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Old December 1, 2002, 03:35 PM   #1
ajacobs
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Another homely 870 follows me home

I can't help but to buy used 870's whenever I see them, no matter how homely, I think it is related to the sure "bang for your buck you get". They are almost always reliable, you can spend 150-200 bucks and be done, no shopping for mags, holsters, specialty ammo crazy assesories etc.

Sure I have some "tactical" 870's that I bought back before I had put 20,000 12 ga rounds through a shotgun (Dave is laughing right now remembering that his 20,000th round was expended when he was 14 or so). I thought I needed all the toys and since I never sell a gun I have a couple from the old scattergun tech and a couple with Vangcomp and a half a dozen or so with surefire forends. I even have 2 20 gauges with 3 shot extensions. I even bought one of those sling bandaleers at one point. All of those sit in the safe and get oiled once a year.

I have 12 870's now and all of my shotguns are 870's except a lonely ithaca 87. But the simple ones are the ones I use. The simple ones are near the bed at night, follow me into the woods and ride in the back of the truck.

The one I brought home today cost me 85$ and was probaly somebodys dad's nice hunting gun as some point until the kid got a hold of it. It is an older wingmaster. That the kid choped the vented barrel down to 19 in and through a scattergun 2 shot extension on, speedfeed stocks and fiber optic sights (striving for the all be it cheeper but same tactical look I was when I was younger). And some point in its life it must have been getting to rusty as they sprayed it down with some rustoleom spray paint. Hence the great deal I got. It seems spray paint doesn't handle gun scrubber very well and had a nice melted rusty look.

I already had a drawer of spare parts, any one who has as many 870's as I so has a drawer of spare parts. I stripped of the side saddle and the paint. I then had a choice. I could put a full barrel on it or leave it as is. I had a couple of vent rib barrels, one was for a wingmaster and had the nicer finish but I decided against it as it was too nice for the beat up receiver, one had the duller finish of the express line and wouldn't match. dismissing both of those I got out the old drill and using an old trick I made a smooth wider section just before the muzzle, a poor mans choke if you will. I then refinished the gun in some green bake on laquer that I had laying around from redoing some magazines on another progect. I returned the scattergun 2 shot extension also in green now and mounted a bead site as well returning the supper tactical plastic stocks it had. I was left with a supper ugly 870 that only a father could love. I took her out back with some s&b buck and got some fairly decent patterns for what she is, certainly suitable for my new truck gun.

No matter how ugly she started out, I can't turn down an old 870, I left her maybe a little big uglier with the green finish, but atleast she is functional and patterns now. I will leave of the sidesaddle and the sling. Of course I will have to name her big green.

Funny thing is regardless of what the previous owner had done to her I had no dought that for no money and a little work I could get her functional and reliable. If that insn't a testament to the design I don't know what is, given my level of mechanical ability.
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Old December 1, 2002, 04:56 PM   #2
9mmMike
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Nice

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Old December 1, 2002, 05:00 PM   #3
HSMITH
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Man, I need to start shopping where you do!!!!!!!

That was a STEAL!!!! Good job returning it to use.
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Old December 1, 2002, 06:03 PM   #4
Dave McC
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Actually, I guess I was thirty before passing the 20K mark, but it matters not.

Congrats on the new prize. Good to see an old soldier back in action. Great price!!

It's also nice to see another 870 fanatic.
Looking forward to much discussion and comparisons.

One note on your homeamde choking. "Jug" choking like you did will tighten the pattern about one increment up to IC, with luck. But, you're removing metal where the bbl's not that thick.

Go slow and I sure hope you know what you're doing.

If I had the choice, I'd be getting that bbl to a good smith first for a longer forcing cone, then a rechoke if needed. A longer cone mimics a tighter choke. Pattern size stays more or less the same,density improves.

And it sounds like a great truck gun, Big Green indeed.Enjoy!
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Old December 1, 2002, 06:20 PM   #5
ajacobs
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I was really careful Dave. I probally could have taken off some more and tightened it up a little more but I errored on the side of caution. I also agree a lengthened forcing cone would be preferable but unfortunatly where I live that is a send it away afair. I can just imagine some respectable smith getting my chopped down VR barrel with melted paint on it!
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Old December 2, 2002, 05:38 AM   #6
Dave McC
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Glad to hear it. One drawback to a public BB like this fine one is that lots of folks who are not capable of doing something think they can simply because someone on a BB said they could.

As for the cone, given a choice I'd go there first. But that's your option.

As for respectable smiths, if you're asking for something realistic, no prob. Every smith I know has war stories about what folks want them to do because someone told an idiot some BS about a shotgun.

One I know saw a bbl that was opened at the muzzle like a blunderbuss. Some Bozo thought he'd make a homemeade duckbill by placing his muzzle into a vice and squeezing it down to about 50 caliber. He missed getting nominated for a Darwin Award by a hair,IMO.

Good luck with your truck gun...
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Old December 2, 2002, 11:08 AM   #7
ajacobs
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Perhaps I made the jug choke seem more easy than it is. I had ideal measurements from an issue of Gunsmith kinks from brownells, and all the right tools. I probally measured how I was doing 60 times and I still took away less material than I could off. A longer forcing cone may still be in its future but if I put more money into it, I may have to go ahead and get it blued, then I might as well have put on a regular barrel with the beat up receiver. Then if I did all of that I would want to take it back to wood stocks. It would never end. Of course I could always pick up anothere used 870, they are usually 150 bucks around here. Then it would start all over again. I must be crazy.
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Old December 2, 2002, 05:21 PM   #8
Dave McC
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Mayhap WE'RE crazy,but it's a harmless dementia.

One of the upsides to collecting 870s is....

Say one wants a good double. That Beretta 682E that's so popular can be found for around $2500.

$2500 can buy at least 10 used 870s. Or, 3 or 4 plus goodies like custom wood and bbl work, and a truck load of ammo.

Or, one could build a $2500 870.

Start with a nice blued WM receiver. Say, $200 for just the receiver.

Next, one of Stan Baker's Big Bore bbls, about $1200 if it can be found. He's retiring.

Allen Timney's 870 TG in steel, about $220 with a safety.

One of Wenig's top grade stocks,made to your specs wityh a top grade pad, about $800 to $1K.

Or, persuade Vern Brown at Precision Fit to make one of the Robostocks for the 870. Call this at least $1200.

Pretty close to $2500, huh?
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Old December 3, 2002, 10:05 AM   #9
Warren Kent
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Everyone should have at least one 870 in their collection. When winter sets in and and only the hardy wander out to the trap line for a quick round or two, the time is right for a project gun. The last couple of years an 870 was my choice. Although I don't shoot one much five of them have gun socks wrapped around them in my gun safe. Last years project was an 870 Comp, a cross between an 870 and a gas auto. The model was dropped but for a single shot pump gun (mag tube is used for gas piston) it did what it was advertised to do, absolutly no recoil. I just hope when I'm gone my wife doesn't sell all the guns in my safe for what I told her I paid for the 870's.
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Old December 3, 2002, 11:00 AM   #10
ruger357
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Congrats. I picked up a used 870 wingmaster in great shape around 3 years ago for $175. You can't go wrong with a used 870.
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