View Full Version : Magazine Spring Retainer

November 25, 2008, 11:38 AM
Hey folks. I've just bought a used (1966) Remington 870 Wingmaster, non magnum, and I've got a couple of questions about it. First off I took the shotgun apart to clean it (it was filthy) and I noticed the plug that holds the magazine spring in was missing. Only the barrel nut held the spring in. I'm going to replace it, but can I shoot it in the mean time without fear of any damage to the gun (or me)? Second, it took all I could do to get the barrel off. I had to soak it penetrating oil and had to keep smacking the barrel with a plastic hammer.:eek: I eventually got it loose enough that I could pull it off by clamping the stock between my legs/feet and pulling like all get out on the barrel. I've now got it oiled up enough that I can get the barrel on and off, however it is still very tight. What could cause it to be so tight going on and off. Maybe just years of neglect??? Thanks for your help.

November 25, 2008, 12:03 PM
crawdad,,brownells has those spring retainers,,,i don't know the part no. off the top of my head

i don't think it will hurt anything to shoot it with out the retainer ,,,, just a pain to take apart and put back together

you might look for dents or burs on the barrel and receiver where they go together,,,or you could just have a tight one

look for rub marks and scratches where it goes together for an indicator as to what is tight

hope this helps


Scattergun Bob
November 25, 2008, 12:31 PM
Good Morning.

The P/N for the mag spring retainer is 91657 (Remington P/N). unless you are changing barrels often it is not really a critical part. Just remember that the spring is compressed and can fly when you remove the magazine cap:).

Now, for the rest of your questions, the barrel extension (the part that slides in to the receiver) can sometimes bind or get glued into the receiver when not cleaned frequently. However, the normal issue is that we need to rack the for-end assembly 1/2 way to the open position to remove the barrel, did you do that?

The correct method (factory recommended) is check for empty, rack the slide one time, put the safety on, depress action bar lock and rack the for-end assembly 1/2 way to the open position. Barrel should remove like butter.

If this does not work write back and we will figure out whats up!

Hope this helps, Bob

November 25, 2008, 06:25 PM
Yes, I did have the slide racked open half way when I was trying to remove and when I was re-installing the barrel. After I finally got the barrel off, I cleaned up the barrel extention and the receiver real good. It had a lot of crud on it, but I've got it pretty clean now. When I go to put the barrel back on, I can slide it into place and it will go about half way in without any binding or anything. From there I half to push in pretty hard to get the barrel seated all the way. Not so hard that I have to stand on it, but still pretty firmly, harder than I would think would be required.

Scattergun Bob
November 25, 2008, 06:50 PM
OK, I agree, the barrel should just slide off and on. Very little force necessary.

So, the next thing to check is the forend. what type of forend do you have? If it is a original wood forend, there is a small metal end cap on on the muzzle end that has a cutout for the barrel, is that centered in the forend? If it is a replacement forend check to make sure that the forend has some clearance to the barrel and is well centered on the fore end tube assembly.

There is a chance that the barrel extension has been dropped and is dinged or bent, please inspect that carefully for a defect.

I'll wait for your reply.


November 25, 2008, 09:12 PM
I took some pictures of the barrel extention right after I got it off. I had just wiped it down and had not cleaned it at this point. I'm going to try and post them, but if not, I can tell you upon further inspection, I did find two significant rub points where the barrel and receiver seem to be rubbing together significantly. The forend is original and there appeared to be equal space all around it. Also, I called my brother over with his 870 and we took his barrel off and tried it on mine and it slipped right on with no problem what so ever. So, I assuming the barrel extention on my gun is either warped or bent to a degree. That being the case, wouldn't it be ok to shoot it as it is? Everything seems to be locking up good. I would just have to fuss with it getting it off and on? I do plan to get a police barrel for it pretty soon.

Scattergun Bob
November 25, 2008, 09:24 PM
That's kind of a "well used" barrel! If the rest of the barrel shows the same character it would be of concern to me.

I can only say what the factory would tell you, NO do not use a barrel whit a bent extension. I would take it to your local gun guy and get his opinion.

Good quality used 870 barrels are plentiful and not that expensive, maybe you should check that out at your local pawn shop or used gun store.

Sorry I could not be more help.


November 26, 2008, 01:01 AM
I should say it is "well used". :D It's only about 42 years old. The people at the pawn shops and gun stores around my neck of the woods don't know any more (or as much) as I do and that ain't saying much.:o I'm just going to take it to the range tomorrow and put it in my gun vice and fire off a few rounds with it. I'm pretty sure it is safe to fire, but I'll keep my distance from it for the first few rounds. Like I had said before, I'm going to be getting the 18 1/2" police barrel before too much longer so I want be using this one much longer anyway. Appreciate your help and advice.

November 26, 2008, 01:16 AM
I gotta agree with Scattergun that barrel is used and abused.

November 26, 2008, 01:54 AM
Shooting the gun without the spring retainer is not an issue. The purpose it serves is to keep the spring from flying out when you remove the barrel nut.

What's going on inside the barrel and chamber? Pitted? Rusted?

Important: The barrel should not move (backward and forward? when the nut is tight.

November 26, 2008, 03:40 AM
The barrel is not pitted or rusted. In fact, it cleaned up bright and shiny. The problem was in getting the barrel on and off. Initially it took a lot of penetrating oil and several slaps with a plastic hammer to get it broke loose. Since cleaning it is still hard to remove and replace, but nothing like it was initially. What I was concerned with is that it want fall into place like it should. You have to push the barrel down with quite a bit of force to get it to seat. I've just about come to the conclusion that the barrel extention is probably a little bent.

Dave McC
November 26, 2008, 08:54 AM
Old 870s oft have their innards untouched. That may have been the first time that barrel was off.

Like Bob said, the forearm has to be back a bit for best seating.

I'm short one retainer here. Frankenstein, my overhyped parts 870, never had one. All that's needed is some care when I remove the mag cap.

Using something like emery cloth or a crockstick, polish the wear marks on the barrel extension a trifle, lube liberally and re-install. That should clear up any glitches. Sounds like you've a barrel nigh max tolerance in a receiver with minimum tolerances.

Age matters little with 870s. Mileage can. But, your classic is more likely to have been used too little than too much. Betcha some old lube in there turned to varnish and some mild oxidation occurred.