View Full Version : Remington 870 Express HD Project Gun

March 16, 2002, 02:37 PM
Finally finished monkeying around with an 870 to my satisfaction.

I had a plain-jane 870 Express with a 28" barrel. Over time, I've gradually added the following: 20" IC barrel with rifle sights, Choate 8-shot extension kit, Choate hi-vis follower, synthetic fore end and butt stock, sling stud and sling swivel on the butt stock, a nylon sling, Pachmayr slip-on recoil pad, Tac-Star 4-shot side saddle, and an old-style non-locking safety. The gun now stays loaded by my bed at night with a set of Peltors. I keep 6 rounds (downloaded by one round) of 7 1/2 birdshot in the mag and 4 rounds of Estate 00 Buck in the side saddle.

Loaded, it weighs in at 9 pounds even, and it absorbs a considerable amount of felt recoil. It patterns nicely to point of aim at 25 yards. I preferred not to modify the fore end, and so I just went with the 4-shot side saddle. If ten rounds won't do the job, then I'm in big trouble anyway. I have Pachmayr slip-on pads on all my shotguns because I have long arms and a long neck. The extra length-of-pull gives me a good mount so that I don't have to adjust the gun after I mount it naturally. The extra padding also helps with recoil.

I like the way this one turned out. Granted, it doesn't have a light, but folks seem split over the efficacy of a light on a shotgun. Right now, I can't swing one of those expensive Surefire assemblies anyway, so I'll just have to use a flashlight or a light switch.

The school where I took my CCW class and an Advanced Pistol class ( www.therangeinc.com ) is now offering defensive shotgun courses. This school employs the training instructors from the Nashville Police Academy, and they're pretty knowledgeable fellows. I hope I'll be able to take this class later in the year, and I should have a reliable HD gun when I do.

On the bonus side, I also have the 28" barrel for this gun, and if I need a backup for dove or duck hunting, it's not that hard to transform the shotgun back into something close to its original setup.


Brass Rat
March 16, 2002, 03:10 PM
Very good setup. Glad to see you didn't succumb to getting a useless "Rambo" folding stock. Only other thing I could suggest is a mini-mag lite with remote switch, so you can see what you're shooting at.

Oh yeah, last round should be a Dragonfire(tm)!:D :eek:

Dave McC
March 16, 2002, 09:21 PM
Guyon, kudos!!

No fender skirts, no fuzzy dice. No Cool Factor addons. IMO, very close to optimum.

And, besides it's main mission, you've got one great deer gun there. Enjoy!!....

March 17, 2002, 08:18 AM
What's this about a mini-mag? Never heard of such on a shotgun.

Dave, there's not much deer hunting with shotguns around these parts, but it's nice to know that I've got a good deer gun if I wind up somewhere that's "shotgun only." Just in case such an occasion might arise, I need to pick up a length of dowel (plug) and stick it in my shooting bag.

It is a very basic setup, but I'm not one for too many bells and whistles. Peep sights would be nice, but they'd also be expensive. The rifle sights work just fine. The gun mounts nicely so that I find the sight picture quickly.

Same goes for a light. Would be good to have, but a bit too expensive right now. Still, if I run up on a good deal on a light system, I might piddle around with the gun some more. As a less expensive alternative to the Surefire assemblies, I looked at the Streamlight "M" series on the web, but I don't know much about them.

Dave McC
March 17, 2002, 10:32 AM
Guyon, one cheap setup on the market has a clamp similar to the one an extension had but fitting a Mini Mag. A switch on a coil cord mounts to the forearm and one can switch on the light in the ready position. Not a bad idea, but the bulb in the Mini Mag wasn't built to take recoil. 'Bout 10-15 shots to a bulb is average.

Had one, and it makes the weapon very nose heavy. One mounted to the forend would balance better.

March 17, 2002, 02:44 PM
That is a nice setup and very close to my own. I prefer wood furniture and I run a short foregrip and a six place sidesaddle but still very similar.
Nice job.
For a light (which I do not have yet) here is a mount that goes for 69.95 from www.sidearmor.net .
I have one on my 870 but I can not afford a light yet.

Brass Rat
March 17, 2002, 04:25 PM
The MINI-Mag light weighs about 5oz. with the AA batteries, and is 6" long. The -factory- bulb WILL last for a hundred or so rounds. As far as being heavy, I think someone was trying a 'D' cell light! <G>

There are the 'triple' barrel clamps that can be used, but they tend to not clamp the light securely without using a tape 'bushing'.

There is an outfit whose name I cannot recall, who makes a fore end that accomidates a minimag or a SureFire, and incorporates the switch (right under your left thumb), so no wires hanging out to dry. Will scrounge thru my stuff and try to come up with the dealer in a day or two.

March 17, 2002, 04:37 PM
I prefer a light on mine. That because of a case I worked involving a drunk 15 year old girl that stumbled into the wrong house. "But officer it was dark and I couldn't see who I was setting on fire and . . . .":eek: Rule #4 and all--believe it or not the four rules apply in a fight!

Now that you have a shotgun. Go get others. As you use them, they will break.

I also recommend working out with the shotgun. You can work it into your dry fire practice. The pig is heavy and if you have to hold it on someone it will be very heavy. Curls, reverse curls, lat raises, militree presses, sit-ups with it all are good.

Now go out and buy good doors, locks and windows so you never have to use it!:)

March 17, 2002, 09:48 PM
Nice set up. I bought an old 12g 870 Wingmaster about 16 months ago for the same type of project, but I have to stop buying guns or I'll never have the money :rolleyes:

Mine has wood furniture on it now; I was planning on a Hogue stock & a forearm/light combo. I figure on just having the barrel wacked off to whatever length over 18" that will allow permit it to be even or just a tad longer than an extended mag tube. I figured sling swivels & a sling, a nice set of MMC sights, then a spray-on finish. If I do get the money, having my barrel worked over by Vang Comp would be a nice touch!

There is just something about the intimidation factor of a business scattergun....

Nice Job!