There are many barrels available for the Remington 870 and other shotgun models. Most of the barrels have standard lengths like 18.5″, 21″, 26″, and 28″. Some of them are a smoothbore and some of them are rifled. In addition, there are many chokes available.

So, which one is better to shoot slugs with? Which one is more accurate? What is the best slug barrel? Usually, shooters and instructors recommend using a Cylinder or Improved Cylinder with slugs. Some shooters know that there is a rifled choke option, but they are not sure about its efficiency.
I conducted a series of tests to understand shotgun, chokes, and slugs much better. It took a lot of time but now I can share the results with you.

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Remington 870 Super Magnum with a few modifications from Remington 870 Forum.

-FAB Defense Core stock with riser
-NEA 14″ barrel (that actually fits very well)
Some cheap sidesaddle mount and a Bushnell TRS-25. It’s a very comfortable rig. And when I throw my 30″ barrel on there it makes a great goose gun.

NEA Remington 870 14" Barrel
NEA Remington 870 14″ Barrel

Click here for FAB Defense Accessories for Remington 870

Interesting info from James from Shoten Armory:

While the enclosed (attached) photos are obviously of Mossberg 500 barrels, we
receive the same results from our ported Remington barrels as well. You will
notice I did not specify a length. The barrel by itself is a 20″ and the two barrels
together are set up differently. One used to be a 28″ vent rig reduced to 18.” and
ported by Shoten Armory while the other is a stock 18.5″ Mossberg barrel with
Mossberg heat shield with Shoten Armory porting and bead front sight.

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JonSEAZ, one of the readers shared his experience with Remington 870 Carlsons barrels:

“I recently bought one of these barrels and an array of Carlson screw-in chokes. At this point, I could not be any happier with it. A very nice barrel, inside and out. The one I received fit my 870 perfectly; the exterior finish flawless; the chrome-lined bore nicely done; the threading cleanly cut and the chokes screw in and out nicely; overall, a very nice barrel which now allows me to play with different chokes on a nominally defensive shotgun.

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Remington 870 with Long and Short Barrel. Long barrel is good for hunting, trap, skeet and competition shooting. Short barrel is good for home defense.

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The Mid Bead on Shotguns

Remington 870 Barrel with Mid Bead
Remington 870 Barrel with Mid Bead

There is a lot of debate in shooting circles about mid beads. Do they enhance a shooters capability? To some extent, just believing they do help can increase your confidence and of course increase your ability.

Some go as far to say that if you are looking at the bead you are not shooting at the target and having one more bead only gives you even more distractions. Every shooter has habits and even so-called rituals or superstitions. Change comes hard to some because they were brought up to believe in one way, and their way works, for them. However, you may never know how well your way works unless you do some comparison. Do what all advanced shooters do, explore new ways to increase proficiency. Soldiers do not train for a few weeks and then declare themselves soldiers and then never explore new training techniques or stop practicing.

Older shooters may have experienced mid beads on firearms designed for target practice. It was in many people’s mind a training tool. The mid bead allows for better alignment because over time your body changes and your sight picture will change. You may position your neck differently and your cheek weld changes. You may only think you have lined up the front bead on target. You think you are focused on the target with your eye when in fact your body is not positioned properly. You would know if your sight picture is off if, you could use the mid bead to verify alignment.

With practice after getting into a shooting position, you will naturally verify bead on bead and on target then blank out the mid bead, essentially you are shooting over the mid bead. Having a mid bead for some people means, they know the barrel is level.

As any shooter knows the bead is not there for the shooter to stare at, and if you do as a shooter you will likely miss your target. Once the bead is lined up, it should blur into the background, it is there and your eyes register it so you can always tell if you have “drawn a bead”. Your eyes can only focus on one thing at a time and you must be focused on the target. The bead is a flag waving in the background to let you know all is ok.

A mid bead can help you learn your natural point of aim and to maintain it. The natural point of aim is that point you always come back to. You may close your eyes for a few seconds and when you open them, the sight picture will not have changed. The mid bead will tell you when you had your eyes closed if you moved your weapon from its mount/shooting position. If you find yourself suddenly looking over the mid bead or cannot see the front bead something has changed. Once positioned correctly you will see only one bead the mid bead fades and then the bigger front bead will fade as you focus on target. It will take some practice but once you shoot using a mid bead you may find yourself finding your true and natural point of aim more easily each time.

Related Posts:
Remington 870 Barrels

Remington 870 barrels are back in stock, you can choose one of the many options:

Barrel, 18.5″, IC Bead Sight, Parkerized

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