View Full Version : Stupid 870 magazine tube cap!

September 7, 2009, 09:22 PM
I've unscrewed the main metal cap off of the magazine tube on my Remington 870 Express Magnum and now I'm trying to get the little black plastic cap off that was underneath it. I'm having a hell of a time. Some of the plastic has already been chipped as a result. Videos just show people sticking a screw driver in the little slot, twisting it around a bit, and it pops right out! What am I doing wrong? Can I just break this crappy little cap off? I'm putting a new magazine extension on anyway after I fix the dimples.

Scattergun Bob
September 7, 2009, 09:37 PM
Put your screw-driver in the slot, push down on the retainer cap until it is past the lip on the mag tube. Then turn the retainer either left or right (i can't remember which way right now). REMEMBER when you let off pressure the retainer has the mag spring captured, so keep your face away from the tube opening.

What ever method you use to deal with the dimples in the tube, the inside must stay baby butt smooth, if you expect the shells to feed smoothly.

Good Luck on your project and be safe

September 7, 2009, 11:05 PM
I can feel the springs and everything when I push the screwdriver down there. How is that going to help me get the cap off of the end? I simply can't get the cap off of the end.

September 7, 2009, 11:20 PM
Turn it 45 degrees and release.

September 7, 2009, 11:25 PM
Hmmmm...I'm doing an awful lot of pushing, cranking, and twisting, but it just won't "pop" out. Not sure how it's just supposed to pop out if the cap is stuck in there so tightly. Could the spring be stuck or jammed?

September 7, 2009, 11:34 PM
I think it's just the follower.......stuck. I have a brand new follower purchased too. Can I just smash this thing? :D

Lee Lapin
September 8, 2009, 12:15 AM


This is not an anvil you're prying on here. See how thin the metal of that magazine tube is??? Getting a magazine tube replaced is a factory level repair. You don't wanna screw this up, in other words.

That little plastic cap (magazine spring retainer/magazine cap detent) has TWO SETS of grooves in it 90 degrees apart. One set stops about halfway up the cap, which holds it in place against the dimples and allows the magazine spring to press it against the 'teeth' in the underside of the magazine cap.

The other set- the set you need to get lined up with the dimples- goes ALL THE WAY up the length of the cap.

See 'em?

Press down with your screwydriver till the top of the cap clears the dimples.

TURN a little bit (1/4" maybe) till the dimples hold the cap down. Then let the cap bear up against the dimples and gently turn it till the all-the-way-through grooves line up with the dimples. If you haven't hamfisted things to the point there's no clearance any more, or the magazine tube is out of round, or whatever, the cap will come all the way out with the spring pressure of the magazine spring. Control the spring/cap with the screwdriver against the pressure of the spring so it doesn't go all NASA on you.

Yeah, it's easy when you know what you're doing.

Better to ASK FIRST when you don't know what you're doing tho... saves busted guns, lost/broken parts, hurt feelings and money in the long run.


September 8, 2009, 12:33 AM
It's piece #45. I can push it in further with a pair of needle-nosed pliers closed, but I can't manage to twist it and get it to pop out. I'm gonna keep trying...this is just silliness.

September 8, 2009, 01:05 AM
Yeah, I've pushed it down past the dimples and twisted it six ways to Sunday to no avail. I've pushed down, twisted a little, gave it some room to run, it stays, pushed back down, twist, back down, twist, over and over. The only way it comes back up to the top is when it is aligned with the dimples. Any other way and it just sticks.

September 8, 2009, 02:09 AM
And you are calling the magazine cap stupid?

September 8, 2009, 02:26 AM
This is just my first time EVER inside of an 870. It's the the magazine spring retainer giving me hell. I'm still messing with it, rotating it, popping it down past the dimples, rotating, then trying to let it back up, still no luck. Keep in mind I attained this 870 as part of payment for a service and it is in pretty bad shape so I'm not sure if there could be another issue causing this problem. No worries, I'll get it out....either that, or I won't be sleeping tonight.

On an off-note, I'm not retarded and I don't appreciate being called retarded.

Lee Lapin
September 8, 2009, 08:25 AM
OK, lets start again at a little different place.

