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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Re: Question about quality of Remington 870 Police

Post by Mister_Remington » Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:10 am

Synch, there is a local shop that has a new 870 Police with a 4+1 set up. You were correct about one thing, it is not a light gun, but I found it was definitely better balanced than my Mossberg 590A1 with 18.5 inch and 5+1 capacity. Though the 870 Police at the shop had a "heavier" barrel, the Mossberg has a barrel that is very heavy, and this has both advantages and disadvantages.

One thing I liked about the 870 Police I handled was that it seemed very small by comparison to the Mossberg, very handy, a very compact decently balanced package. Like you stated, it is certainly not light, but it's seemed okay, I have a hunch it had a short LOP stock, though. The model I handled had synthetic furniture and was parkerized, it also had the bead sight. The little 4+1 870 is a sweet little gun.

Bear in mind I'm not disparaging my Mossberg, it's a wonderful gun, aside from the front bead sight quality control issues it had, I am very happy with the Mossberg, but it does seem like the Remington Police models have a far better reputation for overall quality control, and because my decision to buy the Mossberg over the Remington was so close, I knew that one day I would simply have to own BOTH, it's just that the Mossberg won by a nose. Frankly, if I had to have only one, I just may be inclined to stay with the Mossberg, but I can only say "may" because I cannot judge without first owning an 870 Police, so I guess I'm going to have to get myself an 870 Police.

I have no doubt I will be very happy with the Remington 870 Police. Would I be happier with Playboy playmate of the month from October or Playboy playmate of the month for November? It's six of one, half a dozen of the other.

I'm still a little on the fence whether new or used, I really really like the old blued Wingmaster Police editions, but like the Moss vs. Rem decision, it's going to be very close about whether I buy new or vintage. I also really (maybe really really) like the new parkerized versions and it would be nice to have the option of 3" magnums. When I win the lottery I'll have both vintage and new.

One thing that makes me want a vintage gun, I have quite a bit of the "collector" in me, and having a vintage ex police dept. 870 with the PD stamp has a definite collector appeal, something a new gun will not have, and used and new guns will go "bang" and be formidable self defense tools.

Another thing I'd like to add, I read that Hornady makes ammo called TAP(?), and it's been stated that it is a little shorter than standard buckshot and thus you can fit an extra round in whatever tube magazine is used. It would be nice to have the handy little package of the 870 but with 6 shot capacity.

Thank you for providing the name of the manufacturer for that +1 extension, yes, it looks like the Wilson extension and given their excellent reputation I'd likely use theirs product.

I want to address other statements but I will have to do that later. Again, thanks, everyone thanks for your input. It's always a pleasure sharing knowledge and learning among fellow firearm's enthusiasts! And thanks for sharing those photos, number 36 is a beaut!

Oh, out of curiosity, I just took a tape measure to my 590A1 model 51411, it is also 38.5 inches, though I'd like a shorter LOP stock for it, the current stock is borderline for me and I'm just a bit over 6' tall.

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Re: Question about quality of Remington 870 Police

Post by Mister_Remington » Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:28 am

RussMo wrote:I just bought my 870P about 3 months ago and I'm impressed. I also own a 590A1, plus aBenelli SuperNova. I'll take the 870P over the other two any day. Fit/finish, this gun works. It's function is smooth and frankly just SOUND. There has been no regrets here at all for spending what I did. Oh and the sight alignment is spot on. Mine has the Ghost Rings cause the one thing I've notice is at 57 years old my left eye want to double image the front sight. The peeps help with this tremendously. I have given up just about any open sights where the rear sight is out in front of the receiver. Low light situations in bear country, I'll keep the 870P

Russ, can you please tell me why you like your 870 Police over your 590A1? Don't worry, you won't hurt my feelings! :-)

If I may ask, what did you spend for your 870 Police? If I buy one it seems I'm going to have to spend about $700 total out the door with taxes for the basic model. While high for a pump shotgun, to put it into perspective for myself, it's a downright inexpensive gun. A Sig Sauer = $800+, Kimber = $1000+, Colt Government Model = $1200+.

If the quality of the Remington 870 Police matches the legend, it's a bargain!

