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Old December 7, 2012, 10:28 PM   #1
Chris9472
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Have a chance to buy older, restored Remington 870 Wingmaster

When I took my new S&W 642 to the gunsmith for a trigger job, they had a Remington 870 Wingmaster 12 gauge for sale. It is an older model (I didn't ask how old) but it is all metal and real wood. It has been fully restored by them inside and out. The only minor issues are they used the dull, matt finish bluing instead of the nice shiny type, but that's not a deal breaker for me.

The price is $400, but the proprietor told me to make him an offer, so I can get it cheaper. Plus, I can put it on "layaway" and make payments. It is for the gun only, no box, manual, etc. but they will give me a case.

However, I can get a brand new Mossberg with accessories or a new 870 with box and papers for that price or less. I've never owned a pump before, but want a respectable looking one I can use for both hunting and HD (with a change of barrel).

I'm going back to pick up my S&W 642 tomorrow, and want your advice before I decide to go for it or not?
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Old December 7, 2012, 10:38 PM   #2
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The older Wingmaster's were superbly made. Mine is a 20 gauge made in 1952. Many people, including me consider the 870's of that era as the best of the best of the pumps. I would not hesitate to buy that gun for $400. Too bad it was reblued, but mechanically it should be sweet if it was not abused.
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Old December 7, 2012, 10:40 PM   #3
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I would buy the Wingmaster ten times out of ten.
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Old December 7, 2012, 10:55 PM   #4
Chris9472
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Quote:
The older Wingmaster's were superbly made. Mine is a 20 gauge made in 1952. Many people, including me consider the 870's of that era as the best of the best of the pumps. I would not hesitate to buy that gun for $400. Too bad it was reblued, but mechanically it should be sweet if it was not abused.
Thanks, although I don't know when it was made. Could be from the 70's for all I know.
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Old December 7, 2012, 11:05 PM   #5
CurlyQ.Howard
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In 1967-68 an 870 sold for $104.00 retail. That's $720.00 in 2012 money, so $400 is likely a good price, but even less is better.

Last edited by CurlyQ.Howard; December 7, 2012 at 11:35 PM.
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Old December 7, 2012, 11:07 PM   #6
boattale
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70's model Wingmaster > NIB 870 or Mossberg. By a lot.
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Old December 7, 2012, 11:13 PM   #7
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You want to look at the shell lifter. If it is solid, then it is an older one and ya probably should jump on it. Cycle the pump, is it buttery smooth? Should be. The newer ones have a slot in the shell lifter.
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Old December 8, 2012, 09:58 AM   #8
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If you like, make him an offer. You can't go wrong.
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Old December 8, 2012, 10:15 AM   #9
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If the only issue is the finish, it'd be very hard to go wrong with an older 870 at that price. Even harder if you can talk him down a bit. My only concern, actually, would be the restoration. What exactly does that mean, and did a decent gunsmith do the work? If I just dropped in at a pawn shop and spotted a "restored" 870, I'd be a little hesitant, because I wouldn't know if it was done by someone competent. However, if you took your 642 in to the shop for work, I'm guessing that you trust the smith. If someone I trusted did the work, I'd jump on it at that price, assuming I had the cash to spare.

From time to time, I duck hunt with one that was probably made in the 50s or 60s. It's been used to paddle a boat, submerged in water, and spackled in mud while bouncing along on the back of a 4-wheeler. It still shoots like a champ.

Edited to add: I wouldn't worry too much about the box or the manual, if this is going to be a shooter. With a gun that old, I wouldn't expect the box to be around (unless it's a collector's piece, of which I have none), and I'd bet that you can download the manual off of Remington's site.
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Old December 8, 2012, 10:31 AM   #10
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Fixed choke? Do you need to shoot steel through it? The older Wingmasters are works of art, and arguably the most reliable pump
gun ever made. I had a 1951 20 ga.---sold it and have been kicking myself
ever since. Currently have a couple of older ones and a 1100.

Look REALLY close at that finish. A bead blast and mat blue refinish job is
a common technique to mask a beat up/pitted surface.

Worth $400? As a shooter, probably. As a collector--no.
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Old December 8, 2012, 11:09 AM   #11
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I didn't catch the price, I must have skimmed over that part or skimped reading the full thread etc.

But yeah, if the price is reasonable BE ALL OVER IT.



The Wingmasters of the yesteryears were made MUCH BETTER than they make them now.... And that bluing you might want is easily redone. Construction is construction, you can't redo what they did back then or fail to do now... But re-finishing is easy.


Lemme know if you pass it up, I'll be interested
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Old December 8, 2012, 11:25 AM   #12
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I own am older 870 Wingmaster. IMO it is better than the new 500s. So I would recommend it
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Old December 10, 2012, 12:28 AM   #13
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The serial number on the Wingmaster for sale is S398113V.

Can anyone tell me what year it was made?
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Old December 10, 2012, 08:21 AM   #14
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There is a date code on the side of the barrel. That code will tell you when the gun was made.
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Old December 10, 2012, 11:08 AM   #15
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here is a link to a remington barrel date code chart
http://www.wisnersinc.com/additional..._date_code.htm

as long as that is the original barrel, that will give you the manufacture date
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Old December 10, 2012, 04:07 PM   #16
Virginian-in-LA
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By that serial number it is 1970's manufacture, 2-3/4" gun.
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Old December 10, 2012, 09:17 PM   #17
Chris9472
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Quote:
By that serial number it is 1970's manufacture, 2-3/4" gun.
Thanks, is that a good period to buy?
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Old December 10, 2012, 09:24 PM   #18
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I carried a Rem 870 Wingmaster in the Coast Guard for ten years.
Never an issue. The USCG had thousands of them and we put thousands of rounds through them at the ranges. AWESOME shotguns.

I have one still today.
I highly recommend getting it.
Or send me the phone number to the shop. LOL
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Old December 10, 2012, 09:30 PM   #19
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I think you can get a 60's Wingmaster that doesn't need "restoring" for $400.

Check Gunbroker.com
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Old December 10, 2012, 09:54 PM   #20
boattale
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70's Wingmasters are as good as they get.
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Old December 10, 2012, 09:58 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boattale View Post
70's Wingmasters are as good as they get.
Agreed. my dad has my grandpa's, either a late sixties or earlier seventies model, either a 1967 or 1972, not sure. I LOVE my current 870 (2009 production), but that Wingmaster (wood furniture, 18", former police gun) is in a whole different league. Over forty years old, has shot tens of thousands if shells, and I still see it outliving me. The bluing is gorgeous.
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Old December 11, 2012, 01:26 AM   #22
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My Wingmaster was made in 1976, it was my go to duck and goose gun back in the day. I switched to others when steel shot was required, saving it for upland game, but a few years ago I bought a second steel shot barrel for it and didn't realize how much I had missed it. What a smooth gun.

Is the receiver matted too, or just the barrel? If it is truly made in the 70s it is pre steel shot so no waterfowl unless you use the bismuth types loads.
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Old December 11, 2012, 09:02 AM   #23
Virginian-in-LA
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Remington said steel shot is okay in any barrel since 1950 (all Wingmasters), no fixed choke tighter than Modified, no shot bigger than #2.
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