Remington 870 Express Review 2021

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Introduced in 1950, the Remington 870 became not only one of the most popular Remington shotgun designs, but the most popular shotgun ever made, with over 11,000,000 ex-factory. Ilion, New York. The The Remington 870 has been made in every possible configuration, and it’s classic hunting gear you’ll find in almost any gun cabinet, no matter what game they’re playing. It has gained a reputation for reliability in the field, at the pit, in police cars and on the battlefield.

In 1987 Remington started doing the 870 Express, reducing costs by using hardwood instead of walnut and skipping a polishing operation. The 12-gauge Remington Express 870 quickly became one of the top two budget shotguns in the United States, leading to endless debates about the “Remington 870 vs. Mossberg 500” duck camps. We tried to sort out that debate – or at least find our answer – when we took 17 duck shotguns to the Pintail Hunt Club in Garfield, Texas during the September teal season. The The Remington 870 Express we brought was one of the first guns to roll out of the factory since the Remington Arms bankruptcy became the property of RemArms in 2020.

What type of shotgun is the Remington 870 Express?

Our test pistol was the most popular Express setup: a 3 inch 12 gauge with a hardwood stock and a 28 inch barrel. Like all 870s ever made, this is pump action, with a slide that works on dual action bars to prevent twisting and binding. Although the Express is a low-cost weapon, and therefore the first shotgun for many people and the only shotgun some have, it’s hard to find a hunter who doesn’t.

Everyone needs a tough, reliable shotgun they can count on to withstand abuse and keep working, and that’s the reputation of the 870. And, because it has interchangeable barrels, your shotgun Hunting guns can quickly make the switch to a Remington 870 home defense rifle. In addition to the additional barrels, there are countless Remington 870 replacement parts for sale, allowing you to turn the pistol into almost anything you want. want it to be.

How we tested the Remington 870 Express

Pump guns are all about reliability. That’s why we shoot them down, and the truth is that the 870 fell in that regard in the later years of Remington Arms. When we gave the RemArms version its initial inspection, we were concerned. Like we did with all guns, we watched it and walked around the action. The pump stroke was fairly smooth, but the inside of the barrel showed visible tool marks and we were concerned with the quality of the weapon.

So like we did with every gun, we shot a lot. Like so many waterfowl, we had all pulled pumps once, but switched to semi-autos, and rediscovered the thrill of running a pump on this trip. In particular, Outdoor Life’s Alex Robinson, on the other end of the gun line from me on the second morning of the hunt, was clearly having a blast when his turn came to shoot the 870. .

We fired the pistol at the Pintail Hunt Club’s five pit booth, where targets come in in a random burst, and you can empty a pistol quickly. Once we got the rust out of our pump shots, we could all get the 870 running fast enough to keep up with the endless stream of targets.

We weighed the Remington 870 Express, with a total weight of 7.6 pounds, which is a perfect match for the weight of every Express I’ve ever handled. The trigger pressure, measured on a digital scale, was 5.3 pounds, and it, too, was familiar, without too much creep or squeal like most 870 triggers. We used modified chokes in all of the pistols in the series. control panel, which is good for the 870 because modified is the only tube that comes with the gun. At 35 yards, the gun fired impressively, 80-82% with Federal Speed-Shok charges of 3 inches, 1 ¼ ounce from 2 rounds. In fact, it’s so tight that you might want to buy an aftermarket upgraded cylinder choke for the gun for the ducks on the lures.

How this Remington pistol worked

The RemArms 870 produced a duck stop pattern at 35 meters. Stephane Mature

Handling and ergonomics

The pistol had the familiar feel of any Express: a decent weight for a duck pistol and some forward balance to help it swing smoothly. The action was more than smooth enough to keep up with all the clays in the air at stand 5, and the gun never went wrong. The butt fit all of us well, and the pistol pointed and swayed smoothly. The hard rubber pad keeps the gun from slipping if you press it against something, but it does nothing to dampen recoil.

Manufacturing and Aesthetics

Even as someone who prefers raw wood over plastic, I will admit that the wood on this gun was nothing to write home about, with its dark stain and pressed grid pattern. The metallic finish was also typical of the Express, a matte gray-blue that rusts easily. And, as I mentioned, there were tool marks visible inside. Nonetheless, the gun worked smoothly right out of the box.

Versatility

Although better suited, in my opinion, to waterfowl, the Remington 870 Express can do it all. I have seen children running 100 trap targets competing with a ready-made 870, and many pheasants were also shot with them. With so many accessories and Remington 870 barrels available for home defense, tactical applications, deer and turkey hunting, you can use an 870 Express for almost any purpose.

Reliability

I was concerned about the reliability of this gun because I’ve seen so many 870 Express have issues mostly with pulled hulls stuck in pretty much finished chambers. RemArms assures me that they carefully inspect every gun that leaves the factory and reject any bad ones, and this gun has certainly worked perfectly for us.

Value

Sold for about $ 400, Remington 870 Express offers you excellent value for money. This value and reliability make it a weapon that has its place in any conversation about the best waterfowl shotgun. And, because there are so many parts available for it, it’s a versatile platform that you can build on with spares and barrels.

What is the Remington 870 Express do the best

It works. This is essential for any shotgun, and our 870 Express fired smoothly and cycled Federal Speed ​​Bullets, Remington Target Charges, and HeviHammer ammo. He also produced some excellent patterns from his unique choke tube. The Remington 870 is also underrated as a shooting weapon. It has finishing lines thanks to a receiver originally borrowed from one of Remington’s 16-gauge semi-autos and a stock design that accommodates a wide range of shooters.

It offers versatility at a very low price, as there are so many parts and barrels available to run an 870 Express for almost any specialty use. And, while we tested a hardwood version, synthetic models are also available.

The worst things the Remington 870 Express does

It slams. Although its weight absorbs some recoil, the Remington 870 Express is still a fixed breech pistol with a rock hard rubber pad. You can certainly feel it go. The recoil wasn’t too punishing, but it was definitely noticeable in that Remington shotgun. And, a gun that is used by so many people as a bottom boat gun in bad weather should have a finish that doesn’t rust so easily.

Some of our testers found the thin, stamped release button too small and difficult to find and press while wearing gloves. And, while a modified choke will come with you on most 16-meter waterfowl, pheasant, and trap hunts, it should come with more tubing to make it more versatile. You’ll need to spend a few extra bucks for at least a few Remington 870 parts: an upgraded cylinder and maybe an X-full turkey choke to make your weapon more versatile.

Duck hunters wait for the morning flight
Outdoor living Alex Robison waits on the morning flight. Stephane Mature

Final thoughts

The Remington 870 Express was one of the nicest surprises of the guns we tested for the waterfowl shotgun review. The years that I trained the trap in high school from 2009 to 2019 coincided with some of the worst years of quality 870 Express. I have seen countless high school snare shooters having issues with shells sticking in the coarse chambers of the 870 Express, and was delighted to find that RemArms stepped up quality control to alleviate the problem.

We all loved shooting clays and ducks, and while it might not be much to look at and could use a softer recoil pad, this is an affordable pistol that won’t get you there. won’t give up, and that counts as a great deal when looking for a duck shotgun. If you are a hunter on a budget, this is a great choice. If you are an experienced hunter who wants a weather pistol, or a backup pistol, or a pistol to lend to guests, this is an equally good choice. The 870 Express is an American classic, and judging by our test pistol, it’s back, running like never before.



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