Russ, you see a double image for the front sight? I do too sometimes, when I have both eyes open. It made me wonder what the experts are talking about when they say keep both eyes open, I thought to myself: "Why? I'm only gonna see double..." So you're saying that with the ghost ring sights you can keep both eyes open and not have the double image problem? Thanks

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Synchronizor
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Re: Question about quality of Remington 870 Police

Post by Synchronizor » Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:48 am

Mister_Remington wrote:Another thing I'd like to add, I read that Hornady makes ammo called TAP(?), and it's been stated that it is a little shorter than standard buckshot and thus you can fit an extra round in whatever tube magazine is used. It would be nice to have the handy little package of the 870 but with 6 shot capacity.
I can't find those on Hornady's site. Do you have a link?

Remember that the 870 is designed to use ammunition that conforms to certain specifications. In a repeating shotgun, a shell has to do more than just fit in the magazine tube and chamber.
12ga 70mm SAAMI drawing.JPG
12ga 70mm SAAMI drawing.JPG (76.72 KiB) Viewed 3288 times
12ga 76mm SAAMI drawing.JPG
12ga 76mm SAAMI drawing.JPG (87.26 KiB) Viewed 3288 times
Based on my testing, a 12ga 870 Magnum will reliably cycle shells with crimped lengths between 2.1" and 2.8", which covers the 2.75" and 3" SAAMI specs, plus or minus a little extra (the same goes for feeding in a non-magnum 12ga 870, but anything with an uncrimped length of more than about 2.76" may not extract or eject reliably). Shells shorter or longer than this range will fit in the chamber and fire just fine, but you'll start to get feed malfunctions because the carrier isn't timed to handle those extremes. A shell that's too long will jam between the bolt face and the chamber edge before the carrier can elevate completely, and a shell that's too short can do the same thing because the carrier can drop back down before the front of the shell reaches the chamber. Also, if a shell's uncrimped length is too short, it can lead to unreliable ejection because the hull's center of mass is too far back.

Things like 2.5" or deep-rolled 2.75" 12ga shells should work fine, and can let you fit an extra round in the magazine (especially if you take out your spring retainer and use the right type of spring & follower); but if you're looking at some of the super-shorty, sub-2" shells on the market, I wouldn't advise trusting them for defensive use or other critical roles. They can be fun at the range, though.

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Re: Question about quality of Remington 870 Police

Post by Mister_Remington » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:41 am

Here is a "Cheaper Than Dirt" link to their website where they list Hornady TAP ammo for sale but it says they're out of stock:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/photopost/ ... 3WBK08.jpg

I will search for the link that said this ammo allows you to fit one more round in a shotgun tube magazine.

I will also take a look at the Hornady website...

I just found this, but it says for law enforcement only, and I'm not sure this is the ammo that allows you to squeeze in one more round:

http://www.hornadyle.com/products/shotg ... ght-magnum

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Re: Question about quality of Remington 870 Police

Post by EdwardE » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:11 pm

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/photopost/ ... 3WBK08.jpg

I get a pic of Mr. Kotter when I check this link. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I was just expecting Horshack or Vinnie Barbarino.
If you are younger than 40 this will make zero sense.

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Re: Question about quality of Remington 870 Police

Post by Mister_Remington » Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:38 am

That's funny!! Mr. Kotter slipped in my mistake!! I did copy the Hornady link I wanted but as sometimes happens, it didn't catch and the previous link I pasted instead got posted, and I never checked. I've done this before, you'd think I'd learn from my mistakes, oh well.

Anyway, I'll go look for that Hornady link again later. Hope those who remember "Welcome Back Kotter" enjoyed the step back into time. It's almost frightening that Mr. Kotter was so long ago... For cryin' out loud, I'm still only 18 aren't I? :)

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Re: Question about quality of Remington 870 Police

Post by Mac » Sat Feb 15, 2014 4:04 pm

One common misconception with some folks I know is that the 'Police' versions are revered as 'tougher' or 'indestructible'.
I wish I had pictures, but I have seen 3 different failures, however, almost all user error.

1 - Barrel kaboom - Boys were running through a jungle lane range. They had no slings, so improvised with 550 cord. One dude slung the shotgun barrel down. When he took a knee, unknown to him, he plugged the barrel with mud. When he unslung and fired, the bottom half of the barrel split into several strands all the way back to the magazine tube. Somehow, dude didn't notice. Before the RSO could grab on to him, he let loose another round of slug. Cool thing..... he made both hits.

