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Old September 8, 2009, 09:55 AM   #1
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1953 870 Wingmaster... Shooter or Collectable?

I inherited an 870 Wingmaster that is in beautiful condition (perfect, original blue and no wear anywhere).
The barrel code indicates it was made in December, 1953 (code: xZZ).

But I know there are a zillion 870's around, and considering the condition of this particular one, I'm just wondering if this particular example is worth keeping clean and in a case, or if it's value is just "normal" and I should put it back in service as a frequent shooter.

It sat in my uncles closet, unused for decades, and my aunt says he only used it a few times when he first bought it (he bought it new) and then put it away and forgot about it in his closet.
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Old September 8, 2009, 10:07 AM   #2
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TUFF CALL!!! Me, I would shoot it but under ideal conditions... no brush busting hog and deer hunts. Maybe a nice dove shoot or an open country squirrel hunt, that sort of thing, nothing to risk her looks!
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Old September 8, 2009, 11:56 AM   #3
Lee Lapin
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Shoot it, carefully. Respectfully. Keep it as nice as you can. Johnson's paste wax (yes, the supermarket floor care section stuff in the yellow and red can, or the hardware store) will help with that, on both wood and metal.

Congratulations on owning a vintage classic All American pump shotgun, and think nice grateful thoughts about your uncle and aunt while you use it. Karma is important...

Mindset - Skillset - Toolset. In that order!

Attitude and skill will get you through times of no gear, better than gear will get you through times of no attitude and no skill.
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Old September 8, 2009, 12:48 PM   #4
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This guy should have the "Corn-Cob" forend and I'd say it's both as shooter and collectable. I'd shoot it, just because, clean it and put it away. Of course that is if you have another hunter that you can use regularly. I have a friend that has a 16 or that era and would like to have a complete set. You have a nice shotgun and after all these years, worth taking care of.

Be Safe !!!
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Old September 8, 2009, 01:40 PM   #5
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This guy should have the "Corn-Cob" forend...
Yup, that's the one. It's perfectly round with just the grooves around the perimeter.

I think it's pretty neat because it's such a very nice and very early example (1953), but from what I can tell, it's just the "standard" model.
Remington offered some upgraded models even in 1951, and it would have been cool had my uncle "spent the big bucks" back then for one of those, but it's as plain jane as can be (although gorgeous in it's own right due to it's condition).

I think being a modified choke barrel, I'm going to shoot it, but baby it at the same time, by just using it for trap range shooting where it won't get dragged through bushes or dropped in a swamp.
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Old September 8, 2009, 05:28 PM   #6
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While a great gun and in great condition it has been fired so it is no longer in "mint" condition. In reality once the gun is put together the condition goes from 100% to 99% after it is fired once the percentage drops to 98% and down from there. I say shoot it, clean it, enjoy it, love it and repeat then pass it along to another member of the family in the comming years.
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Old September 9, 2009, 03:17 PM   #7
Dave McC
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Cherish it, but exercise it often.

One 870 here is close to new in condtion, with just a little receiver wear and usual marks on the mag tube. It was made in 1955. I may use it next week on doves, changing only to a newer LC barrel.

My oldest 870 codes to 1950, the first year of production. Remington says it dates to "Around 1951". However, it has been heavily modded into a HD tool.

And with a truckload of empty hulls behind it and lots of meat harvested, it is not a safe queen.
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