20 ga. 870 barrel, will it fit?


Jul 21, 2012
Central N.Y.
Looking at a 20 ga. 870 barrel for my sons gun. It's a 20 ga. Wingmaster 2 3/4" chamber but the barrel I'm looking at is a 2 3/4" or 3" barrel. Looks like a 870 Express barrel, it's the dark Matte finish. Would there be a problem using it on a 2 3/4 inch receiver?
Usually, no, there should be no problem. Just only use 2 3/4 shells.

However, there was some funny business with Remington and 20 ga “light contour” guns or ”LW” guns.

One thing about 870s though is the early 20 ga guns (and 1100s) were built on 12 ga receivers and later “LC” or “LW” barrels will not fit. The barrels may not be marked as lightweights though.

Since the barrel you are referring to is an express and has a 3” chamber, it is definitely a later one designed for the lighter scaled 20 ga receivers. You need to find out if your receiver is an early 12 ga type receiver or one of the later ones.
There are three different 870 20 gauge barrels.
Early standard weight for guns made on a 12 gauge sized receiver.
LW barrels made for guns on the 28 gauge size receiver. Serial # ends in K or U.
The "Special Field" variant of the LW models, where the shorter magazine needed a shorter distance to the barrel ring. Every one I have seen was labelled.
I have never seen or heard of an 'LC' barrel or receiver.
There is about a 99% chance it will work. There are a few exceptions as noted above but those aren't common. And there is a good chance you can use 3" shells in the new barrel even though the current barrel is marked 2 3/4". If the last character on the receivers SN is "M" I know it will work.

There is a danger to firing 3" shells in a 2 3/4" chamber. But it isn't going to be dangerous to fire 3" shells in a pump action receiver intended for 2 3/4" shells. At most the empty shells may not eject reliably. In a semi-auto you could damage the receiver by firing 3" shells in a 2 3/4" receiver.
Thanks for the answers. According to what I interneted it is a full size 20ga. frame. It was either made in 1978 or 96,
It was only barrels and I guess it was only 1100s but the barrels will say “light contour” on them not LC. I was using LC as shorthand for my post.

1972 is when the 20 ga 870s went to the smaller receiver.
On a standard barrel you’ll be able to pass a quarter through the magazine lug.