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Remington 870 Police vs 870 Express HD

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Slater, Nov 15, 2008.

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  1. Slater

    Slater Member

    Jun 20, 2003
    Flagstaff AZ
    I've been looking at eventually getting an 870P. One of my buddies is saying to just stick with the 870 Express HD because the HD "does the same thing for a lot less money".

    Guess I can't really argue that point, but I like the better overall quality of the Police version. I don't know, is that justification enough for one over the other?
  2. Bill B.

    Bill B. Member

    Jun 25, 2004
    Not to me! :) Don't let that stop you from going with 870P. With guns a persons like and dislikes are largely their own. As far as function goes I don't think you will find any difference. If I liked the way the 870P either handled better or had a better feel I would go with what personally I prefer as long as I can afford the price difference. Something you may wish to look for is the 870 Express version that came with both a 28" ribbed barrel and a 20" slug barrel with sights. I did this twice and sold the 28" barrel to cut my total to $140 in the remaining 870 Express with the slug barrel. :D These make a right handy home protection shotgun. :D
  3. MAKster

    MAKster Member

    Jul 8, 2006
    In my opinion the Police is not worth an extra $250. One of the big reasons why the Police model was promoted as better than the Express was the metal trigger guard. But now the Police also comes with the plastic trigger guard like the Express.
  4. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    The Express is Remington's "Budget" 870.
    The Police is the Cadillac.

    Here's what Remington says about the differences between the Express and the Police:

    Important differences between Remington 870 Police and 870 Express shotguns

    The 870 Express has been an important part of Remington’s offering to the sporting market.
    It was designed to meet a price point in the commercial market while still providing classic 870 functionality.
    All of Remington’s 870’s have interchangeable parts, even if they have cosmetic differences.
    It is also important to note that many manufacturers use the 870 Express platform for their Police / Combat models.
    Without exception, every manufacturer who utilizes our 870 platform serves to upgrade their system to a more efficient, street worthy platform.
    While the 870 Express is still an 870, the best pump shotgun on the market, there are some very important cosmetic and functional differences between it and the 870 Police.
    To our customers in Law Enforcement, Military, Corrections, and Security, whose lives depend upon the unfailing performance of Remington shotguns, the Police modifications are of paramount importance. Synopses of the variances are provided below.

    • 870 Police shotguns go thru a special 23 station check list – ranging from visual inspection, functional testing, test firing, and final inspection.

    • All Police shotguns are assembled in a “special build area” at the plant in Ilion, NY. This section is secured and serves only to build LE and Military shotguns, with the same factory personnel working at that assignment each shift.

    • All parts that enter the “special build area” are visually inspected by hand to ensure top quality and functionality.

    • Due to heavy recoil in buck and slug loads, all 870 Police guns have a longer magazine spring which ensures positive feed and function.

    • A heavier sear spring is used to generate a reliable, positive trigger pull between 5 and 8 lbs.

    • A heavier carrier dog spring is used to ensure when the carrier elevates the shell, it will be held there until the bolt can push it into the chamber. This ensures positive feeding when using heavier payload rounds.

    • Police shotguns do not have an ISS (Integrated Safety System) which is a locking mechanism on the safety of commercial shotguns. This type of locking mechanism can cause delay to an officer who needs the weapon but does not have the appropriate key. LE shotguns have the standard, proven, cross bolt safety.

    • The fore-end on the Express model is longer and not compatible with many police shotgun vehicle racks.

    • The Police shotguns utilize the heavy duty SPEEDFEED Stocks and Fore-ends.

    • The Express model will not allow for the addition of an extension tube without physical modification to the tube and barrel, which can nullify the warranty.

    • The Express model has a BEAD BLAST BLUE finish while the Police models utilize either High Luster bluing or Parkerization.

    • The Express model utilizes a synthetic trigger housing while the Police models use a compressed metal housing.

    • The Police shotgun barrel is locked down with a “ball detent” system in conjunction with the magazine cap vs. a lesser grade “synthetic magazine spring retainer” lock down as used on the Express system.

    • The receivers used in Police guns are “vibra honed” to smooth out rough finishes and remove burrs before parkerization or bluing.

    • Police shotguns use machined ejectors and extractors, as opposed to powdered metal cast which are utilized on the Express models.

