Came Home with an 870 Police Magnum

Discuss all accessories and upgrades available for the Remington 870 shotgun: stocks, forends, barrels, chokes, magazine extensions, followers, safeties, sights etc.
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DeePsix
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Came Home with an 870 Police Magnum

Post by DeePsix » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:58 pm

Howdy all,

I had been recently looking into getting into the shotgun world. My past experience has been mostly with rifles and handguns. My company is moving me to North Carolina, right next to a nice trap and skeet range, so I thought, why not pick up a shotgun to try out sporting clays. I rented an 870 and a 590a1 at my local range and liked the ergos on the 870 better, but the Internet was askew with reports of quality issues on new Remington shotguns off that pushed me away from 870. Then I received some wise advic - pick up and old 870 police trade in, and replace whatever you want on it.

So, I recently picked up a used 870P from a local store that had received a trade in lot from the Hillsborough County Sherrif's Office near Tampa, FL. I sorted through the lot they had laid out on the table, and picked out the one I wanted.

Mine shows a few wear/rack marks on the parkerized finish, but the action is oh so buttery smooth. The wood furniture is actually in great shape, and now I'm having second thoughts on replacing it. I think I love her just the way she is.

The urge to upgrade is rising however, so I wanted to ask a few questions:

1) Can the 18.5" barrel work sufficiently in skeet/trap? I'm expecting nasty looks from old timers.

2) What barrel would you recommend I pick up? Is there anything out there that matches the gray parkerized finish well? It seems wise to get a RemChoke barrel, would you recommend?

3) I'm not sold on getting an extension yet, but I'm considering it. The Remington +2 looks great with the 18.5 barrel, but I've heard good things about Wilson Combat. My hesitation, based on the reviews here on the Remington +2, is with the added complexity and the potential to further rub the finish off the barrel.


Special thanks to Syncronizer for his excellent videos. I stumbled across them on YouTube, and have watched every one of them since coming home with my 870.

Chief Brody
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Re: Came Home with an 870 Police Magnum

Post by Chief Brody » Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:32 pm

Hi, congrats on the Police Magnum. I bought mine new about four years ago and it's been great.

I don't have much experience with shooting clays, but most people will tell you the 18" won't give you the best results. Your best option would probably be finding good used or new 26-28" barrel that you could easily swap on. Without a magazine extension, this can be done in a matter of seconds. I keep the Remington +2 on my 870P, along with a fixed Improved Cylinder 18" barrel. Short and handy for competitions and home defense, but there is a noticeable difference in balance with and without the extension. It does point and swing better with just the stock 4-round tube. If you're primarily using this for trap/skeet, I may not worry about the extension. If it serves double duty as an HD gun, your 4+1 rounds will most likely be enough but of course you could opt for the extension, too.

The walnut furniture on mine have just gotten better and better over time. Big difference in the gloss, since new, just from the skin's oils and sweat. Every little nick or imperfection its acquired, that's all fine. It's wood and I love it. Keep yours!
Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready. - T.R.

Chief Brody
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Re: Came Home with an 870 Police Magnum

Post by Chief Brody » Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:36 pm

Image
Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready. - T.R.

DeePsix
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Re: Came Home with an 870 Police Magnum

Post by DeePsix » Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:28 pm

Thanks Chief! What a beauty! I'll need to take some pictures of mine when I get home.

My police magnum has a bead sight barrel, with what I think is just a fixed cylinder choke. My bolt is parkerized, so it doesn't look as nice as yours. I might consider polishing it now...

I love the look of the +2 extension. My 870 will probably fit into double duty: primarily as a range toy and skeet gun, but secondarily as a home defense weapon. My Walther PPQ M2 currently serves as my primary HD weapon, but I like the idea of having my shotgun as an option. My hesitation with getting the extension is the added wear from frequently changing barrels.

Also, what clamp are you using for the light? Is that an S&J?

