View Full Version : What the &%[email protected] wrong with this 870?!

January 21, 2008, 10:33 PM
Im about to snap....My buddy has an 870, brand new. 3" synthetic stock.....and its driving me INSANE! First to start...the action was really stiff, locking when rearward, and being snug whilst in the chamber. I told my buddy, its normal. Just break it in remington puts a substance on their guns to prevent rust. shoot it and break it in. About 150 shotshells later the shotgun still locks up in the chamber. Making it impossible to rack the action with one hand. I noticed the bolt moves fine (The locking lug is dis-engaged and the bolt begins to moce rearward when the forearm is pulled but stops about 1/8"Later when the extractor finally catches the rim of the shotshell) but the cartridge is whats getting stuck. I did a stock slam and it freed up. When we got home I took a bore brush on a drill to wear the chamber a bit and allow shotshells to slide out alright since I figured a new, tight chamber was the problem. No dice. Now after the shooting the locking lug fails to dis-engage when the trigger is pulled on a live cartridge(None of this happens when dry firing). You have to manually press the locking lug release to rack the action and discard the spent casing. My buddy said, "I wish I never bought this gun" Remington...Im dissapointed. This has been used for waterfowling if it makes a difference. Cleaned often nearly after every trip! Please help me im about to chuck this gun in the bay myself.

chris in va
January 22, 2008, 12:21 AM
Try different ammo. Also take apart the action to see if there's any binding on the moving parts.

January 22, 2008, 01:01 AM
hope you figure out whats causing the problem, thankfully i have never had a problem with any of my 870's.....

January 22, 2008, 01:05 AM
I agree, try different ammo. My Wingmaster 870 acted like that one time. PMC slug ammo. Gave away the rest of the PMC and it hasn't done it since.

January 22, 2008, 05:45 AM
Always hard to guess what gremlins are haunting a gun without seeing it. Besides different ammo try a different barrel if you have one. If a different barrel works might be something up with the chamber. Also take it apart look for anything that might look out of place like bad marring of parts. I have never had a problem with any ammo in my 870.

Dave McC
January 22, 2008, 08:09 AM
First, read the manual and follow the directions of what to do before shooting it.

Basically, it needs to be stripped down and soaked in lube to remove the rust preventative coating.

Then, if there's still issues, try different ammo.

I get asked a variant of this about once a week, Doing the above clears up almost all probs.

January 22, 2008, 08:24 AM
Had the same problem once in a 870 3 1/2 express magnum. It did exactly what you described for about 300 rounds. My gunsmith and I could never figure out what was causing the lock up. Time and 300 rounds finally made things loose. From what you say, however, it may seem that simply putting shells through the gun is not enough to loosen things up. If I was in your shoes, I send it back to Remington b/c they still have decent customer service.

January 22, 2008, 08:39 AM
Talk to Remington.

January 22, 2008, 03:22 PM
Dont know what ammo ya using, but if it is Winchester Superspeeds, stop useing it.. We have more trouble with pump guns getting stuck with those loads. Also scrup a dub the chamber real good, Try useing Federal shotshells, no problems with them..

January 22, 2008, 10:19 PM
weve mized up the ammo from black cloud 3" mags to X-Pert Hi-velocities in waterfowling...to remmy gun clubs on the skeet range. Its been getting better. Ill soak it like you suggested. Hope it works. Well take it to the range...Duck ssn is over but ill see if it works with skeet loads as well as the 20 HV steel loads I have left....Might as well use em on clays theyl just rust in the safe until fall. : D Im going this sunday Ill let you know what happens.

January 22, 2008, 10:36 PM
I am a remington fan, but the new aluminum 870 is a joke.

First is this the aluminum framed model?

If so, gunbroker is a good place to sell it and then buy an older steel framed model.

Second, strip the sucker completely apart and clean, clean, clean and clean some more.

This is also a good chance to inspect for damaged parts or possibly incorrectly machined/stamped parts (had a part on a trigger group from an 835 that needed to be deburred and then it worked and still works perfectly).

If you can't find anything wrong send it back to remington for repair. As long as you didn't do too much home gunsmithing they will usually repair for free or little cost, but if you exasperated the problem it will cost you.

Also, plus 1 for the federal shells. I normally shoot winchester factory loads for every thing else, but federal is the way to go in shotgun shells, had zero problems with federal, but winchester is hit and miss with all my guns from my citori, 1187, 1100, 870, 500, 835 in 12 ga and my 16ga Browning A5 and mossy bolt action to my ancietn stevens bolt and ithaca sxs in 20ga. Remington shot shells are overpriced and same quality as federal.



January 22, 2008, 10:59 PM
What the &%[email protected] wrong with this 870?!

