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1970 Remington 870 Wingmaster 12ga (should I buy it?)

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by S8i8, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. S8i8

    S8i8 New Member

    Local Cabelas has the following used shotgun for sale at $269

    Remington 870 Wingmaster 12ga
    - 30" fixed full choke barrel (NOT vent rib, stamped 2-3/4)
    - 18" Imp Cyl barrel (NOT vent rib, stamped 2-3/4 or 3")
    - Fleur de Lis wood stock
    - Seems to be 1970? (DTX date code on 30" barrel)

    Shotgun seems to be in great shape
    - Furniture has a minor scrape at bottom front of fore end
    - Stock seems perfect (beautiful wood)
    - A bit of wear on magazine tube
    - Other metal seems to be in great shape, no rust

    My uses would be trap shooting and home defense. Someday I might try hunting birds of some sort. Already have Rem 1187 20ga autoloader (which I love and will be keeping).

    Curious about vent rib vs. not, fixed choke, or other thoughts you might have about the quality of this purchase opportunity or suitability for my purpose.


  2. Hunterdad

    Hunterdad Well-Known Member

    They're great guns. If you're only interested in HD and some informal trap, I'd say its a good buy. If you want a vent rib, sell the plain barrel and put it towards one.
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam


    I'd buy it in a heartbeat over a new 870 Express for the same or more money.
    The older Wingmasters were SO much smoother & better there is no comparison to the new Express models.

    You are getting the gun for less then $169 if you figure what an extra barrel would cost you.

  4. MattShlock

    MattShlock Well-Known Member

    If ya want one, I'd get that one, yes. Avoid the new Remingtons.
  5. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Well-Known Member

    Buy it. Great gun. Not many around at that price any more.
  6. PabloJ

    PabloJ Well-Known Member

    That is excellent value for older Wingmaster with extra barrel. Unless you want easy way to mount iron sights for say turkey hunting the VR is basically worthless on hunting gun.
  7. Virginian

    Virginian Well-Known Member

    Well, I do like a vent rib for use on ANY flying targets, but I used to shoot Skeet quite successfully with a NON-vent ribbed specially ordered Skeet choked barrel on my 1100. That should work fine for trap as is. I can shoot trap with a field dimensioned gun a lot easier than i can shoot anything but trap with a trap dimensioned gun.
  8. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    If you left it behind, it might not be there when you get back...
  9. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Well-Known Member

    Get it! I have a 1982 wingmaster that I love.
  10. Deer_Freak

    Deer_Freak Member.

    I have a similar Remington in a 20 ga. I found a light contour skeet barrel for it last summer. I paid $250 for the gun and right at $200 for the barrel (ebay auction). My wife shoots it a lot. You are not going wrong with that deal. Bring some shells and cycle them them through the gun, make sure it works well. Freedom Arms is less than friendly to the old Remington. It's like Freedom arms wants to kill any reminders of what a Remington should be.
  11. Hapworth

    Hapworth Well-Known Member

    Vent ribs are nice but unnecessary for your purposes. Fixed full choke is fine for casual trap shooting, and the 30" barrel is arguably a plus. Improved cylinder is ideal for typical home defense distances.

    Sounds like cosmetically it checks out. How's the action? If they'll let you, cycle some 12 gauge snap caps.

    Consider the cost of a flexitab conversion kit since this will be an HD gun (though there's a valid argument against its necessity).

    For what's being offered in apparent condition at said price -- great deal.

    Basically: Buy. Now.
  12. S8i8

    S8i8 New Member

    Thanks for the replies. The shotgun is on 5-day hold for me, so it should still be there. I'll head back up this evening.

    Anything specific I should check / look out for? Got the suggestion to try cycling some snap caps through it. Anything else?


  13. miles1

    miles1 Well-Known Member

    Remington must be doing something right if there selling their shotguns like hotcakes.
  14. Hapworth

    Hapworth Well-Known Member

    Couple good reads to get you started:



    Mostly just a very thorough going over with a flashlight looking for rust, dents at the muzzle or cracks/oil in the wood, and then cycling the slide a few times. Confirm action, trigger and safety function. Light up the receiver and make certain there's no corrosion, rust or damage; same inside the barrel.

    If all check out, you're likely good to go. 870s are simple and durable which is why the used market is filled with so many older examples still going strong.

    And for added peace of mind -- on the off chance you end up buying and there's a problem, parts are plentiful and fixes usually easy.
  15. Hapworth

    Hapworth Well-Known Member

    Naturally you mean spent shells. ;)
  16. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    And naturally, spent shells will seldom if ever cycle through a gun correctly in the first place.

    So that won't prove anything.

    My advice is to buy then dang thing before somebody else gets it.

    If an older Rem 870 Wingmaster doesn't work?
    I'd like to see it!

  17. Uniquedot

    Uniquedot Well-Known Member

    At that price I seriously doubt it will still be there. I sure wouldn't have walked out without it.
  18. S8i8

    S8i8 New Member

    Fear not. I had them place a 5-day hold on it for me. I went and picked it up this evening and it's now tucked away in my safe at home!

    Giving it a good look-over it seems that IF this shotgun was ever fired it was only fired a few times! Essentially brand new! Cycles snap caps like a champ. Safety works. Trigger works. I'll try to take it out this weekend for a test run.

    Thanks to all who replied!

  19. twofifty

    twofifty Well-Known Member

    These stories of sweet older 870s keep reminding me of the value of what our community has collectively lost.

    Sales of the Freedom Arms 870 may be high but eventually the young buyers will figure it out....

    If it still looks good on the inside, buy it and enjoy it.
    Then report back here.

    edit: congrats on the buy.
  20. Hapworth

    Hapworth Well-Known Member

    And that's why I suggested snap caps. Just didn't want OP to think another poster was suggesting live rounds to test cycling...

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