View Full Version : Remington Police Model 870 or 1187?

El Rojo
August 13, 2001, 03:04 PM
I sit around at camp all summer long and the only bad thing is I have too much time to think of the gun projects I can spend my money on. Since the PRK won't let me get my AR anymore, I started thinking about getting a tactical model 870 or 1187. I am sort of leaning towards the 1187. Give me some plus and minuses. So far I have considered that the 870 is going to more reliable when it comes down to function (my dad's camo SP 1187 has never failed me on numerous coyote encounters though). The 1187 is going to allow slightly faster follow up, but not by much. The 870 is cheaper. I am definitely planning on getting a Sure-Fire responder for whatever model I get and maybe in the future a pistol grip stock (recommendations on makes?). Finally, where is the best place to procure such a fine shotgun? So far I have Hoplite, INC and Kiesler's. And what about a Bennelli? I don't think I want to spend that much for a Bennelli M1. Or do I? Let me know. Thanks for all of your help.

E. BeauBeaux
August 13, 2001, 03:42 PM
870 Mag with the speed feed stock, forget the pistol grip. It just not useful on a shotgun. The 1187 is also available in a police version, both are fine weapons. The 870 has the upper hand as it speaks all languages. The sound of an 870 chambering a round is understood by all bad guys on the planet.

Covert Mission
August 13, 2001, 03:51 PM
check out www.vangcomp.com

Hans Vang works his magic on several shotguns, incl the 870, 1100, the Mossberg 590, and the Benelli I think. His 870 packages are great. Plus, he's in CA. Good luck.

August 13, 2001, 07:35 PM
Here's my take.

The 870 is darned near indestructible. With minimal parts on hand, it will shoot for the rest of your life and be in good shape when your children hand it off to the grandchildren.

The 870 speaks another "universal" language -- any kind of ammo. Heavy, light, long, short, makes no difference.

Although it is an excellent shotgun, the 11-87 needs more maintenance than an 870. Maybe not a lot, but some.

The 11-87 will usually not function reliably (sometimes not at all) with low-recoil loads. On the other hand...

...the 11-87 is a lot more gentle on the shooter than the 870, as a simple consequence of its design. You don't "need" to shoot tac loads from the 11-87.

The 11-87 is something close to twice as expensive.

Take counsel of you desire to spend money on this project, and on your degree of skepticism about parts and service. In the real world, though, you probably wouldn't go wrong either way.

Dave McC
August 13, 2001, 08:01 PM
The big reason the 870 is the weapon of choice for most Police and Correctional agencies is it's talent for functioning, no matter what. It's as reliable as anything made by Man, will shoot under all circumstances, and will outlast us by generations.

The spare parts needed in three years(95-98) for a large prison with an inventory of about 30 870s,all well used,was a firing pin, a few mag springs, new stocks for a few guns and a mag follower. The last was a replacement, I checked the weapon when it rotated in and found a Pepsi bottle cap in the place of the follower. It still fed OK. One training 870 there was on the line from 81 to 97(and still may be, I wore out first) going through hundreds if not thousands of rounds each month. Total parts needed, new wood.

Let's put it this way. For stabilizing A/S scenarios with short time frames and at ranges within 25 yards, I'd rather have one of my 870s than any, repeat, ANY other weapon...

Gary H
August 13, 2001, 08:16 PM
870 and practice. Can't be beat for H.D.

August 14, 2001, 01:25 AM
Of course everyone has an opinion. I have noticed that on this forum.:D

The pistol grip does have a use on a shotgun. Many SWAT teams use them and need them. They provide about the only way to keep the shotgun trained on a suspect while doing something else with your other hand. Of course, having a 14" barrel makes things a bit easier.

I do agree that your average civilian and street cop will find that the standard stock works better for their purpose.

Oleg Volk
August 14, 2001, 12:09 PM
1187 because it has MUCH less recoil than 870 with the same ammo.

