View Full Version : What Is The Big Deal About The 870?

March 31, 2006, 06:47 PM
Everyone here says it's the best pump shotgun. Fine, tell me what is so good about it. Why is it better than Winchesters pump? Why is it better than mossberg's pump. Honestly I'd like to know why there seems to be ZERO debate about this except when the nova is mentioned. Then it's always "time will tell".

As for reliability, does the 870 have any stats for its durability? 500K rounds without cleaning? Anything like that?

March 31, 2006, 07:26 PM
Well, I've had several thousand thru mine, been thru rain, snow, ice, mud, full submersion, and even being dropped out of a moving truck (not by me I assure you) and the only problem I've ever had is amatures half shucking.

March 31, 2006, 07:33 PM
If you have to ask...........well you just wouldn't understand. :D

Actually any of the big names will do you just fine. Mossberg, Winchester, Benelli etc. The 870 has been sold in huge numbers and I think many of us have seen 870s that have no business working due to damage or abuse, just chugging right along. The are kind of the pump benchmark through a combination of actual capability and a little mythos thrown in for good measure.

I am an 870 guy so take this for what it is worth. I have never actually seen an 870 go down, NEVER. Not that it doesn't happen I just haven't seen it.


March 31, 2006, 07:38 PM
I've put over 500 rounds through my 870 on weeklong hunting trips before cleaning it. Is that what you're looking for?

I don't know, it's just a simple, clean design in an affordable package. :)

March 31, 2006, 07:51 PM
For the price, its the best,and at any price, its a contender. The 870 is totally dependable.
One additional factor is that there are more aftermarket mods, parts, and accessories for the 870 than for any other brand.

March 31, 2006, 07:52 PM
As for reliability, does the 870 have any stats for its durability? 500K rounds without cleaning?

Actually one of the editors of Guns magazine went something like 865,351 rounds without cleaning and the gun only started to exhibit problems with shuck getting tough towards the end. :eek:

March 31, 2006, 07:53 PM
Alright I am just jacking with you. I have seen an 870 using a bottle cap as a magazine follower though and it ran fine. :D

Its a good solid gun.

March 31, 2006, 08:04 PM
It's an experiance and reputation thing. If it were a -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- shotgun, word would get around. Well if it's a good shotgun word gets around too.:)

We own an 870 and a Winnie. I feel that either of those is about equal durability wise. I like the action of the Win better than the 870 though. I like the trigger of the 870 better, I like the way the sidesaddle attaches to the 870 better than the Win. The Win dis/re-assembles easier than the 870.

All new Mossbergs seem nice. All older Mossbergs are loose as a goose so the durability is just not there. Or such has been MY experiance with them.

March 31, 2006, 08:40 PM
It's the AK47 of shotguns, it's cheap, extremely reliable, and can be tossed around and still go bang.

March 31, 2006, 08:59 PM
Did I meniton mine is wood? No synthetic for me. Wouldn't touch a benelli, they're okay, I just never cared for them. All of the mentioned make great guns, it's just all in the shooter. The only downside to mossberg (I really don't find it as a downside) is it's recoil reputation. Mossberg would be my second choice 12 ga followed by the browning gold.

April 1, 2006, 12:50 AM
I've handled all the major shotguns at the local trap/skeet range... Winchester, Benelli, Browning, Beretta, Mossberg, Ithaca and of course Remington.

I've shot many rounds through a Mossberg, a Winchester, an Ithaca and my own 870.

The practical differences are probably mostly ergonomic...

But the 870 always "feels" the best to me, possibly because I own one, but definitely because they are solid, ultra-ultra-dependable shotguns with a great action and quality parts.

I have seen guns with 100K+ rounds through them with almost no cleaning, usually as "the barn gun," and they were universally flawless in operation, though rarely so in finish.

Maybe it's just their common-ness and their exceptional reputation together... and it's completely possible that there are similar Mossbergs and Winchesters and Ithacas etc. out there with similar quality and reliability... you just never hear about them.

The Remington 870 has simply proven itself over and over. Obviously, I can't sing its praises enough... both from my own great experiences, and the many I've heard over the years from myriad friends, acquaintences and strangers.