It's not a Mossberg 590.

January 22, 2008, 11:14 PM
I would try and cycle the empty hull in another 870.
Also smoke a empty and cycle it and you may see the tight spot.

January 22, 2008, 11:15 PM
No, new 870s do not get a coating of rust preventive material, and they do not need to be stripped down & soaked in lube. :)

January 23, 2008, 08:09 AM
I dont understand why aluminum is worse....My chamber has been really tight during duck hunting season too (H&R 12 gauge pardner pump action)...A problem I didnt have last year. So my shotgun has been locking up in the chamber making me take 3 REALLY hard stock slams too free up the cartridge. Ill try the bore brush in the barrel again running oil through it....Maybe Ill have more luck this time. Ill also try the spent shotshell trick. See where the tight spot is. But what about the action? Why do I have to mannualy press the release??? Im going to fool with it and REALLY clean the heck out of it tonight. Well see whats up I know I can get this thing to work it just has a few hickups.

January 23, 2008, 10:41 AM
the aluminum framed models will have wear issues over time (s&W aluminum framed shotguns are notorious for this).Fit and finish looks piss poor to me on the newer guns (wonder if they farmed out all the cheaper models to some 3rd world gunmaker). The higher end models still are excellent.

Just looked at one of the 870 super mags the other day and was suprised and how sloppy it felt when cycling the action and the thing was just too light (synthetic stocked) and the lOP was setup for a kid and the buttstock was very narrow and small which is not what you want in a shotgun if you will be shooting 3.5" mags. Wide and large butt helps to distribute the recoil over a larger surface area, which makes felt recoil much more manageable.

January 23, 2008, 04:45 PM
I would think the culprit might be a small burr on the rim cut of your chamber. It's a fairly common malfunction with those shotguns and can easily be cured by shipping the gun to your nearest Remington Authorized Repair Center. If that's not the issue, their gunsmiths should be able to diagnose and fix the problems easily. If you need info on where to send/take it, call 800-243-9700. They can get you taken care of.

On a separate note...Frost, where in the world are you getting your information? There has never been an 870 built with an aluminum receiver...ever. They're still machined from 4140 steel in upstate NY.


January 23, 2008, 05:26 PM
Just got another 870 not to long ago, and it is made out of steel. Confirmed with a magnet! Never seen one made from aluminum.

January 23, 2008, 06:48 PM
sorry, my bad I just spoke with a remington rep and they confirmed that the aluminum was not in the frame itself, but in the components they assemble (I.e. slide bar, trigger group parts etc....).

Anyway, almost as bad as MIM, unless you are using aluminum that is 7071 8085 or something hard like that.

January 24, 2008, 07:26 PM
Chamber problem.My son had the same problem with his slug barrel on his 20ga. No burrs just the chamber was to tight.Didnt matter what brand of ammo.Locked up so tight actually pulled the extractor through the rim of the shell casing...His solution... Trade Dad barrels.:eek:

January 24, 2008, 09:08 PM
sorry wrong place

January 30, 2008, 05:22 PM
Could be a combination of the chamber and the shells. My 80's vintage wingmaster never caused me a problem till about 10 years ago when it suddenly started jamming or hanging up on the ejection port with Federal steel. Fiocche steel loads are are a bit sticky at times but nothing elses causes any problems.

February 3, 2008, 02:42 AM
Clean the hell out of the barrel... where the shell sits when firing.. the coating is prob still there from new.. you broke it in, now the coating is still there and dirty and hard.. clean it till the cleaning paper comes out white and clean. I would bet the prob will go away after that.. and not come back either.. even if you never cleaned it again.

February 4, 2008, 08:11 AM
and some steel wool wrapped around it on the chamber....Works fine. Shot great. Thanks for the help. I think the problem was rust.

February 4, 2008, 01:24 PM
another trick would be to chuck up the bore brush with the steel wool in a drill and run through the chamber (make sure to have some lubricating oil like clp or WD-40 on the steel wool and chamber). This should be done with care not to enlarge the chamber too large.

February 4, 2008, 01:27 PM
Remington does not use or leave a special "coat" of anything in or on the 870s. DFaris & I went the rounds on that a couple years back. His info was incorrect (very rare! :) ). I called Remington & clarified that their website was wrong and they do not ship the shotguns with any coating that needs to be removed or that impedes function. I've seen various threads where people have stated the guns have to be "soaked" in lube for a while to counteract this supposed coating. Remington told me that's not true.
At the same time, I obtained a brand new police model that worked perfectly out of the box & required nothing whatever in cleaning or "coat" removal. No additional lube, no special attention to anything, anywhere. I shot it exactly as it came, with slugs and buck.

