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Comments on my two "new" 870s

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by batex, Sep 14, 2008.

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  1. batex

    batex Member

    Jun 15, 2006
    In another thread, I mentioned how I was looking at 870s at a local pawn shop. To make a long story short, I ended up with two 870s.

    The first is an Express model 28" with rib and rem choke that accepts 3" shells. Apparently, this one was made early on as it does not have the mim-extractor, nor does it have the dimples in the mag tube, but it does have an aluminum trigger guard with a finish that matches the rest of the gun. Anyone know when they changed to the plastic trigger guard, mim-extractor and dimples in the mag tube?

    The second is a Wingmaster with 30" ribbed full choke barrel. What was interesting when I broke it down was that it had a wooden magazine tube plug that looks original. I'm wondering now if there is a website that I can use to date these guns?

    I decided I would clean both today and I'm glad I did. Despite both guns appearing to be little used, both were filthy with what appeared be oil that had gummed up and became very sticky. IN fact, I would have been shocked if the express had been able to be fired it was so gummed up inside. I gave the both a thorough cleaning and lightly oiled key places.


    I've heard people say the express models are not as smooth. I could not tell the difference between these two, both seemed equally smooth to me after cleaning.

    I was also amazed at the simplicity of the design. No wonder these are the best selling pump guns by far.

    I'm pleased with both of them, and considering I gave $360 for the pair, I think I got a good deal as well.

    Now, I'm looking forward to taking these to the range and given these a workout.

    Thanks for listening.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2008
  2. rswartsell

    rswartsell Member

    Mar 4, 2008
    North Carolina
    You got a GREAT deal. Having recently purchased a used 870 Express Magnum identical to what you describe for WELL over 50% of what you paid, I'm jealous:uhoh:, and I would say that was the lesser half of what you got.
  3. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

    Dec 20, 2002
    Good deal. A couple things....

    Even with dimples, plastic parts and matte finish, the Express is a lot of shotgun. And, a few thousand rounds doth smooth them up nicely.

    The first thing I do with a used 870 is break it down and clean it.

    Remember, 870s need regular exercise.

    Re mag plugs, I've seen wood, plastic, solid steel and brass. Pick one.
  4. Jack2427

    Jack2427 Member

    Jan 17, 2005
    Many folks do not realize that the "custom" shotguns from many of those " custom rebuilders" start out as express models. Sometimes the plastic parts are replaced, but not always.

    I have an 870 from Novaks that is as good as any Wingmaster based gun, but I paid quite a bit to get it that way. Essentially I find nothing wrong with the express series, particularly for HD, where the gun does not get beat up like a military/police shotgun, and the price point puts an excllent gun in the hands of folks who might not be able to buy the Police 870 at that point in their lives.

    However, I still like the Police series when serious social work is afoot. But by nature I am a minimalist, and think I am being tacticool when I put a light on one of my shotguns. One of my faorites is a 1957 era 870 with only a mag extension added to a 20" rifle sighted barrel, and it has a speedfeed stock-the one that holds 4 rounds. When cocked, I can hold it vertical, press the unlock button and the action just falls open-not if it has a round chamberd though. Very slick, unlike my 1897s, which tend to be a little stiff for the first 100 years or so.
  5. Virginian

    Virginian Member

    Apr 7, 2003
    Williamsburg, Virginia
  6. harmonic

    harmonic member

    Aug 10, 2007
    That's not a good deal. That's highway robbery. What's your name? Midas?

    BTW, I have one of each, an Express and a Wingmaster. I must admit my Wingmaster is smoother than the Express.

    Kudos on your purchase.
  7. Jeff F

    Jeff F Member

    Mar 9, 2006
    Silver Springs NV
    That was a super deal, enjoy!
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