2 - Entire gun bent - During operations overseas, the 870 was utilized primarily for crowd control/breaching. One of my boys was carrying it slung on his back during a patrol. He took a break, and sat on a mud wall. Wall crumbled and he fell backwards on top of his 870. It took the form of his back.

3 - Extractor - During conventional ranges, I have seen the extractor break or become too mangled to use. Easy enough fix.

I have no doubt that you would be pleased with your 870P. I just figured I would share some first hand experiences with the platform.

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Re: Question about quality of Remington 870 Police

Post by Mister_Remington » Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:25 am

Synch, here is that Cheaper Than Dirt link for Hornady TAP shotgun ammo that I goofed when I instead linked Mr. Kotter:

http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/2-H86276

Mac, thanks for the feedback on the Remington 870 and real world experiences. Sounds like the gun has a solid reputation if it's the Police model. While doing what you guys did, did you also happen to see Mossberg 590A1's in action and how were they holding up? As you read, I have the Mossberg.

I've definitely decided that I'll be well served with both, nothing wrong with having both. I intend to have a backup shotgun to my Mossberg and I'll cover both bases by having both the Remington 870 Police and the 590A1. Relative to handguns, even the best pump shotguns are dirt cheap. An 870P for $650? A high quality handgun like a Sig or a Kimber would run $1100 or more, so by those measures, a top quality Remington shotgun or Mossberg is a relative bargain.

And I always have backups, I don't own one handgun, and I won't own only one shotgun, which is my current situation, I only own one shotgun. I've come to covet my shotgun as the king of my self defense firearms, I'll choose it over all others if I want the greatest amount of muzzle energy and versatility.

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Re: Question about quality of Remington 870 Police

Post by Synchronizor » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:13 am

Mac wrote:3 - Extractor - During conventional ranges, I have seen the extractor break or become too mangled to use. Easy enough fix.
What exactly was it that was causing them to break? Stuck or damaged shells? Jams? Really high round counts?

I really like the 870's extractor system. One beefy claw, a solid plunger, and a completely-enclosed spring. Tough and simple, and in the event it needs to be replaced, you don't even have to take the gun apart. All you need is a pocketknife, a small screwdriver, or even just your thumbnail (if you drink your milk) to get the old extractor out, and a new one snaps right in.

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Re: Question about quality of Remington 870 Police

Post by Synchronizor » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:39 pm

Mister_Remington wrote:Synch, here is that Cheaper Than Dirt link for Hornady TAP shotgun ammo that I goofed when I instead linked Mr. Kotter:

http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/2-H86276
That looks like standard 2.75" buckshot to me. I don't see anything about those shells being shorter.

The mini-shells I'm thinking of are more like these:
Image


These are advertised as being 2.25" 12ga shells. If that's their unfolded length (which is the standard definition for shell length), then their fold crimps should make them at least .35" shorter in their unfired state. That's starting to get short enough to cause feed malfunctions in an 870, especially if you're cycling it slowly. It should do well enough for recreational shooting if you remember to rack the gun quickly, but for critical roles, I wouldn't depend on anything less than 100% feed reliability.

If you want an extra round and reliable feeding, fold-crimped 2.5" shotshells should let you fit 5 rounds in a 4+1 870 magazine (though you may have to take out the spring retainer and/or change the spring). 2.5" chambers weren't uncommon in older 12ga shotguns, especially over in Europe where 2.5" 12ga shells were the norm, and the 2.75" and 3" shells were for heavy loads (American manufacturers have long favored full fold-crimping over rolling or partial crimping, and so preferred longer 2.75" minimum hull and chamber lengths). 2.5" (or 65mm, as it's usually referred to across the pond) 12ga ammunition is still loaded and sold alongside the 2.75" and 3" stuff by companies like Eley, Hull Cartridge, and Gamebore in the UK. The trouble is, these 65mm shells are usually bird or clay loads. It'll probably be tough to find good defensive loads like 00 buckshot ("SG" shot to the British, if my tenuous knowledge of European shot sizes can be trusted). If any other members here know of a company that sells 2.5" buckshot, I'd love to hear about it. A reloader can always cut a hull down to 2.5" of course, but there's added legal liability involved in using handloads for self-defense outside of SHTF/WROL/extensive social collapse.

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