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Old February 1, 2007, 04:52 PM   #1
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Remington 870 vs Browning BPS

Over the (many!) years, I've owned and hunted with all types of shotguns but I'm currently in the market for a waterfowl/turkey gun. I've had my share of bad luck with semi-autos (recently sold a Beretta 390 I could never get to eject reliably) and I've narrowed (admittably arbitrarily but for my own, hard to defend reasons, I want a steel receiver) my choices down to either a Browning BPS (which I'm admittably leaning toward based on the tang safety and the current $75.00 rebate offer) and the Remington 870. I want a "camo-colored" stock with built-in sling-swivel studs and, of course, a good recoil pad; a 26" or 28" barrel ; a 12 ga., 3 1/2" chamber and a selection of chokes.
(I would consider Ithaca but I'm not sure this company has any viable future).

I would appreciate any inputs concerning the two aforementioned shotguns, particularly in terms of smoothness of action and reliability in extreme conditions. Thanks.
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Old February 1, 2007, 05:20 PM   #2
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I prefer the 870.

The BPS is a nice shotgun, but I have serious issues with bottom ejection shotguns. The Ithaca was a decent design, very smooth, and is what the BPS is an evolution of. While they are normally reliable, when they do get hung up, it is a very bad thing, with no ejection port to work through.
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Old February 1, 2007, 06:48 PM   #3
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I have two 870's and would recommend one without hesitation. I would, however, add the caveat that it should be a Wingmaster. My Express has been to the shop twice. It would lock up when fired and refuse to eject until I banged the butt on the ground.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I think the BPS is tough to strip and clean. I took my buddies BPS apart for a good cleaning, nice guy that I am, and had a dickens of a time getting it back together. I was familiar with Rem. 870, Moss. 500, Ithica 37, and Win. Mod. 12 at the time, so I figured it would be a no-brainer to clean his gun. Oops. Took me quite a while to figure it out. So, if simplicity of design is a concern I'd go with the 870. Others may offer a contradictory opinion.

Smooth operation? Nothing is smoother than my 870 Wingmaster.
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Old February 1, 2007, 06:59 PM   #4
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870......I have the express version and haven't had any issues with it. The action was just slightly tight to cycle the first 10 rounds or so until it was "broken in" now it cycles like silk.
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Old February 1, 2007, 07:04 PM   #5
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I have hunted with both and like both. The bottom ejection on the bps can be nice. If you duck hunt close you do not wack your buddy with shells. Also the shell will not fall out on your shoe if you pump the gun slowly on its side. I have had more jams with short stroking the 870 and getting to shells in it at once. I have never had this happen on the BPS.
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Old February 1, 2007, 09:46 PM   #6
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Remington 870 vs Browning BPS

I have both guns but when I decided to purchase a good pump for both of my sons I purchased the Browning BPS. Yes the BPS is harder to completely tear down for cleaning until you have done it a few times. Like all machinery very few are manufactured alike.

I was going to purchase the 870 wingmaster. I called Remington factory specialty shop and asked about ordering a pair with high grade wood. They said they would do it but I would have to buy it direct from them then they would send to dealer and dealer would charge me on top of what factory charged for the gun. It ended up after buying the gun from the specialty shop I would also have to pay about $150 each for handling and transfer fees. I told them they could keep them.

Browning sent their BPS's to local dealer and I paid what I would if I bought it at factory without all the extra fees. They will even engrave your name on the gun for an additional fee.

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Old February 2, 2007, 11:04 AM   #7
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I have used both an 870, and the BPS for many years, and you won't go wrong buying either one.
Both are very reliable.
I don't mind the bottom ejection of the BPS at all.
In the field we sometimes have to take shots in weird positions, and that is where the BPS has a slight edge over the 870. It will eject a shell, and reload better than any pump I have ever used.
Another words, it is much more forgiving if you don't pump aggressively as you should.

Again, that, to me is the only advantage that the BPS has over the 870.

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Old February 2, 2007, 11:13 PM   #8
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I have had a couple of 870's, current one is a Special field. I like it except for the safety next to the trigger. Also own Mossberg with the tang safety, which I much prefer. If I had it to do over I would have bought a Browning for the safety and the bottom eject.
I am left handed, the ejection doesn't bother me and have had the safety changed to LH on the 870.
All in all I much prefer the safety on the tang of all my long guns.
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Old February 2, 2007, 11:16 PM   #9
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Again, more personal preference. I detest tang safeties, and greatly prefer triggerguard mounted safeties.
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Old February 3, 2007, 05:40 PM   #10
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The Durakote on the Brownings is a pretty nice feature. What are your thoughts on the bottom eject? Some love it, some hate it. I think it's just going to come down to:

Bottom eject or not?
Safety position?

Other than those things, they're equally reliable ect.
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Old February 3, 2007, 06:01 PM   #11
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Jesse, that will make a guy think twice about how hard it is to tear down a BPS---nothing like a little service. Once you get used to it, I'm sure it's no big deal.
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Old February 4, 2007, 11:17 AM   #12
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I'm a lefty and shot an 870 for years. I then bought a BPS and will never go back. I like the top tang saftey and the bottom eject. You don't throw empties at you or your partner. My 870 is the Express with the bead-blast finish which is a pain to keep clean. If it gets the least bit wet it looks like a cheeto the next day. If you get an 870 get a Wingmaster. The 870 and the BPS are both reliable guns. I've never had a problem. I think my BPS has a better fit and finish, cycles smoother, swings better, and fits me better. It's not to bad to strip with some practice. Looking and the two side by side, you can tell the BPS is built better. It costs a little more though. One drawback to the BPS is lack of accessories. You can't beat an 870 for that. I only put a fiber optic bead on mine. I can't find a factory look recoil pad to save my life.

