Correcting 4 Common Remington 870 Problems

There are several common problems of Remington 870 shotgun. They are well known but new owners may have problems diagnosing and fixing them.

So, I decided to list the most common problems and how to fix them. Remington 870 is a very good shotgun, you just need to understand how to use it.

1. Failure to extract.

Remington 870 - Shell Stuck in a Barrel
Remington 870 – Shell Stuck in a Barrel

This is when fired shotshell becomes stuck in the chamber. Failure to extract problem is one of the most common Remington 870 problems. It is often happens with cheap and low brass ammo.

There are several possible solutions to fix this problem. First, buy several boxes of ammo from different manufacturers and test what ammo will be good for your shotgun. You many even not need to do any changes to your Remington 870.

Another way to fix failure to extract is to install non-MIM extractor on your Remington 870 shotgun. It is sturdier than MIM extractor and this may help. There is also new Volquartsen Remington 870 Exact Edge Extractor which is also better than standard MIM extractor.

But if you tried everything above and still have failures to extract then you many need to polish a chamber of your shotgun.

Some of the new Remington 870 shotguns have failure to extract problems. Let’s see why they happen and how can we fix this.

Failure to extract happens when we cannot extract fired shell. This prevents shotgun from loading new shell into chamber. This is bad, especially during home defense situation.

There are several ways to fix Remington 870 failure to extract.

Rack harder, rack faster!

Give your Remington 870 to more expreienced shotgunner for tests. Is everything ok? Does he have failure to extract problems? If no, then something is wrong with your skills.

Try to rack your shotgun faster and harder. Believe me, Remington 870 is very strong shotgun and you don’t need to be gentle when reloading shotgun. This may fix failure to extract problem.

Polish chamber

Check chamber of your Remington 870, is it rough? After shot, shell hull extends in size and if your chamber is rough it becomes difficult to extract fired shell. You will need to polish Remington 870 chamber to fix failure to extract problem.

Change Extractor

Check extractor of your Remington 870. Is it old? Does it look damaged or you can see that it has marks of wear and tear? Is it factory MIM extractor? Replace it with non-MIM extractor. This may fix failure to extract problem.

Check Ejector

Check Remington 870 ejector and ejector spring, do they look ok? If no, replace them, this one of the most often problems which cause failure to extract problems.

Readers, do you know any other ways of fixing Remington 870 failure to extract?

2. Rust.

Rusty Remington 870 Wingmaster
Rusty Remington 870 Wingmaster

Remington 870 Express easily rusts but this also happens to its closest competitor – Mossberg 500 (receiver is made of aluminum but it has steel barrel, magazine tube etc.). So, make sure that you always clean and lube your shotgun. Thin layer of oil will protect exterior of your shotgun from rust.

Remember that when you carry your shotgun from cold environment into a warm room, condensate will appear on metal surfaces. Make sure to wipe all water from the shotgun.

Also, rust inhibitors like Shooter’s Choice Rust Prevent will help you to protect your shotgun from rust even under rain.

3. Broken Ejector or Ejector Spring.

Broken Ejector on Remington 870 Express Shotgun
Broken Ejector on Remington 870 Express Shotgun

Remington 870 ejector or ejector spring can be easily broken. Sometimes you can use shotgun for years and shoot thousands of rounds and everything will be ok but sometimes this can happen to almost new shotgun.

Broken ejector or ejector spring is not a part that you can easily change without tools. You can have a gunsmith do this repair for you or you can order set of special tools and fix this problem at home.

Remington 870 ejector spring replacement is easy to do when you have the right tools. This doesn’t happen often but it is better to have spare parts ready.

Read more: Remington 870 Ejector Spring Replacement

4. Follower stuck in a joint between magazine tube and magazine tube extension

Nordic Components Shotgun Follower
Nordic Components Shotgun Follower

When you cannot load the magazine of your shotgun to the full capacity. It looks like something is stuck inside and you just cannot insert next round into the magazine tube. Or when spring is stuck behind the follower and there is no pressure on rounds and they just travel freely inside of the magazine tube.

This can happen with both standard and aftermarket followers. So, be sure to test your shotgun on a shooting range to ensure proper and reliable functioning of your Remington 870 shotgun.

I highly recommend changing standard follower with one of the aftermarket followers for Remington 870.

Do you know any other common Remington 870 problems? Please leave a comment.

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 blog and forum is to have a compilation of information about the Remington 870 shotgun in one organized, accessible place.

6 thoughts on “Correcting 4 Common Remington 870 Problems

  • 16.06.2016 at 22:54

    I’ve scoured the internet for an 870 item #81100. This is a 20ga tactical.
    Can’t find one for sale.

    The last sale that I’ve seen was in 2013.
    Any recommendations where I can get this item?

  • 24.12.2016 at 12:35

    I converted an 870 20Ga express to “tactical” mode with an 18″ barrel. Be careful, the first replacement 20ga barrel I picked up was for the old “full size receiver” 870’s and doesn’t fit the “new” smaller 20ga frames.

  • 08.08.2018 at 11:10

    My new 12 g 870 will empty every round without firing but shoot one round and i can’t pull back on the pump it sticks less than 200 rounds have been fired only a year old and I clean all my guns like a mad man changed out ammo still the same problem

  • 16.10.2019 at 11:51

    I bought 2-870’s a couple of years ago for 2 brothers and we took them to dove hunt Sunday and BOTH of them jammed after 10 to 15 shots at the exact same time . They had only shot them less than 15 shots before that. These guns are brand new! They’ve been kept inside and not exposed to weather. I expect Remington should pay for the repairs. This was not the quality I expected from buying new guns from a “respected “ manufacturer. Please contact me with your response
    Phil Denny

  • 07.11.2019 at 03:39

    My 870 has a loud *ting* like a tuning fork when pumping and I can’t figure it out. Has anybody else had this problem?

  • 10.06.2020 at 18:07

    I bought a new 24” 870 Express in 2011, the changed the design from my 1990s model, the shell retainer spring? Is tac welded to receiver instead of older design and first time disassembled to clean my rag hung and twing it popped out. It has a slot and two little posts but is tack welded in slot. It was now 2013, (I traveled a lot then) so it was out of warranty. I used original jb weld and small c clamp to reattach it. It’s holding it still, though I haven’t fired more than a box of #4 high brass, just sad that Remington gets cheaper and cheaper on their guns, even trigger group is plastic now… next shotgun will be a moss berg they sill look to use metal and my friend has fired hundreds through his.



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: