Question about quality of Remington 870 Police

Tactical, combat, military, law enforcement and home defense use of a Remington 870 shotgun.
Mister_Remington
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Question about quality of Remington 870 Police

Post by Mister_Remington » Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:34 pm

Hello, I recently bought a Mossberg 590A1, it was a choice between the Remington 870 Police and a 590A1 and the Mossberg won by a nose. Frankly, I'm a little disappointed with quality, the front sight is crooked, Mossberg sent a replacement barrel but the front sight was even more crooked. I did a little research and I read that many Mossberg owners are disappointed with quality control, a google search will verify this. I'm not bashing Mossbergs, I'm just telling you my experience.

So, I'm thinking of buying myself a Remington 870 Police, nothing special, just a standard bead sight 5 shot or 7 shot 12 gauge. So I want to ask all you 870 POLICE owners (I have no interest in the Express, I read many complaints about quality with the Express), what's your experience with quality control with the Police model? Any or many complaints?

Crooked front sights?

Defects in the metal like deep pits, gouges?

Defects with the Parkerize finish?

Any complaints?

I DO NOT want to have to send the gun back to the factory for any defects, I have had to do this with other manufacturers and frankly I'm done with incompetence.

Some of you may be aware that nobody can build anything right anymore, Ruger has crooked barrels, Smith and Wesson has crooked barrels and light strikes, Mossberg has their issues, I often read about disappointed Kahr owners, even Glock owners are griping.

I'm done with modern stuff, but so far I'm not finding any complaints with the Remington 870 POLICE, but if these too have issues I'll just buy an older Remington Wingmaster from the 60's or 70's.

Again, just in case anyone feels insulted about my mentioning quality control issues with the named manufacturers, I'm not bashing, these are all facts and I myself have plenty of new guns with defects that had to be sent back to the factory or are waiting to be sent back.

Okay, I look forward to any and all feedback about the quality or lack thereof regarding the Remington 870 Police (new manufacture or vintage).

My sincere thanks!

Chief Brody
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Re: Question about quality of Remington 870 Police

Post by Chief Brody » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:02 pm

I bought my 870P, new, in August of 2012. Zero defects of any kind. Very pleased with the finish and the rest of the gun, all the around. If you've read up on the problems Expresses have been having, you're probably familiar with the chamber polishing a lot of owners do to successfully and reliably cycle the dirt cheap low-brass Winchester shells - well, I ended up doing the same thing on my Police model due to some sticking shells. I consider that a problem with crappy ammunition, rather than the gun itself.

My shotgun came with a walnut stock, parkerized finish, bead sight on a pedestal, 4-shot mag. I've added the 2-shot Remington parkerized magazine extension, an M1-carbine sling with Talon QR sling swivels (only for range days/competitions), a Streamlight TLR-1, and the high-vis delrin follower, jumbo head safety, and a 6-shell velcro side saddle all from S&J Hardware.

I'm in the neighborhood of 1,000 rounds through the gun, and I can say with confidence that I'd do it all over again if I had to. Good luck, hope this helped somewhat.

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

Dr. Marneaus
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Re: Question about quality of Remington 870 Police

Post by Dr. Marneaus » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:58 pm

I'm almost exactly the same setup as the fellow above.

I bought mine new this past winter. Walnut and parkerized. Absolutely zero defects in the fit or finish.

I added a factor Remington 2 shot extension and it took a few tries to get it set up to where the follower wouldn't bind, you can't make the extension too tight or too loose. It says that right in the instructions. After 1 or 2 tests and adjustments it doesn't have an issue. FWIW I'm runnig an aftermarket follower as well so that could have something to do with the tiny tiny tiny issue I had.

The only other thing is winchester low brass sticks, as mentioned above. Nothing else does, but that crap does. It happens in my buddy's 590A1 as well. I cleaned the chamber real well (hadn't cleaned it from the factory) and it happens way less. Also my yu isn't broken in, maybe 100 shells through it so far, so I'm sure with time the chamber will basically polish it self out.

Like I said, its ONLY with the crap winchester ammo.

So far I am 100% pleased with the gun and have ZERO concerns with it.

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Synchronizor
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Re: Question about quality of Remington 870 Police

Post by Synchronizor » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:41 pm

Sorry to hear about your bad experience with Mossberg. Though some of the 500s seem to sacrifice a little too much to meet their intended price point, I've heard almost universally good things about the higher-end 590s.

