REMINGTON 870: The rise and fall of an American icon

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CowboyTutt
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REMINGTON 870: The rise and fall of an American icon

Post by CowboyTutt »

I thought this was a pretty well researched YouTube video on the venerable Rem 870 and how to make them reliable. Meanwhile, I'll keep my Ithaca 37 L.A.P.D. commemorative. :D -Tutt

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6gDEnUs9o4
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Re: REMINGTON 870: The rise and fall of an American icon

Post by AJMD429 »

I always thought the Ithaca 37’s were great.
Never owned one, nor an 870, though. Just Mossbergs.
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44shooter
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Re: REMINGTON 870: The rise and fall of an American icon

Post by 44shooter »

I took my Express out today turkey hunting. The 21 inch Rem choke barrel is handy. I put in an IC and OO buck for the bedroom corner. Never had a function problem. The finish is very cheap though. Got mine around 1990. My 870 functions much better than the gorgeous Weatherby 92 i sold to get it.
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Re: REMINGTON 870: The rise and fall of an American icon

Post by .45colt »

I have never had an 870 express. but I have owned four Wingmasters , three 12's and a 20. in the 70's and early 80's I was shooting eight boxes of my reloads a week for trap & skeet. the Wingmasters were dead reliable and never needed anything but regular cleaning . A field 12, a TB Trap and a slug gun. It was a different world then........
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Re: REMINGTON 870: The rise and fall of an American icon

Post by horsesoldier03 »

I have had the 870 Wingmaster from the 60s that was extremely nice as far as I am concerned for a shotgun. It had a fixed IC choke but held a good pattern out to 30-35 yards. But my favorite has been my 870 Express that also has the 21" REMCHOKE Barrel with Iron Sights. I keep a FULL Choke in it loaded with #4 birdshot for in the house. But I have an I/C and an IMPROVED/MODIFIED Choke that I use for 00 Buck and #4 buckshot respectively. The best combo IMO seems to be the IMP MOD with the #4 buck. It is deadly out to 60 yards to just about anything a man might need to shoot. I bought it at a pawn shop for $100, all the finish had come off of it and it was pretty bad with surface rust. I cleaned it up and painted it with some Krylon BBQ flat black paint. It carries good and I dont worry if it gets abused a little, it will take it!
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Re: REMINGTON 870: The rise and fall of an American icon

Post by JOG »

I've always owned Remington 870's Wingmasters and 1100's! I've never had one problem with either Remington.
The semi auto 1100 doesn't like light loads, I always shoot over one ounce or heaver loads in the 1100 without issues.
My favorite is the old school Remington model 31. They haven't been made since 1949. I still haven't found one reasonably priced!
If I'm wrong on the last year of manufacture Sixgun will post the correct day, hour, year of manufacture! :mrgreen:

Update April 24, Today while at the local gun shop I found a beat up example of a Remington 31.
This is the field version in 20 gauge with a 26 inch barrel, IC chocked model all steel version.
Looks to be mid 1940's because of the 2nd style trigger guard. Great pump action bird gun!
They wanted $375.00 for the old shotgun. Seems a bit overpriced, but I wanted one for about 10 years now.
I passed on one a few years ago because it was a super fancy skeet or trap model.
They wanted somewhere around $850.00.
I just wanted a field version to kick around the woods with.
Since I cant afford a Parker and I like old pump action shotguns, I'll jump on this old Remmy!
Pristine on the inside, a bit beaten up on the outside.
Looking forward to walking a few woodlots this fall with the old girl!
Last edited by JOG on Sat Apr 24, 2021 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: REMINGTON 870: The rise and fall of an American icon

Post by piller »

My son now has my old 1981 or 1982 20 gauge Wingmaster with fixed Modified Cylinder choke. It took a few pheasant in its lifetime and still looks great. It has been adjusted for his shooting. Right hand hold left eye dominant. If he puts his cheek to the stock, it hits right where he is looking. That gun has never given any trouble.
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Re: REMINGTON 870: The rise and fall of an American icon

Post by EdinCT »

I 've owned an 870 Special purpose parkerized finish when they came out in the 1980s or so and it was a fine shotgun that I used for ducks, deer and turkeys. I gave one of my sons a 870 20 ga youth that he shot rabbits and dear with,( hope he still has it) I also owned two 1100's in 12 that I sold off when steel became the law of the land and a 20 ga lightweight that had a skeet and a 23 inch modified barrel. They seemed bomb proof and I knew a man that sent a 1100 to Bridgeport to have his skeet gun rebuilt at around 75000 rounds.
Breaks my heart to see Remington now. When I was a young man I felt like I had really arrived whenever I bought a Remington Gun.
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Re: REMINGTON 870: The rise and fall of an American icon

Post by Griff »

