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Old November 25, 2011, 09:08 PM   #1
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"Best" Remington 870 for HD?

I have read and researched a lot about shotguns but have no experience in firing, loading or cleaning shotguns.

I think my local range will let you fire shotguns on certain lanes but only with low recoil slugs. I don't know how this would impact my ability to learn
to fire proper SD rounds.

The only outdoor range anywhere close does not have a set up suitable for practicing CQC. It seems more distance/hunting oriented.

How do chokes and slugs interact?
Is there any possibility of danger here?
I DO NOT want a kaboom!

Getting back on topic, which 870 to choose?
Police, tactical or???

Are any available in parkerized as opposed to blued?
A blued finish is not a good choice for my humid climate.

Thanks in advance!
Mokumbear is offline  
Old November 25, 2011, 10:04 PM   #2
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Slugs versus chokes is a big subject.
Accuracy slug shooters will experiment with different brands and type of slugs and different chokes to find the combination most accurate for them.

For a HD gun, the industry has largely gone to the Improved Cylinder choke, although some still use the Open Cylinder.
Either will shoot slugs with surprising accuracy.

There is no danger shooting slugs unless you fire a slug through a non standard more then Full choke. These are specialty chokes so you seldom see one, and not on any HD type gun.
The correct slugs for a smooth bore shotgun are the rifled type slugs.
The sabot slugs are for use in shotguns with rifled barrels.

On 870 HD shotguns the Cadillac is the 870P Police gun.
These are Remington's top of the line in defense type guns and are built with better quality then the cheaper Express and Tactical guns.
You have many choices in configuration.
Most Police guns are parkerized, and Remington says their parked finish is 60% more durable then bluing.
If when you get the gun you field strip it, including the magazine and give it a good spray with something like CLP Breakfree and let it soak in 20 minutes, the durability of the finish is increased.

Here's Remington's Police gun line. You can buy any of them except the NFA short barrel models:

Remington also makes the Express home defense gun and the Express based Tactical line.
The Express HD type gun is an 18" barrel, synthetic stock, bead sight, Open Cylinder gun. It's available with the standard 4 shot magazine or the extended 6 shot magazine.
It's basically the same gun as the Police model except it's not nearly as well finished, has machine marks and burrs left inside and out, and has a few springs and a MIM extractor that the Police doesn't use.
It has a bead blasted blue finish that is rather prone to rust unless well cared for.

The Tactical line is basically the Express with different stocks, options, and coated type finishes.

If you want the best buy the Police.
It costs considerably more then the basic HD Express, but it's smoother and has the parkerized finish.
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Old November 25, 2011, 10:09 PM   #3
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If rust is a problem you may not want an 870 Express. If you want a true Parkerized finish you may want to contact J.D. at The Express may look like it is Parkerized but it is not and people in damp climates complain about them rusting.
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Old November 25, 2011, 11:53 PM   #4
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Save your money and buy either an 870 Express or Tactical. Same basic gun as the 870P. I have owned both. You will want the 18" barrel and the extended magazine tube. What I do with a new 870 Express is replace the MIM extractor with the forged extractor, the carrier dog follower spring with the heavier version and install a stronger magazine spring (from Wolff Gunsprings). These easily installed parts will set you back about $25. The other difference between the 870P and the Express/Tactical is the P uses a pressed metal trigger guard vs. the plastic part on the Express/Tactical. It is my experience that the plastic version is more durable and can certainly take a direct hit better. Both models now use the identical sear spring. The only other accessories that I would consider essential are a light and perhaps a side saddle shell carrier.

Any 870 will provide many years of dependable service if cared for properly.
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Old November 26, 2011, 12:26 AM   #5
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Don't fret about it so much. Also, don't waste your time and money building one like I did.

I just did it because I thought it looks cool. A standard out of the box Express 18" 7 shot 870 Synthetic like I started with will do everything you want.
Cheapshooter's rules of gun ownership #1: NEVER SELL OR TRADE ANYTHING!
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Old November 26, 2011, 01:17 AM   #6
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Buy a preowned Wingmaster or Police.

Or if you have the extra cash, buy them new.

Don't buy one of the Express lines right now or any of the "Desert Recon", or whatever they call those "tactical" models. Most of them are just the Express with some minor changes in aesthetics.

18" to 20" barrel, depending on your preference. Rifle sights would be my choice, although others feel more competent with just the front bead or ghost ring sights. See what works for you.

Just use an improved cylinder choke for HD. Unless you live in a mansion, you really don't need modified or full, especially if you plan on shooting slugs (which I wouldn't recommend).

Federal's 2 3/4" low recoil buckshots with flite control are the best/most practical. You don't need/want to use 3" or 3 1/2" magnums.

Hope that helps.
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Old November 26, 2011, 08:33 AM   #7
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Call JD at AI&P

Tell him what you want to do with the gun and he will recommend something that is just right and not overkill.
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Old November 26, 2011, 09:26 AM   #8
Dave McC
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Really. there's no BAD 870s for defense.

My choice would be a used police gun, a turn in. Add wear marks.....
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