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Old March 19, 2012, 01:34 PM   #1
McBuck
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870 Express Express Magnum ??

OK...haven't posted in a while. Mostly reading and lurnking, but I need a question answered:

I have owned 870's in the past, but for the life of me I can not remember the difference between an 870 Express, and an 870 Express Magnum!!
Here is what I think:

870 Express will reliably shoot and eject 2 3/4" and 3" loads, providing the barrel is stamped accordingly.
The Express Magnum will handle the larger 3.5 shells, again with the barrel caveat

I just found a decent looking Express (no "Express Magnum" stamped on the receiver...only "Express) for $200.00! The gun needs a little Kroil on the receiver, and the camo tape pulled off the barrel, but I think it is worth every penny.
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Old March 19, 2012, 01:39 PM   #2
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Express was the name they used on the 3" guns the first few years. My uncle has one and the serial number has an M for magnum. By the time I bought the same gun in 1993 it was called the Express Magnum.

The Super Magnum is the 3.5" gun.

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Old March 19, 2012, 01:52 PM   #3
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The very first few Express shotguns MAY have been 2 3/4" only. I'm not even sure about that, but read it somewhere. All Express shotguns I've ever seen were 2 3/4" and 3". I've seen some stamped "Express" others "Express Magnum". Either way, it is the same gun


The "Super Magnum" is 3.5
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Old March 19, 2012, 02:09 PM   #4
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Ditto on what they said about the Super Magnum being the one designed for for 3.5" shells.
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Old March 19, 2012, 02:33 PM   #5
Lee Lapin
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If the serial number ends with an "M", it's a 3" magnum capable receiver. No matter how the receiver is rollmarked otherwise.
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Old March 19, 2012, 03:58 PM   #6
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thank you lee....that was what I was looking for. FWIW thought.....I did get a repl;y over at remingtonowners forum, and was told there, and I quote....

"Will a standard 870 "Express" handle 3" shells? ...YES ( source: Gun Digest "Guns&Prices 2011...6th edition) "

Perhaps you might have that particular publication and could look it up? I am not doubting anyone on either board. But methinks the info I got from remingtonowners may be....on target.
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Old March 20, 2012, 08:06 AM   #7
Lee Lapin
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Sorry, I don't have that publication. But I do have a 1992 copyright Kuhnhausen's shop manual on Remington shotguns, which has a list of Remington receiver codes on page 16. And for 12 ga. 870s, V is the receiver code for a 2 3/4" gun, while M is the code for a 3". Since the Super Magnum came out later it isn't on the list in this book and I don't own one, so I can't say what the code is for the 3.5" gun.

The difference in the V and M coded receivers from the factory is merely the difference in the ejectors, the Magnum ejector is set a bit further back. The ejection ports are the same size.

Please note that in order to safely use 3" shells even in a magnum receiver 870, the barrel has to have at least a 3" chamber too.

I haven't seen all the Express guns ever made, but so far I have yet to see one that was 2 3/4" only...
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Old March 20, 2012, 08:29 AM   #8
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I have not seen one that was 2 3/4 only either! I thought I knew the 870 pretty well, having owned three different ones, and been issued two different ones ( SO, and USA) I just had it in my head that the Express would not accept 3" shells for some reason. I have done some more research and found out that my stupidity can increase exponentially with age.
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Old March 20, 2012, 05:35 PM   #9
Virginian-in-LA
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Remington had quit making 2-3/4" chambered 870s before the first Expresses were ever made. So they are all 3" except the Super Magnums. And for those souls who want to bring up the target models, I suggest you measure the chamber.
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Old March 21, 2012, 08:27 AM   #10
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"I haven't seen all the Express guns ever made, but so far I have yet to see one that was 2 3/4" only..."

You won't because there isn't one. The 3" Express my uncle won in a firehouse raffle was a first-year Express.

Fwiw, after dragging his new Express through the woods for a couple of years he sold his early Wingmaster and bought a new rifle with the money.

John
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Old March 21, 2012, 11:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Since the Super Magnum came out later it isn't on the list in this book and I don't own one, so I can't say what the code is for the 3.5" gun.
I believe it's "SM".
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Old March 24, 2012, 10:56 AM   #12
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Just curious.

