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Old November 20, 2013, 01:06 PM   #1
Dreaming100Straight
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Upgrading 870 Express Parts

This thread is about upgrading some of the internal parts of the 870 Express, such as the extractor, as opposed to upgrades such as different kinds of stocks, sights, and such. I am not out to build a fighting gun but wish to make it more reliable in case of a home defense scenario.

I am a Synthetic 7 Round just like this:





There are some excellent older posts on TFL regading this and one is located at http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...xpress+upgrade

I was going to replace the MIMS extractor with a forged steel extractor, the carrier dog spring with a heavy spring, and the sear spring with the competition light spring, and the standard safety with a jumbo head safety. I am reconsidering changing the springs.

My reason for swapping out the sear spring was the trigger pull feels crummy, but I am comparing it to my Citori, and am concerned that a competition pull weight may not be a good idea on what primarily is a defense gun, may someday be used as a hunter, and only gets active use as a loaner ( and then it wears its field barrel) for friends to use for clays. The concern centers on the risk of accidental discharge under high stress if a competition spring is used.

I don't have any problems with the carrier dog now and am thinking to pay heed to the caveat to let it alone.

I cannot see any reason not to go with the forged extractor or the jumbo safety. Perhaps you know of some.

As I have the factory extended magazine, which is the same as what comes on the police, I understand that the spring should be fine. Since it is three years old and kept partly compressed (partly loaded), I am not sure that it should not be swapped out for a premium spring.

I already replaced the original pad with the Remington SuperCell.

Last edited by Dreaming100Straight; November 20, 2013 at 01:47 PM.
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Old November 20, 2013, 02:06 PM   #2
zippy13
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You don't have to reduce the trigger pull to eliminate the "crummy" feel. Polishing existing parts may give you a smooth pull. Or, send the trigger group to a trigger guy and specify your desired pull.

Changing out the MIMed cast parts for machined ones is a good idea unless the new parts aren't finished as well as the original ones -- That's a no brainer.

Since I don't use (or trust) trigger block safeties, I wouldn't consider a fat head. If anything, I'd plug the hole and rely on safe gun handling. YMMV.
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Old November 20, 2013, 02:36 PM   #3
Dreaming100Straight
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Thanks, Zippy. I am picking the XS Skeet up this Friday from a smith to whom I mentioned the crummy trigger on the 870. Of course he said he could do something about that, but that does not make him a trigger guy. Anyway, I was going to take the 870 with me when I pick the XS up and have him measure the trigger pull.

If I were the only person in the house I might do without the safety. Some keep an HD gun with a round in a chamber and the safety off. I feel better with the hammer down on an empty chamber and the safety on, but I want the jumbo so it easier to tell that the safety is on or off and easy to take the safety.

If the new extractor needs to be cleaned up, I am comfortable with doing that, but I am not with doing the whole trigger group.

Last edited by Dreaming100Straight; November 20, 2013 at 02:45 PM.
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Old November 20, 2013, 03:07 PM   #4
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I'd replace the mag spring with a Wolff. I have one in my 870, as well as in my Hawk 982. They run about $7 - $8 each, and are the cheapest and possibly the most valuable upgrade.

I think the forged extractor is also a worthwhile investment, at about $13.

My 870 has the upgraded carrier spring, and I haven't had any functionality issues using it. In fact, I think that's the point.

I would take the whole trigger group out and hose it down with RemOil. Let it sit overnight and then wipe off any excess the next day. That should remove any grit due to dirt or dried lube/grease.
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Old November 20, 2013, 07:07 PM   #5
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The only reason I can think of not to go with the jumbo safety is some issues with negligent discharges. There were some threads I saw when debating on swapping mine that put me off. One guy was investigating 3 incidents where the safety was on, then the safety was accidentally clicked off and the shotgun fired. 2 had jumbo safeties and at least 1 was because of how easy the safety was to move, IIRC. I can look up the thread for you, if you'd like.

Have you tried a "mag dump"? If you have any jamming it means your lifter isn't in time and needs a stronger spring.

Have you looked into an improved follower? Sometimes the extensions can cause binding when fully loaded. Sometimes all thats needed is polishing/slight beveling of where they connect, and some have reported good results with the improved follower. I used a gg&g on mine.
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Old November 20, 2013, 08:58 PM   #6
Dreaming100Straight
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Soilwork: My gun came with the same magazine spring as the police and it should be good to go. Wolf makes a good spring and I replaced the standard spring I had ,for when I run the long barrel sans magazine extension, with a Wolf. I would upgrade the dog carrier spring but am waiting to see if anyone elaborates on some comments on previous posts not to do it unless you have a problem. I gave the trigger group a good cleaning but your suggestion to deep clean is one I will follow. I pretty much have my mind made up to replace the MIM extractor. If I change one thing it is that extractor.

Semi-Problomatoc: Thanks for the suggestions. No need to look up links to that discussions about the potential problem with AD and jumbo safeties. I am not a great fan of them in the first place and if I was the only person with access to it I would go with Zipp13's suggestion, but I am not. Consequently I will keep a safety and even if it isn't perfect, I think I will go with a Jumbo.

