View Full Version : 870 serial code question

December 8, 2006, 08:05 PM
does the W in the serial code of an 870 mean its a wingmaster?

Lee Lapin
December 12, 2006, 07:03 PM
870 serial number codes (last letter in the serial number being the code) do have meanings, but W is not for Wingmaster- it means the frame of the gun in question is a full size 16 gauge frame set up for 2 3/4" shells.



February 19, 2007, 05:52 AM
Follow-up question...

This Brownells page (http://www.brownells.com/aspx/ns/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=12710&title=SYNTHETIC+SHOTGUN+STOCK) for Speedfeed stocks says:
Please Note: Remington 20 ga. guns with serial numbers ending in “K” or “U” are a small frame and require a 20 ga. stock set. 20 ga. guns with serial numbers ending in “X” or “N” are a large frame and require a 12 ga. stock set.Does anyone know into which category the new Express Synthetic 18" 20-gauge (mfr. #81100) falls? If they happen to be the latter, and take 12-ga.-sized stuff, that opens up a host of possibilities with regard to tactical accessories...

Dave McC
February 19, 2007, 08:58 AM
20 gauge Expresses are all on the small frame. The switch occured in the 70s, IIRC...

March 19, 2007, 02:11 PM
Answers are right on. Related (somewhat): Does anyone have a source of manufactured years for Remingtons? I have for other makes.
I also have codes for bbls that indicate month of manufacture of the bbl ... whatever that is worth.

March 20, 2007, 10:33 AM
I have an 870 police magnum that has a ser. number ending in "M". Does that mean magnum? Thanks,

Lee Lapin
March 20, 2007, 09:24 PM
The only reliable way to get a born-on date for an 870 is to call the nice folks at Remington on their toll free number and ask. There are barrel codes that give dates, but barrels are oft interchanged freely on 870s, so those dates might not be reliable.

And yes, the M terminating the serial number means it's a 12 ga. magnum (3" capable) receiver. It still needs a barrel with at least a 3" chamber tho...


March 20, 2007, 09:43 PM
Wingbone. Jerry Kuhnhausen's shop manual sez the 'M' designiates a full size 12g frame and it was originally chambered for 3" shell. The 3" is a bbl dependency as you can put a 2 3/4" chambered bbl on an 'M' frame. I have one that I use that way. Bought the 870 w/o a bbl. The ejection ports are the same as both are "full size 12g frames". Ports are 3". At one time I thought the magnum frames were beefed up, but if so it is sure not obvious. So, why not a 3" chambered bbl on a gun originally for 2 3/4" ... have not tried that. And, while I have a few 870's handy I do not have a 3" chambered bbl. BUT, you should not use 3" shells in bbls marked for 2 3/4" shells regardless the frame markings as upon firing the longer shell can open and overlap too much forcing cone. Don't know if the pressue is enough to ruin a bbl and won't experiment on mine! Thus, a safety concern is if some picks up a Magnum 870 desinated frame that has had a 2 3/4" bbl installed and sticks in a 3 " shell w/o checking bbl designation, then .... And, yes there is enough room to closr the action.
Waht is the case for a magnum? I shot ducks and geese for years with 2 3/4 " and 2 3/4 'magnum' loads. Killed 'em. Yep, lead shot days.
Someone else????

Lee Lapin
March 23, 2007, 07:51 AM
The only real structural difference I know of between the V suffix (2.75") and M suffix (3") receivers is that the ejector is riveted a bit further back in the Magnum receivers.

All 870 receivers do is keep parts in the proper places, essentially, and define their movement as the action is cycled. All the pressure of the shell being fired is contained in the chamber by the bolt, which is locked into the barrel extension (not the receiver) by the locking block.


December 31, 2010, 11:57 PM
What if the suffix is a B
can it still shoot a 3" shell?