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10 Steps to Upgrade Your Remington 870 Express to Police Version

30 July 201220 comments Accessories, Advice, Best, Upgrades

10 Steps to Upgrade Your Remington 870 Express to Police Version

UPDATED POST: 10 Steps to Upgrade Your Remington 870 Express to Police Version

Ok, Remington 870 Police is very cool, it is the top level Remington 870 shotgun but it is also more expensive. Also, if you are not in US, it could be difficult to find the Remington 870 Police version.

Remington 870 Police is believed to be more reliable and sturdy than Remington 870 Express shotgun. Let’s see how you can upgrade your Remington 870 Express. Upgrades are not as expensive as you may think.

Here are 10 steps to upgrade your Remington 870 Express to Police version…

Step 1, Selecting a Good Remington 870

Check the Remington 870 you are going to buy. Take snap caps with you and check if everything is good when loading shells into magazine tube. Check if that shotgun extracts all shells reliably. Check finish of the shotgun. Disassemble shotgun and check barrel, it is very important to check chamber, it should not have marks, it should be smooth. Inspect all parts.

Step 2, Upgrading Magazine Spring

Nordic Components Magazine Spring

Nordic Components Magazine Spring

870 Police guns have a longer magazine spring, so we need a better one which ensures positive feed and function. The best magazine spring available for Remington 870 is Nordic Components magazine spring. Don’t look no further, I’ve checked many of them and there is no spring better.

Recommended Products:
Nordic Components Magazine Spring for Remington 870

Nordic Components Magazine Spring for Remington 870

You can get Nordic Components Magazine Spring for Remington 870 on Brownells

Step 3, Upgrading Sear Spring

Remington 870 Sear Spring

Remington 870 Sear Spring

Remington 870 Police has a heavier sear spring. It is very easy to change it, just follow instructions here: Remington 870 Sear Springs (Light Pull, Standard, Police (Heavy))

You can get heavier spring here:

Step 4, Upgrading Carrier Dog Spring

Carrier elevates the shell and it will be held there until the bolt can push it into the chamber. Carrier dog spring upgrade upgrade ensures positive feeding when using heavier rounds.

Carrier dog spring upgrade is very simple, you will find instructions here: Remington 870 Carrier Latch Spring Upgrade

You can get heavier carrier dog spring here:

Step 5, Install Shorter Forend

Speedfeed Law Enforcement Forend for Remington 870

Speedfeed Law Enforcement Forend for Remington 870

Remington 870 Police has shorter Speedfeed forend with deep grooves.

Recommended Product:
Speedfeed Law Enforcement Forend

Speedfeed Law Enforcement Forend

You can get Speedfeed Law Enforcement Forend for Remington 870 on Brownells

Step 6, Install Speedfeed Stock

Heavy duty Speedfeed stocks are installed on Remington 870 Police versions. It is easy to buy and install one.

Speedfeed Law Enforcement Stock

Speedfeed Law Enforcement Stock

Recommended Product:
Speedfeed Law Enforcement Stock

Speedfeed Law Enforcement Stock

You can get Speedfeed Law Enforcement Stock on Brownells

Step 7, Install Magazine Extension

Remington 870 Police has factory magazine extension installed. Please not that you may need to remove dimples inside the magazine tube.

Recommended Product:
Remington 870 Magazine Extensions

Remington 870 Magazine Extensions

Get Remington 870 Magazine Extension on Brownells

Step 8, Install Police Trigger Group

Remington 870 Police Trigger Group

Remington 870 Police Trigger Group

Trigger group on Remington 870 police is made of metal, it is believed to be more durable.

You can get it here:

Step 9, Install Non-MIM Extractor

Police version of a shotgun has non-MIM extractor which is more reliable. It is easy to install it.

Recommended Product:
Remington 870 Non MIM Extractor

Remington 870 Non MIM Extractor

Get Remington 870 Non MIM Extractor here:

Step 10, Paint Your Shotgun

Finish is much better on Remington 870 Police. You need to get Duarcoat or other gun paint and paint your shotgun in color you like. Coating will protect your shotgun from scratches and rust. Related post: Painting Remington 870 Shotgun with Gun Kote

That’s all, now your Remington 870 Express is upgraded to Police version! :)

Related Post:

5 Best Aftermarket Stocks for Remington 870

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  1. NYShooter August 1, 2012

    Step 2. Most would consider the springs from Wolff to be the best on the market, and that is what many custom 870 builders use.

    Step 3. is incorrect. At one time many LE agencies chose the heavier sear spring for liability reasons (to protect against a trigger-happy rookie, for example). As of several years ago, both the Express and Police use the identical spring – the one from the Express.

    Step 6. One can specify one of three different SpeedFeed stocks: sport, IV-S or I; the Blackhawk SpecOps stock; or the Remington LE short LOP

    Step 7. is incorrect. Most 870 Police are 4+1 (no extension). If one were to install an extension, it would not be a Remington factory extension but, perhaps a Wilson Combat.

