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Old December 14, 1999, 10:38 PM   #1
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These seem to be very comparable shotgun systems, the only major difference that I can discern is the steel receiver on the 870 vs that aluminum on the 1300. Does anyone have a strong opinion one way or the other. I am interested in the gun for general duty/home defense.
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Old December 15, 1999, 12:24 AM   #2
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Hi P-35,

There is some great background on this question on TFL.

Go into the "search" area and enter the keywords and you'll see many, many interesting threads.

I've found that it is interesting to enter search terms on areas of specific interest to really "drill down" into topics.

Hope this helps,

~ Blue Jays ~
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Old December 15, 1999, 03:19 AM   #3
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I choose the 1300 over the 870 because the action is smoother and more reliable. The 870 is more popular because Remington won several contracts with large police agencies. Remember, local cops are equipped by bureaucrats who wait for the F.B.I. to select a piece of equipment, then decide that this is exactly what their department needs. Remember, the F.B.I. decided the 10mm was just the ticket, then agents started having problems qualifying, then agents started having problems with over-penetration causing the F.B.I. 10mm-Lite, yada-yada-yada...
My point is that just because "the police" use a particular weapon, that doesn't mean it's the best. Doesn't mean it's not either, just don't believe everything you read in a gun magazine.
Sorry for the rant, just tired I guess. I think either shotgun will serve you well, the 870 will just require more money to get the same results in the long run. JMO. YMMV.

May your lead always hit center mass and your brass always land in your range bag.

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Old December 15, 1999, 03:59 AM   #4
Bennett Richards
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I think that BOTH the REM & Winchester are great guns, but I think the 870 might be a bit more reliable in tough and dirty conditions. The rotating locking lugs can jam in mud where the single locking cam and flat bolt face on the 870 is less likely to gejammed. Many Nam jungle fighter told me that the 870 would always function.. not matter how filthy they got...

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Old December 15, 1999, 05:31 AM   #5
Dave McC
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The Winchester may or may not be a good weapon. The 1200 Winchester was found to be greatly wanting when it came to durability and reliability.

OTOH, during my career with the Md Dept of Public Safety,I taught hundreds of Correctional Officers to shot,including with shotguns. The 870s were the issue weapon, tho some fools in purchasing would buy a cheaper weapon like the 1200, or the egregious S&W 3000. Only the 870 held up,and up,and up.

Tower weapons get abused,and maintained if and when.The 870s just kept working,requiring little. One training weapon has been on the firing line continually since 1981, I retired in 98 and the only repairs done were new wood.

One personal 870 here, Pop bought USED in 1956 or so. I've put over 3000 rounds through it,plus what he did,and it's tight as a bank vault.

Maybe the 1300's good.The 870 has an unmatched and rarely threatened record for service. The old Model 97 and 12 Winchesters were also incredible and also J M Browning designs.

Finally, every shotgun here at Casa McC is an 870, and if given another brand of pump gun, it'd be for sale in a heartbeat...
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Old December 15, 1999, 06:05 AM   #6
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I was recently considering the same options and ended up buying a Winchester 1300 defender. IMHO, much more bang for the buck (7+1 rounds, Truglo fiber optic sight, smoother action, and rotating bolt design which is known to be unusually strong). In addition, as advertised by Winchester, this is the fastest pump I've ever used. The gun breaks down very easily in the event any parts need to be replaced, however I consider it a well built, solid weapon and don't anticipate any problems. thus far I've only put about 30 rounds through it, but it has operated flawlessly. There are some that are critical of the fact that the 1300 has a plastic trigger group where the Rem 870 does not, however it dosen't bother me....I also love Glocks
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Old December 15, 1999, 06:46 AM   #7
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I've had both, just passed my 870 on to my son after 25 years of heavy use from trap, to deer, bird, and rabbit hunting. I now shoot my 1300 Defender as my pump shotgun for the plate games. I think they are both good guns, although to me, the 1300 is much faster, smoother, and easier to maintain.

Good shootin to ya
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Old December 15, 1999, 07:56 AM   #8
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You can't go wrong with either choice. I personally prefer the Winchesters. In 30+ years the only thing I've had to do to mine was clean them.

