View Full Version : Which Rem 870 for HD?

December 9, 1999, 05:35 PM
I've been looking at Remington's website, and the only 870 that I can find for home defense is the "HD" model. However, Remington says that this model won't accept police accessories, and I don't know what "police accessories" refers to. Since I don't know which accessories that I might be interested in over time, I'm not sure if this model is the best purchase, but none of the others seem to fit the bill.

I want an all black with an 18" barrel that will hold at least 5 shells. I'm also considering a Mossberg 500, but for this post, I'm primarily interested in Remington info.


Bill Bryant
December 9, 1999, 09:30 PM
My 870 says "Winchester Model 1300 Defender" on it. 7+1 capacity, matte black finish, synthetic black stock, 18" barrel.

Mine's had several hundred rounds through it without a hitch. No modifications required; out of the box ready for HD.

A wrongly ignored gun IMHO.

Bill Bryant

G. Kennedy
December 10, 1999, 12:55 AM

The Remington "HD" will hold 4 rounds in the magazine, with one in the chamber, that makes for a total of 5. What it means when they say it won't accept "Law Enforcement" accessories is that you cannot put an extended magazine on the gun. Or I should say you can but it won't work. The mag tube has two divets punched into it so the mag follower cannot extend past those two divets making an extended tube useless.

If you don't have access to Remington's Police line of shotguns you could check into their "Marine Magnum" if you want an extended mag. It is in Eloctroless Nickel finish which isn't dark but worse comes to worst you could paint it or have it Black T'd over the plating......

Bennett Richards
December 10, 1999, 01:35 AM
I have the MM 870 and love it. Last 2 shotguns were ruined by rust over many years and the MM will never rust. Put a great Wilson Combat/ST mag extension and a SureFire foregrip with the z-11 handstrap option attached. Works GREAT.


Dave McC
December 10, 1999, 06:12 AM
While bells and whistles delight us all, the plain fact is that any shotgun with a capacity of at least two shots that is reliable is a perfectly adequate HD weapon.

Any HD situation requiring more than a shot or two probably needs BACKUP more than another round or two in the magazine.

There's a thread I started a while back called Observations on HD shotguns or similiar. You may find that one informative.

IMO, any 870 is a superb HD weapon....

Rosco Benson
December 10, 1999, 08:33 AM
Dave McC,
You are correct as to typical engagements. However, it is comforting to be equipped to handle the occasional atypical event.

I haven't had to change a flat in YEARS, but I still haul a spare tire & jack.


December 10, 1999, 12:19 PM
I just purchased an 870HD for the basic reason that it is an 870. These guns are die-hard tough. I got mine for 279.99 with plenty left over for ammo and other goodies. This is the perfect gun to trick out. The magazine dimples can be taken out by any gunsmith for $20 or $30. I plan on installing a sure-fire light and side-saddle and hopefully some MMC ghostring sites.

Dave McC
December 10, 1999, 02:00 PM
Yup, Roscoe, and the 870 that forms the pro active part of my home insurance policy has most of the trick stuff on it. But, there's a point of diminishing returns.

If there's an 870 out there someplace that's NOT an excellent defense piece, I'm unaware of it,excepting the 410 bore, of course.

Rosco Benson
December 10, 1999, 03:49 PM
You are quite correct, Dave McC, and even that .410 M-870 would be much more effective than a pointy stick.

Still, at a minimum, I would want any 870 that I was planning on putting to serious use to have a Flexi-Tab kit and a solid magazine follower installed. There's a few other bells and whistles that I would prefer to have too, but these will do.


P.S. - The Flexi-Tab kit is already present in current/recent production 870's. It consists of a bolt and lifter which have been modified to prevent a shell that jumps the shell stops from tying up the gun. If the shell lifter on your 870 had a squared-off "U" cut in it, you've got it. The solid magazine followers are available from Choate, Wilsons (Scattergun Tech), and Vang. The factory unit is plasctic...very much like the lid of a 2-liter pop bottle. If the mag spring bursts through the factory follower and "sproings" out under the bolt, the gun is out of action. The five bucks or so that a solid follower cost is cheap insurance.


December 11, 1999, 12:36 AM
My choice for HD is a 67-year old Remington Model 31. Still shoots like new, and the action is so smooth you can hold the gun in one hand, point it in the air and then down at the ground, and the action will cycle. Plus, it has an open shell carrier. As for the "Flexi-Tab" on my 870, it ain't fool-proof. I had to take the mag cap off the other day and release the spring in order to clear a jammed shell on the lifter. The 870 owner's manual says NOTHING about how to use the flexi to clear a shell.

Dave McC
December 11, 1999, 07:28 AM
OK Roscoe, agreed on the solid follower. Of the 4 870s here, the ones that doesn't have one is Daughter's 20 ga, and that's not a HD weapon at the moment.

My caveat had more to do with the fancy stuff,sidesaddles,lights,tuck and roll upholstery,etc.

Clogbert, the FBI way of clearing a stuck shell in an emergency is to grasp the weapon firmly, hold the slide lock down,and slam the butt down on a hard surface HARD. This usually clears it but is not easy on the weapon.

