View Full Version : Dual Purpose 870 Help!!!

AR Man
June 15, 1999, 03:11 PM
I have a Rem 870 express 12ga (3"mag) that I bought primarily for hunting. I want to make it a dual-purpose shotgun by changing the barrel and mag tube. My first thought was a Hastings barrel (from Cabellas) I think it is 20' with rifle sights and magazine extension tube from Scattergun Tech.

I do not want any permanent mods (I know about the little bumps inside the standard 870 mag tube) I want to be able to put the 28" barrel back on and keep the standard mag capacity, since this is my primary hunting shotgun. But I would like to be able to change it back and forth with a minimum of fuss so I would have another shotgun for "social work".

Any ideas? Is this a good combo or should I go another route? Buy a whole new shotgun? Am I leaving anything out, or should something else be considered? Help!

Rosco Benson
June 15, 1999, 04:02 PM
I'm not sure if all of the Hastings barrels are rifled, but you definately don't want a rifled barrel in other than a "slugs-only" gun. They won't pattern with buck.

A smooth-bore, rifle-sighted Remington barrel is probably your best bet. The rifle sights aren't as quick as ghost-rings, but they're much better than just a bead and do not require any receiver mods.

If you drill or peen out the detents in your mag tube, in order to use an extension, you'll probably have no major trouble retaining the mag cap of the standard setup while hunting (just check it for tightness once in a while).


June 15, 1999, 08:15 PM
I don't know about the 870 but I've used a piece of wooden dowl rod cut to the correct length to limit the magazine to legal hunting capacity. If checked by a game warden while in the field it's legal even with the extension attached. Just pull the rod when you get home and your back in business for those tricky social situations.


We live in a time in which attitudes and deeds once respected as courageous and honorable are now scorned as being antiquated and subversive.

June 16, 1999, 03:00 AM
Off topic, but I bought an M500 for home defense: 20 inch barrel, seven shot magazine, pistol grip, no shoulder stock, heat shield...

It had the capacity-limiting dowel in it, like I'm gonna take this thing goose hunting, or something. Had a good laugh over that one.

So, it there a law against selling any shotgun that exceeds a three round capacity? Do all new shotguns, or after-market extended tubes, have these things in them?

AR Man: Never waste an excuse to buy another gun!


June 16, 1999, 09:16 AM

First buy a new smooth bore 18 barrel from mossberg. Yes mossberg, they make 870 barrels too check out their website. Get the $94 dollar parkerized one, so it will match the finish on your express.

Next, order a new, "old version" 870 spring retainer from remington. It is a little round piece of metal that will jam into the end of the mag tube to hold the spring in, when using your long hunting barrel. Now you have to flatten out the little tabs in the mag tube so your mag extention will work properly.

When you use the shotgun for hunting (long barrel and no mag extention) put the original spring, new (old version) spring retainer and round limiter in covered with your original cap. When using the shotgun for self defence put the short barrel on, long spring and mag extender. Hopefully the rounds will still slide by the flattened tabs well when used in this way. Good luck.

Art Eatman
June 16, 1999, 10:05 PM
Boing: Many shotguns will hold more shells than the migratory-bird 3-shot limit. So, llthe dowel. No law pro or con...

We've been on this same dual-purpose kick before. Late last year, as I recall...

Anyhow, a 20" barrel with the mag tube extension has the same swing and balance with the plug and three rounds as a 26" or 28" barrel without the extension. So, with screw -in chokes, why replace the 20" with the longer barrel for hunting?

The only reason for the longer barrel is for swing and balance.

John Satterwhite (see him occasionally on "American Shooter" showing shotgunning skill to drool over) told me about his personal "do everything" 870. He uses a vent rib, with a cut-out toward the rear where a dovetail slot in the barrel allows a folding rifle sight to be installed. He uses a half-size front bead. Screw in chokes. And, just behind the rear of the chokes, two rows of small holes (1/16"?) as compensator...And it's modified to shoot like a Model 12--hold the trigger and play slide trombone.

He opposes the use of pistol-grip stocks, due to the poor-control wrist-angle if you're moving in close quarters, holding the gun muzzle-up.

Have fun!

July 4, 1999, 09:29 AM
AR Man,
Good luck with your project. I too am trying to build up a "social" shotgun. I just want to point out that finding a used 870 barrel is extremly difficult, and it may cost you the $94 previously quoted plus shipping to get one. (If anyone has a spare to sell inexpensively PLEASE E-mail me direct) How about looking for a second 870. I have seen used complete guns (870 Express') selling for about $165-185. At that price it may be more cost effective to buy the whole gun. This is the route that I will probably go when I build my gun.

It's amazing what a large group of stupid people can accomplish.