I won a Remington 870 16 ga Wingmaster in 1972. One $5 raffle ticket is all it took. I took it, and the Navy Exchange receipt back to the Exchange, paid the $6 difference and took the 12 ga Modified 28" Wingmaster back to the ship and three days later we sailed for VietNam. In 1976 I bought a 26" Skeet bbl for it and shot many thousands of Peter's Blue Magics thru it. The 28" Modified proved to be well suited for doves, I'd have probably killed a lot more of 'em if I knew how to cook 'em! Knock on wood,, in the 49 years I've owned it, it... like the 1980 mdl 700 have never needed to visit a gunsmith, just routine cleaning! I'm with EdinCT over the state Remington's in.
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Re: REMINGTON 870: The rise and fall of an American icon

Post by Old Savage »

Thousands through an 870 20 GA. Express and an 11-87, no problems!
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Re: REMINGTON 870: The rise and fall of an American icon

Post by Blaine »

I prefer doubles for hunting and clay sports, but the 870 Tactical sits at the ready, with 00 buck, in case I need a street sweeper when the marauding mulattos or red hoards strike. :wink:
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Scott Tschirhart
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Re: REMINGTON 870: The rise and fall of an American icon

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

My favorite 870. Runs like a sewing machine, but a lot louder.
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buckeyeshooter
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Re: REMINGTON 870: The rise and fall of an American icon

Post by buckeyeshooter »

The last 870's I saw had gone to a plastic trigger guard and other 'cheapening' cuts. I was told if you wanted one made like a 80's or earlier 870 that you had to order a specific millitary/ law enforcement model. I have had 1 870 over the last 60 years. I do own an 11-48, 11-87 and SP-10 that all work great. But the newest of those is mid 80's manufacture. For pumps, I have 2 winchester 97's (12) and a model 12 trap in 12 and a 16 ga model 12.
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Re: REMINGTON 870: The rise and fall of an American icon

Post by Rusty »

I have an 870 lightweight youth model that is meant to be a turkey gun. I picked it up at the LGS and just had to have it. It has the express finish but they say it will get loose after a while. I also have a full sized 20 gauge wingmaster and a 12 ga police magnum. They all run flawlessly. I saw a video on Youtube that said Remington was going to bring in a light crew of workers and start making 870s again. I'm guessing they have plenty of left over parts at this time.
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Re: REMINGTON 870: The rise and fall of an American icon

Post by GunnyMack »

I bought a used Wingmaster in the late 80s. I got it with a 28" modified and a 20" slug barrel( smooth bore). I also picked up a 30" full barrel. Ive since put choke tubes in the 28", ported the 30" , honed the full choke some and it throws 00 like nothing I've ever seen, 9 pellets out of 12 in the vitals at 50 yards- always puts a whole pattern on a deer, 4bk is just too destructive on shoulders but great when head shots are available.
The only problem I ever had with my 870 was I broke the action bar assembly once. Simple fix and cheap from Gunparts.
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Re: REMINGTON 870: The rise and fall of an American icon

Post by piller »

Being able to fix things easily, such as that broken action bar, are another nice feature of most older and good pump action shotguns. Looking at one of the 870s in my house, I think I could replace an action bar without any trouble. There are some parts I wouldn't even try to touch on other guns.
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Re: REMINGTON 870: The rise and fall of an American icon

Post by 1894c »

I transitioned from a Remington 870 Police Magnum (870P) to a Benelli Super-Nova Tactical (see photo). My LE Agency has been buying Mossberg 590's to replace old 870's. I personally went to the Benelli because I lost confidence in the Freedom Group Remington 870 anything... :)
20145 SuperNova Tac RS.png
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CowboyTutt
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Re: REMINGTON 870: The rise and fall of an American icon

Post by CowboyTutt »

From what I have read and I think was in the video link, the police versions were the best of the 870 breed even when the cheaper models were being produced. Might have been cheaper to just replace them with 590's then repair them. Benelli makes a fine gun.

-Tutt
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Old Savage
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Re: REMINGTON 870: The rise and fall of an American icon

Post by Old Savage »

Can't agree. Don't know of any problems with 870s with friends and one put 50,000 rds through one. Certainly none with my 20 GA. Express but it only has a couple thousand through it.
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Re: REMINGTON 870: The rise and fall of an American icon

Post by piller »

If the 870 is brought back out with quality material and well fitted parts as it was designed to have, then it should make sales. My old Wingmaster is still slick enough to move with only a finger and a thumb tip and practically no force needed at all. I have a Mossberg, too. Both are good, but the old Remington is just a little better.
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Re: REMINGTON 870: The rise and fall of an American icon

Post by CowboyTutt »

I'm personally glad to hear about all the positive reactions to the lesser made Remington 870's. Personally, I have no dog in this fight. I prefer my Ithaca 37. Just posting an interesting YouTube video from someone whose opinion is worth looking into as he has repaired a few of them. That's all. Glad most of you have had better experiences. No harm on me or anyone I think for posting and the upgrades he prescribes might be very worthwhile for some. A improved Rem 870 as Pillar posted would be highly desirable.

-Tutt
"It ain't dead! As long as there's ONE COWBOY taking care of ONE COW, it ain't dead!!!" (the Cowboy Way)
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Re: REMINGTON 870: The rise and fall of an American icon

Post by RIHMFIRE »

Wingmasters for me
20160813_221639.jpg
and Berettas

Time to hit the skeet range too!
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