Remington 870 Shotgun FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

The most Frequently Asked Questions about Remington 870 shotgun…

Remington 870 Shotgun FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Remington 870 Shotgun FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Rifled or smooth bore barrel?

Majority of shotguns come with smooth bore barrel. Rifled barrels for shotguns are not as popular as smooth bore barrels. There are many different types of barrels for Remington 870 shotgun.

Smooth barrel can be used with slugs, birdshot and slugs. Rifled barrel is designed specially for spin-stabilized slugs which are more accurate especially on longer distances. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t use it with other types of ammunition.

Rifled barrels require more time and efforts for cleaning.

2. What gauge? 12 or 20?

The most common gauges of Remington 870 are 12 and 20. 12 gauge is more popular and widely used. It is believed that 20 gauge shotgun is better for women and teenagers because recoil is softer, shotgun is lighter.

There is no much difference between 12 gauge and 20 gauge in home defense situation but gauge is very important for hunting. 20 gauge is as effective as 12 gauge on close distance.

The selection of ammo for 12 gauge shotgun is much wider than for 20 gauge. 12 gauge ammo is easier to find.

Anyway, you may choose 20 gauge if you recoil sensitive.

There are also Remington 870 shotguns in 16, 28 and 410 gauge but they are even less popular.

3. Are Remington 870 barrels interchangeable?

Most of the barrels are interchangeable but there is Remington 870 Tactical model with one piece magazine tube which has barrels which will fit only that model.

4. Is it possible to get oversized safety?

Yes, you can install oversized safety which is easier to disengage under stress or when using gloves. There are several types of aftermarket safety buttons for Remington 870.

5. Can I change wood stock of my Remington 870?

There are many aftermarket stocks available for your Remington 870 shotgun. You may choose plastic or wooden stock. There are pistol grip stocks or classic ones. Some people even choose pistol grip without stock to make Remington 870 as compact as possible.

6. Can I have better magazine follower?

Yes, you can easily replace standard follower with one of the many aftermarket Remington 870 followers. Some of them have very nice additional features which improve feeding.

7. What sights available for my shotgun?

You can have aftermarket light gathering or Tritium sights. There are ghost ring and rifle sights available for Remington 870.

8. Is it possible to install scope or red dot sight on Remington 870?

There are several ways of installation of scope or red dot sight on Remington 870 shotgun. If receiver of your shotgun is drilled and tapped, you can buy rail and install it on top of the receiver. If it is not you may drill and tap receiver of your shotgun yourself. Sometimes it is better to let a professional gunsmith do it.

9. What is the best way to attach tactical flashlight on my shotgun?

There are many ways to attach tactical flashlight to Remington 870 shotgun. You may get clamp, magnetic clamp, strap or forend light.

10. What is the magazine capacity of Remington 870 shotguns?

Standard magazine capacity of Remington 870 without magazine extension is 4+1 (in chamber). But you can install magazine extension and extend magazine capacity as much as you need. There are many different Remington and aftermarket magazine extensions from +1 to +6 rounds. You will need +1, +2 or +3 magazine extension for home defense, longer magazine extensions are used by competition shooters.

11. What variations of the 870 are avilable?

There are many models of Remington 870 available: Express, Wingmaster, Police, Marine, Deer etc. There are different types of stocks, finishes, barrels available.

12. What is the difference between the Police and the Express models?

There are many minor differences between Police and Express models. The main differences are better finish, metal trigger group, non-MIM extractor, heavier sear and carrier dog springs and other.

13. What is the difference between the Wingmaster and the Express models?

Finish of the shotgun and wood of the stock and forend are different. The Remington 870 Express model has a parkerized matte finish which easily rusts. Express model comes with laminate stock and forend. The Wingmaster has a blued finish and a walnut stock.

14. Is there a better magazine spring?

You will need longer magazine spring if you have magazine extension installed. Some shooters prefer longer magazine spring for more reliable feeding. There are two good manufacturers of high-quality magazine springs for shotguns: Wolff and Nordic Components. I prefer Nordic Components magazine springs.

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.

