What parts would you replace on an 870 Express to "upgrade" it?


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breakingcontact
November 9, 2012, 12:38 AM
I've read the follower should be replaced, what else would you upgrade/replace?

What would have to be replaced to upgrade it to near 870 Police level?

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Jericho_223
November 9, 2012, 04:43 AM
Forgive my ignorance, but what would be the reason for replacing the follower? What would an aftermarket follower do better than a stock one? I'm not being argumentative, just a curious, fellow 870 owner.

average_shooter
November 9, 2012, 05:49 AM
Metal trigger guard / FCG, metal (?) follower, extended magazine, short "police" foregrip, and a lot of polishing and finishing of the internals by hand.

Probably the best thing you can do to the Express is run the gun and slick up all the moving bits.

If you were really into it and had a mind about what and how to do it I bet you could get to the internals with some polishing compounds and techniques to really smooth things out.

If it matters at all I went with the 870 HD (Express) and it smoothed out nicely just with use. And I actually swapped the extended mag for a normal length setup to improve handling. That and adding an R3 recoil pad are the only modifications I've done to mine.

What would an aftermarket follower do better than a stock one?

The stock follower is just a chincy looking and feeling piece of plastic, but you can get metal or more robust plastic aftermarket followers. The stock follower works, and I haven't had a problem yet, but I can see other folks not trusting it in a serious life-on-the-line working gun.

jmr40
November 9, 2012, 06:36 AM
Just the ammo as I used it up. If something ever fails, which isn't likely in my lifetime, then I'll replace it.

bikerdoc
November 9, 2012, 07:44 AM
Probably the best thing you can do to the Express is run the gun and slick up all the moving bits.


This!

Remember BA/UU/R

Virginian
November 9, 2012, 08:06 AM
I believe the only different parts between a standard Express and a Police are the extractor, carrier dog follower spring, magazine spring, and sear spring. There are a couple of other different parts that go with a synthetic trigger group too. A synthetic trigger group versus cast aluminum wouldn't bother me a bit.

Six
November 9, 2012, 09:26 AM
The first thing to replace is the new shotgun smell, and the action bars should be upgraded from factory finished to well worn.

A thousand rounds or so should do it.

Other than that, I like to have a follower I can see clearly to be certain the gun is empty. Bright green does it for me.

beatledog7
November 9, 2012, 09:48 AM
The best way to upgrade an 870 holds true for all other guns as well--practice!

Cesiumsponge
November 9, 2012, 10:32 AM
Virginian rattled off the list of functional differences. There is no improvement in finish quality or polish inside. My 870p and 870 express are identical inside on fit and finish. Other than the aforementioned individual parts and receiver engravings, the part #s are identical between the two.

evan price
November 9, 2012, 11:01 AM
The only thing that always needs upgraded is what's behind the trigger. Run a few thousand shells through it, and then see what the gun feels like. Most "upgrades" are really just money wasters. Follower upgrades? Anyone, ANYONE, ever seen a factory follower take a dump? For $45 I can buy almost a whole case of shells.

breakingcontact
November 9, 2012, 12:12 PM
Training over gear for sure.

I didn't want to buy the police model as I felt I would have been largely buying the name. I don't buy into all the super duper quality control stuff. I'm sure the police model is "better" but it's not magic.

So I'm looking to do small upgrades to an express model.

LeonCarr
November 9, 2012, 12:17 PM
The only things you need is to do is maybe polish the chamber if it is sticking with steel base ammunition (Usually the Winchester White Box Super Speed stuff) and shoot the heck out of it

Shooting it will smooth up both your shooting ability and the firearm.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

oneounceload
November 9, 2012, 12:18 PM
as mentioned, no need - if yours doesn't need the chamber polishing, buy ammo and practice - It's the Indian, not the arrow

average_shooter
November 9, 2012, 12:52 PM
My 870p and 870 express are identical inside on fit and finish.

Hm, I always understood the "P" to have more hand finishing, along the lines of what the higher quality Wingmasters supposedly have or had. Thanks for the info, I haven't had a chance to really check out too many P models.

Cesiumsponge
November 9, 2012, 01:27 PM
Guts look the same to me. I bought a police trade-in for less than a new express. The only real difference is parkerizing vs the bead blasted crappy blued express finish and $30 in parts. The barrels on police models also tend to be IC instead of open choke. Not worth the premium price if you have a gunsmith who can refinish the receiver, barrel, and extension. The police ejection port still has sharp edges like the express.