    Step 8. is incorrect. The polymer trigger guards on the Express are known to be more durable than the pressed metal guards of the Police. Remington is beginning to transition Police guns to the same polymer guards as used on the Express.

    • Vitaly Pedchenko August 7, 2012

      NYShooter, thanks for your comment!

      2. I know that Wolff springs are popular, but I don’t think that they are best on the market. The same thing with Wilson Combat follower which is popular but not the best one.

      3. Thanks for the info! Didn’t know about that.

      6. Thanks for the additional info.

      7. Yes, most of them don’t have extension but Remington 870 Police MAX has a 2 shot magazine extension tube from Remington.

      8. Wow! Didn’t know about that thanks. Still many shooters prefer metal trigger guards :)

      • NYShooter August 7, 2012

        While there may be better springs than Wolff, I have yet to find one. Which do you think are better? I agree the Wilson follower is just “OK’. I have been using the S&J Hardware follower for a few years and it’s been perfect.

        • Vitaly Pedchenko August 8, 2012

          NYShooter, I haven’t seen spring better than one from Nordic Components. It looks and works perfectly and also has black coating. The worst spring is from Choate, it looks like it was made manually with a hammer and a piece of wire!

  2. JonSEAZ August 6, 2012

    Check out and Google J.D. McGuire & aippi for J
    D’s comments on various gun forums about what the differences are between 870 Express models and the 870 Police. JD is the owner of AI&P Tactical. He builds LE and HD shotguns on the 870 platform and knows the 870 inside and out. He has strong opinions and is not afraid to express them, so don’t expect any PC or pussyfooting from him, but only straight-up information. I think many will be surprised to learn that only the carrier dog spring and the non-MIM extractor currently are the essential differences between the shotgun models. The metal trigger housing advantage is a matter of opinion, and the express model may be dehorned and Parkerized or else KG Gun Kote finished to equal the Police model finish. The rest of the springs and parts are the same between the two models.

    • Vitaly Pedchenko August 7, 2012

      Jon, thanks for your comment. Yes, I know AIPTactical website and really like it.

    • NYShooter August 7, 2012

      I know J.D.and have even purchased a gun from him last year. You may want to ask him if the magazine springs in the 6+1 are identical, or not. Also ask him about whether or not he considers the polymer trigger housing on the Express more durable than the pressed metal on the Police. Having owned and built many 870s over the past forty years, it is not a matter of opinion as to which trigger guard is superior. If you believe the metal guard is superior, you have been drinking the Remington marketing Kool-Aid. However, you are correct, the two essential differences between the guns are the extractor and the carrier dog follower spring. That’s why #4 and #9 are correct in the original article. #5 is also correct; I always install the short Speedfeed forend on all my 870s.

      • JonSEAZ August 11, 2012

        I don’t know JD personally, but I have bought barrels and parts from him and had E-mail conversation with him. My understanding from JD’s various comments and from studying the Remington parts list, as well as having myself owned and worked on various Remingtons, including Express, Police, and Marine Magnum models with extended magazines, a common spring is used for all 870s with magazine extensions. That may not always have been the case, but seemingly is the case now. As for the trigger housings, JD clearly states that the polymer housing is the strongest, and he links to the Ruger tests on their polymer housings as an example. Still, many would argue. JD says that he uses the polymer housing on his personal shotguns. Myself, I like the feel of metal, but compressed (sintered) aluminum alloy does not inspire much confidence. I currently have two shotguns with the metal housings, an 11-87 Police and an 870 I built on a like-new Sportsman receiver which came with the metal housing. I have run the 870 through the Front Sight shotgun course three times without any trouble from it, other than a couple of small nicks to the finish, which is another issue with the metal housings. The polymer is black all the way through and while a polymer housing may suffer a gouge here and there they hardly show. I have run my Marine Magnum through a front sight course and its polymer housing shows no damage at all. I always install the short pull Speedfeed pistol grip butt stock and short forend on my 870s. I use the pistol grip stock only because I have a damaged right wrist which makes it difficult for me to use a standard stock. I just now am setting up another 870. This one is a new Express which comes with a pistol grip only, a short forend, and a Remington factory installed extension and clamp. I will replace the spring and the extractor, add the Speedfeed IV-s Shortened Tactical Stock Set, and exchange the factory barrel for a Carlson chrome lined 18.5″ barrel threaded for Rem chokes. I also will refinish the gun with either manganese Parkerize or KG Gun Kote. The barrel for Midway comes with a CYL choke and I have ordered IC, Mod, and Full chokes, as well as a Carlson “close range” Extended Steel Shot choke tube, which is the same ID as the IC. I am getting old, so this well may be my last shotgun build. After I get it the way I want it, I figure that I will have to give it a try out at Front Sight, which may be the last time I do their shotgun course, too. The pistol courses are not so bad, but the shotgun course is a bit trying for an old man.