April 1, 2006, 04:04 AM
I look at it this way " If it ain't broke don't fix it"

April 1, 2006, 10:27 AM
and the only problem I've ever had is amatures half shucking.


April 1, 2006, 10:42 AM
One difference between the Remington and Winchester 1200/1300 series is that the Winchester uses an aluminum alloy receiver while the Remington is steel. Some say that makes a difference, but the old 1200 I have with something like 20K rounds through it doesn't show any signs of slowing down.

I have both an 870 (20g) and a Winchester 1300 (12g). The action on the Winchester is smoother and the trigger of the 870 is crisper. Ergonomically it's hard to compare a light 20 with a 12 but the 870 does feel much better in terms of being the right fit.

Used Winchester 1200's with 20" tubes sell around here for about $225 and make terrific home defense guns.

April 1, 2006, 11:34 AM
BillCA, do you have any idea when they started making the receivers out of aluminum? Our Win is steel. I just checked it with a magnet. We bought it new in the late 70's. (I think it's value just went up:D )

April 1, 2006, 12:07 PM
When my father and I took up shooting trap/skeet, we both went out and bought 20 gauge shotguns. I bought a Winchester 1300 and he bought a Remington 870. Having shot and cleaned both, I prefer the 1300. It seems to shoot quicker, has less recoil, break down easier, reassembled easier, came with more chokes, and cost less.

In all fairness, the 870 had a nicer slide (it was checkered and the 1300 was ribbed) and an easier to use slide release button. All-in-all, both were great guns. But in my humble opinion, the 1300 was a slightly better gun for slightly less money.

It seems to me that most people buy an 870, realize it's a great gun, and assume that nothing else could possibly be better.

P.S. My dad hated the 870. He sold it first chance he got.

April 1, 2006, 12:25 PM
you know you get alot of opions but it seems as if everbody is agreeing that the 870 is a great gun. me too. how many times does this happen

April 1, 2006, 01:22 PM
Yep. Everybody can't be lieing!

April 1, 2006, 01:45 PM
and the only problem I've ever had is amatures half shucking.


People who aren't familiar with pump guns pumping enough to eject the shell but not enough to let the next shell fully chamber. The front of the shell jams on the tube.

April 1, 2006, 02:22 PM
Why the Remington 870 is the King of Modern Pump Shotguns:

From 1900 to the early 1960's the police shotgun market was shared by Winchester and Remington.
Winchester had the larger share, with a few makes like Ithaca, High Standard, and Stevens having at least a "toe hold" in the market.

In those days, pump shotguns were made of forged and milled steel, and as such, were pretty well 'bullet proof". Since the guns were so strong, they were all very reliable, and lasted for years in service.
Coupled with the fact that most departments didn't put guns in patrol cars, and the guns tended to see little use back then, the typical police shotgun lasted just about forever.
This meant that police choice came down to price, and the people doing the selection's personal likes and dislikes.

The great "Sea Change" started in 1950 when Remington introduced the Model 870.

This was the first shotgun made with modern production methods.
Although Remington used high-speed production methods, the gun still used a forged steel receiver, and robust fabricated parts.
So although the smaller parts weren't milled steel, they were sturdy and foolproof.

The problems started when the other gun makers realized that they could no longer continue to produce the old milled steel "tanks", and designed new guns made with stamped parts, and then, cast aluminum receivers.

The simple fact was, that although the designs looked good on the drawing board, and often stood up to civilian sporting use, they simply couldn't take the abusive use police put them to.

Exacerbated by the fact that police began to put shotguns into patrol cars as "standard equipment", the new stamped and fabricated guns failed to stand the use and abuse.

The worst example of a miscalculation was Winchester's loss of the police market they once dominated.

In 1964 Winchester made the notorious decision to change their entire line of firearms to allow cheaper production.
Prior to this, Winchester had a large share of the police market with their 1897 and 1912 Models.
Because of the incredible durability and quality, it wasn't unusual to find departments that still used the '97, and the "average" police shotgun was a Model 12.

In 1964 Winchester introduced the new "Super gun" the Model 1200.
Like the other new generation of post-war guns, it used stamped and fabricated parts, and an aluminum receiver.

