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View Poll Results: Is 4+1 shots enough for Law Enforcement use?
No, it is not enough for a police shotgun 14 32.56%
Yes, it is enough for a police shotgun 18 41.86%
No, but it is enough for home defense 11 25.58%
Voters: 43. You may not vote on this poll

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Old July 16, 2016, 10:59 PM   #1
Model12Win
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4+1... Enough?

Hey guys!

I noticed an interesting thing on Remington's Law Enforcement website:

http://www.remingtonle.com/shotguns/870standard.htm

They still offer their 870 Police model with a 4-shot magazine tube. But, they also have ones with 2 and 3 shot extensions. I am wondering why any department would choose to go with the 4-shot magazine tube? What is interesting is that in the recent body cam video of the police shooting in Fresno, CA, one of the officers has what appears to be one of these 4-shot 870 Police models and uses it to shoot the suspect. (PS: let's NOT make this thread about that shooting, let's focus on the equipment ONLY).

So it seems strange to me that any cops would still be using shotguns with just 4+1 capacity in 2016, but apparently some are and Remington still sells it as an option. That just doesn't seem like much firepower to me. That should work fine for hunting and maybe even less lethal (with lethal backup of course) but not for use with lethal loads or for home defense either.

So what do you think about this? Is 4+1 enough capacity for the police shotgun? Thanks!
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Old July 17, 2016, 12:02 AM   #2
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The Colorado State Patrol uses 4 shot 870's to this day. Speed feed stocks allow extra ammo to be on board the gun.

Pump and stuff is the training norm
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Old July 17, 2016, 12:19 AM   #3
Bill DeShivs
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Standard magazine shotguns handle much better than those with magazine extensions.
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Old July 17, 2016, 06:37 AM   #4
jmr40
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I've had extensions on shotguns increasing capacity beyond 4+1. The negatives outweighed the positives. I took them off and would recommend 4+1 as the better option.
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Old July 17, 2016, 10:44 AM   #5
g.willikers
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I voted for choice number 3.
Different strokes for different folks.
While no one would ever complain about having too much ammo in their weapons, the more the original design is changed, the more possibility for malfunctions.
But it very much depends on the quality of mag extension, too.
Either way, sooner or later, the magazine will tend to be empty, so lots of reloading practice is a good idea.
Better than merely depending on equipment advantages.
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Old July 17, 2016, 11:26 AM   #6
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Remington must have changed the 870. Mine(early 80's vintage Wingmaster with a Choate extension for dealing with rioting bowling pins and plates.) holds 5 in the tube. Not that it matters.
Five rounds in the gun is more than enough for most situations. The average cop isn't getting in many fire fights despite what you see on TV.
"...wondering why any department would choose to..." Money. Same as everything else.
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Old July 17, 2016, 11:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
I am wondering why any department would choose to go with the 4-shot magazine tube?
Because they typically have short 18-21" barrels and anything longer would extend beyond the muzzle.
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Old July 18, 2016, 01:43 AM   #8
bamaranger
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wait a minute

Not quite true regards 18-20" bbls and mag extensions. A standard mag tube on an 870 holds 4 rounds and ends well short of the muzzle of a 18 or 20" gun. Mag extensions are available to take the end of the mag tube on out to the end of the barrel, then stop. My math may not be quite right here, but I believe an 18" gun can take a +3 extension, and a 20" gun can take a +4. Essentially you are nearly doubling the, mag capacity of the gun, without the mag tube extending past the muzzle.

When extensions finally became approved for duty use w/ my agency, we were quick to install Remington factory extended tubes. Patrol carbines were not common at that time, and upgrading the shotgun was our best course. We had some reliability issues, which were largely solved with better followers and quality tube springs. The tactical followers with the long stem deny you one round in the magazine, but stack the spring better, and are usually considered a reliability enhancer.

