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870HD – History question?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by cgv69, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. cgv69

    cgv69 Well-Known Member

    Hey guys,

    Can any of you tell me when Remington started making the “Home Defense” version of the M870? Can any of you also answer what other names it has been called in the past? Did it ever come with wood furniture? Did it ever come without a mag ext.?

    I ask because there is a guy at work who claims to have one he bought 15-20 years ago but says his has wood furniture, no mag ext., can’t remember if it has a 18” or 20” barrel and swears it was called a “Home Security” model back then.

  2. Black Majik

    Black Majik Well-Known Member

    Or it might be a Wingmaster Police version. What type of finish is on the shotugn, blue or parkerized?

    Look on the side of the receiver, it'll say whether it was a Wingmaster or Express version.

    I dunno when the Express HD first came out, someone else will have to answer that question. But, if it is a Wingmaster and its in good condition, jump on it!
  3. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Well-Known Member

    I seem to remember the first Express gun made with an 18" barrel was actually named the "Home Defense" model.
    It was introduced somewhere around the late 1990's.

    It was an Express gun, marked "870 Express Magnum Home Defense", had synthetic stocks, no lockable safety, and a standard 4 shot magazine.

    Within the last few years, Remington stopped using the "HD" designation in advertising, and I think it was also removed from the gun.

    The extended magazine model was an uncataloged model for a year or so, then was added to the catalog within the last couple of years.
  4. cgv69

    cgv69 Well-Known Member

    Not likely. He told me he bought it new from a local sporting goods chain that has since gone under (Van Luens). From what I saw of that place before they closed, it's not likely they would have carried anything like that.

    It's not for sale and I doubt I will even get to see it. He won't admit it but I think it's currently in the possession of the Hamilton Co. Sheriff's dept. (not of his choosing)

    From his description I think he's full of it (not that there is anything special about a 870HD) but it's just cracks me up when he makes claims like this. His big reasoning that he is so sure is because... his buddy, "A sniper in 'Nam" said it was :rolleyes:

    (BTW - it's amazing to me the we didn't loose a lot of soldiers in Nam to starvation because apparently there were no cooks over there. Just snipers, Seals and other SF types? :rolleyes: )

    Anyway, he said he bought it 2 decades ago which would mean sometime in the 80's and I didn't think Remington had been marketing them that long but I can't say for sure?
  5. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    First I saw of the 870HD was around the turn of the century. It was always based on an Express platform, at least in this incarnation. The Express models were introduced in 1989, by the end of the decade more than 3.5 million 870s had been produced in a number of different models and gauges.

    Remington was selling riot guns/security shotguns very soon after the 870 was introduced in 1950. The Model 870R riot gun had a 20" bead sighted cylinder bore barrel, and the Model 870P police shotgun had an 18.5" bead sighted cylinder bore barrel. Neither model had magazine extensions available at the time.

    Remington's proprietary magazine extension was patented in 1969 and was soon offered on the company's Police model shotguns as well as on the military contract shotguns which had first featured it. The extensions are still available today in their original form on several Remington models.

    The store may well have sold the gun as a "Home Security Gun" but I don't know of Remington ever marketing it that way or marking any 870s that way either. None of my admittedly limited references mention any such thing, neither Kuhnhausen or Swearengen say anything about such a model being available at that time or any time.

    I wouldn't worry about it too much either way, especially since the gun seems unlikely to be available for examination. My own most recently acquired 870P was made in 1980 and is marked 870 Police, two older riot guns I have (1970s era, 2 3/4" chambers, 5-shot, 20" bead sighted barrels) were marked 870 Wingmaster. Any 870 in good condition with a relatively short barrel is going to do well as a working/riot/police/home defence/home security/armored car guard/prison guard/military shotgun, and it doesn't matter to anyone save a collector what is marked on the gun.

  6. cgv69

    cgv69 Well-Known Member

    Lee - thanks for all the info

    You are 100% right. What ever he has doesn't really matter but the "debate" did spark my interest in knowing more about the history behind this model. Thanks again for the "history lesson"! :)
  7. Moonclip

    Moonclip Well-Known Member

    I bought my 870 HD express model in the summer of 1996. It had a synthetic stock and a 4 shot magazine, 18" barrel with bead sight. I have since sold the gun so I don't remember if if it was marked HD on the gun. There was a wood stock version of the gun being sold at the same price I think but since I did not look at it closely and this was 9 years ago I don't remember much else.

    The HD model I bought I modified in to a more "tactical" version. I had to cut off part of the overly long fore end to install a sidesaddle and I had to file off two dimples Remington thoughtfully installed in the mag tube to install a extended tac star mag tube.

    I realized eventually after various mods that I owned too many shotguns in general and 870's in particular so I sold 2 of them and kept a 870 wingmaster with a newer vintage 28" interchangeable choke barrel from a Wal Mart purchased express I had.

    If I had to do it all again I would get one of the 870 express models done up from the factory with extended mag already installed. They used to sell for about $244 on sale in my area but are now like $300 or $350 with a factory folding stock. I recently saw a used one for $199 and was tempted to buy it though.

    Does anyone know the differences between express and wingmaster and police models? I think the police models have a metal trigger guard but the extra costs involved do not seem justified if this is the major upgrade you get.
  8. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Well-Known Member

    We probably need this to be a sticky.

    Here's the differences:

    The Wingmaster Sporting gun has:
    Aluminum trigger group.
    A smooth, commercial grade polished blue finish.
    A smooth, polished bore.
    All milled parts, little if any MIM.
    Walnut stock with better checkering, and Remington's "Bowling pin finish".
    A chrome plated bolt.
    Old style magazine retention assembly.
    One piece barrel.
    Smoother finish inside and out, no burrs.

    The 870 Police is basically a dull finish Wingmaster.
    An aluminum trigger group.
    The old style magazine retention system.
    A much smoother finish inside and out, no burrs.
    A military-grade parkerized finish.
    A polished bore.
    A one piece barrel.
    Improved Cylinder choke.
    Walnut or synthetic stock, with a short police-length fore end.
    Choices in different stocks, including Speed-feed, and others.
    18" to 20" improved cylinder barrel, with a wide choice in sights, including rifle, ghost ring, and luminous.
    Heavy-duty magazine spring.
    Heavy-duty trigger-sear spring.
    Sling swivel mounts.
    All milled parts, little if any MIM.

    The Express Model has:
    A plastic trigger group.
    The dimples in the mag tube and the new style magazine retention system.
    A rougher finish inside and outside, some burrs, especially inside.
    A rougher blue job.
    A less polished bore.
    A two piece barrel. (not 100% sure about this) The HD version is Cylinder Bore.
    Hardwood or synthetic stock, with long, sporting fore end.
    Some Metal Injection Molded (MIM) parts, like the extractor.
  9. Nnobby45

    Nnobby45 Well-Known Member

    Old Police

    I got a brand new Remington Police shotgun quite a few years back in a trade. It was pretty plain with bead sights, wood, and 18" barrel. Don't know if it had a mag. ext. I traded it, and more, for a new S&W 640 when they first hit the market. I don't know if it compared with the current 870P. Struck me as being a regular 870 with a short barrel, and Tactical type fore-end. How many years ago did the 640 come out, anyway? :D

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