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Old September 13, 2006, 05:32 PM   #1
bryan2010x
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Remington 870 Magnum question

My friend recently bought a used 870 Magnum and asked me two questions to which I did not know the answers.
What is the difference between an 870 Magnum and an 870 Police?

The shotgun came with wood, however he wanted the black synthetic. I told him he could probably pick up a set of used synthetic’s, but are the magnum and express the exact same part, or is their a difference? Where is a good place to pick up a used set?

He said it also had a 20” barrel with rifle sights, is that a norm for the magnum model. Thank you for your help and answering my questions that have probably been asked several times already.
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Old September 13, 2006, 07:00 PM   #2
Dfariswheel
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Technically, there IS no "870 Magnum" model Remington.

Remington makes the Wingmaster, the Express, and the Police models.
For the last 15 to 20 years virtually ALL Remington 870's are Magnum guns, so we have the Wingmaster Magnum, the Express Magnum, and the Police Magnum models.

This means that currently ALL Express, and Police guns are Magnums, which means that they will shoot the 3" Magnum shells, in addition to the standard 2 3/4" shells.

There are differences between the Express and Police models, but in your friends case, this is of little importance.

All Remington 870's in 12 gauge use the same stock design, and they all interchange. So, you friend can pick up any synthetic stock set that's made for a Remington 870, and it will fit perfectly.

He will need a special wrench to change out the forearm. There's a round nut inside the front of the forearm that has to be unscrewed, and this requires a special "spanner" tool to unscrew it.
You can make one fairly easily.

You can find used synthetic stock sets by advertising on gun forum "For Sale" areas, or by looking on Ebay.

The 20" barrel is not standard on the Express models. Usually they are either longer sporting length, or 18" inch defense length.
You might tell him to measure the barrel properly to be sure what he has.
To do this, CLOSE THE ACTION, then put a rod or dowel done the bore, mark it at the muzzle, then measure the rod to find the true length.
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Old September 13, 2006, 07:23 PM   #3
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Thanks for all of the information, I appreciate it. I will pass it along.
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Old September 13, 2006, 10:23 PM   #4
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So does this mean that there are magnum 12 gauge shells out there and that they won't fit into Remington 870s made 50 years ago? Or they will fit and you DON"T WANT TO SHOOT THEM in Remington 870s made 50 years ago?
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Old September 13, 2006, 10:38 PM   #5
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"magnum" just means the 3" shells. They won't chamber in a SG made 50 years ago or two days ago if the gun is chambered in 2 3/4.
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Old September 14, 2006, 12:27 AM   #6
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Other than the fact that a 50 year old 870 will have a 2 3/4" ejector assembly, the 50 year old gun is the same as a 2006 gun.

You can have a 3" type ejector assembly installed in a 50 year old gun, install a 3" chambered barrel and shoot all the 3" shells you want.

Also, technically, since there are 2 3/4" Magnum loads, the "Remington Magnum" label is sort of misleading.
In pistols and rifles, Magnum means "more power".
In shotguns "Magnum" means "more shot".
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Old September 14, 2006, 12:40 AM   #7
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hmmm...so how many 3 inch shells will a rechambered gun hold that normally holds 2 3/4 inch shells?
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Old September 14, 2006, 12:46 AM   #8
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What about the 3" 870 magnum or the 3 1/2" 870 super? "Remington introduced the Model 870 Magnum" Try 870 magnum in google before you act like you know what your talking about.
There is also the TA, TB, TC & I'm sure others. I think I remember an English stocked 870. I have always thought that there was a quality differance between an 870 express & an 870 wingmaster.
Just my opinions.

