View Full Version : why didn't any one tell me installing an 18" barrel on my 870 was such a pain!!

September 7, 2009, 06:04 PM
ok so I finally bought an 18 inch "police barrel" for my 870 today from cabelias. However none of you bothered to tell me it would fit extremely tight. now the problem with this is I also added a 7 shot mag tube extender. when I loaded the gun it wouldn't feed properly. I figured it was because the mag tube was not flushed up with the extender. (it was) but I decided to take the barrel off and put the stock barrel on and see if it would have the same problem. now the stock barrel will literally fall out but the new barrel took me a half hour to figure out how to finagle out. I was starting to think you couldn't put a 18" police barrel on a 870 express. In the end you can. and its just very tight going at first. But I got it done and needed to vent. thanks for humoring me, and for the tips I have found very useful on this forum. My home is now secure

September 7, 2009, 06:11 PM
Is this an express 870? If it is, did you remove the two dimples in the end of your standard 4+1 mag tube before installing the mag extension? What brand extension? (Please don't say "ATI" or "Tacstar").

Some barrels fit tighter in the receiver than others could be the parkerization on the 870 P barrel is a little thicker than your express or blued finish on your other barrel. You can take a little sandpaper to the exterior of the barrel extension (the part that inserts into your receiver), but if you do go slow. Also if you do you have now removed any protective finish on that part of your barrel.

Or you could just accept that it will be tight and not worry about it.

September 7, 2009, 06:39 PM
i did remove the dimples. that was one of the tips I heeded before jumping in. the mag tube is a tacstar though. I take it you don't like them? There was one other brand at the local gun shop should I return it? what brand of mag tube would you recommend?

September 7, 2009, 06:52 PM
Probably the best extension for the price/quality/availability is the Choate.

It comes as a complete kit with the extension in satin blue or parkerized, the longer spring, a heavy-duty follower, and the barrel clamp and sling swivel.


September 7, 2009, 06:55 PM
Tacstars are a two piece assembly that is press fit, not threaded. Under recoil they can (and in my experience have) walk apart. Basically the tube walks away from the threaded knuckle.

I prefer Remington factory extensions, which are expensive direct from Remington, but pop up for sale on the used market occasionally, and I tend to snap them up even if I don't have an 870 in need of one at that moment :D. I have a tendency to accumulate 870's.......

Other than Remington factory you have Wilson, Nordic, and Choate that are all very good. Choate being the best bang for your buck as they are fairly inexpensive, yet excellent quality. In many cases the Choate is cheaper than your Tacstar.