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Old 09-03-2015, 05:22 PM
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I plan to be in the woods often once I retire to northern Michigan and have been studying shotguns for awhile trying to figure out what I want for hunting up there and decided a pump 20 gauge would serve well for birds and rabbits. I discovered Remington made a nice English-stocked Light Weight Special Field Model 870 between about 1984 to 1995 and decided one of these would be perfect. These guns have mag tubes and forends that are about 2" shorter than standard and, from what I've read, are built on 28 gauge-sized receivers. The other day, a buddy on a local forum pointed me to a local gun store that happened to have one on consignment. I visited yesterday and was pleased to find out it was used but in very good shape and featured the 23" Rem Choke barrel that was available for only the last two years of production (this one dates to Feb. 1995, a late example), whereas the earlier guns had 21" barrels, with fixed chokes for the first few years. Considering the condition and desirable longer barrel, I bought it. I paid $450 out the door, which I think is pretty good considering they're averaging around $600 used, when they can be found.

Spent today going over the gun in detail, cleaning it and familiarizing myself with it and I remain very pleased. It looks to have been shot very little, if at all, the only wear being a few slight rubs on the wood and a couple pin point dings on the receiver that any long gun handled a bit will pick up. I put it on the postal scale and it weighs 6 lbs. 1 oz. empty. Figuring only a few more ounces loaded (2+1), it's a real lightweight and should be a pleasure to take afield. At 44" total length, it shoulders and swings like a dream and the straight stock shouldn't be punishing at all with the 20 bore. I look forward to patterning it and bagging some birds.

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Old 09-03-2015, 07:36 PM
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Great find. It appears your all set for retirement.
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Old 09-03-2015, 07:40 PM
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I have one of those... a 12 gauge, NIB with the 21" barrel (fixed choke)... looks almost like the one in your pic.

In the early 90's... I ordered one for a week-long bird hunt... and it did not arrive before I left town. When I got it... I put it in the safe... and was too lazy to sell it. Had it all of this time... and only spray it off two or three times a year with Tetra (light lubricant). Figured it may come in handy one day as a home defense gun. However, I got way, way too many shotguns including my Benelli M4 for HD.

BTW... your shotgun looks great. Just now discovered this... but I need to take a picture of mine for insurance purposes. If I remember it... I will post it here.

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Old 09-03-2015, 08:02 PM
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I always liked the looks of the Special Field shotguns! Yours is no exception.
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:29 PM
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Nice gun. Remington never made a 28 gauge 870 frame. They did make 20 gauge shotguns on both 12 gauge and true 20 gauge sized frames. Your sn should end in K or U. 20 gauge guns built on 12 gauve frames end in X or N .
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:44 PM
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Nice gun. Remington never made a 28 gauge 870 frame. They did make 20 gauge shotguns on both 12 gauge and true 20 gauge sized frames. Your sn should end in K or U. 20 gauge guns built on 12 gauve frames end in X or N .
Thanks for the info. The serial is a U-suffix.
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Old 09-03-2015, 10:07 PM
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several years back I picked up a youth model 870 express in 20 gauge. I think it's a 21" barrel with rem chokes. it has a recoil pad about an inch thick and is the perfect rabbit gun when I'm wearing a couple layers of clothes. it ain't near a pretty as the special field but it will hold down barbed wire fences without me worrying about getting it scratched up. lee
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Old 09-03-2015, 11:02 PM
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Remington also made an 1100 Special Field,
While I love my pump actions an autoloaders reduced recoil is really appreciated at a certain age....
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Old 09-03-2015, 11:06 PM
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Default 20 ga. 870

