What is the difference between a Remington 870 Wingmaster and an Express?

What is the difference between a Remington 870 Wingmaster and an Express?

1978 Remington 870 Wingmaster
1978 Remington 870 Wingmaster

The Remington 870 Express and Remington 870 Wingmaster are two weapons with a lot in common. Their performances are much pretty equal to each other. The only real difference between the two shotguns is their cosmetic look and some of the internal parts. The Remington 870 Express contains synthetic fore-ends and stocks made of laminated wood. The metal surfaces of the shotgun have a matte finish that is not polished. As for the Remington 870 Wingmaster, its stock and fore-end are made out of walnut and its metal surfaces have a polished blue finish to them. Not only does this make the shotgun look more attractive, but it also means it has higher quality materials that are more durable as well. The action is smoother.

As for the internal parts, they are almost all the same and have the same mechanical specifications. Wingmaster uses more reliable non-MIM extractor. The only other difference you will find is in the price of each weapon because of their cosmetic differences. The Remington 870 Wingmaster will obviously be more expensive since it is made with walnut and polished metal surfaces. The current retail price for the Wingmaster is about $847.00. Compare this to the current retail price of $417.00 for the Remington 870 Express and you will understand why cosmetic materials go a long way.

Remington 870 Express
Remington 870 Express

If you are deciding which weapon to purchase, the price is probably going to be what you’ll look at the most. The Express 870 costs about 50% less than the Wingmaster, and that will go a long way with people. But if you are someone who cherishes their shotgun and wants classic look and the highest quality materials on the outside, then go ahead and purchase the Wingmaster. It may shoot the same but it will be something better to look at when you hang it on the wall or go out hunting with your buddies. Just make sure you take care of your Wingmaster by keeping up the polishing of the metal surfaces and periodically oiling the walnut of the stock and fore-end. If you do that then the shotgun should be able to last you for many years to come.

Differences Between Remington 870 Express, Police and Wingmaster

Some features of the Remington 870 shotgun have changed, such as the locking safety. Let’s examine some of the main differences between the Remington 870 Police, Remington 870 Wingmaster, and the Remington 870 Express. The Remington 870 Wingmaster is the classic shotgun that is often called the “Cadillac” of Remington. The Remington 870 Police is a specially built and crafted shotgun the looks similar to a Wingmaster, but instead has a dull finish to it.

The Remington 870 Express is considered to be the most affordable of the three. Anyone who is new to shotgun ownership, and on a budget, will likely choose the Express. Remington has been able to make this shotgun more affordable because they have less manual labor going into its manufacturing. Plus, there are rumors Express shotguns are not polished or de-burred like the more advanced models, such as the Police and Wingmaster. If you’ve seen the new Marine Magnum and Tactical shotguns, you may have noticed they’re based on the Remington 870 Express model. However, the Express has similar high-quality steel components inside of it that the better 870’s have. The only difference is a different finish and that it does contain some MIM parts and plastic parts as well.

Remington 870 Express

Remington 870 Express Magnum
Remington 870 Express Magnum

The Remington 870 Express has a plastic trigger group and a new plastic magazine retention system. The magazine tubes themselves have dimples on them, while the extended magazine versions do not have dimples. Some owners say that interior and exterior of their shotguns have a rough finish, with a few burrs and machine marks on it. The bore is lightly polished and may require additional polishing. I always polish chamber of my Express shotguns to make extraction of the fired shotshells more reliable.

As for the stock, you can choose between synthetic or hardwood material for it. Most stocks will come with a sporting length forend with checkering that’s pressed-in.

The home defense version of the Remington 870 Express contains an 18-inch cylinder bore barrel and has a front bead sight on it for aiming. As for the Tactical and Marine Magnum models of the Express, their finishes are different, Marine is nickel plated to make it resistant to corrosion and water. There is even some internal metal injection molded parts in the Express, such as the extractor part.

Remington 870 Wingmaster

Remington 870 Wingmaster
Remington 870 Wingmaster

The Remington 870 Wingmaster contains an aluminum trigger group and a classic style magazine retention system. The finish is much smoother on the interior and exterior, and there are no burrs or machine marks either. It also contains a bolt that’s chrome plated, bore that’s polished, and stocks made out of walnut with the popular “Bowling Pin” finish on them. Each weapon is polished in commercial quality blue finish and it receives a thorough inspection before it is released for sale. There are a number of choices available when it comes to the length of the barrels and the chokes you want to use inside the barrel. Plus, the weapon’s extractor is milled and it contains no MIM parts whatsoever. The Remington 870 Wingmaster is truly a commercial quality gun that has remained a classic for decades because of its unique design and functionality.

Remington 870 Police

Remington 870 Police Magnum
Remington 870 Police Magnum

Law enforcement and military officers will likely use the Remington 870 Police pump action shotgun. It contains an aluminum trigger group with a classic style magazine retention system, just like the Wingmaster. It also has a smooth interior and exterior with no visible burrs or machine marks. Since this is a police-issued weapon, it receives the most thorough inspection that you can imagine. Everything from the internal parts to the finishing of the weapon is inspected for perfection. The military-style parkerized finish sure makes this weapon stand out visually from the other Remington 870 models.

