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Defense Barrel for OLD-style 20ga 870?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by patentnonsense, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. patentnonsense

    patentnonsense Well-Known Member

    I just bought an 870 Wingmaster in 20 gauge - I want to go out shooting with my fiancee, but the immediate need is for a home defense piece.

    This is definitely the old style Wingmaster, with a pronounced taper near the butt end of the barrel. I'm not seeing many short barrels for this on gunsamerica - is there some other place I should look? I'd rather buy than butcher.

    When we're not out shooting for fun, I'd like to swap the forearm slider for a unit with a light - will all 870-compatible units fit this older piece?

    And the price was only $139 for a well-maintained gun, so I'm not going to have any regrets!

    Thanks for any suggestions.
  2. Elmer

    Elmer Well-Known Member

    The forearm lights from the 12 ga will not fit.

    In 20 ga the slug barrels are going to be hard to find. You're best bet is probably to find a used barrel off ebay and cut it down.
  3. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    If it is indeed an OLD 20 ga., it was made on a 12 ga. size frame beginning in 1950. Remington marked these older guns with a serial number ending in X, it should be chambered for 2 3/4 inch shells only. A 20 ga. Magnum model came along in 1962, at the same time the 20 ga. version of the 870 Brushmaster deer gun was introduced with its 20" rifle sighted barrel.

    Regular small frame 20 ga. guns had a serial number suffix of K, that would be the LW models introduced in 1972.

    Call Remington's parts people at 1-800-243-9700, M-F 9- 5 NC time, to confirm what you have and see what your barrel options are in the ideal world. They may also be able to help with identifying what barrel and options will fit what frame size.

  4. patentnonsense

    patentnonsense Well-Known Member

    Yes, the SN does end with an X, thanks.
    It may well be 2.75" only - I haven't checked yet - but that's fine with me. If my fiancee wants to shoot more drams she can borrow my 12 or my 10.
  5. MrChicken

    MrChicken Well-Known Member

    If you get an answer to this, I'd like to know it also.
    I just picked up a gun similiar to yours and am wondering whether to have the 26" barrel cut down, or buy a new barrel (if available).
  6. patentnonsense

    patentnonsense Well-Known Member

    It does sound like short barrels are out there - quoting Lapin, who seems to know his stuff:
    which is 10 years before

    So there should be 10 years of 20" compatible barrels - now I just have to find one. I hate the idea of cutting down a usable barrel.

    The other question is whether the modern slide-with-light will fit the old 20 gauge.
  7. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    Sorry, don't really know much of anything 'bout nothin'.

    But I did spend most of my working life as a reference librarian in a half dozen different university, state and federal libraries, and the most important thing to remember is that it's not what you _know_ that matters, it's what you can find out. And all that stuff came straight out of my copy of Jerry Kuhnhausen's _The Remington Shotguns M870 and M1100/11-87: A Shop Manual_, McCall, ID: VSP Publishers, 1992. That book is a bible for 870 owners IMHO.

    It was a moral failure on my part not to cite the source for the info I put out, not something I fail at very often at all. I apologize, must have been in a real hurry that day.

    lpl/happily retired in NC
  8. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    Preacherman has a large frame 20 ga 870 and an extra short barrel. If I am not mistaken the 12ga 870 acessories including an extension mag fit on it! The 12 ga stock does ect., making it a good basis for an HD gun.
  9. TrapperReady

    TrapperReady Well-Known Member

    Just a comment/suggestion...

    For HD use, while I curently use a shotgun with an 18.5" barrel, I wouldn't have any qualms whatsoever about using a 30" barrel or longer if I knew how it shot and the gun was reliable.

    Personally, I'm not going to be clearing rooms. If something bad happens, the general plan is to get the family gathered together behind some cover and call the police while my wife and I cover a narrow point of entry to our location.

    A long-barreled shotgun would work just fine. In fact, the main[/i] reasons I ended up switching to a Winchester Defender was so that (a) it would be more easily hidden when not in use and (b) so I'd have one to play with for deer hunting.

    BTW, I've got a 1958-vintage 20ga 870 and really like it. I've used it to kill a bunch of pheasants and a handful of doves. It may be built on a 12ga frame, but it is noticably lighter and handles perfectly for me.

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