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Old August 25, 2012, 07:44 AM   #1
sumguy
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Remington 879 Express Combo

Sorry for the rookie questions but haven't been able to get much hands on time with shotguns or know many people that own them. I won this at a wild game dinner several years ago but didn't have opportunity to shoot much. Gun club has trap and skeet range and allows slugs on rifle range only. Did try a trap match at public range which was fun.

The box says 870 Express Combo, the receiver is stamped 870 Express Magnum and it came with a 28in vented rib barrel and an "extra 20in RS barrel". Can't find the manual right now. Online manual is not helping with these questions.

Both barrels: Avoid steel shot? Magnum loads OK in both? They both are stamped 2 3/4" or 3". No mention of magnum except on receiver.

20in bbl: The box says Extra 20in RS bbl. Does this mean it is rifle sighted or rifled for slug use? I don't see the typical spiral rifling. There are 4 lines that run the length of the barrel. The chamber is smooth and mirror finish. The rest of the barrel looks unfinished and can see very fine circular banding all the way down. Some areas worse than others. No choke. The 28in is a mirror finish all the way down. Is this meant for slugs? If yes, is it supposed to be rifled? Does firing lead shot hurt a rifled barrel? If its not meant for rifling or slugs, when would you use a 20 inch barrel for shot loads instead of the 28in barrel? If I were hunting with a 20in barrel and slugs, what would be the typical effective range?
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Old August 25, 2012, 08:22 AM   #2
Lee Lapin
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RS means rifle sights. If the barrel were rifled, that would be marked on the box and visible in the bore. Many barrels intended for slug use are smoothbore - they are for RIFLED SLUGS. Rifled barrels are used with SABOT SLUGS.

Magnum loads are OK. Steel shot should be OK.

With a 20" smoothbore barrel with factory rifle sight, I personally wouldn't be shooting slugs through my 28' VR barrel - but you can if you want to. It shouldn't hurt anything. I'd suggest an ImpCyl choke tube if you decide to do that though, slugs usually work better with no or slight choke.

A 20" RS smoothbore barrel is often used on a home defense shotgun, with whatever load the owner deems appropriate - birdshot, buckshot or slugs. They're often used for hunting deer with slugs, or for defensive use against bears and such, again with slugs - in this case, hard alloy swaged slugs like Brenneke or Dixie, and not soft lead Foster slugs.

If I were hunting with a 20in barrel and slugs, what would be the typical effective range?
That has MUCH more to do with the shooter than with the gun. How far out can you hit reliably with it? For me, a smoothbore barrel with rifled slugs is usually good for about 100 yards. For you... only your target will tell.

HINT - don't shoot slugs sitting at a bench like you would shoot a rifle, unless you want your fillings loosened. Shoot standing, using a vertical rest, like a post. Put something soft between the shotgun and the rest - your hand, or a towel. Otherwise the point of impact will shift away from the hard rest.
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Old August 25, 2012, 09:02 AM   #3
sumguy
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Lot of questions - thanks for taking the time to answer them. Never planned on slugs in the 28in but the 20in bbl had me baffled. Didn't realize there are rifled slugs for smooth bore and sabot for rifled bores. Will fire a few at the range just for the experience.
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Old August 25, 2012, 12:52 PM   #4
TheKlawMan
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This link will take you to a table of Remington OEM barrels. http://www.remington.com/pages/suppo...ls-tables.aspx

The "RS" indeed means rifle sight. I assume it is an 870 Express and not a Wingmaster. I only see two listed for the 870 and one has a fully rifled barrel (not yours). The other has a fixed improved cylinder choke, which is what Lee suggests.

24622
Express Deer Barrel w/ Rifle Sights
12
20" RS
Imp. Cyl.
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Old August 26, 2012, 08:39 AM   #5
Jo6pak
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Lee pretty much summed it all up.
I'd just like to mention one note on steel shot. If your 28" bbl has screw in chokes, make sure that the choke tubes are rated to steel shot. Some tighter chokes are marked "For lead shot only."

You have a great set-up there, an 870 combo can be the only gun you really ever need
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Old August 26, 2012, 10:48 AM   #6
sumguy
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It is a screw in choke, will avoid steel shot. Best thing is the weapon was free. Door prize at the dinner netted the combo, a knit cap, and 3 dollar bottle of wine - price tag still attached.
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Old August 26, 2012, 12:32 PM   #7
TheKlawMan
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You don't have to avoid steel shot, which many states require to use if shooting over wetlands. You simply get a choke rated for steel shot.

Last edited by TheKlawMan; August 26, 2012 at 12:43 PM.
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Old September 1, 2012, 11:18 AM   #8
sumguy
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wow. 3" magnum slugs quite a kick. 5 pack was enough. couple inches high at 50 yds. will try 100 next time. only issue that crept up is the magazine tube cap started loosening.
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