Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Project 870 Questions

I'm going to be getting into the project of turning my 870 into a good all around HD or trunk gun. Will talk more about this later but right now I have some questions to help me gather info.

Slings- Do you have a sling on an 870 and if so what type? Is drilling a hold in the stock to put the swivel easy to mess up? What sort of front end attachment did you use?

Extended Tubes- Do you have a (non original factory) extended tube? What type (make and + how many rounds) and are they a hassle to install? My initial thought is to get a factory made Remington one. Is there any advantage to that?



Anonymous said...

Are you dead set on a 870? I have an 870 Express that I turned into a tacticool home defense shotgun (Nordic Technologies +2 mag extension and clamp, Spectre Gear buttstock shell holder, Mesa Tactical 4 round side saddle with picatinny rail mount) that, while very well suited to its new purpose, turned out to be very expensive versus just buying a factory model. Which brings up my second point: if you are going the factory route, why not consider a Mossberg? If I were doing this from the ground up, a Mossberg would be my choice: plenty of factory configurations to select from, good choice of accessories and, oh yeah, the control placement on a Mossy is at least ten times better than on an 870. My friend just purchased a Mossberg 500 with factory magazine extension and Eotech forend light from Cabelas for $ could do so much worse than that. With that light running over $200 on its own, she basically got an 8 round 12 gauge for $200. Good times...she was very happy. But if an 870 is your cup of tea, go for it. I'd probably go factory model as opposed to a do-it-yourself option, just for economic reasons.

Anonymous said...

Aaaaand reading comprehension for the win. Rereading your post I see that you already have a 870. So in that case, my answers: 1) I don't run a sling on mine (yet), as this is only intended for home use; if I had to carry this on a daily basis then yes, some sort of padded sling would be the ticket. My Spectre Gear buttstock shell holder has a sling mount on.the side, so I didn't have to modify the stock at all. I picked the Nordic Comp mag extension partly because the barrel clamp has provision for mounting a small rail section on the sides of the clamp, giving me an attachment point for a sling. 2). I went with the Nordic Comp extension based on the reviews I had read- it certainly wasn't cheap, but it's definitely a quality piece of kit. The rail sections I mentioned above allow me to mount a sling or light / laser as desired.Very pricey, but I have no buyer's remorse. I'm sure the Remington factory model would also be good to.go. Just note that you will likely have to have the dimples at the front.of your tube mag removed. I had my local smith do it.

Aesop said...

re-purposed M-60 MG padded sling and QD swivels;
not if you have basic eyesight and handtool skills, but a drill press or even a handheld drill clamp helps a lot;
clamp-down (over barrel and mag tube)front end swivel attachment. If I bothered to get a short (3-5 bump)picatinny rail on the clamp, one of the anywhere loop/QD/whatever attachments would be ok, but what I've got works fine.

Extended tubes:
Choate Mach. & Tool, and also a Rem. OEM, both +2 rd. ext.;
no advantage either way that I can tell, they both work fine and install about the same.

Acquire an extra cap nut or two for the forward end of the mag tube, just in case.

Both tubes are under 20" factory smoothbore bbl. with rifle sights. Thus they're both about equal in length, at a length that works going through brush or doors without becoming ridiculously long. (Their HD version comes with this, my Express combo had a 28 MC barrel, and a 20" with a simple bead. Being a rifleman first and last, I still pick up the rifle sights quicker than the bead, esp. @ night, and they come in handy if you sight in slugs, which is why I got the other 20" barrel.)
And the sight blades fore and aft get a coupla dabs of simple luminescent paint. 20 seconds with a handheld light, and I've got serviceable night sights for the next 30-60 mins, no batteries, and no dying tritium over 10 years @$100 a pop.

For what it's worth, when the shotgun's been primary weapon, I'm more fond of spare ammunition in either a MOLLE drop pouch or double elastic pass through SAW/M240 ammo bag, but an old ALICE canvas buttpack on a cross-shoulder sling works as well, and holds up to 100 rds of boxed or loose 12 ga. It's definitely easier than fumbling with shells in loops in pouches under flaps (I mount one anyway, but for a dozen 1 oz. slugs to keep them separate) or sling or shoulder bandoleer loops, which mainly only add CDI/Magnificent Seven Factor, and if I can't get it done with up to 900 00 Buck pellets, I probably should have brought the minigun in the first place. A cut-down Hefty bag inside the buttpack provides all the weatherproofing I need for the rounds short of a Navy Seal submarine lockout insertion. YMMV.

Anonymous said...

By the way, this is one great blog.

Okay, back to the shotgun stuff...

You might look at this guy's site :
There are reviews there about lots of 870 stuff.

Or this guy :

Me, I don't have any of it :)

I've got my plain-Jane 870 (4+1).
Plus a spare one just like it.
(I work offshore, and we get nervous if we don't have a spare. Or 2... or 3.)

To me, the poster called Aesop makes some good points.

1. Seems to me that a simple bag full of shells beats those add-on shell holders.

2. I like the idea that slugs stay separate. Simple and easy. And I like simple even more than I like spares. Right now my buck and slugs are from different vendors so the colors will be different, but in next to no light will I be able to tell ?