    Note that the vaunted aluminum trigger guard was actually POWDERED, COMPRESSED aluminum.
    The polymer guard has proven to be just as good as the old aluminum guard and has some advantages.
    For one, the polymer guard will bend, flex and return to usable shape, where the aluminum guard just bent and broke.
  5. MAX100

    MAX100 Member

    Aug 10, 2007
    The above sounds good but all you are getting for your $250 is extra power springs and machined extractor & ejector. The only extra power spring I would want in my 870 is an extra power mag tube spring.

    The 870 Express that comes with the factory mag tube extension doesn't have dimples, comes with a extra power mag tube spring and has the detent ball on the barrel ring like the 870P. The new Express have true 18.5" barrels and they are thicker heavier profile.

    The special build area with: same factory personnel working that are assignment each shift, check list & visual inspections are all a joke. The 870 Wingmaster is top notch "Cadillac" pump shotgun and it isn't assembled in a special build area. As for the safety, I would replace any factory 870 safety with a Vang safety.

    Save some money and buy a used 870 or a new 870 Express with Factory tube extension. Get to know 870 and smooth it out yourself. It's very easy to do and there is plenty of help and know how here on THR.

    Last edited: Nov 16, 2008
  6. PJR

    PJR Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Here's how to decide.

    Go to Ye Olde Gun Shoppe. Examine a sample of each. If you don't see a difference between the two get the Express.

    If not get the Police.

    I tried this test. I bought the Police.
  7. 357wheelgunner

    357wheelgunner Member

    Apr 23, 2004
    Rural South
    I love my Police Magnum, I hated my Express gun.

    I'm going to be buying an Express soon, but it will be for my wife who can't tell the difference between a nicely fitted gun and a wobbly beater. They'll both shoot, but I don't like the Express line.
  8. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    Mar 26, 2004
    AL, NC
    Buy used and save even more money. An older model Express gun (pre magazine tube dimples, pre plastic trigger plate) has the same internal components as a Wingmaster, just a cheaper bead blasted outside finish and cheaper wood furniture (birch vs. walnut, though one of the oldest Express guns here has matte finished factory walnut). If you know 870s well enough to pick out one that hasn't been butchered by a kitchen table gunsmith, there's no need to buy new where 870s are concerned.

    Only Wingmasters have been around long enough for a few to actually be worn out from shooting, and they are pretty easy to spot. A good used Wingmaster is as much shotgun as anyone needs, and many come in priced hundreds less than new equivalents. There's no need to turn up your nose at a used gun, unless you have more attitude than you do money.

    And while they are not as widely available as in years gone by, there are still LE trade-in 870s to be had, too. Thing is, a lot of departments are now refurbishing their 870s rather than selling them off or trading them in. There are some used 870Ps that turn up, as well as older Wingmaster marked Riot and Police guns. Many look rough externally but have barely been used, their mechanical components are still in great shape. They're worth looking for.

    As for me, I've been shooting 870s for about 40 years, and have yet to buy my first new one. I still find too many good deals on used ones.

  9. Rshooter

    Rshooter Member

    Sep 29, 2007
    I have to go with Lee on this one. My first new 870 was an 870P from my wife that matched the one I carried in the Corps. My other 870's are used WingMasters. I prefer the 50's and 60's guns that have been safe queens. Smoother than any new gun, deeper blue, and cheaper by half or more.
  10. jakemccoy

    jakemccoy Member

    May 26, 2007
    Northern California
  11. hags

    hags Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    Chain o' Lakes, Illinois
    Good advice!

    I'm split on the 870E versus the 870P. The receivers, mag. tubes, springs/followers, and foregrips are all the same. I recently pulled an 870E 25077 out of inventory for a nice "tactical" build. I swapped out the plastic trigger group for the "compressed" metal (pot metal?) found on an 870P, I swapped the follower out for a high visability follower and intended on doing the same to the mag. spring. When I pulled the mag. spring and compared it to the
    replacement "7 round extra strength" spring it was longer and stronger than the replacement spring, waste of $$$$. I also added a Speedfeed IV Tactical stock and some anti walk action screws.
    You can order IMP CYL Pollice barrels with the rifle sights from Brownells if you need the police IMP CYL barrel.
    The 870E 25077 is basically the same shotgun Wilson Combat is selling for $1275, the Wilson comes with an upgraded finish and anti walk action screws.
    I think the 870E Model 25077 is a better value versus the 870P. IMO you get 99% of the performance of the 870 for 50-60% of the cost.
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