870 20 ga. Chamber?

Remington 870 Repair and Gunsmithing.
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sdoyl123
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870 20 ga. Chamber?

Post by sdoyl123 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:16 am

Picked up a 20 ga without a barrel and trying to find out if it is a 2 3/4 or 3" chamber. It is the large frame series ending in X. Finally found a barrel at Brownells and just wondering can I shoot 3" shells. Any info will help.

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Synchronizor
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Re: 870 20 ga. Chamber?

Post by Synchronizor » Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:28 am

If it doesn't have a barrel, it doesn't have a chamber, so it's kind of a moot question. It'll have whatever chamber the barrel you're buying has. By the way, be sure the barrel you're buying is meant specifically for the early large-frame 20ga 870s; Remington only makes small-frame 20ga barrels & receivers now, and those barrels will not work with your receiver.

For what it's worth, if you have an early large-frame 20ga receiver with a serial number ending in "X", it probably only has a 2.75" ejector. Large-frame 20ga magnum receivers had serial numbers ending in "N". "X" guns could be converted by installing the magnum ejector, though.

Just to make things more confusing, some recent small-frame 20ga receivers may also have serial numbers ending in "X". These guns will have "RS" or "CC" at the beginning of the serial number. If your serial number begins with "AB", a single letter, or no letter at all, the "X" at the end does mean you have a large-frame 20ga.

Hope that makes sense. 870 serial numbers are a bit messy.

redgoat
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Re: 870 20 ga. Chamber?

Post by redgoat » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:09 pm

I will have to double check myself on this, but if my memory serves me correctly, Remington quit making the large frame 20 gauge 870s before they started chambering anything (12 gauge included) for three inch shells. If you find a replacement barrel for your gun, it will almost certainly be limited to 2 3/4 inch shells. The receiver itself is not the limiting factor on ammunition choice, but rather the barrel.

You might also want to check on Corsons Barrels web site. I think they had several of the large receiver 20 gauge barrels listed recently.

The large receiver 20 gauge 870s are nice to shoot. The extra weight soaks up a bit more recoil than on the 20 gauge lightweight models, thus more nearly fulfilling the (often false) notion that “a 20 gauge kicks less than a 12 gauge”.

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Synchronizor
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Re: 870 20 ga. Chamber?

Post by Synchronizor » Tue May 01, 2018 1:51 am

Remington introduced the first 3" magnum 870s back in 1955, and large-frame magnum 20ga models date back to at least 1960, possibly earlier. The small-frame 20ga 870s didn't show up until the mid-1970s. Large-frame magnum 20ga 870s had serial numbers ending in "N", and they definitely existed.

redgoat
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Re: 870 20 ga. Chamber?

Post by redgoat » Tue May 01, 2018 3:18 am

Synchronizor, thank you for the information. I intended to do the research this evening, but got sidetracked after arriving home from work. I should’ve known my memory wouldn’t serve me correctly!

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