Home defense long gun - Rem 870 pump shotgun to Mini 14

Home defense long gun - Rem 870 pump shotgun to Mini 14

This is a discussion on Home defense long gun - Rem 870 pump shotgun to Mini 14 within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I've decided to make my Mini 14 the primary home defense long gun. The main reason is the fact that my wife has never used ...

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Thread: Home defense long gun - Rem 870 pump shotgun to Mini 14

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Home defense long gun - Rem 870 pump shotgun to Mini 14

    I've decided to make my Mini 14 the primary home defense long gun. The main reason is the fact that my wife has never used my pump shotgun, and shows no interest in learning. With lower recoil and a simpler manual of arms, I figure it will be easier for her to use the Mini 14 in the event I am not around.

    I've also had extraction issues from time to time with the 26" barrel on my Rem 870, which I use for trap shooting. This has been with cheap Wal Mart target loads from both Winchester and Federal. I might try my 20" defensive barrel just for the sake of it, but it does make me wonder. This seems to be a fairly common issue with Rem 870 Express models and cheap target loads. I might polish the chamber...or use better ammo. ($)

    I currently have a 3-9 X variable scope mounted on my Mini 14, and leave it set to 3 X for close-in work. I'm thinking of removing it and going back to the iron sights. I would just need to center the rear sight (it's zeroed for me, at 100 yards...not for my wife) - which should make no difference at close range.

    I've not played with red dots much - if anyone knows of one that will mount with a Mini 14 Ranch Rifle's included (1") scope rings, please let me know. I really do not want to mod the rifle, though. I'd rather stick with irons than muck it up.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Hey 10th, you don't hear of many 870 FTEs. You might have that looked into. The Mini 14 is a nice HD option for ladies. There's are a couple of different forward "scout mount" set-ups (Ultimak & Amega Mounts) that make a red dot more practical. An aftermarket adjustable stock might help it "fit" Mrs. !0th a bit better. Good Luck!
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    That's an odd problem with your 870. But since so little of the cartridge entering the chamber is metal-to-metal, I'd look at the bolt breechface for roughness before looking at the chamber. The extractor and its tension or also more likely suspects than chamber roughness. Never, ever had a functional problem with my 870, but it is an older Express model c. 1985.
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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    If you do a search online, you will find many reports of extraction issues with the Rem 870 Express, and cheap target loads. The spent shell actually gets stuck in the chamber, and the only way to get it out is to smack the butt on a firm surface - had it happen at least four times yesterday during a round of clays, using Federal target loads.

    It seems the cheaper target shells use "brass" that is either mild steel or aluminum. Whatever it is, it does not seem to be brass. I think they expand too much and stick in the chamber. I might call Remington and see what they say. The next time the AA target loads run a rebate coupon, I might buy some - they seem to still use real brass for the shell.

    Some advice I found online is to polish the chamber, with steel wool and/or a polishing compound. I might try that as well. It supposedly helps with extracting the cheaper target shells. Some folks claim this is only an issue with the Express model, and that they are "not as finished" as the regular 870s.

    In any case - these events have given me some pause regarding the shotgun. I would have to run the cheap shells in my 20" barrel to see if it is an issue with the chamber/shell combination in only the 26" barrel. The high-brass #1 buckshot shells that I use for defense have not given me any problems - but I have not run nearly as many of them through the gun as I have target loads on the trap field.

    But back to my original point - a semi auto rifle in .223 is going to be easier for my wife to use than a 12 gauge pump shotgun. I don't want this to degenerate into a rifle-vs-shotgun-for-home-defense thread, but there are some other advantages as well (more shots, ability to penetrate soft body armor, etc).

    If I get to call Remington, I'll post what they say.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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    OD*
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    It's not just the less expensive "Express" models it's happening to 10th, I've had my 870 Police fail to extract the cheap aluminum case ammo too.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Terrorists: They hated you yesterday, they hate you today, and they will hate you tomorrow. End the cycle of hatred, donít give them a tomorrow."

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    Guess I'm guilty of using just the high-priced spread. Interested in hearing what Remington has to say - other than "don't use Federal shells."
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    OD*
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Guess I'm guilty of using just the high-priced spread. Interested in hearing what Remington has to say - other than "don't use Federal shells."
    Smitty, I'm wondering if Remington didn't tighten the chambers some, I have a couple friends with the "older" Express models like yours, that were only different from the Wingmaster/Police model in finish, theirs eat anything.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Terrorists: They hated you yesterday, they hate you today, and they will hate you tomorrow. End the cycle of hatred, donít give them a tomorrow."

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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Spoke to Remington - they recommended taking an emory cloth to the chamber, with some gun oil. Claim I probably have a burr in there. I'm at work - will have to check it over the next few days and see.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OD* View Post
    Smitty, I'm wondering if Remington didn't tighten the chambers some, I have a couple friends with the "older" Express models like yours, that were only different from the Wingmaster/Police model in finish, theirs eat anything.
    Could be. Since I haven't used the 870 for hunting in a long time, I haven't run any cheapie shells through it, plus it has a a short, rifle-sighted barrel on it now. A "static" chamber check won't show much, so next range opportunity I get I'll try some promo loads in it.
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    I selected the M1 carbine as our HD long gun because my wife can easily use it. The only mods I did were to use a paint like Glow-on on the front sights.
    GunTrooper likes this.
    A real man loves his wife, and places his family as the most important thing in life. Nothing has brought me more peace and content in life than simply being a good husband and father.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array zeppelin03's Avatar
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    I switched from a shotgun to an AR for around the house. May be a little more complicated but I am also more familiar with it. Am actually parting with the red dot I own. Figure iron sights will suffice when aiming at best 15 feet through my hallways.
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    I checked the chamber on my 26" barrel. I cannot see or feel any burrs in there. I will still get an emory cloth and polish the chamber anyway, and see if it helps. I also think I won't be running any more of the cheap ammo, once my current stock is depleted.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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    Member Array kmagnuss's Avatar
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    I swapped from a shotgun to a mini 14 for the same reason as you... the wife being able to better manipulate it.

  14. #14
    Member Array johnnydollar's Avatar
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    I'm a Mini-14 guy myself, and I prefer it over a shotgun for HD as well.
    "In a world of compromise, some men don't." HK ad slogan from the 1980's.

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    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    My current HD/SD long gun is my personally-owned duty 870P, with a Vang-comped barrel that shoots tight patterns. Because my "qual" is current, it has the blessing of employer's legal staff, and all that entails. It is a bit clumsy to operate in some conditions, but it is very, very familiar, which counts for much. Yes, my 870Ps a true comfort gun, as in comforting, not comfortable, to borrow words from Clint Smith.

    Then, there are my two Mini-14 rifles, both 580-series. One has a Sage International SCAR stock, the other factory synthetic. Both have the factory flash hiders. I truly love the handling qualities, which are perfect for a lefty like myself. When I retire from policin', sometime in the next few years, these Minis will be my go-to long weapons. I will not forsake the 870P, my beloved companion of some hairy moments, but it will be used selectively, rather than generally.

    The Mini may not be military-tough, but, hey, I am not very tough, physically, anymore. I will break down long before a Mini will, whether it will be my bad knee, my limited-function right shoulder-arm-wrist-hand, or something else that gives out.

    The Mini is both comforting, and comfortable. Life is good!
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