The 870 might be a better way to go for you. It was specifically engineered from the beginning to be easy to manufacture, and relatively hard to screw up. Based upon preceding autoloading shotguns, the 870 took advantage of modern machining and parts standardization instead of hand-fitting, and was so simple that anyone and their grandma could put it together (though also modernized and streamlined, the Mossberg 500-series is based upon a family of older Remington shotguns that depended on old-school precision manufacturing and skilled hand-fitting, and that somewhat-forced adaptation is behind many of its minor design flaws). Thanks to its forward-thinking design, the 870 fared very well over the decades as firearm manufacturing focused more and more on heavily-automated mass-production and less and less on skilled hand labor. Aside from cosmetics (in the budget Express models) very little has had to be sacrificed in the name of economy - in part, because very little could be sacrificed on such a simple design. Apart from a handful of very minor design tweaks (most of them improvements), modern 870s are very faithful to their 1940s roots, and despite the complaining on the internet (and remember, it is the internet), 870s are some of the most dependable guns on the market.

All that said, Remington is a business, not an art club. 870s are built on an assembly line by dozens - if not hundreds - of different workers. Though uncommon and generally minor, defects can and will occur, and not all of them can realistically be caught. If you don't trust modern manufacturing, you may want to look at an 870 that's been assembled by a custom builder. Thanks to the gun's ubiquitousness, this is a perfectly viable alternative.

If you decide to go that route, the outfit I recommend is AI&P Tactical. The owner, J.D. McGuire, is a straight-shooting gunsmith, FFL, and certified Remington armorer with years of experience, an extensive LE background, and no tolerance for poor workmanship, "tacti-cool" junk, or marketing BS. He builds 870s exclusively and knows the platform like the back of his hand. He stands by his work, he doesn't cut corners, and he doesn't build anything he wouldn't trust with his own life. He works with customers to help them decide on the build that would best meet their needs and budget; then, he personally hand-builds each gun to order using Police internals, quality aftermarket parts, and factory-new 870 components that have been stripped and refinished with his own heavy-zinc Parkerizing.

When you buy an AI&P 870, you're not paying an exorbitant price for a meaningless name, a fancy website with pictures of tactical individuals in tactical poses with tactical guns, pointless eye-candy features, or any of the other BS you get from a lot of custom gun builders. You're paying a fair price (competitive with factory 870P pricing) for a tough, no-frills Remington 870 that has been hand-built by a single expert gunsmith to a level of performance and quality that will meet or exceed that of anything you'll ever see riding in a police cruiser. I firmly believe J.D.'s shotguns are the finest custom combat 870s on the planet.

Check out his standard packages as a starting point, it sounds like his Basic I or HD/Duty models are pretty close to what you're looking for. Read through the other pages on his site as well, he has a lot of good advice for planning a build. Then give him a call (his number and hours are on the website) and discuss changes or additions to those packages, and price. He also usually has some completed guns listed on GunBroker.

Hope this helps.

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Banshee
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Re: Question about quality of Remington 870 Police

Post by Banshee » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:16 am

I've had my 870P for a couple of years and it has been perfect.
The devil danced as he went down, in the hail of arrows comin' Out on the wild Montana ground, Custer died a-runnin'.

Mister_Remington
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Re: Question about quality of Remington 870 Police

Post by Mister_Remington » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:53 am

Thank you for all the input, I certainly appreciate you all taking the time out of your days to provide me with serious and informative food for thought and thank you for the links to AI&P.

I will likely begin looking for a Remington 870 Police at some point, and I'll have to decide whether it will be an old police trade in or a new gun, and then whether the 5 shot or 7 shot. I like shotguns to be short, compact, basic, so a 5 shot bead sight model may be my choice.

I have always liked the Remingtons, as mentioned, it truly was a close choice between the Mossberg 590A1 (6 shot, bead sight, no extras like lights etc.) and a Remington, the Mossberg swayed me due to the lack of that metal flap when loading shells, the fact that I can change the ejector myself without sending the gun to the factory, the safety location, and the release location. I have since backed up on the location of the safety, the Remington has a better idea, with the Moss, my concern is that stiff recoil can engage the safety when I don't want it engaged.

The Remington interests me due to its legendary reputation and use by millions of law enforcement personnel and military, the steel receiver (though this seems to be a moot point due to the Mossberg's steel to steel set up), the fact that it is not muzzle heavy like the 590A1 (I didn't know about this when I made the choice, the lack of balance in the Moss irks me), and I like wood grain stocks and fore ends. Looks wise, the Mossberg and Remington run neck and neck, just a basic no frills tool, it's a utilitarian beauty that driver's of pick up trucks often understand.

Again, thanks for all the input, I certainly appreciate it!

