I think I fixed my 870 extension problem.


September 15, 2015, 08:37 AM
I bought a brand new 870 tactical a few years back with a factory installed 2 shot extension. After my initial firing and then disassembly for cleaning I noticed that I could only load 5 rounds in the tube. I don't care how strong you are nobody is getting that 6th one in. I read and read tried every trick and nothing would reliably work. Watched Youtube video after video. Nothing would work reliably. Sent it back to Remington twice, every time it would work fine until I needed to clean it. Well life and other guns got in the way and it worked its way to the back of the safe and I just didn't mess with it for a while.

Until i decided to put an SGA stock and forend on it and dress it up a bit. I finally decided to tackle the extension problem. I must have disassembled the darn thing 20 times experimenting and I think I've got it. Here is my method.
1. Install the coupler first.
2. Follower and spring next.
3. Then I screw the tube in.

Now here is my trick. I have to back the tube off a bit so its barely loose, not wobbling around but a child could turn it. This seems to be the only way to get it to load all 6 every time. Ive taken it apart and put it back together 10 times now and it has worked every time. The clamp holds it tight and I have not fired it yet.

My question is this. Will counting on the clamp to hold it together be okay? Does anyone see any potential reliability issues with my method?

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September 15, 2015, 09:19 AM
Have you tried it with different makes of ammo? Some 2 3/4" length shells aren't.
I find it hard to belive Rem found nothing wrong but you can duplicate the problem continuously. Sounds like somethings out of spec. Like too long of spring or follower. Or the mag exstention too short or threaded too much to allow it screwed in too far. If your going to use it with the exstention backed off loose I'd use some Blue Loctite on it to keep it in place. Good luck.

September 15, 2015, 09:28 AM
Yes multiple types of ammo. Oh Remington found something wrong, both times they said it was a "burr". I can duplicate the problem at will if I install it the "correct" way, lol. I'm just hopeful that this works under firing, I'm taking a defensive shotgun class soon so I guess that will reveal all. I just don't want to be the guy with a broke shotgun.

September 15, 2015, 09:32 AM
I even loaded it up all the way loose then tightened it. Upon reloading same problem. Is there an easy way to get the tube out? I would like to try that new single piece tube the have out now but I would prefer to not buy a new shotgun.

September 15, 2015, 03:06 PM
Well if they can't "deburr" it so it works when fully assembled properly I'd demand a replacement. Gotta love Remington quality these days.

September 15, 2015, 03:37 PM
I'm telling you. I've seen so many Youtube videos about Remington quality and we all know the epic fail of the R51. I just got back from the range and put 75 rounds of buck and slug through it with no malfunctions whatsoever so I think my little trick will work. Other than an old 700 this is the only Remington I own so I can't personally attest to their lack of quality with any thoroughness. The customer service was fast and they were nice but they didn't fix the problem. Now I don't know if that was laziness or luck because it will sometimes load all 6 when you assemble it by the book.

Good thing I tested out my new setup though because my light mount was slamming into my thumb so that will have to be remedied. Sore shoulder and thumb but at least my gun worked like it was supposed to.

Off topic but to anyone who reads this I highly recommend the Magpul SGA stock, it is awesome and the recoil pad is a definite improvement. You still know you're shooting a 12 gauge but it tames it pretty well.

September 15, 2015, 05:49 PM
Good 870 isn't difficult to find. My latest is late 70s parkerized '870 Magnum' with night sights stained hardwood stock and "squared honey comb" vented pad characteristic of that period. The gun is almost new and cost is <$300. Modern version would be '870 Police Magnum' that new cost $600 or more. I don't expect any functional problems. There is no need to buy new 'Express' or 'Tactical' and play "Remington functional roulette".

September 16, 2015, 09:27 PM
The factory extension tube is not intended to be screwed on tightly.
If the extension is too tight, the pressure can cause the extension tube and magazine tube to mis-align and catch the shells, causing a stoppage.

If the extension tube isn't screwed on until it lightly touches the magazine tube there may be a gap between the two tubes that can catch on a shell and cause a stoppage.

To install the factory extension, screw on the coupling tightly, but you should be able to unscrew it with just your fingers.
Screw the extension tube into the coupling until the extension just contacts the magazine tube, then install the barrel clamp.

In the factory extension the detent on the barrel support ring only retains the coupling not the extension tube. It's the barrel clamp that prevents the extension tube from unscrewing.
On other brands that are made with the extension tube and coupling in one piece the barrel detent will retain the entire assembly, but you should still use a barrel clamp to support the extension.
A dropped or bumped unsupported magazine extension can be knocked off the gun, which almost always ruins the guns magazine tube threads.
That's an expensive trip back to the Remington factory for replacement and a refinish of the receiver.

September 16, 2015, 09:53 PM
I'm buying older parkerized Remington with slug barrel. If I want to put on two shot extension it will be one form Scattergun Technologies (Wilson Combat). Shockingly it costs same or less than one from Remington Arms.

