From humble beginnings: My 870 build

From humble beginnings: My 870 build

This is a discussion on From humble beginnings: My 870 build within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I know there is a vast amount of knowledge and experience here so I've decided to solicit your help in this build. First off, I'm ...

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Thread: From humble beginnings: My 870 build

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array kerberos's Avatar
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    Talking From humble beginnings: My 870 build

    I know there is a vast amount of knowledge and experience here so I've decided to solicit your help in this build.

    First off, I'm beginning with a Remington 870 Express (WalMart special, $289 if memory serves).



    This will be my primary HD weapon.

    I'll be doing this piece by piece based on recommendations and suggestions from the members here.

    Only parts that have been decided already are the base gun and the stock.

    I've got a Blackhawk Knoxx recoil-reducing stock Gen II on the way.

    This stock was chosen because I've had a chance to shoot a friends with a Gen 1 on it and the recoil reduction was indeed significant.

    Wasn't really an issue for me, but I have convinced the wife to train with it if it has manageable recoil.

    This will be a HUGE step for her and I'm very excited that she is finally starting to get on board.



    I'll stop using pix ripped from Google as soon as I get the stock in.

    First help I'll need is selecting a barrel.

    18.5 or 20?

    Bead sight, Rifle sights, Ghost ring on a heat shroud, etc...


    Thanx in advance for all replies and help.

    P.S. I REFUSE to use the word "tactical" after this mention.
    "Death is lighter than a feather, but Duty is heavier than a mountain" Robert Jordan
    USMC veteran
    Glock 19 Gen 4
    Si hoc legere scis, nimis eruditionis habes


  2. #2
    Member Array Goldstar225's Avatar
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    Unless you intend to use slugs past 25 yards, stick with a bead sight.
    Go with an 18" barrel. If you want an extended magazine an 18" barrel will allow for a +2 extension.
    Dedicated weapon light. I have and prefer the surefire forend. It is expensive but worth it IMO.
    If you want more ammo on hand, add a sidesaddle. Bear in mind that a four round sidesaddle is all you can use with the stock forearm unless you cut the rear of the forearm. A six round version will work with the surefire forearm or a "spool" type forearm.

    Don't sweat about adding lots of stuff to the gun. If I were building one just for home defense it would have the surefire light, 18" barrel and +2 magazine extension.

  3. #3
    Ex Member Array RayBar's Avatar
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    18.5" barrel.easier to wield in tight spaces like in your home.Ghost ring combat sights.I like the sights with the wings that protect the sights both front and rear,just in case you get a little rough with it,you won't damage the sights. A sling is good,flashlight,and a receiver mounted shell carrier just in case. Just my opinion.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array NH_Esau's Avatar
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    If you can't find it with just the slug barrel, buy the express combo it will come with the 18" bbl with iron sights cheaper than you can buy it separately. Maybe consider swapping in a Tritium or fiber optic front, depending on your budget. I don't like Tritium rear sights on a long gun, and you probably don't need them for HD - just put the front sight on the target.

    +1 on the light - a Surefire sure would be sweet, but there are other cheaper options.

    If she's concerned about recoil, what about starting her off shooting low brass skeet loads at stationary paper?

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Keep it stock. Use reduced recoil shells instead. Keep it simple.

    I have a 20" barrel on mine, with rifle sights. Elastic butt cuff holds 6 shells, and keeps the weight close to me, rather than further out on the receiver - keeps the shotgun nimble in the hands and easy to swing.

    I don't have a light on mine. It's job is to cover the door to our safe room. Don't need a light to know that anyone forcing their way through that door needs shootin'.

    No sling. Just gets caught on stuff.

    Keep it simple.
    shooterX likes this.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  6. #6
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    Ditto the 18.5" barrel. For "inspiration," check out what Scattergun Technologies does to 870s.

    Also, be aware that the Express models have a number of different components from the LE models to achieve a price point. Probably the primary difference is the additional care that goes into building and testing the cop guns vs. Joe Consumer's bird gun. However, there are some detail parts that you might want to upgrade in the name of reliability for a defensive weapon. See the attached explanation from Remington as to the differences.
    Attached Files
    Smitty
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Array NH_Esau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Ditto the 18.5" barrel. For "inspiration," check out what Scattergun Technologies does to 870s.