Bill Bryant
December 11, 1999, 08:47 AM
My 1300 Defender came from the factory with a very strong steel magazine follower. No need for an after market accessory here because the original part is plenty tough to begin with.

December 11, 1999, 12:46 PM
I so very much agree with Mr. Bryant, that I felt compelled to register so that I could post a reply to this post. I recently purchased a Winchester Model 1300 Defender after researching a Mossberg 500 and Remington 870. I paid $260 for the Defender and am firmly convinced it was a great buy. Ready for action right out of the box, 7+1 rounds, and a TruGlo fiber optic sight for very rapid target acquisition. Add to that the fact that the action is smooth as silk, and the rotory bolt design provides for an unusually strong lock-up, and I just can't understand why this shotgun hasn't garnered more favor among HD shotgunners. I think, as Mr. Bryant stated, it is unjustly ignored. It is a great gun!

December 11, 1999, 06:20 PM
I went to my local sporting goods store and compared an 870 HD with the defender 1300. As far as I could see the defender looked to be the better value by a long shot at $260 compared to on sale price of $240 for the 870. You get the 7 shot magazine, truglow sight, nice slide release button, and more. I'm still searching for an Ithaca 37. If I can't find one in the near future the Winchester defender will be my next shotgun.

Bennett Richards
December 11, 1999, 11:57 PM
Although I own an 870 I am sure the 1300 is a great gun. EWorkmanship seems to be equal to that on the 870 where the mossberg seems a bit rough. I think the appeal of the 870 is the wide availability of accessories and the proven combat reliability over many years.

The Ithica seems nice but the problem is that they have changed ownership a number of times and may have at some point shut down for a while... but I am unsure on this point.


Jeff Thomas
December 12, 1999, 02:41 AM
A little more pricey (+ $100, I believe), but another interesting option is the 870 Express Super Magnum Synthetic - see http://www.remington.com/Firearms/shotguns/870SMSYN.HTM . It will take 2 3/4" to 3 1/2" loads, should be very durable, and you can buy an 18" barrel (not to mention other options) for home defense use. In essence, this becomes an extremely versatile shotgun for home defense and hunting. And, folks like Hans Vang can trick these out just as they do any other 870 (just ask him to use blue instead of red Loctite on the rear sights - you want to be able to remove it if you switch barrels back to a bead sight). Just another idea - I've always liked flexibility in ammunition choices, and firearm uses.

One other point re: the .410 - my understanding is that such a round is equivalent to two .44 magnums. If so, still a pretty effective fight stopper.

[This message has been edited by Jeff Thomas (edited December 12, 1999).]

Ned Roundtree
December 13, 1999, 05:09 AM
I have an old Rem 870 police model. 12ga, 18", gray parkerized with wood stocks. Four + 1, added a side saddle with six and sling.The price was right. I was thinking of adding an ext tube but then figured if the fight ain't over in eleven rounds I'm in deep trouble. Wilson Combat/Scattergun Technologies has got a great one called the Border Patrol. Converted 870 with ghost sights and all the bells and whistles. Maybe one day I'll get that. But for now the old police shotgun is still on HD.

An armed society is a polite society.

Dave McC
December 13, 1999, 08:28 AM
The 410 may be enough to stop a fight, but I'm not too willing to bet my family's safety on a maybe. I'm sure a 410 pump beats fang and claw, but it's not the only option.

As for the Defender and the Mossbergs, I've little experience with either,so my opinion counts for little. And as long as the 870 with its JM Browning design, it's admirable track record and its availability is around, I'll have little experience with the others.

Bill Bryant
December 13, 1999, 12:36 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>As for the Defender and the Mossbergs, I've little experience with either, so my opinion counts for little. And as long as the 870 with its JM Browning design, it's admirable track record and its availability is around, I'll have little experience with the others.[/quote]

Fair enough, Dave, and experience counts a lot. Of course this works both ways. If you've been in hundreds of duck blinds with a Mossberg, or pheasant hunts with a 1300, the 870 in your bedroom has the controls in the "wrong" place. On the other hand, if you've had an 870 in your squad car for 20 years, the 1300 or Mossbergs feel all "wrong."

My HD gun definitely needs to be a gun I have experience with and can use instinctively. This counts right up there with the reliability of the tool itself.

Dave McC
December 13, 1999, 12:53 PM
Good point Bill, but I've only been shooting an 870 since around 1958,haven't had time to wear one out(G)...

Shawn Dodson
December 13, 1999, 06:21 PM
Pipper: We have a table that lists all the Remington 870 Police models that you can order from any gun dealer. Go to: http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs29.htm

/s/ Shawn Dodson
Firearms Tactical Institute

December 19, 1999, 11:33 PM
Those two tabs in the tube can be fairly easily removed with a Dremmel & grinding cone-shaped stone. Just take off as much as you need & most assuredly, do several function checks after ext tube installation.

"figured if the fight ain't over in eleven rounds I'm in deep trouble"

That's for sure & you'd want another 11 :)

Shooting nothing but 870s since 65 or so. Think I'll stick with what I know best.