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Old April 17, 2005, 09:03 AM   #1
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Join Date: October 30, 2001
Posts: 146
Remington 870 express turkey...

Had to share this experience. I have an 870 express Magnum, with the 28"
tube. I've had this since '92 and been very satisfied with it. However,
I've never been happy with the 28" barrel, just felt like swinging a long pipe,
not handy, too awkward. I got an 18.5" barrel, for deer hunting but I couldn't
use it for skeet very well, and forget upland bird. For years I've searched
for something relatively short, with a vent rib, and Remchokes with out

Just this year I noticed they came out with a turkey version my beloved
870 express. Rather than buy the whole gun, I ordered the barrel from
the parts dept. Let me tell you I couldn't be happier. It's 21" long,
swings like a classic double, has the mid rib bead, and the finish matches
my express.What really suprised me however was how light the felt recoil
was, and how great it patterns. As soon as I got it I swapped out the
extened turkey choke for a modified one that fits flush, then I went shooting.
My patterns are about 40-50% denser at 40 yards, with the same choke,
as the 28"er. ???? how can that be? When I was cleaning it I noticed
Remington had lengthened the forcing cone to a nice smooth long
transition. Could this be why it patterns so Damn well. Is Remington
doing this on all their ShotGuns or just the Turkey one.

Well I sold my 28", and my 18.5", the 21" now provides me with all the
versatility I expect from my SG. Deer, upland bird, waterfowl, defense,
turkey, and trap/skeet, all with just the twist of a choke tube.

Sorry for the long post, but I have fallen for the 870 all over again.
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Old April 17, 2005, 10:04 AM   #2
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I also have an 870 Express Turkey with a 21" barrel. I got mine back around '92 or so and it came with the 21" barrel and extended extra full choke. (mine is an early one and doesn't say "Magnum" on the receiver)

I didn't like the looks of it sticking out of the barrel, so I bought a Hastings flush full choke, and like you, I noticed a better pattern immediately.

From what I have always been told, barrel length really has nothing to do with the way a shotgun patterns.
If I remember correctly, the difference is about 7 fps lost for every inch shorter you go in length.

I use mine for everything, skeet,hunting, etc. I love that shotgun, it's probably my favorite out of all of my guns.
To me, the length and weight are perfect, it's fast on target, and with the mid bead, it's easy to shoot. Recoil is a little tough with 3" shells, but I rarely use them anyway.
I've never met anyone who didn't like their 870 Express. I wouldn't take anything for mine, it's the most versatile gun I have.
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Old April 17, 2005, 10:21 AM   #3
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I'm with you. I have never seen the need for such long barrels on shotguns. The shorter ones do the same thing in a more compact and usable package.
Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear to be bright until you hear them speak.
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Old April 17, 2005, 04:53 PM   #4
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I have always liked the shorter barrel on shotguns to me they aim and swing better, but seems the trend is to longer.Have a Rem 1100 with short barrel and have to say makes a lot bigger bang then a longer barrel in the same gun.
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Old April 17, 2005, 09:28 PM   #5
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"My patterns are about 40-50% denser at 40 yards, with the same choke,
as the 28"er. ???? how can that be?"

The "real" choke (pattern size) is determined by the difference between the inside barrel diameter and the smaller diameter at the muzzle known as the choke. The bigger the difference, the tighter the choke.

The industry standard may be consistent with the muzzle "choke" diameter, but they've always varied considerably with the inside barrel diameter and so have pattern sizes--no matter what choke is stamped on the barrel. Not only that, different brands of essentially the same loads can vary quite a bit with the same barrel and choke.
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Old April 18, 2005, 06:21 AM   #6
Dave McC
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We can take two shotguns with consecutive serial munbers and identical bore dimensions off the line and shoot patterns only to find that one does best with one loads and the other with something different. Shotgunning still has a bit of mystery to it.

Short vs long barrels will get a heated discussion going quick in any gathering of shooters.

Short barrels tend to handle fast. They often run a bit lighter also, which can be an advantage 3 ridges from the truck. Downside, while easy to get the swing going, there's no inertia to keep it going. They also are quite loud under some circumstances, like in a goose blind.

A short barreled 870 can be deadly on quail, grouse and other birds shot up close and sudden. One seemingly better suited for guarding convicts can provide an education to those who favor doubles.

Long barrels provide inertia from leverage and weight. They are less apt to have major blast and flash. Most target shooters like longer barrels.

I'm not a fan of one shotgun for everything. Compromises are always not completely satisfactory. But if I were limited to one shotgun for all things, it'd look a lot like the Turkey Express....
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Old April 18, 2005, 09:16 PM   #7
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I pretty muchy agree with Dave's analysis. For years my chukar gun was a 12GA. 870 with 26" IC. Then I found myself carrying a 20ga. LW 870, with 23" barrel and modified screw in choke tube--never changed it.

I have a friend who insists on hunting upland game birds like quail, chukar , and sage grouse with his 12Ga. full choke or modified. No amount of discussion will convince him that he handicaps himself 80% of the time with too tight a pattern, just so he'll have that extra range for 20% of the birds.

The 20 modified has about the same pattern density as the 12 IC, although with it's lighter weight, you do have to train yourself to keep swinging.
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