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View Full Version : Remington 870 Express 28" or 18" barrel? Need opinions.


peteyb
December 6, 2010, 06:15 PM
So I have been looking for a shotgun and decided on the Rem 870 Express. I found one in store brand new for 309$ (seems to be the going price, cant find any cheaper).

I will be using the shotgun for self defense and target shooting at a few ranges. Now my question is what you people who have shot a lot of shotguns have to say about whether or not i should get the longer barell.

I understand that the shorter barrel is for HD and the longer is for target shooting, but im not sure which one takes priority over the other. Obviously I will be using the shotgun alot more at the range than I will for home defense, but do you think it is still worth getting the shorter barrel just in case? How does the 18" barrel shoot when target shooting at a range?

Thanks.

EDIT - Forgot to mention they actually had a 26" barrel for the same price as the 28" so if I decide to go with the longer barrel I can also choose between 26" and 28" (if there is much of a difference in terms of performance)

oneounceload
December 6, 2010, 09:37 PM
Depends on what you mean by "range" and the practice you are talking about. Gun "clubs" are where one typically shoots at clay targets, so the 28" barrel will be what you want for that. If you are talking about going to a pistil range to shoot slugs at paper, then it doesn't matter, but for HD, you will most likely prefer the shorter barrel

94bluerat
December 7, 2010, 08:08 AM
The 18" barrels usually are cyl bore w/ no choke tubes. I have an 870 that was packaged as an 870 Express Turkey. It has a short barrel, about 21" and came with a xtra full turkey choke. I picked up additional choke tubes and can now adjust for different shooting situations.

Still short enough for HD, but able to hunt, skeet and target.

Cheers!

Lincoln_Arms
December 7, 2010, 09:01 AM
I would definitely go with the 28" barrel. A pump shotgun has been the home defense weapon for years. When I was a kid, by dad had an 870 express with the 28" barrel. It's an all around gun and doesn't limit your market when you go to sell it. You can always buy different furniture and barrel, but I would go with the longer barrel. Just my $0.02.

zippy13
December 7, 2010, 09:21 AM
+1 on oneounceload's comments.

Please be advised, some gun clubs don't allow short barreled shotguns on the Trap and Skeet fields because their extra loud blast is a nuisance.

peteyb
December 7, 2010, 10:33 AM
The range I go to is only an indoor range, no skeet or trap shooting just target shooting in lanes. ive been busy lately so at the moment this is the only range close to me so it's where Ive been going.

Lincoln makes some good points about the 28" but so does everyone else with the 18"

Im still not too sure which one I want to get

zippy13
December 7, 2010, 10:48 AM
Ahhh… now that you've clarified your definition of "range" work, I'm going to alter my position and recommend the shorter HD barrel. Should you decide to move from the indoor lanes to the sporting fields, then you can get a longer target/wing shooting barrel.

Good luck with your new gun, may it serve you well.

silvercorvette
December 7, 2010, 11:05 AM
Homeland defense and range use requirements differ. If I had to choose I would put my priority on staying alive and shoot a lower score at the range.

The reason a short barrel is better maneuverability in close quarters. With that long barrel sticking out an intruder can grab it and take it away from you because the barrel is a couple feet in front of you as you go around a corner

I understand that the shorter barrel is for HD and the longer is for target shooting, but im not sure which one takes priority over the other
You have to ask yourself what is more important, a better chance at staying alive or a better score at the range?

johnbt
December 7, 2010, 11:37 AM
I use a 28" barrel for HD. I just stand back an extra 10 inches. :)

I don't do house cleanings or house clearings either.

peteyb
December 7, 2010, 06:42 PM
anybody else have any opinions

silvercorvette
December 7, 2010, 06:48 PM
I use a 28" barrel for HD. I just stand back an extra 10 inches.
That long barrel will still stick out and can be grabbed by someone hiding around a corner if it sticks out too far

I don't do house cleanings or house clearings either.

