View Full Version : Current Price Check: Police trade-in 870

August 22, 2001, 10:45 AM
The gunshow is rolling into town this weekend, and I 'need' to go get an old cruiser gun. What is a good price for a 870 that is externally beat up but, as usual, internally sound? Figure standard equipment all the way around, no bells or whistles or fuzzy dice.

If anyone wants to post some advice on what to look for/what to avoid, that'd be great too, but I am acquainted with the SEARCH button. ;)


August 22, 2001, 11:11 AM
Coronach: Vance's had trade in 870's a few weeks ago for $119-$179 depending on condition. Most of those included a side saddle shell holder and an extended mag tube. In most cases it was really hard to see any difference between the price grades. I don't know if they have any left but they seem to run an ad about three times a year featuring police trades. What you need is a good Ithaca combo and I just happen to be selling one.. wink.. wink. :rolleyes:

August 22, 2001, 11:58 AM
I don't know where you people keep seeing PD trade in 870's that low, but wish I could find one that cheap. Here in Missouri its hard to find any used 870 for under $200 - way too much IMHO.

This past weekend's gun show in Springfield, MO sure didn't have any deals.

I wish I could find one for $119 specially if they had a sidesaddle and extended mag tube - what a great deal!

B. :eek:

August 22, 2001, 01:34 PM
I actually need an 870, for a very specific reason.

We just upgraded our cruiser guns to Black Tactical Ninja specs, and I need a gun at home with which I can practice. Getting shells out of the speedfeed stock was a chore and I will NEVER be able to do it in a SHTF situation getting practice only at annual in-service. Add in the fact that the gun now feels just plain *wrong* with all the extra doo-dads on it, and well...back to school for Coro.

All this adds up to me possibly buying a used 870 and upgrading it to Black Tactical Ninja specs, too. Besides...its actually not a bad thing to have around the house. ;)

I *just* left Vances, and I saw two police trade-ins on their 'used and abused' shelf (the ones to the left as you face the counter, out where you can tinker and drool). I didn;, however, look behind the counter. Both of the ones out front were well above $200, in stock configuration, and while neither looked beat to hell, neither were they anything approaching mint. One aisle over was a new (allegedly) 870 Express Super-Mag for a hair over $300. Sometimes I just don't get it.

I also don't buy anything from Vance's anymore. Too expensive and my last purchase there left a very sour taste in my mouth.


Dave McC
August 22, 2001, 01:46 PM
Last time I was at Guns R Us, they had beaters with extensions and Choate PG equipped full stocks for $229.

Usually, I see turnins run $150-200, but there's been few lately.Maybe I've been singing the praises thererof way too loudly.

Passed up a nice Wingmaster Mag, replacement bbl was Remchoked, for $250. Shoulda picked it up, but by the time I had suppressed my conscience it was gone.

Good luck....

August 22, 2001, 02:43 PM
"Shoulda picked it up, but by the time I had suppressed my conscience it was gone. "

Don't ya hate that! I'm hitting the gun show this weekend myself - and plan to start conscience supression exercises tonight. Dear Visa......

Al Thompson
August 22, 2001, 07:48 PM
The vast supply seems to be drying up a bit. Place here in Columbia was usually good for 870s and M37s for 175 - 225. They get some in every now and again, but a bit worse condition and higher prices. The K frame S&Ws are in the 225 and up range too. :(

August 29, 2001, 02:05 PM
the PD trade-ins that Atticus saw before at Vance's seem to be back- not sure where they were the last time I was in there, but they were most certainly NOT where I was looking.

There was a 870 wingmaster that had HORRIBLE wood (looks like it had creosote or something similar applied to it) and some surface spots of rust that were blued over (?), possibly with a bluing pen...the largest of these spots was the size of a dime, and was out near the end of the barrel. One spot of...something on the receiver, like adhesive. Also had a Choate extendion tube that I would likely toss.

$150, cash.

The wood doesn't matter to me on this one. The buttstock would be coming off and replaced with a speedfeed, and the fore-end would be replaced with a Responder. Likewise the extension tube...unless it was able to function flawlessly with the other equipment I was going to put on this gun.

