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Old January 15, 2009, 11:59 PM   #1
LoneStarWings
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Converting a Bird Gun to HD Gun (870 vs A391)

Hi,

I currently have a Remington 870 wingmaster and a Beretta A391 Extrema 2. They are both setup for hunting with plugs and 28" barrels.

I would like to convert one to an HD gun. I am leaning toward the 870 since 18" barrels do not appear widely available for the Beretta. If they did I would probably use this one instead since it is a nicer gun (no offense to the 870).

For the 870 I guess it would be as simple as acquiring an 18-20" barrel, taking out the plug and putting on a 3 or 4 round magazine extension.

Anyone have a good place to buy these things? I've seen 18" barrels on the cabellas' website, but they seem to be for "express" models. Will an Express barrel fit a wingmaster 870? Also, is there a place where can find good deals? These mods are looking like they will cost close to $200, and that's pretty close to the cost of buying a completely new gun altogether.

Thanks in advance.
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Old January 16, 2009, 12:58 AM   #2
Scattergun Bob
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Yes, Express barrels will fit on wingmaster receivers, however they will be a different finish. Also, there may not be a barrel nut detente on the barrel ring, this is not a big problem.

Check out Brownells.com or Midway both stock mag extensions, though I am not sure you need one.

I always advise that folks consider putting a light on their scattergun, so I will again advise it to you. Consider that somehow we need to see and identify our target before we can engage it at 2 AM in our darkened house.

Good Luck on your project
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Old January 16, 2009, 02:09 AM   #3
tube_ee
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Converting a bird gun to home defense...

Guy breaks into your home.

You shoot him with your bird gun.

Home defended.

--Shannon
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Old January 16, 2009, 03:14 AM   #4
Bill DeShivs
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Simply cut the barrel on the 870 off, and remove the plug. It's highly doubtful you will be in an extended firefight in your home-so you don't need the extension. If you do it yourself, the cost is zero. A gunsmith can do it for less than $50.
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Old January 16, 2009, 05:12 PM   #5
mwar410
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Lonestar, I'm currently doing the same thing. The extrema is a big gun, the stocks are big, it's long, heavier, etc. I going to convert my 870 instead. I've been looking at aiptactical.com, This place seems to be extremely knowledgable, however so 2 do 20 other people on this sight. His prices seem good and he has quite the assortment of barrels and accessories just for the 870. I'm going with the 18.5" rifle sight, fixed mod. choke. in matte finish to match the express. it's about $170. and the muzzle ends even with a 2 shot mag extension.
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Old January 16, 2009, 05:19 PM   #6
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Scattergun - I would think that would depend on who lives in the house - if you have folks other than your spouse,(presumably sleeping next to you), then yes, ID is impportant. If you live alone, OR your spouse sleeps next to you, and you hear someone and he/she is there next to you.........you can assume the party in question is not an invited guest
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Old January 16, 2009, 05:33 PM   #7
Scattergun Bob
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oneounceload

We have fought this fight before.

I firmly stand on the mantra of:

I have to see it first before; I can identify it as a threat.

I must identify it as a threat before; I can kill it.

If I have to kill it, I need to be on firm legal and emotional ground.

In the dark funny things happen, it is of course your choice, shooting in the dark or shooting with a light.

Good Luck and Be Safe
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Old January 16, 2009, 05:39 PM   #8
BigJimP
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+1 to Scattergun Bob's perspective in this discussion.

Don't shoot something you can't see clearly ....
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Old January 16, 2009, 06:14 PM   #9
Sam06
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Go with the 870.

Here is what I did:

20" Barrel with sights and screw in chokes. I went with this one because I could see myself hunting with it.

+2 extension. I did this so the spring would not be so compressed. I load 4 rounds in the gun, empty camber, safety off, trigger pulled

Light. I have a Surfire G2 on mine.

No weirdo stocks or anything. I like the light. Its there if I need it, if not don't turn it on. Its one of those "Better to have and not need" kind of things. It will set you back about 50bucks when its all said and done.

I also have a 4 shot side saddle on mine with 3 slugs and one 00 buck. The gun is loaded with #1 buck.(Tacstar model)

I live out some and can foresee me needing to go outside also, thats why I have the sidesaddle with the extra rounds.

Last but not least. Practice with it and do a pattern check. Be proficient with the gun and ensure everyone in the house is also.

PS I would not go with all those Geewhiz tacitcool doodads like pistol grips for and aft, 12 shot extenders. All that stuff will fail or make the gun unshootable.
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Old January 16, 2009, 06:35 PM   #10
LoneStarWings
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Thanks for all the replies, suggestions, and comments.