3. I also like rifle sights. I put the short Remington factory barrel on mine, so I now have no rear sight and an itty-bitty little stupid bead at the front. I don't like this setup at all, so I plan to add some easy-to-acquire-a-sight-picture rifle sights to mine.

Of course, if I had just bought the 870P model that I wanted in the first place,I'd have rifle sights plus a longer magazine.
And the wood-and-blue model of the 870P looks like your basic duck gun, in case a jury ever needs to decide your future for you.

I have to admit that would like to own a Mossberg someday, so I can be comfortable with the big 2 of shotguns.

- Charlie

Commander_Zero said...

I use the Wilson Conbat/Scattergun Technologies 870 parts. Why not the best, y'know? I kept mine pretty simple: mag ext, sling, and a SureFire forend. My wifes 870, on the other hand, is so hardcore it makes mine look like the Hello Kitty edition. Pistol-gripped shoulder stock, sidesaddle ammo carrier, winged tritium front, fully adjustable winged tritium rear, mag ext, and 3-point-sling. She got it when she haned a plain-jane hunting 870 to her instructor and asked him to make it into a defense shotgun. He went a little overboard. Nice gun though...definitely a first choice for TOEOTWAWKI.

Keep it simple. It really is way too easy to go too far on a shotgun. Sling, ext mag, sights and youre pretty much done.

Anonymous said...

I have plastic furniture on my HD 870 Express. The stock came with a hole predrilled for a sling swivel. The other end of the sling resided in a swivel on the mag tube end cap.

Until I decided to add a Choate mag extension. It is a +3 tube that came with a barrel clamp with a sling swivel attached. That was OK until the screw on the barrel clamp stripped. I now have a clamp that mounts a light in place of the stripped screw clamp, but no sling swivel.

I then discovered a single point sling attachment that fits between the stock and receiver ALA the AR 15 single point sling attachment. I now use a single point sling and it works fine. Lets the gun hang where I can have it ready and use both hands for other things as needed.

Biggest problem with 870's is the !%$@!%%# dimples in the mag tube. Grind the damn things out, they are a curse on an otherwise fine shotgun. Or buy an old Wingmaster without them, I did. Old Wingmasters are the best 870's ever made.

The Choate extension works fine but the mag clamp is junk and throw away the orange mag follower they provide. The factory Remington extension is probably better but I have no experience with it. I have shot with folks who do and they like them.

I have 18" IC choked slug barrels on my 870's The HD has one on it all the time and the Wingmaster has one that can be installed when needed. Barrel has rife sights.

I prefer a bead on a Shotgun as I shoot clays and can shoot instinctively. I could talk for hours about this but recommend some skeet shooting to learn instinctive shooting.

The 870 express guns are not as nice as the Wingmaster, Remington had to cut corners to compete with the Cheap Mossbergs. The quality suffered in the mid/late '90's as many of their older employees retired en mass and it showed. That is why I prefer older Wingmasters. The Wingmaster is 100 times better than any Mossberg ever made. Too bad Remington went cheap with the express.

Number one tool for 870's is a forend wrench that allows you to remove the forend furniture. Buy one from Brownells and you will have many friends, just do not lend it out!

Anonymous said...

anonymous @ 3:33AM

No need for a forend wrench. The bottom half of the 870 bolt doubles as a forend wrench.

Anonymous said...

"No need for a forend wrench. The bottom half of the 870 bolt doubles as a forend wrench."

Did not know that. Even an old dog can learn something new! Kind of like the 1911 that was designed to be completely stripped without tools.

But having a simple tool is much easier for a lazy type like me. And you don't risk damaging the bolt.

Tony said...

I run V-TAC slings on my 1100 competition master, I readily noticed the difference mostly when I was shooting USPSA three gun matches. Watch the video on their site, then it will assist you with a better understanding when choosing their sling. They also make a butt stock adaptor too for their slings.

Anonymous said...

Choate hardware....

Anonymous said...

I have a Nordic extension on one gun and a TacStar on another and both have worked "as advertised." The Nordic was a bit more expensive if that equates better quality.

I was recently told a large socket of the appropriate diameter can be used to "iron" out the little dimples in the Remington mag tubes, but have not tried that myself so proceed with caution. I can see where the socket could be pounded in the front of the tube, but kinda unclear about how to get it back out if it wouldn't pass thru the receiver end of the tube.


Ryan said...

H, I do not equate cost with quality but do lean towards proven duty grade type stuff.

I haven't figured out how to deal with those little dimples yet. Going to burn that bridge when I get there.

Anonymous said...

Shotgun technologies +2 extensions are about the best aftermarket tubes. And you can get them with any number of forward sling mount. The come with an xtra power spring and hi viz follower. You can buy a Nordic clamp to go with it. Two point quick adjust sling is a must for combat shotgun, in my opinion. Vtac combat applications sling is nice. I make my own. Remington extensions are nice too but cost more and are a little heavy.

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