Can anyone advise:

1. Ways of dealing with spots of surface rust that are relatively extensive. This gun is going to be a beater, so beauty don't count...but I don't want to have it corrode away on me, either. Dremel and blue pen?

2. Possible problems I should be looking for. I was in a rush, so I didn't go over it very closely. The action functioned smoothly, which bodes well. I'm just VERY leery when I see one beat-up gun going for $150 when one row away I see a similar beat-up gun going for about $250. Something's up, but I'm not sure what.


Dave McC
August 29, 2001, 06:30 PM
Sometimes light rust can be removed by saturating in oil and lightly, repeat, lightly rubbing with 4/0 steel wool. Beyond that, it may be time for living with an ugly gun or spending some money on a refinish.

Worn but intact and rustfree areas can be reblued.

Nasty looking exterior surfaces can be cleaned up nicely by one of the phosphate processes, usually lumped together as "Parkerizing". Brownell's carries lots of stuff for all the methods, including hot bluing.

As for possible probs....

There's an old thread about buying turnins. A coupla things real quick....

Of course, these are done with a shotgun KNOWN to be empty....

Check the ejector, mounted on the inside of the receiver opposite the ejection port. Run your finger over the forward part, seeking roughness to indicate that it's worn past reliability.

Close the action and see if there's much play back and forth when it's locked. This could be excessive headspace.

With the action closed and safety on, pull the
trigger and then take the safety off.If it fires. BIG trouble.

Drop the trigger group and look for corrosion, broken corners on the sear and hammer and any evidence of kitchen table butchery.

Check the bolt where the firing pin comes out to strike the primer for peening.Also look at the notch in the bbl extension and the bolt for wear.

Pull the mag spring and check for kinks, shortening, and rust. Check the inside of the mag tube also.

August 29, 2001, 06:48 PM
"There was a 870 wingmaster that had HORRIBLE wood (looks like it had creosote or something similar applied to it) and some surface spots of rust that were blued over (?), possibly with a bluing pen...the largest of these spots was the size of a dime, and was out near the end of the barrel. One spot of...something on the receiver, like adhesive."

Sounds exactly like the one I bought (for less though ):cool:

I took mine down to bare metal with various grades of emory cloth -then polished with steel wool and flitz -and re-blued with Oxypho (sp?). It was a lot of work, but it doesn't look too bad. I kept the wood, but I had to sand the gunk off, then stain and oil it.

If I were you , I would remove as much rust as possible with 0000 steel wool as Dave Mc said, then touch it up with Oxypho.
Sounds like the wood is history, so that doesn't matter. So did you buy it?

August 29, 2001, 07:39 PM

It was not on display when I was there.

But a true riot bbl gun followed me home! :D It was in SIGNIFICANTLY better condition and went for the same price. The wood may actually be salvagable (not imperative, but its nice to know I may not have to use it as kindling out of shame). The finish, while the dinged, worn and of the 'express' phosphate variety, shows no rust and is perfect for my uses- nice enough to not be an embarrassment, beat up enough to willingly use. The action is oh-so-smooth and locks up tight.

Turns out it used to be a police gun at University of Dayton. Can we say "sat in the arsenal for 20 years?" Serial # A 51**** M, not sure how old that is. Nice. handy. Feels like a shotgun should.

Thanks for the help, guys.


PS BTW, I figured out what was going on with the inventory. They just rotate it, a LOT. As I was heading out the door they lugged out a gun to replace the one I had just purchased- it was one I had seen the other day but was missing when I first walked in. I had assumed it was sold. A real frankenstein of a gun- some 8-round monstrosity that used to belong to Blendon Township- it didn't even have a front sight!

August 29, 2001, 07:51 PM
As an afterthought, why is it that buying used guns always reminds me of the Jawa scene from Star Wars? :D :D :D


August 29, 2001, 09:19 PM
"As an afterthought, why is it that buying used guns always reminds me of the Jawa scene from Star Wars? "

Dunno....must be the characters hanging around.

