12 Gauge 870 Help!

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Covelo-NdN, Dec 27, 2014.

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  1. Covelo-NdN

    Covelo-NdN Member

    Dec 25, 2014
    Ukiah CA
    Hello folks,

    To complete my 5 gun arsenal my next purchase will be a scatter gun. Please note that I know little about shotguns, eager to learn and pretty confident in my learning abilities. That said I'm dead set on a rem . 870. remmys web site has a "deer combo" that I love.


    The gun will be intended on use for bird Hunting, deer hunting, and I'm hoping on getting magazine extension and 18" barrel for self defense surpasses.

    My question is have I made a wise decision? Thoughts feedback please. I still don't know what a choke.
  2. denton

    denton Member

    Feb 22, 2011
    The 870 is hard to beat in many respects. It's your basic, dependable, not too expensive shotgun. You can run #8 birdshot for clay pigeons, #4 to #6 for pheasant and turkey, and #4 to 00 buckshot for home defense. Any of the buckshot rounds is going to be devastating against intruders. The short home defense barrel just makes the gun a little more maneuverable.

    Some states require shotguns for deer. If that is not the case in your state, I'd suggest you look at a centerfire rifle for that application. With slugs or buckshot, accuracy and range tend not to be outstanding. Some slug barrels are rifled, and I think that helps.

    All that said, for a few dollars more I think the Benelli Nova is a little nicer gun.

    An Improved Cylinder choke is a good all-around choke. If you're going after turkey, you may want Full or Extra Full.

    Whatever you get, I hope you enjoy it greatly. A day at the range with a case of clay pigeons and a case of shells is an absolute blast.
  3. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Apr 24, 2008
    Hot and Humid FL
    You might get better and more responses in the shotgun section.

    There are two main versions of the 870 - the cheaper-made, problem-prone Express and the flawless and well-made Wingmaster.

    Not sure what you are asking about what a choke, but a choke is used to change the constriction of the payload as it exits the barrel. This affects pattern performance downrange and will vary widely among guns, ammo chosen, and intended target

    Added, since you are in CA, you may want to investigate whether a mag extension is legal. Also to consider is whether lead in ANY form of lead is legal for hunting. MY understanding is that CA is outlawing the use of lead for hunting after a certain date. THAT alone can put a big crimp in your intended uses if it is indeed true
  4. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

    Aug 16, 2009
    Shotgun chokes control diameters of the group of pellets/shot sent downrange.

    Cylinder choke is no choke at all. Other chokes neck the inside diameter of your barrel down a little in the last coupe of inches.

    This causes the pellets to squeeze together just at the point they exit the barrel and has a great effect on the diameter of the shot pattern on target. The important effect, then, is how many pellets will hit the bird, rabbit, etc.

    Ranked in order of the ammount of "squeeze" or tightness of pattern

    Improved Cylinder
    Light Modified
    Improved Modified
    Light Full
    Extra Full

    (caveat: There may be other lists of ranking. Some people use different terms)

    Most shotgun barrels are constructed with an amount of choke from the factory and cannot be changed.

    Some shotguns have the end of the barrel threaded so an interchangeable choke can be installed and switched out for others.

    Some shotguns have adjustable chokes (but these have not proved to ve very successful, despite the concept being VERY attractive)

    The confusion starts when we label them and you try to figure out what to use and when. Tighter patterns for longer distances and tougher birds.

    No, don't get me started on stringing.

    Lost Sheep
  5. gspn

    gspn Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Your goal is bird and deer hunting, with some home defense thrown in? The 870 combo is a great pick for that set of requirements.

    I hunted birds and deer for years with nothing but an 870 smoothbore.

    Years later I bought my father in law the combo you're looking at...it's a very good setup.
  6. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Contributing Member

    Jan 21, 2004
    Norra Texas
    Why ask the question if the answer doesn't matter?
  7. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

    Feb 7, 2004

    When the gun comes check for functioning.

    If it works fine, the barrels interchange, and you have no problems, then you have an excellent setup.

    Having barrels for home defense and bird hunting is a time tested idea that works.

    So when it comes, test it out. I bet it works fine.

