Different types of 870's??

General discussion about Remington 870 shotgun.
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Synchronizor
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Re: Different types of 870's??

Post by Synchronizor » Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:35 am

With the edits, the list is more accurate, but it's still somewhat misleading. The biggest problem with most Express vs. Police comparisons is that the guns being compared are configured for different roles. An Express intended for hunting is going to be significantly different from a Police model, and just listing all those differences adds a lot of fluff in with the relevant facts.

Here's something I've been meaning to write up for a while - an apples-to-apples comparison between a #24407 870 Police Synthetic and a pre-2012 #25077 870 Express Synthetic 7-shot (In 2012, the #25077 model was switched over to the new Tactical receivers with single-piece 6-round magazine tubes & special barrels). Both have 18.5" bead-sight barrels, 14" LoP synthetic stocks & short fore-ends, and factory +2 magazine extensions. These are essentially the same configuration, and comparing these distills the differences nicely. If you have trouble telling them apart (understandable), the Police model is on top, and the Express is on the bottom in the picture below.
25077 vs police comp_C.JPG
25077 vs police comp_C.JPG (24.67 KiB) Viewed 1870 times
The following is a detailed and exhaustive list of the differences between these two guns (to the extent of my knowledge and research):

>The Express barrel has a fixed Cylinder choke, while the Police barrel has a fixed Improved Cylinder constriction. A Cylinder bore maximizes shot spread for very close-up engagements, while the slightly tighter IC choke in the Police barrel provides a little extra effective range with buckshot. Neither should have an overall advantage with slugs within the effective range afforded by a front bead sight (some slug loads may perform slightly differently out of these two barrels, but that really comes down to idiosyncrasies of particular slug loads). Police and Express 12ga barrels are fully interchangeable (on guns with standard 4-round magazine tubes), and any barrel can be fitted with interchangeable screw-in choke tubes. Fixed chokes can also be opened up by a gunsmith, if desired.

>The Police shotgun has a synthetic SpeedFeed Sport stock with a sling stud installed. The Express has a more basic molded plastic stock with an integral sling stud. Both guns come with high-quality SpeedFeed LE fore-ends. Both stocks are perfectly functional for shooting. The SpeedFeed stock is stronger and tougher if the gun is being knocked around on a regular basis, while the Express stock is lighter and easier to carry over long distances. The SpeedFeed stock comes with a higher-end recoil pad, while the Express stock comes with a solid rubber recoil pad that is far less comfortable. Both stocks can be upgraded with a pre-fit Remington SuperCell recoil pad. Either stock can be ordered on its own and installed on any 12ga 870 with basic tools.

>The Police model has a Parkerized (metal phosphate) finish, while the Express has a less expensive matte blue (iron oxide) finish. Underneath the finish, the metallurgy & design are identical (the Express will tend to have a few rougher edges here & there, but nothing that really affects performance or reliability, especially after the gun is broken in). Both finishes must be oiled to properly guard against corrosion, and should not be allowed to sit wet, but the Parkerizing holds oil better, and is more durable than the Express finish. Both guns can be stripped and refinished if the user desires.

>The Police model has a machined extractor, while the Express extractor is a MIM (metal injection molded) part. Remington's InjectAlloy MIM process gives the Express extractor a more refined and consistent shape for a lower per-unit production cost, while a machined extractor - in theory - should be less likely to have internal defects. Both work reliably for normal use, and are very durable. All 12ga extractors are interchangeable, so a user can switch to a different style if desired (machined extractors are less uniform than MIM parts, and may require some fitting).

>The Express model uses a standard heavy carrier dog follower spring (CDFS), the same part used in all 870 Expresses, Wingmasters, and most special-purpose models (some harsh-environment 870s use a special CDFS that is nickel-plated for corrosion resistance, but otherwise mechanically identical). This same spring is also used in a number of semi-automatic Remington shotguns that share the 870's basic fire control design. The Police 870 has an extra-heavy CDFS (a repurposed carrier latch spring from a model 1100). Both springs will function equally reliably when in proper working condition, and both should be replaced at appropriate intervals to keep it that way. The extra-heavy Police spring does not cause the carrier to elevate shells with more force as is often believed, but it is said to have a longer effective life as a measure against neglect or abuse, and in some cases the extra force can compensate for minor damage or defects in other parts. The heavy spring also adds a little extra ingress protection in harsh environments by stiffening the shell carrier. However, the stiffer carrier makes the gun less forgiving to reload - especially for less-experienced users - and the slide will not move as smoothly due to the added internal friction. Like extractors, 870 CDF springs are interchangeable, and can be very easily switched without any special tools.

