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Old March 31, 2006, 06:47 PM   #1
wacki
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What Is The Big Deal About The 870?

Everyone here says it's the best pump shotgun. Fine, tell me what is so good about it. Why is it better than Winchesters pump? Why is it better than mossberg's pump. Honestly I'd like to know why there seems to be ZERO debate about this except when the nova is mentioned. Then it's always "time will tell".

As for reliability, does the 870 have any stats for its durability? 500K rounds without cleaning? Anything like that?
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Old March 31, 2006, 07:26 PM   #2
tBlake08
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Well, I've had several thousand thru mine, been thru rain, snow, ice, mud, full submersion, and even being dropped out of a moving truck (not by me I assure you) and the only problem I've ever had is amatures half shucking.
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Old March 31, 2006, 07:33 PM   #3
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If you have to ask...........well you just wouldn't understand.

Actually any of the big names will do you just fine. Mossberg, Winchester, Benelli etc. The 870 has been sold in huge numbers and I think many of us have seen 870s that have no business working due to damage or abuse, just chugging right along. The are kind of the pump benchmark through a combination of actual capability and a little mythos thrown in for good measure.

I am an 870 guy so take this for what it is worth. I have never actually seen an 870 go down, NEVER. Not that it doesn't happen I just haven't seen it.

Chris
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Old March 31, 2006, 07:38 PM   #4
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I've put over 500 rounds through my 870 on weeklong hunting trips before cleaning it. Is that what you're looking for?

I don't know, it's just a simple, clean design in an affordable package.
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Old March 31, 2006, 07:51 PM   #5
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For the price, its the best,and at any price, its a contender. The 870 is totally dependable.
One additional factor is that there are more aftermarket mods, parts, and accessories for the 870 than for any other brand.
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Old March 31, 2006, 07:52 PM   #6
cslinger
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Quote:
As for reliability, does the 870 have any stats for its durability? 500K rounds without cleaning?
Actually one of the editors of Guns magazine went something like 865,351 rounds without cleaning and the gun only started to exhibit problems with shuck getting tough towards the end.
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Old March 31, 2006, 07:53 PM   #7
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Alright I am just jacking with you. I have seen an 870 using a bottle cap as a magazine follower though and it ran fine.

Its a good solid gun.
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Old March 31, 2006, 08:04 PM   #8
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It's an experiance and reputation thing. If it were a **** shotgun, word would get around. Well if it's a good shotgun word gets around too.

We own an 870 and a Winnie. I feel that either of those is about equal durability wise. I like the action of the Win better than the 870 though. I like the trigger of the 870 better, I like the way the sidesaddle attaches to the 870 better than the Win. The Win dis/re-assembles easier than the 870.

All new Mossbergs seem nice. All older Mossbergs are loose as a goose so the durability is just not there. Or such has been MY experiance with them.
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Old March 31, 2006, 08:40 PM   #9
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It's the AK47 of shotguns, it's cheap, extremely reliable, and can be tossed around and still go bang.
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Old March 31, 2006, 08:59 PM   #10
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Did I meniton mine is wood? No synthetic for me. Wouldn't touch a benelli, they're okay, I just never cared for them. All of the mentioned make great guns, it's just all in the shooter. The only downside to mossberg (I really don't find it as a downside) is it's recoil reputation. Mossberg would be my second choice 12 ga followed by the browning gold.
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Old April 1, 2006, 12:50 AM   #11
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I've handled all the major shotguns at the local trap/skeet range... Winchester, Benelli, Browning, Beretta, Mossberg, Ithaca and of course Remington.

I've shot many rounds through a Mossberg, a Winchester, an Ithaca and my own 870.

The practical differences are probably mostly ergonomic...

But the 870 always "feels" the best to me, possibly because I own one, but definitely because they are solid, ultra-ultra-dependable shotguns with a great action and quality parts.

I have seen guns with 100K+ rounds through them with almost no cleaning, usually as "the barn gun," and they were universally flawless in operation, though rarely so in finish.

Maybe it's just their common-ness and their exceptional reputation together... and it's completely possible that there are similar Mossbergs and Winchesters and Ithacas etc. out there with similar quality and reliability... you just never hear about them.

The Remington 870 has simply proven itself over and over. Obviously, I can't sing its praises enough... both from my own great experiences, and the many I've heard over the years from myriad friends, acquaintences and strangers.
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Old April 1, 2006, 04:04 AM   #12
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I look at it this way " If it ain't broke don't fix it"
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Old April 1, 2006, 10:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
and the only problem I've ever had is amatures half shucking.
what?
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Old April 1, 2006, 10:42 AM   #14
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One difference between the Remington and Winchester 1200/1300 series is that the Winchester uses an aluminum alloy receiver while the Remington is steel. Some say that makes a difference, but the old 1200 I have with something like 20K rounds through it doesn't show any signs of slowing down.

I have both an 870 (20g) and a Winchester 1300 (12g). The action on the Winchester is smoother and the trigger of the 870 is crisper. Ergonomically it's hard to compare a light 20 with a 12 but the 870 does feel much better in terms of being the right fit.

