The two most common Remington 870 barrels are either the rifled barrel or the smoothbore. Rifled barrels are good for shooting sabot slugs like Premier Accutip Slug, Copper Solid Slug etc. These are the kind of barrels you would use if you are aiming to kill someone or something on a longer distance. Perhaps you want to looking to kill a big predator in the woods. These barrels help you have more stability and accuracy with your shots in order to do this kind of damage. If you are looking for a long range shotgun then rifled barrels would be your best option as well. As for smoothbore barrels, these are more suitable for rifled slugs, birdshot and buckshot. In other words, if you are looking to hunt small ducks or birds hen you would be better off using smoothbore.
Brownells has listed very interesting aftermarket barrels for Remington 870. Short barrel with the option of changing chokes makes shotgun more versatile. You can control spread using chokes which is important for hunting and home-defense. Tighter pattern is very good idea for a home defense shotgun.
Important Information about Remington 870 Tactical
KWhite, one of the members of the Remington 870 forum has asked question about Remington 870 Tactical:
“I just bought my first 870 (I came over from the also excellent Winnie 1300) and ended up getting the basic Tactical. I ordered a Rem slug barrel online – 20″ smoothbore -and I just dropped it in.
An issue: the barrel is fully seated but does not ‘lock’ in, i.e. I can manually disengage the barrel from the receiver quite easily. This seems… problematic.
The 18.5 tactical barrel I just took off of it has a belted groove near the receiver end that seats in the receiver that the slug barrel lacks, as well as a shallower slot opposite the receiver’s opening. Is this what is causing the slide-out?”
“What it looks like is that the barrel ring on the tactical barrel is what holds the barrel on by its tight proximity to the mag cap (extended mag). Since the slug barrel’s ring is farther down the barrel, and therefore not in contact with the mag cap, then there’s naught to hold the barrel into the receiver.”
Later, he has found solution to this problem:
“I just learned this about the 870 Tactical: “Due to the location of the barrel ring on this model you can not change to other Remington Barrels as this is the only one made for this weapon.”