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Old October 21, 2008, 01:56 PM   #1
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Converting the 870 Remington

I think I've seen a few people take a wingmaster 870 birdgun and switch to a smaller barrel and choke for defense.

Could you do the opposite, and take a defense 870 and swap it to a bird barrel?

I'm just wondering if you could keep the grips the same, and swap barrels, magazine extensions so you could use the one 870 shotgun for both hunting and SD.

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Old October 21, 2008, 02:16 PM   #2
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Yes, you can. I bought an 870 Express with the mag tube extension for HD. Then when a friend wanted to go dove hunting I bought a 28" VR barrel, a mag spring, map cap and plug. It worked great for me (i.e. I brought home doves that I cleaned and we ate).

Someone with lots more experience might tell you it isn't the ideal setup. And they just might be right. I saw lots of hunters with 20 ga. or even .410. I'm sure more than one of them shook their head in disgust at my all black 12 ga. cannon that I brought for such little birds. :-)

Eventually I'd like to have multiple shotguns but for now this works well for me. I actually looked at both options and eventually decided to do HD->bird rather than bird->HD. But either way will work. The 870 is a great platform that way.
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Old October 21, 2008, 02:22 PM   #3
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You are not talking about switching from a 12 gauge to a 20 gauge are you?

Otherwise I assume you are talking about chokes or barrel length, in which case you just need to buy a new one that is long enough for you.

You do not have to change the whole gun for anything. If your shotgun has a choke in it for home defence you can still use it, or take it out and replace it.

If your shotgun has a cylinder bore (fixed with no choke), or a fixed choke you can simply buy a new barrel for it $150-$200, or even cheaper used.

You can hunt birds, deer, zombies, or home intruders no matter what choke you have on your gun. That is why shotguns are so versatile.

Unless you want to shoot steel shot then you might want one that is meant for steel shot or it could wear on your barrel more than lead or copper.
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Old October 21, 2008, 02:44 PM   #4
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Nope staying 12 gauge.

I was wondering more about the barrel, and the magazine extensions and switching that back and forth.
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Old October 21, 2008, 02:59 PM   #5
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Remington already makes what you want, it's called a "Combo"

They don't address the mag extension, that's up to you.
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Old October 21, 2008, 09:09 PM   #6
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yes, you can do the opposite. just be sure of the regs of the state/area you are hunting in. some places allow no more than 3 shells in the shotgun. 1 in the chamber and 2 in the mag. so even with the mag extension you would have to plug the mag. with something long enough to make it hold no more that 3 shells total. or even easier don't use the mag extension. the 870 combo comes 2 ways in 12 ga. and 1 way in 20 ga. and the combo is an express model only too. you can get a 12 ga. wingmaster with a 26" or 28" vent rib barrel and buy a loose barrel with or without rifle type sights smooth or rifled bore, with/without scope mount. fixed choke/rem. choke.

the older model 870 (made before 1986) i think
don't have the silly plastic mag. spring retainer. you can simply screw a mag. extension right on. using a longer spring for it of course.
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Old October 21, 2008, 09:10 PM   #7
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Yes, you can, but it's cheaper to buy a sporter model and convert it to an HD gun than the other way around; the longer sporting length barrels cost a lot more than the HD-length ones, and the factory HD setups cost more than the sporter models.
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Old October 21, 2008, 11:35 PM   #8
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picture time...

express was $239
18.5 barrel was $96
shurshot was ~$75 (bought on ebay)

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