Another issue that surfaced was weight. Adding the extension assembly, and 3-4 rounds added to the weight of the shotgun, and we had female officers that were already struggling with managing the weapon. Pitiful but true. For those folks, we did not usually add the extended tube. I also had the buttstocks cut a bit shorter and had quality recoil pads added. More stringent physical fitness requirements have largely solved that issue prior my retirement.
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Old July 18, 2016, 07:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
I am wondering why any department would choose to go with the 4-shot magazine tube?
After recent events, I'd be wondering why ANY LEO group is using a shotgun over an AR
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Old July 18, 2016, 09:35 AM   #10
g.willikers
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^^^
Especially with the usual reluctance to practice with a 12 gauge shotgun.
For most folks, it's no fun at all.
The AR is far more agreeable in that regard alone.
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Old July 18, 2016, 02:49 PM   #11
BigJimP
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Police depts in my area...quit carrying shotguns in vehicles about 3 years ago.

AR's are carried in all police cruisers now...in my area...city and county...

Shotguns are good for all kinds of things...but for Defense, in my opinion, not your best option by far ...
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Old July 18, 2016, 08:43 PM   #12
Model12Win
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It appears the poll is neck and neck... people are rather divided on weather 4+1 is enough capacity in a police shotgun.

I know relatively few LEO's still carry shotguns, but I'd love to hear what your department issues if you are an LEO yourself.
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Old July 20, 2016, 02:16 PM   #13
bamaranger
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second post

That seems a topic for another post, and I recommend we start one down that line, otherwise, we may stray widely from the mag capacity question.
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Old July 20, 2016, 08:31 PM   #14
Model12Win
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Yeah good idea. Let's stay on topic.
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Old July 20, 2016, 09:53 PM   #15
JERRYS.
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my Mossberg 930 tactical came with a 4 round tube. I added a +2 and it shoots fine.

Last edited by JERRYS.; July 21, 2016 at 01:15 PM.
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Old July 20, 2016, 10:22 PM   #16
Model12Win
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Nice to hear, Jerry.

I think for me guys... I think for me, well... I'll just come out and say it.

I don't think it's enough, and I'd prefer at least 6+1. My M590A1 has 8+1 and I'll be the first to admit it's rather nose heavy when loaded. I think about a 6-7 shot tube is ideal. But, I'd sure rather have my Mossberg 8-shot in hand over a standard 4-shot 870 Police if I ever needed one for defense, maneuverability be damned. This isn't dove hunting!

That being said, there is something I just am drawn to about the short-magazine Remingtons. They look very sharp.
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Old July 21, 2016, 04:03 AM   #17
bamaranger
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shotguns

As noted by somebody else, there is a cost issue that is very real for many agencies. Our local rural SO still has the shotgun as the primary long gun for its "dirt road deputies" though carbines are coming on, often as a private purchase,then agency approved. THEN, you have to get the officer certified on the carbine, buy ammo (often privately purchased) and get the officer qualified. That will take an instructor so qualified, or the officer must attend a course himself. THEN, the patrol rig either needs a rack or the carbine goes in the trunk (you just hold up on your violence 'till I get my real gun!), obviously not the best answer.

There are avenues to obtain carbines affordably, and were I still in patrol and working for an outfit that did not have them for rank and file, and had to jump through hoops to get one, including private purchase, I would do so.....but not all officers are so motivated, nor administration adept at locating funds and working budgets.
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Old July 21, 2016, 12:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Not quite true regards 18-20" bbls and mag extensions. A standard mag tube on an 870 holds 4 rounds and ends well short of the muzzle of a 18 or 20" gun. Mag extensions are available to take the end of the mag tube on out to the end of the barrel, then stop. My math may not be quite right here, but I believe an 18" gun can take a +3 extension, and a 20" gun can take a +4. Essentially you are nearly doubling the, mag capacity of the gun, without the mag tube extending past the muzzle.
Your math is quite correct. I have a 3 shot extension on my 870 with 18" barrel and its shorter than the barrel.



