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Old June 22, 2015, 04:37 AM   #1
Spec ops Grunt
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How are the current production 870 expresses?

I need a home defense long gun that isn't my youth model Winchester 1300.


Edit: Is it worth ordering an Ithica from Ithica? I'm a lefty so the bottom ejection seems nice. I just don't know if they are worth the price difference.


Also how are the Winchester SXPs if I wanted to stay with what I'm familiar, or are used 1300s a better deal?
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Old June 22, 2015, 07:38 AM   #2
eastbank
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lefty also and i have left hand firearms,but i never had a problem with right or left had pump shotguns with ejection of empty cases. i lean towards the rem express with three mods, new metal follower and spring, new extractor and do or have the chamber polished. several years ago i bought a used short barreld 12ga rem express cheap(125.00) with a rifle sighted barrel with rem choke and made those modifcations. it has ran several thousand rounds of 3" mags to cheap bulk low brass with no problems at all. eastbank.
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Old June 22, 2015, 07:51 AM   #3
MEHavey
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I've had experience w/ two 870 Express' lately, and both had problem with steel
[i.e., the cheap mass-produced] case-head ammunition until I polished the chamber
to a mirror. Brass cases retract from the walls after a pressure hit, steel remains
expanded/stuck to the walls)

No need to buy a new Ithaca. They can be picked up used for $150-$200 -- as good
as the day they were first made.
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Old June 22, 2015, 08:26 AM   #4
Lord Teapot
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i like my 870 express, bought it new like last year from dicks. i'm thinking of getting another one...it works just fine.
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Old June 22, 2015, 11:28 AM   #5
Sheepdog1968
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Just an FYI. The Mossberg 500 now comes in a left handed model. Not trying to start Moss v Rem debate (both are good). Just pointing out a new option you may not know about.
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Old June 22, 2015, 01:04 PM   #6
eastbank
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double post,eastbank.

Last edited by eastbank; June 22, 2015 at 01:20 PM.
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Old June 22, 2015, 01:19 PM   #7
eastbank
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well better late than never, but i,ll have to admitt that never was the reason i didn,t buy a mossberg. eastbank.
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Old June 22, 2015, 04:25 PM   #8
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I'm fine using a right handed pump lefty, I've never had problems with it. I was just curious about the ithica.

Is the 870s safety reversible?
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Old June 22, 2015, 04:50 PM   #9
eastbank
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yes. eastbank.
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Old June 22, 2015, 05:10 PM   #10
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I think the 870 issues have been overstated. But at this point a Browning BPS would be my top choice with a Benelli Nova 2nd. If you can find a Browning set up how you want it you'll have as ambidextrous shotgun as you can get.
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Old June 22, 2015, 05:34 PM   #11
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I would look at the 870P (for Police), Mossberg 500, or Mossberg 590. The 870 Express is good but if you need to an a magazine extension you may have to drill out the dimple in the magazine.
I would not like the Ithica for a defense gun. My reason is with the shells ejecting from the bottom if I have to move then the shell casings will be around my feet. With my luck I would step on one and it cause me to trip and fall. The Ithica is a good gun but I prefer the shells to eject far to the side.
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Old June 22, 2015, 06:22 PM   #12
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Another consideration for bottom ejecting defensive shotguns is the use of cover ... you will need to train yourself not to crowd your cover or you may foul the ejection of spent shells.
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Old June 22, 2015, 07:22 PM   #13
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I have 4 Remington 870s: 1 new one and 3 old ones. The new one has a polymer trigger guard and trigger housing as opposed to the alloy one on the older 870s. The new one has a grooved barrel topper that reduces glare. All in all, I see no significant difference between the old and new 870s. They all operate the same for me.

If I were going to do it all over again, I might get Mossberg 500s instead. I like the 500's alloy receiver as it doesn't rust easily like the 870. If you're a lefty, you're going to like the tang mounted safety. I have one Mossberg 500 and I like it a little better than the 870. Both are darned fine shotguns and you won't be disappointed with either.
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Old June 22, 2015, 09:10 PM   #14
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My SXP runs smoothly with all kinds of ammo, from the cheapest low brass I could find, and usually shoot, to the more expensive high brass magnum stuff I tried for fun.

