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Old January 24, 2013, 07:20 PM   #1
Scottish870
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New member...first gun... Remington 870 Exp Tactical - couple of questions

Hi everyone, new member here........ new-ish to America (lived here a year) and just bought my first gun (picking it up at Cabelas this weekend). My only previous experience is some very infrequent clay shooting back home in Scotland an over/under shotgun.

I eventually plan to get a pistol, maybe a rifle, and perhaps a shotgun better suited to clays/skeet. I don't intend to hunt.

I've been planning to get a gun for a while...mainly for home defense, and partly just because this is America and I can! (very hard in the UK) I purchased (without much research!) a Remington 870 Express Tactical (model with the Blackhawk stock):

http://www.remington.com/products/fi...blackhawk.aspx

I have a few questions:

1. Now I know this shotgun has a short barrel and wide choke so will not be well suited to clays or skeet. I've read on forums that some ranges wont even let you use a pump action tactical (for reasons such as they are too loud or people go all Rambo like with them, and safety - like nobody can be sure what's still in the gun). Is this a correct picture of how tactical shotguns are viewed at ranges? I plan to take some basic newbie safety courses and a tactical shotgunning course...but after that what are my options at ranges - are shotguns allowed in ranges to shoot at static targets (like I think pistol shooters do?).

2. Related to above question... is it easy enough for me to change the barrel to a longer one with a tighter choke for clays? Would that be acceptable at a range (or would I still get grief for having a pistol grip pump action?)

3. I've read (on forum threads dating back to 2010) that the Remington Express models were not well received when they came out and allegedly has problems out of the box like rough chambers and barrels resulting in them not being reliable. I think one issue often mentioned was the factory tube extension and that it may have been quietly improved by Remington. I guess my question is.... what's the general perception of them these days? Can I expect it to be highly reliable out of the box?

FYI - I'm reading a lot about shotgunning and intend to get a cleaning kit and keep good care of my gun. I've been looking at ranges near me (WV panhandle).

Great forum you guys have here

Scott

PS - sorry for the long thread!

Last edited by Scottish870; January 24, 2013 at 08:08 PM.
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Old January 24, 2013, 07:46 PM   #2
Corrections Cop
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Ranges will let you bring that gun as is, but they will probbbly only let you use slugs and not shot, at least here in MI, thats the way it is. Barrel changes with shotguns are pretty easy, just undue the nut on the end of the magizine tube and take it off. Remington 870's are pretty good guns, lots of Law Enforcement agencies use them.
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Old January 24, 2013, 08:09 PM   #3
Scottish870
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Thanks for the reply. I'll check with the range I book some training with what their rules are/what I could do there with the gun.
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Old January 24, 2013, 08:16 PM   #4
Dfariswheel
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Ranges differ, but most consider a shotgun a shotgun and will have no problem with a Tactical model.

Some ranges don't allow shotguns with birdshot or buckshot because of excessive damage to target holders. Others have shotgun patterning areas for buck or bird, some don't care what you shoot.

The big advantage of the 870 is that you can install whatever kind of barrel you want in seconds.
A short barrel defense gun becomes a long barrel duck gun, becomes a turkey gun, becomes a slug gun, becomes a clays gun in seconds. If you buy a barrel with screw in chokes, the same barrel can be used for many purposes by just changing the choke tube.

The Express model is Remington's budget gun, intended to compete with the much cheaper to make aluminum guns sold by Mossberg and others.
The Remington Express uses the same forged steel receiver and heavy-duty internals the more expensive Wingmaster and Police guns use, just with a rougher outer finish.

The bore and chambers aren't as well polished as the higher end models, but that's fixed in a few minutes with a cleaning rod, a drill and some 0000 steel wool to polish it.

No modern pump gun is more reliable then the 870, Express or not.
Yes, some people have problems, which is why you get a warranty with a new gun.
The vast majority of buyers have zero problems with the Express.

Pay attention to the owner's manual and field strip and clean the new gun to remove the sticky factory lube from the action and bore.
Apply a coat of CLP Breakfree to all surfaces to flush off the factory lube and to protect the finish from rust.
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Old January 24, 2013, 08:25 PM   #5
Scottish870
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That's good to know about easy changing of barrels. I'd be grateful if anyone can direct me to the best brands for different barrels to buy (are Remington best, or another make?)

I do intend to read the manual (already reading a copy from Remington site + some books) and give it a good clean out of the box. I haven't heard of CLP Breakfree - so can I use this to not only clean the gun but also as a replacement for say Rem Oil?
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Old January 25, 2013, 01:04 AM   #6
TheRaskalKing
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Welcome to the forum Scottish! I think you'll be pleasantly surprised as I was when I joined a year ago. I love TFL.

Great choice with the 870, I looked long and hard at one but settled on a Rem 1100 that I got a sweet deal on. While the "tacticool" types are often looked at a little sideways, you won't fit that category unless you have 15 unnecessary attachments on your gun and are shooting "zombie killer" ammo. You seem far too reasonable and polite to fit that category anyway. I wouldn't hesitate to pack your 870 to any range that allows shotguns. For example, both my local indoor and outdoor ranges both allow shotguns to shoot slugs, but not buck or birdshot when we want to shoot clays we just head for the mountains. At ranges some folks unfortunately do go Rambo, but they're usually pretty far and few between.