I've had mine pushing 30 years now. Never any issue of any kind. Granted I don't shoot it very often like I did in my youth.
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Old July 21, 2016, 01:18 PM   #19
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came standard with a 4 shot tube, I added extension for 2 more rounds. shoots fine.
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Old July 23, 2016, 01:31 AM   #20
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Quote:
A standard mag tube on an 870 holds 4 rounds...
I have a couple questions about this...

admittedly I am not big into shotguns, and combat shotguns as a specific, but I am wondering, #1) we are talking about standard 2 3/4" shells, right?

#2) does anyone know when the 4 round tube became the "standard"?, or if it is only the standard on combat/riot style guns???

The 870 Express I bought in the 80s has a 5 shot tube (26' barrel)
All the Wingmasters I know of (from the 50s up) all have 5 shot tubes (when not plugged)

The 5 shot magazine of the 870 was one of the reasons I always preferred the Winchester Model 12, because its tube holds 6!!!

so, when did this 4 shot thing come about??
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Old July 25, 2016, 01:12 AM   #21
bamaranger
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surprise

Now that is a surprise, because the Wingmaster Magnum I bought in 1980 is a 4+1 gun. Also, every 870 Wingmaster I ever encountered in agency armories were 4+1 as well, unless fitted with an extension. Some of those were earlier guns bought in the 70's and 80's, and others were purchased up into early 2000. I've never heard of a factory tubed 5+1 Remington 870 'till this post. Always believed they were 4+1 guns, and were from the start.

I have an 870 Express in .410. It is a 4+1 gun.

Dunno, it will be interesting to see what else is posted.
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Old July 25, 2016, 10:05 AM   #22
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is 4 +1 enough?

I don't know if I am on the same page as OP, but here goes.
Is 5 rounds all you need for a Police Shotgun?

Well, if you only need 5 rounds.

But you might need more than that. What do you do? Do you either have them on board the weapon, in a side saddle, or do you have to grab extra gear?

See, Police already carry a ton of gear. Carrying shotgun shells on their person is simply another item to carry. In a real firefight, you can empty a tube on a shotty in seconds. If you are actually firing the weapon, it is because someone is shooting at you. Plus, the weapon is mostly carried in cruiser safe. So, not 4 +1, but 4.

See how much better 6 or 8 sounds now? The other issue is where it is carried. Back in the days, the shotty was carried in a rack inside the vehicle cockpit. Some racks won't allow for anything except that size of shotgun. They might not allow for a side saddle either. So, you got what you got. And, your hands are tied up with it after you've shot it dry.

No, 4 isn't enough. 6 + 6 might be. A sling is a good add on as well. Now, back in the days before double stack mags, revolvers carried 5 or 6. So, unless you were in a protracted battle, firefights ended quicker. Nowadays, you don't have anything less than 50 rounds for your primary, but so does the other guy.

Might be why they prefer 30 round mags in an AR platform with a couple spares in a mag pouch or a pocket. So, if you're going to run the shotty, you need some other stuff that's weapon specific. Still very powerful and effective in CQB, but, it's a more complex system that requires some additional training to bring it in the clutch.
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Old July 25, 2016, 11:19 AM   #23
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Apologies for my faulty memory and confusion. Just checked a 1976 book, and it lists the 870 as a "5 shot" capacity, which I was confusing with a 5 shot magazine capacity.

So, you are correct, the 870 is a 4+1 (5 shot) gun. I was wrong.

The Win Model 12 is a 6 shot, (5+1), with the plug removed.
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Old July 25, 2016, 11:33 AM   #24
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No, Winchester Model 12s are 6+1.
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Old July 27, 2016, 07:46 PM   #25
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My 870 is an Express and not a Police, but it is the security model sold with an 18.5" barrel and a 2+ extension. Since I got it, the security models come with a 6 capacity magazine tube. I don't know if I would trust the extension, as a LEO, as it can cause the follower to catch on a ridge located where the end of the magazine and the end of of the extension mate.
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