View Full Version : Remington 870 Express - Help w/ Purchase

December 1, 2001, 06:13 PM
I saw a Remington 870 Express w/ black syn. stock 18" barrel in my local store on Friday that has an extended mag, laser sight (on top where the scope usually is), side saddle for extra shells for $449.99.

I am a complete novice in shotguns so I don't know if that is a good deal or not. It appears that the price is at least fair...it all depends on how much the laser sight is. I figured that the ext. mag is about $20? and the Side saddle is about $15?

The dealer told me one of the guys in the store put it together and only shot it a few times to test it. It shoots slugs, 2 3/4" and 3" shells. The laser he tells me is a PBS3 or something like that. I can't seem to find it anywhere on the web. Does anybody have any ideas?

I really like the look of the gun and would like to purchase it but I don't want to be taken advantage of since I am a newbie to the world of shotguns.

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.


December 1, 2001, 08:32 PM
You can buy a brand new870 Express for about $225, add the bell and whistkes, and still be under that $400plus robber baron price...and your SG will be under warranty to boot (unless that laser thing is worth two hundred...)

My opinion, anyhow

December 1, 2001, 11:02 PM

Thanks for the input...I had a suspecion that the price is a bit high. However, since I don't know what kind of laser sight it's got I don't really know if it is a good deal or not.

I guess it's better for me to just buy a 870 and add the rest myself. How hard is it to add an mag. extension? I've never handled a shotgun before...

Also, where is a good place for me to buy a Remington 870 w/ 18" barrel & syn stock? Something like a home defense version? I called my local WalMart stores but they don't have any...they only carrl the long barrel w/ wood stock. The guys at the two to three Walmarts that I called had even less knowledge in shotguns than I do...if that is possible.


December 1, 2001, 11:30 PM
Welcome to the wonderfull world of shotguning wdigeorge!

Most if not all Walmarts can special order the 870 Express in the configuration you want. And at the same low prices that they sell their stock guns for. Its a little known fact that they have a special order book on hand and can get lots of different guns that they might not have on their shelfs in the perticular store you are in. Just ask.

First off, might I recomend that you look at a used "older model" Express. There is lots of info on this site as to why this is preferable to getting a new one. A couple of reasons are: recent decline in Remington QC, political correct safety/lock and the every contentious "dimples" in the magazine tube. You should be able to find a good condition older used Express for around the same $225 that you can purchase a new one for. However this would require at least some knowledge of what to look for so you don't get a lemon. You say you are new to shotguns, but I presume you are not new to firearms so think you should be able to examine a used gun and at least be able to tell if its worth purchasing or not.

If you feel like you really do want to get a new gun then I highly recomend a package deal. Walmarts and many other retailers sell a Remington package that not only includes a short slug type barrel but also a 26 or 27" vented rib bird barrel. I've seen these packages for in the low $300 range. A very good deal IMO but only if you think you might eventually get into some clay shooting or bird hunting. If not, then.....nevermind.

Anyway good luck with your purchase.


December 1, 2001, 11:44 PM

Thank you. I think I'm going to like shotguning :) I'm a late starter but better late than never!

I'll head over to a Walmart and talk to them about special ordering the gun. I hope they are smarter in person than how they sounded over the phone.

As for a used model....I'm don't feel I have the sufficent knowledge to spot a lemon so I may be best sticking w/ a NIB. I new to shotguns and also fairly new to handguns too. I have only went shooting about 10 times in my life and only used several models of the glock and a few revolvers. I also found out recently that the state I live in, California, is really bad for gun owners. I had no idea how many rules and restrictions are imposed on californians. Every time I pick a pistol, shotgun, or rifle I'm told "sorry, not legal in CA". Very frustrating.


PS - Any other good alternatives to the Remington 870? Mossberg 590A1 or Benelli Nova Pump?

