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Old August 29, 2012, 12:06 PM   #1
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Join Date: August 10, 2001
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Couple of 870 Questions

I just picked up an 870 which needs some TLC. I paid $150 for it so I don't mind spending a little to get it right.

The first issue is the magazine retainer. It's the newer plastic style. I prefer the older metal retainer. If I flatten out the dimples in the tube, can I run the older style without any problem? I noticed the barrel doesn't have the catches for the metal ball detent style cap the old ones used (this one doesn't have the ball detent in the cap). I did some searching but can't see what or if there's a solution to this?

Also, the vent. rib has a nice dent in one section. Is the steel soft enough to work it back out or should I just leave it as-is?

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Old August 29, 2012, 02:26 PM   #2
Dave McC
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Join Date: October 13, 1999
Location: Columbia, Md, USA
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Actually, you don't NEED any retainer, if you don't mind having to keep the spring from sproinging all over the place. Frankenstein, my parts 870, is kept thus. It's my waterfowler and cleaning the magazine tube is imperative after a salt marsh trip.

Lots of folks drill out the dimples, or knock them out,mostly to mount extensions. While I refer the old style system,also, switching isn't worth the hassle. I think you'll learn to live with it PDQ.

As for the dent in the rib, Brownell's sells hard, non marring wedges to fix that. Most smiths, if you can find one these days, do so for a small fee...

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Old August 29, 2012, 07:20 PM   #3
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As for the metal ball, if I understand what you are saying, some barrel lugs come with a hole drilled on the distal face of the lug. It doesn't go through the lug but is deep enough to accept a spring and a little ball, which are kept in place with a $12 staking tool. The ball catches on little notches on the corresponding face of the magazine cap. This is what comes on my old style 7 shot short barrel model.

Some barrels that don't have the spring and ball are nevertheless drilled to accept them. Some aren't drilled. I believe, but it may have changed, not long ago it was a $25 additional charge to order a barrel from the factory with the ball and spring inserted and staked.

Nothing keeps the magazine spring from flying out when the cap is removed.

If you want to use a barrel without a ball detent, get a 3 pack of wave washers from Brownells. You need to use one to keep the magazine cap from backing off.
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