View Full Version : Wingmaster vs Express wood?

March 29, 2002, 07:23 AM
Reading several posts about "mongrel" 870's, made with scavenged parts got me thinking about upgrading the wood on my 870 Express, which is in dire need of a refinish anyway, and I'm thinking a nice Wingmaster stock and forearm set with the nice checkering and grain might be nice. I've had no luck in determining if the Wingmaster "high grade" stock will fit my Express. Remington says yes (and will charge an arm + leg for the stock): Numrich says no, that the stock thru-bolt is different for the Wingmaster vs. the Express. Anybody know? Is it just a matter of getting a different stock bolt? Thanks.

March 29, 2002, 09:08 AM
It will fit. No question. I have swapped mine around many times. I have refinished police stocks (my favorite) on right now. I've had Express, Express Monte Carlo & Wingmaster bits on as well. They all fit and I have never paid much attention to the thru bolt.

March 29, 2002, 09:15 AM
Only diff betwen the Wingmaster and Express is that the Wingmaster has a better finish and supposedly has been put together with more care:confused:

All of the aftermarket stock makers only list one stock for 870 models (Same gauge).

March 29, 2002, 09:34 AM
Thanks guys. Now the search for the new stock begins:D

March 29, 2002, 09:39 AM
Oh no...just had another idea. Maybe I'll pick up a used Wingmaster with good wood, swap the Express wood with it, and then have two: the new improved Express, and the used Wingmaster with the Express wood as a project gun. It all starts so innocently, doesn't it?;)

March 29, 2002, 02:02 PM
Do a search on e-bay for Remington 870 and you will come up with a bunch of hits. They don't sell guns, but they will allow people to trade parts. Unfortunately the prices seem to get driven up a little too high. Worth checking out though. You might also try sanding and refinishing the Express stocks. It is a hardwood, but not as nice as the walnut Wingmaster stocks. Good luck.

Dave McC
March 29, 2002, 06:35 PM
Careful John, you've started down that slippery slope! Next thing you know, 870s will multiply like rabbits and you'll go broke feeding them...

Boyd's had a special on recently, a thumbhole style stock w/ forearm for $99.

If you're handy, Wenig's sells blanks of their New American style and others for $55 up. You fit, sand and finish.

I've seen a couple nice utility grade hardwood stocks cleaned, sanded and burned lightly with a blowtorch to bring out the grain, then finished with urethane semi gloss. You might want to try that, being the cheapest alternative.

Been thinking about doing this to Frankenstein's beater Md Pen stock. It's walnut, but plain as heck. I may switch it over to a straight grip, just to see how it shoots for me thus.

Also, the guys at your local trap range might have a stock or 6 stashed.


March 30, 2002, 11:55 AM
The wood of the Express and wing master are different, the former being a not-so pretty, press-checkered beechwood and the latter a not-so figured, cut-checkered walnut. My recently acquired Police Magnum is also beechwood, with no pressed checkering - this was disappointing as I always heard that Police Magnums were walnut. Using Gunplumbers method of slurry sanding with tung oil mixed with stain, though, the beechwood can look pretty nice. I got a dark ebony stain, and plain ole beechwood was transformed.

Maybe an alternative, groovy, cutting edge color is all you need to appreciate your express stock...

April 2, 2002, 03:57 PM
Dave McC...my 870 Special Field has a straight English-style grip. I find it's great for one-handed carry in the grouse woods and heavy pheasant cover. Haven't shot the gun enough (ie trap, clays) to see if it effects my shooting. I've heard some say that the straight grip puts the shooter's wrist at an awkward angle while mounted, but for my field shooting, I haven't noticed it being a factor, as it is quick to mount and the birds do fall.:)

Dave McC
April 2, 2002, 04:18 PM
I've had two SxS shotguns with straight grips, one came that way(Didier, French or Belgian,1919) and I made the other so(Ranger, made by Stevens or Savage,ca 1940). Both were good on birds and carried nicely.

Brister, in his master work, says he prefers a straight grip for the field and a curved PG for the range.

Since I have this poor, abused hunka walnut, I may go ahead and redo it as a straight grip, uncheckered, and see how it goes. I may splurge on aniline dyes and see if I can match a classic Gibson Guitar sunburst finish under semi gloss urethane.

870s in general are easy to restock, there's oodles of replacement stocks out there, from Circassian and French walnut costing more as a blank than the shotgun did new, to the synthetics and utility grade lumber. Mix and match...

April 2, 2002, 10:58 PM
My God! Since I'm back in Wis, I went on a pheasant shoot with old friends. I looked at the walnut on a shooter's Wingmaster, and to my chagrin, it's roll checkered! Still has the fleur-de-lis and other curlycues, but roll checkered! How plebeian...

Dave McC
April 3, 2002, 05:38 AM
My TB has very nice rolled checkering, TCs have cut. If it does the job and looks good?....

April 3, 2002, 05:24 PM
It's just that roll checkering looks like what it is, an imitation of the real thing. It doesn't have the class nor, more importantly, the purchase qualities of the cut kind...

My chagrin was more due to my previous assumption that Wingmasters, being higher grade, were cut checkered, than to some actual disgust with the roll checkering usually reserved for lower grade guns...you know, the "craftsmanship thing...";)

Dave McC
April 3, 2002, 08:55 PM
I see your point, Rom. Second best is still not the best.

BTW, the early field 870s were uncheckered.

April 3, 2002, 11:48 PM

I just bought my first 870, a mid-80's Wingmaster (beautiful). My question to you is: How do I determine whether it has rolled or cut checkering.

Thanks for the definitions.


Dave McC
April 4, 2002, 05:30 AM
If the points of all the diamonds are sharp,Mike and do not have that crushed look,it's cut. Most cut checkering also has a border.

BTW, rolled works as well as cut does, the difference is mostly esthetic.

Congrats on the 870.

April 6, 2002, 11:05 AM
MikeS, have you ever been a boy scout? My scoutmaster made sure we had our socks on right side out: big mountains, little valleys. Cut checkering has big diamond shaped mountains and little diagonal valleys. Roll checkering is a "negative" of cut checkering, with big diagonal mountains and little diamond shaped valleys.

Dave McC is right in that only cut checkering normally has a cut border vein...