A second comment here is that the "rust" various people find on new 870s is a residue of the finishing process and does not mean the guns are rusting.
Wipe the outside down well with a good oil, and you should get a brownish residue on your rag or patches the first time or two. Nothing to worry about.

I'd attribute problems such as yours more to individual QC than anything else.
If you've solved your problem, that's great. Otherwise I'd suggest calling Remington.

February 4, 2008, 02:17 PM
Its strange that you say that Rem does not soak there guns in anything before they ship them. Me and my friends all have shotguns, we go shooting alot. most all of us have 870s that we have had from new. Many of us have had the similar problem with a new gun being very hard to eject the spent shell.
The solution everytime has been:
- Shoot the the gun a bunch of times
- Go home and clean the hell out of it

Then the problem never comes back. I dunno maybe it just needs to be shot a bunch? and the cleaning is just a extra step?
I just dont know what else it could be? And like I said, I have friends who never clean there gun after the initial cleaning and there 870 never has a prob. But they dont shoot as much as me either.

February 4, 2008, 03:19 PM
Breaking a new gun down and cleaning & lubing it before firing it is never a bad idea (assuming you know enough to get it back together again :) ).
It's sometimes amazing what kind of production "left-overs" you can flush out from guns in terms of metal chips & so on, and that's not restricted to Remington 870s by any means.

Just about any new action (rifle, shotgun, auto-pistol, etc.) can benefit from a good & thorough oiling before it's fired. The 870 is no exception. Not all guns are shipped properly lubed for instant use.
By all means, tear it down & make sure the appropriate parts are properly lubricated when you take it out of the box. I do that to at least some degree on any gun that I feel HAS to work. I'm not suggesting otherwise.

In my case, I got into an ongoing forum discussion with D over the statements being made that 870s were shipping with that coating that had to be laboriously removed & that the guns required intensive soaking in lube before they'd work right.
That discussion generated an idea for an evaluation of Remington's latest top of the cop line pump- the 870 PMAX. I obtained a sample, discussed it with a guy in a position to know inside Remington (Ken Nickerson, Field Service Support Manager) who told me the coating rumors were not true, and I then fired several different types of slug & buck through the gun as it came. Aside from a couple instances where I short-stroked it, there were no malfunctions or problems in feeding or ejection. That gun looked absolutely bone dry out of the box, and I did absolutely nothing to it internally beyond loading & shooting it. The reason I did nothing to it was precisely to test the "remove coating/soak in oil" rumors.

My purpose in posting this here is to correct that mis-impression on the coating. Some guns are tighter than others, and every company puts out the occasional lemon.
Lube the gun, shoot the gun, and if you continue to have problems call Remington.

Not at all unusual to have tight actions on new guns.
What you're describing sounds like a more or less typical break-in to me. Shoot it, clean it, let the parts wear & mate together, and off you go. Or, clean it, shoot it, and off you go. :)
Not sure why you feel it's "strange" that I say Remington doesn't soak their guns in anything before they ship them.


February 4, 2008, 05:27 PM
as far as some type of metal coating to prevent rust, corrosion, etc. ALL gun manufacturers put something on their guns before shipping out to the distributors and then out to the gun shops, etc... . This is because the manufacturers do not know how long the guns will sit on the warehouse or gunshop shelves before being sold. A light spray of water/moisture repelling oil or some type of lubricant to prevent damage to the metal. Who knows how the preservative will be affected after long term storage or exposure to dust, moisture, etc... I have seen some guns develop an almost laquered finish from the type of preservative the manufacturer used (old NIB browning A5 16ga that was over 50 years old before I bought it from a local gunshop that the owner had died and they were auctioning off his stock of guns, etc.. and I bought this for a steal of 200 and it is still in unfired condition :D ).

Anyway, point is all guns have some lubricant/preservative on the metal when shipped from the factory and remington is no different. I have 3 remington 700's sitting in their factory boxes right now and all have a lubricant and one looks like it was soaked in oil before the stock was put on (it is a sendero the others are a 700LTR and a 700P).

February 4, 2008, 05:35 PM
To clarify- There is a residual amount of what we'd term lube that ships on the 870s left after the manufacturing process, yes. There is no specific & separate "rust-preventive coating" that has to be laboriously removed, and there is no requirement that the new 870s be "soaked" in oil before use.
Again, I'm refering to those two two issues only, and basing my posts on Remington's direct info & my own experiences. :)

February 5, 2008, 03:12 AM
sounds good to me. I also agree that pretty much every piece of machinery has to break in. Engines do, and they usally feel faster after their first oil change. So why not guns feel smoother?