December 2, 2001, 12:08 AM
Welcome to the addicting world of SG's wdigeorge.
I am a recent convert and went from none to two 870's just this year.
I read and re-read the info on this board before buying my 870's. I bought them both used, the first I paid too much for but the second was less than 2 hundred bucks and brought my average cost way down! So I had to buy it, right? ;)
If the search function gets fixed (perhaps it is already. I did not check) you can do some research right here. Tons of good stuff for the novice and expert.
I am thrilled with the 870 model and would recommend one in a heartbeat. The only other SG's I've handled (that are not 870's) are a friend's Mossy and another buddy's expensive Benelli. The 590 is OK but does not seem as rugged as my 870.
I have 20" barrels & extended mags on mine and I have a lot less than 400.00 ea. invested. In fact I am nearer to the 449.00 price that you quoted for the laser-equipped SG for both of mine combined.
I did pick up a spare barrel that I am tinkering with but I spend most of my money on ammo and clays. It is very very cool to bust those birds!
Anyhoo, take some time to read what is here and you will be able to come up to speed quickly and get yourself a good gun.

Dave McC
December 2, 2001, 09:39 AM
Lazer sights on a S/G are really not a great idea. Thye're expensive, fragile, and have a higher snag potential. And, the shotgun is a marvelous CQ weapon without them.

Since you're brand new, I suggest you shun the chains for the nonce and hit the local gun shops. If you can find the one that handles the local police inventory turnins, you can pick up a beater for less than $200, and have a shotgun that's dinged on the outside and brand new or nearly so on the inside. Spend the difference in price between that and the fancy ones on ammo and lessons, and EXCEPT FOR GETTING THE STOCK FITTING RIGHT, leave it unaltered for a good while. Once you know your weapon, then pick out whatever bellsnwhistles that you'd like.

If you can't find a beater or other used 870, then spring for a new Express.

Hopefully, they'll overhaul the Archives and have them up soon. There's a huge amount of info on all things shotgun, including getting started....


December 4, 2001, 11:09 AM
I found the following prices on these shotguns that I am considering purchasing. Can anybody help me decide on which ones to get and if the prices are "good"?

Remington 870 Express Home Defense 18" w/ Black Syn Stock - $255

Mossberg 590A1 18.5" Park. w/ Syn Stock bead sights - $295

Benelli NOVA Pump Speical Purpose 12ga Black w/ Syn Stock - $269.95

Is any of the above shotgun prices especially good?


December 4, 2001, 12:15 PM
All those prices are OK. I would suggest that you drop by some of your local shops to see if you can find something closer to 200 bucks though.

December 4, 2001, 12:21 PM
I checked everywhere in town and their prices are all higher than the ones I have listed in my previous post. The prices I found above are from a dealer in another state.

Any suggestions as to where I can look for better prices? I don't mind buying from out of state since by the time I pay taxes it will be a wash with paying shipping.


December 5, 2001, 09:25 AM
I thing that the Remington 870 Express Home Defense 18" w/ Black Syn Stock @ $255 isn't too bad of a deal. This doesn't seem to be a rip off price and I would consider getting it if I needed another SG. Remember that Remington is still (I think) offering their $25 rebate on 870 Express'. That would mean you are only paying $230 for the gun. From what I've read by California standards, or most states, that's not a bad price for that gun.

Since in your previous post you said you do not feel comfortable purchasing a used SG, then this seems like the way to go.

FWIW - The Benelli @ $269 doesn't seem like a bad deal either. And if your so inclined towards the Benelli name then you may want to consider it. I personally would still opt for the Express.

All things said and done I doubt you can get a new 870 HD Express for less than $230 delivered from an out of state source. I'll recomend purchase at that price.

Good Shooting,

December 5, 2001, 10:19 AM

Thank you for the advise on the 870...I think I will purchase it instead of the Benelli. I heard that you can not change the barrel onthe benelli so I figure I would wait until I'm more familiar w/ a shotgun first and know exactly what kind of barrel (length) that I need before I purchase one that can not be changed out.

By the way, what kind of ammo can I buy for the 870? What is best to use? I don't know very much about it. I think I need to try out a few different ones at a range first but I need to know which ones I should start off with.

