I know how emotional that moment is when you are in a gun shop to buy the long-awaited Remington 870 shotgun. But first, please read the following pieces of advice to make sure this purchase is pleasant and problem free. Use these tips to get a high-quality and reliable shotgun and to make educated decisions that you won’t regret.

Remington 870 for Home Defense

If you are buying a used shotgun, then you must check everything twice.

1. Bring a friend!

The best advice I can give you is to find somebody who is familiar with the Remington 870 and ask them to go with you to a gun shop. That way, you can be sure that they will inspect the gun and will be able to see if something is wrong with it.

Gun enthusiasts are usually very friendly and ready to help somebody who is willing to buy a firearm.

2. Check all metal surfaces for rust or scratches. The Remington 870 Express easily rusts and you must inspect the shotgun thoroughly. Disassemble the shotgun to check the internal surfaces too.

3. Also, check the wooden or plastic parts. Check the stock and forend for cracks and splits. This is especially important when you are buying a used shotgun.

4. Look into the barrel to see if it has any defects. The barrel itself must be straight and without bulges or dents. And of course, it must be clean so that you can actually see if it looks good or not. Remove the barrel before looking into it, safety first!

5. Visually inspect the chamber. Newer Remington 870 shotguns are known to have a rough chamber.

6. Ask permission to use dummy shells. The shop assistant will be very surprised if you start loading a shotgun in front of them!

Use dummy shells to test and see if the shotgun works properly. There are some known problems with a few models which were discussed on the blog and forum:

-Try loading the shells into the magazine tube and load the number of shells that this shotgun can accept. That way, you will check to see if there are any problems with the magazine tube, follower, or magazine spring.

-Press the action bar lock and then rack the shotgun several times. You will check if there are any feeding problems.

-Put a shell into the chamber, press the trigger, and rack the shotgun. You will check the extraction and ejection of the fired shells.

Always point the shotgun in a safe direction when checking the feeding and extraction of shells. Try racking the shotgun several times. Make sure that it works properly.

7. Find two letters on the barrel and use the Remington Serial Number Checker to find out the date in which the Remington 870 was manufactured.

8. If the shotgun has a choke system, try unscrewing the choke to be sure that it is not stuck and that it can be screwed in and out. You will have a hard time if the choke is stuck.

Remember, that you can ask for a discount if you find any defects.

Do you have any other advice about buying new or used Remington 870 shotguns?