I've been shooting 870's for 30+ years. Actually wore one out to the point that it needed to be repaired. I went through 3 870's opening day of dove hunting last year. First the pogo stick blew a seal & oil all over me. 2nd my main gun for 25 years decided it wanted a rest. The gunsmith asked how many shells the 870 TB had run through it.I couldn't say for sure because I bought it used from another trap shooter 25 years prior. The third one was just pure neglect - the magazine tube was hanging up because it was dirty. I just never thought about taking the plug out and cleaning the magazine tube like a barrel til that happened. I always sprayed some oil in it but apparently that just didn't do the trick.

Last edited by butwhat; September 14, 2006 at 02:44 AM.
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Old September 14, 2006, 02:32 AM   #9
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So my friends shotgun that says, "Remington 870 Magnum" on the side is tech. a wingmaster? What differences are their between that gun and one that says Police on the side? thanks again for your help...
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Old September 14, 2006, 02:53 AM   #10
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That would be an 870 magnum. It was produced to shoot 3" shells. I'm not familiar with the police models but I just saw a site with a bunch of specific info when I did the 870 Magnum Google search. I was right, there were more models.
Model 870 Wingmaster
Description: The greatest selling pump action shotgun in the history of firearms.
Introduction Year: 1951
Year Discontinued: Currently in production
Total Production: +8 million
Designer/Inventor: L.Ray Crittendon, Phillip Haskell, Ellis Hailston, and G.E. Pinckney
Action Type: Pump action
Caliber/Gauge: 12, 16, 20, 28, .410 bore
Serial Number Blocks: Information not publicly available
Grades Offered: 12 gauge:
870 AP (1950)
870 BC Special Grade (1950)
870 ADL Deluxe Grade (1950)
870 BDL Deluxe Grade (1950)
870D Tournament Grade (1950)
870F Premier Grade (1950)
870TC Trap Grade (1950)
870TD Trap Tournament Grade (1950)
870TF Trap Premier Grade (1950)
870S Trap Special Grade (1950)
870SA Skeet Grade (1950)
870SB Skeet Grade (1950)
870SD Skeet Tournament Grade(1950)
870SF Skeet Premier Grade (1950)
870R Riot Grade(1950)
870 Magnum-AP (1955)
870 Magnum ADL Deluxe Grade(1955)
870 RSS Rifled Slug Special (1959)
870 SX Skeet Grade (1959)
870 TX Trap Grade (1959)
870 ADX Field Grade (1959)
870 ADX (1960)
870 AP Brushmaster (1961)
870 150th Anniversary Edition (1966)
870 Field Grade Left Hand (1971)
870 Magnum Left Hand (1971)
870 Trap Grade Left Hand (1971)
870 All American Special Trap Grade (1972-77)
870 Ducks Unlimited Limited Edition (1974)
870 Bicentennial Commemorative (1976)
870 SA Skeet Grade (1976)
870 TB Trap Grade (1976)
870 TBMS Trap (1976)
870 Competition Trap (1981)
870 Ducks Unlimited Commemorative Mississippi Magnum (1983)
870 Deer Gun (1983)
870 Special Field (1984)
870 SP Special Purpose Magnum (1985)
870 SP Special Purpose Deer Gun (1986)
870 Express (1987)
870 SP w/ Rem Choke (1987)
870 Express Combo (1988)
870 TC Trap Grade (1988)
870 Express Turkey (1991)
870 Express Cantilever Scope Mount Deer Gun (1991)
870 Express Rifle Sighted Deer Gun (1991)
870 SP Cantilever Scope Mount Deer Gun (1991)
870 SPS Special Purpose Synthetic (1991)
870 SPS-T Special Purpose Synthetic Turkey (1991)
870 Marine Magnum (1992)
870 SPS BG-Camo (1993)
870 SPS-Deer (1993)
870 Wingmaster Cantilever (1994)
870 Express HD (1995)
870 TC Trap (1996)
870 Express Super Magnum (1998)
870 Synthetic Super Magnum (1998)
870 Synthetic Camo w/ Advantage Camo (1998)
870 Super Magnum Combo (1998)
870 Express Turkey Camo w/ Advantage Camo (1998)
870 SPS Super Magnum Camo (1999)
870 SPS-T Super Magnum Camo (1999)
870 SPS Super Slug Deer (1999)
870 Express Super Magnum Turkey (1999)
870 Express Synthetic Deer (1999)
870 50th Anniversary Classic Trap (2000)
870 Wingmaster Super Magnum (2000)
870 SPS-T RS/TG (2000)
870 SPS-T Super Magnum Camo CL/RD (2000)
870 SPS-T Super Magnum Camo CL/RC (2001)
870 SPS-T Camo RS/TG (2001)
870 SPS Super Magnum Camo (2001)
870 Classic Trap (2001)
870 SPS-Youth RS/TG Turkey Camo (2001)
870 Express Super Magnum Turkey Camo (2003)
870 Express Turkey Camo (2003)
870 Wingmaster Dale Earnhardt Limited Edition (2005)
870 SP-T Super Magnum Thumbhole stock (2005)
870 Express Super Magnum “Fall Flight” (2005)
870 NRA Edition (2006)
870 Special Purpose Thumbhole Stock (2006)