  3. jpfrog August 13, 2012

    These steps for upgrading can prove to be very useful, and there is a lot of good information and insight into the differences between an upgraded police version and the entry level express version. However, readers should also be cautioned that if they want to obtain a police, or similar version shotgun for home defense, they should really look at price. The upgrades above, without the costs associated with shipping, run the reader (at time of this comment being written) just over $350 US. The cost of a new 870 Express is roughly $300 US…with the upgrades, that’s over $650, and closer to $700 to $750 with taxes and shipping.

    If the reader already has a donor 870 Express, the upgrades may be a wise option, but if the reader is buying a new gun, buying the Police version will likely be cheaper than buying an Express and making all of the above upgrades. Additionally, the Police version is similar to the Wingmaster version in terms of the bolt and smooth action…overall just better out of the box quality than the Express even with the upgrades. Of course, modifications and tweaks can be made to replicate the Police bolt and action smoothness, but that costs more money and time as well.

    Overall though, this article is great food for thought for anyone wanting to upgrade their Express or considering purchasing a new home defense pump shotgun in general…well written!

    • NYShooter August 13, 2012

      These are the costs for doing the upgrades: Forged extractor-$14.99; carrier dog follower spring-$3.40 (directly from Remington Parts, $4.99 from Brownells); Wolff extra power spring-$8.99 Total: $27.38

      Those are only upgrades that matter and differentiate the Express from the Police. The choice of stocks and forends is optional and personal. However, I do always purchase a Wilson 2-shot extension for an 870 ($45).

      • Vitaly Pedchenko August 13, 2012

        NYShooter, you are right, but in my opinion one of the costly upgrades is finish, which is much better on a Police version.

  4. Robert Cooper January 9, 2014

    I have a Remington 870 Express Tactical Magpul. This model comes with the plastic magazine spring retainer. This piece appears to be a weak point much like the cheap plastic follower that comes standard. I am replacing the follower with a metal one from Brownells. Does anyone make a metal replacement for this part? My best option seems to be to buy an old barrel and magazine cap with the cap or try to find someone who can custom mill a metal replacement for this piece. Thanks!

  5. Mike Robertson April 13, 2014

    Great recommendations for springs and items most overlooked, when doing a conversion. most people just look at the common plastic bolts on components and leave it at that.

    PAINTING : I recommend looking into as opposed to other painting manufacturers. The website gives a city and state finder for Cerakote applicators in your area. you can easily rattle can these components, however for a professional durable long-lasting finish, Ceracoar is a much more viable process.
    good luck and plan first then practice your home self-defense strategy.
    All the best

  6. Ellen Mandanna June 19, 2014

    This post is very helpful for people that want to turn their Remington 870 into a Police version and are not from the US (just like me), so thank you for this! And these upgrades are not even close to what being as expensive as I thought they would be. For example, the Non-IMM extractor is just $18 and it’s a very important piece.

  7. Mike In Idaho September 22, 2014

    The way it has been explained to me was that i cannot convert my express 870 to the police because they are different from the very start of the build at the factory. I can Upgrade to my heats content but i will never have an actual police version if I start with a regular version. The reason for this kind of made me feel a little anger really. apparently the police version is built in an entirely different section of the plant than the regular ones, Quality Control is amplified in this section, parts that are not good enough for a police version are kicked back into the regular build section. Tolerances are closer here in the police version section, ONE builder is responsible for the build, if it’s time to go home in the middle of a build on a police version, no one touches that build till that same worker comes back the next day. so the initial build of the gun is better in every respect. Also, not that it matters a whole bunch since I do not have a police rack to install my gun in : The fore-end on the Express model is longer and not compatible with many police shotgun vehicle racks.
    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. so i don’t know what the heck this articles talking about PAINTING MY SHOT GUN! YIKES! I can see nothing but extra bad cheapness look from doing that.
    Im thinking all th other differences are mentioned but these here are plenty to just give up and get a real police version. having the reg express is fine, I decided that if I am going to own a police version I will buy a second one, until then I think spending the cash for the fullest upgrade I can get on this reg one is futile.

    • robert September 23, 2014

      I started to upgrade my Remington 870 Express Magpul Tactical. The more I learned about the internal components of this gun, the more disappointed I got. The entire gun is a shoddy, piece of junk. The information you cite is correct but beyond that are the materials of construction of the components. The springs are all different, many pieces are MIM (cheap injection moulded process using little metal beads) or plastic. I will never purchase another Remington firearm. I grew up using quality Remington products but those do not exist at Remington today.

  8. Kevin February 22, 2015

    Hi, anyone have any idea what I should cut my Nordic spring length down to for my +2 extension I have on my 12g. I’m in going to replace the old one and want better for more reliable feeding etc…Should I cut it to the exact length the one I’m replacing is or just a bit longer. Thanks for any help…

  9. Ken in georgia January 15, 2016

    Will these tips help 870 express super mag?


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