View Full Version : Remington 870 Furious Experience

August 23, 2005, 06:59 PM
:mad: :mad: :mad:

So, I love the size, shape and action of my Remington 870 18" home defense model 12 gauge shotgun. That is, until I took it to the range last. I was using game loads and the appropriate size in the shotgun and every other shot the pump action would stick and would be so hard to release and use that it would take two hands to unload the cartridge. Naturally, you can see how this would be very dangerous and cumbersome and irritating to experience with a new shot gun. I am using quality ammo (for bulk) and it is a quality (or so I thought) shot gun. Anyone else experiencing this with the new Remington 870 home defense models?


chris in va
August 23, 2005, 07:17 PM
Did you try several different brands of ammo?

August 23, 2005, 07:46 PM
never had a jam...ever.

close to 2,000 rounds i think

are you new to shotguns?

you maybe racking the slide a little to softly...try a bit harder you dont need to slam it but be deliberate....make sense?


August 23, 2005, 07:54 PM
In 2001 I bought a new L/H Express that would lock up only when I used brass-coated steel-base ammo. It seems the base would swell out and prevent the bolt from releasing. I had to slam the forend forward to unlock it. When I used pure brass-base ammo it never happened.
The gun didn't fit me anyway, so I traded up for an O/U. Never been happier.

August 23, 2005, 09:00 PM
I had the exact same thing happen. My 870 would stick after I fired the round and I could rack the slide. The owner of the gun store where I bought it said I should have cleaned the grease from the factory before I took it to the range. I thought I was racking it hard enough, but maybe not. My brother and father had the samething happen and my father has fired alot of shotguns. I was using light game loads for skeet, so that could have played a factor.

After I cleaned the factory grease out it functioned properly.

August 23, 2005, 09:02 PM
Chances are you have a new gun that needs to be broken in, and a probable ammo problem.

A lot of the newer, cheaper ammo is giving precisely this problem in shotguns.

Try some better ammo, and give the gun a little time to break in.

You can also try disassembling the gun per the owner's manual and cleaning out the factory gunk and lube.

Re-lube with something like Rem-Oil of CLP Breakfree.

August 23, 2005, 09:19 PM
I am new to shotguns. This may explain something. I have not taken apart the shotgun yet for cleaning or other inspection. Normally, I could excuse the fact that I am weak and figured that I had been racking the pump not hard enough, but the guy I was with is much stronger than I am and he had trouble wracking the pump after a shot was fired. The ammo I am using is Winchester bulk packed 2 3/4 inch shells Universal ammo. The primers appear to be silver as some kind of metal other than brass and are for skeet/trap shooting (steel shot is not allowed at the range). I am frustrated enough to pull what remaining hair I have out because I bought a shotgun to be ultilitarian and its acting like a 300 dollar door jamb. After cleaning it, I will post and let you know if anything has changed.

Dave McC
August 24, 2005, 04:05 AM
My money says that once the grease is removed, the weapon properly lubed and you learn the firing stroke, everything will be everything.

Read the manual, follow the instructions, and enjoy your new shotgun...

August 24, 2005, 08:59 AM
I had the exact same problem with mine. After several hundred rounds and cleaning, it is fine...great shotgun.

August 24, 2005, 10:19 AM
I have found that the chamber on the barrels of the 870 are often rough. A quick buff with a brake hone and then serial polishing with sequentially finer grades of steel wool will often cure the problem. The 870 is the best pump but the fit/finish on 870s is often poor. My best friend bought a new wingmaster and had the same problem with the chamber and poor fit/finish.

August 24, 2005, 09:41 PM
My 870 is close to 50 years old....and flawless

August 24, 2005, 09:43 PM
Took a friend shooting and he had the same problem, however I had no problem using the same ammo. Turns out he wasn't used to a pump and wasn't racking the slide all the way back.

If that isn't the problem then it sounds like a good cleaning is in order.

August 24, 2005, 10:28 PM
The only problem I've ever had with mine was with the PMC slugs. Nothing like you describe though.

My 870 is close to 50 years old....and flawless

Well yah, it's broken in. :confused: :D

August 25, 2005, 07:44 AM
I have polished out a couple 870 chambers for guys that were having the exact same problem. It completely resolved the problem, even using cheap steel base ammo.

Blaming the cheap ammo isn't going to cut it for me, a shotgun should run anything and a pump just has no excuse. I would not put up with it for a second.

August 25, 2005, 08:44 AM
Yeah, I polished my 870 chamber...by shooting the hell out of it :D .

August 25, 2005, 09:15 AM
Blaming the cheap ammo isn't going to cut it for me, a shotgun should run anything and a pump just has no excuse. I would not put up with it for a second.


August 26, 2005, 11:36 PM
HSMITH, is 100% correct. Alot of the cheaper Express shotgun's and a few Wingmaster's, I have seen recently, have had burrs inside the chamber.