16 gauge:
870 AP (1950)
870 BC Special Grade (1950)
870 ADL Deluxe Grade (1950)
870 BDL Deluxe Grade (1950)
870D Tournament Grade (1950)
870F Premier Grade (1950)
870TC Trap Grade (1950)
870TD Trap Tournament Grade (1950)
870TF Trap Premier Grade (1950)
870S Trap Special Grade (1950)
870SA Skeet Grade (1950)
870SB Skeet Grade (1950)
870SD Skeet Tournament Grade(1950)
870SF Skeet Premier Grade (1950)
870R Riot Grade(1950)
870 ADX (1960)
870 AP Brushmaster (1961)
870 Wingmaster (2002)
870 Express (2002)
870 Express Synthetic (2002)
870 Express Synthetic Youth (2002)

20 gauge:
870 AP (1950)
870 BC Special Grade (1950)
870 ADL Deluxe Grade (1950)
870 BDL Deluxe Grade (1950)
870D Tournament Grade (1950)
870F Premier Grade (1950)
870TC Trap Grade (1950)
870TD Trap Tournament Grade (1950)
870TF Trap Premier Grade (1950)
870S Trap Special Grade (1950)
870SA Skeet Grade (1950)
870SB Skeet Grade (1950)
870SD Skeet Tournament Grade(1950)
870SF Skeet Premier Grade (1950)
870R Riot Grade(1950)
870 ADX (1960)
870 AP Brushmaster (1961)
870 Field Grade Left Hand (1971)
870 Magnum Left Hand (1971)
870 Trap Grade Left Hand (1971)
870 Wingmaster Limited (1982)
870 Brushmaster (1984)
870 Special Field (1984)
870 Wingmaster Youth (1985)
870 Express (1992)
870 Express Combo (1992)
870 Express Youth Deer Gun (1994)
870 Express Youth Turkey Camo (1998)
870 Wingmaster 3” (2004)
870 Wingmaster Jr. (2004)
870 Express Jr. NWTF (2005)
870 Wingmaster Dale Earnhardt Tribute (2006)

28 gauge:
870 Wingmaster Plain barrel (1969)
870 Wingmaster Vent Rib barrel (1969)
870 Wingmaster matched pair w/ .410
870 Wingmaster SA Skeet(1969)
870 Express (1994)

.410 bore:
870 Wingmaster Plain barrel (1969)
870 Wingmaster Vent Rib barrel (1969)
870 Wingmaster matched pair w/ .410 (1969)
870 Wingmaster SA Skeet(1969)
870 Express (1992)
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Old September 14, 2006, 03:14 AM   #11
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You can pick up synthetic stocks for 870's just about anywhere guns and stuff are sold. They have quite a few on Ebay.
Sounds like your friend got an 870 wingmaster Magnum with a slug barrel. I'm not sure if they ever put 870 magnum on the Express models.

