View Full Version : 870 + SureFire = 1 Muzzle-heavy shotgun

October 19, 2000, 11:40 PM
I've done some searching but nothing really seems to cover this particular topic.

I am happy with my 870 Express Magnum HD. I'm also a big believer in having light handy for defensive use, so I sprang for a SureFire fore-end. So far, so good.

My only whine is that my handy, natural-balancing 18" 870 has become pretty muzzle-heavy. It tames the recoil some, but supporting the weapon with only my right hand and shoulder while reloading (tactical reload) eventually leads to some pretty serious wrist-cramping.

I was experimenting with a SideSaddle, but that seems to make the problem worse and it doesn't work well for me anyway. It will probably come off and I'll go to belt-clip carriers for extra ammo. I'm also contemplating a magazine extension but I know that will put even more weight out front.

For me, the light is mandatory. A no-fumble shotgun is also mandatory. The other gadgets can be sacrificed to keep these two things.

Has anyone else encountered this kind of weight/balance problem? Are there any tricks I can use to take the strain off my wrist when I'm holding the weapon this way? More to the point: am I just doing something wrong?

Gary H
October 20, 2000, 12:05 AM
My 870 has the mag extension, TacStar 200 light, sidesaddle and Hogue CompStock. It is perfectly balanced, but not light.

Dave McC
October 20, 2000, 07:06 AM
My HD 870 has everything but a light. It did have the Mag Lite conversion,but that changed a heavy but balanced and good handling tool into a iron bar that swung like a RR tie.

Target ID is crucial, but we have to hit stuff as well as see it.

October 20, 2000, 10:04 AM
I think it's just a necessary evil when you're using the Surefire unit. I have a 617F on my Benelli M1 and it sure makes for tough reloading.

My solution was to get used to the weight. I practice reloading (with those orange Saf-T snap caps) to get accustomed to the strain. It was rough at first but I find that it becomes easier with practice.

Picture of me reloading at a 3 gun match:

After my arm gets tired during a practice session, I continue with the shotgun barrel propped up on my reloading bench (pointed in a safe direction, of course). That way you can still practice rolling the shells into the ejection port but your right arm gets a rest.


Justin T. Huang, Esq.
late of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

October 22, 2000, 09:16 AM
You could dump the side saddle and use a but cuff for the spare ammo. If you get the one Dillon's sales (can't remember the brand). It holds 5 in loops and about 7 or 8 in the pouch underneath. ( it's not as bulky as it sounds). this should change your balance point to the rear making the SG easier to hold with one hand.

October 23, 2000, 08:41 AM
The butt carrier Steve M talked about is made by Eagle. You want to feel a muzzle heavy shotgun, you should try my 1100 when it is set up for USPSA 3 gun matches. I have a 12 rd extension and when that thing is loaded to the gills it is one heavy weapon. Sure can put allot of lead on target though :D.