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Old 10-07-2018, 09:07 AM
hillbillydruggist hillbillydruggist is offline
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are 870s really that SIMPLE? are 870s really that SIMPLE? are 870s really that SIMPLE? are 870s really that SIMPLE? are 870s really that SIMPLE?  
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Question are 870s really that SIMPLE?

let me start by saying i'm really not mechanically inclined. I bought my youngster a new 870 express. I polished the chamber, replaced the extractor, installed a new shell follower. I always shy away from used GBroker guns for fear of getting a lemon.

but it seems that an 870 is so simple even I could repair it, is it REALLY that simple? is there something besides the ejector(riveted) that I couldn't do myself?

thanks!
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Old 10-07-2018, 09:39 AM
WR Moore WR Moore is offline
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Replacing the shell stop leads the pack. While seldom, if ever, a problem, it requires special tooling to do. Mossberg definitely had a better idea here.

Depending upon what your youngsters future use might be, check the carrier to see if it's got the squared U shaped cut that stops double feeds from tying up the gun. It started out as a LE only thing and, I believe, later became standard. You might be able to change that yourself, but beware of flying springs and spring followers. This is something that could well be done much later when it's his problem.

Last edited by WR Moore; 10-07-2018 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillbillydruggist View Post
let me start by saying i'm really not mechanically inclined. I bought my youngster a new 870 express. I polished the chamber, replaced the extractor, installed a new shell follower. I always shy away from used GBroker guns for fear of getting a lemon.

but it seems that an 870 is so simple even I could repair it, is it REALLY that simple? is there something besides the ejector(riveted) that I couldn't do myself?

thanks!
OR, (for one not mechanically inclined) you might make it worse. The old saying, if it aint broke comes to mind. You don't want to enter the Bubba zone. To answer your question, YES the 870 is pretty simple, but so are others.

Last edited by nachogrande; 10-07-2018 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:00 AM
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The flex tab elevator is a necessary upgrade on a defensive gun, and sure great to have on a hunting one. It allows the action to be cycled when a shell gets caught above the elevator. This can happen when you don’t stuff the shell in quite far enough in the tube and instead of locking behind the shell stops it plops out of the tube.
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:13 AM
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870 & 1100 are very simple guns to work on. The only tool you
need is a push punch for the cross pins. That allows you to drop
trigger group. With barrel off its simple to remove bolt assembly
and release slide bars. Be careful when removing mag spring
retainer or spring will fly. That's about it for general strip. You
need pin punch if you take bolt assembly apart. This is about as
far as I would recommend taking apart for most owners.
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Old 10-07-2018, 12:35 PM
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I don't play golf, as it is a waste of beautiful rifle range space, but I DO carry around a golf tee, purely for taking apart Remington shotguns. Best tool in the world for those pins.
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Old 10-07-2018, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squidsix View Post
I don't play golf, as it is a waste of beautiful rifle range space, but I DO carry around a golf tee, purely for taking apart Remington shotguns. Best tool in the world for those pins.
That is a smart idea, never though of it because I don't golf either. When 870s are new they tend to have that jam when a
second shell jumps the cut off. If you can't push it back into
the magazine it would be handy to have a tee in your pocket
to drop trigger group, to clear jam.
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Old 10-07-2018, 04:26 PM
C J C J is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drm50 View Post
That is a smart idea, never though of it because I don't golf either. When 870s are new they tend to have that jam when a
second shell jumps the cut off. If you can't push it back into
the magazine it would be handy to have a tee in your pocket
to drop trigger group, to clear jam.
I've never had that happen and I've shot my 870 a lot.
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Old 10-07-2018, 06:44 PM
hillbillydruggist hillbillydruggist is offline
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Quote:
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I've never had that happen and I've shot my 870 a lot.
my cousin had that happen a few yrs ago on a new one, avid shooter too
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Old 10-08-2018, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillbillydruggist View Post
my cousin had that happen a few yrs ago on a new one, avid shooter too
I'm not saying it never happens. If people are saying it happened it probably has. I'm just saying they aren't all like that. It could be because I was a stickler about cleaning mine every time I shot it. Shotgun shells have a lot of powder and that leaves residue. And I made sure to load shells correctly. It's easy to not get that last one fully in if you aren't careful.
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Old 10-14-2018, 10:36 PM
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The simplicity is the beauty of the 870.
I have no experience with the express or any of the newer variants. The older Wingmasters were ridiculously reliable and so easy to strip and clean I mastered it at the tender age of 15 when I got my first one.
The one bugaboo was the dreaded shell jump over the elevator. I learned really early the one and only cause in my case was not getting the last shell past the stop. Once I learned to insert the shell a little further the problem disappeared.
I guide bird hunters in the fall and get to see some truly stunning shotguns. My favorite though was an attorney from Alaska who showed up with his prosecutor buddy. The prosecutor was using a Holland and Holland SXS in 20 Ga. When the attorney uncased his gun, I know my mouth fell open. Without a doubt the most worn Wingmaster I have ever seen. He shot the thing like a magic wand. He told me it was the first gun he bought when in law school and it had followed him around the globe on hunts and adventures. Still my favorite “guest gun” to date.