In addition, the Police model has a polished bore and 18-inch to 20-inch improved cylinder barrel. You can add sights to this barrel to help with your aim such as a ghost ring, luminous and rifle sights. The weapon contains a heavy-duty magazine spring, trigger-sear spring, and shell lifter spring. The stock is made out of either synthetic or walnut stock, depending on the version you choose. The forend that comes with the stock is also short to make it compatible with Police car racks and can be pumped quickly and easily by the officer who is using it. There is even a Remington Supercell recoil pad installed which has the ability to reduce the recoil of the weapon by as much as 30%. Other optional upgrades include sling swivels, forearms with lights built into them, and magazine extenders. No MIM parts are inside this weapon, including the extractor (which is milled).

Conclusion

To sum up these weapons, the Remington 870 Express is an affordable shotgun, the Remington 870 Wingmaster is a great sporting gun for hunting, and the Remington 870 Police is perfect for self-defense purposes. No matter which one you choose, you are guaranteed to have a high-quality shotgun.

On a side note, here are some extra things you need to watch out for when using these weapons. Perhaps this information will help you decide which weapon you want to use. There are rumors that Express, for example, is not as well de-burred on the outside or inside. If you were to run your fingers through its interior, you could find sharp edges sometimes. The Police and Wingmaster, however, have smooth burrs because they are processed through a vibratory deburring tank. That is why more machine marks can be found on the Express shotgun and why it is a little bit rougher on the inside. On the upside, the Express should eventually get smoother as you continue to use it regularly. As for the outside of the Police and Wingmaster shotguns, the polish used on them helped remove most of the machine marks before its finishing was applied. The finish on the Express still reveals its machine marks, though.

All three models have some similarities. They all contain the same receiver that was forged and milled. All their internal components are heavy-duty material to ensure their long lifespan. This is a lifespan that lasts for about 250,000 rounds on each of the three models. But if you have a shotgun with an aluminum frame, the lifespan will likely be about 70,000 rounds instead.

Related posts:
Differences between Remington 870 Express and Remington 870 Police
Buy Firearms, Shotguns Including Remington 870 Online

Remington 870 Wingmaster with Left Handed Safety Button

Remington 870 Wingmaster with Left Handed Safety Button from Remington 870 Forum:

Remington 870 Wingmaster with Left Handed Safety Button
Remington 870 Wingmaster with Left Handed Safety Button

1970’s PD trade-in Wingmaster
– New production 870P 18.5″ IC barrel
– Remington +2 magazine extension
– Surefire 618FGA forend
– Speedfeed IV-S stock
– GG&G front slide plate
– 870P heavy carrier dog spring
– Fortmann’s left-handed safety

1978 Remington 870 Wingmaster

1978 Wingmaster with 18.5 Mossberg barrel and Remington +2 extention from Rob65 from Remington 870 Forum:

1978 Remington 870 Wingmaster
1978 Remington 870 Wingmaster
1978 Remington 870 Wingmaster
1978 Remington 870 Wingmaster

Remington 870 Wingmaster Stock and Forend

Remington 870 Wingmaster Stock and Forend. Very nice set:

Remington 870 Wingmaster Stock and Forend for Sale
Remington 870 Wingmaster Stock and Forend for Sale

Beautiful Remington 870 Wingmaster

tom has posted very nice photos of his brand new Remington 870 Wingmaster on Remington 870 forum:

Had already decided on Express, but after seeing the new Wingmaster – it just won me over. So, here is my brand new (at the moment fired 0 times) 870 Wingmaster (12 gauge magnum). Going to take it apart later, clean it up and then spend some time tomorrow at the range.

Looks lovely and I was surprised it actually came with a Limbsaver recoil pad from factory. The chamber looks rather rough, but I don’t have anything to compare it to (your thoughts)? Also, I noticed the bolt face had some red markings on it which I cleaned up, guessing from some testing at the factory.

Remington 870 Wingmaster
Remington 870 Wingmaster
Remington 870 Wingmaster
Remington 870 Wingmaster
Remington 870 Wingmaster Chamber
Remington 870 Wingmaster Chamber
Remington 870 Wingmaster Limbsaver
Remington 870 Wingmaster Limbsaver

Model WingMaster
Order No. 26927
Gauge 12
Action Type Pump
Average Weight (lbs.) 7
Barrel Length (in.) 28″
Drop (Comb) 1 1/2″
Drop (Heel) 2 1/2″
Ejector Extractor
Length of Pull (in.) 14 1/4″
Mag Cap 4
Overall Length (in.) 48 1/2″
Receiver Finish High Polish Blue
Rib
Sights Twin Bead
Stock Finish Hi-Gloss
Stock Material American Walnut
Barrel Type Light Contour
Vent Rib Rem -Choke

 

Best Upgrades for Remington 870
Best Upgrades for Remington 870

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.

