Remington 870 Shotgun FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
The most Frequently Asked Questions about Remington 870 shotgun…
1. Rifled or smooth bore barrel?
Majority of shotguns come with smooth bore barrel. Rifled barrels for shotguns are not as popular as smooth bore barrels. There are many different types of barrels for Remington 870 shotgun.
Smooth barrel can be used with slugs, birdshot and slugs. Rifled barrel is designed specially for spin-stabilized slugs which are more accurate especially on longer distances. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t use it with other types of ammunition.
Rifled barrels require more time and efforts for cleaning.
2. What gauge? 12 or 20?
The most common gauges of Remington 870 are 12 and 20. 12 gauge is more popular and widely used. It is believed that 20 gauge shotgun is better for women and teenagers because recoil is softer, shotgun is lighter.
There is no much difference between 12 gauge and 20 gauge in home defense situation but gauge is very important for hunting. 20 gauge is as effective as 12 gauge on close distance.
The selection of ammo for 12 gauge shotgun is much wider than for 20 gauge. 12 gauge ammo is easier to find.
Anyway, you may choose 20 gauge if you recoil sensitive.
There are also Remington 870 shotguns in 16, 28 and 410 gauge but they are even less popular.
3. Are Remington 870 barrels interchangeable?
Most of the barrels are interchangeable but there is Remington 870 Tactical model with one piece magazine tube which has barrels which will fit only that model.
4. Is it possible to get oversized safety?
Yes, you can install oversized safety which is easier to disengage under stress or when using gloves. There are several types of aftermarket safety buttons for Remington 870.
5. Can I change wood stock of my Remington 870?
There are many aftermarket stocks available for your Remington 870 shotgun. You may choose plastic or wooden stock. There are pistol grip stocks or classic ones. Some people even choose pistol grip without stock to make Remington 870 as compact as possible.
6. Can I have better magazine follower?
Yes, you can easily replace standard follower with one of the many aftermarket Remington 870 followers. Some of them have very nice additional features which improve feeding.
7. What sights available for my shotgun?
8. Is it possible to install scope or red dot sight on Remington 870?
There are several ways of installation of scope or red dot sight on Remington 870 shotgun. If receiver of your shotgun is drilled and tapped, you can buy rail and install it on top of the receiver. If it is not you may drill and tap receiver of your shotgun yourself. Sometimes it is better to let a professional gunsmith do it.
9. What is the best way to attach tactical flashlight on my shotgun?
There are many ways to attach tactical flashlight to Remington 870 shotgun. You may get clamp, magnetic clamp, strap or forend light.
10. What is the magazine capacity of Remington 870 shotguns?
Standard magazine capacity of Remington 870 without magazine extension is 4+1 (in chamber). But you can install magazine extension and extend magazine capacity as much as you need. There are many different Remington and aftermarket magazine extensions from +1 to +6 rounds. You will need +1, +2 or +3 magazine extension for home defense, longer magazine extensions are used by competition shooters.
11. What variations of the 870 are avilable?
There are many models of Remington 870 available: Express, Wingmaster, Police, Marine, Deer etc. There are different types of stocks, finishes, barrels available.
12. What is the difference between the Police and the Express models?
There are many minor differences between Police and Express models. The main differences are better finish, metal trigger group, non-MIM extractor, heavier sear and carrier dog springs and other.
13. What is the difference between the Wingmaster and the Express models?
Finish of the shotgun and wood of the stock and forend are different. The Remington 870 Express model has a parkerized matte finish which easily rusts. Express model comes with laminate stock and forend. The Wingmaster has a blued finish and a walnut stock.
14. Is there a better magazine spring?
You will need longer magazine spring if you have magazine extension installed. Some shooters prefer longer magazine spring for more reliable feeding. There are two good manufacturers of high-quality magazine springs for shotguns: Wolff and Nordic Components. I prefer Nordic Components magazine springs.