View Full Version : Opinions on Wilson Rem 870 $teal?

August 8, 2001, 07:32 PM
Wilson has been running a program (currently $185) to rebuild/renovate 870s. They will replace any worn parts, install Flexi-Tab, refinish, install synthetic stock, etc. for a flat price. As some who have followed my occasional posts here know, I have a very shot-out 870 (excess HS probably due to worn bolt, and two worn shell latches, for starters). I'm thinking that given the condition of this 870, this might be a jolly good deal.

I'd be very interested in thoughts and opinions.

August 8, 2001, 08:41 PM
Sure sounds like a deal . I would do it but my REM 870 police is just like new.

Wilson installed a muzzle break on my HBAR last month. Fast service, good price and perfect work.

August 8, 2001, 11:50 PM
I think it is a great deal. I would have them do one for me, but I don't have anything that needs the attention right now.

If you were to price out separately what they are doing for the deal(parts/smithing/refinishing), you would exceed the $185.00. I say go for it.


August 9, 2001, 12:25 AM
I'm not so sure if thats a good deal. I can get a new Rem 870 Express for $219 around here.

Dave McC
August 9, 2001, 03:51 AM
While I've doubts about needing a Flextab,or a synthetic stock when perfectly good wood's on the 870 already, IMO, it's a decent deal.

With the Flextab kit comes a new bolt,thus fixing the HS prob. Shellcatchers are another deal, since by and large they're staked in place.

If someone knows 870s and is reasonably tool proficient, they can do all or most of this themselves. I'm sure that Wilson can do it faster, and maybe even better.....

August 9, 2001, 06:24 AM
Sounds like a good deal to me.

August 9, 2001, 06:33 PM
You're right about the Express, but what the finished gun would be more than an Express (depending in part on what you start with).

Dave, I've looked at the parts and read Kuehnhausen's excellent book on the Remington shotguns. I could do most of this -- but maybe not as well, and the parts would cost enough that I am not sure I'd save any money anyway. And to do the shell latches right, I'd have to buy tools to stake them in (right now, they are literally falling out of the receiver). I bought this 870 for less than a C-note, so the finished product -- refinished, refurbed and Flexitabbed (is that a word? :cool:) would still be under $300. I may go for it...I was hoping to hear from someone who'd had it done!

Dave McC
August 9, 2001, 08:14 PM
Getting an absolutely reliable and durable wide purpose tool like an 870 for less than $300 strikes me as a deal. A darn good deal, figured on a per use basis. Lessee,$300 goes into 60,000 rounds....

Or maybe pro rate it over a 30 year period, that's $10/yr for a bit of peace of mind.

I'm tool challenged,but most if not all regular PM and upgrade stuff I can do. Putting on a Flextab, doing the trigger, etc, may be past my personal limits. Most folks like me,IMO, would probably be better off sending the shotgun off to a pro.

OTOH, if one can go slowly at his/her rate, it's a great way to learn the gun from the inside out.
This is a call only the user can make....

Either way, you end up with a great shotgun...

John Forsyth
August 10, 2001, 10:16 AM
Talked to Frank at WC. Turnaround is approx 12 weeks now. Mine goes off next week.

August 10, 2001, 04:36 PM
I've had the "Remington Steal" done to an older Wingmaster 870. But when I had the Steal done it was still $169 :-)

Bottom line up front I would not you recomend doing it. I personnaly would not do it again.

First off factoring in shipping both there and back the total will run you in the $220 range.

For that amount of money you should be able to purchse an almost new 870 Express at just about any gun show. Many retailers will probably have the Express on sale this hunting season for around $219.99. With this kind of a deal available it seems to me to be impractical to pay around $220 for the upgrade of an older "beater" gun. Also note that posted on this site elsewhere is a $25 rebate on the purchase of a new Express.

If the subject "beater" gun where mine and I had less than $100 into it I'd start off learning gunsmithing, if I didn't know it already.

