View Full Version : differences between 870 tactical and 870 police

November 27, 2011, 01:22 PM
Looking at getting a shotgun for HD purposes. Comparing 870 and 590A1.

Would like to get the 870 but with so many options I first need to decide between tactical and police model.

November 27, 2011, 01:38 PM
Your title says 870 long police. By that do you mean an 870 with a 20" barrel and a 7 shot capacity, because the actual "Police" is a different model costing about twice as much as a Remington 870 Express? The one thing about the Express Tactical that I like isn't the breacher choke, per se, but the fact that the barrel is threaded for changeable chokes.

November 27, 2011, 03:05 PM
That was a typo or weird autocorrect. Dumb smart phone!

Im trying to collect a well rounded set of firearms.

In that...I feel like a shotgun should be included. My primary interests are HD. I also am drawn to the standard or best brand/model in each category. In shotguns this seems to be the Rem 870.

November 27, 2011, 07:28 PM
The 870P Police is the Cadillac, the Tactical is the Chevy the Mossberg 590A1 is a plain Chevy.

The Mossberg has a cast aluminum receiver and stamped internal parts.
The 870 is a forged steel receiver with heavy-duty fabricated internal parts.
Both brands are durable guns, but the 870 is more so.

The Police is more polished inside and out to remove all machine marks and burrs.
It's smoother out of the box.
It gets more inspection and hand hand fitting to insure reliable operation for use in police situations.
It has a parkerized or blue finish and comes with a wide range of configurations.
It has a milled extractor, a heavier carrier dog (lifter) spring to insure correct feeding under the recoil of heavy shells, a heavier trigger-sear spring to prevent accidental discharge, and on the 4 shot magazine models a heavier magazine spring, again to make sure the gun feeds properly under recoil.
The Police trigger guard assembly is made of powdered, compressed aluminum.

The Tactical is a dressed up Express gun.
It has machine marks and some burrs left inside and out.
It's a little rougher out of the box, but smooths up with use.
The Tactical guns have various "painted" type coatings. These are reasonably durable, but do scratch and scrape.
The extractor is MIM, it has standard Express springs.
The extended magazine versions have the same spring as the extended magazine Police guns.
The bore and chamber are not as well polished as the Police. It can be polished with 0000 steel wool on a used bore brush and an electric drill.
The Tactical trigger guard assembly is plastic. This may be better then the powdered aluminum unit.

Going on the basis that I've never said, "Gee, if ONLY I'd bought the cheaper gun", I recommend the Police if you can afford it.

November 27, 2011, 09:24 PM
Buy the 870 Tactical, rather than the P. I have owned both and they are basically the same gun. Change the carrier dog follower spring, replace the MIM extractor with the forged version, and buy a heavier mag tube spring. These three easily installed parts will set you back a total of about $15. All versions of the 870 now use the same sear spring, and have for several years. The ONLY reason the P had a heavier sear spring at one time was strictly for police liability issues. I hated the 7-8 lb pull of the heavier sear spring on the last used P that I owned and replaced it with the 3 1/2 - 4 lb spring that is now standard on all 870's. The plastic trigger guard of the Tactical/Express versions is definitely more durable than the pressed metal of the P version.

November 29, 2011, 08:55 AM
Refreh my memory on how plastic is ever more durable than metal?

November 29, 2011, 09:02 AM
All metal is not created equally. Compressed, powdered aluminum doesn't have much ability to absorb impact and rebound. Thus it would likely crack long before a plastic trigger guard with modern firearm grade polymers.

That being said, I own and have owned 870's with both types of trigger guard and I've hauled them through the woods and up and down trees and I've even dropped one once or twice. I've never broken a trigger guard of either description, though I'm sure in the history of the 870 it's happened somewhere.

Dave McC
November 29, 2011, 03:00 PM
In all these years, I've seen neither kind fail, even in those much abused correctional 870s.

I did see an alloy one that cracked after someone ran over the shotgun with a P/U truck, but it still worked....

November 29, 2011, 03:41 PM
In all these years, I've seen neither kind fail, even in those much abused correctional 870s.

I've got a former Asheville, NC PD Wingmaster that looked like it'd been used as a boat paddle to canoe down some of the rocky creeks up there in the mountains. The trigger guard is well scarred, but uncracked........

dogtown tom
November 29, 2011, 05:19 PM
upstate81 Refreh my memory on how plastic is ever more durable than metal?
Is this a serious question?:rolleyes:

December 4, 2011, 07:44 PM
Obviously not. A little thing called sarcasm possibly?