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Old January 30, 2001, 12:40 AM   #1
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I have decided that I need to get a shotgun... Went shooting with some friends at clay pigeons (VERY INFORMAL) and would like to do the same thing in my backyard. I have 15 acres and my nearest neighbor in the direction of the shooting is across a small valley - probably 2000+ feet. I don't think the lightweight shot will travel that far will it?

Next question is what barrel length is most usefull for general purpose blasting? I have decided on the Remington 870 over the Mossberg. I really like Mossberg as a company and own 4 of their older .22 rifles, but like the idea of a steel reciever better.

Express vs. Wingmaster? Any internal differences or just quality of external finish? Should I look for an older Wingmaster? I don't need to shoot the 3 1/2" shells or even the 3" for that matter.
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Old January 30, 2001, 02:11 AM   #2
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With the Wingmaster, you're pretty much purchasing a nicer finish. Some of the pieces are polished more nicely than on the Express, but there is no real internal difference. The new Expresses have plastic trigger guards, which I'm not sure the Wingmasters have.

If you want to buy new, I would get an Express. But, if you want to buy used, which I recommend, I'd look for a Wingmaster in good shape. Shouldn't be much more than an Express, and you can skip the stupid keyed safety.
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Old January 30, 2001, 05:12 AM   #3
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Mechanicly, they are the same. The express has the satin finish with what appears to be birch stocks (or synthetic) while the wingmaster has the polished blue finish with walnut stocks. I might be wrong, but I think the Express has pressed in checkering while the Wingmaster might have cut checkering. Other minor differences, which are easy to change if desired, might include the solid recoil pad and center bead on the Express. The cost of the Wingmaster's asthetics is pretty high cosidering it's the exact same shotgun.

For general purpose everything use, get a 26" barrel. I too prefer the steel Remington steel over the aluminum Mossburg and Winchester recievers, but the Remington does feel a little heavier to me.
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Old January 30, 2001, 08:19 AM   #4
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Same gun, different finish. I'd go Express and save the $ for shotshells.
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Old January 30, 2001, 08:22 AM   #5
Dave McC
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First, 2000 feet MIGHT be enough room for a little pasture clays, but I'd rather have 3000. Sprinkling one's neighbors with even spent shot is conducive to ruining relations with same as well as possibly leaving oneself open to Reckless Endangerment charges.

Second, an older Wingmaster is a great choice. A classic design, well made and lasting for generations, and not with the newer,cheaper/PC parts.Barring neglect and/or abuse, there's no way to wear an 870 out this side of a trainload of ammo.

And, I do a fair amount of varied shotgunning, rather than specializing in one or two areas. A typical shooting year would include some informal "Practical" shooting and matches, trap and Sporting clays, upland,predator, turkey and waterfowl hunting,some slug shooting for deer,some instruction, and so on.

The only 3" loads here are steel or turkey loads. Most 2 3/4 loads I use aren't Max loads either, field and trap loads in 7 1/2 or 8, some 6s for squirrels,etc.
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Old January 30, 2001, 10:49 AM   #6
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2000 feet should be enough providing you stay with the small shot -- nothing bigger than 7-1/2. I would check with the neigbhors first to see if they had an objection.

Having owned both guns the Wingmaster with a satin finish stock is my choice. Nothing wrong with the Express but the fit and finish of the Wingmaster is worth the price. Over a life time the cost difference isn't great and life is too short to shoot with ugly guns.
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Old January 31, 2001, 12:05 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies. I went looking today and found a nice older Wingmaster for $249 at one shop it had a 28" barrel with a fixed full choke. I think I will keep shopping. The other shop in town said they would keep an eye out for me. He said he sees the 2 3/4" only guns for $150-$170 and would let me know. It pays to be a regular at a small shop.

How hard are the barrels to interchange? Can it be done without tools? Would like to get a short barrel to interchange with the 26-28" - I know Mossberg makes a barrel for the Remingtons that is pretty reasonable.
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Old January 31, 2001, 12:31 AM   #8
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Barrels couldn't be easier to change. No tools required (unless you consider an opposable thumb a tool).

Keep in mind that a decent gunsmith can ream and thread a fixed choke barrel for a screw in choke for not too much (around $100 last time I checked, but that was a few years ago - not including price of choke tubes).

Another point about the finish on the Express: If you plan to hunt, particularly waterfowl over decoys or turkeys, you might prefer the matte finish instead of the glossy Wingmaster.

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