I've heard the bead blasted finish isn't as nice or durable as the 870 Police model and can cause it to rust easily. Any truth to this? What are the differences between the 870 express and 870P other than the finish? What improvements does the 870P have to cause it to be double the price of the 870 express?
Parkerizing is 60% more durable then bluing according to Remington which is why most Police guns are parkerized.
The reason many Express gun owners complain about the finish rusting is because they fail to do what Remington recommends, which is to clean the gun before use to remove the factory preservative.
That's also one reason some people complain a new Express has extraction problems. They also failed to scrub the factory preservative from the chamber, and when fired it gets sticky and causes failure to extract.
To clean the gun and prevent rust, field strip the gun per the owner's manual, including disassembling the magazine and removing the trigger group.
On a pad of newspaper, spray the gun dripping wet inside and out with CLP Breakfree and let soak for 30 minutes to dissolve the factory preservative.
Wipe dry and reassemble.
This not only removes the factory coating, it coats everything with a rust preventing coat of Teflon.
Thereafter, every time you handle or use the gun, refresh the layer with a little more CLP.
Both the Express and Police use the same forged and milled steel receiver and heavy duty fabricated internals. Both will last an equally long time. (Just about forever and two days, or 250,000 rounds).
The Express is Remington's budget gun made to compete with the much cheaper to make Mossberg.
The Express is much less polished and de-burred inside and out and many machine marks and some burrs are left.
The extractor is MIM, and on standard 4 shot magazine guns the magazine retention system is plastic.
These 4 shot guns can't accept a magazine extension unless the magazine tube is modified, and the gun can't accept some accessories due to the longer sporting type fore end.
The bore and chamber is a little less polished, and it has the bead blasted blue finish on the metal.
Wood stocks are hardwood stained with a walnut stain and a varnish type finish.
The Police guns cost more because the Police model is more inspected and has more hand labor attention given during manufacture.
Hand labor and inspection runs the cost up due to cost of a persons time.
Each part is hand inspected before assembly.
All metal inside and out is much better polished with few machine marks and no burrs left inside or out.
The finish is a military type parkerized finish.
Wood stocks are American Walnut with a military type oil finish.
The gun will accept all extensions and accessories.
Extractor is milled steel.
Several springs are heavy duty to improve feeding during rapid fire.
There are many more options on barrel lengths, stocks, sights, and accessories.
Due to it's primary use as a police gun, every effort is made to insure it works 100% right out of the box.
Bottom line, the Express is an inexpensive but serviceable Chevy. The Police is the top of the line Cadillac.