The gun was a disaster in police use.
The gun simply failed to stand up to the treatment, and police departments made clear their dissatisfaction.

Winchester analyzed the failings of the 1200 and redesigned the gun, reissuing it as the Model 1300.

Unfortunately the 1300 also failed in service.
The problem wasn't a specific weakness that could be diagnosed and fixed, but was a systemic problem.
The gun simply wasn't durable enough.

Police departments first complained, then "voted with their feet", by refusing to buy any more Model 1300 guns.
Since that fiasco, no police agency of any size has bought the Winchester Model 1300, and only a few small departments anywhere have used it.

The decision to stick with the 1200/1300 design cost Winchester their majority share of the police market, and through that reputation, Winchester lost their commercial share also.
Today Winchester is number three in shotgun production, well behind Mossberg, who is well behind Remington.

In the 1980's Mossberg began to surge in shotgun sales, and made a move on the police market.
Unfortunately their model 500 suffered the same fate as the ill fated Winchester 1200/1300.
The Model 500 also failed to stand the treatment.

Mossberg succeeded where Winchester failed, by upgrading and beefing up the 500 into the more sturdy 590 versions.

By this time however, Remington had captured the lion's share of the police market with their remarkable Model 870.
The heavier internal parts, and the steel receiver did stand the abusive police treatment, and has built an unequaled reputation for always working, and durability.

Remington's reputation allowed them to capture an estimated 95%-Plus of the police market, and this in turn, helped them to secure the larger part of the commercial sporting market.

The last numbers I saw, indicate that Remington made almost TWICE the number of shotguns that their nearest competitor, Mossberg, made.

Other companies suffered problems similar to Winchester.
S&W decided to branch out into other markets, including an attempt to capture most the police equipment market.
With that in mind, S&W started up an ammunition and holster line, along with their handcuff and other equipment lines, and went after the police shotgun market.

The first S&W pump gun was the disastrous Model 916, which did serious damage to the companies reputation.

Determining to do a better job next time, S&W imported a Japanese Howa-made gun known as the Model 3000.
Basically a "clone" of the 870, the 3000 did better in the market, and for a time was a "status symbol" among individual police officers who purchased it.

However, the 3000 also fell prey to the street cop durability monster, and failed to stand up.
Shortly thereafter, S&W dumped the ammo, holster, and shotgun lines, so they could "get back to our core business of pistols".

The Howa was passed on to Mossberg, who failed to aggressively market it, and the gun soon sank into oblivion.

Other gun companies also failed the police test. Among them were High Standard, who's innovative Model 10A and 10B bullpup guns failed due to high price and reliability problems.

Savage/Stevens guns failed to sell to the police, and Browning made no effort in the police market at all.

Only Ithaca retained any share at all with their Model 37, but quality control problems, and a lack of adaptability finished them.

By now, Remington's 870 has such a reputation and actual proven performance, it's unlikely any competitor will shake their dominance of the market, at least as long as police continue to use pump shotguns.
Remington's design team's genius has given the company a market share and dominance Glock and other gun companies can only marvel at.

Although there are the usual disputes as to shotgun brands among civilian owners, there is no doubt about who who makes the most durable and reliable gun.
The fact that you have to look long and hard to find a law enforcement agency that DOESN'T use the 870, tells the tale.

The police did "vote with their feet" and it wasn't because they liked the way the Remington salesmen smiled.

All this points up the keys to the firearms market:
1. Design a sturdy, reliable, no-nonsense, firearm.
2 Insure the production quality makes good use of the design.

Most companies either came up with a substandard design, or failed to obtain and maintain quality production.
Those that did neither succeeded.

The results are there to be seen.
High Standard is a memory, Savage/Stevens is a never-was, and Ithaca fought a good fight, but sank without a ripple.
S&W makes nice pistols.
Mossberg is selling a few guns to departments based on nothing but their cheaper pricing.

Remington skips to the bank with more than 95% of the police market in pump guns.

On the sporting side, most any shotgun will last the average owner a life time.
It's in the "non-average" shooters that the Remington 870 also stands out.

