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  • 870 express or 870 police edition

    Which one would you use on duty?

  • #2
    I have an 870 express I use for bird hunting. It jams every couple of rounds. I say stay away from the express.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Tmg View Post
      I have an 870 express I use for bird hunting. It jams every couple of rounds. I say stay away from the express.
      You should get it fixed, then.

      Anyway, I've used an Express for years with no issues. Especially if you want to add your own furniture anyway, the Express is the better buy. If you want to upgrade springs and whatnot, you can do it cheaply. Mine was a limited factory run that came stock with a Butler Creek folding stock, and I added a light and a sling, and haven't had a single issue with it.
      I miss you, Dave.
      http://www.odmp.org/officer/20669-of...david-s.-moore

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      • #4
        http://www.aiptactical.com/Build_Your_Weapon.html

        Pretty informative read. I have an 870 express and its been perfectly fine.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by houston_1990 View Post
          Which one would you use on duty?
          Is this a real question?

          The Express version is fine for many things, but not combat.
          "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

          "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

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          • #6
            Originally posted by houston_1990 View Post
            Which one would you use on duty?
            They're the same gun except for 3 parts. Save the money and get the express, then update the parts.

            Here's the gun to start with as it already has the 2 shot extension from the factory:
            http://www.budspolicesupply.com/cata...ducts_id/11148

            Here's what I added:
            1. Speedfeed IV-S stock
            2. Side saddle
            3. Vang large safety
            4. XS big dot front sight
            5. MI single point sling adapter
            6. Blackhawk bungee single point sling
            7. Surefire G2X tactical light in CDM gear mount
            8. Upgraded sear spring (Police part)
            9. Upgraded carrier dog spring (Police part)
            10. Swapped the MIM extractor for a cast one (Police part)
            11. Had the whole gun cerakoted

            Steps 8, 9, 10 are the only parts you need to "upgrade" to make your Express a Police model. You can find all 3 parts on Brownell's for like $20 total. Make sure to sign up for a LEO account as they offer a discount on everything. The original shotgun I picked up for $275 on sale, just keep an eye out for them.
            Last edited by SCSU74; 08-13-2014, 10:43 PM.
            In Valor there is hope

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Gmac47 View Post
              http://www.aiptactical.com/Build_Your_Weapon.html

              Pretty informative read. I have an 870 express and its been perfectly fine.
              That's actually the guy I talked to that helped me build mine. He's Aeppi on glocktalk IIRC, lot's of awesome info from him on that forum. Great guy and builds some sweet guns.
              In Valor there is hope

              Comment


              • #8
                I've used the express for duty use for almost 20 years with zero issues. Go with the express. Mine has the rifle sight barrel, extended mag tube, and side saddle. Love it.

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                • #9
                  After Remington was acquired and consolidated (~2006-2007), their quality levels went down. You might as well buy a $150 Chinese clone now. However, if you can get your hands on an older Remington Express, they are excellent.
                  Last edited by Carbonfiberfoot; 09-22-2014, 10:59 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Do not buy a Chinese clone. Don't buy a 870 Express either unless it's a killer deal; then replace the extractor with a Wingmaster/Police extractor! There are way too many good condition, good deal, used 870 Wingmasters out there to justify buying anything else...

                    They've been making them since 1950, but that's good for you because there are over a million. Unless you're issued 3" shells, you don't need a 3" barrel/ejector. (They can be upgraded to 3" though). A Flexitab upgrade may be worth it. If you're handy with tools, you technically only must buy the flexitab carrier ($20 or less). Then grind relief into bolt. (or just get the whole flexitab kit for $89)

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                    • #11
                      My recommendation to buy a Chinese clone was more intended as a recommendation not to buy a new 870 Express. If you're looking for a serious work gun, I'd pick up a FN SLP, Stoeger M3000, or a Benelli M4. I wasn't a big auto shotgun guy until I tried to run a 3 gun course with a pump.

                      Between an 870 Express and a Police, the Police is obviously superior. However, I'd rather have an older Express than a new Police. An older Police would be the ideal 870.

                      Originally posted by Gunsmith86 View Post
                      ...Don't buy a 870 Express either unless it's a killer deal; then replace the extractor with a Wingmaster/Police extractor!...
                      This is solid advice.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        One thing I didn't see mentioned so far, is the detent ball on the hand guard/magazine cap (depending on model). Some of the non-police models lack the detent, and while it may seem trivial, it's not if carrying as a duty weapon.

                        Im a fan of "Big Green" but they have had a few QC issues of late. However, so have other top companies in the industry. It happens. We outfit all of our cars with an 870 police, and all members are required to qualify with it. In the 2 years Ive been working the range, I haven't seen an 870 fail to fire, not counting circumstances of shooter error or gross neglect of the weapon.
                        I make my living on Irish welfare.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Carbonfiberfoot View Post
                          My recommendation to buy a Chinese clone was more intended as a recommendation not to buy a new 870 Express. If you're looking for a serious work gun, I'd pick up a FN SLP, Stoeger M3000, or a Benelli M4. I wasn't a big auto shotgun guy until I tried to run a 3 gun course with a pump.

