such a smooth look. I can only wonder if they are indeed that same raw receivers in the begining. I know the difference in quality the wingmaster offers. Just wondering is all, if they are cast, were they always?

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September 25, 2009, 06:20 AM
From their web site

Model 870 Receiver

From a solid steel block, to roller-bearing smooth. Every Model 870™ receiver is machined from a single block of solid steel for unmatched strength. just one of the many reasons it’s the most proven, popular and reliable shotgun action in the world.

Fred Fuller
September 25, 2009, 09:45 AM
Nope. Not cast- machined from solid steel. Only the polishing process makes the difference in the Wingmaster finish.


September 25, 2009, 01:11 PM
Even my SP-10 has a ****ty porus surface like the express. I've put over 5hrs of polishing to that thing to make a nice smooth surface.

September 25, 2009, 08:51 PM
Remington actually forges their receivers from steel, and all 870 shotgun receivers come out of the same forge.

The only difference is, the Express models are not polished and de-burred as well as the Wingmaster and Police models are.

September 25, 2009, 09:00 PM
Remington actually forges their receivers from steel,
Doesn't "forged" mean "cast"? Isn't that contradictory to what the Remington site says?

September 25, 2009, 09:13 PM
Forged cannot mean cast - they are two different processes.

September 25, 2009, 11:03 PM
While there is also cast steel, Remington makes their receivers from blocks of forged steel.

September 26, 2009, 02:42 AM
I imagine it's just like a forged billet crankshaft. They use raw forged steel blocks (or billets), and machine away everything that's not a crankshaft, or in this case, an 870 receiver.

BTW, the forging process hammers solid (as opposed to molten) steel under many tons of pressure, aligning the grains in the steel, making it tougher and more dense. Casting involves melting the iron or steel and pouring it into a mold where it cools. Forged steel is much tougher and more crack resistant where cast is more brittle and has much more random grain alignment. Not sure how necessary this is in a shotgun receiver, but I'll take the forged 870 parts.:D

Cocked & Locked
September 26, 2009, 09:15 AM
I like the polished blue ones myself :rolleyes:

September 26, 2009, 08:21 PM
The forging process involves putting literally bright red hot lumps of steel in a powered hammer forge and actually beating the red hot steel into a mold that leaves the lump of metal shaped like a part.

This rough lump of steel is then machined until a finished receiver is made.
I can't remember the exact figures, but this means that something like 7 or 8 pounds of metal are machined away from the lump of steel.

Cast parts are made by pouring melted liquid steel into a mold.
When the mold is opened, the part requires very little final machining.

Forging makes the steel more dense and stronger than the rather porous cast parts.

September 26, 2009, 08:55 PM
A little OT, but here's a pic of a 8,000 metric ton forging press that I operate.

You can see the conveyor on the left where the billet comes out the heaters to the press.

September 26, 2009, 09:12 PM
Cast steel isn't necessarily bad either. Heavily dependent on the skill of the casters. Ruger has made a fair name for themselves building cast guns.

September 26, 2009, 09:53 PM
<thread veer>
Indeed they have, but Ruger was very astute and picked shapes that were well suited to casting. Take a look at a P95 slide compared to a BHP slide, and note the difference in material thickness. That's how Ruger compensates for a less-dense finished item. It's the same with the Ruger 77 series rifles (of which which I think highly) - they are bulkier than a comparable CZ to make up for being cast.
</thread veer>

It is possible to get cast materials that are almost as dense as forged, but AFAIK it's not possible to specifically orient the grain structure via any casting, sintering, or MIM process.

September 27, 2009, 12:21 AM
Forging can have its defects too like "cold laps" and overheated (burnt) metal. With today's processes castings can be used for most applications that used to be forged, but not all. I would not want a cast cap screw for instance.

The reason the Remington Express receiver looks cast or porous (at least the ones I have seen) is they are abrasive blasted before blueing or parkerizing. The blasting hides machining marks without expensive polishing but leaves a surface that is similar to a "sand casting".

