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Old May 25, 2000, 01:17 PM   #1
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I'm interested in acquiring a used Remington 870 Wingmaster for just shooting clays with friends, i.e. no hunting or competition. I'm thinking one of the older guns chambered only for 2-3/4 shells will be adequate.

Anything special I need to watch out for in used Wingmasters? Are there good, solid performers out there under $200?
Old May 25, 2000, 04:49 PM   #2
Dave McC
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Join Date: October 13, 1999
Location: Columbia, Md, USA
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Good choice.....

If an 870 has ever,ever,ever worn out, I haven't heard of it. While pumps are at a small disadvantage at clays, their reliability and reasonable price more than make up for it.

$200 is cutting it a little fine, unless...

Check at the local gun shop that does police inventory turnovers. They oft have real buys and you can save plenty.

The Wingmaster that's now dedicated to deer in season and backup for HD started out as an Arlington Va PD cruiser gun.Cost, $150. My bird 870's receiver, slide and some other parts started out at the Md Pen, in a tower. I have about $140 tied up in it, but I had to build it. If a dunce like me can do it, it's milk and cookies...

And, an 18 inch bbled pump is the same overall length and sight radius as a 26inch bbled O/U or SXS. Not ideal for clays, but quite workable.

Get one of these turn ins and mess with the stock, there's old threads here which have great input. After shooting some, and patterning, play with the drop, pitch and length until you've found the Magic Combination that turns clays into powder all the time, or nearly(G). Then,build/get built a stock to match. Or live with the one you have, whatever you want to do.
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Old May 25, 2000, 05:57 PM   #3
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Dave McC,

Thanks, good input and info. Do you know of any suppliers on the Internet for Rem870 stocks, visible followers, oversize safeties, etc.? I've searched the archives and haven't found a listing.

Old May 25, 2000, 09:46 PM   #4
Bennett Richards
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Location: Carlsbad, CA USA
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For all you 870 needs go to
Great people and great prices

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Old May 26, 2000, 04:08 AM   #5
Join Date: October 9, 1998
Location: Ohio USA
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Last summer I had the same basic idea. I ended up with a new 870 w/synthetic stock. The Wingmasters (used) were few and far between.

OBTW, Clays is a ball!!!

I shot my first and only round last Summer and can't wait to try it again. I used the 870 and everybody else used an O/U. Yeah, if it had been competition I would have been at a disadvantage.
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Old May 26, 2000, 12:23 PM   #6
Dave McC
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M3, I may be a bad one to ask about aftermarket bells, whistles, fender skirts and fuzzy dice. I'm not all that enthused about addons, feeling and thinking they do not substitute for expertise. But so many disagree.

Look at all the threads here about equipment, and how few about tactics and training. See my point? Quite a few folks here spend more on extras than ammo and range fees, a horrible mistake, IMO. And a standard 870 is one effective tool, rightoutathebox.

Hi Vis followers- I'd rather have a solid steel one I KNOW won't break, than a bright one to tell me my weapon is empty. I SHOULD know that....

Big safeties- if it's easier to take off, it's easier to have knocked off. Check serious WIHTF types with the 1911, you'll see few competition style thumb safeties on carry guns, vs sports equipment.Same idea here...

Mag extensions- Good idea for reasons other than more shots till empty. The extra weight takes some bite out of the recoil, and clamping the extension to the bbl, done properly, effectively stiffens the bbl and shrinks slug groups, oft dramatically.

Peep or "Ghost Ring" sights- nice, but not essential.

Choke and bbl work-see above.

Forcing cone work-ditto.

A properly fitted stock-essential!!

Training and practice-ditto!!
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Old May 26, 2000, 12:54 PM   #7
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Good points, well taken, gracias. I hadn't considered the implications of shotgun accessories for tactical or home defense use. I probably should though, to maximize the gun's utility. A properly fitted stock is my #1 priority, as most seem too short to my 6'-3" frame.

I am considering a Wingmaster foremost for pleasure shooting of clays with friends. Maybe, and a very slight maybe, I would use it for bird hunting. Haven't dove hunted in cut corn fields since college, over 25 years ago. Time also flies ...
Old May 26, 2000, 01:05 PM   #8
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Dave McC,

I forgot to add that those corn fields were in MD, what is now Montgomery Village. Was using my Dad's old single-shot 12 ga. turkey gun with 32" barrel. Sporting and a hand full. Remember turkey shoots?

I was relocated to So. Cal. over twenty years ago. No doves or corn fields here. :-(

Old May 27, 2000, 09:25 AM   #9
Dave McC
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Join Date: October 13, 1999
Location: Columbia, Md, USA
Posts: 8,812
M3, I was in Rockville and Poolesville last night on business. Little hunting there now, it's all Yuppie habitat and a cesspool of Liberalism(G).Deer all over, had Bambi in the headlights twice on Route 107.

Sporting shotguns have different needs than HD or slug guns,the famed versatility of shotguns are a bit overblown. Also....

A stock, out of the box, 870 is a HD weapon of incredible power and effectiveness. While the HD 870 here is accessorized like Joan Rivers, I could do good work with my bird 870, with an option list of a lengthened forcing cone,and a tweaked stock.In a crisis like that, if 4 rounds of 12 ga ammo and good training will not get you out of a jam, chances are a couple more rounds and a ghost ring sight won't either.

Stock fit is crucial, tho it seems using a stock on the short side isn't as egregious as using one that's too long. I'm a behemoth, 6'2", 240, 36 inch sleeve, and the factory stock works ok,I've reduced drop a bit and it shoots fine for me.Try a slip on recoil pad,right over the stock one, to lengthen the pull,it should add around an inch. If it works, you can have a good smith do a real stock extension.

Hope this helps...
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Old May 29, 2000, 09:50 AM   #10
Patrick Graham
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Join Date: January 18, 1999
Location: Kokomo, Indiana USA
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I use a 2 3/4" 870 Wingmaster for skeet, dove and phesant. I have put more than 5000 rounds through it and a MEC 600 Jr. The little mechanism that holds the shells in the magazine is starting to occationally fall out on the 870. I hope it's repairable because that gun and I have been together since August 1977. Service merchandise had it on sale, I believe it was $180. I think that's about the time that Remington made 3 inch standard in the 870.. I'm guessing...

Soory.. got off on a tangant.

Bottom line.. the little thing that holds the shells in the magazine seems to be the only thing that wears out in high mileage 870's
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Old May 29, 2000, 11:38 AM   #11
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I was wondering when Remington started offering chambering for 3" shells in the Wingmasters. If it was around 1980, then there should be a substantial number of magnum Wingmasters around. I may upgrade my requirements to include magnum capability.

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