Chief Brody
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Re: Came Home with an 870 Police Magnum

Post by Chief Brody » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:06 am

This is the light mount:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0028LXG5A/re ... FP78GSGGZJ
Streamlight mag tube mount and a TLR-1. Very solid setup.
The magazine clamp, however, is the original Remington part. And yes, it can rub away some finish on the barrel, just a tad. It's not anything major but you have to decide how much you care about that. I ended up using a piece of electrical tape on the barrel to prevent it from happening any more and that's worked out great.

About the barrel, I like the rifle sights - but, I don't love them. I have a 26" vent rib barrel that I've been meaning to cut down to 20". That barrel might be paired with a Rem +3 extension. Either way, a bright fiber optic on a 20"er would be much faster on-target than what I'm currently using.

All the Police Mags, mine included, come with parkerized bolts. I bought the shiny, chrome bolt from a Wingmaster on eBay - figured it must be good for about 5 horsepower, right?
Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready. - T.R.

DeePsix
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Re: Came Home with an 870 Police Magnum

Post by DeePsix » Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:22 am

I thought picatinny rails added horse power? :P

I'll have to keep an eye out for a vent-rib barrel. I haven't seen any parkerized versions, so I guess I'll need a matte black version.

I shot some skeet yesterday with my 870. The shorter barrel was a bit of a handicap, but still effective. I think with more experience I could be better with the short barrel. I'm worried that by getting an extension would cause excessive wear as I switch the long barrel out to the short barrel for a HD setup.

The skeet squad I shot with had a new mossberg a Benelli semi-auto. The buttery smooth action of my 870 really stood out from the pack.

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Synchronizor
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Re: Came Home with an 870 Police Magnum

Post by Synchronizor » Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:31 am

Welcome to the forum. Glad you found my videos helpful.

All 870s are good guns (and all can have unlucky defects), but when buying used, you do get the benefit of someone else breaking the action in, and taking care of any factory problems it might have originally had. Plus, used 870s are often a great bang for the buck, considering how hard they are to wear out. I would check and make sure that your gun got the flex-tab update, if it's old enough to have needed it. The last thing you want your HD shotgun to do is lock up because you slipped up reloading it under stress.

You can shoot skeet & trap with a combat barrel, but it's not ideal. The barrel is too short for a steady swing, and while a fixed open choke isn't too bad for skeet, it'll be a major handicap in trap. And with either game, it's really nice to have interchangeable chokes for fine-tuning your patterns. A vent-rib Rem Choke barrel in 24", 26", or 28" would probably be worth picking up if you really want to get into clays. Shorter helps for skeet, longer helps for trap. I'd say a 26" would be a good middle ground if you want to play both; enough heft for swinging at trap targets and soaking up recoil, but you won't feel so much like you're hauling around a 4x4 trying to get that second shot off in skeet.

As for finishes, Remington doesn't make sporting barrels with Parkerized finishes. A matte black oxide-finished Express barrel won't be an exact match, but it'll be reasonably close - a lot closer than a high-gloss Wingmaster or camo-dipped waterfowl barrel would be, at least. Plenty of outfits that'll strip and Parkerize a shotgun barrel if that really matters to you, but I wouldn't sweat it, personally. A black oxide finish is cared for exactly like Parkerizing (clean, apply oil, let sit, wipe off excess), and I'm guessing you're not going to be shooting clays in a salt marsh or blizzard (and even if you are, the Express finish holds up pretty darn well so long as you don't neglect it).