August 27, 2005, 05:00 PM
HSMITH, is 100% correct. Alot of the cheaper Express shotgun's and a few Wingmaster's, I have seen recently, have had burrs inside the chamber.

I wonder if the Police model is already 'polished'...it should be, since it costs ~$200 more. If so, I think it's really too bad that you have to pay extra for that...I mean if the shells are getting stuck in the chamber due to burrs, that can be a deadly situation for someone who bought their shotgun for home defense and doesn't shoot it enough to wear down those burrs.

Death from Afar
August 27, 2005, 09:12 PM
Did you get it fixed?

And I agree- only with the poorest ammo should a pump be sticking....50 year old paper cartridges? But I have never ever had an 870 jam even with el cheapo chinese junk...

August 28, 2005, 08:22 PM
I have cleaned the 870 but it is still acting like a POS with the same Winchester ammo. If this continues with another brand of ammo, I will see if I can send it back to the factory for being such a frustrating experience. So far, I am not tempted to spent my savings on another Remington product ever again if different ammo causes the same problem. :mad:

I am very busy with school as it has just started, in addition to working. Hopefully this coming week I will be able to take a look at things further before the warrenty expires... the reason I bought the dang thing was because of how excellent and reliable I've heard the Home Defense model being. Bleh...

August 29, 2005, 10:03 PM
I have two 870 Combat shotguns. A Wilson Custom built on the Express, and a Wingmaster I supplied that Wilson rebuilt along Border Patrol configurations.. (I know they're too expensive--thanks for the concern :p ).

Both shotguns had sticking problems with some cheap Federal 1oz loads. The "brass" would swell up and be difficult to extract--in both guns.

Recently, I've had the same problem, to a lesser extent, with a case of Federal Ranger LE low recoil slugs--again, both guns. This was ammo I purchased OL and was advertised as being LV Metro "surplus". No wonder they got rid of it.

Try to put some of the fired cases back in the chamber by hand and see if they aren't tight. Sounds like an ammo problem to me.

The last 50 rds of the above mentioned Federal 1oz. loads worked without a hitch. Go figure.

All Federal Tactical ammo--slugs and buckshot-- has worked slick as a whistle. So has Ranger buckshot, Hornady TAP, Rottweil Brenneke, and Fed. 3" mag. slugs.

Lucky 7
August 30, 2005, 09:37 AM
Nimitz is right. Too softly cycling the action. I did when I first used a pump (6 yrs ago) and I believe its called short-stroking (?). I saw this problem in Marine Corps Basic Security Guard school w/ newbies and the 590. About a quarter of them had the same trouble. BTW, We also trained on the new M1014 (M4? is the civilian i believe) and no one short stroked with that :p .

Semper Fi
-L7 out

August 30, 2005, 06:27 PM
It is obvious the 870 is a total piece of crap. I'll give you $100 for it right now so you won't have to suffer with such a crappy shotgun.

August 30, 2005, 06:35 PM
I've had a variaety of 870 shotguns over the years including an 870 Wingmater that I used for used to shoot trap competitively and put somewhere around 50,000 shells thru without a problem.

I think your first mistake was taking the gun out without properly cleaning it. I'd disassemble and go over it from end to end and clean it out. I hope you're better at gun safety than you are at gun maintenance.

August 30, 2005, 06:41 PM
i may be way out in left field but when my winchester 1300 started getting sticky it was one of the slide bars that had rattled its way off the pump.

August 30, 2005, 07:49 PM
My 25 year old 2 3/4" wingmaster will cycle 3" loads. It will probably cycle rocks too. It's been flawless.

August 30, 2005, 09:26 PM
The Winchester Universal stuff is the worst bulk ammo I have found. It jams both of my Wingmasters even after I have polished the chambers in them. The shells get stuck so tightly sometimes that they almost are impossible to get out. I have not had the problem with any other shell. Try sticking a fired shell in the gun and seeing if it is tight. It shouldn't be.

August 31, 2005, 07:41 PM

Great advice for someone who is named after a horse's ass.

September 1, 2005, 08:21 AM
My 25 year old 2 3/4" wingmaster will cycle 3" loads. It will probably cycle rocks too. It's been flawless.

If you are using a 2 3/4" barrel, this is a very bad idea. As Dave McC has pointed out once or twice, the working pressures of a SG are similar to a grenade.
Will a 3" shell fit? Sure. The chamber of a 2 3/4" gun is long enough, until the shell opens. Best case is crappy performance.
The receiver of a 2 3/4" 870 is the same as a magnum with the exception of the ejector so that is no problem but I would very seriously question the wisdom of shooting 3" shells from a 2 3/4" barrel.