The 870 Expresses were made to compete with other cheaper gun lines. Not as much deburring, fit, finish and cheaper stocks.

From what little I read just now there were many variations of the 870 police guns. Pistol grip, full stock, 6 shell magazine, shortened forearm and such
Do a couple of searches and check out the Remington sites.
Let us know what you find out. You've peaked my curiosity but I'm to tired to persue the matter.
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Old September 14, 2006, 04:04 AM   #12
butwhat
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Here's a very good answer from a differant thread.
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=222037

870 RSS Rifled Slug Special (1959)
I wonder if this gun had a rifled slug barrel. Or was just a slug barrel for shooting rifled slugs. I don't remember hearing about rifled slug barrels til sometime in the 80's.
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Old September 14, 2006, 02:55 PM   #13
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"Try 870 magnum in google before you act like you know what your talking about."
=====================================================

Wow...
------------------------

Serial numbers on 870 receivers that left the factory set up for 3" shells end in M. There may be no indications that a receiver has been modified to handle 3" shells.

Police guns are built on a different line, with a few heavier parts/springs and a bit better finishing than the usual run of the mill. They usually cost more as a result when bought new than Wingmasters and certainly more than Express guns.

It shouldn't be difficult to swap out the wood furniture for synthetic, tons of it are sold on eBay. And there are several of aftermarket manufacturers also- Speedfeed, Hogue etc. Just be sure it's for the same gauge. Receivers on some 870s of smaller gauge are a different size.

Barrels? There IS no 'standard' for barrels on 870 magnum receivers except they have 3" chambers, there are all sorts of 870 barrels available, with sights, without sights, beads, vent ribs, you name it, fixed chokes, choke tubes, you name it, matte blue, bright blue, parkerized or electroless nickle (for the Marine Magnum). And if you can't find what you want from the factory there are a whole host of custom barrelsmiths out there just waiting to improve on the factory product for you- Briley, Nu-line, Colonial etc.

Tell your friend to worry more about learning to use his new used gun and less about the gun itself, to go shoot the dang thing and not worry about changing stuff on it so much. It's an 870, it'll easily outlast him if he takes care of it. He needs to make sure it fits him properly and then start racking up trigger time with it, and it's easier to adjust wooden stocks than it is synthetics in most cases, if the stock needs tweaking. Only way to find out if the stock fits properly is to shoot the gun it's attached to.

What, still sitting in front of the computer reading? GO SHOOTING! 8^)

And be safe above all else,

lpl/nc
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Old September 14, 2006, 08:50 PM   #14
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Seems the 870 magnums I was around had magnum stamped on the reciever. Just like his and just like my TB's and TC's had their respective markings stamped.

He needs to make sure it fits him properly and then start racking up trigger time with it, and it's easier to adjust wooden stocks than it is synthetics in most cases, if the stock needs tweaking. Only way to find out if the stock fits properly is to shoot the gun it's attached to.

I had a guy tell me recently that for practice he pulls up in front of a mirror. He said that when he is pulling up correctly he's eyeball to eyeball with himself in the mirror. I've never tried it but it seems to make sense.
A hunter safety course is a good idea if he hasn't had one, whether or not he has any intention of hunting.
His gun probably originally came with a 3" chambered 30" full choke barrel. They were pretty standard on the 870 magnums. Before he tries to jam a 3" shell into the chamber, he needs to check the barrel to see if it is stamped 2 3/4" or 3". This will tell him the lenght of shell the barrel will accept. As far as I know most all barrels are stamped this way regardless of manufacturer
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Old September 21, 2006, 01:06 PM   #15
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Thanks again for all the information. One more question, I read the part the stock is the same on the express and the magnum. Are the fore-end for the express and the magnum the same? What is the advantage of using a speedfeed stock?
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Old September 21, 2006, 03:10 PM   #16
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Virtually all of the 870's parts interchange within gauge. They are amazingly modular.

