View Full Version : 870 Question?...(Attn. Dave)

September 7, 2001, 10:47 PM
Hey Dave,
A friend of mine has a 870 Express 12Ga. for sale it looks like the Wingmaster but does not say Wingmaster on it. It has nice wood (satin finish) high polish blued barrel and receiver and stainless bolt. It is marked 870 Express Magnum on the receiver. It is in 98% condition has less than 500 shells through it. It was bought new back in the late 80's it has the 26" vent rib, Rem choke barrel.
Is this the Wingmaster and if not what is it? Also is it worth $350.00, and when did Remington start with the interchangable choke tubes? It also has the 3 tubes and wrench it came with when new.
I understand that years back their was some sought of upgrade on the 870's with the mag follower or with the shell latch, to help prevent shells from coming out of the mag tube and jamming up the gun. When was this?

September 7, 2001, 11:23 PM
It doesn't have Wingmaster stamped on it because it is an Express Magnum. Just like it's stamped on the barrel. It's used, 250-275$ would be a fair deal for a stock gun. You could get a new 870 for 350$.

September 7, 2001, 11:38 PM
This gun that Im taking about is not the same as the typical 870 Express, cause I have one of them. Also the purchase price on this shotgun was $400.00 when new over 10 years ago.

Dave McC
September 8, 2001, 06:59 AM
My guess is that your buddy has either a mismarked WM, or an interim, early Express.

Does it have a recoil pad or a butt plate?

TTBOMK, all Expresses were matte finished right from the getgo.Expresses also had "Hardwood" stocks, another corner and cost cutter.

BTW, that bolt's not stainless, it's hard chrome plated.

I became aware of the Flextab conversion in the early to mid 80s, and had a couple 870s retrofitted at that time.I think it was new about then but don't quote me.Remchokes were introduced in the late 70s to early 80s.

I still regard the Flextab kit as a mandatory mod on an agency weapon, but of little use for someone who practices and is competent with their 870.

The Flextab kits are still available from Valley Gun Shop near B-more, 410-668-2171.

$350 is a bit high for a used WM.If it's pristine and you want it badly, go for it at that price, but I'd dicker a bit.


September 8, 2001, 07:10 AM
The pad was changed it has a kick-eez pad on there now. Also the grip cap has a Remington emblem on it, unlike my express.
I am thinking of trading him even up for my .44 Redhawk.
I called Gary Wolf up on the phone and he said the same thing you said, the Express only came with the matte black finish and hard wood or synthetic stocks. The nice wood and the high polish blueing and the chrome plated bolts were on the 870 Wingmaster only.
He also sounds like a real nice guy.
He also quoted me a real nice price on an action job for my GP100.

Al Thompson
September 8, 2001, 06:33 PM
Truthfully, I think that the gun is an intermediate gun. The real question is what you think the gun is worth. Here (and places differ a bunch!) that would be very high.


September 8, 2001, 08:02 PM
What do you mean by an intermediate gun?
I priced a new Wingmaster and the best deal I found was $500.00 most places I checked wanted $550.-$600.00.
Hell your lucky if you can find a new Express for under $300.00 around here.
I paid $294.00 for my Express at Wally World last year.
I saw a couple old Wingmasters today with fixed full choked barrels going from anywhere between 325.-$400.00 and the condition was not nearly a good.

I did find out originally it had no recoil pad just a but plate.

Al Thompson
September 9, 2001, 07:47 AM
S.F.S. - should have used Dave's phrase - "interim, early Express" - I was in the retail gun business in the early 90's and I have a vague memory of seeing one of these. I suspect that Big Green started taking orders for the Express line and had to ship a few that should have been Wingmasters. They "probably" stamped those guns "Express" in order to fill a contract obligation.

S.F.S. wrote -
"Hell your lucky if you can find a new Express for under $300.00 around here.
I paid $294.00 for my Express at Wally World last year.
I saw a couple old Wingmasters today with fixed full choked barrels going from anywhere between 325.-$400.00 and the condition was not nearly a good."

That's precisely my point. The Sunday paper this morning has Dick's Sporting Goods selling 870 Expresses for $209.00 w/rebate. Here in South Carolina, a used 870 Express is a $200.00 gun. Any Browning SG, OTOH, commands a premium here. When I was in Texas in the 80's, Colts and Rugers commanded a premium while S&Ws were comparatively cheap. Local markets can lead to strange fluctuations. :eek:


September 9, 2001, 08:14 AM
When did Express's come into production? I believe that the 870 Wingmaster has been around since 1949 than the Express came out sometime after that.
I do know that this gun was purchased around 1988 new.

Dave McC
September 9, 2001, 01:16 PM
This still has me scratching my head. Mismarking, possibly deliberate, sounds like the most logical reason to me.

If you talk to Remington and get a date of manufacture,etc, I;d be interested in hearing about it. Thanks....

September 10, 2001, 01:48 PM
Well I went ahead and made the trade:)

On the side of the receiver it says "Remington 870 Magnum", I was mistaken about it saying Express. But I did call Reminton this morning to find out if this is a Wingmaster or an early Express and it is a Wingmaster for sure and just wasn't stamped and it was manufactured in 87 and it also does have a flextab.

I also found out that the Express came
into production in the late 80's.

This gun has had less than 500 shells through it. There is one small scratch on the receiver that is barely noticable otherwise the rest of the gun and the stock is flawless. This gun has seen less shells than my Express that is only a year old...
I disassembled it completely this morning and cleaned it all up.
Im happy with it...

Dave McC
September 10, 2001, 02:10 PM
AHA!! It's NOT an Express? Case closed(G)....

What you have is an excellent pump likely to feed and protect your family for a couple of generations.

The Magnum part means it'll handle 3" shells.

September 10, 2001, 05:03 PM
Have you ever seen any Wingmasters without "Wingmaster" being engraved in the receiver?

"What you have is an excellent pump likely to feed and protect your family for a couple of generations."

Hell my 870 is doing that now:D

Actually I got involved in shooting handguns about 2 yrs ago. Shotguns came into the scene about 1 yr ago and have only hunted once and that was Dove 2 weeks ago but I will be doing some Dove, Quail and Pheasent hunting here soon.
I also plan on doing some Deer hunting this season.
Thanks Dave..


Dave McC
September 10, 2001, 07:28 PM
You're very welcome, Scott. I think you own two fine shotguns now.

As for WM markings, I regret to say little attention gets paid to markings around these parts.They can lie.

Here at Casa McC, there's a (Pre betrayal)S&W 640 that marked as a 642.

There used to be a High Standard Supermatic with zero markings here with a slightly matte finish, but someone offered me a lot of money. In fact it was about 3 times what I paid. H/S denied ever making same, but it was absolutely identical otherwise.

And I recall a Model 58 bbl that was marked as an 870 one. The small hole for the gas system was the tipoff.