I have one of those and a 1100 in the same configuration, both in 20 ga. I shoot clays & bird hunt with mine. They are short, light and very quick on crossing targets, double flushes etc. They are great sporting clay or bird guns. Enjoy your's.....it will serve you well.
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Old 09-03-2015, 11:27 PM
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I had the SF in 870/ 12 gauge and the SF 1100 /20 gauge. I used
the 870 very little. The SF 1100/20g with slug barrel felt like a
rifle. Was fastest handling slug gun I had. Traded both of last fall
when Ohio got rifle season. I still have the 21" FC barrel on a
1100 Lt. The main difference between 870 SF and 1100 SF, is that the 870SF will only interchange SF barrels, the 1100SF will
accept any 1100 barrel. This doesn't include the barrels for the
20s on 12 frame.
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Old 09-03-2015, 11:50 PM
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Truly a a real beauty and one I have always admired. Think the price you paid is a bargain for a very well made 870. Have not come across one used myself. Thanks for sharing and think you did well on the price.
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Old 09-03-2015, 11:58 PM
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I've never seen one of those. It's beautiful--love the lines.
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Old 09-04-2015, 03:42 AM
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I've got one of the SF 1100s in 12 ga with a 21" barrel that uses the
Rem Choke tubes. The versatility of the tubes makes the handy little
auto loader a great all around shotgun.
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Old 09-04-2015, 07:25 AM
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Looks like a light handy 20. Grouse in the UP, do you see a lot of them? They are fun to hunt. SO, when is your retirement date?? I'm out February 1st can't wait. Have fun in the field, Larry
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Old 09-04-2015, 09:06 AM
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Thumbs up

Very nice choice

Earlier this year I lucked into a 28 gauge 1100 skeet gun.
I think it would fit the bill similarly.

Expect an update on this with a limit of Grouse
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Old 09-04-2015, 09:17 AM
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I had a 12 gauge 870 special field with chokes for a number of years. it was one of the better quality shotguns Remington ever made. with hunting loads it wasn't the most fun shotgun to shoot but since there wasn't many pheasants anymore it was tolerated.
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Old 09-04-2015, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
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Looks like a light handy 20. Grouse in the UP, do you see a lot of them? They are fun to hunt. SO, when is your retirement date?? I'm out February 1st can't wait. Have fun in the field, Larry
Larry, actual retirement and the permanent move north is still quite a bit away, about 20 years or so, but I hope to get the property, in the northern lower peninsula, within the next 10 years. I'm just stocking up now on what I'll need for up there, planning ahead.
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Old 09-04-2015, 10:50 AM
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That is a very nice shotgun. Congratulations on your find.
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Old 09-04-2015, 06:19 PM
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Gonna keep my eyes open for either model. Be nice to find one for a fair price but these models are rare and can be hard to find. Use to be a lot more fun going into our favorite LGS and looking over guns like these and the Third Gen. Smith and Wessons. Too many budget plastic jobs that don't have the wow appeal these days.
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Old 09-04-2015, 10:30 PM
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I have been going to SD to hunt pheasants for almost 20 years. I used a Red Label the first couple of years and decided I also needed something short and fast with more than 2 rounds. My LGS had a used 12 gauge 1100 Special Field and it is a perfect SD gun. I now use the Red Label one day, the 1100 one day and the 3rd day depends. For this year, I now have a Franchi AL48 in 20 gauge for the 3rd day.

I don't believe regular barrels will fit the SF as the magazine ring is closer than on the other guns.

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Old 09-04-2015, 11:42 PM
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max, correct, the Special Fields require SF-specific barrels.
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Old 09-05-2015, 10:47 AM
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Learn something around here every day. Man, that is a real nice looking set up. Very nice.
I guess they came out after I went overseas and were done before I got back...('84-'99). I need an alternative to my model 12 and 1148 in 28ga.
(Like a hole in the head)
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Old 09-05-2015, 06:19 PM
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-db-

As promised to ya... my 12 gauge 870 Special Field with a 21" barrel...


Never really appreciated this much... until you brought it to my attention. That hold angle on that stock... is great. Woulda used it for home defense... except I got a bunch of others sittin' round...

Your Rem 870 SF shotgun... with the adj. chokes... is considered a LOT more rare than mine... and commands a much higher price...

I salute your find!

(edit: -db-... didn't mean to spam your thread with a bunch of other shotgun pics)

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Old 09-05-2015, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clang444 View Post
Nice gun. Remington never made a 28 gauge 870 frame. They did make 20 gauge shotguns on both 12 gauge and true 20 gauge sized frames. Your sn should end in K or U. 20 gauge guns built on 12 gauve frames end in X or N .
I have a 28 gauge 870LW. Serial number ends in J.