October 24, 2005, 10:46 PM
I have discussed with the distributor at our hunting store who has heard it from two sources that Remington is financially doing poorly. Has anyone else heard this? The sell a great volume but profit per item is low. Quality through the years has definetly suffered. The chamber on the NEW, not old, 870 is often rough now days. Put steel wool around a dowel rod in your electric drill and buff the snot out of the chamber to smooth it. Remington would be well served to charge more to put out a better product.

October 25, 2005, 01:37 PM
I suspect Remington is cutting corners to save money and compete with cheapo Chinee Knock Offs and Mossberg.

A few years ago they were putting choke tubes in off center. Inexperienced employees were the excuse.

They are trying to run a company in anti business New York. This is becoming more and more difficult and they will eventually be forced to shut down Ilion and move to another state.

Many of their experienced gunsmiths have retired and the newer employees are not up to the task. Who wants to work in a gun factory when you can go to college and get a job managing at McDonalds?

Also cheap shotgun hulls are a problem. My very expensive 20 ga loved the Federal value packs wally world sold, untill they started making the base out of steel instead of brass. Now the shells cause problems with the extractors.

It's all about the money. The once proud 870 has been cheapened into a Mossberg by the bean counters. I am waiting for "Made in China" to be seen stamped on 870's.

Won't be long now.

October 25, 2005, 09:56 PM
Try shooting REMINGTON shotshells in your Remington shotgun.
IF you've put on SideSaddle to hold extra ammo, make sure it's not screwed down TOO TIGHT...like I did. :eek:
Once I loosened it up, it started shootin' & shuckin' as fast as I could make it do so!
Good Luck! :D

October 25, 2005, 10:07 PM
My 25 year old 2 3/4" wingmaster will cycle 3" loads. It will probably cycle rocks too. It's been flawless.

please don't put rocks in your wingmaster!:eek:

October 25, 2005, 11:08 PM
I've had sticking problems with the cheap Winchester Promotional loads, the $3.00 a box 1 ounce stuff. If with your barrel removed, a round won't slide in and out of the chamber on it's own weight, then the base wasn't sized right at the factory. Don't resize a loaded round.

October 25, 2005, 11:45 PM
My latest 870 Express would lock up and not release with quality shells after firing it. Just about had to beat it to death in order to get the action open. One little problem-there were burrs on the locking notch in the barrel extension, but a deburring knife took care of that quicky. Don't know how I missed that, as I had taken it down and sprayed a bunch of bore scrubber on it to get rid of the grease.:confused:

November 16, 2005, 04:11 PM
I still haven't got this shotgun working as it should. I've taken it apart and given things a look on the inside. As far as it looks, things appear to be in good working order the best of my knowledge. Other loads have been tried. I am out of ideas other than sending it back to the factory. I'm scouring their webpage for a customer service line... bargh.:barf:

I thought I had things fixed, until my last shotgun experience. i could not get the damn thing to eject the fired shell. Right now it is more handy as a club than anything else. So it goes...

November 18, 2005, 12:56 PM
I just recently purchased a used 870 (mfr date 1965) the first time out I bought the winchester shells from Wal-mart. The shells would not eject 2 out 3 shots and I thought i had screwed up buying the gun. tried Remington ammo and it is perfect for shooting trap and sporting clays. After switching the only time I stovepipe when i don't cycle it correctly . Good luck

November 18, 2005, 01:08 PM
I thought I had things fixed, until my last shotgun experience. i could not get the damn thing to eject the fired shell. Right now it is more handy as a club than anything else. So it goes...

I know you're frustrated, but how about sending it to Remington to get it fixed? I know that you shouldn't have to do this, but these days there are things wrong with new products (not just guns) all the time...If you buy something else, you'll just have to deal with its problems. (Unless you buy an 870P...from what I hear and what I've seen from mine, they are pretty close to flawless.)

November 18, 2005, 03:10 PM
ok lets take this from the opening.

have you tried some different ammo,?

if problem stops maybe bad batch of ammo.

if not, you said you cleaned gun, Did you drop the trigger assmbly to do so? two punch pins, easy to do, fast to do too. check bolt stop for burrs or damage. look at bolt carrier too for nicks or burrs.

clean lightly oil reassemble.

try again

before you go, find someone with a good solid functioning 870 and ask to try threir barrel, they all interchange, if the barrel from there gun works and your does not call Remington and explain. see what they say.

If both barrels fail to let you function the gun smoothly, then call remington and ask for a return # and shipping box

send it back before you do anything else that would void the warrantee.

November 20, 2005, 12:07 PM
Take barrel off and drop the shells in manually then turn upside down as stated before. Shells should fall out easily. Also retract slide and check inside receiver where the barrel meets the inside of the receiver, it should be totally flush fit.

I don't buy the ammo excuse but then again i always buy good ammo, my 10 yr old express has eaten everything including 35 yr old paper hull Sear roebuck ammo i found in my neighbors basement. Its possible Remington is putting out some real garbage now if their putting plastic trigger groups in.