People who shoot clay birds put tens of thousands of rounds through a gun in a year's time, and it's not unusual to find shooters with 100,000 rounds through a gun.

Most of the aluminum framed, stamped internals guns begin to fail between 50,000 and 75,000 rounds at best.

There are a VERY few shooters who will tell you that the 870 MAY begin to develop receiver cracks at around 250,000 to 500,000 rounds.
That's a service life of One Quarter of a Million Rounds.

While few shooters will ever wear out any pump gun, the Remington has a record starting in 1950 of being the toughest, most durable, most trouble free pump gun made, and this reputation is not based on opinion.

It's based on actual use by police, sportsmen, and military shooters for over 55 years.
It's the gun chosen by the police for issue to abusive street cops, BY CHOICE, not for it's price.

When more than 95% of someone is using ONE product to the near-exclusion of anything else, even when it costs MORE, you have to figure they know something.

Bottom line is, if you're an ordinary shotgunner, most any American-made gun will last you for a life time.

If you want the best, or you're in a situation where durability and reliability is a matter of life and death, you buy the best gun with the best reputation you can, and that gun is PROVEN to be the 870.

April 1, 2006, 06:22 PM
Hi D,
When you have more time, sit down & tell us the rest of the story. :D

April 1, 2006, 06:35 PM
Oh, man. It took me ten minutes to read that history lesson. I thought I had enough shotguns, but now I think I'm gonna have to go out and get me one of them 870's.

April 1, 2006, 06:37 PM
Dfariswheel, thankyou very much.

April 1, 2006, 06:39 PM
Which model made in the 70's had exploding barels? Didnt they have a recall or something? I thought I heard it was the 870. Or maby it was a winchester pump......:confused:

April 1, 2006, 06:40 PM
Although there are the usual disputes as to shotgun brands among civilian owners, there is no doubt about who who makes the most durable and reliable gun.
The fact that you have to look long and hard to find a law enforcement agency that DOESN'T use the 870, tells the tale.

When more than 95% of someone is using ONE product to the near-exclusion of anything else, even when it costs MORE, you have to figure they know something.

While this line of thought may be true for the 870, it certainly isn't a universal truth. For example, I don't know the statistics but feel comfortable saying that Harley-Davidson is the department ride of the vast majority of m'cycle cops...yet even the most die-hard brand loyalist will not argue that they are the most reliable and well-made bikes available.

April 1, 2006, 07:05 PM
Edward 429451: Either you've got an extremely rare (prototype?) 1300 or a faulty magnet. Winchester introduced the 1300 in 1978 and, in my experience and from all the reference material I've seen, it has always been made with an aluminum alloy receiver. I'd certainly be interested in seeing any counter documentation.

April 1, 2006, 07:13 PM
No such thing as a "faulty magnet that sticks to alum)..Might have some steel parts...Or the shaft on the end of the barrel that goes into the reciever.

April 1, 2006, 07:36 PM
The "faulty" magnet quip was intentionally faceitious. Still would like to see evidence of a steel 1300 receiver.

April 1, 2006, 08:41 PM
Its cheap, it works well, and parts are available everywhere. More exotic alley brooms will usually work equally well, but they are often more expensive, and harder to get fixed.

April 1, 2006, 08:52 PM
The 870 is just an all-around damn-fine weapon that keeps proving itself over and over. Had mine for years, can't even estimate how many tens of thousands of rounds I've put through it. It looks quite a bit rougher than it ever did new, but it performs the same now as it did the first day I bought it--smooth and reliable.

April 1, 2006, 09:26 PM
The Infamous, Remington "exploding barrel" was a case of corporate bean counters deciding to pay off some predatory lawyers rather than fight it out in court.

The lawyers were a group that makes a living picking a juicy company, finding a supposed "defective product", basically hiring "clients" on whose behalf to sue, then raising the ante by making it one of the infamous Class Action law suits to put the pressure on.

Remington blinked, and the pay off was owners of "defective" 870 shotguns got $20.00 and the lawyers walked off with millions in cash.

The argument was, Remington's barrels were too thin and "exploded".
Not mentioned was the little fact that the barrel first had to be plugged with mud or a 20 gauge shell dropped in the barrel before the 12 gauge.