13 thoughts on “What is the difference between a Remington 870 Wingmaster and an Express?

  • 11.02.2017 at 18:27
    Permalink

    The main difference between the 870 express and the wingmaster is the working parts. All the working parts in the wingmaster are machined, while all the working parts in the express are stamped. The wingmaster has a much smoother action than the express because of this. Less hand labor goes into making the express since all the working parts are stamped, which is the main reason for the higher price tag of a wingmaster.

    Reply
    • 29.07.2018 at 03:05
      Permalink

      Not only are the Express parts stamped, but the trigger assembly is plastic, compared to the machines steel of the Wingmaster! Big difference!!!

      Reply
    • 07.10.2019 at 21:22
      Permalink

      Pretty sure thats not accurate. I know both receivers are milled. Orher than the extractior being cast instead of milled, and perhaps more polishing on the Wingmaster, my understanding is that funtionally and in the fabricating of parts they are the same.

      Reply
    • 27.10.2019 at 20:22
      Permalink

      This is completely untrue. The extractor is mim (stamped) but the other internals are the same. The trigger housing is metal vs. Plastic, and theres a bit less polishing done overall. Add to that the different exterior finish and you have wingmaster vs. Express. Its dangerous to give out bad info.

      Reply
      • 03.09.2020 at 13:45
        Permalink

        MIM is metal injection molded. It is powder metal injection (like plastic injection molding, except usingmetal paste, the paste is injected into a mold then processed at high temperature to burn off binders and sinter the piece. There can be variation of this process. MIM is not stamped. Hitting the part after sintering, called forging is not the stamped process either. I’ve worked extensively in the powder metal industry, both classic P/M and MIM. There are subpar MIM parts out there. That is because the manufacturer essentially has not mastered the process. I’ve worked with Ruger, testing the life of MIM parts. The industry has gotten a bad rap due to bottom end manufacturers. P/M or classic powder metal, suffered from a bad reputation for years ever since parts started being made, debatably in the 1950’s. The automotive industry has been steadily increasing the use of P/M in its cars as quality increases and technology advances. Look for laser sintered metal parts in the near future with made by 3D printing with powder metal paste rather than the injection process. Here’s a good source: https://www.pm-review.com/introduction-to-powder-metallurgy/markets-for-powder-metallurgy-components/

        Reply
    • 14.06.2020 at 17:53
      Permalink

      Not so, the internal parts are pretty much the same, only the exterior parts are less refined. Performance is the same.

      Reply
  • 09.04.2018 at 10:27
    Permalink

    I have both and don’t think there is any difference in durability. The express has a few cheaper parts, but unlikely to break. Hardwood and walnut are equally durable. The metal of both will rust if neglected. And I doubt any “oils” the high gloss finish of a Wingmaster.

    Reply
    • 02.08.2020 at 23:08
      Permalink

      wing master VS express…finish wing master blued with fancier wood…express better finish for hunters. Dual action slide same, wing master bolt crome…express dull black anti corrosive (other then finish same part (extractor in bolt MIM in express, I replaced it with the machined steel no difference), slide under bolt same, trigger group, blued steel housing wing master…plastic housing express other then that they work exactly the same,,,same internal parts. receiver pretty blue in wing master…express dull matt finish (definitely better for hunters) both receivers same steel. magazine tube same on both. both have a marginal magazine spring, I put in the police spring (Brownell’s) in my express and it was an improvement. There are some gorgeous wing masters produced over the years and if you have the $$ and desire go for the fancy. Don’t care about fancy the express is a fabulous gun for the money. BEWARE: for a while some of the express models had an issue with barrel quality in the chamber. There is plenty on the net to guide you through fixing this issue…I did it to a bad one and solved the problem without going through warranty. I’m a hunter, life member of the ATA and the NSCA….shot thousands of rounds since 1960 and owned many different shot guns. I am qualified to make the above statements

      Reply
  • 19.05.2018 at 21:51
    Permalink

    Am looking to convert my 870 from 4 shot to 8 shot i have the barrels to do it but need instructions ( CAN YOU HELP) Thx BILL

    Reply
  • 01.01.2020 at 20:55
    Permalink

    The wing master imo has a short fast pump stroke, perfect for shooting from the hip or shoulder.. idk about the express but my wing master chambers 2 3/4″ & 3″ magnum shells with no problems ever.

    Reply
  • 03.06.2020 at 01:01
    Permalink

    What about the barrel rifling? Or choke? I’m new to this stuff. I have the express Hunting version. I’m just curious as to what slugs I should get. Any information will be greatly appreciated, thank you.

    Reply
  • 15.08.2020 at 15:06
    Permalink

    I have an 870 Express (takes 3″ magnums) that does not have a laminated wood stock. Mine was purchased in the early 1990s and this is definitely not a laminate. Real solid wood. I took it to a gun smith to get one of the barrels re-blued due to improper storage and not checking it causing some rust. He made the comment about the serial number (starts with A7) and the wood stock.

    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: