View Full Version : Will 2 3/4 inch magnum loads shorten the life of a Rem 870 magnum?

October 23, 2001, 11:58 AM
Curious to know if its a good idea to practice with mags and how often. Don't want to ruin my 870.

October 23, 2001, 01:51 PM
No, it won't beat up your 870. However, it may beat up your shoulder. It is a very good idea to practice, yes. Shortly, Dave McC (our resident 870 guru) should chime in with antecdotal info about the service life of an 870.

Dave McC
October 23, 2001, 07:43 PM
Do I detect a note of sarcasm,Ben?

Cal, the "Short" 2 3/4" mags will not hurt anything except your shoulder. However....

Firing a 2 3/4" or shorter round in a 3" chamber means that neglect in cleaning the chamber thoroughly means a buildup of crud before the forcing cone. This can lead to corrosion, pitting,
and hard chambering and extraction of the longer rounds. Same with 3 1/2" for those manly men who shoot those howitzer loads.

Proper maintenance stops this. A 10 ga brush makes a good 12 ga chamber brush, or the dowel,steel wool and variable speed drill method will also get the crud out.

As for training ammo, I recommend nice cheap and light loads for most of it, and some duty ammo just to check compatibility and zero. Don't forget to pattern.

The short mags tend to be great for proper game, but I see little use in regular practice with same.

Hope this helps....

October 23, 2001, 07:44 PM
If your shotgun is marked on the receiver/barrel or in the owner's manual as a magnum shotgun, it will handle these loads without problems.
My 870 Marine Magnum is clearly marked and I've never had problems with it -although I use reduced tactical loads nowadays to save my shoulder.

October 23, 2001, 08:50 PM
No sir, I meant it seriously. I've learned a great deal on this forum.

Dave McC
October 24, 2001, 05:06 AM
Thanks, Ben, no offense taken. It's hard to tell sometimes...

There's few shotguns that approach the 870 in longevity and reliability.

Rudy Etchen bought one new in 1950, the first year of production. He was at the Grand in Vandalia, OH, the site of the trap championship. He immediately went out and shot the first 100X100
in doubles competition. He did it again in 1982.

He set records and won events in several shotgun games, including trap, skeet, and columbaire. He used that same 870 to hunt with. In a quail shooting event he went 5/5 on one covey rise.

Would you like to guess how many shells went through that 870, considering Etchen was named to 15 All American teams?

My guess is that his 870 is able to go on for another 5 decades.