>Expresses have a new-style polymer trigger plate, while Police guns have an old-style compressed aluminum trigger plate. The polymer trigger plates show less visible wear than the aluminum (which is silver under the paint) and due to the polymer's improved ability to flex and absorb force, are believed to be more impact-resistant than the relatively brittle powdered aluminum in most environments. Testing of similar polymer and compressed aluminum Ruger 10/22 trigger guards supports this (it has been suggested - but not confirmed - that the polymer may lose its toughness in extremely cold conditions). However, old-style compressed aluminum trigger plates have not proven to be a liability over decades of harsh military and police duty. All right-hand-ejecting 12ga 870 magnum and non-magnum (not super magnum) trigger plates are interchangeable, but are often only available as complete trigger plate assemblies, which can make switching styles a relatively expensive prospect.

>Police 870s use an old-style hammer pin, while Expresses use a new-style hammer pin. The parts are different only because of the different trigger plate materials, there're no functional differences.

That's it. To the best of my knowledge, all other parts and features are identical (I'll come back and edit this if someone can point out something I missed, or if I come across new information). Notice that the above differences are mostly trade-offs; when parts are different, the Express and Police versions each offer advantages and disadvantages. Express owners looking to "upgrade" would be wise to stop and consider that the Police versions may not offer enough of a benefit to be worth the expense, or that the Express versions may actually be a better fit for for their needs.

Rob62
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Re: Different types of 870's??

Post by Rob62 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 12:09 pm

Good Post.

Can you comment on the magazine tube of the Exress' ? Have the "dimples" been removed from them. And are they back to the old style?

Do all Express barrels have a magazine cap detent, PN #F17451, once again in the magazine ring and use the old style magazine cap that "ratchets" down on this detent ?

(FWIW - That hole dimple thing in the mag tubes of the Express and trying to keep these shotguns from being able to use screw on magazine extensions was one of the WORST decisions that Remington ever made in my opinion - that and the whole J - internal locking - safety mess)

Thanks,

Rob

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Synchronizor
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Re: Different types of 870's??

Post by Synchronizor » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:01 pm

Rob62 wrote:Can you comment on the magazine tube of the Exress' ? Have the "dimples" been removed from them. And are they back to the old style?

Do all Express barrels have a magazine cap detent, PN #F17451, once again in the magazine ring and use the old style magazine cap that "ratchets" down on this detent ?
870s (of any type) that have factory-installed magazine extensions use the old-style ratchet system with a detent in the barrel guide ring. Civilian 870s without magazine extensions (including the new Express Tacticals with single-piece 6-round magazine tubes and magazine caps) seem to have switched completely to the new-style internal ratchet system with plastic spring retainers and special magazine caps. There may be some exceptions, my local gun store doesn't exactly stock Remington's entire 870 lineup. These barrels generally don't have detents installed in the barrel guide ring, though I've seen some that have the holes for them, and there may be some that have detents installed if they use the same barrel as models that come with extensions (such as the #25549 Express Synthetic 18")
Rob62 wrote:(FWIW - That hole dimple thing in the mag tubes of the Express and trying to keep these shotguns from being able to use screw on magazine extensions was one of the WORST decisions that Remington ever made in my opinion - that and the whole J - internal locking - safety mess)
I've seen no evidence to back up the tinfoil-hat theory that the new-style dimples and internal ratchet system were introduced to keep 870 owners from adding magazine extensions. If that was the actual point, why would Remington make the dimples so easy to remove? And why would they continue to sell magazine extension parts to anyone with a telephone and a credit card?

The dimpled magazine tubes and new-style internal ratchet system accomplish two things that actually make sense from a business standpoint:

First, it saves money by replacing three metal parts (detent, detent spring, and spring retainer) with one plastic spring retainer, and by replacing precision drilling and staking steps with a stamping process that's simpler and easier to automate (this also improves quality control, detents have been known to fall out and get lost due to poor staking). Say what you will, but Remington is a business, and the gun-buying public votes with their wallets. Insignificant as it may be in the long run, we all know that Joe Consumer will go with a different gun to save $15 or $20 on the purchase cost.

Second, the new-style spring retainers are much less of a hassle to remove and replace than the old-style press-in metal spring retainers. I have one of those metal spring retainers for my 870, but it just stays in my spare parts containers because it's too much of a headache to use, and I know I'm not the first 870 owner to leave it out. The dimples may be a bit of a pain if you want to install a magazine extension, but if you're just using a magazine cap, and you want to be able to swap barrels without having the magazine spring try to take your eye out each time, the new-style spring retainers are a massive improvement. You don't have to use tools to get them in and out, and you won't FUBAR the end of your magazine tube like you can with a press-in retainer. I demonstrate the removal and reinstallation of both styles in my take-down video guide, if you're interested in seeing the difference.

Rob62
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Re: Different types of 870's??

Post by Rob62 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:00 pm

Synchronizor - that's the best write up I have read on this subject. Thanks for taking the time to do it. It will undoubtedly help many folks understand the issue better. I agree with all your points.

Regards,

Rob

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