August 29, 2001, 10:14 PM
I just took it down- it can't be all that old. It has the PC dimples in the mag tube. No keyed safety, though. I should have noted the plastic follower at the shop...huh. Lotsa surface wear, the interior is dirty, but no peening or much visible wear-and-tear...a cruiser queen? Who knows, she's mine now. :D Range report on sunday- we'll know if she's fit to stand guard. :D


Dave McC
August 30, 2001, 05:19 AM
Congrats on your new toy, Mike. A suggestion or two....

I prefer the metal followers, but a survey here a year or so ago had no one saying that they had probs with the Tupperware follower.The one in Frankenstein is glitchfree after a decade of medium to heavy use.

Check POA/POI first on a patterning board, then try your target of choice. I'd use some lighter loads for familiarization, then some buck and/or slugs.Since you're knowledgeable about shotguns, I'll spare everyone the lecture about fit.

One thing I've noted about cruiser guns in general, they tend to be overlubed is some areas and underlubed in others. Add one drop of a good lube like CLP to each action bar and pump it a few times to smooth it up.

After the range test, tear it down and clean out the receiver, relubing lightly. You can do the same with the mag tube after dimple removal.


September 3, 2001, 12:28 AM
She goes BANG when required, puts buckshot close to POA (a little bit high, but not much), and POI for slugs, at reasonable ranges, seems to be DEAD center in the pattern for buckshot. GLORY BE!

I'll have to work out the more long-range stuff later. Close in is looking good, though.


Dave McC
September 3, 2001, 07:22 AM
Sounds like a good'un, Mike. If that was with your duty ammo, Huzzah!

Now try some fast shooting, like Sporting Clays, trap doubles, or "Practical" COFs. If you and it handle these sans glitches, you're ready....

September 3, 2001, 09:50 AM
It is indeed our duty ammo. Federal sissy-buck, errr, reduced-recoil tactical 00 and Federal rifled slugs. I blasted off about 25 rounds of the sissy-buck, at first checking pattern and then shucking and blasting at multiple targets. A few slugs to check POI, and then I burned through a bunch of old birdshot trying to get the wife involved.

She fired 4 rounds. I think I fired about 50. My shoulder is a wee bit sore, I will confess. :D

Next, to get that speedfeed stock...


Dave McC
September 3, 2001, 12:02 PM
Good show, Mike. Were you planning on a mag extension? A little more weight and that shoulder will thank you.

September 4, 2001, 08:53 AM
Oh yes. Mag extension and a speedfeed stock, both of which will bring the weight up a bit and make the gun handle all wrong (:D), but hey, thats why I bought it.


Dave McC
September 4, 2001, 12:05 PM
Don't forget the SideSaddle!

Question, is this to duplicate the new duty shotgun?

September 5, 2001, 12:59 PM
Negative on the sidesaddle.

Yes, it is to duplicate the new duty shotgun...and they don't have sidesaddles. ;)


PS Its also a good excuse to get a n'used (new-used as they say in Pennsylvania) shotgun to supplant my venerable Wingmaster in the home defense role. ;)

Dave McC
September 6, 2001, 10:48 AM
Gotta admit I like the S/S for the weight as much as the extra rounds, Mike. I guess the Speedfeed does the same thing.

Good luck....

September 6, 2001, 09:12 PM
side note, er, uhh, question:
I can't seem to find the police magnum on remington's site.
This is a stock item, right?

One of the shops here has one, wood stock, extended tube, park finish - this is the one, right? - for $280.
I can't see a good reason to hunt around too much after paying $100 for just a TRIGGER job on my handgun!

Also, I hate polymer stocks.
Is there a surefire mount for wood?
I'm thinking like aluminum clamps or something.

September 6, 2001, 11:35 PM
Big Green has gone PC, so the Police Magnum isn't prominently displayed on their site. Annoying.

An 870 police in stock configuration would PROBABLY be synthetic stocks, a standard mag tube, powder-coat finish, 18" cylinder-bore barrel and bead front sight. That one you describe sounds like a modified trade-in.


September 7, 2001, 05:46 AM