View Full Version : Dating my 870.

August 29, 2001, 11:43 PM
I've searched the archives and I'm still a little confused about the serial number scheme that Remington uses. I understand that the first letter represents the year of manufacture and the last letter (M) stands for magnum. Also, that the two letter combo on the barrel represents a month and year of manufacture.

FWIW, mine is serial number X19xxxxM, also my barrel is marked
"LK". Was the X in front used for one year only? (and if so, what year?) or for a period of time more than a year.

It has to be at least a couple years old, as it doesn't have the new "keyed" safety mechansim, or the easy to remove magazine spring/plug cap that I have seen on new ones.

Thanks for any help.


P.S. I SWEAR I looked in the archives :D

August 30, 2001, 01:14 AM
Hello SpazzTrap,

According to the 22nd edition of the Blue Book of Gun Values X was used twice, 1929 and 1973.




August 30, 2001, 01:34 AM
Thanks UK2,

Not that I doubt your reply, but it seems odd that mine would be that old. (it would be cool if it was :) )

Mine is an 870 Express Magnum, 28"BBL.

Do you know when the "Express" model was introduced? The engraving font is identical to my bother-in-law's brand new 870 express, so it seems strange that a gun 28 years old would look exactly the same.

His serial number starts with a "D", so I figured that mine was maybe 5 years or so older.

Thanks again.


August 30, 2001, 03:09 AM
The serial number prefix "X" indentifies an 870 receiver built between 1991-1994 according to my Remington armorer's manual and your barrel was made in 2/90.

UK2TX's reference is to the prefix letter for the years of manufacture for the barrel, 1929 and 1973.

August 30, 2001, 03:22 AM
Thanks SKN...that makes sense, and puts it more online with what I suspected the age to be.

Now I can be happy that I have an almost 10 year old 870 in like new condition. (Not to mention at a good price).

I am still interested in when the "Express" model was introduced, and more importantly, as to whether a pre '95 gun was prior to the problems that Remington had with the misaligned choke-tube/barrel thing that I've read about.

Thanks again,


Dave McC
August 30, 2001, 05:44 AM
The misalignment prob you alluded to is much more recent than your 870. As I understand it, the prob surfaced around 1999. Less publicity has attended similiar probs with Beretta chokes, the old Winchokes, etc.

I've noted bbls with more metal on one side at the muzzle than the other. This happens with name brands as well as foreign clunkers.

Note, all makers make lemons. Good makers make less of them. With 6 million 870s made, some are bound to have probs.

Captain Bligh
August 30, 2001, 07:01 AM
Thank God. When I read this topic caption I thought it was about someone that loved his 870 even more than I do.

Man, am I relieved. :D


August 30, 2001, 05:56 PM
Okay, I'm confused. And curious.

If a serial number beginning with X shows that a receiver is from 1991 to 1994, then why does my Express Magnum have a serial number beginning with A and a bbl. code showing that it was made in 10/93? I bought it in 11/93. Beats me.


August 31, 2001, 03:37 AM
johnbt: Your barrel code then is 'E N' ? I honestly can't account for your 870 since the serial number prefix 'A', according to the manual, should not be on a weapon purchased as early as yours was. I suppose one might try calling Remington for clarification.