I get not wanting to wear off finish with an extension clamp. They're a pain if you switch configurations frequently, too. Check out single-piece extensions, which do not require a clamp to stay in place under recoil. They're basically magazine caps that stick out farther; just switch it when you switch barrels. Two product lines I'd recommend are Wilson Combat - great values, but a tad heavy and a little short on internal space; and S&J Hardware - expensive, but lighter, with more features and more capacity. Both can be had in +1 and +2 (though the S&J +2 can often fit a third extra shell with the right spring) forms for fitting under your 18.5" barrel, and are of all-steel construction with Parkerized finishes. If you really want to keep your barrel nice, Wilson Combat extensions can be had without sling plates, and the sling plates on S&J extensions are removable.

rwt
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Re: Came Home with an 870 Police Magnum

Post by rwt » Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:26 pm

I also have a very recently acquired police turn-in 870 Police Magnum. I believe it has 3" chambers? No magazine extension-not sure I will get one. Without an extension, does the magazine hold 3 or 4 rounds, plus one in the chamber? Does someone make a plug for either 3 or 4 round magazines to get it to only 2, plus one in the chamber to be hunting legal? I'm a side by side shooter normally and I am not familiar with a pump shotgun, obviously.

I want to pick up an extra barrel for duck hunting-28". So, probably a vent-rib barrel?

I doubt that I will shoot 3" shells. And I am ok with a fixed choke of improved cylinder or modified to use with steel shot. Or, it could have a screw in choke (how do I tell that the screw in choke is good for steel shot?)

My question is should I buy a 3" capable barrel versus 2 3/4", or do all of the barrels these days handle either shell length?

And, does it matter if it's a Remington barrel or will an aftermarket barrel be fine for my occasional use (assuming one is cheaper)?

Any recommendations will be appreciated!

Thank you!

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Synchronizor
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Re: Came Home with an 870 Police Magnum

Post by Synchronizor » Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:30 am

rwt wrote:Without an extension, does the magazine hold 3 or 4 rounds, plus one in the chamber?
Standard capacity is 4 shells in the magazine, and one additional shell in the chamber. Actual capacity in a tube magazine will vary, since the crimped length of shotshells is not the same for all brands and loads, and the spring and follower you're running can change things as well. However, with typical components and crimped shell lengths, you should have no problem fitting four 2.75" or 3" shells into your magazine.
rwt wrote:Does someone make a plug for either 3 or 4 round magazines to get it to only 2, plus one in the chamber to be hunting legal?
Many outfits make magazine plugs. Remington makes plugs specifically for 870s, and many other "universal" plugs are avaliable, though these may need a bit of trimming. You can also make your own plugs from 1/2" or 7/16" wood dowels or plastic rods. I bought a piece of inexpensive 7/16" acetal plastic rod and cut my own plug from it in the exact length I wanted.
rwt wrote:I want to pick up an extra barrel for duck hunting-28". So, probably a vent-rib barrel?

I doubt that I will shoot 3" shells. And I am ok with a fixed choke of improved cylinder or modified to use with steel shot. Or, it could have a screw in choke (how do I tell that the screw in choke is good for steel shot?)

My question is should I buy a 3" capable barrel versus 2 3/4", or do all of the barrels these days handle either shell length?
Vent-ribs are generally preferred for birds.

Most currently-produced hunting barrels come with screw-in choke tubes, and have 3" or longer chambers. You'll generally only see fixed chokes and 2 3/4" chambers if you're looking at older used barrels. A 3" or 3.5"-chambered barrel will fit your gun, and will work fine with 2.75" shells if that's all you want to use.

Interchangeable choke tubes are very nice to have for hunting, as you can dial your pattern in for different ammunition and/or hunting situations. Choke tubes these days are generally marked as "lead only" or "steel rated", or something along those lines, so you shouldn't have much trouble figuring it out. Just about all Modified or lighter choke tubes these days can handle steel shot anyway, it's Full or tighter constrictions where you want to pay attention to shot type ratings.
rwt wrote:And, does it matter if it's a Remington barrel or will an aftermarket barrel be fine for my occasional use (assuming one is cheaper)?
Shotgun barrels aren't tough to pull off (shotshells run at very low pressures), and the 870 is not a high-precision design. There are a number of companies offering aftermarket barrels, and they tend to work. Most of the cheap (both price & quality) ones I've seen are short HD/combat barrels though, aftermarket hunting barrels are usually from higher-quality brands like Carlsons or Hastings, and seem to be well-made, but may not save you much (if any) money compared to Remington barrels.

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