Last edited by Chukar60; 10-14-2018 at 10:41 PM. Reason: Grammar
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Old 10-14-2018, 11:09 PM
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Forgive me for a slight highjack, but...
I have a local fellow wanting to trade me a nearly new 870 Magnum Express 20 gauge with 3 chokes and some misc. ammo for a NIB unfired Bersa 380CC.

I know the little Bersa is a pretty decent little piece.
How are these Remington pump guns? Are they a pretty good shotgun?

Trying to decide whether to make the trade.
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:16 AM
Texas Star Texas Star is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BC38 View Post
Forgive me for a slight highjack, but...
I have a local fellow wanting to trade me a nearly new 870 Magnum Express 20 gauge with 3 chokes and some misc. ammo for a NIB unfired Bersa 380CC.

I know the little Bersa is a pretty decent little piece.
How are these Remington pump guns? Are they a pretty good shotgun?

Trying to decide whether to make the trade.
Assuming that you mean the standard Wingmaster, not the Express grade, they are the standard of the industry for slide-action shotguns. And have been since the early 1950's. But he's offering an Express grade, a cheaper made gun.

More police departments and hunters have used the M-870 than probably any other shotgun.

The M-870 has higher status as a shotgun than anything Bersa ever made does as a pistol!

That said, I have not examined this particular M-870 and it may have some flaw that is causing this fellow to be willing to trade. And it is the cheaper Express.

I suggest that you locate and buy a rev ed. of Elmer Keith's book, Shotguns and read it thoroughly. The rev. ed. includes the Rem. M-1100 and maybe a few other guns that appeared after the original 1950 edition.

The book is dated, but remains the best shotgun book I've seen.

My feeling is that you could trade about even, but I don't fully trust the Express gun to be all I'd want in an M-870. And Remington's quality control in recent years has been spotty, at best. I'd pass and try to buy a nice older Wingmaster grade. But you may have trouble trading a Bersa pistol for one.

If reasonably lucky, you might find a good M-870 for maybe $250-400, depending on where you live and how much the store needs the sale.

I personally wouldn't buy an Express grade, especially with Remington's current QC issues.

Last edited by Texas Star; 10-15-2018 at 12:31 AM.
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:36 AM
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Thanks for the reply Texas Star. Good info. It is a current production gun and it is the Express model.
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Old 10-15-2018, 01:36 AM
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I bought my 12 guage express for a whopping 220 bucks. My old wingmaster deer slayer was considerably more. was looking for a spare Barrel for the old one with the choke tubes. Would have cost at the time close to $200. didn't want to mess up the old girl shooting squirrels in the woods. So got the express and the choke tubes. Shot a bunch of squirrels and always had someone who wanted them. I now have my old wingmaster from the 70's, the xpress and two ex police turn in shotguns I picked up at a local gun show. As far as the express stuck the modified choke tube in and never changed it out. Use plenty of choke tube lube and never failed to come out. If they get stuck sometimes pretty drastic measures like four letter words, barking at the moon and dancing in the woods at midnight might be required. Frank
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Old 10-15-2018, 08:42 AM
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I regret selling my 1980s vintage WingMaster to this day. It was an excellent shotgun. I like Mossbergs a lot and think they are easier to work on. I don't think you can wear a WingMaster out hunting and long as you maintain the gun.
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Old 10-15-2018, 08:45 AM
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My son went to buy a 2-3K Citori or Beretta and arrived at the Trap Range with an 870 Express..... frugal when its his own $$$ but wise.
Broke 14 his first flight.