It has been quite a while shot it rapid fire. I don't know but will the same problems show themselves if I simply depress the magazine latch (whatever it is called) and rapidly empty the magazine without firing?

I am familiar with the issue of binding when trying to load the extended magazine. I don't know if mine finally wore in after about a thousand rounds or I have gotten better at the popping technique for assembling the extension tot he tube. Regardless, I briefly looked into some of the metal followers and may do that. I can see how they would facilitate a smoother running gun overall, but do they do anything to alleviate the problem with loading extended magazine tubes?

Thanks to everyone.
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Old November 20, 2013, 10:06 PM   #7
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It's got beveled edges and much thicker than the plastic follower my shotgun came with. Should help loading past the extension. I replaced mine because they were prone to cracking and causing mag tube jams.

Holding the release and cycling through would probably work just as well, might not be as much fun as a mag dump though
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Old November 20, 2013, 10:43 PM   #8
Dreaming100Straight
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Who manufactures that one? The bevel makes sense. I have beren loading up seven buckshot loads and racking them as fast as I can and cannot cause any kind of jam. Still no jam when I racked sort of softly.

I did this with buckshot loads and not target since I read, it may have been on Sarge's blog or on tfl, that the weight of the heavier shotshell can affect timing if there is a problem. By weight I mean the weight of the shell and not just the shot.
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Old November 21, 2013, 12:31 AM   #9
semi_problomatic
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That's a GG&G.

I thought about upgrading my springs, but like you, didn't see the need to as it passed the "test". Still thinking about getting a complete critical part kit together for all my guns just to have spares.
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Old November 21, 2013, 01:46 AM   #10
.300 Weatherby Mag
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Mr. Dreaming,

Why do you not contact your friendly local 870 guru ??
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Old November 21, 2013, 11:30 AM   #11
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I copied this from another board:

Quote:
No to the stainless steel follower. This is right out of the mouth of the senior Instructor at the Law Enforcement Armorers Training Center at the Remington Factory in Illion.

Here is why. Reach into the mouth of the mag tube on your 870. You will feel a slight lip. that lip is the follower stop and as you can feel it is very thin. A stainless steel follower is a harder metal then that lip and over the years of that follower banging into that lip it will damage it. Of course not in the first couple of years that you own the 870 but if the weapon gets heavy use the damage will happens sooner then you think.

Yes, to polymer like the Wilson or to some of the aluminum ones.
My Hawk still has a Brownell's stainless follower in it, which I will replace at some point.

I recently bought my 870, and when I ordered a new follower, I bought the Remington OEM orange plastic one. (The one originally in the gun when I bought it was the Remington OEM gray/silver one from 1995 when it was made.)

Last edited by SoilworK777; November 21, 2013 at 11:38 AM.
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Old November 21, 2013, 09:38 PM   #12
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Thats kinda interesting, considering the first decade or so of wingmasters came with chromed followers.
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Old November 22, 2013, 12:47 AM   #13
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What do wingmasters come with now? I gather from Brownell's that the P takes an orange aluminum follower.

$26 is kind of pricey but that is for the aluminum follower and the extended spring. http://www.brownells.com/magazines/s...prod21623.aspx

I had the gunsmith take a look at the 870. He says it has a 4.5 lb trigger so I am leaving the sear spring alone.

Last edited by Dreaming100Straight; November 22, 2013 at 01:04 AM.
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Old November 22, 2013, 05:17 AM   #14
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The pre-75 Wingmasters had chromed lifters, not followers. They did have blued steel followers until sometime in the 60s, and the 1100s had the same followers. And the steel follower on my 1963 1100 has battered that retaining lip to the point where the carrier will now graze the tip of the follower with an empty magazine at somewhere North of 115,000 rounds, so I would recommend either aluminum or sturdy plastic.
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Old November 22, 2013, 07:15 AM   #15
SoilworK777
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Quote:
$26 is kind of pricey but that is for the aluminum follower and the extended spring.
If your 870 doesn't have the mag tube detents, this style seems to be popular: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Remington-87...item3f2c63a2ff
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Old November 22, 2013, 11:15 AM   #16
Dreaming100Straight
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Looks nice Soilwork and the price, with free shipping, is good ($15). Mine doesn't have the pesky dimples. This thread is paying off for me. I have pretty well ruled out some things I was going to do and added something that had crossed my often befuddled mind but was not going to do. As of now, it looks like I am going with the forged metal extractor, an aluminum mag spring follower, and while I like to keep the exterior of my 870 streamlined I may finally add a light.

I did look at several aluminum followers on Brownell's last night and noted that one is a GSA Item.
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Old November 22, 2013, 02:18 PM   #17
.300 Weatherby Mag
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Quote:
What do wingmasters come with now?
They come with the same crap follower that is found in the express... I've had two of them fail.. One split and turned sideways in the mag tube, the other cracked and caused feeding problems.. I have several 870s with the stainless Brownell followers.. My 1100 has a aftermarket polymer follower..
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