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1967 Wingmaster vs new 870P for home defense?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Hapworth, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. Hapworth

    Hapworth Well-Known Member

    Happened across what appears to be a beautifully preserved Wingmaster that Remington identifies from the serial number as a 1967 build. Blued; 18" bead barrel; wood stock and forend that look law enforcement, not sporting.

    I've been planning on acquiring a current production 870P for home defense use, but find this piece calls to me.

    I'm not an expert in evaluating 870 condition -- though my general firearm assessment skills are good -- and this is an impressive specimen, condition-wise: a couple very light handling marks and wear and that's it; function seems solid and surprisingly fresh -- it's been shot but not used unless restored and refinished.

    Seller has no history on it, and is asking $450 but there's room to play.

    I'd like some help deciding.

    Obviously the knee-jerk reaction is "It's an older Wingmaster in good shape -- get it!", and that may be the right reaction.

    I'd be foregoing parkerization, which I like on working guns; the two shot extension; and a couple other do-dads like a front bead night sight and shell holder (yes, I've been planning to buy an AI&P gun) -- none of which is absolutely necessary, just desired.

    I could of course have all that done to the Wingmaster, but that seems wrong for an older one so well preserved.

    The only thing the Wingmaster lacks that actually troubles me is the flexitab conversion, which for $100 I could do myself but that starts to make the savings of buying used less compelling.

    But it is beauty, and really seems to be calling, and would probably be enough gun for the intended purpose as is...

    Thoughts? Price? Pitfalls?
  2. Smith357

    Smith357 Well-Known Member

    A vintage shotgun would just look wrong all tarted up. I vote on a new one for your build.
  3. Hapworth

    Hapworth Well-Known Member

    Agreed, and as stated, I wouldn't tart it up.
  4. AI&P Tactical

    AI&P Tactical Well-Known Member

    The used one will serve just fine and the flex tab is a must. If the price is right get it.......... no wait, I just lost a sale. Forget that old piece of junk and send me your money.
  5. Milkmaster

    Milkmaster Well-Known Member

    If it calls to you then buy it! It doesn't have to be the last or only one you own!
  6. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    That IS an 870 Police, from your description - just the 1967 version. They didn't start marking the receivers differently for another 20 years or so. And the Riot version had the same furniture and finish, but a 20" bead sight barrel.

    Can't tell you what to do with it, I'd be prone to keep it 'as is' but I'm sentimental that way.
  7. Virginian

    Virginian Well-Known Member

    I didn't think a flex tab conversion cost nearly that much, having never found the need for one, but I looked and I'm not sure $100 will cover it. Sounds to me like for what YOU really want the AI&P version is the way to go.
  8. Hapworth

    Hapworth Well-Known Member

    Ah, but I could snag that old piece of junk instead and send you my money. :D
  9. Hapworth

    Hapworth Well-Known Member

    I believe that's indeed what it is.

    I feel the same way about the classic models.
  10. Hapworth

    Hapworth Well-Known Member

    Really? Lists for about $88 at Brownells; I figured that and shipping puts me at about $100 and I'd do the install (just a parts swap as far as I can tell).

    What am I missing?
  11. 788Ham

    788Ham Well-Known Member

    If you need one to "jack-up", go to a pawn shop and buy an older junker, leave this one alone, or don't buy it either!
  12. Hapworth

    Hapworth Well-Known Member


  13. Virginian

    Virginian Well-Known Member

    I went to the Remington parts list, and promptly read it wrong, sorry.
  14. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Well-Known Member

    What you've described is exactly what I was issued during my years on the street (1973-1995). I've seen very few offered in the last few months that I've been looking (still haven't even decided to make a purchase if and when I find one.....). Can't say enough good things about that particular simple popper for street work (and by extension home defense). For those that can forego all the extras... an 18" imp cyl with just a bead sight and standard four round tube is a quick pointing argument ender.... It won't load three inch shells and there are lots more "modern" choices available but I can't telll you how much confidence I have in that model.... Yes, the asking price seems high but that's the only concern I'd have. You'll find that these particular weapons were mostly carried in one car or other and only made it to the range for practice and qualification once or twice a year at most. In recent years the few agencies that still have them probably keep them in one dusty corner or other in a locked armory.
  15. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    I'd start with a new one. Old guns should be kept as old guns.
  16. Hapworth

    Hapworth Well-Known Member

    No worries, just glad it isn't more expensive than I thought. ;)
  17. Hapworth

    Hapworth Well-Known Member

    Excellent review -- thank you.
  18. Hapworth

    Hapworth Well-Known Member

    You're messing with me, right?
  19. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    If you REALLY think you need all the extras to make the gun a serious performer for its intended role, I would argue that is incorrect. When it comes to guns that are used to keep you alive, think KISS - the more crap you add is just that much more to go wrong at precisely the moment that Murphy farts on your parade - extensions get tweaked and jam, coolio sights fail or get snagged, just like slings, added weight up front makes it slow to respond, and on and on

    Do yourself a real favor - get whichever stock gun you want (I would go with the older WM) and put it through your training drill, usage drills, whatever it is you envision using the gun for - if after some extensive practice you TRULY believe you need some extra gizmos, gadgets, and geegaws, then add them; but ONLY after you ran it stock for a credible time - you might be surprised just how effective those old stock guns really are in today's reality - even if they fail in today's video game false reality

    good luck in your quest
  20. Hapworth

    Hapworth Well-Known Member

    That's how I handle any new piece, whether stripped down and basic or full of goodies: run it like it is for several hundred rounds before changing anything, if changing anything.

    I don't play video games. ;)

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