  8. short barrel

    short barrel Member

    Jul 8, 2013
    Although I'm a fan of doubles, you cannot go wrong with an 870 for hunting. The Express will fit your requirements and then some. I like wood stocks, but there's nothing wrong with synthetic. I carried and trained with an 870 for 32 years. It never failed. Preference for a lovable hunting gun is personal, but again, you can't go wrong with an 870.
  9. RoboDuck

    RoboDuck Member

    Dec 21, 2008
    That's a vey nice gun , buy it and you wont regret.
  10. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

    Feb 1, 2014
    Middle Tn
    Please do yourself a favor and go wingmaster. I have 3 friends who bought 870 expresses between 2011 and 2013 which were repeatedly sent back for work before they were fixed locally by a gunsmith more competent than those at Remington. All three functioned flawlessly with snap caps but wouldn't eject a spent shell because of very rough chambers. I have heard of no such issues with wing masters. Failing the purchase of a wing master and you want an 870, buy own older gun (1990s or older) which don't seem to rust instantly or operate as smoothly as a jackhammer. Older police versions had a metal trigger housing, that's what I would look for in an 870 provided an 870 is what I was dead set on.

    Or you could do the exact same thing for the same money and get an equally proven and respected weapon in the Mossberg 500 (my suggestion hands down) . 5 years ago I would have done exactly as youplan to do, but with Remington's issues I have personally seen and helped three guys deal with I took my own advice and went the way of the 500.
  11. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    The Peoples Republic of IL
    If I were buying a gun for myself I would look for a used older a winchester in good shape. I have a 1300 from 1991 that is one very well made shotgun.
  12. Virginian

    Virginian Member

    Apr 7, 2003
    Williamsburg, Virginia
    The 1300 should not even be mentioned in the same breath as an 870 or a 500.
    IMO Remington has upgraded the quality of finish on the newer Expresses. The rough chamber issue is totally overblown; I have seen everything being beat on the ground with the Winchester Universals sold at Wal Mart, including a BPS. They did ship some Expresses with too rough chambers, but it was never all of them. If one should get a rough chamber it is easily fixed.
  13. RugerBob

    RugerBob Member

    Jul 12, 2007
    southern maine
    Get the 870 combo and enjoy it. As for getting an 18" barrel, I would just get an H&R 12 gauge pump (under $200 at Cabelas). Its made at the same factory as the 870 in ilion NY. Even looks to have same 870 frame. 5+1 with plug removed. Love mine.
  14. oletymer

    oletymer Member

    Apr 8, 2006
    North Central Washington
    The H&R pump is not made in the US. It is made in China. Buy a Wingmaster, not the Express. The Express should have been call the 435 as it is about half the gun a Wingmaster is.
  15. Averageman

    Averageman Member

    Oct 26, 2009
    I've owned a couple of 870's, I think you've made a good choice.
    Before buying new, have you considered buying a used gun and another barrel? The reason I ask is that locally I can pick up used 870's for $150.
    The reason I prefer this method is that the less expensive used gun can often be taken apart, inspected, cleaned and modified to meet your needs at a bit over half the price of a new gun. The less obvious advantage to you is that once done, you can service your gun completely on your own.
  16. Rusty59

    Rusty59 Member

    Nov 26, 2014
    I have 2 870s the one problem I have with them is they rust easy, the finish is bad, so I would recommend wiping it down with a rag and some rem-oil or similar product after a day at the range. Which you might do already any way.

    Good luck and happy shooting!
  17. Omaha-BeenGlockin

    Omaha-BeenGlockin Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    I have 2 recent production Express's(camo supermag and a youth model) and both are good guns---fit and finish are good--no sticky chambers-----------despite all the other problems Remington is currently having.
  18. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

    Nov 5, 2006

    That's exactly what my question was going to be. He says he know's "little about shotguns" yet is dead set on a particular shotgun, and then asks if it's a good choice... seems odd.

    Anyway, it so happens that it actually is a good choice for your purposes. The 870 combo is a good "do it all" setup.
    There are others that are worthy of consideration though. The Rem 870's top competitor is the Mossberg 500. And Mossberg also puts out M500 combo packs. I'm more of a Mossberg guy myself, but its a matter of personal preference and I am under no illusion that either gun holds any definitive edge over the other.

    There are also ways to do what you want but much much cheaper, or with higher quality. Used Wingmater 870s, which have a much higher level of fit and finish are not hard to find. You could probably get one with a long barrel for bird hunting, and find a riot barrel to buy separately. All together you'd spend as much or maybe less than a new 870 express, but have a nicer gun.

    Same can be done with used Mossbergs, and if you are buying used, don't discount the Winchester 1200/1300 either.
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