It is not tactically sound for one person to try to clear a house but there may be a reason why you may have to leave your safe room. Maybe a child in another part of the house is in danger, or maybe they are walking out the door with something very important to you and you need to prevent them getting away

INMY01TA
December 8, 2010, 08:25 AM
18'.

johnbt
December 8, 2010, 11:34 AM
"or maybe they are walking out the door with something very important to you and you need to prevent them getting away"

Will it make a difference if I shoot them in the back with a 18" barrel or a 28" barrel? No.

Here's my real question: What are you talking about? I truly don't believe that you know and that need to study up on the subject a little.

If I have to go after somebody (for what, kidnapping? I live alone most of the time :) ) in my small, antique town home, I'm using an FNP-45 with a couple of extra 15-round mags of .45. A shotgun isn't precise enough outdoors in a congested urban environment. Google "Fan District"

John

dalecooper51
December 8, 2010, 07:05 PM
I would go with a longer barrel.

Shorter barrels are normally less expensive to add as an accessory barrel.

If there's a chance you will be shooting clays, then go with the longer barrel.

For punching paper it doesn't much matter.

I keep a Remington 1100 with a 26" skeet barrel around the house. I have thousands of rounds through it and it fits well.

Whatever you get, run a bunch of shells through it and have fun.

LSU12ga
December 8, 2010, 10:31 PM
Another option is to do what I did: i bought the 870 used for about 200$ and then bought another barrel for it. I found an 28'' barrel on gun broker for 90$ shipped. Alternatively I have seen some 18'' barrels for sale in the 100-150 dollar range.

I really like having the option of switching barrels and going hunting/skeet shooting.

silvercorvette
December 8, 2010, 10:53 PM
"or maybe they are walking out the door with something very important to you and you need to prevent them getting away"

Will it make a difference if I shoot them in the back with a 18" barrel or a 28" barrel? No.

Here's my real question: What are you talking about? I truly don't believe that you know and that need to study up on the subject a little.

I never said anything about shooting anyone in the back which is not legal in some states and legal in others.

The example I gave was if you are in your safe room and there is the need to leave that is worth risking your life for a short barrel will come in handy.

I worked as a cop for 20 years and the were some cars in designated areas the were shotgun cars with a dashboard mounted 870, you had to have the ignition key on to release the gun from it's holder.

We weren't allowed to have individual shotguns and only had access to a department owned long barrel. The gun was fine outside but when I did have to take it inside a confined area I found the long barrel to be clumsy and awkward to handle.

I don't know what qualifications a person needs to have an opinion on this subject but I guess 20 years working as a cop isn't enough. I don't know how studying up on the subject would somehow endow more knowledge than doing it but I honestly don't need to read a book to tell me how to do something I have been doing for 20 years (1970 to 1990)

bigghoss
December 8, 2010, 11:07 PM
home defense takes priority over recreational clay shooting so I would go with the 18". great thing about an 870 is you can get both and change them as needed. I'm not sure in remington offers the 18/28" combo package but mossberg does.

silvercorvette
December 8, 2010, 11:13 PM
home defense takes priority over recreational clay shooting so I would go with the 18". great thing about an 870 is you can get both and change them as needed. I'm not sure in remington offers the 18/28" combo package but mossberg does.

I agree, as I said in another post "what is more important your life or a better score at the target range?". Besides that everyone needs more than one shotgun, it's a good excuse to buy a second gun.

Regolith
December 9, 2010, 05:41 AM
The range I go to is only an indoor range, no skeet or trap shooting just target shooting in lanes. ive been busy lately so at the moment this is the only range close to me so it's where Ive been going.

Lincoln makes some good points about the 28" but so does everyone else with the 18"

Im still not too sure which one I want to get

If you're doing indoor shooting, and not clay or skeet, you have absolutely no use for a 28" barrel. The reason these barrels are longer is to facilitate a smoother swing so that you can more easily hit targets that are flying through the air, such as birds or clay pigeons. You don't need this for home defense or shooting at an indoor range; the longer barrel just makes it more difficult to maneuver in those situations.

Get the 18" barrel.

If sometime in the future you want to shoot skeet, you can buy a longer barrel for that purpose.