AI&P Tactical
September 17, 2015, 08:29 PM
A good 870 is hard to find? Not the case from my 38 years of experience with them. In fact, never seen a bad one. Occasional bad assemblies that need repaired or replaced but the 870 built in the 1950's the ones built today have only had a couple changes to them in over 60 years. Same place, same equipment building them. A difference is the people doing the job. The woes on many products come down to todays workers and their attitudes. Sad but true.

TAs for the extension issues the OP has had. The issue is a simple install issue and has nothing to do with ammo. The tube should be snug. If you continue to back it off and leave a gap there the spring can hang in it. And yes, the Tube extension bracket is what holds it on as the retaining system holds the magazine coupling on, not the tube.

Correct install is simple and I describe it in the red link "Install and Cleaning" on www.aiptactical.com or click on the How to Videos and I show how.

September 17, 2015, 09:45 PM
You have 38 years experience with them and I have 41 years with them, and somehow we have both missed the hordes of crappy 870s unleashed on the public. Amazing.

September 17, 2015, 11:11 PM

I have the identical issue with my newest M870 Tactical. My previous M870 Tactical, that I just gave my nephew, as an heirloom did not have this issue.

One difference that I noted, in comparing both shotguns, the extension screws-in tightly and straight on his M870, and has zero wobble. With mine, unless I snug-it-down, the extension wobbles. If over-tightened, it goes slightly out-of-alignment. I get the identical "stoppage" when trying to load it to full capacity.

No, it is not an ammo issue. I have a half-dozen different types of ammo. When I spoke with the folks at GG&G, they advised me that they think perhaps the spring is binding at the point of the extension, or the tube is out-of-alignment enough, that the shells bind.

In my opinion, Remington got a shipment of extensions that are slightly small, or poorly manufactured. Like your M870, mine functions fine if I do not over-tighten the extension.


September 17, 2015, 11:51 PM
Well......its back. It doesn't bind as often but it does it say once out of every 20 or so loading operations. I think I'm going to order another extension, probably a Wilson. I just can't seem to get it to work correctly every time. I've been researching this and I think I have tried every method there is. I believe that something is just flat out wrong. It's frustrating, nothing seems to work 100%. Oh well, I'll spend a little money and get it working.

AI&P Tactical
September 18, 2015, 12:16 PM
Yea, we must be rare birds for sure. Yes, of course we have both seen issues with some as I have seen most all your post. The difference is your knowledge allows you to correct the issue without any drama or to know what is not correctable.

Over 10 million 870s manufactured and unless one is destroyed in a fire, cut up and shredded by some police department or on the bottom of some Duck Lake, they are all out there banging away.

If there are new issues then we have to look at the American Worker. I have over 20 870P barrels that have to go back because the sight bases are not centered. How did they get out of the Plant? The person who was responsible to check them did not their job, period.

I got in an order of 870 Marine parts and I look in one bag and see a trigger pin that is shorter then the others. Sure enough they had plated a 20ga rear trigger pin. Since they do not make a 20ga Marine 870 you have to ask, "How did that happen" and even more important how did it end up in my order? Simple, people not paying attention to their job.

We read more about Remington on blogs simply because it is the #1 selling shotgun so more are being sold and in the hands of consumers.

My Remington reps are not in Ilion, they are in North Carolina. I do report issues to them and of course they send them on. However, I go to the Factory every three years and I confront the people who manufacture these face to face. I bring issues, pictures and even parts to them. They always pay attention and I get answers. This leads to me to believe that since the Process is no longer in one location (Ilion New York) it has become fragmented, splintered and divided. On many issues the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. This is not just a Remington issue it is a American Business Issue.

Any one seeing my builds knows I feature the Wilson Combat extension on most of my builds. I do have the OEM extensions for those that want them but all high end builds feature the Wilson and all personal guns have Wilsons on them.

September 18, 2015, 01:37 PM
What really depressed me and dashed my hope for the future is that there is waiting list for Hawk 982. One can get nice older vintage 870 for <$300. I do not understand current crop of gun buyers.:rolleyes:

September 18, 2015, 07:57 PM

Interesting website you have. Scottville?! Ha. I was high school principal in Baldwin. One of my secretaries was from the Scottville area. I will be going through Scottville in about 3 weeks or so. I'll have to stop and see your shop. I'll let you take a gander at this M870 Tactical of mine. I had actually considered getting a new extension, I just hadn't had time to consider which to get.

Yet another oddity of my new M870 Tactical, I cannot get the barrel free from the receiver. Seriously! I wonder if they assembled it while the paint was still wet. It's on there solid!


Fred Fuller
September 18, 2015, 10:19 PM
I'm taking a defensive shotgun class soon so I guess that will reveal all. I just don't want to be the guy with a broke shotgun.

Be on the safe side and carry a backup gun. Even if you have to borrow one to do it.

September 18, 2015, 11:42 PM
Backup 870. Because two is one, and one is none.


AI&P Tactical
September 19, 2015, 12:14 AM
Apples - You got two beauties. The top one has the old style barrel with the bead sight tapped into it. Put a Modern bead sight barrel on that beauty and you got two winners. Keep them forever.

Geno, drop by when you pass through. Call first as the Salmon are in the river so me and the boat may not be there. Number is on the web site.

September 19, 2015, 05:20 PM

Will do.


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