Here's a site with pics on how to tear it down:
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Old February 4, 2007, 06:09 PM   #13
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Here is a piece of advice that my daddy gave to me and I will give to you.

If you are a hunter, and you hunt both deer and small game.
Buy yourself a shotgun that is the same design as your rifle.
If you get in the habit of cycling the action of the gun a certain way and you get in the habit of taking the safety off just before you are ready to shoot.
You do not want to hunt small game with a Remington Pump and deer with a Bolt Action Rifle.

The safety is in a different place and you will find yourself subconsciencely (sp) trying to take off the safety in the wrong place.
After you shoot, you want to just pump the gun to put the next round in it..

Now if you have a rifle that has a top mount tang safety, then you shoud also use a shotgun that also has a top mount tang safety.

If you are using a Remington Shotgun, you should try one of their pump or semi auto rifles.
That is the only way you would see what I am talking about.
When shooting gets to be a natural part of your hunting..
Taking off the safety and working the action will become second nature..

I would also look closely to make sure that the Browning has a Steel reciever and not aluminum..
I have a Gold Hunter Semi, Invector Plus Choke system, that has a forged aluminum reciever and also a Browning Pump Rifle (300 Winchester Mag) that has a forged aluminum reciever.
Which was discontinued after just 3 years because they put the release in the wrong place for unloading the rifle...
Everytime I went to shoot with gloves on - the lever moved and the pump slide came back and it would not shoot..

The Browning shotgun I had also had issues and mine had a small piece of aluminum break off on the edge of the port where the shell is ejected, and it jammed out in the middle of a big hunt and I no longer trust it.

I had issues with the Remington Super Mag (12 ga ) that I bought.
It was really gritty when it was new and when I field stripped it to clean it, something didn't fit right and I had to spend $60 to get a gunsmith to adjust it for me.

I now carry that shotgun ( the Remington) 90% of the time when I am afield..
You just can't beat a Remington..

I have had several Wingmasters ( 12 and 20 ga ) and never had a problem, even after shooting several thousand rounds out of one.

The only compalint that I had was that the older ones did not have screw in chokes.
Some only shot 2 3/4 inch shells and were only good for rabbits and phesants.... Not a good Turkey gun.

I have a Browning Pump Shotgun - 10 GA and it is very heavy and it kicks and it will kill anything out to about 65 yards.. Very good for Geese and Ducks and Turkeys.

There was a story about a Shotgun that Remington has at its ammo manufacturing plant, a 870 Wingmaster 12 gauge..

It seems that they took it off the production line in 1958 and they shot a million rounds of ammo through it in 30+ years, and the only problem that they had with it was that they had to replace the firing pin spring 3 times....
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Old February 5, 2007, 10:42 AM   #14
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Get the won't be disapointed
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Old February 5, 2007, 01:02 PM   #15
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I have 3 very nice Wingmasters. 1 is an '83 that is brand new for all practical purposes....all 2 3/4", though. No worry, that's why I have 2 magnum Expresses, 1 20ga and 1 12ga. that'll do the dirty work. I am very pleased with these guns, as you can tell.
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Old February 5, 2007, 09:37 PM   #16
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Well, I don't know, I have had less problems with the autos, then I have had with the pumps. It would be a tough choice for me. For a waterfowl gun, I would choose the BPS over the 870, because of the top tang safety, and the fact that I once purchaed a new 3 inch 870 that never did work right, and the factory never made it right. I know 870's are normally pretty reliable, but some of the later ones did give trouble. However, I used to own an older 2.75 inch 870 that was perfect in it's operation.

For a new gun, I might be leaning towards a Montifeltro.
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Old February 7, 2007, 04:45 PM   #17
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Thanks everyone for the inputs; it's all been interesting and helpful. As in so many cases, it does seem to come down to personal choices. Waynedm was right when he opined that it all comes down to three things: cost, bottom ejection preferred or not, tang safety position preferred or not. The Browning costs more; I slightly prefer bottom ejection (I wish I'd kept the old Ithaca 37 I sold many years ago) and I (sorry liliysdad!) greatly prefer a safety on the tang. And to The Gamemaster, though I agree with your position in theory (keep all gun functioning positions and operations as similar as possible), in reality, over the years, I have easily adapted myself in short order to many, many different modes and configurations of firearms. I own and use (including hunting) bolt-actions, slide-actions, semi-autos, lever-actions, single-shots, side-by-sides and over-and-unders; top, side and bottom ejection and safetys located on the tang, in front of the trigger guard, behind the trigger guard, on the trigger guard in the front (Ruger Mini-14) and on the trigger guard in the rear (Browning Double-Auto). I am also mindful and appreciative of the old adage: "Beware of the one gun man."

I'm still undecided
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Old February 20, 2007, 10:14 PM   #18
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870 . shoot it clean it. have a good smith polish the wear spots, you can do this your self. put a hundred rounds thru it tear it down and with super fine wet paper polish everything down. it will run smooth as silk. leave the trigger group alone. just clean that. search the web for this info its out there.
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