25 thoughts on “Remington 870 Shotgun FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • 12.04.2017 at 16:15
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    I purchased a 870 Express 12 gauge last year and it can support 2 3/4 shells and 3′ shells according to the barrel. Someone chopped the barrel down so it has no bead on the end of the barrel so its hard to aim it because you have no idea where your shot might be going without a bead, nor does it have ghost rings or sights of any kind. The only gun shop around that does drilling and tapping wants 20-40$ per hole drilled for ghost rings/mounting rails. I purchased my shotgun because it had a mag extension and a AR-15 pistol grip extending stock but whoever had it before me took the original finish off and used that silver colored stuff that you use for roofing to stop/prevent leaks and it was coming off like crazy, you could even remove it by scratching it with your finger nail and it was causing jams like no other because they put it on all the internal parts, bolt carrier ect…

    Because I’m not a painter or anything and cant afford to spend 150$ on a new finish I’ve been thinking since my barrel and receiver are down to bare metal that I should buy a another receiver and put mine on the side for a project later in the future.
    I’ve been looking at a cheap 12 gauge 870 Express Magnum Receiver, I just want to know if the barrel (Most likely yes), and all internal parts, trigger group/bolt/bolt carrier and both pins to hold the trigger group in the receiver, if they are 100% interchangeable with my 12 gauge 870 Express (Non express magnum, just express 12 gauge). This way I could just buy some primer and prime then paint the barrel and worry about doing a quality job on my receiver later.

    I want some sights for my shotgun but 20-40$ per hole drilled is expensive and I cant do it myself, is there any other option for sights without drilling and taping the receiver?

    Reply
  • 26.12.2017 at 17:27
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    I have a 870 12 ga that all of a sudden it stopped cycling correctly . very stiff to pull back the slide. anybody? I took it apart and can’t see where the problem lies ?

    Reply
  • 07.12.2019 at 07:23
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    Will 870 combo forend fit on my 870 express? I tend to place my left hand between the foreend and the receiver and that makes it slow for a quick follow up shot. I noticed the combo’s forend extends to the receiver. That would be great for me. Thank!
    Don Bernier, Maine deer hunter.

    Reply
  • 01.02.2020 at 11:08
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    Are all. Stocks interchangeable with my 870 expeess mag. I was thinking about buying a nice. Pretty wood stock and forearm off ebay. Thanks for your blog

    Reply
  • 10.06.2020 at 17:24
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    Can you put a 12 gauge 870 barrel on a 870, 16 gauge frame and shoot it safely ?

    Reply
  • 12.07.2020 at 08:08
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    My friend has an old 870. It currently has a 2 3/4″ chambered barrel. Can it be swapped out to a 3″ chambered barrel and function properly?

    Reply
      • 18.10.2020 at 09:05
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        What about the older ones? Say late 70’s early 80’s. Not sure the manufacturer date.

        Reply
  • 17.10.2020 at 07:47
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    I have a Remington 12 gauge shotgun that will only shoot 2 3/4 shells or.at least that is the markings on this barrel.. Can I put a barrel that is marked for both 2 3/4 and 3 inch on this shotgun. Can I then shot 3 inch shells in this shotgun also.

    Reply
    • 18.10.2020 at 03:26
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      Yes, all current production 870s can use 3 inch shells with barrel that is marked for both 2 3/4 and 3 inch.

      Reply
    • 18.10.2020 at 09:07
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      If you do this please let me know. I am in the same situation.

      Reply
      • 18.10.2020 at 09:11
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        There is a very easy way to tell if your Remington 870 has a magnum receiver. Just look at the serial number engraved on the receiver and see if it ends with the letter “M.” If it does then you have a 12-gauge magnum receiver installed in your weapon. There are also more powerful magnum receivers that can handle even more powerful shells. If the serial number on your receiver has the letter “A” at the end of it, then this signifies that it is a 12-gauge super magnum receiver. These super magnums can shoot shells that go up to 3 ½ inches in length, as long as the barrel is chambered for it.

        Reply
        • 14.02.2021 at 10:25
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          There is a v at the end of the serial number. What does that mean?

          Reply
  • 21.11.2020 at 09:44
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    I have the 870 police magnum that supports 2 3/4 and 3in shells my quetion is can i still shoot both 2 3/4 and 3in slugs through it or should i just shoot 3in

    Reply
  • 14.02.2021 at 10:25
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    There is a v at the end of the serial number. What does that mean?

    Reply
  • 12.03.2021 at 11:45
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    Will a LW Wingmaster 20 gauge barrel fit a Compact Express 20 gauge gun

    Reply

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