September 27, 2009, 12:26 AM
I don't mind the express finish. I bought it specifically to have a gun to beat the snot out of it, which I have, and now it's what I use for everything.

September 27, 2009, 12:47 AM
Forging: verb, to forge, forging, the act or process of shaping heated metal by hammering. (not in a fluid state)

Casting: verb, to form (metal, plaster, etc.) into a particular shape by pouring it into a mold in a fluid state and letting it harden.

Machining: verb, to make, prepare, or finish with a machine or with machine tools.

September 29, 2009, 10:39 AM
Polishing an Express seems like a chore. The Remington booklet that came with my tactical model talks about how it was bead blasted and coated with a tough matte finish. They didn't want it to be bright and shiny.

September 29, 2009, 10:51 AM
"Tough matte finish?"

Hell, mine rusts like it's bare metal, unless I keep it oiled up.

That said, the 870 receiver is a damn good piece of machined steel. Just don't ask too many questions about what's inside it.:D

September 29, 2009, 11:05 AM
Hell, mine rusts like it's bare metal, unless I keep it oiled up.

I think that is everyone's problems with the express's and other models. That is why I am trying the polish route, if that doesn't work, the metal is bare and ready for some duracoat.

September 29, 2009, 11:12 AM
Hell, mine rusts like it's bare metal, unless I keep it oiled up.

I think that is everyone's problems with the express's and other models. That is why I am trying the polish route, if that doesn't work, the metal is bare and ready for some duracoat.

Once you get the finish stripped off, you might consider Parkerizing. Phosphate is durable and holds oil on the surface better than either blue or spray-on finishes. Should be about the same price as bluing.

September 29, 2009, 11:22 AM
On the upside, the finish on the Express holds oil really well, especially one that leaves a film like RemOil. Of course it also holds sweat...

But refinishing it? Please. The gun cost me $235 new. I just don't care that much. I'll spend that money on something else (for example, Beretta's matte finish is really nice, smooth and thick). Remington is an ammo maker, as far as I'm concerned, now.

September 29, 2009, 11:35 AM
Eezox works great on rough finishes like the 870 and phosphate like milspec finishes.

September 29, 2009, 12:54 PM
I think that is everyone's problems with the express's and other models.

Nope, not my experience at all! I have 2 Express guns. Both have seen some use. Never one single spec of rust even after being exposed to rain. I do coat all of my guns (except Glocks) with a wax coating, and it has been very effective.

But refinishing it? Please.

My thoughts too. I try to keep all my guns looking as close to the way they were when I got them as I can, but to put hours and hours into re-finishing an Express? No thanks. I'll just get a Wingmaster in the first place.

The old adage "Penny wise and pound foolish" comes to mind.

September 29, 2009, 01:19 PM
Hey, they said it was tough, not corrosion resistant ! :evil:

Jim K
September 29, 2009, 05:24 PM
Parkerizing does not rust proof a gun. The phosphate coating is designed to hold oil and that is what prevents rust. If you remove all the oil from a Parkerized surface and subject it to a corrosive substance, the steel will rust.


Ben Shepherd
September 29, 2009, 05:30 PM
I always rub oil into my parkerized finishes as a final step when cleaming. Not enough that they feel oily by any means, but that finish will soak up a surprising amout of oil. Next time out if it rains on the gun by chance, the water mostly just beads and runs off.

September 29, 2009, 05:50 PM
Using heavy oil like motor oil on parkerizing will darken it over time. My FAL was grey when new, jet black when I sold it 5 years later. Man that thing was like a duck's back though.

September 30, 2009, 02:11 AM
The old RIG oil and Browning Gun Oil seemed to soak into parkerizing better than the new light spray oils like RemOil, G-96, and Breakfree. Smelled great too.

October 2, 2009, 08:31 AM
Parkerizing does not rust proof a gun.

Nor does bluing. Parkerizing does, however, hold oil better than blue and is durable to boot.

The original finish on MY express is wasted...I just oil the surface.

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