I run the S&J green delrin follower simply because its neon green AND there is a huge recess for blatantly obvious tactile feel to differentiate between a shell or empty tube. They're overpriced but worth it to me.

Striker
November 9, 2012, 01:50 PM
Nothing.

I prefer to buy ammo and run the gun.

But that's only my opinion. As always, YMMV.

Edit: Maybe a big head safety, if I'm in an environment/situation that dictates gloves.

breakingcontact
November 9, 2012, 04:17 PM
I've been looking at semi-autos, but want something that will cycle everything. That doesn't seem to exist. So sticking w the pump gun. Thinking of adding one of these and a few minor upgrades. http://pics.gunbroker.com/GB/315786000/315786539/pix447375478.jpg

Domino
November 9, 2012, 08:26 PM
I've been looking at semi-autos, but want something that will cycle everything. That doesn't seem to exist. So sticking w the pump gun. Thinking of adding one of these and a few minor upgrades.

What are you going to use the gun for? If for Home Defense then an extended magazine tube, large safety, and some sort of white light would make a lot of sense. Also, unless you are wearing body armor I don't really see a reason to go with the collapsable stock. Those are unfcomfortable on a shotgun and if you want a pistol grip there are other better fixed stock options IMHO. I like the Urbino on my 870 as it is very comfortable, makes holding one handed much easier, and it is still nice and short. Also a shell carrier would make sense if you can handle one.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a57/Mudd262/8701800x600.jpg

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a57/Mudd262/8702800x600.jpg

BTW, I have had this shotgun over 10 years and it was plane jane for most of those years. In the end the shotgun needs nothing to do the job and the 870 is built to last from the factory. But you can customize it to suite your needs/wants as you learn how to use it. I agree with those who recommend shooting it first before you go swapping parts. It will proably save you a lot of money and heartache.

ZGunner
November 9, 2012, 08:38 PM
I think an 870 Express is best left unmolested until you know what you want it to do. If you find you need to reload often, an extended tube and maybe a shell caddy would benefit. Not many things would improve function as long as you are using decent ammo and lube.

76shuvlinoff
November 9, 2012, 10:17 PM
My Express with 2 round extension. I keep it loaded up with 2 3/4 00 except last in the tube / first in the chamber is a 2 3/4 slug.

I bought it from a guy at work for less than $200 without the mag extension. It doesn't need much else.

http://i476.photobucket.com/albums/rr123/76shuvlinoff/photo12-1.jpg

JSNAPS
November 9, 2012, 10:33 PM
Get a +2 extension. After that the only other accessory would be ammo and the best upgrade is practice.

JohnBT
November 9, 2012, 11:08 PM
I would put a better recoil pad on it. The one that came on my '93 Exp. was harder than heck, primarily made of plastic with a thin layer of rubber on it.

Comparing the two models, according to Remington in 2005,

"Answer
Structurally the two receivers are identical. The only difference will be that the Police model will have a more durable finish. The magazine tubes will be slightly different. The Model 870 Express will have two indents in the magazine tube to accommodate the new style plastic magazine spring retainer. However, this prevents the Express model from accepting a magazine tube extension without alteration to the tube.

Other differences will be that the Police model includes sling swivel studs, a shorter fore-end, heavier shell latches, a heavier sear spring and a heavier magazine spring.
"

DNS
November 9, 2012, 11:53 PM
Remington's Shur-Shot synthetic thumbhole stock. The thumbhole is actually very large and gives you a pistol grip to help absorb more recoil. They come in black or camo.

Somehow my wood ended up with a couple dents after a 1200 mile move plus i find myself using it more now.

Cesiumsponge
November 11, 2012, 05:56 PM
Recoil mitigation isn't an issue with proper technique so I haven't noticed any difference between pistol grip and traditional shotgun grips. I've gone through half a case of buckshot without leaving a single mark on my shoulder.

JohnBT
November 11, 2012, 11:49 PM
You can't always use proper technique in a defensive situation.

End grain lumber has about the same give as the pad that came on my old Express. I'm still looking for that thing, I saved it for educational purposes; it's probably in one of the junk boxes behind the stack of ammo cans in the maid's room in the basement. Hey, it's an old house and it's not much of a room.

