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Monday, August 29, 2011

870 101 - Part 1 - Introduction

I'm going to start another series-based post on the 870 shotgun, manufactured by Remington. I'll likely cover a few different things as separate posts; introduction, as a weapons system, accessories and field work.

I'd like to start by saying that I am far from an 'expert' when it comes to any gun - I'm not a gunsmith or a warfighter - I have however gotten used to my firearm as a tool and have enough experience to feel like I can add to the chapters of information already found online regarding this gun as a weapon platform, in a systems approach. I'm sure a lot of cyberspace shell jockeys will queue up the flamethrowers as soon as they read that I'm not an 'expert' but I'm comfortable with what I can bring to the topic, and I guess that's all that really matters.

1300_stainless from CGN let us use this picture as a shining example of a steel and wood 870.
The Remington 870 is an age-old design. With over ten million manufactured in a relatively short amount of time, the design has proven very successful both commercially and during the heat of combat for nearly half a century. On forums and in gun shops, users post pictures of their 870's in many configurations, and I guess that's what makes this platform so popular - it can be made to suit the shooter. From turkey guns to door-breakers, the 870 is a reliable, consistent shooter by most any modern standards.

I've heard of them breaking - sure. But I think that's what initially swung me over the fence to buy one. If anything happens to mine, there are so many of these things floating around that finding a suitable replacement part, from stock to bead sight - will be almost a non-issue. I'll find one somewhere.

CGN user 'zykopat' kindly let us use this picture of his 870 to display some 'tactical' options.
All 870's have a few key features, no matter the model. A bottom loading receiver with an under-barrel tubular magazine are some of the most distinguishing features of this firearm - a model often duplicated by off-shore clones. There's a safety button behind the trigger group, a design that I'm personally fond of, and another reason for my purchase - remember: red means dead. The 870 can come with varying barrel lengths, magazine capacities, stocks and other accessories that we'll discuss in detail later.

There are a number of 870 models; Marine, Wingmaster, Express, Super Magnum, XCS and Police - if I'm missing one, let me know. Each model has different features out of the box and are designed to accommodate the needs of different shooters. I personally bought the Express - it was the cheapest entry level shotgun I could afford, and it offered some features I was looking for already so that I didn't have those items to upgrade.

The other thing that I like about the express series is that it kind of allows you to build the shotgun that you want, from the ground up. It's just bone stock and you can add what you want to it. I had never built a gun from factory stock model before. There's lots you can add onto an 870 and we'll explore options that we have as consumers and what I decided to do in a later post.

Just as there are for the AK platform and different AR15 disciplines, there are entire armourers courses designed for the 870. That tells me a few things; there are a number of companies dedicated to the education of gunsmiths on this particular model - there's a lot of them out there and that means there are more deals to be had on used models. Typically a used 870 can be bought from three to four hundred bucks, in Canada. That's pretty good in my opinion.

The 870  makes a great 'first gun' as well. It's relatively easy to disassemble and 'learn'. It's multi-use in the field - you've got birdshot, buck and slugs. Just in those ammunition options alone, the end user is granted the flexibility of a crude rifle, a historically proven hunter and a formidable defensive weapon.

My 870 - prior to some modifications that have taken place recently.
Between the more 'tactical' options available and the more traditional hunting guns, the 870 provides an avenue to custom build a gun that works as a system. It's entirely possible to own multiple 870's for different tasks. Though some would argue it's a little 'overboard' - there certainly are enough options to keep the idea fresh in my head.

Through this article series, we'll explore the different accessories that can be attached to an 870 as we look at the gun as a platform - then we'll take it into the field.

Stay tuned. In the mean time - sound off in our FORUM.

PART 2 - Add-on's.

870 Wiki Article
Official Remington 870 homepage
Price point for 870 express

1 comment:

  1. Great article Bill, Im fond of the 870 myself. Although I lean more to semi autos, the 870 is one pump I wouldn't hesitate to get. Compared to the Mossberg, I like where the safety is and the stronger receiver is a plus. However, that 590A1 is AMAZING!!! decisions, decisions...