View Full Version : Which 870 would you prefer?

January 8, 2001, 02:45 AM
I need to make a decision. To make a long story short, I can either have an older wingmaster in great condition refurbished by Scattergun Technologies or a new 870 police. They would both be 20", parkerized, rifle sight, IC choke. For the wingmaster, Scattergun would:

Replace all worn and/or damaged parts
Convert to 3"
Convert shell feed to flexitab anti-jam system
Install new spring and follower
Install new synthetic butt stock and foregrip
Replace safety with current design
Strip and parkerize all external parts
Strip and polymer coat trigger group

They would both end up being similar. Is there an advantage with either (quality of reciever...)


Dave McC
January 8, 2001, 08:21 AM
There's been some recent threads on this kind of stuff, let me reprise a bit...

Most of the stuff ST does can be done by most anyone capable of operating a shotgun.I'm no gunsmith, but I've built/rebuilt several 870s without major trauma to either the shotgun or myself.

3" capability is nice,but not essential, for a HD/Tactical type mission. 3" shells are needed for waterfowl, turkey and a few other specialized uses, but 2 3/4" shells work fine for defense. No perp will be able to tell if he/she/it were shot with a 3" Mag or a dinky lil' 2 3/4" load.

This is a win/win situation, both are great tools. I little time in the archives will give you LOTS of input...

January 8, 2001, 11:51 AM
Which way is the cheapest? That is the way to go in this case. Either one would serve your purpose.


January 8, 2001, 09:40 PM
...lessee, choice A is to remodel an existing 870, after which you have a remodeled 870...choice B is to get *another* 870, and a PM at that, after which you have *two* 870s...I vote for...wait, wait...CHOICE B!!!

I am smiling while typing this but I really, *really* think it's the right answer. You will spend some time and money remodeling the PM, no doubt, but you will still be well ahead. Get the PM!

January 9, 2001, 02:12 AM
Thanks for the replies. So...not drawbacks on the 870P? Plastic parts?...new style saftey?...finish?

Are they parkerizing the 870P nowadays or is it that black-matte-bead-blast-express-stuff?

What's a typical selling price for the 870P?

Do they come in the configuration I described (20", IC, rifle sight)?

Dave McC
January 9, 2001, 05:15 AM
I'm not crazy about those plastic parts on an 870 but a recent thread asked everyone about any malfs with them, and it came up dry.

That matte finish is bluing, over a non polished surface.

The keyed safety is a PC atrocity, but easily switched.

January 9, 2001, 10:32 AM
I was told last month at Armorer school by factory rep. that Police magnums would not have plastic trigger asembly or the new keyed safety, unless he was wrong or something has changed. 870P's can be had in Blued or Parkerized.

870P wood 20" IC (8shot ext.) rifle Park. Order# 4888
870P wood 18" IC rifle Park. # 5015
The only Blued 870P is wood 18"IC Bead # 4899
In the current catalog.
870P speedfeed1 20" IC rifle Park. #5045
870P Rem Syn. stock 20"IC rifle Park. #4891

That's all of the 870P's w/ 20" rifle sights in catalog.
Prices approx. $375(low and if lucky) to $475 (more likely).

January 9, 2001, 01:18 PM
Thanks, BTM!

Ala Dan
January 9, 2001, 10:56 PM
How about a NIB Remington 870 Marine Magnum?

Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

January 10, 2001, 08:59 PM
TCW, Dave --

Unless something has changed very recently, the *only* plastic part in the PMs is the follower, which you can/should replace with an aluminum follower (red anodized) from Brownells, less than $10 to your door. Metal TG, traditional safety, etc. As noted elsewhere, the PMs are finished differently than the Expresses. I believe the PMs are a phosphate finish, whereas the Expresses are supposedly blued over unpolished metal (I still say it looks like black crinkle paint!).

There was a post in Nov or Dec about the extra work that Remington puts into the PMs -- internal honing/polishing, etc. I would say it's quite possibly worth considering spending the extra money on the PM.

Dave McC
January 11, 2001, 06:47 AM
Thanks, J. I still have some doubts about the PM having any extra tweaking, but time will tell.If there is any tweaking going on, they should work on the trigger first.

And, I do like a metal follower,metal everything in fact. Call me old fashioned, but while I regard the synthetics as good materials for the right uses, it feels better to me if it's metal.