Vern Brink
August 14, 2001, 03:36 PM
Another vote for the 870. Overall, it's a better value and that will allow you to add features (light, stock, VC barrel etc) without breaking the bank.

I fired a VangComp built 870 and when we patterned the gun, the groups w/a tactical buckshot load was half of the other guns (mostly 870P's, an 11-87 and a couple of Mossbergs). Very nice gun.

You'll be as fast or faster if you're good w/the 870 on follow up shots as someone mediocre w/the 11-87.

Choate and Davis make pistol grip stocks. I like the Choate. Do not just get a "pistol grip". It's a sholder fired weapon, no matter what the movies teach us :)

Benelli or Beretta? Nice guns and a lot more money. Be careful if you add a side saddle not to pinch to receiver by over tightening the mounting screws. Interferes w/functioning.

Best bargain. Find a used 870P and have it re-furbished by Wilson Combat or VC. Depending on the age of the gun, the quality of the barrel might not be up to VC standards for a full job.

Either way you can't go "wrong". I would have both guns now if a "friend" hadn't snuck in on a deal I found on a NIB 11-87. One day I'll repay him :)

August 14, 2001, 03:50 PM
Unless you are recoil sensitive (Sorry, Oleg), the 1187 has no real advantage over the 870. Think of it this way- what is the advantage of semi vs manual? Speed of follow-up shots. Once you get the hang of how to shoot, rack and re-establish your sight picture you will find a pump gun *almost* as quick to follow-up as a semi.

And for the very marginal advantage in speed-of-follow-up you will be paying....in dollars, in complexity, in maintenance time, and in (lack of) reliability.

Not at all worth it, IMHO.


8200 rpm
August 14, 2001, 09:10 PM
If you're in SoCal, you can pick up a 7-shot 870 with a 18" barrel for $289-$25 (rebate).

Then, you can spend the money you saved over buying the 1187 and enroll yourself in a combat shotgun course.

That's what I will do.

August 14, 2001, 11:51 PM
I'd go with the 870 (I did about three weeks ago :D).

870 pros: Reliability.........ammo versatility.

870 cons : Slower follow up shot (can be overcome with training)................more recoil..........can not be operated with one hand.

1187 pros: Faster follow up shots (for some)...........less recoil.....................can be operated with one hand.

1187 cons : Less reliable............it won't digest some lighter loads...............slightly more complicated to operate (can be overcome with training).

As stated............my choice is the 870...............if I'm going to bet my life on something..............it HAS to be 100% reliable.

As far as where to buy it..................your local gun shop.................if you don't support them...........they WILL go away (especially in PRK.........where there is a concerted effort to get rid of them anyway !).

El Rojo
August 21, 2001, 01:49 AM
If I do decide to spend the money on a new defense type shotgun (I already have a hunting 870), I would probably go with the 870. I like the idea of being able to use just about any type of loads in it that I want. The idea behind going with the shotgun in the house is so I can put in some 7 1/2's and severely reduce the chance of a single projectile going half way down the block through a few houses. Plus, cost is a huge thing. I can get an 870 and get a sure fire Responder for the same price as a 1187. Follow up shots are not a problem, I have been wasting away ammo on dove with my 870 since I was like 12. To quote my father, "Slow down, you shoot that thing faster than I shoot my automatic!" Now I have to justify spending the money on a shotgun that I might rarely use. Any one have any knowledge on three gun events in the below Fresno half of the PRK? Let me know.

August 21, 2001, 01:04 PM
What is it about your hunting 870 that makes it unusable for HD? If you want a shorter barrel you can swap it out easily (used riot barrels are perfect and are CHEAP). The Responder is more of an issue, perhaps (I'm not sure how readily they swap in and out). Mag extensions, while nice, are probably not really NEEDED (and as a downside, they make the gun balance differently).

