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Old February 17, 2020, 08:08 AM   #1
Grouser1865
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870 Historians needed

I have an older Wingmaster and believe it to be all original (but who knows of course relative to the barrel). Assuming it is I am curious about two things.

1. What was Remington envisioning this particular configuration would be used for - Magnum (marked) receiver, 30 inch fixed full choke barrel which is also marked "for 3 inch shells?" Wouldn't be for trap and if just a general purpose magnum gun, why a full choke?

2. I would like to own another barrel with a different choke. Has there ever been a model made that came with a fixed modified choked barrel that was also with a three inch chamber? I would like a three inch chamber with mod choke and am trying to avoid having the current barrel threaded. I am also trying to avoid just buying a current production barrel with RemChokes.

Thanks guys.
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Old February 17, 2020, 08:44 AM   #2
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30" Fixed full choke with 3" chamber was intended for waterfowl hunters. Traditionally 30' barrels were full choke, 28" were modified and 26" were Improved Cylinder before the change to choke tubes. But there are exceptions. Some 28" barrels were full choke.

I don't know how easy it would be to find one but there are probably some fixed choke barrels out there for sale. Lots of guys converted to the newer barrels that are threaded. There are probably some fixed choke barrels sitting in closets unused that could be bought. Might try placing a "want to buy" ad in the classifieds here and on other gun related forums.
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Old February 17, 2020, 09:48 AM   #3
Grouser1865
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Are any of those 28 inch mod barrels chambered for three inch shells? If not, there's no point in looking; I should just thread my barrel or buy a new Remchoke barrel. Right?
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Old February 17, 2020, 10:04 AM   #4
ocharry
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ebay will be your friend for this...lots of barrels for 870 and 1100 remintions on there

if you want to keep you original barrel you could buy another and have it threaded ,,,,unless you want to shoot 3" shells you can use a 2 3/4 barrel on that receiver with no problems

i kinda doubt you find a modified choked 3" barrel but you might ,,,be worth a look,,,not sure if remington made them that way

and usually fixed choke barrels go kinda cheap

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Old February 17, 2020, 10:48 AM   #5
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No help with your quest, but, I have a 1975 870 Wingmaster in 20ga. 28" barrel, fixed mod, and it also came with a 26" barrel with fixed Imp Cyl. No vent rib on either.
Love that shotgun. Good luck in your search.
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Old February 18, 2020, 02:20 PM   #6
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"...why a full choke?..." Water fowl. 3" is more about geese, but also ducks at slightly longer ranges.
Have a Wingmaster I bought in about 1979/80. (Wingmasters were not always Remington's high end shotgun.) It came with a 30" full choke barrel. Several years ago(15 or more years after I bought the thing), I put a 20" slug barrel on it with no fuss of any kind. An 870 is an 870.
Brownell's lists Carlson 28", 3" fixed, Mod choke 870 barrels at $176.
"...ebay will be your friend..." They are not now nor will they ever be a friend to shooters. They give money directly to the people who want to take your firearms away from you. Buying or selling there directly funds those people.
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Old February 20, 2020, 05:31 PM   #7
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I've got an 870 so marked, and it is from 1980. When purchased, it came with a 30" , vent ribbed full choke barrel. I found that way to long, and tight for general use, and ended up with a pair of 26" tubes, full and IC.
the IC tube was 2-3/4", the full was 3". Both looked and swung the same.
With 2-3/4" short magnums, (1-1/2 of lead #5 or #6) it gave me saturation fire on decoyed ducks (no steel shot in my zones) to about to about 35 yds and was a good combo on the small water I hunted. Lighter game loads served for everything else. The full choke barrel was for pass shooting doves in orchards and for gobblers.

Fifty years ago ( and more) full choke was often touted as the "game gettin" choke and long barrels were also erroneously thought to add range as well. The popularity of full choke may have had something to do with the quality of the old shotshells and wads. But modern shells with their shotcups turned things around, and full was really too full for general small game hunting.

By 1980, beliefs were changing and the quality of shotshells had vastly improved. Remington likely saw that gun as a waterfowl and turkey gun. It might also have served for called predators. But it also catered to those folks who were not contemporary and still believing stuff passed down from years before. At home in a duck blind,the long barrel would have added a wee bit of velocity, and a good bit of sight plane for pass shooting. But I can tell you, that 30" tube was WAY to long to tote ridge to ridge after a wandering gobbler.
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Old May 18, 2020, 02:47 PM   #8
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don't be tempted to buy and put a 2 3/4" bbl on a receiver designed for 3" mag.
if you forget, or just look at the 3" marking on the receiver, and chamber a 3" into a 2 3/4" bbl...itll ruin your day.
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Old May 18, 2020, 04:19 PM   #9
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i,m not saying to do it, fire a 3" in a 2-3/4 chamber. but other than a bad kick, i don,t think it would hurt the 870. myth busters fired a 12 ga rem 870 express with two 20 ga shells in the barrel with no damage to the 870.
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Old May 21, 2020, 12:14 AM   #10
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2-3/4" barrels

The combo I described above, the magnum receiver and the pair of 26" tubes, were not both chambered identically. The IC tube was for 2-3/4" shells only, the FULL tube was 3". Though they looked identical, the open barrel was for the shorter shell.