The 3" shells WILL chamber in a 2 3/4" gun. They wil NOT open all the way (not good) and will probably have trouble ejecting (after firing) without the 3" ejector.
As was already stated, the receivers (with the exception of the ejector) are the same in 2 3/4" & 3" guns. I have an early gun that has been converted with a new ejector.
I have two Express Magnums that came with the 20" rifle-sighted smooth-bore barrels.
There is no advantage, IMHO, in the Speedfeed stock. I prefer the Hogue "over-molded" myself (for a synthetic) but it is really a matter of what fits you best. Wood is prettier IMHO.
I have not seen a "Magnum" model. My "Magnums" are all Wingmasters or Express models. Remington has always been very free with the markings on their guns though and I've little doubt that there are some 870's out there that do not say Express or Wingmaster and just say Magnum.

Is it just me or does, "Try 870 magnum in google before you act like you know what your talking about." sound rude? Most likely I just misunderstood.
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Last edited by 9mmMike; September 21, 2006 at 04:51 PM. Reason: not a 3 foot ejector!
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Old September 21, 2006, 04:47 PM   #17
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technically....

Technically, I believe there are some non-3" magnum 870's made to this day.....they are 16 ga because 16ga does not have a "magnum" 3" loading. 'Course, as mentioned earlier.....all 870's are basically the same anyway, just differnt chambered barrels and ejector assemblies.
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Old September 21, 2006, 11:25 PM   #18
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Is it just me or does, "Try 870 magnum in google before you act like you know what your talking about." sound rude? Most likely I just misunderstood.

No, you didn't misunderstand. I was rude. I was tired and irritable and it's always bothered me when somebody presents themselves as an expert and makes a totally erronious statement. Such as:

"Technically, there IS no "870 Magnum" model Remington."

I have seen many. As a matter of fact a friend of mine just purchased a LH Express with 870 Magnum stamped in the side of the receiver today at Gander Mountain. It was the first Express I had ever seen labeled Magnum. But then I haven't been around many Expresses.

"Remington introduced the Model 870 Magnum"
Is a cut and paste from a Remington site with quotation marks added. So apparently Remington thought they had a Model 870 Magnum.

I was at an OSHA school the other day where the instructor informed us that dust doesn't explode. It just burns fast & there's really no danger. I about fell out of my chair on that one. I'd like to get him to explain that to the one out of 4 that survived a dust explosion at a nearby town. That was the same day I took offense to the "Technically, there IS no "870 Magnum" model Remington." statement.
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Old September 22, 2006, 02:22 PM   #19
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I have no idea why I'm even bothering to respond to this, but here goes:

Remington does not sell any 870 shotgun NAMED "The 870 Magnum".

They sell Magnum version shotguns stamped "Magnum" but the actual NAMES are the Express, Wingmaster, SPS, Marine, and Police.

Here's REMINGTON'S list of names for their 870 models:
http://www.remington.com/products/fi...uns/model_870/

As you will note, NONE of them are NAMED the "870 Magnum".
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Old September 23, 2006, 09:57 AM   #20
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This is getting interesting...
Just yesterday I was in my local gunstore eyeballing a nice 870 that someone had sent out for action and refinishing work, as well as for the installation of nice gost ring sights. It looked brand-new since the re-do. What was marked on the left side of the receiver? "870 Magnum" (not Express or Wingmaster).

Is this a rare variant? I was just looking for a nice HD weapon with a smooth action and a nice park job, but maybe this one has a little "collector" appeal as well? I think I can get it for $300.
Hmmm.

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Old September 23, 2006, 10:48 AM   #21
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Dfariswheel, Please tell me your a city boy.

