View Full Version : Patterned New Barrel

July 9, 2012, 11:20 PM
I finally made it out to pattern my new 18.5" Remington 870 barrel with a fixed modified choke.

I fired some Olin Mil-Spec 00 Buck at 10 and 15 yards and Winchester Super X at 10 and 15 yards. I also fired 4 different types of slugs for groups at 42 yards. Brenneke KO, Winchester Super X 3" Magnum, Winchester Power Point 2 3/4" and Remington Buckhammer 2 3/4".

The Mil-Spec 00 Buck kept relatively tight patterns, at 10 yards I got a 7" - 8" spread. The Super X at 10 yards was a little wider, more like 8" - 9". At 15 yards the Mil-Spec threw about a 13" spread but in a real "donut-like" pattern. The Super X spread at 15 yards wasn't quite as bad with the donut effect and the spread was significantly tighter, 10.5".

I'm thinking that I will load up with the Super X 00 Buck for now until I can do more testing. I was hoping the Mil-Spec stuff would pattern a bit better out of my barrel since I have a bunch of it, but I have a feeling that the donut effect will just get a lot worse out at 20 - 25 yards. I'm going to go back and do more testing when I can to find out for sure and maybe try some different stuff. I'd like to get some Federal Tactical with the flight-control wad in 1 buck if I could find it / afford it.

As far as the slugs go I got the best group with the Super X 3" Magnums. My 5 shot group was 2.5" which seems really sloppy at 40 yards, but was quite a bit better than anything I shot with the other slug rounds.

It's nice to finally collect a little data on this barrel, but I wasn't able to get as much done as I wanted to. I was hoping to get in more samples at each distance with each type of round and take shots at 7, 20 and 25 yards as well.

I don't like seeing that donut-like pattern, which is why I'm thinking 1 buck might be a better option for increased saturation. But the overall spread at 15 yards with the Super X was only 10.5" so maybe it's not too bad. I appreciate any input or advice about how to adequately pattern a barrel for combat/defense.








July 10, 2012, 12:54 AM
I thought the Remington factory 18.5" barrel only came as a fixed cylinder choke.

July 10, 2012, 01:33 AM

There you go. They had mine on the UPS truck within 5 hours after I ordered it and my whole order hit my doorstep just 40 hours after I submitted it. In fact, they have a $20 discount going for that barrel right now too!

The tritium lamps are green and the tritium itself is from Meprolight.

July 10, 2012, 01:48 AM
Cool. I figured you knew what you had and the pattern looks about right for a modified, but I couldn't find that barrel on the Remington site. Now I realize it didn't list 870 barrels with 3-1/2 inch chambers and that was bugging me because I know of a guy that builds shotguns for cops and he recommends fixed ic and modified short barrels for some purposes.

July 10, 2012, 02:50 AM
I always kept the modified choke in my 21" barrel so I was happy to see they offered this one. The one I have is a 3" magnum though, not 3.5".

A couple of loads I want to test soon are Winchester Supreme 2 3/4" 12 pellet 00 Buck and Winchester Super X 1 Buck.

I'd like to shoot some more of those Super X slugs, maybe at longer ranges like 50 - 75 yds. I might need to adjust the sights a little. The group I shot was a bit high and right.


I was pretty happy with the results from those, especially considering I had already fired something like 20 rounds of 00 Buck and a handful of slugs before I even started testing stuff. Then I ran 6 more 00 Buck loads and 10 slugs before I shot that 2.5" group.

I'll be honest, it felt like Tank Abbott punched me in the shoulder! It was really tender and those 3" Magnums were kicking pretty viciously. So despite all that I was still able to keep a decent group with them. If I went out just shooting 10 or 15 of those first I could probably tighten those groups up. I was just shooting open-sights from a kneeling position.

July 10, 2012, 12:14 PM
These are the 12 gauge barrels one armorer can get for the 870. I believe they are all 3" chambers and it appears to list yours.

18.5" bead sight with fixed Cyl bore or fixed, I/C
18.5" with tritium bead sight in fixed Modified
18.5" Rifle sights in fixed IC, Cyl Bore or Modified
18.5" Rifle sights with factory installed Meprolight Tritium Rifle sights
18.5 bead sight with Rem choke
18.5 XS sights
20" bead sight with fixed I/C
20" rifle sights with Rem choke
20" fully rifled with rifle sights
23" fully rifled cantilever mount

July 10, 2012, 12:41 PM
I actually had a line on a killer discount on Trijicon's Ghost Ring sights for my 870. I was all set to pull the trigger on that deal, but then I got to thinking about the vented rib barrel I had and worried that the front sight might not mount well to it.

I started thinking I would buy a standard police barrel to replace mine with and then add the Trijicon Ghost Ring deal. The ones I saw available didn't match the finish on my receiver and they were all fixed IC. Also, I still would have had to drill/tap my receiver to mount the rear ghost ring aperture and I wondered if that would block a cantilever-mounted scope if I ever wanted to add a dedicated slug barrel to this gun to use during hunting season here in Michigan's shotgun zone.

I was really pleased to find this great factory barrel available from Remington/MidwayUSA. It solved my needs PERFECTLY and I didn't have to drill or tap anything. It probably saved me money and in the end is a much nicer option than what I was originally intending to do.

Hopefully it will continue to holdup well and I'll keep testing different loads until I find something really sweet. I am really going for a nice even, tight pattern out to 25 yards if I can find it and I think I will be able to. It's just a matter of time and money now!

I'll still greatly appreciate any helpful advice regarding patterning shotgun barrels for combat/defense use. I have Ayoob's Stressfire II book on Advanced Shotgun Techniques, but I don't see much in there on patterning. I know I have Louis Awerbuck's book "The Defensive Shotgun" somewhere. Maybe that one has a chapter on patterning. Any other good books or links to info on the subject are welcome!