You can improve reliability of your Remington 870 easily and for just $5. Remington 870 Police shotguns have different Carrier Latch Spring(Carrier Dog Follower Spring). It is from model 1100, the Remington part number F16966.

Standard Carrier Dog Follower Spring is silver, Remington 870 Police spring (from model 1100) is black:

Heavier carrier latch spring improves reliability and may fix feeding problems if you have them. The main purpose of this spring is to lift next round which comes out of a magazine tube. Remington 870 Police carrier latch spring (1100) will do this much better.

Remington 870 Carrier Dog Follower Spring (Standard, Police)
Remington 870 Carrier Dog Follower Spring (Standard, Police)

Tool which helps changing carrier latch spring: Carrier Pivot Slave Pin and Silver Bullet

How to replace Carrier Latch Spring (Carrier Dog Spring):

This upgrade is higly recommended. It is one of those upgrades which are not visible for others but improve reliability of your Remington 870 shotgun and not just for looks.

Recommended Product:
Heavier Carrier Dog Spring for Remington 870
Heavier Carrier Dog Spring for Remington 870
Get heavier carrier dog spring on Brownells


  1. No, it doesn’t lift the round, it simply returns the carrier to the bottom position (this spring does that faster, that’s it), what actally lifts the round is the action arms by the force applied by the shooter when they activate the action.

    1. Ryno, here is what Remington says: “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.”

      1. Synchronizor

        What you said is correct, but you seem to be misinterpreting it. The slide assembly acts directly on the carrier dog to flip up the carrier. This is a direct mechanical actuation, no force is transmitted through the spring to lift the carrier up. What the spring does is hold the carrier dog against the slide assembly so it can engage, hold the carrier in the “up” position once it’s there, and hold the carrier in the “down” position when the bolt is in battery.

        A heavier carrier dog follower spring will make the carrier function slightly more reliably, but it will not give it a “stronger lift”, as many seem to mistakenly believe.

  2. Ryno, in MOST cases you are correct. I own several shotguns where the force of the action is what brings the shell up and into place. However, the 870 DOES depend on this spring to bring the shell up. As you you cycle the action to the rear the carrier will lift slightly to cradle the shell as it is released from the magazine. When you cycle forward the action trips the spring and the carrier is snapped up to place the shell in position. Yes, if you slam the action forward it does bring the carrier up faster. However, with the use of this spring you have less chance of a delayed feed due to heavier loads (buck, slug, etc..). The spring has much more tension and will bring the shell in faster. If you have time, watch the carrier as you SLOWLY cycle your EMPTY 870. Hopefully this sheds a little light.

  3. hi where could i get the piece that the spring goes into?
    thanks mik

  4. Before I changed to this spring my 870 Express had feeding problem. If I pumped the forend very fast the shell would always get stuck at the bottom of the barrel which indicated that the carrier dog dropped just a little bit too soon. After I changed to this spring, the problem’s gone. Now I can pump as fast as I can, and it will cycle flawlessly!

    Thanks for all the useful informations you provide Vitaly. Really appreciate them all!

    1. The heavier spring may have helped, but it sounds like there was something else going on. The semi-auto Remington 1100 uses the same carrier dog follower spring as the 870, and the 1100’s gas system cycles the action a lot faster than you could work a pump. If the factory carrier dog follower spring didn’t look like it was damaged or broken, there’s probably something else that needs to be fixed.

      1. I believed my problem came from installing the Mesa Tactical Side Saddle to my gun. I noticed that the pins that were used to attach the side saddle to the gun were a little smaller in diameter than Remington stock pins.

        With Mesa Tactical pins installed, the front part of the trigger group would stay about 2-3 millimeters lower than when using stock pins. When the carrier dog was in the up position, it stayed about 5 millimeters lower compare to when using stock pins.

        At first, I tried to bend the tip of the carrier dog upward. It helped improve the feeding a little bit. If I pumped fast (not as fast as I can, just fast), I would get shell stuck less often. But when pumped as fast as I could, it would always get stuck.

        I couldn’t bend the carrier dog too much. ‘Cause, if I bend it too high, it would block the shell from coming out of the magazine.

        The new spring really did solve my feeding problem. With this stronger spring, it seems that the carrier dog tries to stay up as long as it can before it is forced to fall. I still don’t fully understand how each part interact with other parts when I pump the gun, but just install this new spring help make my gun run more reliable.

      2. Firebrick43

        For the average shooter a gas semi auto can cycle faster but for a trained individual a pump gun is faster than a gas semi auto. Some of the inertia systems can be “”nearly”” as fast though.

  5. Great stuff, definitely worth it. Snychro, I think at one time the rem 1100 may have used the express spring but it doesn’t any longer. It uses the rem 870P spring, it’s black, express spring is silver.

    1. I think you’re confusing the carrier LATCH spring with the carrier DOG FOLLOWER spring. Semi-auto shotguns like the 1100 have a carrier latch spring AND a carrier dog follower spring, while 870s only have carrier dog follower springs; and the standard 870 carrier dog follower spring is shared by its semi-auto relatives. It’s also not just an Express part, the same spring is used in all 870s except for the Police and Marine Magnum models. You can refer to the parts list and exploded diagrams on Remington’s website if you want confirmation.

      The two often get confused, even by people who are fairly familiar with the 870, but they serve entirely different functions in a semi-auto shotgun. However, the springs are similar enough in size that a carrier latch spring can serve as an extra-heavy carrier dog follower spring if desired.

  6. Vitaly do you think you could do a how to video on smoothing up the action?

    1. Sure, I will. But the best way to smooth the action naturally is to shoot more :) I trained a group of shooters this week end. One of them just bought Remington 870P, action was VERY stiff.

  7. Mason Allen

    i am building a list of upgrades for my 870. the 2 real upgrades and not just accessories(like mag extender etc.) are this spring and trigger assm. it is my understanding if you upgrade to a police trigger assm (all metal, no plastic) this spring is included, correct?

  8. It is my understanding that older 870’s may have been manufactured with some superior parts compared to some of those used in newer models. Would you recommend this upgrade for an 870 Wingmaster manufactured in 1963?

    1. Only if you have problems with it. Older 870s are believed to be much better than newer ones. Good old 870s often have better and sturdier parts.

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Sign up to the Newsletter and get "10 Tips to Building a Tactical Remington 870" ebook: