View Full Version : 870 Question (Dave McC)

October 1, 2001, 06:08 PM
On the 870 Wingmaster I have I noticed that on the receiver directly above the magazine follower it is rounded off not squared off like on my Express and on a friends Express I looked at. Also why is the magazine follower metal on my Wingmaster and plastic on my Express?

P.S.-The Wingmaster is older than my Express it was manufactured in "88" but has less than 700 shells through it.

October 1, 2001, 08:09 PM
I know I'm not dave, but I know the answer to one of your questions. The plastic follower in the express is there because it costs them less to manufacture.

The wingmasters have a better fit and finish than the express shotguns. That does not mean that they're tougher, just that they have a smoother operation.

October 1, 2001, 09:37 PM
It actually doesn't even mean that. (smoother operation) I think it just means they get to do the el cheapo powder-coat finish and use really cruddy wood on the stock. In operation, however, the gun should be the same. Plz correct me if I'm wrong.

The powder-coat finish, while scorned by gun snobs, is rather durable and functional. I actually prefer it to blued finishes on shooters (and all of my guns are shooters), as I tend to be paranoid and overprotective. The powdercoat prevents rust nicely, and helps conceal scuffs and dings. There is an 870 rolling around in the dank trunk of my cruiser that has not seen a day of preventative maintenance in its entire service life, and all that has happened to it is the development of a sort of golden-brown patina all over the barrel and receiver. It still works nicely.


PS Actually, thats not true. An administrative switcharound left me sitting at the substation bored one day, with all of the equipment from the cruiser's trunk (including shotgun), but without the cruiser. This caused me to do what everyone wants to do in a crisply starched, military-creased white uniform shirt- clean guns! I took that gun apart and gave it a thorough cleaning and lubing. I have never seen such crud come out of a firearm. The embarassing fact is that I think the action was actually a trifle smoother prior to cleaning. Go figure. :rolleyes:

October 2, 2001, 12:39 AM
That "powder coat" is Remington's version of parkerizing. I actually like that "rough and tough" looking finish.:D

Dave McC
October 2, 2001, 07:28 AM
Scott, you've got me scratching my head. I went and looked at the only Express in the house, the kid's 20 ga, and do not understand what's rounded or squared. A little more direction from you,and I'll try to figure out what you mean.

The plastic follower is as was said. It's cheaper.

About a year ago we did a thread and survey on this, and asked folks if any plastic parts of any kinds had failed. No reports of same.So, as Great Uncle Salvitore would say,"Fuggidaboutdit"...

As I understand it, the Express finish is a bluing done to unpolished metal, rather than powder coating, Parkerizing, etc. It's relatively rust resistant because oil gets held by those little crannies and nooks.

Mike, one slow night,as a Lt, I did 6 870s rotated in from the towers. Detail stripped, cleaned with #9, lubed, and back into service by shift change.Got held over due to no Lt's on day shift and spent 4 extra hours in a small office reeking of Hoppe's. I had little company(G)...

October 2, 2001, 07:37 AM
Dave, if you will look at an Express stood up right next to a Wingmaster, you will see that the Wingmaster gets several corners rounded in the polishing process. They don't take the time or pain to do that for the Express. It is not really functional (other than getting rid of sharp corners), but more of an aesthetic thing. It is hard for me to see how the Express can be as smooth "out-of-the-box" as a Wingmaster with the parts polishing difference that exists between the two guns. The internal parts get less attention on the Express, too. Both guns benefit from a few thousand shells through them.:)

Dave McC
October 2, 2001, 07:50 AM
Clemson, out of the box smoothness is unmoot here. How it works after a break in period is, tho.

Here's how I break in a new pump. I sit in front of the TV and watch while pumping the action. When my arms get tired, I switch and do some more. The piece is stripped,and all shiny wear marks get polished with a crockstick,hard Arkansas or diamond machinist's stone, or felt wheel and jeweler's rouge. When these are polished, the piece is lubed with a good lube, CLP or moly grease, and reassembled. A drop of CLP goes on each action bar where it reaches the receiver when closed, and it's cycled a few times.

Voila, a slick action, tho not as slick as a few cases of shells will do. Follow with some shells, say 1000 or so, and see what slick really means(G)...

October 2, 2001, 04:30 PM
If you push the carrier up with the action closed on your Express or Wingmaster 12ga. and look right above the follower and below the action you will see the part of the receiver that Im referring to. The Express I have is round but squared off on the edges and the Wingmaster is rounded off some all the way around. I don't know if it is just normal wear or abnormal wear or what.

Dave McC
October 3, 2001, 09:42 AM
Scott, I just spent a few minutes running around peering into the innards of divers WMs. If what I think you're talking about is what you're talking about, here's the results.

The TB and Frankenstein have rounded corners. The HD and Deer 870s are flat as last year's beer. The interesting thing to me is that Frank and the Deer gun are roughly the same age.

A note, I also noted that the back end of the chamber was more rounded on the early, 1950 bbl, less so on the TB, and that Frank and the Deer 870s, with their heavier Express bbls were flatter, tho I saw some rounding.

October 3, 2001, 03:57 PM
Well Dave I found out what it is...
I stopped by a gun shop I do a lot of business with at lunch time today and looked at a couple used Express's and one used Wingmaster they had and none were like that, so I asked him and showed them the area its in and he knew what I was talking about before I showed him..
A lot of times with 870's especially Express's the shell's get caught up on the lip when loading so Gunsmiths smooth it up and round it out with a dremmel tool to keep it from getting caught up.
He said they do about 20 a year and its nothing to be concerned with.
Thanks for your time Dave..


Dave McC
October 4, 2001, 06:24 AM
(Smacking myself on forehead)....

Got it now. I've had few feeding probs,the big exception being Frank would buck slightly on 3" shells when first assembled. Polishing helped. IIRC, Crocus cloth and jeweler's rouge on a Dremle felt tip were used.

October 4, 2001, 07:27 PM
I kind of figured you would have known the answer to my question. I just could not word it properly...
Thanks again,

You know Im starting to believe 870's are addicting :D When I was at the gun shop I saw this WM I mentioned earlier and it had the 20" barrel on it with rifle sights and in real nice condition the blueing is not even worn off the action bars yet and man I cant stop thinking about it :eek:
It would make a nice HD shotgun and possibly deer also, it may be a little short for deer though? What do you think? I forgot to mention its only $300.00. I don't usually see many Wingmasters in good used condition around this area and if I do they go for 4 bills. I saw some of the old fixed tube Wingmasters around here a month ago and they were bringing in 3 to $350. in fair condition and they sold..

Al Thompson
October 4, 2001, 08:08 PM
That's a decent price here and would make a super HD gun. I've popped deer with one and it works fine!


Dave McC
October 5, 2001, 05:28 AM
The price may a bit high,but that may be my fault,among others. I've been singing the praises of buying used 870s,and others have been too.

If you can spare the shekels, buy it.It'll make a great deer and HD shotgun as is.

October 5, 2001, 07:17 PM
I can see a Gun addicts Anonymous meeting in my not to distant future :D

I will start it off...

Hello everyone my name is Scott and Im a 870 addict... Also I cant forget a .357 magnum addict also.

I just can't seem to get enough of either one. LOL...

October 6, 2001, 06:53 PM
Hey Dave,
That 870 was long gone:( I went over the gun shop today to put it on lay-away.

Me and a buddy of mine took a ride over to Albrights today, a real friendly bunch of people..
I did not see Greg Wolf he was busy upstairs and I didn't want to bother him. When I spoke with him on the phone a couple weeks ago he was very helpfull and friendly. I will get my revolver over to him for an action job in a couple weeks after he slows down a little.

You know I spoke to a local gunsmith many months ago about my revolver and told him all I need is to lighten the SA trigger pull cause I really don't shoot DA, he says well there is nothing that can be done to lighten the SA pull it may lighten a little after a DA action job he said. When I spoke to Greg he asked me. "What kind of gun it was, and do I shoot mainly SA or DA", and I told him SA. "He said no problem!!! And he also said that since its a Ruger alot can be done with it."
The hammer spring will not be replaced with a lighter spring so I don't have to worry about light strikes.
He will not release any of his trade secrets....LOL
Thanks for the recommendation of them..
What did you say you had done by him?

Dave McC
October 7, 2001, 11:39 AM
Greg has done a tube installation on the bbl he shortened and lengthened the forcing cone on Frank. He also did,IIRC, the cone on my Deer 870.

Good used 870s do not last long in gun shops.

Off topic, I used DA revolvers for personal and professional use for decades. Instead of a light pull, I wanted a clean pull and smooth break, w/o stacking or "rough spots".Never won a PPC class, but I came close a few times.

October 7, 2001, 12:07 PM
In your experience do you feel lengthening the forcing cone helps with recoil and improve patterning? Have you ever done before and after tests?

I take you were satisfied with his work, since you recommended him to me.

Dave McC
October 7, 2001, 02:07 PM
Patterns improved, recoil was less on paper, but I didn't FEEL any change.

The only before and after I did was to compare 00 patterns, about 3 of each. Best guess, 4" tighter or so at 25 yards.

October 7, 2001, 04:34 PM
Forgive me I am new to this, but what do you mean by recoil was less on paper?


Dave McC
October 8, 2001, 05:46 AM
Scott, "on paper" here means that someone could show a recoil reduction ON PAPER, but it's too small to feel.

More technically minded folks than I have stated that the improvement is about 3%. Too small an increment to sense, IMO.

October 8, 2001, 06:55 PM
Thanks Dave for yor help.. I have another question for you. Does flexing the extractor back and forth actually throw it out of allign even though its spring loaded? I flex mine sometimes while cleaning to make sure there is no residue in there to cause it to bind. Am I doing more harm than good? Also I was comparing the action on my Express to my Wingmaster and never realized how stiff the Express was till then. I have put some Slip 2000 on the rails and worked it numerous times on several occasions and I have about 800 shells through it but its still stiff, hell I have a blister on my index finger from using it to release the action bar lock so much.
Any suggestions that may help me loosen the action up? I definatly like the WM's better that is for sure.

Dave McC
October 9, 2001, 06:12 AM
I move the extractor back and forth when I detail clean to get all the grunge out of the "Hook" area, Scott. No probs so far.

Detail strip that Express. Use a hard Arkansas machinist's stone, crockstick, Felt wheel with Jeweler's rouge, etc,to polish all the shiny areas and run the stone along all sharp corners to round off the 90 degree angles. Give all parts a wipe on,wipe off lube job and reassemble. It should be smoother now.

I've tried the Slip 2000 and like it. Lube on frequently used guns can be most anything, including motor oil, but the Slip 2000 stuff stays in place nicely and slicks stuff up.

October 9, 2001, 04:03 PM
Thank you very much Dave...