Do you need a special barrel for shooting slugs?


Dave McC
December 5, 2001, 10:31 AM
George, you need a standard bbl in an open choke, like Cylinder or Improved Cylinder. These usually give the best accuracy with slugs. But before you get to the ehavy stuff, like slugs, run a few boxes of lighter stuff, like Dove and Quail loads, through that thing. Get used to the weapon, then go up.

Besides breaking in your shotgun, you need to get accustomed to it, learn the MOA, and build your "Chops", as a musician would say. Cheap, light loads are a great choice for this part, and are often a great choice for HD also.

December 5, 2001, 10:36 AM
Thanks for the advise, I will start with something light first and work my way up. I heard many stories about bruises on people's shoulders after a few rounds of shotgunning.

As for the choke....what exactly is that? Please forgive my ignorance since I am new to SG's. I have heard that term used many times but felt stupid to ask the clerk behind the counter.


December 5, 2001, 10:44 AM
Go to Wally World and get some "general purpose" loads. They are about fifteen bucks per box of one hundred.
I checked the Remington Web page and the rebate coupon is gone but it would not hurt to call them and see if they'll still do it.
That would make your SG deal much better IMO.
Now that the search function is working, spend some time looking for answers in the archives here. There is a ton of good info available. For what it's worth, I have yet to put anything through my 870's other than birdshot. I am having way too much fun busting clays to try buck or slugs.
Actually I have some 00, 000, & 04 buck at home but I am waiting to use it to pattern my gun.
After you shoot your SG, you may find that you wish to put on a nicer recoil pad. It is a worthwhile mod IMO.
I get mine from Cabela's. The pre-fit Pachmayr Decelerator's are what I use and they work great.
I would leave all other mods for the future, after you have shot a few hundred shells.
Have fun,

December 5, 2001, 10:57 AM
Wow, the search is working now? I haven't tried it in a few days. That will help alot. I was just over at the Remington website too and found out that the rebate has expired. I'll call them again to see if they have any new promotions. Thanks!


December 5, 2001, 11:04 AM
By the way, if I purchase a 870 Express w/ a 28" barrel can I buy the 18" barrel and interchange them fairly easily?


December 5, 2001, 11:45 AM
All barrels are easily interchangeable between the 870 Express'. So it will not be a problem starting with a 18" bbl then adding a longer bbl at a later date.

The bore constriction at the muzzle end of a shotgun's barrel is known as the "choke." When a shot shell is fired, shot travels down the bore, exits the muzzle and begins to "spread out." Just as a nozzle on the end of a garden hose controls the spray of water, the choke controls the spread of shot - making it narrower or wider.

The three basic chokes for a shotgun are known as "full" (tight constriction; delivers a narrow, dense spread), "modified" (less constriction; delivers a medium-width spread) and "improved cylinder" (even less constriction; delivers a wide, open spread). A gun, which has no choke, is called a "cylinder bore" and delivers the widest spread.

There are also a number of specialty chokes that provide narrower or wider spreads - some of the most popular are for skeet shooting and turkey hunting. A shotgun's choke along with the shells determines its effective range.

The tighter the constriction, the farther the effective range. For instance, a "full" choke is most effective at 40 to 50 yards.

An "improved cylinder" is most effective from 20 to 35 yards. Shotgun barrels come with either "fixed" (non-removable) chokes or today's more popular "interchangeable" screw-in choke tubes (like the Rem Choke system) that allow hunters to quickly and easily change chokes to match changing shooting conditions.

RE: Remington $25 rebate. I just checked and you would have to have purchased your SG by the 15th of November. And mail in the rebate form and receipt to Remington NLT 31 December.


December 5, 2001, 12:58 PM

I just bought a Remington 870 Express for $205.00 from Galyans. Their 25.00 rebate ended and so that bumps the price up to 230... still a deal. Believe it or not, that price is about $60-80.00 less than WalMart. Just keep that in mind before you buy so you can see if there's a location near you.