Prices for an 870 Express 28 is $300 with wood, a Wingmaster 28 is $710 and no price yet for the Trap model.

Other than the stock/forearm/rib/metal finish differences what are the other differences internally ?

Thanks to all.
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Old 10-15-2018, 08:46 AM
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The difference between the Express and the Wingmaster is the dull finish
and birch stock of the Express vs the blue finish and walnut stock of the
Wingmaster. Actually the more recent Express is the better gun than the
older Wingmaster due to the beefed up action bars and shell stops and
the anti jam flexi tab package.
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Old 10-15-2018, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C J View Post
I'm not saying it never happens. If people are saying it happened it probably has. I'm just saying they aren't all like that. It could be because I was a stickler about cleaning mine every time I shot it. Shotgun shells have a lot of powder and that leaves residue. And I made sure to load shells correctly. It's easy to not get that last one fully in if you aren't careful.
The key word was NEW, the stamped guns get broke in after they
are shot or action cycled a hundred times or so. The one plus a
stamped gun has over a milled gun is slop. They can handle more
abuse as far as cleaning.
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwslate View Post
The difference between the Express and the Wingmaster is the dull finish
and birch stock of the Express vs the blue finish and walnut stock of the
Wingmaster. Actually the more recent Express is the better gun than the
older Wingmaster due to the beefed up action bars and shell stops and
the anti jam flexi tab package.
Thanks
I’ve read that the current Wingmasters are made with machined parts as opposed to stamped in the Express.
Interweb banter.

Last edited by Imissedagain; 10-15-2018 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 10-15-2018, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
If reasonably lucky, you might find a good M-870 for maybe $250-400, depending on where you live and how much the store needs the sale.
I wish Wingmaster's were that cheap where I live. They start at $500 for a well used model and sometimes run $700. That's why I have an Express.

BTW the major difference in the Express is a couple of MIM parts, one you can replace and the other really never causes a problem, and the finish. Plus the parts are polished on a Wingmaster but not on an Express. That only matters for the first few hundred rounds. My Express works like a charm every time and has for years. But I treated it good doing stuff like cleaning it every time I shot it and putting a LOT of oil on the finish. It won't be a good finish unless you saturate it in oil many times. Mine doesn't have a speck of rust anywhere. I changed the extractor (MIM) and the tube mag spring to make it work better. I have an extension on it and it hasn't failed to feed in many years - since I got it broke in well and polished the chamber slightly.
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Old 10-15-2018, 04:58 PM
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One option for an old Smallbore shooter:
870 Super Magnum 28”
Timney trigger
Carrier latch spring
Stainless mag follower
Non-mim extractor.... Rem or Volquartsen?

Tube spring?

That’s about $550 plus tax.
We’ll be making new stocks.... business and pleasure.

Thoughts and thanks.

Last edited by Imissedagain; 10-15-2018 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:36 AM
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Quick question.
Receiver differences.
The 870 Express vs 870 SuperMagnum.
I’m told the SM receiver is more robust besides the ejection port size.
It’s 70 miles round trip to check out the SM for $379 vs an 870EX for $289 in the neighborhood..... any thoughts?
Adding the upgrades to either or a Wingmaster, stated above, any thoughts?
We’ll be restocking and possibly engraving whichever we buy along with our Ruger No.1 rifles and our ARs.... no engravings for them.... we’ll have them tattooed like a Sailor.

