Remington 870 Carrier Latch Spring Upgrade

You can improve reliability of your Remington 870 easily and for just $5. Remington 870 Police shotguns have different Carrier Latch Spring(Carrier Dog Follower Spring). It is from model 1100, the Remington part number F16966.

Standard Carrier Dog Follower Spring is silver, Remington 870 Police spring (from model 1100) is black:

Heavier carrier latch spring improves reliability and may fix feeding problems if you have them. The main purpose of this spring is to lift next round which comes out of a magazine tube. Remington 870 Police carrier latch spring (1100) will do this much better.

Remington 870 Carrier Dog Follower Spring (Standard, Police)
Remington 870 Carrier Dog Follower Spring (Standard, Police)

Remington 870 Carrier Dog Follower Spring Replacement

You can get more reliability out of your Remington 870 shotgun if you upgrade its carrier dog spring, or sometimes called the carrier latch spring. Sometimes you will find that your shotgun has feeding problems which will make it unreliable when shooting it. But if you were to use a heavier carrier dog spring then it will fix these feeding problems and improve the gun’s reliability at the same time. The spring does this by lifting the next round of ammunition after it comes out of the magazine tube. If the rounds don’t get lifted properly then you won’t be able to keep shooting your weapon. This could put you at risk if you’re in a situation where you need to defend yourself. That is why Remington 870 Police shotguns are the most reliable because they use the best carrier dog springs. If you want to put one of these springs in your Remington 870 then you can get it from model 1100, part number F16966. This is the exact carrier dog spring used in the police version of the Remington 870, but the spring is also compatible with other Remington 870 versions.

Tools

There are two tools which can help you in Remington 870 Carrier Latch Spring Upgrade:
-Brownells Carrier Pivot Slave Pin
-VCS Silver Bullet

You can choose the tool you like more, both of them are good. Let’s have a closer look at both of them.

VANG COMP 870/1100 CARRIER PIVOT SLAVE PIN (Sliver Bullet) by Vang Comp Systems

Silver Bullet for Remington 870/1100 is very useful and inexpensive tool. It simplifies replacement of a Carrier Latch Spring. Carrier latch spring upgrade is highly recommended for improved reliability of Remington 870 feeding.

Silver bullet makes assembly of the trigger plate much easier.

How to use Silver Bullet from Vang Comp Systems

I have not found Silver Bullet tool instruction on the Internet, so decided to make one to help you.

Tapered end is used to push the Carrier Tube out:

Silver Bullet and Carrier Tube
Silver Bullet and Carrier Tube
Silver Bullet, Pushing Out Pin
Silver Bullet, Pushing Out Pin
Silver Bullet, Carrier Tube Pushed Out
Silver Bullet, Carrier Tube Pushed Out

Insert carrier pivot tube into the tail of the Carrier Tube to push it through and into place:

Silver Bullet, Carrier Tube, Preparing
Silver Bullet, Carrier Tube, Preparing
Silver Bullet, Preparing
Silver Bullet, Preparing
Silver Bullet, Pushing In
Silver Bullet, Pushing In
Silver Bullet, Pushing Carrier Tube In
Silver Bullet, Pushing Carrier Tube In
Silver Bullet, Pushing In, Ready
Silver Bullet, Pushing In, Ready

This tool lines up all parts when pushing pin in and makes whole process much easier. Of course, you can use a screwdriver for thir purpose but Silver Bullet from Vang Comp Systems is much better. Higly recommended tool.

Carrier Pivot Slave Pin by Brownells and Silver Bullet by Vang Comp Systems
Carrier Pivot Slave Pin by Brownells and Silver Bullet by Vang Comp Systems

Both tools are very good and really simplify the task of the carrier latch spring upgrade. You can see difference on the photo above. I like the tapered end of the Brownells tool more.

How to replace Carrier Latch Spring (Carrier Dog Spring) Video:

To conduct the upgrade, you should make sure all of the ammunition is out of the weapon. Once you have done this, go ahead and disassemble the weapon. Now take the trigger group and push the carrier tube out using a screwdriver. Next, pull out the silver bullet (or carrier pivot slave pin) and then remove the carrier, the carrier dog follower and carrier dog follower spring. At this point, you are ready to put in your new carrier dog follower spring so go ahead and do that. Now just reassemble everything else by reversing this process you just did.