In any event, to Remington's regret, they allowed themselves to be extorted, and this came back to bite them in the famous "defective Model 700 safety" case.
There were also thinly veiled hints from other makers that Remington's guns were unsafe, and Remington nearly lost some police contracts to the whisper campaign.

In the Model 700 case, some incompetent kid shot and killed another.
The family claimed the Model 700 safety was defective.

I seem to recall that Remington had learned it's lesson, fought and won this one largely based on the proven safety of the rifle AS LONG as no one had tampered with the trigger trying for a "better" pull, and on the fact that in order to shoot someone, you first have to point a loaded gun at them and pull the trigger.

April 1, 2006, 09:49 PM
The argument was, Remington's barrels were too thin and "exploded".
Not mentioned was the little fact that the barrel first had to be plugged with mud or a 20 gauge shell dropped in the barrel before the 12 gauge.

After watching mythbusters I find even this feat hard to manage.

April 2, 2006, 01:32 AM
"Exploded" is lawyer-speak.

Sounds much better than "bulged" or "damaged".

April 2, 2006, 11:53 AM
Either you've got an extremely rare (prototype?) 1300 or a faulty magnet.

Ok, just talked to my bro and he confirmed for me that we bought this SG in 1976. It is a 1200.

It was a strong magnet I tried on it so maybe it was attracted to the steel parts inside the receiver? I'll check a little closer and see for sure.

April 2, 2006, 12:21 PM
Yeah, because the 1200 was also only made with aluminum receivers.

April 2, 2006, 12:42 PM
"The 870 is totally dependable."
That pretty much says it all...My 12 has been through the absolute worst I can throw at it and, still works as good as the day my father bought it.

He purchased it around 1984 if that helps any.

Not to mention it is the first gun I reach for to defend my home, hunt for dinner, shoot skeet, and a myriad of other things.

Oh yeah, it has put 5 slugs in a 2" group at 100yds. too!:D Unfortunately, I am not capable of such a feat.:(

April 4, 2006, 02:54 PM
What's the big deal about the 870?

As many have said, it is truly the best pump action shotgun on the planet. Remington did it right the first time with the 870...no need to change it.

That said, I don't like how they now use more plastic and have that damn lock on the safety...I sure hope they don't cheapen the 870 further...or make it more politically correct.

April 4, 2006, 03:10 PM
I don't like how they now use more plastic


April 4, 2006, 03:29 PM
After watching mythbusters I find even this feat hard to manage.


I don't like how they now use more plastic

I love my synthetic stocks, but I don't like the plastic trigger plate.

April 4, 2006, 04:00 PM
The trigger guard is plastic...or 'polymer'.

April 4, 2006, 06:36 PM
Remington guns in general are associated with the fines craftsmanship on the market... I have always been a remington man, living about 30 miles from Ilion, tons of people in my area work there, my old man has a 760 bicentenial(1976) one of 2,800 made, he has choice wood glossed and no checkering to emphasize the beautiful grain... His 870 wingmaster also has amazing wood and is glossed to perfection, a Remington product is not just a gun, those firearms are proudly displayed along with another 760 in my living room where they have been for some 25+ years.
Anyways back on topic, the 870 is definately know for quality, During shotgun season the 870 wingmaster in my home has taken more than a few bucks, i have a tasco mounted on it for long shots,(using a rifled slug barrel) and have raised open sights for those kicked up dear you need a shot at... I would never myself buy an 870 express, they are designed to be affordable but when youre buying a remington i would never stop short, its a life investment with a remington, my 760 '06 has been working for 3 owners and never fails me, if you want a gun known! to last lifetimes a 870 has proven itself with an aw inspiring field record, how can you go wrong?

April 5, 2006, 09:33 AM
Look at serial numbers and the condition of 870's in police use and realize how long in the tooth and still working great many of these guns are and then you will know why the 870 is so highly regarded ---- and remember the police shotgun is almost always nobody's gun --- they issue officers a pistol, few departments issue duty long arms --- they are more communal property --- and they get treated / cared for acordingly.