Used Winchester 1200's with 20" tubes sell around here for about $225 and make terrific home defense guns.
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Old April 1, 2006, 11:34 AM   #15
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BillCA, do you have any idea when they started making the receivers out of aluminum? Our Win is steel. I just checked it with a magnet. We bought it new in the late 70's. (I think it's value just went up )
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Old April 1, 2006, 12:07 PM   #16
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When my father and I took up shooting trap/skeet, we both went out and bought 20 gauge shotguns. I bought a Winchester 1300 and he bought a Remington 870. Having shot and cleaned both, I prefer the 1300. It seems to shoot quicker, has less recoil, break down easier, reassembled easier, came with more chokes, and cost less.

In all fairness, the 870 had a nicer slide (it was checkered and the 1300 was ribbed) and an easier to use slide release button. All-in-all, both were great guns. But in my humble opinion, the 1300 was a slightly better gun for slightly less money.

It seems to me that most people buy an 870, realize it's a great gun, and assume that nothing else could possibly be better.

P.S. My dad hated the 870. He sold it first chance he got.
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Old April 1, 2006, 12:25 PM   #17
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you know you get alot of opions but it seems as if everbody is agreeing that the 870 is a great gun. me too. how many times does this happen
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Old April 1, 2006, 01:22 PM   #18
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Yep. Everybody can't be lieing!
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Old April 1, 2006, 01:45 PM   #19
tBlake08
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Quote:
Quote:
and the only problem I've ever had is amatures half shucking.


what?
People who aren't familiar with pump guns pumping enough to eject the shell but not enough to let the next shell fully chamber. The front of the shell jams on the tube.
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Old April 1, 2006, 02:22 PM   #20
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Why the Remington 870 is the King of Modern Pump Shotguns:

From 1900 to the early 1960's the police shotgun market was shared by Winchester and Remington.
Winchester had the larger share, with a few makes like Ithaca, High Standard, and Stevens having at least a "toe hold" in the market.

In those days, pump shotguns were made of forged and milled steel, and as such, were pretty well 'bullet proof". Since the guns were so strong, they were all very reliable, and lasted for years in service.
Coupled with the fact that most departments didn't put guns in patrol cars, and the guns tended to see little use back then, the typical police shotgun lasted just about forever.
This meant that police choice came down to price, and the people doing the selection's personal likes and dislikes.

The great "Sea Change" started in 1950 when Remington introduced the Model 870.

This was the first shotgun made with modern production methods.
Although Remington used high-speed production methods, the gun still used a forged steel receiver, and robust fabricated parts.
So although the smaller parts weren't milled steel, they were sturdy and foolproof.

The problems started when the other gun makers realized that they could no longer continue to produce the old milled steel "tanks", and designed new guns made with stamped parts, and then, cast aluminum receivers.

The simple fact was, that although the designs looked good on the drawing board, and often stood up to civilian sporting use, they simply couldn't take the abusive use police put them to.

Exacerbated by the fact that police began to put shotguns into patrol cars as "standard equipment", the new stamped and fabricated guns failed to stand the use and abuse.

The worst example of a miscalculation was Winchester's loss of the police market they once dominated.

In 1964 Winchester made the notorious decision to change their entire line of firearms to allow cheaper production.
Prior to this, Winchester had a large share of the police market with their 1897 and 1912 Models.
Because of the incredible durability and quality, it wasn't unusual to find departments that still used the '97, and the "average" police shotgun was a Model 12.

In 1964 Winchester introduced the new "Super gun" the Model 1200.
Like the other new generation of post-war guns, it used stamped and fabricated parts, and an aluminum receiver.

The gun was a disaster in police use.
The gun simply failed to stand up to the treatment, and police departments made clear their dissatisfaction.

Winchester analyzed the failings of the 1200 and redesigned the gun, reissuing it as the Model 1300.

Unfortunately the 1300 also failed in service.
The problem wasn't a specific weakness that could be diagnosed and fixed, but was a systemic problem.
The gun simply wasn't durable enough.

Police departments first complained, then "voted with their feet", by refusing to buy any more Model 1300 guns.
Since that fiasco, no police agency of any size has bought the Winchester Model 1300, and only a few small departments anywhere have used it.

The decision to stick with the 1200/1300 design cost Winchester their majority share of the police market, and through that reputation, Winchester lost their commercial share also.
Today Winchester is number three in shotgun production, well behind Mossberg, who is well behind Remington.

In the 1980's Mossberg began to surge in shotgun sales, and made a move on the police market.
Unfortunately their model 500 suffered the same fate as the ill fated Winchester 1200/1300.
The Model 500 also failed to stand the treatment.

Mossberg succeeded where Winchester failed, by upgrading and beefing up the 500 into the more sturdy 590 versions.

By this time however, Remington had captured the lion's share of the police market with their remarkable Model 870.
The heavier internal parts, and the steel receiver did stand the abusive police treatment, and has built an unequaled reputation for always working, and durability.

Remington's reputation allowed them to capture an estimated 95%-Plus of the police market, and this in turn, helped them to secure the larger part of the commercial sporting market.