    Also, be aware that the Express models have a number of different components from the LE models to achieve a price point. Probably the primary difference is the additional care that goes into building and testing the cop guns vs. Joe Consumer's bird gun. However, there are some detail parts that you might want to upgrade in the name of reliability for a defensive weapon. See the attached explanation from Remington as to the differences.
    Interesting. I've got one of the early 870 Express combos (20ish years old) that seems to be closer to the police model. At the time it was advertised as identical to rest of 870 line except for finish. It has a metal trigger/lock housing (obviously, no ISS), and takes an extended mag without mod to the tube. Don't know about the mag spring - no police model to compare it to. I always thought the trigger housing would be the weak part, btw. It looks like pot metal (document you posted says "compressed," so probably so). But it's got maybe 10K rounds through it from low-brass to magnum slug, lots of abuse from pouring rain to the desert, more drops than I'd like to admit, and no problems. It won't ever win a beauty contest, but it remains utterly reliable and in fact, I don't think it's ever had a failure to fire, feed, or extract (I shoot name brand stuff and don't reload).

    BTW, to add to the flame war over safety locks elsewhere, notice that Remington's own literature says "This type of locking mechanism can cause delay to an officer who needs the weapon but does not have the
    appropriate key." Sounds like something I wouldn't want on my personal defense firearms either.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array kerberos's Avatar
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    Seems 18.5 is the way to go.

    No light though, no need for it in my house as there are a few lights left on at night.

    Update to follow...

    Thanx again for the input.
    "Death is lighter than a feather, but Duty is heavier than a mountain" Robert Jordan
    USMC veteran
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    Si hoc legere scis, nimis eruditionis habes

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by NH_Esau View Post
    Interesting. I've got one of the early 870 Express combos (20ish years old) that seems to be closer to the police model. At the time it was advertised as identical to rest of 870 line except for finish. It has a metal trigger/lock housing (obviously, no ISS), and takes an extended mag without mod to the tube. Don't know about the mag spring - no police model to compare it to. I always thought the trigger housing would be the weak part, btw. It looks like pot metal (document you posted says "compressed," so probably so). But it's got maybe 10K rounds through it from low-brass to magnum slug, lots of abuse from pouring rain to the desert, more drops than I'd like to admit, and no problems. It won't ever win a beauty contest, but it remains utterly reliable and in fact, I don't think it's ever had a failure to fire, feed, or extract (I shoot name brand stuff and don't reload).
    Yep - my 870 Express dates from 1987, and also has the metal trigger guard, and the ball-detent magazine cap. If I was building up a defensive shotgun today, I'd be happy to find one of the early Express models as a starting point. When mine was new, the pump action was really stiff, but some judicious stone of key parts (like the action bars) took care of that easily.
    Smitty
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    Guest Array Guest1's Avatar
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    Remember simplicity is the key,the only switch that matters is the one your trigger finger is on!
    Bigdawgderek likes this.

  11. #11
    Member Array sparkykb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerberos View Post

    No light though, no need for it in my house as there are a few lights left on at night.
    What if they (being whoever you are hypothetically going to use your shotgun on) decide to cut your power or you lose it due to storms?

  12. #12
    Member Array gorilla45's Avatar
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    for get that stock. leave it stock or put a youth stock. put a Remington limbsaver butt pad on it. that pad makes a huge difference even with full power ammo.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array kerberos's Avatar
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    Project complete... for now.



    Extension...



    Forend...

    NH_Esau likes this.
    "Death is lighter than a feather, but Duty is heavier than a mountain" Robert Jordan
    USMC veteran
    Glock 19 Gen 4
    Si hoc legere scis, nimis eruditionis habes

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array kerberos's Avatar
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    Particularly like the "molded rubber" Hogue forend... super grippy and short enough to not contact the planned side saddle.
    "Death is lighter than a feather, but Duty is heavier than a mountain" Robert Jordan
    USMC veteran
    Glock 19 Gen 4
    Si hoc legere scis, nimis eruditionis habes

  15. #15
    Member Array Bigdawgderek's Avatar
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    I have a simple snap on front fiber optic sight on my HD shottie, simple, cheap, effective. Your build is looking good!
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