Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Homerboy, Oct 4, 2020.
A couple buddies of mine bought some 870 Express's later around 02-05. One guy had 4 870 Express shotguns between 12 and 20 gauge. I had a 20 ga as well purchased around that time. Again, no cosmetic issues, but we all had extraction problems with both aluminum and brass cased shells with these shotguns, where the sheel would hang up in the chamber and you couldn't pump the gun without considerable force. It was blatantly obvious whenever we shot together that something was very different about my 870 that was 5 or so years older, compared to the other newer ones. I sold my 20 ga that had problems, but my buddy that had four 870's spent a lot of time on the phone with Remington. Had to send one back because he couldn't get the barrel off, turns out the barrel was warped. As far as the extraction he found if he took a fine file to a particular part of the chamber and removed some material it would fix the extraction problems.
It sounds like issues have continued from there, with Remington either doing a worse job with their parkerizing, or using a lower quality steel supplier.
Absolutely. The Express had a number of cost-cutting measures - flat/unfinished rib, poor surface finishing, and rough chambers. I don't think that any vintage was better than any other - they were made to be inexpensive by skipping many of the Wingmaster finish machining / touch labor processes.
I wound up buying chamber hones to clean them up, because it was the only way to get them to work reliably with any steel-base hulls. (Winchester SuperSpeed and similar were the worst...)
At the time I bought it, I had held a Mavrick 88 and M500. I thought they both felt clanky. Forends rattled and the pump action was loose. The Remington had none of those discrepancies, and still doesnt.
I eneded up trading it for an old 870p that was probably from the mid 1970s, which I found better in every way.
That went the way of a vintage mid 60s Ithaca DSPS which is a gem.
I finally bought a 590a1 to semi retire the Model 37, and that battle axe is my favorite gun that I own.
The Express soured me enough to stay away from the budget end of the shotgun spectrum.
Both chamber polish and increased rim clearance opposite the extractor... necessary.
(But then it runs fine.)
Then along came the Express....probably named after how it was manufactured... plastic trigger group, a few more plastic parts, and the garbage bead blasted black oxide finish youd expect from a free toolkit that was included with furniture from China where some assembly is required. The wingmaster continued on although was a higher grade and more money........
To wrap this up, every 275$ express ive used has functioned just as good as any 870 Ive Ever fired.
They just plain WORK! And so, aside from the obvious changes to make the gun less expensive, they work about the same. YRMV
As far as "smoothing out" the action on the 870, if it doesn't feed, fire, extract and eject perfectly in a 100 round range session, it needs the chamber polished, and it needs the action bars lubricated for proper break in. If the pump-action is still "sticky", you probably bent the action bars trying to extract that stuck shell. I currently own 7 different 870s, and have built several others from used parts, most of these were Express actions with the plastic trigger group. All have functioned exceptionally well after proper break in and a quick polish of the chamber.
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