Just a thought,

El Rojo
August 21, 2001, 01:41 PM
I was thinking of getting into some three gun shoots. The other thing is I am a single bachelor at the age of 24 so I am building a firearms collection before some woman comes along and starts restricting my expenditures. So I figure, leave the hunting shotgun as the hunting shotgun and buy the police shotgun to have for shooting larger critters and three gun shoots.

Dave McC
August 21, 2001, 01:52 PM
Mike brought up a good point. All any hunting 870 needs for being a better than average HD tool is a shorter bbl, if that. I'm not the only guy in the county with a short bbled 870 Turkey gun that also does well on quail and woodcock.It would work well for HD as is.Might take the mag plug out,tho(G)...

And riot bbls are cheap, turned down a "Police Cylinder" beater for $55 or so last month. But the downside is...

I could do everything I wanted to with one 870, and two bbls. But, I like having a few. I also prefer a peep to open sights, and taking a peep on and off is too much like work. The second 870 shows up, then the third.....

So, getting that second bbl is the start of the slippery slope to being a multiple 870 owner. It can get addicting!

August 23, 2001, 05:54 PM
El Rojo, the scary thing is that you and I sound too much alike! Avoiding girls so that you can selfishly spend more money on yourself and on guns? NEVER DAWNED ON ME but I guess that's what I've been doing all these years.

Anyhow, southern Ca. 3 gun competitions?

Go here, http://www.jmallard.com/5dogs.htm

Season seems to be coming to an end soon though and I don't know how many 3 gun matches are left. Email Ted Conway on that list and he'll be able to tell you if he ever manages to check his email.

And then have you tracked down a dealer yet? If not I can probably introduce you to my friend who I buy all my stuff from, I think my 870P was right around 400 out the door after his fees and state sales tax, in the end I saved about 50-75 bucks over what you'd typically pay at that big place off Rosedale highway.

Have you been to the Remington Law Enforcement page yet to see what your options are if you're going for a police model rather than go for the new PC models that need to have their tubes converted?


My dealer can likely order from any one of the distributors out there who are likely to carry the Remington LE shotgun line, it's just finding a distributor with a wide selection that's the problem. I found a 5 shot 20inch ImpCyl 870P pretty easily and then added the 3 shot follower myself, don't know if I would have looked around a little longer or not for the 8 shot factory 20in if I had known it existed at the time.

Also, you actually LIKE pistol grip shotgun stocks? OUCHIE! I like my wood Police stocks just fine.

And if you are back in the area let me know by email. I'm getting all rev'd up to go do some shooting, squirrel busting, or by gawd maybe even some coyote shooting now that the weather is getting nice. It's been MONTHS since I've fired a shot, too hot and I've been too busy. If you're around maybe we can head to the range and I'll let you fire a couple more 3 inch mags from my police magnum so we can tide you over till you get your own.

August 26, 2001, 05:24 AM
I also back the 870. A friend and I tried the 870 against his H&K M1 on falling plates. The timer showed no real difference.

He defended his investment by the advantage he had when firing prone. I saw his point when I tried it.

El Rojo
August 26, 2001, 06:08 AM
I just ordered my 870 and it should be on its way. I just have to order my Responder now too and start building my ammo supply. Any suggestions on loads I need to have for my HD and 3 gun shoot 870? Thanks.

Dave McC
August 26, 2001, 08:52 AM
My three gun experience is a trifle dated now, but I used both trap loads and standard 00, with a slug for side matches and/or stages requiring them.

For a basic ammo stash, not counting hunting loads.

First, get a fair amount of cheap stuff, like "Dove" loads. This is you basic practice ammo.

Add a buck load of choice. Lots of us have been trying out the Estate "SWAT" 00. It's a reduced recoil load that patterns tightly compared to other 00. And, it's often on sale for $2.19 a 10 pack from Natchez Shooting Supplies.

For slugs, there's no rule. Each and every shotgun is idiosyncratic, and works best with some laod, and not good with others. Try different ones to see what works for you.