April 5, 2006, 04:38 PM
I’ve had several shotguns but the 870 is definitely my favorite hands down :D

Dave McC
April 9, 2006, 09:39 AM
I haven't seen a worn out 870, but then I'm only 59.

I got my first one from the folks in the 50s. Still have it, tight as a bank vault. MAybe 20K rounds through it, at least 15K.

Gpt a couple others closing in on it. Total rounds fired from these and agency weapons, at least 75K. SO FAR.....

Here's a few reasons why 870s are top dog in the Land Of Pumpguns.....

Great design. Darn near foolproof.

Modular designs means easy cleaning of all nooks and crannies. 100 shotguns are rendered useless by dirt and corrosion for every one shot to death.

Cost per shot is mere hundredths of a cent.

The stocks have a nigh magical ability to fit maybe 3/4 of the people shooting them.

Good triggers. Many a smith has made a living getting the triggers on other shotguns as good as those on most 870s as they leave Ilion.

"Chops". Even a dunce can learn the MOA in an hour or so. And with a few 100K in police use, many cops use 870s for recreation, carrying the "Muscle Memory" of their duty weapon back and forth to their HD weapons, Deer guns, etc.

Addons. Just about anything made for shotguns has a model made for 870s. One can get stocks made from polywhatever to Marblecake walnut sculpted to measure.

Longevity. 250K minumum.

Any questions?.....

April 9, 2006, 09:48 AM
Had it for 10 years. Shot it occasionally. Put it back in the closet. Shot it some more and so on and so on..... for 10 years.

Recently purchased another and cleaned it before i took it out for the first time. It occurred to me to clean my original as well.

Upon stripping my old 870 I found it had rust ALL through out the internals... the barrel... the inside of the actions bars.... etc...

It was working fine the entire time! You could have fooled me that there was rust all throughout its internals.

Cleaned her up and oiled it for the first time in 10 years... still ticking.

That is the only torture test worth knowing about to me... because i'm not going to be putting 500k rounds through mine. I'm going to shoot it then put it away and expect it to shoot the next time I need it... and thats what it does.

April 9, 2006, 11:59 AM
I think the 870 is the most reliable, versatile, well-handling pumpgun for the money. I do have a beef with the finish on the Express model. I'd get a Wingmaster next time. But, I still love mine. Mine has been through hell and back and still works like a dream. I have buddies who like their Mossbergs and Winchesters, but their outnumbered 5 to 1 by 870's. To each their own.

44 AMP
April 16, 2006, 07:22 PM
The Winchester Model 12 had the reputation as being the toughest shotgun going. And it was true. You couldn't wear one out, and you had to really work at it to break it. They would work under ALL conditions (if you knew how to work one;) ). Downside? Not the slickest working pumpgun. No disconnector. Expensive to make.

Since the model 12 went out of production some time ago, the torch has been passed. The Remington 870 has proven itself to be the world's premier pump shotgun for duty use, and pretty darned great for sporting use as well! Slicker than the model 12, and much as I love my old Winchesters, a better design as well. Of course, it is a bit of a younger design.

As a Small Arms Repairman for Uncle Sam, I was trained to work on the Rem 870, and the Winchester 1200. Never worked on an 870. Never had one break. Did work on 1200s, though. The alloy trigger guard wouldn't stand up well. Saw one with the guard bow broken, and several where the safety would fall out. There was a very thin piece of aluminium that would anchor the safety spring, and when this breaks, there is no spring tension on the safety, and if you tilt the gun, the safety button can fall out!:eek:

I won't own a win 1200:barf: , and even if the 1300 is better, can't see any reason to get one. Get an 870.

The Mossberg is cheap, and it works. But to me, it is like steamed rice. It fills you up, but if you can afford it, why not get something better.

April 22, 2006, 05:11 AM
LuckyATB wrote:
"While this line of thought may be true for the 870, it certainly isn't a universal truth. For example, I don't know the statistics but feel comfortable saying that Harley-Davidson is the department ride of the vast majority of m'cycle cops...yet even the most die-hard brand loyalist will not argue that they are the most reliable and well-made bikes available."