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Old 10-16-2018, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squidsix View Post
I don't play golf, as it is a waste of beautiful rifle range space, but I DO carry around a golf tee, purely for taking apart Remington shotguns. Best tool in the world for those pins.
Thanks for that tip. I never know where or when I'll learn something.
__________________
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Old 10-16-2018, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imissedagain View Post
Thanks
Ive read that the current Wingmasters are made with machined parts as opposed to stamped in the Express.
Interweb banter.
That info is worth what you paid for it. There are very few
machined parts in the 870 and the internal parts of the Express
and Wingmaster are the same. Just turn an Express upside
down and you will see blued action bars and carrier. Stamped
parts like the action bars and shell latches have small machined
contact points and the part numbers are the same for both
models along with the locking bolt and action slide. If you want
to get true information about the 870 and 1100/87 get the
Kuhnhausen shop manual and ignore the nonsense you see
on the Interweb.
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drm50 View Post
That is a smart idea, never though of it because I don't golf either. When 870s are new they tend to have that jam when a
second shell jumps the cut off. If you can't push it back into
the magazine it would be handy to have a tee in your pocket
to drop trigger group, to clear jam.
I believe my 870 Law Enforcement had the same kind of jam a couple of times; but I eventually cleared the jam without dropping the trigger group --- But it happened so many years ago --- I forgot how I cleared that type of jam.
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erno86 View Post
I believe my 870 Law Enforcement had the same kind of jam a couple of times; but I eventually cleared the jam without dropping the trigger group --- But it happened so many years ago --- I forgot how I cleared that type of jam.
Some times this jam could be cleared by taking barrel off and
removing the magazine retainer, mag spring and follower. There
was a brisk sales on mag spring retainers. When guys did this the
first time in the field many retainers were put in "orbit". You can
do without retainer, it's just a PIA to mess with mag spring every
time you take off barrel. I forgot to add when you gut magazine
you dump everything out through mag tube and spring tension
is removed, making it easy to push shell into mag tube.
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwslate View Post
That info is worth what you paid for it. There are very few
machined parts in the 870 and the internal parts of the Express
and Wingmaster are the same. Just turn an Express upside
down and you will see blued action bars and carrier. Stamped
parts like the action bars and shell latches have small machined
contact points and the part numbers are the same for both
models along with the locking bolt and action slide. If you want
to get true information about the 870 and 1100/87 get the
Kuhnhausen shop manual and ignore the nonsense you see
on the Interweb.
Not always possible to have the various 870s to examine and the level of knowledge of many LGS clerks is lacking as is anyone that is/has been in the USAF and does not know that a B52 exists.

When I get an 870 the manual will follow and sit with his 45 manuals.
Thanks for the advice and facts.

Would you know the difference between the Super Mag receivers and the other 870s and why its said to be stronger?
Thx again!

Last edited by Imissedagain; 10-16-2018 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:35 AM
Erno86 Erno86 is offline
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Amazon & Ebay both sell dvd's on Remington 870 disassembly & assembly.
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Old 10-16-2018, 04:54 PM
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are 870s really that SIMPLE? are 870s really that SIMPLE? are 870s really that SIMPLE? are 870s really that SIMPLE? are 870s really that SIMPLE?  
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Remington says the only difference between the Express and SuperMag is receiver length and some longer parts as necessary.
The “beefier” is on the grill.

Either practice fast reloads with the BT99 or buy the 3.5” and get to the range tomorrow.

Last edited by Imissedagain; 10-16-2018 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:00 PM
Texas Star Texas Star is offline
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What's a SuperMag? For 3.5 inch shells?
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:49 PM
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Imissedagain Imissedagain is offline
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are 870s really that SIMPLE? are 870s really that SIMPLE? are 870s really that SIMPLE? are 870s really that SIMPLE? are 870s really that SIMPLE?  
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Roger that.
Had some old 3.5 laying around so will be stripping and cleaning the 870SM shortly.
Any excuse.

Pics with BT99 soon.
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:05 AM
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are 870s really that SIMPLE?  
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I still have my 1979 purchased Wingmaster. I have shot it extensively and took it completely apart once for a thorough cleaning. It was easy. The action is slick and fast. I will own it until I die, and might even have it buried with me so I can take it to the happy hunting ground.
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Old 10-17-2018, 10:04 AM
hillbillydruggist hillbillydruggist is offline
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are 870s really that SIMPLE? are 870s really that SIMPLE? are 870s really that SIMPLE? are 870s really that SIMPLE? are 870s really that SIMPLE?  
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I just replaced the stock safety with a jumbo head (it was sticking some), I discovered it protruded to far out for my liking, so I put the stock one back in. 5 minutes total time!


p.s. after I lubed area, the stock safety doesn't stick anymore

Last edited by hillbillydruggist; 10-17-2018 at 10:06 AM. Reason: p.s.
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