                          Between an 870 Express and a Police, the Police is obviously superior. However, I'd rather have an older Express than a new Police. An older Police would be the ideal 870.



                          This is solid advice.
                          How is the police superior when the only difference is 3 parts? I guess if the PD is paying it doesn't really matter
                          In Valor there is hope

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SCSU74 View Post
                            How is the police superior when the only difference is 3 parts? I guess if the PD is paying it doesn't really matter
                            I prefer a steel trigger group to a plastic trigger group for basic durability reasons.

                            Nearly every time I've had or seen an 870 malfunction, it has been extractor related. I've seen far fewer of these from Police models. So, I much prefer the machined extractors to MIM.

                            I think that Mossbergs have a superior extractor design. I've have NEVER experienced a failure with my 590. 870s do have better triggers though.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I just want to clear up some things in this thread. This is a pretty big “info dump,” so feel free to just browse the bold words. Edit: It's a book.



                              Mag Cap Detents – There are 2 styles, original (Wingmaster and Police) style, and Express style. Original style uses a spring-loaded ball bearing detent pressed into the barrel support. (The ball detent comes as part of the barrel.) The original mag tube cap has dimples all around the very outer inside edge of the cap. The ball bearing engages one of these dimples when fully tightened, to retain the cap.

                              With Express style, there is no ball bearing on the barrel assembly. Instead, there is a plastic mag spring retainer, which rests at the very front of the magazine tube, and (with the cap off) will stick out of the mag tube about ¼ inch. The Express mag tube cap has ridges machined onto the inner part of the inside of the cap. These engage the mag spring retainer's teeth as the cap is tightened down. The Express mag tube retainer is itself retained by 2 pressed dimples [or tabs] protruding into the mag tube.

                              The original (Wingmaster and Police) mag spring retainer is simply a stamped steel press-fit plug; there are no dimples. Police guns with have a mag tube extension will not have a mag spring retainer, as the extension itself serves this function.

                              Each style works fine. There is no risk of your cap loosening, provided either style is securely hand-tightened. The Express style has the advantages of being simpler to disassemble and is able to be manufactured at lower cost. The original style is the only style fully compatible with mag tube extensions. To remove the mag spring retainer from an Express, you simply push it down slightly with your finger, then rotate it, which frees it to be pushed out by the mag spring. A tool (flat head screwdriver or pliers) must be used on a steel mag spring retainer.

                              Problems only occur when users swap parts around which are specific to each style, and therefore incompatible with one another. This usually stems from the user not understanding the differences between these 2 styles and/or their desire to install a mag tube extension.

                              It is possible to correctly install/retrofit a mag tube extension onto an Express gun, however it requires the removal of the 2 dimples pressed into the mag tube. They can be ground away with a Dremel (and the holes will remain hidden by the barrel support), but more industrious individuals usually prefer to use some type of mandrel (usually a few polished deep sockets from a wrench set) to force the dimples back flush with the wall of the mag tube. This must be done carefully, and with grease to prevent the mandrel from getting stuck. Once the dimples are out of the way, the follower can now slide past and function with a tube extension (and its corresponding longer mag spring), however there is now no detent for the tube extension coupler, which takes the place of the mag tube cap. It, being hollow of course, only has room on the outer edge for original style dimples...

                              So now you have a mag tube extension, but no positive retention for a critical piece of it, the coupler which also secures the barrel itself. A lot of people will tell you this situation is OK, as the extension bracket (barrel clamp) will prevent the extension from rotating, and thus the coupler (being threaded between both pieces) will stay put generally. I'm not satisfied with “generally.”

                              The “correct,” but expensive solution is to purchase a new (Police) barrel with an original style detent on it. That makes things more expensive than buying a Police model in the first place, therefore no one ever does it.

                              Speedfeed recognized this as a common LE problem, and began offering a “Wave Washer” which compresses to hold the coupler tight. It works on any 12ga Remington mag tube (of any model) lacking positive retention due to missing detents. Some have instead used a properly sized O-ring to the same effect.

                              I dislike the above solution, as now I have non-factory parts, and more of them. More things to lose and more which must be done properly, even during simple take-down for cleaning and maintenance.

                              Therefore I say, if you want a simpler take-down and have no intentions of ever putting a tube extension on the gun, Express style cap is better. If you definitely [or may ever] want a tube extension, get an original (Wingmaster/Police) gun, or be prepared to buy an expensive new barrel assembly for your Express.

                              Or you could get a newer production 870 Express HD (current model). These are Express guns, which have an 18.5” barrel and a 7-shot one-piece mag tube. They have easy take-down of the mag pieces (as they don't need an extension), they weigh less, and they are much easier to clean in the front. The only downsides are them being stuck in this configuration (which may be OK for you), and that they come with the MIM extractor, which should be replaced by a machined (non-MIM) Wingmaster/Police extractor for $18.

