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Another new (to me) 870 owner!

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by liquidinfo, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. liquidinfo

    liquidinfo Member

    Hey all,

    With some research help from Lee Lapin (thanks!), I got my hands on this pump gun tonight (see attachment). I paid $290 for it. I compared with a couple other Wingmasters in the shop, which were priced around $250. They had the original walnut stocks (which I want), but the wood was pretty terrible, and the receivers were all dinged up and had what looked to be pitting from rust. The blued magazine tube extension on mine was icing on the cake! I already have a new walnut stock set on order (for $30 on gunbroker, including the R3 pad, what a deal!), and I think the Butler Creek folding stock / pistol grip should at least let me break even.

    A few things:

    Has anyone seen a Wingmaster with the red painted etching like that? Does it mean anything special?

    I downloaded the manual from the Remington site and I would like to disassemble it and give it a good once over. Normally I would start by unscrewing and removing the magazine cap. But how do I account for the mag tube extension? I'm guessing I would first take off the clamp that's binding the mag tube and barrel first?

    Finally, the barrel is marked "Mod.", which would lead this newbie to believe that it is a modified choke barrel. The muzzle doesn't have any choke tubes installed though, and isn't threaded either. It just looks like a simple cylinder inside. This would make it a cylinder bore, correct? Maybe the previous owner cut it down? It measures about 19.5" from the receiver to the muzzle.

    So what does everyone think?

    Attached Files:

  2. proud2deviate

    proud2deviate Well-Known Member

    Good for you! I'm glad to hear you have some wood on the way for it. I bought my stock off Gun Broker, probably from the same people. The metal on that is pretty; it deserves some nice walnut.

    I've not seen the red etching. Does it look "factory" or "kitchen table"?

    You're right about take-down; remove the clamp first, and unscrew the extension. Be careful of the magazine spring; it's under tension.

    It's possible that your barrel has a fixed modified choke. Some of the shorter barrels were made with mod. Someone more knowledgeable than me will have to confirm that. It might help if you measure the barrel from the breech face; with the action closed, stick a length of dowel down the barrel, and mark it at the muzzle. Now measure that length. That's your "real" barrel length.

    Oh, FYI. A barrel doesn't have to be threaded for choke tubes to be choked. Most barrels have the choke built right in (fixed choke,) the tubes just let you change things around.

    I'd say it's somewhat probable that you have a 20" mod choked barrel. I'd be jealous if it had rifle sights:)

    Be sure to post pics after you put the wood on her!

    Edited to add - You might need to get a stock bearing plate. Most of the plastic stocks don't need them, so they sometimes get left behind. They look like this;


    and they're pretty cheap. I've seen some debate as to whether they're necessary, but I figure two bucks isn't too much to pay to insure against a cracked stock.

    To see if you need one, just remove the stock. If one is in there, you don't :)
  3. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Well-Known Member

    Nice Wingmaster! It will look great with wood stocks.

    The red lettering MIGHT be red crayon rubbed into the engraving. I've seen it with white crayon before.
  4. liquidinfo

    liquidinfo Member

    I remeasured, and the real barrel length is 20 and 1/4 inches. I still don't notice any variation of the inside diameter at the muzzle though, it looks like its the same all the way down to the breech face. Maybe I will run it by the smith. I'm hoping its mod. or looser, that way I can get some slug action going.

    The red crayon seems feasible. The color is a bit uneven, but only where the engraving gets very fine. I honestly cant tell whether it looks factory or "kitchen table".

    And thanks for the tip about the bearing plate!
  5. Striker

    Striker Well-Known Member

    Nice Shotgun.

    From your pics and description, I'd wager that that a previous owner cut back the original 28" fixed choke mod barrel, installed a new bead, and added the stock, forearm, and mag extension, to make a SD/HD platform. If it is a cut barrel, it will mic out as a cylinder bore, with no choke constriction at all.