This whole process shouldn’t be too hard as long as you go slow and understand the parts inside the trigger group. After your shotgun is reassembled, test it out and see if the feeding is improved. If you didn’t have a feeding problem before then you might not notice too much of a difference, but at least it will help ensure that you don’t have a feeding problem in the future. If you feel are new to this and feel there are too many parts then have a more experienced gun owner help you out with this. You can also look up tutorial video:

Carrier Pivot Slave Pin by Brownells

Carrier Pivot Slave Pin by Brownells is another tool which simplifies replacement of a Carrier Latch Spring.
This tool makes assembly of the trigger plate easy.

Carrier Pivot Slave Pin by Brownells
Carrier Pivot Slave Pin by Brownells

This tool is good alternative to a Silver Bullet by Vang Comp Systems.

Recommended Product:
Carrier Pivot Slave Pin by Brownells
Carrier Pivot Slave Pin by Brownells
Get Carrier Pivot Slave Pin on Brownells
Recommended Product:
silver bullet vang comp systems Get Vang Silver Bullet Tool on Brownells
Recommended Product:
Heavier Carrier Dog Spring for Remington 870
Heavier Carrier Dog Spring for Remington 870
Get heavier carrier dog spring on Brownells

Conclusion

This upgrade is higly recommended. It is one of those upgrades which are not visible for others but improve reliability of your Remington 870 shotgun and not just for looks.

Vitaly Pedchenko

My name is Vitaly Pedchenko, I started this blog and forum to share information, tips, photos, and advice about the Remington 870 shotgun, accessories, and upgrades. Now I also own AR-15 rifle and MP5 pistol caliber carbine. I am firearms instructor, competitive shooter and IPSC Range Officer. I participate in practical shooting and 3-Gun competitions because they are the best way for me to test equipment and upgrades under stress. I am member of the PRACTICA shooting club. I also participate in REAGO, which provides Tactical Combat Casualty Care training. The main purpose of the Rem870.com blog and forum is to have a compilation of information about the Remington 870 shotgun in one organized, accessible place.

20 thoughts on “Remington 870 Carrier Latch Spring Upgrade

  • 03.07.2012 at 10:08
    Permalink

    Where can you get this for $5?

    Reply
  • 24.10.2012 at 12:48
    Permalink

    No, it doesn’t lift the round, it simply returns the carrier to the bottom position (this spring does that faster, that’s it), what actally lifts the round is the action arms by the force applied by the shooter when they activate the action.

    Reply
    • 24.10.2012 at 22:24
      Permalink

      Ryno, here is what Remington says: “A heavier carrier dog spring is used to ensure when the carrier elevates the shell, it will be held there until the bolt can push it into the chamber. This ensures positive feeding when using heavier payload rounds.”

      Reply
      • 08.03.2013 at 08:01
        Permalink

        What you said is correct, but you seem to be misinterpreting it. The slide assembly acts directly on the carrier dog to flip up the carrier. This is a direct mechanical actuation, no force is transmitted through the spring to lift the carrier up. What the spring does is hold the carrier dog against the slide assembly so it can engage, hold the carrier in the “up” position once it’s there, and hold the carrier in the “down” position when the bolt is in battery.

        A heavier carrier dog follower spring will make the carrier function slightly more reliably, but it will not give it a “stronger lift”, as many seem to mistakenly believe.

        Reply
  • 25.01.2013 at 23:42
    Permalink

    Ryno, in MOST cases you are correct. I own several shotguns where the force of the action is what brings the shell up and into place. However, the 870 DOES depend on this spring to bring the shell up. As you you cycle the action to the rear the carrier will lift slightly to cradle the shell as it is released from the magazine. When you cycle forward the action trips the spring and the carrier is snapped up to place the shell in position. Yes, if you slam the action forward it does bring the carrier up faster. However, with the use of this spring you have less chance of a delayed feed due to heavier loads (buck, slug, etc..). The spring has much more tension and will bring the shell in faster. If you have time, watch the carrier as you SLOWLY cycle your EMPTY 870. Hopefully this sheds a little light.