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Old December 15, 1999, 09:53 AM   #9
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I also had one of each. I gave the 25 year old 870 to my police officer son two years ago. I would not give him something that I didn't trust our lives with.
I sold the 1300 and kept my two Remington 1100s.

Neil Casper
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Old December 15, 1999, 11:29 AM   #10
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"You can't go wrong with either choice. I personally prefer the Winchesters. In 30+ years the only thing I've had to do to mine was clean them."

To clean my 870, I just use it to push through heavy brush. ;-)

Zip experience w/Wins. Got 4 870s/various bbls. Do Wins have the switch/bbl capability?

You can short stroke an 870 so you eject the fired shell & fail to insert the next from the tube. Only had it happen once, but, hey, that's all it takes. Just make certain to bang the slide at both ends.

Retro'd one 12 870 with a Choate extension tube & had feeding problems & had to dink around w/the new-style spring cap. Ensure proper functioning after any modifications. 'Course, this applies to anything.

Dad took Nat'l Arm Forces (maybe just AF) skeet in '53 or so using his 870. Musta fired 30,000+ Did have to replace the receiver-mounted ejector spring in ~'74.

Pretty robust.

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Old December 15, 1999, 02:35 PM   #11
Bill Bryant
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The Winchester 1300 has interchangable barrels provided you buy a short magazine version. If you buy the full 7+1 magazine the lock-up system won't work with the hunting barrels.

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Old December 15, 1999, 07:38 PM   #12
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Broke a 1300 ranger. I need to braze the loading action back on. There is two spot welds that didn't hold up to 4 people using it shooting clay birds.
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Old December 16, 1999, 11:50 AM   #13
Ned Roundtree
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I knew this would be a good topic. The fact is both are good guns. And what do you own and get used to. I shoot tactical shotgun in IDPA and everyday practice. Used Remington 870 police models are cheap and plentiful. Got used to shooting that. Others swear by their Winchester. If your not shooting in competition, for the number of times you might actually practice for HD, go with the more economical Winchester. Bang for buck and amount of time you will use it. If you are going to be putting a lot of rounds through it in competition, go with the Remington 870. Both good, depends on intention of use.
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Old December 16, 1999, 04:15 PM   #14
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I'll take the battle-tested 870 anyday, anytime over any shotgun. Period.
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Old December 17, 1999, 06:27 PM   #15
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I was trying to make the same decision about 2 years ago. I wanted a versatile shotgun I could use for ducks and for HD. I was mainly looking for a beater to take hunting and not worry about. I purchased the Win 1300 b/c it was lighter and smoother than the Rem. The 1300 has been great for the field, its pump is smooth and fast it always brings home a brace of green heads if I do my part. It is easy to slog through the mud with this gun, nice and light. However as pleased as I am with it, it jams on 3" shells. I don't know if I am short stroking it or what. When it gets jammed I have to take it apart to clear it. A total pain the the butt. I have been able to replicate the jam with a relatives 1300 (it is the 7 shot HD 1300) Needless to say, I ruled out the 1300 for HD. That said it is a great field gun.
I recently purchased the 870 police for and I am very pleased with it. It is heavier and the pump is slower than my 1300 but it doesn't jam. I looked at the 870 Express HD as well, but the model I saw was pretty rough.

Anyway good luck on whatever you decide.
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Old December 18, 1999, 06:14 PM   #16
Oleg Volk
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My current choice is Winchester 1300 in 20ga. DOes 870 come in 20ga?
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Old December 19, 1999, 10:06 PM   #17
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At my last look, 870s were listed in .410, 20, didn't even look for 16 & 12 (& forget if in 10). They run the gamut from the Express (yup, they're a bit rough but ~$200 new if you look around) to as fancy as you could pay for. Also 3.5" (wish I had one) & youth models which is really neat for the vertically challenged.

I use my wife's youth express for quail & doves sometimes & it's quite a bit lighter than the 12 although the shorter stock takes some getting used to.

For ~$200, get a few.
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