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Thread: My first shotgun

  1. #1
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    My first shotgun

    I own many firearms but still havenít purchased my first shotgun. I decided I want a Rem 870 but am being told the current models (the express) is junk and should steer clear of it. Do any of you have input on this model you can give?


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  2. #2
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    The Expresses are the mainstay of the 870 line at this time. They are budget shotguns when compared to the 870 Wingmaster. The MSRP on the Wingmaster starts at $847.00; the Express starts at $417.00

    This is from a page I copied off the internet some years ago:

    Differences between the Express, Wingmaster, and Police:

    The Express is Remington's "budget" gun, made to compete with the cheaper to make Winchester and Mossberg guns.

    The Wingmaster is Remington’s "Cadillac" top-of-the-line sporting gun.

    The Police is a Wingmaster with a dull finish and is a much more carefully inspected and built gun.

    The new "Tactical" and Marine Magnum guns are based on the Express.

    How Remington lowered the Express price was to reduce hand labor to a bare minimum, and to eliminate much of the polishing and de-burring the better quality Wingmaster and Police guns get.

    The Express is basically the same forged and milled steel receiver and heavy-duty internals gun the better 870's are, just in a rougher, less well finished form with plastic and MIM parts.

    The Express Model has:
    A plastic trigger group.
    The dimples in the mag tube and the new style plastic magazine retention system, EXCEPT on the extended magazine versions, which do NOT have the dimples.
    A rougher finish inside and outside, with machine marks and some burrs left.
    A rougher, bead blasted blue job.
    A less polished bore.
    Hardwood or synthetic stock, with a sporting-length fore end and pressed-in checkering.
    Some Metal Injection Molded (MIM) parts, like the extractor.

    The Wingmaster has:
    An aluminum trigger group, (Possibly changed to polymer in 2008).
    The old style magazine retention system.
    A much smoother finish inside and out, no machine marks or burrs.
    The Wingmaster gun receives a higher level of inspection and finishing.
    A fine, commercial polished blue finish.
    A polished bore.
    A chrome plated bolt.
    Walnut stocks with the famous "Bowling Pin" finish in gloss or satin. and better checkering.
    No use of MIM parts, the extractor is milled. (not sure about current)

    The 870 Police has:
    An aluminum trigger group. (Possibly changed to Polymer in 2008).
    The old style magazine retention system.
    A much smoother finish inside and out, no machine marks or burrs.
    The Police gun receives a higher level of inspection and finishing and is built in a special area of the plant from 100% inspected parts.
    A military-grade parkerized finish.
    A polished bore.
    Walnut or synthetic stock, with a short police-length fore end.
    The Remington “R3” super recoil pad that reduces felt recoil by 30%.
    18" to 20" improved cylinder barrel, with a wide choice in sights, including rifle, ghost ring, and luminous.
    Police options like magazine extenders, forearms with built-in lights, and sling swivels.
    Heavy-duty magazine spring.
    Heavy-duty trigger-sear spring.
    Heavy-duty shell lifter spring.
    Sling swivel mounts.
    No use of MIM parts, the extractor is milled.


    I'm not sure about current trigger groups, they may be polymer. Also not sure about MIM parts.

    If you are looking for a pump action shotgun the 870 Wingmaster is iconic. Problem is the catalog doesn't list them with shorter tactical/hd barrels. If you are wanting new you can buy a Wingmaster and then buy an additional shorter barrel if that is your desire. Otherwise the used market is your best bet.

    I have several Expresses that run just fine, but I've gone through them and polished chambers and bores, as well as other work.
    "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse." - Henry Ford

    ďYou are responsible for your actions, but the world doesnít turn around you, so itís important that you find something bigger than yourself to work for, a way for you to make a difference.Ē - Drew Dix, MOH VN '68

  3. #3
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    Unless you are dedicated to getting a Remington take a look at Mossberg, too. Their 500 is affordable and reliable. I have had one for 35+ years and have thousands of rounds through it without the first hiccup.
    Psalm 34:19

    To argue with a person who renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead. ~ Thomas Paine

  4. #4
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    Differences between the Express, Wingmaster, and Police:

    The Express is Remington's "budget" gun, an absolute piece of junk that will probably fail right out of the box, rather than later in the field (or in a life or death situation).

    The Wingmaster is Remington’s "Cadillac" top-of-the-line sporting gun, supposedly, but I'd bet a plugged nickel that it couldn't compete with my old Wingmaster (this is my speculation extrapolating from the lack of quality in the Express).

    The Police is a Wingmaster with a dull finish and is a much more carefully inspected and built gun, and is the one you want in your hands when the door goes Crunch! in the middle of the night.

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    You donít say what your budget is, so I will just say there are so many better options out there.

    Remington is not the same company it was even 20 years ago.

    Curious how you decided on Remington?

  6. #6
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    Like others have said, Remington has lost their reputation, and for good reason. For a pump, I'd be looking at Mossberg or Benelli, depending on your budget.

  7. #7
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    I reject the idea everyone just needs to own a shotgun, and even more that you should start with a pump.

    Hunting, cost vs an AR, possibility of grizzly/moose interactions, interest in 3gun or clays, or being in a ban State are some good reasons to get into one. Further diluting your pistol and carbine training, that you probably don't get enough of already, is a poor reason to me.

    A good semi is more reliable with little to moderate training than a pump, and probably even many with a lot of training.

    Now your use, training, and expectations might lead to a different perspective than mine.

  8. #8
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    Iím wanting a rem 870 because itís what I have the most experience with (law enforcement academy training) and I know it is a time tested design.

    So would I just be better off buying a used police magnum model rather than a new express model? Iím no gunsmith so going through a new express and polishing stuff/replacing parts isnít really something I want to be doing.

  9. #9
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    Also Iím seeing used prices all across the board. What would yíall say is a fair price for your average condition used 870 police magnum?

  10. #10
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    I am kind of a shotgun guy, and have a bunch of used 870's. I would definitely stay the hell away from an Express. They are made cheap to sell to Wal-martian's.

    If you want a good used 870 Police Magnum, reach out to Mark at Summit Gun Broker. He'll take care of you. I would not pay more than $300 shipped for a used one.

    GT Distributer's in Austin and Dallas is also a good source, they get a lot of trade-in guns. I have bought three 870 Police Magnums from them for under $230 apiece. Some cruiser wear from the vehicle racks was evident, but mechanically they were fine. There are a few springs you can buy from Brownells as replacements. Honestly, they are not very hard to wrench on. I'd buy a replacement Wolff magazine spring from Brownell's with your LEO discount, and then test fire them.

    Hope that helps.

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