    Reply
  • 19.08.2013 at 10:59
    Permalink

    hi where could i get the piece that the spring goes into?
    thanks mik

    Reply
  • 20.12.2013 at 05:15
    Permalink

    Before I changed to this spring my 870 Express had feeding problem. If I pumped the forend very fast the shell would always get stuck at the bottom of the barrel which indicated that the carrier dog dropped just a little bit too soon. After I changed to this spring, the problem’s gone. Now I can pump as fast as I can, and it will cycle flawlessly!

    Thanks for all the useful informations you provide Vitaly. Really appreciate them all!

    Reply
    • 20.12.2013 at 10:05
      Permalink

      The heavier spring may have helped, but it sounds like there was something else going on. The semi-auto Remington 1100 uses the same carrier dog follower spring as the 870, and the 1100’s gas system cycles the action a lot faster than you could work a pump. If the factory carrier dog follower spring didn’t look like it was damaged or broken, there’s probably something else that needs to be fixed.

      Reply
      • 22.12.2013 at 03:06
        Permalink

        I believed my problem came from installing the Mesa Tactical Side Saddle to my gun. I noticed that the pins that were used to attach the side saddle to the gun were a little smaller in diameter than Remington stock pins.

        With Mesa Tactical pins installed, the front part of the trigger group would stay about 2-3 millimeters lower than when using stock pins. When the carrier dog was in the up position, it stayed about 5 millimeters lower compare to when using stock pins.

        At first, I tried to bend the tip of the carrier dog upward. It helped improve the feeding a little bit. If I pumped fast (not as fast as I can, just fast), I would get shell stuck less often. But when pumped as fast as I could, it would always get stuck.

        I couldn’t bend the carrier dog too much. ‘Cause, if I bend it too high, it would block the shell from coming out of the magazine.

        The new spring really did solve my feeding problem. With this stronger spring, it seems that the carrier dog tries to stay up as long as it can before it is forced to fall. I still don’t fully understand how each part interact with other parts when I pump the gun, but just install this new spring help make my gun run more reliable.

        Reply
      • 02.09.2014 at 10:20
        Permalink

        For the average shooter a gas semi auto can cycle faster but for a trained individual a pump gun is faster than a gas semi auto. Some of the inertia systems can be “”nearly”” as fast though.

        Reply
  • 13.01.2014 at 04:54
    Permalink

    Great stuff, definitely worth it. Snychro, I think at one time the rem 1100 may have used the express spring but it doesn’t any longer. It uses the rem 870P spring, it’s black, express spring is silver.

    Reply
    • 13.01.2014 at 05:50
      Permalink

      I think you’re confusing the carrier LATCH spring with the carrier DOG FOLLOWER spring. Semi-auto shotguns like the 1100 have a carrier latch spring AND a carrier dog follower spring, while 870s only have carrier dog follower springs; and the standard 870 carrier dog follower spring is shared by its semi-auto relatives. It’s also not just an Express part, the same spring is used in all 870s except for the Police and Marine Magnum models. You can refer to the parts list and exploded diagrams on Remington’s website if you want confirmation.

      The two often get confused, even by people who are fairly familiar with the 870, but they serve entirely different functions in a semi-auto shotgun. However, the springs are similar enough in size that a carrier latch spring can serve as an extra-heavy carrier dog follower spring if desired.

      Reply
  • 13.01.2014 at 04:59
    Permalink

    Vitaly do you think you could do a how to video on smoothing up the action?

    Reply
    • 13.01.2014 at 05:19
      Permalink

      Sure, I will. But the best way to smooth the action naturally is to shoot more :) I trained a group of shooters this week end. One of them just bought Remington 870P, action was VERY stiff.

      Reply
  • 05.07.2015 at 21:47
    Permalink

    i am building a list of upgrades for my 870. the 2 real upgrades and not just accessories(like mag extender etc.) are this spring and trigger assm. it is my understanding if you upgrade to a police trigger assm (all metal, no plastic) this spring is included, correct?

    Reply
  • 04.09.2015 at 08:08
    Permalink

    It is my understanding that older 870’s may have been manufactured with some superior parts compared to some of those used in newer models. Would you recommend this upgrade for an 870 Wingmaster manufactured in 1963?

    Reply
    • 04.09.2015 at 08:11
      Permalink

      Only if you have problems with it. Older 870s are believed to be much better than newer ones. Good old 870s often have better and sturdier parts.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up to the Newsletter and get "10 Tips to Building a Tactical Remington 870" ebook: