View Full Version : A barrel (safety?) conern: 870 Express

March 15, 2009, 02:12 AM
Newbie here... I have a question regarding an used 26" barrel I bought last week.

The 26" barrel is removed from a "Cabelas exclusive" Magnum EXpress (as I was told), I have checked with Remington prior to the purchase, they said that it should fit my 870 Express synthetic (with came with an extended mag , hence is also came with a magazine clamp).

The 26" barrel looks barely used and seems to be in perfect condition, however I noted a fore/aft play after it is installed with the extended mag tube installed ... not a lot of play but enough to give click-click sound as I push and pull the barrel.

However, after I attached the mag-clamp, the clamp is able to keep the 26" barrel in place: no more movement, no more click-click-click.

I am not sure if this is related to the extended Mag tube which does not screw in deep enough to keep the barrel in position... but I have already screwed down the mag tube all the way down to the point that it cannot go any further.

One difference I notice between the 18" and the 26" barrels: the 18" has the detent ball while the 26" does not. Will this make a different when these barrels is used with the extend mag tube?

As a side question: will the "standard" mag cap be able to screw down more than the coupling on the extended mag tube? Could it be the reason that the mag tube couple does not go down deep enough than a standard Mag cap? I don't think 26" is designed to use with an extended mag tube though ... :D

Although with the mag clamp installed, everything is tighty tight, but is there any safety concern to shoot this barrel? Is it "typical" to have some play / movement ? Or should I fore go the extended mag tube get change to standard mag (and cap) when I shoot the 26" barrel?

My 18" original barrel has zero play at all, it is tight-tight (just because it is still very new?)

Tks in advance for your input.

March 15, 2009, 06:40 AM
my 28" barrel does not have the ball detent,if i screw the mag cap tight enough its fine no excessive movement. the 20" rs and 21" vr have the ball detent.when the mag cap is on they don't budge unless i say so.

not having a ball detent on your 26" and using the mag extension and the mag ext. clamp should be fine. a little bit of play is ok. too much which may be what you have. (i'm not there to see it) is not good. if you have alot of play DO NOT i repeat DO NOT shoot the gun. like i said i'm not there,never tried a combo like that,thought about it. try the 26" barrel without the extension,but with the regular mag cap. see what movement you get then,should be tighter but after shooting alot it may vibrate loose. mine has'nt yet but never say never.

are you trying to hunt with the 26" barrel and more than 5 shots?

March 15, 2009, 08:20 AM
Actually, I know exactly what is happening. Same thing happened to me the first time I took my 870 express 18" 7 rd apart for cleaning.

The factory Remington mag extension is a two piece unit, the cap nut, and the actual extension. (even though it looks like a 1 piece unit) They screw in to each other. What is happening is that the extension is screwed so far in to the cap nut that it is bottoming out on the mag tube before the cap nut can engage the barrel. Just back the extension out of the cap nut threads a few turns then try spinning the whole thing on to the magazine, should engage the barrel and click click click nicely.

DO NOT fire the gun with play in the barrel. You can see whether the barrel is fully seated by sliding the action open and looking in the ejection port. There should be a little notch in the barrel that engages a raised line in the receiver. If you can move the barrel and there is play between the notch and the line the barrel is not properly installed. Good luck.

March 15, 2009, 10:42 AM
Rem870hunter: I don't hunt (yet) and just trying to shoot clay as a sport; when I can shoot better I may hunt birds, but that'll be ~ a year down the road. I have heard about a certain (capacity) limitation to hunt, I am prepared to remove the extended mag (which comes with the gun) when I do hunt. Meantime I just hope to avoid the need to spend further for a shorter spring, spring retention cap, and the std mag cap .. but may be I can just get the std mag cap for now just to verify fitment? May be I'll bring it to a gun smith to verify ...

NovemberWhiskey870: good idea, I will try to back out the couple a little and see if it improve.

Thanks for the input, I will post update.

March 15, 2009, 11:12 AM
Yes to hunt "migratory fowl" federal law says 3 rounds total capacity. A plug is all you need unless your gun already only holds 2+1...

March 16, 2009, 12:07 AM
NovemberWhiskey870: thanks for your insight... indeed the gremlin is the extension mag assembly! I back off the extension tube by just 1/2 turn and the cap is now go back further a bit and is engaging the barrel properly.

Even without the mag-clamp, it is now tighty-tight, no more click-click-click. I love it !!!!

Will post pic later this week :D

Thanks to everyone!

March 16, 2009, 02:43 AM
glad it was figured out. i forgot to tell you the mag spring that came with the gun is going to be too long to use without using the extension. you will be putting extra compression and stress on the spring. you can use the 26" with extension for hunting,just have to use a longer mag plug. i heard a wooden dowel works fine for this.

as far as waterfowl hunting with more than 3 shots. you can here and legally only during the month of september,for canada goose. everything else is no more than 3 shells.

Old Guard Dog
March 16, 2009, 06:53 AM
a wooden dowel is fine, and is perfectly legal as a limiting plug.

March 16, 2009, 09:05 AM
Thanks for the info on the dowel option, guys. Will bear this in mind when I'm "ready" to hunt.... right now, I will be wasting ammo :D


March 16, 2009, 10:55 AM
If I need a plug, I usually grab a pencil. Works for me.

I don't recommend what I saw a few years ago. The warden was making his rounds around the dove fields and several of the guys grabbed green twigs and shoved them in. A year later, after they forgot about the twigs, they had to replace the magazine springs and polish the inside of the magazine tube. Hunks of rust!!:mad:

A wood pencil is a good substitite for a plug. I also have a dozen or so plastic plugs that require me to take out the retainer. A dowel or pencil goes in without having to fool with the retainer and the strong magazine spring. Just measure the pencil and drop it in. No moisture to ruin your gun.

March 16, 2009, 12:25 PM
If I need a plug, I usually grab a pencil. Works for me.

One of the guys at work brought in his old A5 for me to look at (broken firing pin). When I broke it down, an old toothbrush fell out of the magazine tube.:eek:

I guess just about anything will work.

March 16, 2009, 12:27 PM
I think the pencil is proper for 2 3/4 inch shells in a 5+1 tube. Different length dowel for various mag tube/shell length combos.