Maybe it wasn't meant to be. Heck, I don't need an 870P but I want one. If that price is available, should I jump on it or are there better deals to be found (easily) if I'm patient?
There's one for $430, right now, on StormGewehr.
A couple years back, I picked up a great Rem 11-87 P from a sheriff's deputy. Found that I preferred the pump-action, personally, so I ended up selling it. The ad was on GunBroker. There are a few 870P's for under $500, now and then. I just saw an 870P go for $300 earlier in the month, over on GlockTalk.
Check Gunbroker.com, GunsAmerica, EliteDealSeaker.com.
And, at some point, Bud's will get their inventory system back in place.
Today, I held my first Benelli M4...this may be my departure from the world of Remington for my defensive needs. I've always believed in my trusty 870, but this M4 is a whole new breed of semi-auto. I'm testing it for the next week, and I'll let you know how it goes. The jury says I'll be back with my 870 at the end of the week, but we'll see...
Keep an eye on the LGS, especially the ones that cater to LEOS. Many times 870's can be found as agency trade ins. The 870 became very popular, due to its twin action bars which allow for extremely fast slide operation, with little chance of binding.
The older 870's including the Express models have been time tested. They are ALL extremely reliable. I have spent numerous hours on clay target fields where a shooter puts thousands of rounds through a gun, sometimes over a thousand rounds a week. I have seen newfangled autos and pumps fail, A LOT. The Rem 870s, ALL GRADES, just keep on shooting. The biggest issue on the 870 is with the shell catch coming loose. Buy a 10 dollar tool and repair it yourself every 10,000 rounds or so.
If you desire a higher grade 870, go for it. Some of the costs of a higher grade are polishing of internal parts. Do the polishing yourself by busting a few thousand clays.