As you know, I am a very active competitive shooter. I mostly participate in practical shotgun shooting matches such as the IPSC (International Practical Shooting Confederation). I have used the Benelli Supernova in competitions but decided to go back to the Remington 870 this year. The long 28-inch barrel is perfect for that purpose. It has replaceable chokes and the barrel is long enough for all types of targets. I am going to use the short barrel for home defense and the tactical shotgun for shooting matches.

 Remington 870 Combo

Remington 870 Combo

The Remington 870 is not a common shotgun for such competitions and it requires some modifications and upgrades. I will have a series of posts and videos about preparing the shotgun for competitions. I think it would be extremely interesting and useful for all Remington 870 owners.

First, a couple of words about my brand new Remington 870 Combo. As always, it comes in a simple carton box. The shotgun comes with the barrel removed. You will find two barrels inside: the 28-inch ventilated rib barrel with the modified choke installed and with bead sight, and the 20-inch barrel with rifle sight. There is also an instruction book, lock, magazine plug, and choke tube wrench.
The lock is a little different from the one which I got in 2008. Also, the new stock and forend are made of very nice wood. The laminate wood stock and forend on my first shotgun had a light brown color and looked cheaper. The current set has a dark brown color and looks and feels like real wood.

The capacity of the shotgun is 5 rounds. You need to purchase the magazine extension separately to be able to load more rounds. But first, you need to remove the dimples inside of the magazine tube. I will have a long +8 rounds magazine extension for competitions and +3 magazine extension for home defense use with the short barrel.

I checked the barrel and all the external and internal surfaces of the shotgun and found no problems, scratches or rust. The barrels and chambers are smooth inside but I will polish the chamber to have a more reliable extraction of the fired shells.

Remington 870 MIM Extractor

Remington 870 MIM Extractor

Remington 870 Factory Follower

Remington 870 Factory Follower

I have a MIM-extractor and standard follower in my new shotgun. I plan to test them to see if my first impression about them was right. I always recommend replacing the factory extractor with a non-MIM extractor or Volquartsen extractor. Also, I think it’s a good idea to change the factory follower. But I will give those parts one more chance to show that they are reliable enough.

Remington 870 Factory Safety Button

Remington 870 Factory Safety Button

An oversized safety button is another upgrade which can save you some time and enable you to disengage the safety faster. This is especially important when you’re under competition stress.

The barrel/magazine tube clamp that I plan to use is the lightweight CDM Gear BMT Jr Clamp. It holds the magazine extension and barrel in a reliable way and it prevents damage from bumps and hits. It is as lightweight as possible and looks perfect for a competitive shotgun.

Remington 870 Factory Bead Sight

Remington 870 Factory Bead Sight

The bead sight is not enough for fast target acquisition so I will install an additional light gathering sight. That is going to be one of the many available sights: EasyHit, HiViz, TruGlo etc. They make aiming much more comfortable and easier for the shooter. And also, they don’t cost much.
Chokes are required for a competition shotgun, so I decided to get a set of Remington chokes. You will find an Improved Cylinder and Full choke in this set. Not only do they look awesome, but the choke tube wrench and a magazine cap with a sling swivel are included.

What else can be done to make the Remington 870 more effective as a competition shotgun?
I plan to replace the wood stock and forend with the Hogue Short LOP overmolded stock and forend. They are simple, reliable, easy to use and inexpensive.

Remington 870 Front Rifle Sight

Remington 870 Front Rifle Sight

Remington 870 Rear Rifle Sight

Remington 870 Rear Rifle Sight

I’m not sure if I want to do something with rifle sights on the short barrel, since the factory sights are pretty good and I always liked them. I just need to make sure that the front sight is installed reliably because sometimes they fall off under recoil (especially in cold weather).

There are some other modifications which I plan to do. Firstly, I plan to do a modification of the Remington 870 action bar for fast shooting. That mod is a must for any competitive shooter. It enables you to shoot really fast without the problem of an empty chamber. I also plan to polish action bars and internal parts for smoother work.

The second modification is to make the loading port deeper and wider. That will enable me to use the modern load-quad or load-4 technique. This is the fastest way to load shotguns for competitions. And you need to load them a lot. Those who load shotguns faster can save precious time and they will ultimately win.

And the most important part will be training with my new shotgun. You know, you need to train a lot at home and on the shooting range to get used to your shotgun. Dry fire trainings are the most important part because the more you train with dummy rounds at home, the more effective your live fire trainings become. You need to feel your shotgun and you need to be able to aim fast, load it fast and move fast with your shotgun. That process is not easy but it is very interesting. I will share some of my favorite drills with you in future.

Overall, I am extremely happy with my new Remington 870 Combo! It looks and feels awesome. And the best thing is that I am going to use it very often on all my training exercises and competitions. That means that I will be able to share a lot of interesting information about gunsmithing, accessories, upgrades, tips, and other advice with you. The more I use the shotgun, the more I can talk about it.

So be sure to check the site often because I plan to have regular updates and videos about the process of preparation of the Remington 870 for competitions. There will be a series of different videos which are going to cover everything from the beginning.