I don't have much experience with different barrels or chokes for the 870, but since it is such a popular gun I know there is lots of aftermarket support.

As far as their reliability these days, I have several friends with newer 870s and they haven't had any problems of any kind. There will be a lemon in any group, but Remington being a solid name should do whatever it takes to get it fixed.

Again, congratulations and welcome!
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Last edited by TheRaskalKing; January 25, 2013 at 02:40 AM.
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Old January 25, 2013, 07:34 AM   #7
Rifleman1952
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Welcome to TFL. At the shooting range I belong to, shotguns are welcome. Buck shot or slugs may be fired. 50 BMG is not permitted at my range, nor full auto, nor bump firing, nor incendiary rounds. Just familiarize yourself with the rules of your range.

The Remington 870 is a great shotgun. It is the first choice in shotguns for law enforcement around where I live.

One of my favorite quotes: "I am a Scotsman, therefore I had to fight my way into this world." Sir Walter Scott.
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Old January 25, 2013, 12:27 PM   #8
BigD_in_FL
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You may be confusing some folks with your nomenclature. here, we have gun ranges for the tactical types who do three gun and others aspects of shotgun shooting, and then we have gun clubs which tend to be more the trap/skeet/sporting clays type.

I read your OP as indicating going to the latter. Most trap/skeet clubs do not like the short barrels as the noise for folks next to you can get very loud and irritating to the ears. Using a longer barrel, such as 28" alleviates that issue a lot, and spare barrels are rather inexpensive. Additional barrels can be found that utilize changeable choke tubes to allow you a lot of versatility with different games.

If your gun has issues with extraction, wrapping a dowel or large brush with 0000 steel wool lightly oiled will polish out any machine marks
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Old January 25, 2013, 02:12 PM   #9
Scottish870
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Thanks again all for more useful info. This is all helping a newcomer familiar with the shooting world and terminology.

Rifleman1952 - nice quote. The Scots have sure has their fair share of fighting in times past. Haven't we all huh.

BigDinFL - sorry if I've confused anyone. This world is all new to me. Really I just want to be trained to use my gun....and shoot it at anything acceptable at ranges. I don't have any experience or preferences over exactly what range shooting ill lean toward I the long term....but that will change as I try things. Thanks to my research and you guys I can at least I initiate and hold a conversation with range owners without sounding totally clueless.
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Old January 25, 2013, 02:46 PM   #10
BigD_in_FL
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Don't fret over it - some folks still confuse magazine and clip...

when you go to either type of place, just explain your newness and you'll get help and a lot of advice (just remember that advice is worth exactly what you paid for it ).

Most folks will also typically let you try their guns for a few shots - try as many as you can so you can get an idea for down the road when it comes time to get your next one.

MY shotguns are more for clay targets and upland birds - what you call, IIRC walk-up or rough shooting, so my guns are geared more for specific purposes. Example, my main clay gun has 32" barrels and weighs over 8# while my main bird gun is a 20 bore, 28" barrels, SxS with double triggers and weighs about 6.5#. As you get more familiar with the uses of a shotgun, you may decide to get something specialized for a purpose

Have fun and welcome to the US
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Old January 25, 2013, 08:37 PM   #11
Dfariswheel
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That's good to know about easy changing of barrels. I'd be grateful if anyone can direct me to the best brands for different barrels to buy (are Remington best, or another make?)

I do intend to read the manual (already reading a copy from Remington site + some books) and give it a good clean out of the box. I haven't heard of CLP Breakfree - so can I use this to not only clean the gun but also as a replacement for say Rem Oil?


As far as I know only Remington and Mossberg make barrels for the 870, and Mossberg's seem to be only an 18" barrel.
Remington sells many types of barrels for their guns.
You can buy new barrels direct from Remington, and from online sales companies like Midway.

See Remington.com and Midwayusa.com

CLP Breakfree is best as a lubricant and rust preventive.
You're better off using a dedicated bore solvent to actually clean with.
You can use CLP to remove the sticky factory finish and to replace it with a protective layer of CLP.
Use a bore solvent to clean carbon fouling from the bore and other parts.
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Old January 25, 2013, 08:51 PM   #12
LockedBreech
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I have had that exact gun for 3-4 years and it has been great. The finish is a bit rough but mechanically mine has been a 100% reliable beast of a gun from day one, and any roughness in the action smooths out nicely over time. 6 shells of PDX1 12GA in mine in my closet right now.

Enjoy it! While Mossberg 500/590 is a great pump gun too, I'll take an 870 any day.
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Old January 25, 2013, 10:33 PM   #13
Scottish870
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Thanks guys. Can't wait to finally get my hands on the gun tomorrow
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Old February 1, 2013, 11:53 PM   #14
mrvco
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I just bought an 18" Synthetic. Hopefully I can pick it up next week (maybe the NICS guys will work some overtime this weekend). I thought I'd start with the 18" barrel since my normal range is more tactical oriented. I figure I can buy something more suitable for clays when I'm ready.

I'm definitely looking forward to learning how to run it.
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Old February 2, 2013, 06:46 AM   #15
Splice
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I use my 870 with an 18" barrel for clays and it works beautifully. Why would you think otherwise? Also shotguns are pretty lame when I comes to what you can do with it at the range. Put up a paper target and its obliterated immediately. Find a sandpit, set yourself up some courses and have way more fun
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