View Full Version : Rem 870 shell latch question.

May 1, 2005, 12:27 AM
Hi everyone. I'm new to this forum and am overwhelmed by the volume of information and expertise.
I just got a used 870 Express and haven't had a chance to go out and shoot yet, but did give it a good cleaning.
My question: with the magazine loaded, the final shell to be loaded sticks out a hair. When I swing the carrier up, it just barely misses the rear of the shell. Only the left shell latch is holding the shell in. The right latch moves outward and doesn't contact the rear of the shell. It cycles fine, loading and ejecting with no problem.
Is this normal? It appears to be.
Can't wait to try this thing.

May 1, 2005, 01:57 PM
Yes, although how "close" to close is the lifter to actually touching the shell?

Here's how the shell lifters work on the Remington, and on most brands of shotguns.

On the action bars on the forearm, there are two small "ramps", one on the left bar, one on the right.

When the forearm is pulled back, the left action bar's ramp pushes the left shell lifter outward, allowing a shell to be pushed back into the action.

When the forearm is pushed forward, the right action bar's ramp pushes the right action bar outward, allowing the next shell in the magazine to move a fraction of an inch back, until it's caught by the left shell release.

These two shell releases act in concert, "handing off" the shell from the right release to the left, and then allowing the next shell in order to be pushed into the action for feeding.

As long as there is no chance of the lifter catching against the shell head, everything appears to be functioning properly.

The only preventive maintenance for the feed system, is to clean the inside of the magazine tube, and underneath the shell releases to keep gunk and grit out.
Also, always make sure the releases are firmly staked in place, since a loose release will cause failures to feed.

May 1, 2005, 03:14 PM
That pretty much answers my question. Thanks.
The lifter doesn't contact the shell, but it's damn close. Would filing the front of the lifter a tad cause any problems?

May 1, 2005, 03:31 PM
Also, always make sure the releases are firmly staked in place, since a loose release will cause failures to feed.
Dfaris, I took an 870 express to an authorized Remington repair center since both latches have come unstaked. The gunsmith said that they would be fine as is, with the advantage that they can be removed for cleaning, as grit behind the laches causes timing problems. Does this make sense to you?

Having said that I've never had a failure to feed with the latches held in place essentialy by the trigger group...

Thanks in advance...

May 1, 2005, 06:24 PM
Both of the latches in my 870 have been unstaked for years and I've never had a failure to feed. I've had them in & out many times. It's pretty interesting to get the trigger group back in but hardly slows me down anymore I've done it so many times. My Win1200 was the same way and was never a problem eiher.

May 1, 2005, 07:25 PM
As long as the lifter isn't touching the shell, it's OK, and I wouldn't file anything.

Unstaked latches will, or won't cause problems, depending on the gun.

The critical dimension seems to be the fit between the receiver and the trigger group.

If the fit is a little loose SOME guns will malfunction due to the unstaked latches shifting.

You have to keep in mind, that the latches ARE springs, and if the rear end isn't firmly anchored, you can get mis-feeds.

As long as you have a snug fitting trigger group, and the gun is proven to operate properly, it may not be "right", but if it works, it works.

May 1, 2005, 07:49 PM
Thanks! I think I'll have them staked nonetheless...you never know how things develop down the road...