View Full Version : Which 870 is best for me?

September 23, 2007, 01:12 PM
Hey guys,

This will be my first pump shotgun purchase, all of my other shotguns are over/unders and i have them at home. I want to buy a relatively inexpensive 870 to use for trap/skeet shooting while i am here at college (dont worry, i have proper storage all set up.)

I also want for it to satisfy these needs:
1. like i said before, i want to use it for trap/skeet.
2. i want a shotgun to use for hd when i get home.
3. i want for it to be able to have removable chokes for hunting, capable of taking nything from turkey to pheasant to deer with slugs.

Thanks guys,
i know this is kindof a dumb question but im really not familiar with any of the pump shotguns. and if its neccesary to have "magnum" or anything like that.

September 23, 2007, 01:44 PM
The base "express" is all anyone could need from a pump unless you are chasing geese. I'd love to have a minty "wingmaster", but that's just fer curb appeal.

September 23, 2007, 04:30 PM
express is great but if you don't mind the extra money, the wingmasters are a bit better. standard 870's will handle 2 3/4 and 3"s, which is plenty unless you're hunting geese, then you want the super mag

September 23, 2007, 05:23 PM
the wingmasters are a bit better

How so?

September 24, 2007, 03:13 PM
I disagree on "needing" the super mag. I have an older 870 Wingmaster that handles up to 3" shot and it has yet to let me down on geese with conventional steel shot. Granted these are relatively close shots over decoys but it drops them with authority. I have done long range goose hunting with 3" hevi-shot with no difficulty as well.

The difference between a wingmaster and an express 870 is mostly finish and the express has a plastic trigger group. They shoot the same and have the same reliability.

One thing to watch for (not from personal experience, just what I have heard) is the finish on the express is not as durable as the wingmaster. If you have an express you need to be Johnny On the Spot about wiping it down if it gets wet or it is more likely you will have rust issues.

September 24, 2007, 03:30 PM
You need one of these combo's:


I would go with the 26'' 12ga myself.

September 24, 2007, 04:35 PM
The Wingmaster has a polished blued finish and has nice wood. The finish is the difference in price, more work is put into the gun.

The express model has a rough (Tactical:rolleyes:) finish that IMHO is no more resistant to rust than the nicer blued finish of the Wingmaster. At least my express tends to "Bloom" while the Wingmaster next to it in the safe is just fine (With a goldenrod in residence). The express comes with either plastic "Furniture" or a plywood stock that is not fit for kindling. Internal parts on the express may not work smoothly and may need some tweaking.

Older Wingmasters are increasing in price, when you can find them.

I would recommend a Wingmaster with the 28" light contour barrel (W choke tube threads) and a second "Slug" barrel for social situations.

Do not waste money on Marine Magnums, tactical models or 3.5" mag models.

Just my opinion of course.

September 24, 2007, 08:49 PM
+1 on buying the express combo, you can do virtually anything with it

September 25, 2007, 04:34 PM
I would opt for the black synthetic stock since it will wear better than the wood. 3" is all you need. If you want the 3.5" capability, you could always get the 870 Exp. Super-Mag.

September 25, 2007, 06:03 PM
You know which pump-action shotgun you need?...a Mossberg M500. You can get a combo with an 18 inch barrel and a regular barrel with IC, M and F chokes as well as a 3 inch chamber standard.

I have been whoopin geese with three inch magnum BBB shot and skeet with little wee light trap loads. Never an FTE or FTF in well over 500 rounds since I bought it.

Zombie Steve
September 26, 2007, 04:10 PM
I like the Mossbergs too, but my 870 express has never let me down in 15 years. I'm taking it turkey hunting Tuesday.
The finish isn't the best, so I came up with a $9 solution.

Edit: buffed that shine off with a little steel wool after the picture was taken.

Dave McC
September 26, 2007, 08:44 PM
Any 870 is a good shotgun. Many are GREAT shotguns.

In your shoes,I'd look fpr a used Wingmaster first, then an Express. Either will do, the WMs are oft good to look at.

Consider buying a used 870 and an extra barrel so you've one short barrel for HD and maybe deer and one long barrel with choke tubes for clays and hunting.


September 26, 2007, 10:05 PM
I have the 870 Express Super Mag and it's been a great gun for several years. I found out that a 3.5 inch shell is overkill for anything. I bought a slug barrel for it and it serves as one of my all purpose guns.

September 26, 2007, 10:11 PM
Do not waste money on Marine Magnums, tactical models or 3.5" mag models.

Can you explain in greater detail of your opinion on why this is a waste? Are the XCR and Marine Magnums just gimmicks in your exp?


September 27, 2007, 08:31 PM
I have two 870s. Both express. One with a wood stock and one with a synthetic stock. The reciol is noticble harder with the synthetic stock.

September 28, 2007, 04:56 PM
Someone joked earlier that the new Express models come with the "plywood" stock.:) I assume he is talking about the laminate stock which now comes on the Expres lines. IMHO, the "plywood" stock I saw at my dealer is 100% aesthetic improvement over the rough birch wood stock set which came on my 870 Express from the early 1990's. I still love the old ugly 870 Express though.;) Like'd it so much, I bought three more

October 21, 2007, 04:34 AM
Just buy whatever barrel length and stock configuration you prefer. You cannot go wrong with an 870. I have been hunting hard with mine for 33 years, and it's still in great condition.