    As stated above, the red highlighting is likely crayon or some such, rubbed into the lettering. I've done the same thing with various colored crayons. It will come out with a toothbrush and solvent.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2008
  6. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    Looks like a good one. I think you'll like your new furniture set a lot better though 8^). Walnut looks really good with bright blue, my old 870P trade-in is finished that way and it's a looker as well as a shooter.

    The red ink on the receiver is probably a rub-in filler of the sort some engravers in glass use. Some kind of paint or the like, that comes in little tubes. You can probably get it off with most any solvent that is safe for blued metal finishes if you want to.

    The barrel is probably a cut-down, likely as a result of an accident earlier that led to a bulge or banana peel. If the muzzle measures out at about .729" or so, that should tell the tale.

    Yes, you have to start the takedown by removing the clamp. Then you unscrew the mag tube extension. Hold on to it though, the mag spring will try to take it away from you, and it will want to boil out the opening too. Pull the mag spring, take off the barrel (open the action about halfway to do that), dump the follower, and you're off.

    Hope you enjoy it,

  7. Rshooter

    Rshooter Well-Known Member

    Not much more I can add than to say that it is a nice gun. It looks like a good high quality extended mag and clamp, not second rate there. It will look good in wood.
  8. liquidinfo

    liquidinfo Member

    I checked with Remington--the gun was manufactured in 1972, a full 10 years before I was born! Pretty fun . . .

    If I do indeed have a cylinder bore as a result of the barrel being cut down, would that give me the best performance using rifled slugs? I couldn't tell from other "choke" threads whether people liked IC or cylinder bore when using this type of ammo. I'm not averse to getting the thing cut for choke use, if it is warranted.

    I'm also thinking about getting some express sights slapped on. Looks like I gotta start researching for a reputable gunsmith in Atlanta!
  9. proud2deviate

    proud2deviate Well-Known Member

    Slugs through a CYL bore, it should do just fine. I don't really think there is a "best", some guns just shoot better than others for no apparent reason.

    If you want choke tubes and sights, Remington makes a bright blued barrel with RemChokes and rifle sights. It's either 20 or 21 inches long, and it'll probably be more cost effective than modifying your current barrel. Then you could switch back and forth, depending on your needs:)
  10. liquidinfo

    liquidinfo Member

    yep, that would be my ideal HD configuration:


    At $186 for the new barrel, you think it would be more cost effective to just buy it outright, instead of doing the mods? My current one is already the perfect length, plus I would have to try to sell it after it was replaced by this new one. Do you think I would have any trouble selling it? Either way, I will be cruising the B/S/T forum for a longer vent rib barrel for clay games, that way I can have the versatility of the two barrels.

    Thanks for all the advice!
  11. proud2deviate

    proud2deviate Well-Known Member

    It really depends on how much a gunsmith wants to charge you. For the sights, he'd have to remove the bead, remove the bluing, align the sights, braze them on, and re-blue (I'm not a gunsmith, so I might have added/skipped a step or two,) I don't know how much a choke tube job would cost, but when you find out, you should factor in the cost of the two tubes that would come with the new barrel. It's probably best to ask around and get some quotes for the work. Just make sure the guy has a good reputation and stands behind his work. I've seen sights come loose on a shot and lose themselves; sloppy soldering job.

    As for selling your barrel, it's hard to say. It probably depends a lot on whether it was cut down or not, but it might be just what someone has been looking for. You probably won't recoup the price of the new barrel, I'd think. I found two on Gun Broker that went for ~ $45.
  12. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Well-Known Member

    For HD use, what you have is perfectly adequate, no need to change a thing. A BG hit at in-house ranges isn't going to have any idea what choke you have mounted at the time. :D

    If you want to use it for other things (hunting, trap, skeet, sporting clays) then go ahead and get a barrel suited to that use. Don't need to get them new ... keep an eye out at the auction sites and gun shows. They do show up there often enough. 870 parts are easy to come by.

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