John

rbernie
November 12, 2012, 09:07 AM
Better recoil pad, and maybe a 1-shot extension. Other than that, all you need is wear marks from use and maybe a chamber cleaning/polishing to help with extraction.

I'd avoid changing the furniture or anything else until you really use the gun a bunch and determine that the non-tactical looking stuff actually isn't working for you. Most folk find that the reason that the non-tactical stuff looks like it does is because it actually works well.

Cesiumsponge
November 12, 2012, 12:33 PM
Simple works. The last 870 I picked up was an Ohio State Highway Patrol turn-in with a 20" bbl, +3 ext, and sideshell holder. I've dropped it to a +2 and removed the shotshell holder. I'm swapping the rifle sights out for XS 24/7 big dots (the factory notch is tiny...really really tiny) and I've chopped the factory LOP to 13" and slapped on a dual compound Kickeez pad. Done! OSHP already did me a favor and installed all the character marks, scuffs, and scratches for me.

Captains1911
November 12, 2012, 03:32 PM
On mine, I replaced the mag spring and follower, the factory MIM extractor for a milled one, and the heavier carrier dog spring. Perhaps none of this was necessary, but it was not very expensive and certainly didn't hurt anything.

Dr.Rob
November 12, 2012, 04:20 PM
Extended magazine tube, maybe the new Magpul SGA stock set.

btg3
November 12, 2012, 07:35 PM
What would have to be replaced to upgrade it to near 870 Police level?

Depends on whether you're talking current production of these models or how far back. Tons of info popped up when I googled.

Cesiumsponge
November 12, 2012, 08:57 PM
There's a particular bit of info/marketing that just gets repeated over and over, like the deburred receiver, etc. The interior of my 870P is just as rough and sharp as my express line.

Fred Fuller
November 12, 2012, 10:46 PM
Anything that broke...

TAKtical
November 12, 2012, 11:15 PM
I would replace all of the parts with a benelli nova. But seriously, mesa tactical makes some excellent 870 upgrades. This thread is making me want to pick up an 870 and mod like crazy. Mesa leo stock, enidine recoil buffer, rhino rail, OD green cerakote. It would serve no realistic purpose but I still want to do it.

Cesiumsponge
November 13, 2012, 01:52 PM
Turn a functioning 870 into a 12lb brick? I don't get those 24" long full quad rail shotgun systems.

lefteyedom
November 14, 2012, 03:09 AM
a $200 tax stamp attached to a 14" barrel with a screw in chokes?

Inebriated
November 14, 2012, 03:32 AM
heavier carrier dog spring. Perhaps none of this was necessary, but it was not very expensive and certainly didn't hurt anything.
It was quite necessary for me. Mine would have a hiccup every few mags. Round would jam up into the area just under the barrel... which told me the carrier wasn't getting it up fast enough/strong enough.

Put the heavier carrier dog spring, and haven't had a single FTF in probably 1000ish rounds.

And that's what I came here to say... only one thing I say "should" be installed on an Express would be that spring. Comes on the Police models, and for me, made a difference in reliability.

gaweidert
November 14, 2012, 12:12 PM
My 870 has recently started jamming with Diana and Winchester Super Target. Both are low wall steel based. Reading around I found that the chamber may need some polishing. So I took a cleaning brush, wrapped it with 0000 steel wool and had at it. The chamber is smooth as silk now. hopefully it fixed the problem. The same strategy is used to good effect on Mosin Nagant rifles to keep steel cased round from sticking in the chamber.

I do have a 20" 870 Remington barrel that jams with everything that I put through it. Looking into the chamber is looks like Remington never even polished it after reaming it out. Cut marks around the whole length of the chamber.

I am not sure what I am going to do with this barrel. It needs to go to a machine shop for some work and I don't know if I want to spend any money on it.

Tony_the_tiger
November 14, 2012, 07:13 PM
First time I took my 870 express to the range the plastic buttstock broke. I replaced it as well as the forend with a walnut stock/forend set from the P model. Additionally, I added a Limbsaver Recoil Pad and a Four Sevens Maelstrom MMX 480 lumens flashlight onto the magazine with a mount from brownells. Express model came with an extended mag and I've got it cruiser ready in the closet with 2 3/4" Hornady 00 buck.

Sam1911
November 14, 2012, 07:16 PM
Whatever breaks during your first 10,000 round break-in period.

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