I never had a problem, never mixed them up.....but I only ever used the full choke barrel for spring turkey. Everything else got hunted with the IC barrel and 2-3/4" shells in the fall.

You can do it, just don't mess up.
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Old May 21, 2020, 12:52 AM   #11
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12 ga. 30in. Full choke has been the standard "long range" set up since the black powder days. When the 3" shell came along, it was just "sauce for the goose" and a lot of them got sold to waterfowlers.

A generation or so later, we get the screw in chokes, and fixed choke barrels become a glut on the market.

The point about firing a 3" in a 2 3/4" barrel is well taken. The longer shell's crimp unfolds in a part of the barrel not relieved to accept it, and that causes a constriction, which raises pressure.

Probably won't hurt an 870, they are built like tanks for strength, but many, many other 2 3/4" guns are NOT.
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Old May 21, 2020, 08:20 AM   #12
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Remington made 3" chambered modified choked barrels for over 30 years. Most years a Modified choke was not offered in a 30" barrel, only 28", but in 1976 for one it was.
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Old May 21, 2020, 09:28 AM   #13
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Couldn't the existing barrel be reamed out to a modified choke? As has been pointed out, the old 870s commonly came with a 30" full choke barrel. Mine did, circa 1976. I think you could find a gunsmith who has a set of reamers, and you don't have to send in the whole gun.
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Old May 21, 2020, 12:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
But I can tell you, that 30" tube was WAY to long to tote ridge to ridge after a wandering gobbler.
I won't argue with that, but I will point out that a lot of folks, particularly of my generation, who grew up somewhere between lower income and dirt poor seldom had much choice. When there was one shotgun in the house and it was a 30" full choke, that's what we used, and what we learned to hunt with.

Another point was that a 30" full choke "does it all", and while its not as handy for some things, it will serve.

My 16th birthday present was a Winchester Model of 1912, 30" full. Field Grade, made in the 1920s. some finish wear, mechanically sound. With modern shot cup shells, its full choke is more like Xtra full or Super full. But that's what I learned with. Shot a bunch of "backyard" trap with it, too. The gun fit me, and I learned to use it fairly well. (later I learned that the $125 my Dad spent on that gun was nearly half his monthly income. Don't think I ever thanked him enough...looking back now,..with the eyes of a grandfather myself, I should have..)

Later on I got a more open choked gun (modified) and discovered my success rate went down. The dense pattern I was used to simply wasn't there....

My Grandfather's 1909 Ithaca SxS was choked Full/Full (per his order). He held the opinion that if you were missing, you didn't need a more open choke, you just needed to learn to shoot better!

Quote:
Couldn't the existing barrel be reamed out to a modified choke?
any fixed choke barrel can be honed to a larger (more open) choke. The down side to that is, once done, tis done, and there's no going back.
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Old May 21, 2020, 01:03 PM   #15
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I wasn't suggesting "honing" it out. A choke ream would keep the restriction concentric. A brief internet search indicates Briley's would do this for about $90.00, and a couple web sites offer to rent a choke ream for $20.00 and you can do it yourself. It looks like you can buy your own adjustable choke reams too. With modern shotshells there is little utility in a full choke gun for wing shooting. The exception may be for trap or turkey. This is an old 870, not a Parker double, so there is no collector value to be diminished in opening the choke. If a person had a telescoping gauge and a micrometer, or caliper, you could also measure how far back in the barrel the diameter corresponds to the desired choke, and cut the barrel off at that point, file it square, then rechamfer the end and cold blue it. You would probably have to remount the bead though. I wouldn't attempt this on a ribbed barrel, unless you had a very fine hacksaw and some patience.
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Old Yesterday, 12:08 PM   #16
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my first small game shotgun was a old armory steel 12ga single barrel, that was a very tight full choked. if i didn,t wait for what ever i was shooting at to get way out there it was near blown apart. when i bought a 12ga bolt action jc higgens with a select choke i was in hunters heaven with a shotgun that was good from 15 yards to 40 yards.
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