January 11, 2001, 08:37 AM
Just a interesting note on the metal Mag. follower. The Factory rep. refered to it as the Fed. or FBI follower.
It was designed and made for FBI contract 870 several years back, it seems FBI was having trouble with their agents knowing which way to place mag. follower into the tube in reassembly. As you notice the metal one is the same on both ends.
However on current govt. contract 870 they have switched to new Orange plastic follower. I'm not sure why, but maybe they are training the agents better or they thought it looked cool.

January 12, 2001, 03:47 AM
There is a lot of do-do (is that ok?) regarding the 870P vs. the Express. Up until Remington began putting plastic trigger groups and the pc safety on the Express the main difference was the exterior finish and the dimples in the magazine tube. I have some older Express Magnums (W & A prefix) that don't have the dimples and the finish is almost as good as the new 870P.

The other difference is that the Police Magnums have stronger springs in the trigger group and, of course, still have an alloy trigger group and the old safety. The new 870Ps that we got came with a nice trigger lock in the box.

Regarding the Marine Magnum.....so far, it is just like the Police Magnum without the heavy springs, but it does come with a 2 shot extension and, of course, the nickel plating.

January 12, 2001, 05:43 PM
What's the benefit of the stronger springs?

January 12, 2001, 07:10 PM
I would guess that that a heavier trigger pull might be seen as a benefit under stressfull situations. A heavier hammer spring might provide more positive primer ignition.
A heavier magazine spring would provide more positive shell feeding.

All off the above may or may not be true. I have not heard of many failures with standard springs when the shotgun receives normal cleaning and care.

January 12, 2001, 09:58 PM
Dave, DML --

On the PM having been mystically worked over by little elves with magical fingers, count me among the skeptics. I give it modest credence now, based on someone attending an armorers' course and hearing a list of hone/polish work done on the PMs.

One place for "plastic" may be stocks. For example, Marlin lever action buttstocks that are somewhat fragile in the wrist area. Otherwise, I still prefer wood for most purposes. My PM came with one of the best pieces of walnut, both in looks and grain alignment, I've seen in a long time.

Dave McC
January 13, 2001, 09:23 AM
J, maybe I'm the last dinosaur about this. Various handguns here have neoprene stocks, a rifle or two may have a plastic stock, and so on, but I prefer metal for working parts.

The flip side, no reports of any of the bottom line plastic parts failing.

And the jury's still out on those elves. Luckily, work wear smooths up the roughest 870 in short order,and I've never seen spring failure in a weapon even scantily maintained.

January 14, 2001, 12:51 PM
Dave, I must have been unclear (how could that happen? :-) ). I really hate plastic, too!

On the other hand, I heard someone rationalize that the polymer trigger guards Remington now uses for most 870s were actually stronger than the aluminum ones.

I still vote for aluminum over plastic...

On the elves...if it's true, great...if not, the PM seems to be the last refuge of non-PC manufacturing for Remington.

Dave McC
January 14, 2001, 07:00 PM
Let's drink to non PC 870s,J (G). And if those elves make it in before closing time,I'll buy them the first pitcher.

I got an idea that if this continues, there'll be shade tree gunsmiths doing smoothups on Expresses like the 1911 smiths that make a out of box handgun reliable with exotic ammo.

Maybe my ad would say:


Is your 870 pumping rough and shucking tough? Let Dave do what Remington should have and doesn't. For a mere $99.95, we'll make that 870 cycle as smooth as Errol Flynn's best pickup line.Cash and Money orders only please...

January 15, 2001, 10:07 PM
Yep, 'em used 870s are looking more and more attractive.

Read a message sometime, somewhere from somebody who wanted to fill his Marlin 1895 with JB Bore Paste and crank it for an hour or two in front of the TV. Dunno whether it would have helped -- probably wouldn't have hurt, at least.

Dave McC
January 16, 2001, 08:11 AM
J, I've smoothed up a model 94(1975 made) and the kid's 20 ga in front of the TV, just cycling the action until it smoothed up.It took all of Jeopardy and part of Ben Stein to slick up the 20(G). As for bore paste, too abrasive. I've used Jeweler's Rouge/felt wheel/Dremel to polish up revolver parts also.

But the best way is to run about 100 rounds a day through it, clean well, repeat....