Will the 870 'Super Magnum' cycle the 2.75" and 3" shells as well as the 3.5"?
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Old March 24, 2012, 01:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Will the 870 'Super Magnum' cycle the 2.75" and 3" shells as well as the 3.5"?
Yes. It's a pump.
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Old March 24, 2012, 03:15 PM   #14
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Thanks Klawman.

Didn't know if the ejector was made in such a way to eject the shorter shells.
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Old August 3, 2012, 11:17 AM   #15
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I have done a search and this thread came up.
My question is not much different than the OP but I still do not see an answer.
My Rem. 870 says EXPRESS MAGNUM on the receiver so I am sure it will handle 3" shells.
But there is nothing on the barrel that tells me what the barrel will safely chamber and shoot.
Since 870 barrels are easier to change than socks, I don't know what I have. I bought the gun used so the barrel may not be it's original.
And, please, don't tell me it "should" take 3". That would be an unsafe assumption in my opinion.
I wish to know fer certain, fer sure for safety, and practical, reasons. Thanks.
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Old August 3, 2012, 12:32 PM   #16
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Rem Express Magnum

Maybe I'm missing something here but I just bought a Rem Express 870 and on the barrell is stamped 20 Ga 2-3/4" or 3" . Even older shotguns (1960's and beyond) had a data stamp saying 2-3/4" before 3" shells came out. You could measure the chamber length however if yours is missing this stamp altogether I'd take it to a gunsmith. It may be old and not meant for modern shells or it some after market barrel made in China.
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Old August 3, 2012, 01:22 PM   #17
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peep, the issue is being able to identify what shells it will accomodate.
What is stamped on the barrel identifies what the receiver can handle. That still leaves an issue of safety regarding the barrel.
It is a Rem made barrel. I will measure the chamber. Still a Remington "bad".
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Old August 4, 2012, 02:00 AM   #18
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Quote:
peep, the issue is being able to identify what shells it will accomodate.
What is stamped on the barrel identifies what the receiver can handle. That still leaves an issue of safety regarding the barrel.
It is a Rem made barrel. I will measure the chamber. Still a Remington "bad".
I think not. What is stamped on the barrel identifies what the barrel can handle, IF mated with a receiver of the same capacity. For instance, you can use a supermagnum barrel on a magnum receiver, but may not safely shoot 3-1/2" shells. While your barrel can handle 2-3/4, 3, and 3-1/2" shells, the magnum receiver is only designed to accomodate them up to 3".
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Old August 4, 2012, 08:13 AM   #19
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I have never seen a Remington barrel that did not have the shells it would safely shoot rollmarked right on it. It would not be unsafe to shoot a 3" shell in a 3" barrel on a 2-3/4" receiver, but it might not eject properly. I have seen about every other possible oddity relative to rollmarking, but not that one. Others have also made barrels for 870s, so if it doesn't say it right on it, measure the chamber. I don't think the risk is nearly as bad as some allege, but why take any risk.
Remington 870 receivers up to 3" are exactly the same except for the ejector and ejector spring. The barrels are interchangeable and the owners manuals spell everything out correctly. It is not any "Bad" on Remington. The 870 started being made way before the dumbing down of America got into full swing.
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Old August 4, 2012, 08:42 AM   #20
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What is stamped on the barrel is a general statement. The statement is not specific to that barrel. For shooters not familiar with firearms there is a potential for injury if the wrong ammunition is used. The gauge is not even stated.
After several exchanges, I finally received a reply from Remington:
Quote:
You have already identified it by "Express Magnum" which means it is NOT a Super Mag. Super mag would be stamped on the receiver. So this means you can shoot what Danny mentioned in his earlier response, "Any 2 3/4 or 3 inch shell will work fine. Light target loads, buckshot, slugs, and steel shot are all acceptable."
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Old August 6, 2012, 08:38 PM   #21
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I have seen a 870 express that was 2 3/4 only. But it was 18 inches hand had a folding metal stock. But they do exist.
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