The last numbers I saw, indicate that Remington made almost TWICE the number of shotguns that their nearest competitor, Mossberg, made.

Other companies suffered problems similar to Winchester.
S&W decided to branch out into other markets, including an attempt to capture most the police equipment market.
With that in mind, S&W started up an ammunition and holster line, along with their handcuff and other equipment lines, and went after the police shotgun market.

The first S&W pump gun was the disastrous Model 916, which did serious damage to the companies reputation.

Determining to do a better job next time, S&W imported a Japanese Howa-made gun known as the Model 3000.
Basically a "clone" of the 870, the 3000 did better in the market, and for a time was a "status symbol" among individual police officers who purchased it.

However, the 3000 also fell prey to the street cop durability monster, and failed to stand up.
Shortly thereafter, S&W dumped the ammo, holster, and shotgun lines, so they could "get back to our core business of pistols".

The Howa was passed on to Mossberg, who failed to aggressively market it, and the gun soon sank into oblivion.

Other gun companies also failed the police test. Among them were High Standard, who's innovative Model 10A and 10B bullpup guns failed due to high price and reliability problems.

Savage/Stevens guns failed to sell to the police, and Browning made no effort in the police market at all.

Only Ithaca retained any share at all with their Model 37, but quality control problems, and a lack of adaptability finished them.

By now, Remington's 870 has such a reputation and actual proven performance, it's unlikely any competitor will shake their dominance of the market, at least as long as police continue to use pump shotguns.
Remington's design team's genius has given the company a market share and dominance Glock and other gun companies can only marvel at.

Although there are the usual disputes as to shotgun brands among civilian owners, there is no doubt about who who makes the most durable and reliable gun.
The fact that you have to look long and hard to find a law enforcement agency that DOESN'T use the 870, tells the tale.

The police did "vote with their feet" and it wasn't because they liked the way the Remington salesmen smiled.

All this points up the keys to the firearms market:
1. Design a sturdy, reliable, no-nonsense, firearm.
2 Insure the production quality makes good use of the design.

Most companies either came up with a substandard design, or failed to obtain and maintain quality production.
Those that did neither succeeded.

The results are there to be seen.
High Standard is a memory, Savage/Stevens is a never-was, and Ithaca fought a good fight, but sank without a ripple.
S&W makes nice pistols.
Mossberg is selling a few guns to departments based on nothing but their cheaper pricing.

Remington skips to the bank with more than 95% of the police market in pump guns.

On the sporting side, most any shotgun will last the average owner a life time.
It's in the "non-average" shooters that the Remington 870 also stands out.

People who shoot clay birds put tens of thousands of rounds through a gun in a year's time, and it's not unusual to find shooters with 100,000 rounds through a gun.

Most of the aluminum framed, stamped internals guns begin to fail between 50,000 and 75,000 rounds at best.

There are a VERY few shooters who will tell you that the 870 MAY begin to develop receiver cracks at around 250,000 to 500,000 rounds.
That's a service life of One Quarter of a Million Rounds.

While few shooters will ever wear out any pump gun, the Remington has a record starting in 1950 of being the toughest, most durable, most trouble free pump gun made, and this reputation is not based on opinion.

It's based on actual use by police, sportsmen, and military shooters for over 55 years.
It's the gun chosen by the police for issue to abusive street cops, BY CHOICE, not for it's price.

When more than 95% of someone is using ONE product to the near-exclusion of anything else, even when it costs MORE, you have to figure they know something.

Bottom line is, if you're an ordinary shotgunner, most any American-made gun will last you for a life time.

If you want the best, or you're in a situation where durability and reliability is a matter of life and death, you buy the best gun with the best reputation you can, and that gun is PROVEN to be the 870.
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Old April 1, 2006, 06:22 PM   #21
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Hi D,
When you have more time, sit down & tell us the rest of the story.
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Old April 1, 2006, 06:35 PM   #22
cobra81
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Oh, man. It took me ten minutes to read that history lesson. I thought I had enough shotguns, but now I think I'm gonna have to go out and get me one of them 870's.
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Old April 1, 2006, 06:37 PM   #23
wacki
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Dfariswheel, thankyou very much.
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Old April 1, 2006, 06:39 PM   #24
jhgreasemonkey
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Which model made in the 70's had exploding barels? Didnt they have a recall or something? I thought I heard it was the 870. Or maby it was a winchester pump......
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Old April 1, 2006, 06:40 PM   #25
LuckyATB
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Although there are the usual disputes as to shotgun brands among civilian owners, there is no doubt about who who makes the most durable and reliable gun.
The fact that you have to look long and hard to find a law enforcement agency that DOESN'T use the 870, tells the tale.

When more than 95% of someone is using ONE product to the near-exclusion of anything else, even when it costs MORE, you have to figure they know something.
While this line of thought may be true for the 870, it certainly isn't a universal truth. For example, I don't know the statistics but feel comfortable saying that Harley-Davidson is the department ride of the vast majority of m'cycle cops...yet even the most die-hard brand loyalist will not argue that they are the most reliable and well-made bikes available.
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