With that kind of money invested there is little to loose if you mess up on something. Cutting the barrel down yourself and installing a bead sight, if a non ribbed barrel, is very easy. Likewise the refinishing of metal isn't too hard. Brownells sells tons of metal refinishing items such as their spray / bake on enamel finish that works very well for the amateur gun crank.

If the wood needs refinishing then that is a good time to re learn the skills learned in high school wood shop. Better yet, look for deals on this site where people are selling take off synthetic stocks for the 870 for little or no money. If I remember right I've seen take of syn. stocks for as little as $30.

Most likely since you spend less than $100 on the gun in the first place its very heavily used, but I would imagine that the factory wood stock if that is what it has can be salvaged. In that case save the $$ on the synthetic stock and use the one in place.

And whats up with a 12 week turn around - isn't that like 3 MONTHS?

Anyway, those are a few of my thoughts on the subject.

Edit - having re read my post I need to say that $185 for all the work wilson is doing is a very fair price.


August 10, 2001, 11:02 PM
could someone please explain to me what the Flexi Tab thing is i have no clue? sorry i am relatively new to shotguns.

Dave McC
August 11, 2001, 07:20 AM
In the old days, an occasional shell loaded not far enough into the magazine would come back behind the shells stops and carrier, jamming up the action. Clearing this required dissassembly or a clearance drill that's rough on the shotgun.

I'd been using 870s w/o a glitch of this nature for 20 years when I first learned of this prob. The Flextab kit is some modified parts and a new bolt that when installed,allow that short loaded shell to be cycled normally.

With proper technique, the Flextab's kinda superflous. However, for agency weapons used by ill trained and sub standard personnel, they are a good idea.

A couple of my 870s have them, some do not. All remain super reliable.


August 11, 2001, 07:25 PM
What does this Flextab look like? How do I know if I have one?

August 11, 2001, 09:55 PM
The flextab is the 3 small cuts in the bottom of the shell lifter. They form a small rectangular tab. The entire flextab kit consists of the lifter, a new bolt and carrier. Depending on the age of the 870, a new slide may be required.

The new bolt has a relieved extractor, a lighter firing pin spring and the firing pin is flat at the back to prevent peening of the hammer. The bottom of the bolt also has a wide slot milled in it.

August 11, 2001, 10:19 PM
You don't have to replace the bolt when you install a flexitab carrier, it will work with the old bolt, but may take a little extra pressure. Fitting the new oversize bolt to correct the head space takes a little knowledge and care. I am not sure that I would try it myself, but have it done by a pro. You may check Wilson's site to see if he is still selling take off synthetic stocks for about $25(?), he had them a few weeks ago. I like the synthetic stock on my newer Express as well as my Speedfeed. Now before you get too far in this you might want to ask if the 870 is still the first choice for a tactical pump? I really like the tang safety, carrier not in the way of loading and the ease of unloading the new Mossberg 590A1 w/o shucking shells through the chamber. And holding a 'full boat' (side saddle, mag extension,dedicated forend light,etc) steel receiver 870 at a ready position for a class is getting beyond my 67 year old body.
A man has to know his limitations. I never appreciated the Mossbergs until taking a second look at them the last couple of months (as opposed to the 500's 20 years ago). They come with a good set of ghost rings, extended magazine and have features that I meantioned above which are tempting. Price is around $350 at shows for the one with the ghost rings around here. Does it also have one more shot than the std 18.5" 870?
Seems like a lot of instructors are pushing the Mossbergs. I shoot with the top one from a major school and that is what he uses and he runs it just a little faster than his Benelli semi-auto. The guys at TopGun here in California prefer them too. But the operator is more than 95% of the solution anyway after you get a gun that works 100% of the time, every time. Have fun........

August 11, 2001, 10:20 PM
Thanks. I've got one of them thar tabs on my Express. Man, I love this board!
Thanks again,