EXAMINE the grooves you can see at the top of the retainer that are 90 degrees around the retainer from the set of grooves that stop short of the bottom of the retainer (that's the ones that are aligned with the dimples when the retainer is normally assembled) when part of the retainer is protruding from the mag tube. MAKE SURE those not-aligned-with-the-dimples grooves are clear, clean, unburred, etc at the top and down as far as you can see. Use a needle file to clean them up back to original depth/width if they are frizzled, boogered or otherwise obstructed. NOTE the position of those two grooves and remember which way to turn the retainer to reach them.

IF none of the retainer is protruding above the top/end of the mag tube when in its normally assembled place, your problem is not in lining up the grooves. Likely the end of the mag tube is damaged/crimped/bent/out of round and that is what is holding the detent down, not the dimples. If this is the case, you need to STOP and get professional help NOW. A gunsmith will have a properly shaped mandrel that will let him 're-round' the magazine tube without doing further damage. And there is nothing you can do at this point that will not make things worse.

IF about a third or half the retainer protrudes above the top/end of the mag tube when it's not pushed down, and you have cleaned out the grooves you can see, THEN:

1) Push the retainer down past the dimples

2) Turn it just a bit (a fraction of an inch) and let the spring push it back up against the dimples till it stops

3) Turn it s l o w l y while it's in contact with the dimples, NOT pushing down, just turning, turning it toward the direction of the second set of grooves you could see while the top of the retainer protruded from the mag tube

4) Let the mag spring push it out, while you control it against the spring's pressure to avoid letting it leap across the room. About 8" or so of mag spring will come out of the mag tube once it's all free. It'll hurt you if you aren't careful.



September 8, 2009, 08:30 AM
You have two options:

A: Get the operating manual. The posts are dead spot on describin what to do.

B: Go to a gun store or gunsmith and have it done for you.

September 8, 2009, 08:36 AM
The grooves running full length that Lee describes are 90 degrees off from the half length grooves that lock into the dimples to retain the spring. Usually when I remove one of these, I don't even use a screwdriver. I stick my finger in there, push down and turn 90 degrees allowing it to pop back out. I tell you this to demonstrate how easy this part typically moves. Put down the sledghammer and breathe......

Once you have that part turned 90 degrees, if it has not popped out yet, due to being boogered or the mag tube being out of round, do this........

Point the end of the mag tube in a SAFE direction. Not toward you, anyone else, or anything breakable. Then insert shells into the tube. You'll be putting upward spring pressure on it and it should finally pop free. If you have 12 ga snap caps on hand that would be better, but I'm guessing you don't.

September 8, 2009, 08:38 AM
This ain't rocket science---very easy and simple to do---I don't even use a screwdriver---just my finger.

There are grooves on the retainer---push in and line them up with the dimples---it will pop right out.

September 8, 2009, 04:45 PM
Thanks for all of the help and patience. I'm surprised I haven't been flamed to the maximum yet! I'm going to give this another shot when I get home from work later.

Hey BeenGlockin, if you're in Omaha maybe you'll have to meet up with me and get this damn thing out! Haha, I'll pay you in beer!

September 8, 2009, 04:49 PM
I get off at 6:30---lol

September 8, 2009, 05:12 PM
I work at 3pm-midnight. I have every Monday off and every other Saturday and Sunday off. I'll shoot you a PM lol.

Lee Lapin
September 8, 2009, 07:36 PM
Thanks for all of the help and patience.

What- you think everyone here was born knowing this stuff? :D Everyone has to learn- everyone needs a helping hand along the way sometimes. Pay it back by paying it forward and helping someone else when you get the chance.


September 8, 2009, 08:19 PM
I took a gunsmith class some years ago. One of the problems we where presented with was a H&K AG3, Norwegian army assault rifle.
The stock is held in with two pins, what my instructor failed to inform us of was that those pins also hold the two recoil springs under tension. My friend got the butt in his mouth and a tooth cut the inside of his upper lip.

That's how I learned to be careful when working with guns and springs.

Nobody is going to flame any one for not knowing something, and if some one do, they will be flamed back like you have never seen any one get flamed before.

Oh and your problem, some thing is wrong, all the instructions are correct. Push in and twist, I do it with my finger tips.

September 11, 2009, 04:34 PM
It sounds like someone has previously put a square peg in a round hole with extra effort in the case of this gun. That can happen, even at the factory.