View Full Version : Rem 870 barrel dilemma

September 28, 2001, 01:00 PM
I have been adding to the 870 accessory collection over the last few weeks. I now have slightly more money in barrels, than I do the rest of the gun. I now have three barrels - the original police trade in 18" bead sight "riot" barrel - a rifle sighted slug barrel- and a 28" full choke Remington barrel.

I plan on using this 870 primarily for deer hunting and HD, but would like to keep bird hunting options open (including ducks, geese & pheasant)

Then ...... I visited the new Gander Mtn. store and saw an opportunity to part with even more money (at least in the short term). They have a choke tube special running which includes converting the barrel and a choice of three choke tubes. I really hadn't considered this option before, as I would have held off on purchasing the other barrels... but what the heck.

Now .....I am thinking about having Gander Mtn. install the triple choke package (including a rifled choke tube- full -and ??) on the 18" smoothbore. and selling the other two barrels. Shots at deer around here are typically under 75 yards, and the SG is scoped during the season anyway).

After reading the recent posts on TFL about shot barreled SG's being used effectively for trap and skeet, I'm thinking that this could be a good way to reduce clutter, and save money, while still having a very effective all-in-one tool.

What do you think? Would the multiple choked 18" be a viable alternative to switching barrels back and forth all the time?

Sorry if this post is a little dis-jointed. I've written it piecemeal between tasks this afternoon. Thanks.

September 28, 2001, 04:40 PM
Personally, I would have the 28" bbl choked with IC, MOD and Full chokes and keep all of the barrels. Then you would truly have a universal shotgun.

Geoff Ross

September 28, 2001, 07:14 PM
K80GeofF: That was my original plan actually, but after reading a few of the recent posts about short barrels, I began to wonder if a choked 28" was that much more useful than a choked 18".
And after pricing sabots vs rifled slugs, I began to question the need of a slug barrel. I use a 20 gauge Ithaca for small critters, which comprises about 90% of my shotgun usage, so that is a factor in this as well. But sticking to the original plan, as you suggest, is probably the best way to go. Thanks for the input.

September 29, 2001, 02:03 AM
I'm with K80Geoff on this one. There's a reason that the standard barrel on an 870 is 28" and not 18". A longer barrel is just so much easier for the average shooter to use for pass shooting, whether you're talking about clays or real birds.
I'm speculating here because the only short barrel I use involves turkey hunting, but I'd imagine a barrel as short as 18" would take a lot of getting used to when a horizontal swing is required. That is, you'd have to practice quite a lot to become proficient with it. At the very least, you'd need to make some modifications to the gun to make it muzzle heavy.

The best system would be a short barrel set up for chokes (such as the one on the Remington turkey guns or the Gander Mountain package you mention) and a longer barrel set up for chokes as well. With some adjustable fiber optic sights (such as those made by Williams http://www.williamsgunsight.com/image_s.htm ) there's not a situation you couldn't handle.

Upland Bird Hunting: 28" with appropriate choke
Skeet, Trap, Sporting Clays: 28" with appropriate choke
Deer Hunting: 18" with probably an IC choke (slugs, buckshot) and fiber optic sights
Turkey Hunting: 18" with XF choke and fiber optic sights
HD: 18" with IC choke, sights optional

You don't mention if that slug barrel is rifled or not. If so, I'd probably keep it too since you'd get a little more range with slugs.

September 29, 2001, 07:27 AM
Guyon: the slug barrel is rifled. There is nothing I can't accomplish with what I already have, so I'll probably keep everything and save up for the choke job(s). So many projects.....so little $. Thanks gents!

September 29, 2001, 10:58 AM
Now that I think more about it, the only reason you need chokes for the 18" barrel is if you turkey hunt, where a XF choke on a short barrel is the norm. It will work fine as is for HD. And you've got deer hunting covered with that rifle-sighted, fully rifled slug barrel.

In my earlier post, I was speculating about how you could cover the most jobs with the least amount of barrels.

However, if you just want to give that short barrel a try in a variety of applications, well then, I say set it up for chokes and let us know how it all works out.

Dave McC
September 29, 2001, 01:04 PM
Lots of options,none showing much clear advantage, nor disadvantage.

First,my best trap work with Frankenstein,even w/ a weight on the mag cap to make it a bit more muzzle heavy,still leaves me scoring a coupla birds lower than with the 30" bbled claycrunching 870 TB.Of course, if I shot it as much under range conditions, the difference would diminish. I doubt it would disappear.

OTOH, it handles better for SC, quail, etc.

I wearied of mix and matching 870 bbls a while back so I started building/buying dedicated specialty 870s. 5 of them may be a trifle excessive, but who am I to judge(G)?

If I were starting over, I think I'd set up 2 870s. One would be a full bore HD/"Serious" weapon w/ a peep sight, mag extension,etc.This one would suffice nicely for deer hunting. 18-20" bbl.

T'other would be something like Frank, an anything flying GP sporter. As money allowed, I'd add a bbl so that I had a "Turkey" bbl of 20" or so, and a longer bbl 23-28", depending on expected use. That Turkey bbl would do well on a backup HD tool. This would take some dinero, but what doesn't?

NOTE: While much ink has been devoted of the joys of short turkey bbls, some of the best I know still use the 28" bbls they had long ago. One GOB I used to hunt with favored his Grandaddy's Long Tom single,w/ maybe a 40" bbl.

If I had to do it all with one shotgun, and had eyes young enough for good work with open sighs and twoo bbls,it'd be a rifle sighted 18-20 smoothbore bbl for deer and defense, and a vent rib, tube choked bbl of whatever length appealed to me, probably on the short side.

That Express Combo with a Turkey bbl and a slug bbl comes close.