Converting my 870...

This is a discussion on Converting my 870... within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Hello everyone... I'm seriously considering converting (temporarily) my Remington 870 Express 12 gauge Mag to a home defense (HD) toy. I'm not interested in changing ...

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Thread: Converting my 870...

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    Senior Member Array deafdave3's Avatar
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    Converting my 870...

    Hello everyone... I'm seriously considering converting (temporarily) my Remington 870 Express 12 gauge Mag to a home defense (HD) toy. I'm not interested in changing the stocks; no reason to and its still gonna be my hunting shotgun. What I wanna ask folks here is... how do I remove the plug? Once I do remove the plug, what is the capacity? Also, what barrel is best for HD? I'm talking about barrel length, brand name, finish, chokes, anything.

    I'd appreciate any little bits of information ya'll can give me on converting my shotgun to a home defense gun.

    Dave
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    It's been awhile since I bothered to look, but if it's like my 1100 you unscrew the cap that holds the barrel on and there's metal cap underneath. Pop it out and the plug should come right out. It's under spring pressure, so keep a hand over it. Should add 2(?) rounds.

    A 20-inch slug barrel (I prefer with sights) will do nicely. The sights will help if sending slugs after the BGs; with buckshot, it doesn't matter. A shorter (18 1/2") barrel will be slightly handier, but in reallity I don't think you'll notice much difference.

    I don't get into the composite stocks. Wood is heavier and helps dampen recoil better. It's not like you're lugging it around over hill and dale for hours, so the extra weight is insignificant.
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    VIP Member Array varob's Avatar
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    Remington makes all different size barrels for the 870s. I got my 20" from Midway USA, but shop around.
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    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    You should be able to find a Remington barrel on GB for a good price. I prefer a 18.5, but a 20 with sights will work good too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deafdave3 View Post
    Hello everyone... I'm seriously considering converting (temporarily) my Remington 870 Express 12 gauge Mag to a home defense (HD) toy. I'm not interested in changing the stocks; no reason to and its still gonna be my hunting shotgun. What I wanna ask folks here is... how do I remove the plug? Once I do remove the plug, what is the capacity? Also, what barrel is best for HD? I'm talking about barrel length, brand name, finish, chokes, anything.

    I'd appreciate any little bits of information ya'll can give me on converting my shotgun to a home defense gun.

    Dave
    Unscrew the cap on the magazine tube, then pry out the pressed-in, stamped steel spring cap that's inside the mag tube. A small screwdriver is all you need. Once that's out, the mag spring pops out, and at the end of it is the green plastic plug. Remove the plug, put the spring and top insert back in again, then screw the cap back on. That should give you one or two more rounds.

    Do yourself a favor and go to the Remington web site and download the manual for your 870. That will add illustrations to my brief explanation above.

    For HD, any short barrel will do, with rifle or bead front sight. I prefer the 18.5 inch, but 20 inch is the longest you want to go. A used barrel will do fine - you're not concerned with cosmetics when the BG is crashing down your door. You also don't need a 3" chamber. I lucked out by pawing through the "barrel of used barrels" at my old gun shop, and got a rifle-sighted 18.5" one with screw-in choke for $75. Keep your eyes open - you never know where you might trip over a bargain.

    You might want to add a sling, for which they sell magazine caps with a swivel button and a threaded eye for the buttstock - check out Brownell's offering here: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=9...AP_SWIVEL_SETS

    I'm not a fan of "sidesaddle" ammo carriers on a dual-purpose gun, but you can either get a waterfowler's bandoleer (my choice) or a sling with integral cartridge loops so you'll have a reload handy in case you have to repel a whole host of goblins. My bandoleer holds two dozen shells; I don't fill it up, but one side has slugs and the other side carries buckshot.
    Smitty
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    Senior Member Array deafdave3's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone. Ya'll been a big help.
    A CCW is like a parachute; if you need one, and don't have one, you'll probably never need one again.

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    I'd go with an 18" plain beaded barrel. Remington has one labeled as a HD barrel, but there are other brands that work well too. In fact, I think Mossberg still makes aftermarket barrels for 870's, and they are significantly cheaper than Remington ones. Choke should be cylinder, but most anything in the shorter lengths are that anyway. And with the plug removed, it should be 4 + 1 in capacity unless you opt for a mag extension.

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    Senior Member Array deafdave3's Avatar
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    Uh, fellas? Where can I get a replacement plug?
    A CCW is like a parachute; if you need one, and don't have one, you'll probably never need one again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deafdave3 View Post
    Uh, fellas? Where can I get a replacement plug?
    The hardware store. Get a piece of dowel rod and some o rings that fit snuggly. Cut dowel rod to length and your done. Or, you can buy plastic ones from Brownells or Midway. Why, did you lose it already?
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Senior Member Array deafdave3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    The hardware store. Get a piece of dowel rod and some o rings that fit snuggly. Cut dowel rod to length and your done. Or, you can buy plastic ones from Brownells or Midway. Why, did you lose it already?
    LOL! No... I was taking the metal thing out to see if I could take the plug out. I could tell I was doing it right; no resistance and that metal thing was coming up smoothly. When I finally got it off, all that I could see was that green cap. The rod was obviously broken off. I turned it upside down and the green rod came sliding out. It had been broken inside my shotgun!
    A CCW is like a parachute; if you need one, and don't have one, you'll probably never need one again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deafdave3 View Post
    LOL! No... I was taking the metal thing out to see if I could take the plug out. I could tell I was doing it right; no resistance and that metal thing was coming up smoothly. When I finally got it off, all that I could see was that green cap. The rod was obviously broken off. I turned it upside down and the green rod came sliding out. It had been broken inside my shotgun!
    Huh. Thats odd. Good news though, its a cheap and easy fix.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    A magazine extension is a cheap way to add 2 or 3 more rounds. Make sure you get the longer spring that should be included.
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    IMO....SIXTO has this thread wrapped up.
    Mossberg does make new barrels for the 870. Extra barrels at pawn shops can be found cheap depending. Chop 'em yourself, or have a gunsmith do it for a bead sight. Just remember to keep it to the limit and be sure. Chambered for the 12ga mag, I wouldn't be a bit afraid of taking it out to 20" on the barrel. If you want to choke it, realize that a cut barrel might not give you what you want. You'd need to pattern it with the shot you're going to use. Originally chambered for the magnum (or 3 1/2" shell), you may want to look into a choke for your shorter barrel depending on the load you intend to use. Barrel change on the 870 is simple. Removing the 'duck' plug generally gains you two rounds. Can't speak for the magnum models since I've never had one.

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    A pencil that hasnt been sharpened will work for the plug.

    Get a 20 inch barrel with the Remchoke in it. It'll be a little more expensive but well worth it. Chokes are around 15 bucks a piece. That way you can use it for home defense or hunting and be good to go.
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