View Full Version : 870 Police Magnum Fit and Finish

April 23, 2005, 06:58 AM
I recently ordered an 870 police magnum, having traded in a Mossy 500. After it arrived and I had a chance to field strip and inspect it, I noticed that there were a few definite rough spots that I wouldn't have expected from a "high end" 870.

First, the weld on top of the magazine tube where the tube meets the reciever is rough and it has a rust color to it.

Second, the weld between the barrel guide ring and the barrel is likewise rough and has the same rust color to it.

Third, the extractor has a very noticeable burr in it.

Finally, the "plate" in the receiver that sits underneath the barrel looks beat to hell. Because this "plate" meets the magazine tube, it also has the rough-looking weld as mentioned above. But, in addition, it looks like someone took a file to it and hacked it up. It really looks rough.

Now, I should say that none of these "problems" affect the gun's functionality. Shells seem to cycle, extract, and eject just fine and nothing feels loose or brittle (although I haven't fired it).

So, anyone with an 870 (esp. a wingmaster or police mag) got any thoughts? Noticed that all these "rough spots" are in areas normally hidden from view. Corner cutting, or just normal? I'll note that my $275 mossberg 500 did not have any of these "rough spots."

I just figured a police mag would come sans burrs, rough machining, and visible cruddy looking welds.

April 23, 2005, 02:21 PM
These "rough spots" are actually a brazing alloy.
The barrel support ring, and the bolt carrier are brazed together.

This alloy won't "take" the bluing or parkerizing the same way steels will, and so it has a noticeably different color, and texture.

ALL Remington guns show this color difference and it's normal.

The bolt carrier, "the plate", is a fabricated part, brazed together. These are usually not all that smooth, showing machine marks.
Since it isn't important for this part to have a super-smooth finish, only that it be strong, properly hardened, and do the job, the roughness is a non-issue.
As an internal part, appearance isn't critical.

All Remington shotguns have carriers that have a rough finish.

Be SURE the "burr" on the extractor is in FACT a burr.
Often what looks like a burr is actually part of the mechanism.
If it is a burr, remove it with a fine stone.

Here's one piece of advice on the Police Model.
Some people get a new Police gun, find that a rust colored substance rubs off, and think it is rust.

Remington sprays the Police guns with an exterior and interior coat of hot cosmoline to protect it during shipping and storage.
When rubbed off, this looks like rust.

Remington's Law Enforcement web site has a discussion in the FAQ section about this.

They caution that the cosmoline is for STORAGE ONLY, and that the gun can rust if this storage coating isn't removed and replaced by a lube.

What Remington recommends is to disassemble the gun, including the magazine tube, and spray the entire gun, inside and out, dripping wet with something like Rem-Oil.

Allow to soak for about 1/2 hour, to give the spray time to dissolve the cosmoline, and soak into the metal.

Wipe down, reassemble, and put the gun in service.

I did so with my Police gun, using a spray can of CLP Breakfree.
I got a fair amount of cosmoline off, and haven't had any problems with rust.

April 23, 2005, 05:11 PM
A Remmy 870 is not what I would call a 'high end' shotgun.

April 23, 2005, 06:04 PM

A Remmy 870 is not what I would call a 'high end' shotgun.

No, but the police magnum is a "high end" 870, which is all I called it. As far as I understand, the police magnum is based on the Wingmaster rather than the Express, which would mean to me that it should be a cut above the express model. It was certainly more expensive. But you're right, it's not a $2,000 O/U. That wasn't what I was implying.

April 23, 2005, 09:27 PM
other than exterior polish the express is the same shotgun, as the wingmaster.....100% definate. I worked extensively on both.

Also I don't seem the brazing on anyone of my shotguns express
included, I would call remington.

April 23, 2005, 10:41 PM
Yes, but the Police models are different still.

And if you haven't seen the brazing on 870's you need to go back and look again.

April 23, 2005, 10:43 PM
Took another look at the gun. I wasn't talking about the bolt carrier, but an actual piece of metal inside the receiver that sits under the barrel when the barrel is attached to the receiver. It is the front most part of the bottom of the reciever. It actually meets the top of the magazine tube in a weld, if that makes any sense.

And, after looking at the welds again, it's not just that they have a different color, but there are actually small cracks in the welds. They look similar to what a bad caulking job would look like if the painter didn't use enough to cover a joint and cracks formed after drying, if that makes any sense.

(anyone) based on your experience with 870s, does this seem normal or is it cause for concern? As I'm new to 870s, I just can't tell.

April 24, 2005, 02:23 AM
New shotgun? Contact Remington. If they can't offer a reasonable explanation, it's time to call them on their warranty

April 24, 2005, 01:41 PM
If I understand what you're describing, this is the mount for the magazine tube.

The magazine tube is also brazed in the receiver.

There should be no cracks in any of the brazing, so I'd contact Remington. Likely you'll need to send it back for a repair.
Even Police models sometimes have factory defects.

There are major differences between the Express, and the top-of-the-line Wingmaster and Police models.
MOST of the differences involve the finish and level of burr removal.

Here they are:

The Wingmaster Sporting gun has:
Aluminum trigger group.
A smooth, commercial grade polished blue finish.
A smooth, polished bore.
No burrs or machine marks, with a smooth interior.
Walnut stock with better checkering, and Remington's "Bowling pin finish".
A chrome plated bolt.
Old style magazine retention assembly.
One piece barrel.
No use of MIM cast parts.

The 870 Police is basically a dull finish Wingmaster.
An aluminum trigger group.
The old style magazine retention system.
A much smoother finish inside and out.
A military-grade parkerized finish.
A polished bore.
A one piece barrel.
Walnut or synthetic stock, with a short police-length fore end.
Choices in different stocks, including Speed-feed, and others.
18" to 20" improved cylinder barrel, with a wide choice in sights, including rifle, ghost ring, and luminous.
Heavy-duty magazine spring.
Heavy-duty trigger-sear spring.
Sling swivel mounts.
No use of MIM parts, the extractor is milled.

The Express Model has:
A plastic trigger group.
The dimples in the mag tube and the new style magazine retention system.
A rougher finish inside and outside, with machine marks and some burrs present.
A rougher blue job.
A less polished bore.
A two piece barrel. (not 100% sure about this)
Hardwood or synthetic stock, wood has a varnish-type finish.
Some Metal Injection Molded (MIM) parts, like the extractor.

All Remington shotguns use the same forged and milled steel receiver.

It appears that the Express gun MAY have a two piece barrel.
This is a separate rear extension and locking lug brazed onto a barrel section.
On recent Express guns, I can make out what "appears" to be a joint line just in front of the chamber, on the outside of the barrel.

April 25, 2005, 04:07 AM
My 870 Police, vintage 2001 more or less, is polished and blued (satin polish) but has a hardwood stock with a varnish finish. Smooth uncheckered buttstock, corncob short forend...everything else is just as dfaris says

April 25, 2005, 01:18 PM
Today, Remington only offers ONE 870 Police with a blued finish.
Everything else is parkerized.
Remington says their parkerized finish is 60% more durable than bluing.

Within the last few years Remington went back to walnut stocks on the Police.
Older guns have hardwood, and very old guns had the original walnut.