You're probably, but the answer there, I suspect, is that American government agencies, including law enforcement, are pretty much forced, for political reasons, to buy their equipment from American manufacturers if at all possible. There may be motorbikes better suited for police work out there, but chances are they're Japanese or perhaps German, which means no American LEA can seriously consider buying them. It's also why Beretta, Glock, H&K and SIG have subsidiary manufacturing companies in the US; no matter how good their products, if they're not made in the US, thereby providing jobs to American workers, no American government agency would buy them. (Actually, in this day and age, it's a bit of a joke; the Ford Crown Vic, that most ubiquitous of American police cars, is assembled in Canada, while Toyota and Honda have assembly plants in the US, but because Ford is an "American" brand and Toyota and Honda are "Japanese" brands, no American government agency will ever buy a Toyota or Honda. But I digress.)

But when it comes to shotguns, it's a different story. Mossberg, Winchester, Ithaca, et al. are all American, and Benelli and Franchi probably have American subsidiaries too these days, so Remington's competition can't be taken out of the running because they're foreign.

April 22, 2006, 10:12 PM
Interesting thread.

I have two 870s. They have treated me very well. Completely reliable.

I had no idea though, that they were held in such high esteem.


Death from Afar
April 23, 2006, 03:48 PM
Last weekend mine fired 1000 rds and did not jam once.

Well, actually thats true, SOMEONE fed a shell in it round the wrong way, which took a bit of leather man action to fix....

Quickdraw Limpsalot
April 30, 2006, 12:15 PM
The Mossberg is cheap, and it works. But to me, it is like steamed rice. It fills you up, but if you can afford it, why not get something better.

Because, to be frank about it, some folks prefer steamed rice to the alternatives.

April 30, 2006, 02:24 PM
Did someone say add-ons! I love mine.

May 8, 2006, 02:07 AM
What is a good site to see a complete line of add ons for the 870 ?

May 8, 2006, 04:16 PM
Brownell's Gunsmith Supply.

They carry above everything that's fit to have, from stocks, to extensions, to sights, to cleaning gear, to gunsmith manuals, to tools.

Order anything, and they'll send you a free catalog, which is the best "gun stuff" catalog in the world.


May 8, 2006, 05:11 PM
BobK - can you describe what you have there in your picture?

May 8, 2006, 06:56 PM
used the remmy and win both are great but i love my 870! (express combo) just got it thursday and love it:cool:

Death from Afar
May 8, 2006, 07:14 PM
Well, put it like this. Last time I went out night shooting my little 870 fired maybe 750 rds in 24 hours without a clean. It didnt jam once, cept when someone loaded a round in round the wrong way. They dont work so well, then.

May 10, 2006, 12:45 PM
I've had my 870, named "Alice" :cool:, for about a year now. I haven't kept track of how many rounds I've put through it but I use it pretty regularly, more than any of my other guns, and I've never cleaned it even once. It actually seems to shuck a little easier now than it did when it was new.

Having said that, my personal pick for the best fighting shotgun ever is the 8-shot variant of the Ithaca M37.

trigger happy
May 20, 2006, 08:37 PM
but I kept my Winchester 1300 Defender :)

May 21, 2006, 10:02 AM
I've never owned anything except Mossberg 500 variants, in 35 years of shooting, and I never had a problem with any, including some that were bought "well used" and I beat on them pretty hard. (I've shot the others though)

Having said that, I'm not sure there's aa arguable difference (except for price) between any of them. All are highly reliable, durable guns.

May 31, 2006, 06:03 PM
Love the posts. I was wavering between a Mossy 500 & and 870 Express. Looks like I'll pony up for the Wingmaster now. Shucks. (no pun intended) :D

trigger happy
May 31, 2006, 07:01 PM
does anyone ever regret buying the best ? (I still like my Winchester Defender though :) )

June 1, 2006, 12:31 AM
i still think the model 12 is the best and the 870 is runner up. but thats just my .02$

June 1, 2006, 01:50 PM
Another way to look at it is how good is the 870 when compared to other guns (not pump shottys) especially for the price.

June 1, 2006, 03:29 PM
That's sort of backward.
The 870 is the modern pumpgun all others are compared to.

June 1, 2006, 04:18 PM
870's are great, I have one,,, course Ithaca are great too,,, I got 3 of them.. all others are sorta wanna be's to me. No offence guys,, just my perverted opinion.

