View Full Version : 1951 Remington 870 pump

August 1, 2005, 02:56 PM
I just purchased a 1951 vintage model 870 shotgun at my favorite gunstore today. This gun looks brand new and I found out how old it was by calling Remington. I have to say that I'm tickled to death about this shotgun and this gun looks like it's hardly been fired. It has a 30 inch full choke and I plan to take it dove and deer hunting. It has the corncob style forearm and plain walnut buttstock. It hasn't been fired alot and is still tight like a new gun. All in all I'm happy as I can be with this purchase! Reading about how Remingtons perform and last led me to purchase an 870. I didn't think I would get one witrh the vintage that this gun has. I will give it a GOOD home! :)

Dave McC
August 1, 2005, 03:15 PM
Thanks, you just made my evening. A couple things...

First, 50s 870s marked Full usually have close to 40 POC. That's almost a turkey choke.

And, what you have is the twin of my oldest, made 50-51 and gifted to me for Xmas, 1959. Bet it has a plate, not a pad.

Mine has....

Enough geese on it to fill a couple box trucks.

A goodly amount of ducks.

Several deer.

Enough small and upland game to feed a village.

And close to fifty years of memories.

It's been worked over into a "Serious" shotgun since about 1980, and is still so reliable it's a HD weapon. Total use, maybe 15K of shells.

Other than mounting a pad, I urge you to not modify this one. One this early in pristine condition is rare. These were meant to be used, and were.

Get a second barrel if you want to. A Remchoked, vent rib, long barrel will handle clays and hunting, and a short, smoothbore barrel with rifle sights will work for slugs and HD.

And shoot it frequently.

When something like this comes along, we're more custodians than owners. Take good care of it, but use it often and build memories like mine....

August 1, 2005, 03:22 PM
Thanks, Dave. I always look forward to your posts and enjoy your narrative immensely! I fully intend to keep this shotgun in it's original shape and will buy a second barrel. I just love the way this gun shoulders and the craftmanship that went into making this gun is stunning. I am pinching myself on my stroke of luck on finding this jewel. I will try to post pics. Thank you for your reply!

Dave McC
August 2, 2005, 02:55 AM
You've very welcome. Let us know how it shoots for you.

August 2, 2005, 04:00 PM
'51 - neato.
Please post pics when you are able.

August 2, 2005, 06:20 PM
Always been a fan of the 870 have owned three of them but never knew they started making them that early.What year did they start making them???

August 2, 2005, 06:45 PM
That's awesome...good shootin'.

August 3, 2005, 01:25 AM
that a full choke in the 50's was made for ammo with felt wads and no shot cup. When one piece plastic wads came out in the 60's, patterns tightened up a lot, and choke dimensions were changed to compensate. With todays shotcups I'd imagine your choke could be called +full+. :D

Dave McC
August 3, 2005, 02:40 AM
The 870 was introduced in 1950. It was available in several grades, including a Trap gun.The simple field grade with no checkering like this one is most common.

Original price, BTW, on the field grade was $63.50.

Chokes,Nnobby, are roughly the same now as then. A Full choke tube here has 39 POC, and it was made within the last decade.

My TB's barrel had 38 POC, and the 1955 upgraded ADL 870 I have has 40 POC in the original barrel.

August 3, 2005, 12:25 PM
Well, I figure I will have to get a bird barrel for this gun. I can see feathers and pink mist with a hit from this barrel with a full choke.That would be a detriment to grilled dove breasts! I've really been looking at the detail of this shotgun and am impressed with the machining and attention to detail that was given in its manufacture. I'm going to pattern it with buckshot and see how it does for the deer season. Any reccomendations of size in buckshot for this choke? Thanks for any replies! :D

Dave McC
August 3, 2005, 04:46 PM
Unless you hunt doves way different from the way I do,Full choke would be less of a problem than skeet choke. I get more 40 yard opps than 10 yard ones.

A new barrel with rib and Remchokes will set you back close to $200, but there's some used stuff around.

00 is probably the most common size used for deer. Most tight chokes are not at their best with large shot. I'd try a Modified (20 POC) first.

Pattern a few brands and see what happens.....

August 3, 2005, 05:27 PM
Well, I have a Beretta 20ga, early 60's OU, choked (originally) Mod & Full, and those were the patterns it produced with pre plastic wad ammo. When I started using plastic wads, the patterns tightened up to full and xtra full. Had them opened up to Mod & Mod.

Maybe foreign guns like Beretta had different standards, but I don't know how Rem. and others could not have made adjustments to compensate for the one piece wads that completely replace ammo for which the chokes were originally made. Otherwise, chokes would be considerably tighter than advertised, almost always, which doesn't appear to be the case today--except when shooting steel.

August 4, 2005, 02:19 PM
Nice pick up. Late last year, I picked up a very clean 1950 Wingmaster. Smooth as silk and a joy to shoot. Thanks to eBay, for an extra $90 I picked up a mint 1960's vintage 20" smooth bore rifle sighted barrel to go with the 30" full choke it came with.

Once you start poking around the real old ones you can really see the difference compared to newer 870's.

Enjoy yours. I know I love mine. :)

August 4, 2005, 06:44 PM

Congratulations. I have one made in 1951, too (I think that's when Rem said it was made). It has the corncob forearm and no checkering. Mine has a 26" barrel, no rib and says "Imp Cyl" on the barrel and under that, it says "LCT". (I don't know what "LCT" means.) It also has a buttplate and not a pad. The previous/original owner pampered it.

And - thanks to Mr. Dave McC here, I've learned a lot about the 870s, too. Thanks, Dave.

Good luck with it - they're addictive and lots of fun.

Dave McC
August 4, 2005, 11:10 PM
You're very welcome,Steve. A couple things.....

First, 870 shooter/collectors such as we have an advantage. An assortment of 870s set up for everything will cost less than one bare bones B-gun And, with 8 million made, there's lots of 870s out there to ferret out, purchase and cherish.

Second, we have better chokes than ever and need them less than ever. I can get OK breaks on 16 yard trap birds with an IC tube that mikes out at 8 POC.

Prior to the introduction of the one piece plastic wad, buffering and progressive powders, it took 35 or 40 POC to get 70% patterns at 40 yards. That's what was considered Full Choke then.

Now similar performance can be gained from modern loads and 25-30 POC.

Many older shotguns are overchoked, and many more are better for their missions for it. Tightening patterns is harder than opening them up.

August 4, 2005, 11:43 PM
Yeah, Dave is largely responsible for steering me towards the 870. :) I'll 'fess up and tell you that I found it in a shop for $175.00! It is sitting on my table near my computer as I type. Yeah, I'm smitten with this 870 and it probably wont be my last. I'm going to pattern it at the range this weekend. Deer season is just around the corner and I intend to have this little jewel to give a good account of itself. :)

Dave McC
August 5, 2005, 10:17 AM
Joe, I deny responsibility.....

$175 is a good price for shotgun immortality. Take care of that one and your great grand kids will thank you for it.

While I've owned a number of rifles and used them for deer, the bulk of my bag came with 870s and slugs. For Eastern/Southern deer hunting, it's hard to find a better tool.