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Old April 9, 2000, 11:18 PM   #1
Coronach
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I asked a while back about HD utility of the 3" magnum vs the 3.5" magnum.

Thats not what I'm asking now.

Here is my current question (brought to the forefront of my fevered thoughts after looking at all the nice shotguns all in a row at the local gunstore):

How reliable/durable is the 870 Super Mag, as compared to the standard, garden variety 870 express magnum?

I'm aware that the 870 is the Energizer Bunny of shotgundom. Heck, I've had a 870 Wingmaster for almost 15 (gasp! 15?!?!?) years now, and its as solid now as day 1. Is the latest iteration of the 870 line as good as the older versions?

Mike




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"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -Robert Heinlein
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Old April 12, 2000, 10:39 AM   #2
Coronach
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BTTT...someone has to have an opinion on this.

Mike


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Old April 12, 2000, 01:33 PM   #3
Dave McC
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Sorry, nobody I know has one, so can't give a status report.

Matter of fact, I doubt I know anyone with a 3.5 inch chamber on anything, and us Md types are strong on waterfowl ordnance...
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Old April 13, 2000, 04:34 PM   #4
Jeff Thomas
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Well, I've got a super mag. Had it modified by Hans Vang, and he seemed to think it was a fine firearm. Took it through a Gunsite course, and probably put 400 to 500 rounds through it. No problems.

But, durability? Can't really say yet. It isn't that old, and so I can't really comment. For that matter, I don't really know how long they've been out. As I recall, it wasn't that much more expensive, and I wanted the most adaptable and most durable shotgun available. This seemed like a good bet. I also prefer firearms that can take a variety of ammo.

Time will tell, I suppose, but so far, so good. Hope you get some other responses, because I am curious as well.

Regards from AZ
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Old April 15, 2000, 02:10 PM   #5
Magoo1
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Can you shoot 2 3/4 " shells fromm the 3 1/2 " magnum? I'm kinda new to this stuff.,

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Old April 15, 2000, 08:17 PM   #6
Dave McC
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Magoo,yes, but the reverse can kill you. Shells longer than a given chamber can run pressures up to the point where, in effect, you've got a live grenade 6 inches in front of your eyes.

And, a shell suitable for a 2 3/4" chamber is NOT 2 3/4" before firing.The length is determined after firing, when the crimp has opened up.

Any American shotgun of modern manufacture should have the chamber length on the bbl. Stick to it and no problems....
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Old April 15, 2000, 09:19 PM   #7
Magoo1
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Thanks for the info Dave McC. I used to hunt quite a few years ago. I'm not sure but I don't think they had 3 1/2 " shells back then. I knew you couldn't/shouldn't/better not you may die/ put 3 1/2 " in 2 3/4 only chambered guns but wasn't sure if there maybe too much "room" in a 3 1/2" chamber for 2 3/4 " shells.

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Old April 15, 2000, 11:40 PM   #8
Jeff Thomas
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That's what I like about the Super Magnum ... you can use 2.75", 3.00" and 3.50" shells. It will effectively take (to my knowledge) any 12 gauge shell made.

I got a synthetic version - see http://www.remington.com/FIREARMS/shotguns/870SMSYN.HTM

You can modify it for home defense with an 18" barrel. If you put ghost ring sights on, use only blue loctite for the rear sight. That way you can return it to bird hunting duty (or ??) sometime down the road (when you put the 26" barrel back on).

Now, I'm not a highly experienced shotgunner, so don't just take my opinion. But, everybody I asked about this seemed to think the theory was good. Like I said, time will tell about the durability.

Good luck. Regards from AZ

[This message has been edited by Jeff Thomas (edited April 16, 2000).]
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Old April 16, 2000, 03:50 PM   #9
Jeff Thomas
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Hmmm ... we'll call it a 'double tap', but for a moment there, I'd swear the posts above were in a different order ...

Time for a nap? Or just weirdness from a new server ...?

