Video which shows drilling and tapping of the Remington 870 receiver to install.

Thanks to Andrew and Bill for help and comments. Thanks to S&J Hardware for the rail.

Drilling Machine
Drilling Machine
If you have Remington 870 Express and want to add rail or ghost ring sight you will need to drill and tap you receiver. Rail can be used to attach scope or red dot.

Drilling and tapping is often considered as very difficult procedure. You can order drilling and tapping from gunsmith but this can cost you from $25 for one hole.

I have received an S&J Hardware rail for Remington 870 and decided to drill and tap the receiver of my Remington 870 to show you how to do this.

Drilling and tapping of the receiver is also required for installation of ghost ring sights, so this post is going to be very useful for all Remington 870 owners which want to upgrade their firearm.

Equipment required for drilling and tapping

ATTENTION! Safety First! Use Protective Equipment when Working! This modification cannot be undone. Do it only if you know what you are doing and have required skills.

ADVICES: High quality drill bits and taps are very important. If one snaps off during the process, you are screwed. Using cutting oil during the process of both drilling and tapping helps reduce the heat and provides smoother cutting.

You will need a drilling machine to make accurate holes in the receiver. It is also important to have high-quality drills and tap.

Number 31 Drill Drilling of the Remington 870 Receiver
Number 31 Drill Drilling of the Remington 870 Receiver
6-48 Plug Tap for Tapping of the Remington 870
6-48 Plug Tap for Tapping of the Remington 870

Most of the sights and rails come with standard screws but it is better to ask manufacturer what drill and tap do they recommend to use. In case with S&J Hardware I have bought following items:
#31 Drill
6-48 Plug Tap

I have bought several of them to have a spare one, but it turned out that one drill and one tap was enough.

Drilling and Tapping: Preparation

Use ruler and pencil to find and mark the center of the receiver. My shotgun is Dark Flat Earth, so I could use black pencil, if you have black shotgun, you will need white pencil.

Preparation for Drilling and Tapping
Preparation for Drilling and Tapping
Center Line on the Receiver of Remington 870
Center Line on the Receiver of Remington 870

Frame the drill target with duct tape for easier use of center punch and to protect the adjacent area.

Duct Tape on the Drill Target
Duct Tape on the Drill Target

When you have found center line, you can mark the places where you want to make holes.

Preparation for Drilling and Tapping
Preparation for Drilling and Tapping

Use a center punch to mark the target:

Use a Center Punch to Mark the Target
Use a Center Punch to Mark the Target

Secure the Receiver under the Right Perpendicular Angle:

Secure the Receiver under the Right Angle
Secure the Receiver under the Right Angle

Drill the hole in the receiver:

Drill Remington 870 Rceiver
Drill Remington 870 Rceiver

Tap the hole in the receiver:

Tapping Remington 870 Receiver
Tapping Remington 870 Receiver

I recommend drilling and tapping first hole on the beginning of the receiver to check the rail alignment. Then drill and tap hole in the end of the receiver and check alignment again. Then drill and tap two other holes.

Receiver of Remington 870 is very thick, but there is one place where it is thinner and screw needs to be sanded down:

Screw Needs to be Sanded Down
Screw Needs to be Sanded Down

You will need to drill and tap 4 holes in the receiver of your Remington 870. After this, your shotgun will have a rail which makes it look very good and enables you to attach additional equipment:

Remington 870 with Drilled and Tapped Receiver
Remington 870 with Drilled and Tapped Receiver

Drilling and Tapping Remington 870 Receiver (Video)

Drilling and Tapping Remington 870 Receiver (Video):

Do you have experience with drilling and tapping? And questions or advices?

Recommended Products:
6-48 Premium Tap
6-48 Premium Tap
6-48 Premium Tap
#31 3-Flute Carbide Drill
#31 3-Flute Carbide Drill
#31 3-Flute Carbide Drill
Mark on Anything Pencils
Mark on Anything Pencils
Mark on Anything Pencils
Tap Wrench
Tap Wrench
Tap Wrench

8 comments

  1. efpierce

    Your other video was good, but this one is excellent. You give us step-by-step instructions and you take it slowly which I like a lot. I can watch this video while I’m doing the work with minimal pauses.

    1. efpierce

      I actually don’t see a video version of this one. I will just scroll down as I work then! Easier for me that way.

  2. Ronnieboy

    Will the S&J Hardware rail for Remington 870 and the outlined procedures also work for a 20 gauge Remington 870 Express shotgun?

  3. I would like to recommend using a stub drill bit. And if you drill press has a long quill length, use a tap-center in the chuck after drilling to hold the tap perfectly straight while cutting the threads. Old machinist trick, from an old machinist.

  4. I was just wondering, would it be alright to drill and tap an 870 marine magnum? i’m not sure if that would ruin the nickel coating and that i’d need it re-finished or is there pre-drilled and tap marine magnum receivers?

  5. R.Pilon

    Great info and video. My only other recommendation would be to buy and use a stubby drill bit instead so as to avoid chatter. This will produce a more precise hole in terms of tolerance of diameter, roundness and perpendicularity.

  6. Derrick Rhodes

    A good rule of thumb when drilling steel is slow on the speed heavy on the feed. Meaning you won’t burn up your drill bits if you slow the RPM of your drill press and good downward pressure of your drill press. You should also use drill lube when drilling . You can use the same lube for drilling and tapping. As you are tapping you want to back the tap out to remove shavings if you don’t it’s a good way to brake a tap.

  7. Does anyone know the hole locations of a factory drilled and tapped receiver or at least the first hole from front of receiver.
    Thanks

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