Best "one-stop" place to have barrel cut, threaded, cone-lengthened, and parkarized?

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Jan 7, 2003
Hi all.
Is there such a place?

I am looking for a used and abused (in finish) 12ga 3" mag 870 Wingmaster barrel to send off for some work. I plan to ultimatly put it on a parkerized 870 Police shotty. Can anyone here suggest a place to have all this work done in-house at one time?

vent-rib barrel cut
barrel threaded for rem-chokes
forcing cone lengthened

...or, should I just buy a 21" express turkey barrel and be done with it? I am concerened about the 2-piece vs. 1-piece thing concerning the express/wingmaster barrels (respectively) as well as the supposed better internal polish of the wingmaster barrels, and the less-than mil-spec finish on the express barrels. I also have the distinct feeling that I will need to invest more into a re-made wingmaster barrel than I would pay to simply buy a new 21" express turkey, anyone have any pointers?

Thanks guys. Has anyone ever heard of there being a documented problem with the "alleged 2-piece barrel" on the express guns?
Well, let's see. A used 870 barrel is likely to cost around a C note unless you shop really hard. Getting the barrel cut down and the bead reinstalled will be $50 minimum. Choke tube installation is another hundred, plus the cost of whatever tube you choose. Getting the forcing cone done will be another $40-50.

So you're looking at $300- 350 or more total to 'redo' a barrel to suit you, and that's before you pay for parkerizing. I have done a couple of those, before Big Green started issuing short barrels with factory IC chokes. They sure did save me some money doing that, but I wish they would offer MOD chokes in 18" barrels normally rather than as a special order deal, then the world would be perfect.

I can't think of a single place to get it all done on a one stop basis. Seems to me buying a 21" Express barrel, having the forcing cone done and getting it parked would be cheaper overall. All Remington barrels are 'two piece,' the mounting ring is brazed on. I dunno where that 'one piece barrel' deal comes from. AFAIK they are all made the same. Whoever does the forcing cone _should_ polish the bore as part of the job, Colonial always does.

All that said, if you are going to add a barrel to your inventory as a field barrel for the 870P, why not use a 26- 28" barrel instead of one so close to the length of the original issue 18- 20" barrel? Two or three inches of difference in length plus a VR is not worth that much expense and hassle IMHO. Or are you planning to sell the original barrel and just keep one barrel for the gun? Inquiring minds/nosy people want to know... 8^)

Thanks for the price info....


Most likely, I will now buy an 870 express mag turkey w/ the 21" barrel ($267 at Wally-world)...and then maybe an old police trade in for $150. I'll take the barrel and possibly the wood off of the express (depending on the condition of the wood on the 870P and whether the express has the R3 pad on it).

I figure I will then sell the franken-870 express mag w/ the 18-20" police barrel for about $150 locally. Then, I'll send off the 21" barrel for the cone work and parkarizing.

I recently picked up a nice older 2.75" Wingmaster that I plan to use for most of my clays/wingshooting and I plan to keep this one for a house gun/turkeys/upland birds.

As to the 1-piece vs. 2-piece thing, I have read posts here that suggest that wingmaster barrels are 1-piece and that express barrels are probably 2-piece...
My advice for a lot of years to folk with not a lot of money was to stick with the one-gun approach for a shotgun. Best bet IMO was to buy a good used 870 Express with a 26- 28" VR barrel already set up for RemChokes, and use that as-is for birds, small game and clay. Then find a 20" smoothbore rifle sighted barrel, trick that barrel out as needed (in the days of factory cylinder chokes in the shorter barrels, that meant having choke tubes installed, plus getting the forcing cone done and installing tritium sight elements in the factory bases). That meant a good deal of money invested in the short barrel, of course.

Some of these folks would buy a shotgun, use it for hunting season, then sell it again when the season was over. This way they could sell the gun with the original 26- 28" barrel, keep the slug barrel for next year and carry on without really losing a lot of money in the process.

For the one gun- one barrel approach the 21" turkey gun (two beads, vent rib, RemChokes) seems to me the best bet. Like all compromises it isn't really perfect at a lot of what it does but it is serviceable for pretty much everything.

Best thing about 870s is that they are inexpensive enough to have a dedicated gun for each major purpose, set up to the Nth degree for whatever one wants. Time IS on your side in this endeavor, the bargains do come along if one is patient.

I'm also considering an 870 Turkey Express, and would like to know if the newer production models come with an R3 (Limbsaver) recoil pad or not.
Mike Orlen does good work with good prices and a quick turn around.

[email protected]

I second that. He lives a few towns over and we shoot at the same club. He's done a few barrels for me and his work is excellent. I've seen him working on some old Damascus steel barrels restoring them, too. Beautiful work.

You can't go wrong with him, and his prices are very reasonable, too.
OK, gotta ask: how much change will legnthening the forcing cone get me??
870HD cylinder bore puts 9 00 pellets in maybe 8" @25yds (target's downstairs and it's late-I'm lazy). For HD I can't see any reason to spend the $$. So far I've mounted a long sling and polished the action a little. Considering a side saddle (like to find a 4 round) or mag ext. Like to keep it "cruiser ready"----mag 1 short, 3 rds Hornady TAP 00 in case I need birdshot or slug 1st rd.

Stay safe.
If this is for social work, look into the Vang Comp System.

Shot a friend's 870 with this done a few weeks ago, then shot identical ammo out of my non-VCS 590 and could have soiled myself at the difference! :what: I'm already in the process of trying to find another 590 marinecoat barrel to send them!! Very worth the cost of a new barrel plus the cost of the work and they also sell pre-finished barrels for 870s! Give em a look! :)
I used NuLine.

Agree with Lee. Life was hell of lot simpler before screw in chokes. :D

I have gotten better results with a Mod ( fixed choke bbl or choke) than the results someone paid someone to tweak an existing gun. I have shot the known companies and the obsure with the same results.

I'm with Lee - Someone PLEASE make a 18.5" - 21" fixed Tube "that throws" Modified patterns. Notice I didn't say "modified". Markings are for reading and getting a starting point - pattern boards define what it throws. Slugs work REAL well in a tube that throws a mod type pattern...

Folks laugh when I point out / remind them of Rem straight stocked Bird guns with short tubes. The 1300 and Ithaca "Bird guns with short tubes...Umm folks, these guns may have been designed for woodcock and confines for bird hunting...the guys that shot them stoked them with heavier stuff before putting over the mantle, behind the bedroom door or keeping in a truck...

BG won't know , must less care if black and tactical or blue and wood with a Straight stock and short tube...most likely forget all about it... ;)
>Bob F.
>OK, gotta ask: how much change will legnthening the forcing cone get me??

At down-the-hall range, it isn't worth it. Take the fight outside, open up ranges a LOT (75- 100 yards) and it will likely make some difference there. Shotgunning is art not science, there is no way to absolutely predict what any given gun/barrel/choke tube/load will do at any given range. But it has been my experience that lengthening a forcing cone a bit makes a barrel shoot better patterns as a general result.

New Member

>Shot a friend's 870 with this done a few weeks ago, then shot identical >ammo out of my non-VCS 590 and could have soiled myself at the >difference! I'm already in the process of trying to find another 590 >marinecoat barrel to send them!! Very worth the cost of a new barrel plus >the cost of the work and they also sell pre-finished barrels for 870s! Give >em a look!

Hans does good barrel work. These days the cost of getting choke tubes installed and having the forcing cone done is so close to what it costs to have him work on a barrel that it is a worthwhile option if you need more than what a factory cylinder choke will do. I'd leave off the porting though, and save $65.

Of course, YMMV...

Lee Lapin: Yeah, that's pretty much what I figured. Which is why I like "cruiser ready": if I'm going out the door, I'll probably be stuffing a slug in, maybe a coyote down in the corner, or someone around an outbuilding. Gotta see how hard the Hornady 00 hits at extended range, recoils mild. We OT here?

Apologies for the thread drift-

Bob, I think you're on target. A 'house gun' has a less demanding set of requirements than one which is likely to get taken outside. Several years ago when I was shooting 3-gun I decided to see if I could get a shotgun to perform with buckshot at longer ranges than most folks were getting out of cylinder bores and the cheapest buckshot available (mostly S&B then). I tried 'the expensive spread' (a $100 choke tube, extended forcing cone and expensive premium 000 buck ammo) and the cheap approach too (a Modified RemChoke tube and Estate SWAT 00 low recoil buck).

Well, out to about 50 yards or so there was essentially no difference save in the money spent. But from 50 yards out to 100, the high-dollar choke tube and the expensive ammo outstripped the less expensive approach. Unfortunately with that setup the slug option was sacrificed, the expensive choke tube was a no-slugs deal.

We have since moved into wide open country. Now it's 51 yards from the front door to the driveway gate, and about 150 yards from the front door to the end of the driveway. Off our property it's several hundred yards to the nearest treeline in two directions. So we have shifted hardware around a bit, the shotguns are pretty much in-house now, though they are still loaded with hoarded old-style Estate OO low recoil loads with Brenneke KO slugs in the Sidesaddle. There's a wife-approved AR carbine that stays out of the safe when we're home now, in addition to two 870s set up to fit her.

As much as I love shotguns, there are limitations to what they can do. While they surpass everything else in stopping power close up, they cannot handle long ranges. While it is unlikely that any truly defensive situation will arise at more than 100 yards, it IS possible. At 100 yards even my best setup with a shotgun and buckshot is still what is called an 'area target' weapon. That will work if there's nothing downrange but hostiles and you have no concern where stray pellets go. Those are disqualifying circumstances in most defensive cases however. (Though an elderly acquaintance in the countryside in another county used it once to put a definitive end to someone deliberately plinking at his house with a .22. After several times at bat the house-shooter caught some 000 buck while hiding in the woods at over 100 yards range. It wasn't fatal but it was very persuasive. Hostilities ceased immediately and the official report said 'hunting accident.')

wilson combat

Don't forget Wilson Combat. They work on scatterguns also. But you will pay.
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