View Full Version : What to look for in a used pump?

April 20, 2006, 01:35 PM
I'm thinking of purchasing an 870 for skeet shooting/home defense. What barrel length would be optimal for both? I'm kinda poor at the moment, due to college.

As such, I was thinking of buying used. What all should I check for when looking at a used pump shotgun? How much does round count matter?

April 20, 2006, 02:45 PM
What to look for in a used pump?

The Remington 870 rollmark on the left hand side of the receiver.

April 20, 2006, 03:21 PM
Skeet and HD are the two ends of the continuum as far as barrel length goes. HD you want short 20" to 24". Skeet, trap, and sporting clays you will tend want to the long barrels 28" or so. The 870 platform is nice because you will get the capability to change out barrels easily. $100-$150 per replacement barrel and you can swap to full rifled(Sabot slugs), Ultra full(turkey loads), short with IC choke(good HD). Realistically, a 28" can work for both, but it will be less maneuverable in a HD situation.

As far as mag count goes, for skeet all you will need is 2. The standard model should be fine, I belive it is around 5+1. In HD you are not likely to clear 8 or 9 rounds a riot gun holds before the BGs are down or fleeing.

All in all, a 28" with standard magazine (extensions can be added if you want them) should fit the bill. Removable choke tubes are a nice option that help you get the most out of your purchase without buying or swapping barrels.

I am a Mossberg Man myself, just personal preference the 870 is a sturdy and reliable gun too. Check the slide for wiggle and excessive wear it should be smooth and easy. Watch signs of rust and rebluing. Original finish is best. I know the college crunch I am just getting over it myself. Shop around, you should be able to find a good deal. There are a lot of 870's available.

Good luck with your purchase!

April 20, 2006, 03:24 PM
A pump is a lot easier to buy used than a semi...Pretty much what you see is what you get...

April 20, 2006, 06:00 PM
Okay, so if longer barrels are for skeet and shorter for HD, how exactly does one practice with a 20" shotgun? Is it really so much harder to skeet shoot with a shorter barrel?

April 20, 2006, 06:07 PM
I shoot skeet with an 18.5 inch barrel, and once you get used to it, it's easy as pie. I actually prefer the 18.5 over my 28 for skeet.

It's more about fit, barrel lenght isn't that big of a deal because you don't look at the barrel.

April 20, 2006, 06:17 PM
ruger dude....

so dove hunting wouldnt be bad with the 18.5?

April 20, 2006, 07:39 PM
I don't know much about dove hunting, but if a cylinder choke will do the job, barrel length isn't gonna be a huge deal if you're used to it.

However, I never said that it was good for dove hunting, only skeet. I have personal experience in skeet using an 18.5in. barrel. Also, you'll notice that the thread started doesn't say he wants to use the gun for dove hunting.

Sorry if you're asking a serious question, but I kinda have to treat it as sarcasm for now since I have no knowledge of dove hunting.

April 20, 2006, 09:28 PM
If money is an issue, you don't need a sexy short barrel. Sure it would be nicer inside a house, but plenty of MFers have been dusted with 26-30" barrels. A stock 870 or 500 is all you need. Everything else that can be modded is merely a want.

April 20, 2006, 09:51 PM
Hmmm, I've noticed you aren't getting a lot of straight answers to your question, and I am part of that problem and I apologize.

Anyway, as far as what to look for, you really want to just feel it. Rack the slide and if it isn't smooth, ask the seller why or just look inside while you rack the slide to see if anything is amiss. Pump-guns are amazingly simple so not a whole lot can break.

The finish may be ugly as sin, but if its got a smooth action it should serve you well. Plus if the finish is bad, you can probably get the seller to drop their price a little.

Round count doesn't really matter (most sellers probably won't know how many shells they've put through it anyway) just as long as the gun is in working order and locks up nicely.

Dave McC
April 21, 2006, 07:40 AM
Round count matters not a whit in an 870. Actual working life seems to hover around 250,000 rounds. That's not a misprint.

Even a Mossberg 500 should be good for far more rounds than most ever see. Stick with name brands and do not be tempted by stuff made outside the US.

Oft, a great deal resides in a crudded up package. Old Police cruiser guns are usually near new inside and banged up outside.

Two of mine started out in LE. One was an Arlington, VA cruiser and the other was posted on the walls at the MD Pen. Total round count between them has to be more than 20K, and glitchless...