There are three controls that an 870 user manipulates with their shooting hand: the trigger, the safety switch, and the slide release. With the traditional semi-grip shotgun stocks that the 870 was designed to use, these controls are all easy to reach and manipulate. Pistol grips, whether part of a stock or stand-alone, can have a significant effect on how – and how easily – these controls are manipulated. Pistol grips rarely interfere with the gun’ s trigger for obvious reasons, but they can – and frequently do – make working the safety or slide release slower or more difficult.
The 870’ s cross-bolt safety is located right behind the trigger, and with a traditional stock that’ s no wider than the receiver and doesn’ t enclose the rear of the trigger guard, it is possible to apply pressure on the safety with the side of the finger, rather than the tip. This allows the user to disengage the safety while keeping their fingertip on or very near the trigger, so a shot can be made virtually immediately. With traditional stocks, the safety is also fairly easily reached with the thumb or middle finger for re-engagement, or for disengagement in the case of left-handed shooters using an 870 with a right-handed safety switch.
I won’t get into when, where, and for what I think pistol grips should and shouldn’t be used, because it would just add several thousand more words to what is already a massive piece. I’ll simply say that while they have many downsides, and a fixed or folding stock will be a better choice for many situations, pistol-gripped shotguns do have their place. They’re very compact & maneuverable, and (usually) lighter than a full stock, which can be beneficial on a gun that’s used more as a tool than a weapon, or one that needs to be stored or deployed in very tight spaces. They’re also cool; a lot of folks (myself included) buy a pistol grips just for fun, and that’s a perfectly legitimate reason to own one.
Hogue is a company which sells parts and accessories for firearms. Some of their most popular upgrades are made for the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 shotguns. Some of the stocks that Hogue sells for the Remington 870 have a twelve-inch length of pull (Short Shot model). This turns the shotgun into a compact weapon and gives the shooter more mobility when they’re in constricted environments. Hogue also has standard sized stocks that are a bit longer so it really depends on your body size and the areas you’ll be using the shotgun in. For example, if you are a shooter with long hands then you may not like having a twelve-inch length of pull. But if you have shorter hands then it will be more comfortable for you.
Once World War II had finally ended, an engineer of Remington Arms named Merle Walker started to create a cheaper alternative to the popular Remington 30. His creation would become the Remington 721. This particular rifle model featured a cylindrical receiver that was constructed with a piece of cylindrical bar stock. A lathe could be used to turn the stock too, instead of using various milling operations to machine it. This method would ultimately lower the production costs of the weapon.
Also, the 721 contained a lot of smaller metal components that were stamped, like the bottom metal. However, the finishing of the stocks was not as impressive as it was with the older Remington models. Walker continued to develop upon the 721 bolt-action rifle a lot further, resulting in the Remington 722 and 725 models. In 1962, the Remington 700 would be born.
Walker wanted the rifles to be more accurate and the lock time to be faster. When the Remington 700 was finished, it was mass produced just like the Remington 721 was before. There were originally two versions of the Remington 700 produced by the company. There was the Remington BDL and Remington ADL, which had long-action rifles and short-action rifles available. This let users chamber cartridges that were different from each other.
By the year 1969, Remington Arms released numerous upgrades for the Model 700, such as a rear bolt shroud that was longer, better finishing for the stock, and a jeweled bolt. In 1973, Remington even produced versions of the Model 700 for left-handed shooters. This was their way of competing with another rifle for left-handed shooters, the Savage 110 model. Left-handed rifles had only been produced by Savage at the time, so it was big news when Remington started doing it too. More Model 700 versions were released shortly after, like the 700ti which had a titanium receiver, the CDL, and the 700SPS. The Model 700 had been mostly designed as a hunting rifle, but it still had the capability of being useful as a sniper rifle for police and military operations. In 1966, the U.S. Marine Corps ordered the M40 rifles for its troops. Twenty years later, the U.S. Army would begin using the M24 sniper rifle.
The stock of the shotgun is truly the most attractive part of the weapon. Not only is it the most noticeable when you first see the weapon, but it also provides the shooter with certain benefits which help their stability and accuracy. Obviously, not all stocks are made of the same material or cut into the same size. There are all kinds of sizes, materials, and shapes with the stock choices on the market these days. You just need to be able to figure out which stock is going to be comfortable for your body type and preference. However, if you are upgrading another shotgun by replacing its factory stock with a better-quality stock, you have to make sure the new stock you purchase is compatible with the model of your shotgun. Otherwise, the stock won’t be able to fit properly onto the receiver. Sometimes, it is recommended that you purchase a stock from the same company that made your shotgun because this will increase its chances of being fully compatible.
frankhenrylee has posted pics of his shotguns with Magpul and Hogue forends and stocks on Remington 870 Forum.
frankhenrylee, thanks a lot for the pics and sharing your experience!
“I decided to get it back out after posting yesterday to give it another look. I measured it and 12.5″ LOP for the SGA is correct. The Hogue actually seem to be about 11.75″ LOP. LOP is kind of tough to measure because you really don’t know where they were measuring from. I measured from the trigger to the middle of the buttpad, which was not the longest point, but seemed the most accurate and comparable. The Magpul forend is also about .25″ shorter on the back end compared to the Hogue making the combination of the Magpul parts feel like they had about an inch longer LOP than the Hogue. The grip of the SGA also has a squared off front with slight palm swells on both sides, but something about these two features just didn’t feel right to my hand. I wish they would have just made this part round. The distinct contours really force you to grip it in the way that it’s shaped instead of having a more universal grip. I will say that the non-slip surface on both sides works well. It’s made up of hundreds of tiny Magpul symbols that are just slightly raised from the surface. I would have liked to see those go all the way around the grip. I’ll try to post some pics this weekend for you guys to compare the two.”
Now I can tell you more about this product because I finally had a chance to test it on the range. Small advice – try to shoot from the hip level first, this way you understand what recoil you need to control and will not smash your teeth with pistol grip as some guys on YouTube do.