                              Their model # is 25077 . The older-production ones with a +2 extension had the same model #. They changed to the long tube around 2009. The barrels are obviously unique, due to the location of the support.





                              Trigger groups (Trigger Plate Assembly, as Remington calls it) – There have been variations of the housing (plate) itself over the years. They were never made of steel. Original 1950's 870's had cast aluminum trigger plates. They were extremely high quality, and made by places like Alcoa, who later made M16 parts for Colt. This was the only TPA offered for decades, just as the Wingmaster was the only (or lowest) 870 grade offered. By the late 1980's Remington was looking to significantly improve profit margins and had engineers reevaluate a few things, like cheaper production methods, hence the Express model. It was decided that TPA's could be made from plastic. Remington introduced the plastic TPA later (2000's?) on the low-cost Express models, but still offered LE the best, in the Police models, which were now assembled in a special LE & military-gun-only area of the plant by trained workers who basically knew lots of things about assembling and fitting mass-produced shotguns correctly. Express guns were (and still are) assembled mostly by automated machines and unskilled workers. Express guns simply do not get the same attention-to-detail that Police guns do, and you won't find anything de-burred, polished, or heavily inspected on an Express. Now of course, you can do all of that yourself, if you know how.

                              The Police models continued shipping with a metal TPA, even when Big Green discontinued old-style aluminum trigger plate production. The newer (current) metal TPA is a sintered metal (aluminum/zinc?) which has been shown in some independent testing to be inferior to the plastic TPA. My guess is Remington does not wish to confirm this, as it would create more demand for a “real aluminum” TPA in the Police guns again.

                              Here's a quote from dfariswheel on ar15.com:
                              “The advantages of the polymer unit is that there's no finish to wear off. The guard will flex and return to shape if struck, the aluminum usually just breaks. It's self lubricating, and has stood up just as well as the powdered aluminum unit.
                              Also, no one seems to have problems with polymer pistols, but think the polymer 870 unit is junk just on general principles.”

                              In summary, I rank the stripped Trigger Plate quality as such:
                              1. original aluminum circa 1950-1980's
                              2. current production plastic
                              3. current metal Wingmaster/LE


                              Definitely do not use a TPA with the (now-discontinued) J-lock keyed safety. They can rotate into the safe position without any tools, but a J-lock key must be used to unlock it so it can be fired. That's very unsafe for LE, which is why they were never put on Police models.





                              Extractors – It's already been said, but MIM extractors (as shipped on Express models) suck. You don't know when they're going to fail, and when they do, they snap completely in half. I've only seen one ever that didn't break in half when it failed, and I've replaced probably a hundred broken ones. MIM parts will have no premature failure indicators (signs to look for). Machined extractors (Wingmaster/Police) can/will simply wear out, but it takes decades of constant use. I've replaced about 4; some on 1950's Wingmasters. It was their original extractor. You'll never get there with a MIM extractor. It's a $18 part (retail). Part F16176. I recommend ordering directly from Remington. They can be back-ordered sometimes, but unless some place still has some in stock, they'll be waiting to get them shipped from Remington as well, because no one else makes them.

                              Mossberg extractors were initially designed to be manufactured inexpensively, hence there is only one style of them. I think the 590-series are fine LE shotguns also. (I prefer Benelli for semi-autos.)





                              The most common gun-related failure on a Remington 870 is the fore-end tube nut unscrewing (from firing/vibration) and becoming loose. It can then allow the fore-end to have fore/aft play on the fore-end tube assembly. This can cause short-stroking. Forward movement can be blocked at the front as well, preventing complete lockup. If you notice a “dead trigger,” because the connector is still disengaged, this is the most likely cause.

                              It's easy for a shooter to induce a similar failure on a mechanically correct 870 as well, but don't jump on their case until you've determined their fore-end tube nut was, in fact, secure.

                              The best way to secure them is to degrease the threads on both the nut and fore-end tube, then use Blue Loctite and a properly fitting large fore-end wrench to tighten securely.

                              I like to always check that the stock bolt is tight also. The easiest way to do this is to hold the receiver in one hand, the stock in the other, and twist firmly to check for play. There should be none.


                              As to the other differences in the Police 870...

                              Flexitab carriers are a good thing to have. So are upgraded (post-1985 production) action bar/slide assemblies. I've been doing some research on flexitab upgrade kits, and can post a separate thread on them sometime, if anyone is interested.

                              The stronger carrier dog follower spring is used on LE guns so they can always reliably feed the heavier-weight less-lethal payload shells, even when the spring gets worn out and the gun is 20-30 years old. A standard spring would still do this for a long time. The standard spring leaves the action slightly easier to pump.

                              The heavier sear spring is used due to liability/lawyers.

                              The parkerized finish is better, as it soaks up that rust-preventing oil.

                              In short, if you don't know how to make/verify an 870 awesome yourself, and you know you may trust your life to the gun's reliability, an 870 Police is worth the extra money.

                              End of book.

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