I did not have to polish the chamber, it came like a mirror from the factory. I do not know if the chrome lining plays a role there. Maybe someone more knowledgeable can comment on that.

I cannot say if it runs as good when it is dirty because I clean it after every outing. The maximal number of shots fired in a single session has been around 200 so far. It is easy to clean.

Mine is the synthetic Defender model. It is very handy. A longer barrel can be ordered if you are not in a hurry. My 28" barrel took nine months to arrive.
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Old June 22, 2015, 10:25 PM   #15
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You know where the sxp's are made?


I'm not really a huge snob when it comes to things not being made in America, but having a foreign pump action when so many good USA shotguns are available just doesn't make sense to me lol
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Old June 23, 2015, 09:06 AM   #16
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Then do not ask about them. I was answering your initial post: "Also how are the Winchester SXPs (...)". It just does not make sense to me.
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Old June 23, 2015, 09:12 PM   #17
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You know that Remington makes left handed 870's, right? I two Son's that are left handed, I bought both of them left handed Express 870's back around 1999-ish. They cost a few bucks more, but they have been every bit as functional and reliable as any of my right handed 870's.

As far as the quality of current 870's verses the older one's, the newer 870's can sometimes be a bit rough around the edges, but nothing that a little TLC can't smooth out. I have two relatively new 870's one in 12, and one in 20, both are slicker than snot, and every bit as reliable as my old one's are.

I evaluate them by performing two steps.

First I set them against the bench, empty magazines to reduce the weight. Then I slide the action completely open till it stops, then as carefully and slowly as possible, I try to pick them up without the action closing. If they don't close, I continue polishing the rails and rail guides.

Then I test them for reliable function by rapidly firing and cycling a variety of 2-3/4" shells, magnums and standard field loads. I then do the same thing with a variety of 3" shells. If anything hangs up, or I get a double drop, as I refer to it, I tune the shell catches until they are functioning as intended. Usually though, the offending problem is a rough shell catch, or a rough spot on the recess is delaying the catch from returning quick enough to stop the next shell from dropping.

If it's not a rough catch or recess, it's crude or grit that has built up during an active day of bird hunting. This quick clean only takes a few minute to address, or about as much time as it takes to remove the barrel and put it back on, a quick wipe inside the shell catch recesses usually does the trick, which is another reason why I love the 870 so much.

GS
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Old June 25, 2015, 02:14 PM   #18
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For those whom might not have heard, Winchester recently issued a recall for certain SXP shotguns, including Black Shadow, Long Beard, Turkey Hunter and Waterfowl Hunter variations. This is a potentially very serious safety issue as "some SXP shotguns unintentionally discharged when the actions were closed." For more information, visit winchesterguns.com.
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Old June 25, 2015, 09:06 PM   #19
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Just to add a precision to SwampWolf's judicious warning, the recall pertains to 3 1/2" models. Thank you for posting this.
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Old June 26, 2015, 02:21 PM   #20
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Thanks for the clarification, Frostbite. I missed the chamber length distinction when reading the recall warning. Your appreciated "preciousness" will save me from making a phone call to Winchester as my SXP Black Shadow has a 3" chamber.
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Old June 26, 2015, 02:42 PM   #21
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In response to the original question asked.... I have picked up a riot configured new Express in the past year (standard 18" barrel, bead sight, four round tube, synthetic stocks, 12 guage) and found it head and shoulders better than any of the rack grade poppers I was issued when I was in police work (1973-1995).... We had a mix of Mossbergs and Remington Wingmasters back then (this was well before the "police" marked Remingtons...). Every one of those old riot guns were uttterly reliable and deadly effective for their intended use. The new model Express I have is every bit as good but much tighter in every respect. I have every confidence in it for its intended purpose....

The only addtion my weapon needed was a sling and a five shot butt cuff for extra rounds...
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Old June 26, 2015, 03:17 PM   #22
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Quote:
The new model Express I have is every bit as good but much tighter...
Have you tried "Club" shells in it yet? http://www.cabelas.com/product/Winch...ase/740620.uts
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Old June 26, 2015, 11:22 PM   #23
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I have 2 recent production Express' (12 and 20 hunting models--from Walmart no less) that work just fine and were decently slick right out of the box.
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