I've said more than I was really interested in saying already. If you wish to argue more, go to the following site. At least there I think we would be on the same side of the ball. The name of the site fooled me.
http://www.gunguys.com/

vanfunk,
Don't even think about buying that gun. It's quite obvious it's a fake.
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Old September 23, 2006, 02:25 PM   #22
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vanfunk:

Remington has varied the marking procedure on the 870 since 1950.
Up until about 15 to 20 years ago, the Police model was marked simply as a "Wingmaster", then they started marking them as "870 Police", then as the "870 Police Magnum".

The Express with an 18" barrel was originally marked as a "Express Home Defense Magnum" or HD model, then several years ago they dropped that and now stamp them simply as an "Express Magnum".
There IS no longer a Remington model named the "Home Defense" or "HD".

Before the Express came along, some Wingmaster's were marked simply as a "870 Magnum" since there WAS no Express.
There were only standard Wingmasters and Magnum Wingmasters.
When the Express did come along, they had to start adding "Express" or "Wingmaster" to properly identify the various models.

The point is, Remington has always followed the standard of assigning model names to their guns. They make the Wingmaster, the Express, the Special Purpose (SPS), the Police , etc.
One MODEL name they've never used was simply "870 Magnum", and you'll find NO model so listed in any Remington catalog.

You WILL find various Express, Wingmaster, etc guns listed as Magnum models.

All this is largely a matter of Remington's naming and marking conventions, but the bottom line is, Remington has never had an 870 shotgun NAMED ONLY "870 Magnum".
They were always Wingmaster, Express or other models with "Magnum" added to identify the gun as a Magnum version.

If you ever called Remington and asked them about an 870 Magnum, the first question the Remington rep would have asked was, "WHICH model, Wingmaster or Express"?
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Old September 23, 2006, 10:17 PM   #23
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The Express has all the same parts inside as the Wingmaster. All 870's are built on the same assembly line. There is no separate lines for police or what ever, the only hand built guns are those that are requested to be built by the custom shop. This is per Remington. The only difference between the express and the wingmaster is the level of finish and polish to the wingmaster. It takes remington about 5 hours longer to add all that polish and finish to a wingmaster. Five hours of mostly hand labor, figure $40 an hour that equals 200 dollars in higher cost, about the cost difference.
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Old September 24, 2006, 12:35 AM   #24
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"All 870's are built on the same assembly line. There is no separate lines for police or what ever"

Sorry, that's completely wrong.
Remington has a special, secured area in the plant specifically for building the Police model.

Here's a quote from Remington's own web site concerning the Polce model:

"REMINGTON ARMS COMPANY, LE DIVISION
Important differences between Remington 870 Police and 870 Express shotguns.

The 870 Express has been an important part of Remington’s offering to the sporting market.
It was designed to meet a price point in the commercial market while still providing classic 870 functionality.
All of Remington’s 870’s have interchangeable parts, even if they have cosmetic differences.
It is also important to note that many manufacturers use the 870 Express platform for their Police / Combat models.
Without exception, every manufacturer who utilizes our 870 platform serves to upgrade their system to a more efficient, street worthy platform.
While the 870 Express is still an 870, the best pump shotgun on the market, there are some very important cosmetic and functional differences between it and the 870 Police.

To our customers in Law Enforcement, Military, Corrections, and Security, whose lives depend upon the unfailing performance of Remington shotguns, the Police modifications are of paramount importance. Synopses of the variances are provided below.

• 870 Police shotguns go thru a special 23 station check list – ranging from visual inspection, functional testing, test firing, and final inspection.

• All Police shotguns are assembled in a “special build area” at the plant in Ilion, NY. This section is secured and serves only to build LE and Military shotguns, with the same factory personnel working at that assignment each shift.

• All parts that enter the “special build area” are visually inspected by hand to ensure top quality and functionality."

The article goes on to specify just what differances there are between the Police and the other 870 models are.
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Old September 24, 2006, 12:50 PM   #25
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Thanks Dfariswheel - gotcha. I think I'll have another look at that 870 next week.

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