June 1, 2006, 07:58 PM
That said, I don't like how they now use more plastic and have that damn lock on the safety...I sure hope they don't cheapen the 870 further...or make it more politically correct.

Only 870 with any plastic on the trigger gaurd and with the lock which has now been discontinued on all new models is the express
If you want an old style heavy barrel (so thick you cant put a heatsheild on it unless you modify the sheild)with a parked finish metal controls top of the line feed assembly then the old 870 of the past that is carved out of a solid block of steel then you would be talking about the 870 police magnum which I couldnt make up my mind so i recently purchased 2 870p's one with wood furniture and one in synthetic the synthetic was $505 otd and the wood was about $565 there not cheap compared to the express and wingmaster but they are of a heavier construction then any other current brand and I have most of them including an old ithaca I got at the pawn shop for 65 bucks.

June 2, 2006, 05:49 PM
I have owned several 870's in past.

Now, it's just the one I bought yesterday.

It has spent it's lifetime bouncing around in a patrol car. Wish it could talk.

I'll clean it up this weekend, take it out next week and try a variety of ammo through it.

Hereafter, it will be in repose near my bedside.

June 2, 2006, 06:14 PM
Only 870 with any plastic on the trigger gaurd and with the lock which has now been discontinued on all new models is the express

I just bought a new express and it had the internal lock...

June 3, 2006, 01:13 AM
whats your production date?

I read a letter someone got from customer service saying the lock was going to be discontinued.

Just because you pick something up still in the box or sealed in the bag with oil doesnt mean it was manufactered in 06. I just picked up a ruger GP-100 new in box still seale din the bag full of oil and it was made in 03 most gun shops order from suppliers not directly from the factory.

June 6, 2006, 12:47 PM
I bought an 870 Wingmaster used. Payed a-like-new price for it. Looked like it had seen quite a bit of field use. Cleaned up just fine and is a great gun. It is nice and tight for a pump...a lot tighter than a new mossberg.

June 7, 2006, 12:03 AM
I don't think that the 870 is actually BETTER than say, a Mossberg 500. But, since it is (a) equally good, which is to say very good, and (b) there are more aftermarket doodads/customizations than other brands, (c) LEOAs overwhelmingly prefer them (for whatever reason; probably mostly due to good price), and (d) they are famous for their many excellent rifles as well (unlike mossberg or winchester) they get a reputation that is more than the sum of the parts, and it's a vicious cycle / self-fulfilling prophecy kind of thing going. The rich get richer. Still, it's an excellent shotgun!

June 7, 2006, 02:07 PM
Your reason "C" is wrong.
The 870P Police gun costs MORE than any other police pump shotgun.
The police do get better prices than "civilians" but then Mossberg also offers discounts to law enforcement.

Bottom line on this one is: You cannot make or sell a forged steel shotgun with heavier internals than you can make and sell a cast aluminum gun with stamped internals.
This is why the Mossberg "won" the government contract.
The sole deciding factory was price, and there was no way Remington could beat out Mossberg.

The police use the Remington because of it's 50 year history of standing up to the abusive treatment cops subject shotguns to, even though it costs more.
The Winchester 1300 also cost less than the 870, and after it's disastrous history in police use, no LE department of any size ever again bought the Winchester.

The reason more than 95% of all American law enforcement buy the 870 is it's the only gun yet developed that can stand up to the Night Watch version of "Hold my beer and watch this".
This is one case where quality and proven durability trumps price even to bureaucratic bean counters.

If you want to determine which is the more durable item, you put a few hundred thousand of them in the hands of cops for many years, then check the failure rate.
You can't argue with actual results.
The Mossberg 500 and the Winchester 1300 both failed in the "Real World" and LE refused to buy more of them.
The Mossberg 590 series is doing better, but the King of Reality is still the 870.

June 7, 2006, 08:58 PM

June 10, 2006, 10:31 PM
BobK - can you describe what you have there in your picture?

i'll venture a guess.

Knoxx SpecOps Stock
TacStar Side Saddle
TacStar Fore end

like i said, thats just a guess.:)