I live in a 1400 sq foot, two story condo. The 28" barrels are a bit unweildy to maneuver around the stairwell unless you carry them vertically, which is one of the main reason I'm looking at shorter barrels.

I don't live alone, I live with my 22 yr old sister. She is actually the one who originally got me to keep the bird guns in the condo (she gets scared of things that go bump in the night), before that I just kept them at my dad's since I hunt with him. A light would probably be good idea since obviously we don't sleep in the same room.

I looked at the aiptactical site, and he's right, every single website seems not to have any short 870 barrels in stock, kind of strange. I guess they're in high demand right now for some reason. Why would I want rifle sites vs. a regular bead? I feel like I'm pretty accurate with a bead. Also I'm not sure why I would want parkerized vs. matte.

Thanks again for the help,

LSW
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Old January 16, 2009, 07:40 PM   #11
Bill DeShivs
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If short barrels are hard to find, get a long barrel and cut it, or just simply cut the one you have. There is no advantage to buying a short barrel.
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Old January 16, 2009, 08:09 PM   #12
Lee Lapin
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Look at

http://www.remington.com/products/fi...ry_barrels.asp

And call 1-800-243-9700, when you decide what you want. #24545, a 20" smoothbore barrel with rifle sights, will match your Wingmaster; #24620 is an 18" Express (matte finished) bead sighted barrel. The thing with this one is, I don't know if it has a detent in the barrel ring to retain the magazine cap on your Wingmaster. The 20" barrel will, since it's a Wingmaster barrel. I'd be willing to pay more to get the Wingmaster barrel, not just because the finish matches, not for the sights or even just to be sure of getting the right magazine cap retaining system, but because it already comes set up for RemChokes. YMMV of course.

And if you shop around, you may find a shorter barrel in the used market for less money. Be sure it has the right detent system though. Look at places like Corson's ( http://www.corsonsbarrels.com/ ), Barrel Exchange (http://barrelexchange.com/ ), GunBroker ( http://www.gunbroker.com/ ) etc.

IMHO it's important that you get training in defensive shotgunning, too. For example, you don't work a defensive gun muzzle up- that's fpr field/sporting guns. You run a defensive gun muzzle down, in an indoor ready or low ready position. Carrying a defensive gun muzzle up makes it too easy for a bad guy to get under the muzzle and take the gun from you. Searching your house alone if you really think there's a bad guy there is not one of the more popular things to do, even among folks who do that sort of thing for a living and have extensive training at it. At least, take a look at the NRA's Personal Protection In The Home class ( http://www.nrahq.org/education/train...ictraining.asp ). If you can't find a class you can make, there's a DVD of the classroom presentation available ( http://materials.nrahq.org/go/produc...tid=ES%2026840 ).

IMHO a light is a good idea on a defensive shotgun, One of the LED lights (TLR-1, etc http://www.opticsplanet.net/streamli...lashlight.html ) that mounts on a Streamlight #69906 ring mount ( http://www.opticsplanet.net/streamli...unt-69906.html ) is what we use here.

The magazine extension is a take it or leave it with me, since my wife uses every one of the 'house guns' I do, they are all set up to fit her. That means that as well as a 12.5" LOP stock and a good recoil pad, a field length forearm, a light and a 4-round Sidesaddle, there's no magazine extensions- the extra weight out in front of the support hand is too much for her.

It's all a personal decision, of course, and you will need to do what you think best. Study things over a bit and decide what will work best for you and your sister. And Stay Safe,

lpl
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Old January 17, 2009, 02:34 AM   #13
Bill DeShivs
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BTW- you don't need ANY choke on a home defense gun.
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Old January 17, 2009, 08:42 AM   #14
Sam06
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I got the barrel with the rifle sights to hunt with(Deer Hunt with Slugs) for a HD shotgun and bead is better.

I also have a 1100 set up to shoot in 3 gun matches. It has a HiViz green bead. Its very fast and works well.

If I was in your shoes and did not want to hack up my barrel I would look around at gunshows, pawn shops or gun stores for an 870 barrel. Buy a old used barrel that fits your gun and chop it down. Most gun shops have a ton of shotgun barrels that are used somewhere in the shop. Make the guy a deal for cash. I would think you could get one for maybe 50-75 bucks.

Then if you want to spend more money have the guy chop it down to 18.5" and put a bead on it. Take it home and slap it on the 870, you are in business.
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Old January 17, 2009, 08:56 AM   #15
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I had my local automobile engine shop machinist cut a barrel down for me. This guy took all of 20 minutes total, longest time spent was the effort in placing the barrel in the vertical mill vise to not scratch it-----$25. Caution::::::Remember the minimum overall length of the gun. I added a 1/2" to the overall length of mine to remove any possible length question(s) by the authorities if ever questioned.
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