View Full Version : Shotgun Advice Needed

March 28, 2006, 01:49 AM
I've got a new Remington 870 pump with a 28' barrel and a walnut stock. I'm planning on using it primarily for duck and dove along and occasionally clay shooting. First off this gun does not come with pre drilled for a sling and I'm hesitent to drill into the stock myslef so I have a stupid looking sling that velcro's over stock on it for now. Here are my questions, first off i'm considering changing it over to a synthetic stock with a camo pattern, what are your opinions. Secondly I'm considering switching to a 26' barrel. I just find the 28' to be a little too long. I haven't fired this gun yet and I'm new to shotguns (yes I have fired them) so I don't know which length is better for what I'm doing with it. My brother in law is an avid duck hunter and is the reason I got the gun since he has gotten me into the sport recently, he uses a gun with a 26' barrel and a synthetic camo stock which is much lighter and has pegs for a sling. So basically my questions are. Should I get a 26' or stick with the 28' barrel? and Should I change to a synthetic stock or stick with the wood? any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

March 28, 2006, 01:57 AM
I guess I'm kind of ignorant, but I don't care if I have a 28" or an 18" barrel, I'll shoot at clays all day with em. I'm sure someone will tell you the difference, I just don't think it's all that much. I read some post on here that said you really don't gain velocity after 18". and it should spread the same after it leaves the barrel no matter what length. If your using chokes or what not. I would say go with what makes you feel good. If you wanna spend the money for another barrel to loose the 2 inches, go with it. I got nothing on the stock part..

Dave McC
March 28, 2006, 08:53 AM
Shoot what you have for now. BA/UU/R.

Earn some expertise, then decide what will improve your performance and/or comfort and what will just remove money from your wallet with a soft, sucking sound.

870s are like Erector Sets. The modular design makes it easy to take them apart and reconfigure for a specific mission or just to see what happens.

Or just because. We're all gearheads and love to tinker.

As to your queries, plastic is less amenable to modification than lumber. You may need to adjust fit and wood's the thing there.

Most clay fanatics use the longest barrels possible. Casey Atkinson, top female SC shooter, wields 32" barrels on her O/U. She's maybe an inch taller than Tinker Bell.

A decent smith will install a sling stud for maybe $15.


March 28, 2006, 01:00 PM
The sling swivel studs are a breeze to install. I had my gunsmith explain to me a while back and since I have done several. I get swivel studs for $5 a set at the gunshop. The most important thing is to drill your buttstock hole no less than a couple inches from the end of the butt or you risk cracking it if you are too close to the edge. And make sure you go straight into the surface of the wood on the butt acording to the angle of the butt not straight verticle like you will be standing. All you need is a tape messure, pencil, center punch, and drill. No beer till afterwards now.:D

March 30, 2006, 10:32 AM
I use an 870 express to shoot dove skeet and sporting clays I have the synthetic stock because I use it. It's not a pretty gun but takes the handling well. After a 100 round sporting clays it bruise me up pretty good. Good luck and enjoy your shoot

March 30, 2006, 10:47 AM
I would shoot what you have for a while. A 28" barrel is a pretty flexible. Now if you were telling me you were mainly hunting dove, I might be more interested in a 26" barrel. The 28" will do great for clays and ducks.

As far as a sling, they make some that do not need to be permanently mounted to the gun. They would great for short trips out to the blind and then you remove them. Since you generally are trying to make shots from a slinged position in dove hunting or duck hunting, the removeable slings work pretty well.

March 30, 2006, 11:51 AM
Synthetic stock isn't really much of an investment, that wood will do fine for duck. If I were you (remember, I'm not, do what fits you) I'd just paint the whole thing. I'm getting ready to do my express as a mof.

March 30, 2006, 01:07 PM
I shoot trap a couple of times a week and am killing them with my 870. :D The slow action is actually a help for me. It is all synthetic. Advantages of synthetic--I don't worry a bit about hurting it. I don't have to run back to the club house just cuz it is threatening to sprinkle a little. Disadvantage--the felt recoil was making me pretty sore and was hard for me to get 200 shots in. Solution--put some weight in the butt stock and it helped immensely. Also, you might want to put a little weight up front so you can stay down on your shot. Can't tell you how fun it is to go out on the line and knock those guys with their $5000+ guns on their you-know-whats with my little ol' 870.
I also have a 30" barrel--love it too. And, I'm only a couple of inches taller than Tinker Bell.
Yahoooo! Good luck and keep shooting!

Let add something here--went to shoot today and was trying out a Perazzi MX8. BEAUTIFUL weapon that shot well. Still like my 870.

April 13, 2006, 06:25 PM
Barrel length is a matter of preference. Swamp or boat hunting the shorter barrel is nice. However, the longer the barrel, the heavier the barrel. The heavier weight allows more momentum which helps you swing through the duck as you should. Also, the longer non-ported barrels are more polite to hunters in the blind with you as it will let them hear for a longer period of time. Two inches probably doesn't matter.

April 13, 2006, 07:39 PM
My wood stock has been submersed long enough for me to climb out of the boat and go under and grab it...And has been in the rain and snow...no problems...No major nicks or dings either...I let non hunters that hunt with us use it sometimes, tough life, no problems with the wood.

April 13, 2006, 09:32 PM
I have an 870 w/ a wood stock that is now approaching 20 yrs. old.
I have put it through less than ideal conditions:rolleyes: (Dropped it in pond, Dropped it 20ft. out of tree stand, left in snow,etc. etc.) and it still works perfectly.:)
IMHO, I would worry about the synthetic cracking or getting brittle in colder weather. I don't know where you live...but my 870 gets used for everything I hunt, year round and I've never had a single problem.
As far as a sling goes:
Have a 'smith install a stud then buy a sling that would attach to a replacement end cap.

Kind Regards,

April 13, 2006, 10:30 PM
If you have the 870 express, I also would just paint it. If it is the Wingmaster, I would change the stock. I would not screw up the nice wood on the Wingmaster, but the Express uses a lower grade wood and painting it won't hurt its value.

Shoot it with the 28" barrel before you decide to change. You might find that you hit just fine with it.

April 13, 2006, 11:15 PM
Can someone explain why you all want to paint a perfect gun ? I have shot several different shotguns at ducks both In the blind and sitting along the bank under a tree .I have a stainless red label that has dropped several 100-1000 ducks and geese why paint .just Don't wave the thing around and you will be FINE just do not cut the value of the Gun in 1/2 . A hunting buddy of mine had his powder coated with a camo pattern he went to swap it off a year later and no shop would offer him $50 for it they all told him it was worth 150 - 175 original and it was a junk 835 Mossberg . Needless to say he still has it and just had a 24 inch barrel done for it and uses it as a turkey gun.

April 13, 2006, 11:51 PM
Either there is more behind the story or the gun just wasn't in demand. I've never seen a good camo job half the value of a shot-gun. The 870 express will last this guy the rest of his natural life, and from what I've read I havn't gotten the impression that he meant to sell it. Camo does give you a few inches when hunting. Your statement was the equivilant of "i kill ducks just fine not wearing camo, even though I might kill quite a few more if I wore some".