So you are saying that the 28 gauge guns were built on a 20 frame? I'll have to look for a 20 to compare it to, but, regardless, the frame is small, and, assuming it is a 20 frame, I doubt much would have been gained from trying to create a 28 frame.
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Old 09-07-2015, 05:29 PM
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If I had one of these it would be the 1100 model in 20 gauge.
Always liked the look of them best.
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Old 06-15-2016, 09:40 PM
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Nice find! I have a left handed 870 TB with the nicest wood I have ever seen. I bought it new in 1977. If I ever fgure out how to post a photo with the text I will show it off.
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:05 PM
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I have been looking for one in 12 GA. for about half my life.
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:41 PM
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Kevin, if I come across one for sale I'll let you know.
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Old 06-16-2016, 07:49 AM
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I've got the 1100 version of the Special Field, with that same elegant stock. It has become hands down my favorite shotgun and the envy of my friends who galumph along with what now seems to me their heavy, club-like guns.
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Old 09-09-2018, 03:30 PM
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Thumbs up Another One

I guess I'm turning into a Remington guy. This one should also make a decent upland gun. For $250 yesterday, I couldn't pass up this 1977 Wingmaster 20 gauge with 26" IC barrel. This one is built on the now-discontinued "heavy frame" (standard 12-gauge receiver) but the shorter plain barrel makes it pretty quick. I like the classic look of the non-ribbed barrel, too.

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Old 09-09-2018, 04:54 PM
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Wingmasters usually have nice, smooth actions.

Nice find at a great price!
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Old 09-09-2018, 05:12 PM
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I love my Remington 1100 and 870. The special fields were nice but I just can't get along with the straight English stock.
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Old 09-09-2018, 07:30 PM
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Another vote for the Special Field guns. I have a 12 ga. 1100 and for some reason, that configuration of the straight stock and short barrel really works for me. That's just a great shotgun.
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Old 09-09-2018, 09:43 PM
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Love the small gauge 870s and 1100s and have a few. Not too keen on the SF models mainly because I don't like straight stocks. I must admit they handle pretty quickly. Favorite dove gun is my 1100 D grade. Pretty and a good dove shooter on close birds. It is a 410. Have a couple of matched pairs of 1100s(28/410 guns and a matched pair of 870s also 28/410). 1115 sets in the 870s They are kinda hard to find still together. Also have an as new 11-48 410 skeet gun from the Custom shop... cute little thing. Small gauges are made on the original LW frame before they went to the LT frame. Being a Rem person I have a few...even a standard weight (12 ga frame) converted to 410 by Claude Purbaugh. Shoots great too. Y'all have some neat older 870s and 1100s...and can take much better pictures than me
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Old 09-09-2018, 09:55 PM
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Looked at one of those last Friday in 20 ga, for $200.00. Nice looking and light as a feather.

Have a blessed day,

Leon
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Old 09-09-2018, 09:58 PM
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Some great pics to enjoy here. Sure wish they still made these Special Field models today. Only have my TB Trap 1100 from around 1980 which is a keeper. Still huntin for that 1100 LT 20 gauge. Seems many folks hangin onto these sought after models. Can't blame em!
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Old 09-10-2018, 04:54 PM
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I've had a 12ga. 1100 Special Field for a while now. Used it mainly on quail in West Texas.
Got a little older and found a 20 ga. 1100 SF. Like it.
But looking at the 870, I might have to find one.
Have had good luck with the Remingtons.
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by -db- View Post
I guess I'm turning into a Remington guy.
We both must be as I picked up another 1100 28 gauge last week.
It is the top one.




Rifles too

A nice model 24 and 34 came my way in the last year.
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:03 PM
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Armslist yesterday found another 20 gauge 870 Special Field locally and the price was right. This one has the shorter 21" barrel, Rem-Choked. Also recently found a couple extra 21" deer/turkey barrels, fixed Mod. and Full, to complete the package.

So, uh, now the wife's got one, too.

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