[This message has been edited by Jeff Thomas (edited April 16, 2000).]
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Old April 16, 2000, 04:52 PM   #10
Magoo1
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Ok more of my ignorance is about to show through . What are Ghost rings? See I haven't handled a gun in close to 20 years. We used to hunt rabbits, squirrel and when we were real bored tweety birds Back then all I had was my 12 ga Mossberg the way I bought it from the gun shop. After seeing on the news all the hoopla about gun control and the likes, I decided to learn a little more. Found this site ( which is great )and joined the NRA. And I'm doing my best to spread the word about the 2nd ammendment and our rights going down the tubes. I live in Upstate NY so getting a handgun permit is kind of a pain in the butt. But I can buy shotguns and rifles without a problem. So I'm decided to get a shotgun or 2 and maybe a rifle before you need a permit to get them also. I looking into getting a pistol permit but the county I live in, one of the judges is strict and the other isn't. Plus you need character references and most of the people I would feel comfortable asking for a character reference are anti-gun.And you can't talk to those people. I'm also looking for shooting range where I could possible go and try shooting a handgun before trying to get a permit. So if anybody knows of a place in the Albany NY area let me know.

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Old April 16, 2000, 10:18 PM   #11
Jeff Thomas
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Magoo1, welcome to TFL. I got interested for basically the same reasons, about 18 months ago. Keep buying guns - you're right ... this isn't going to get better soon.

A ghost ring sight is also known as a peep sight - the rear sight is a ring, through which you find your front sight. On shotguns, that front sight is usually a blade sight in a ghost ring setup.

Although it is hard to make out, here is a ghost ring sight setup at Scattergun Tech: http://www.scattergun.com/scattergun/GhostRing.htm

and, here is another look at the MMC ghost ring from Vang Comp: http://www.vangcomp.com/870_acc_mmc.htm

Finally, here is MMC's sight again, with a bit more info (seems like a lot of folks think MMC's sights are one of the best): http://www.mmcsight.com/mmcghost.html

Regards from AZ

[This message has been edited by Jeff Thomas (edited April 16, 2000).]
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Old April 17, 2000, 07:22 AM   #12
Dave McC
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You're welcome, Magoo. And keep asking away, the only stupid questions are those that do not get asked.

And, considering the BS the govt and most media types are spouting, I recommend buying enough shotguns, rifles and ammo for a small army. It'll get worse before it gets better.
Way worse....
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Old April 17, 2000, 09:36 AM   #13
Coronach
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Excellent!

Took a little while, but this question is finally generating some replies

Yeah, I looked at the shotguns out there and pretty much came to the same conclusion as you guys did: the cost is not THAT much more, it seems to be the same old workhorse of a gun, and you can shoot any 12 ga shell through it. add it all up and it is a win-win.

Two more follow-up questions:

1. How much does the mechanism of the 870 super mag differ from that of the 870 magnum? I'm not asking how the gun functions (I know how to work it, its identical to its sisters in every respect), but rather, was there any substantial re-engineering of the basic 870 mechanism, or is it simply a matter of making the chamber and ejection port longer and just beefing it up to tolerate higher pressures? I ask since we're talking durability here, and if its basically the same gun, I'm willing to wager that it will endure just fine.

2. For you tactical-type people out there: Would having the longer chamber/ejection port make load-switching drills (like 'select-a-slug') easier, or will the extra space make malfunctions more common? I like the 'slap and slam' ability of the 870 police model. I'd hate to slap in a slug and have the gun choke.

Cheerio!

Mike

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"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -Robert Heinlein
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Old April 17, 2000, 10:23 AM   #14
Jeff Thomas
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Again, I don't have enough experience / knowledge to answer your first question ... you might look up George Stringer, over in the Smithy section of TFL. I'll bet he is one fellow who can answer your question #1.

Regarding question #2, we practiced those drills in a Gunsite class, and the gun functioned perfectly. Others can probably give you more experienced feedback.

I do note that Hans Vang is holding a raffle of ... an 870 Super Magnum! See http://www.vangcomp.com/firebird_raffle.htm

So, apparently he does feel pretty good about these shotguns. If you're willing to send some business his way, I'll bet he would spend a few minutes on the phone with you. He's a super guy, and very helpful to new folks regarding firearms. Just make sure you send him some business as a thank you for his advice. He does great work.

Regards from AZ
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Old April 17, 2000, 06:58 PM   #15
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the super mag is essentally the same gun with the ejector staked back a little and the ejection port opened up.remington puts a spring operated sheild on the bolt to act as a dust cover.all remington barrels rather they be 2 3/4 or 3 inch will fit on the supermag however they will only accept rounds for them.
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