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Synchronizor
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Re: Question about quality of Remington 870 Police

Post by Synchronizor » Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:54 am

Mister_Remington wrote:I will likely begin looking for a Remington 870 Police at some point, and I'll have to decide whether it will be an old police trade in or a new gun, and then whether the 5 shot or 7 shot. I like shotguns to be short, compact, basic, so a 5 shot bead sight model may be my choice.
Old and new 870s are both great, you'll find plenty of excellent restorations of old duty guns on this forum. For a serious combat/defensive gun though, I usually lean toward newer (post mid-80s) 870s since they have a slightly updated flex-tab action that won't lock up due to a specific type of malfunction. This isn't a huge concern however, and if you find a good deal on an older 870, you can always bring it up to date with drop-in parts.
Mister_Remington wrote:I have always liked the Remingtons, as mentioned, it truly was a close choice between the Mossberg 590A1 (6 shot, bead sight, no extras like lights etc.) and a Remington, the Mossberg swayed me due to the lack of that metal flap when loading shells, the fact that I can change the ejector myself without sending the gun to the factory, the safety location, and the release location.
These differences are blown way out of proportion, in my opinion. 870 ejector springs rarely break, most last the life of the gun even when used heavily. And if they do break, it's hardly a factory-only repair. Unless other parts have to be replaced as well, any gunsmith with the right tools should be able to replace the spring in a matter of minutes. This can even be done at home, but you have to know what you're doing. Besides, with the 870's 2-part ejector system, if the ejector spring breaks, the ejector - which was adapted from semi-auto designs - can still eject shells by itself. Small-frame 20ga, 28ga, and .410 bore 870s don't even use ejector springs. And by using rivets, the 870 has no screws to back out under recoil and get lost. I've heard Mossberg owners say that they needed to go in and use threadlocker to keep this from happening.

And while the 870's shell carrier might look like it'll be in the way all the time, it's really not an issue with a little practice, and it has several advantages over retracted carriers like the Mossberg's, which is why so many different shotguns (including other Mossberg models) have carriers like the 870's. Mossberg 500-series shotguns - and the Remington Model 31 that they're based on - have what they have because they were adapted from earlier bottom-ejecting shotgun designs, where the shell carrier had to be retracted so that it could eject the fired shell before feeding the next one.

I put together a video with information on the two different carrier styles, as well as the 870's above-mentioned jam and subsequent flex-tab design fix.
Mister_Remington wrote:The Remington interests me due to its legendary reputation and use by millions of law enforcement personnel and military, the steel receiver (though this seems to be a moot point due to the Mossberg's steel to steel set up), the fact that it is not muzzle heavy like the 590A1 (I didn't know about this when I made the choice, the lack of balance in the Moss irks me), and I like wood grain stocks and fore ends.
The 870's no featherweight either, but if balance is a key concern for you, you'll probably like it better than the 590A1 with its extra-heavy-walled barrel and longer magazine tube. The nice thing with the 870 is that its magazine tube starts at a short, 4-shell base capacity (some specialty combat 870s have 3-shell magazine tubes), to which you can add extensions that range from +1 to +18 to suit your needs and tastes.

Not as many 870Ps come with wood furniture these days, but there are always sets available on the used market, and even really thrashed pieces clean up nicely.

Dr. Marneaus
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Re: Question about quality of Remington 870 Police

Post by Dr. Marneaus » Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:17 pm

Mister_Remington wrote:

and I like wood grain stocks and fore ends.
Synchronizor wrote:
Not as many 870Ps come with wood furniture these days, but there are always sets available on the used market, and even really thrashed pieces clean up nicely.
Yup, I had my work cut out for me finding a wooden one. They are out there, I scoured sights for days and weeks trying to find one that wasn't outrageously priced. Number of auctions sites too. I missed one with the extended tube from the factory on gun broker, and ended up buying a 4+1 rounder, then added a Remington factory extension myself.

All I can say, is it was well worth finding the wood. The quality is superb, and the grain is beautiful.

Here's a little inspiration:

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EdwardE
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Re: Question about quality of Remington 870 Police

Post by EdwardE » Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:49 pm

Wish you hadn't posted those pics, Dr.Marneaus. Everytime I see either yours or Chief Brody's 870P, I'm ready to go shopping! Both very nice pieces; purposely to the point.

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Banshee
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Re: Question about quality of Remington 870 Police

Post by Banshee » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:32 pm

I'm fond of the wood stocked 870P myself.

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Last edited by Banshee on Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
The devil danced as he went down, in the hail of arrows comin' Out on the wild Montana ground, Custer died a-runnin'.

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