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How's Remington 870 quality nowadays?

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Old December 3rd, 2016, 12:08 PM   #1
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How's Remington 870 quality nowadays?

Looking for a rough and ready field shotgun. Always been a big, big fan of the Remington 870 but it occurs to me that it's been a couple years since I bought one... 1986 to be exact. (Time flies when you're having fun.)

Anyhoo I'm about to get the basic Express cheapo model at Walmart but know I heard something about them and Marlin merging a couple years ago and some issues with quality.

So.... How are the new ones? Doesn't have to be fancy as long as it functions reliably through all conditions like an 870 should.

Anything else I should be looking at for a hard-use pump-action in the $300 range? Please note I will not buy a Mossberg because I like my pheasant gun safety to be down by the trigger rather than up on the receiver. I know Benelli makes a basic cheap pump but I need to get my hands on one and see how it fits.



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Old December 3rd, 2016, 01:42 PM   #2
 
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The same as it was when they started making them in 1950
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 01:52 PM   #3
 
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Maverick 88 can use all Mossberg barrels and accessories, around $200 and safety location same as 870. H&R Pardner even cheaper, reliable, same safety location but lacks accessory support. Both excellent no frills shotguns or just spring a few dollars more and get the 870
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 02:06 PM   #4
 
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I bought an 870 about 5 years ago and it is as good as the one I've had since 1978.
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 02:08 PM   #5
 
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I own a 20 guage 870 express that is around 6-7 years old, and it functions just like a 25 year old 870. I miss the finish on the old 870 Wingmaster, but it's still a very good shotgun.
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 03:30 PM   #6
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Just handled 870 express models, Novas, the Mossbergs, and Winchester's SXP at my local sporting goods store.

I have to say the SXP impressed me. Never heard of it. They say it's Turkish made. It seems light, fits me really well, and points naturally and fast. Fit and finish seemed better than the rest. Price is $325 after a $25 mail in rebate.

Didn't buy it but I got darn close. Came home to read some internet reviews.

Anyone own or have shot the SXP?
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 06:26 PM   #7
 
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In 1964 Winchester discontinued the all steel construction model 12 slide action shotgun and introduced the model 1200, aluminum receiver and alloy trigger guard. The SXP is basically the model 1200 with updated finish and barrel specifications. So, it has been time tested and proven.

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Old December 3rd, 2016, 08:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by wproct View Post
In 1964 Winchester discontinued the all steel construction model 12 slide action shotgun and introduced the model 1200, aluminum receiver and alloy trigger guard. The SXP is basically the model 1200 with updated finish and barrel specifications. So, it has been time tested and proven.
Thanks. I spent the evening googling Winchester SXP reviews and they seem pretty favorable. A few reports of problems here or there but that's true of any manufacturer nowadays.
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 08:30 PM   #9
 
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I would buy the Remington personally because it is a proven, timeless design that hasn't changed. Plus, it's NOT built in Turkey. Nothing wrong with the Winchester either, just rather have the Remington............but that's me
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Old December 4th, 2016, 05:52 AM   #10
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I would buy the Remington personally because it is a proven, timeless design that hasn't changed. Plus, it's NOT built in Turkey. Nothing wrong with the Winchester either, just rather have the Remington............but that's me
I get that and keep waffling back and forth.

If this was a defensive shotgun it would be a no-brainer, but for late-season pheasants when the ranges get longer and I put away my very old 20-gauge 870 LightWeight with the fixed choke barrel, this Winchester seems to tick a lot of boxes.

It's length of pull and design seem to come to my shoulder and fit fast with a heavy coat on.

And the Winchester style safety in front of the trigger is something I'm usually not a fan of ... until the weather necessitates hunting with gloves. Then I find it less likely to have my glove fabric hang up on the trigger guard as I'm 'pulling' my finger back into the guard rather than 'pushing' it forward in there.
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Old December 4th, 2016, 06:34 AM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FeralCatKillr View Post
Looking for a rough and ready field shotgun. Always been a big, big fan of the Remington 870 but it occurs to me that it's been a couple years since I bought one... 1986 to be exact. (Time flies when you're having fun.)

Anyhoo I'm about to get the basic Express cheapo model at Walmart but know I heard something about them and Marlin merging a couple years ago and some issues with quality.

So.... How are the new ones? Doesn't have to be fancy as long as it functions reliably through all conditions like an 870 should.

Anything else I should be looking at for a hard-use pump-action in the $300 range? Please note I will not buy a Mossberg because I like my pheasant gun safety to be down by the trigger rather than up on the receiver. I know Benelli makes a basic cheap pump but I need to get my hands on one and see how it fits.
OK, lets get down to brass tacks here.

A pump action shotgun that works isn't a tough standard to meet. There are a lot to choose from that will function just fine.

If your criteria is centered around things like length of pull and the location of the safety (legitimate criteria by the way), then your choice will come down to what works best for you.

The Remington 870 has been in continuous production since 1950 ! It is about as proven as it gets. I have a lot of experience with the 870 and for me the search stops right there. The 870 will get the job done, it doesn't cost that much, it will function despite neglect and abuse and it's almost impossible to make it stop working.

I've got a friend that has a Benelli Nova and he isn't very kind to it. I'm very impressed with that gun as well.

I've never been a huge fan of the Mossberg 500 series but they do work reasonably well. The weakness is the plastic safety but that can be corrected with a steel one (the plastic ones fall into two categories - ones that have broken and ones that will break). Internally the Mossberg is also a bit more complicated than the Remington. The Mossberg does have an aluminum receiver which is a bit lighter and will not rust but I still prefer the Remington.

The Winchester (which is really U.S. Repeating Arms which is owned by FN) is another brand but not one that has a great track record. The Winchester 1200 has a rotating bolt which some people claims provides a faster cycle time but frankly I've never bought into that theory. Winchester has been plagued with problems and I wouldn't pay the money just for the name.
Now, the old Winchester Model 12 is a different story but they stopped making those in the early 1960's.

The Ithaca Model 37 is a great gun if you can find a good one and the Browning BPS is basically a Browning version of the Ithaca 37. I've owned both and still have an Ithaca. That gun will never leave me.
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Old December 4th, 2016, 07:41 AM   #12
 
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And to address the Remington/Marlin thing; Remington acquired Marlin in 2007.

So, Marlin products are now made by Remington. If you purchase a new Marlin rifle it will be labeled "Marlin" but it is actually made by Remington.

Remington products are NOT made by Marlin.

The alleged quality issues with the Remington manufactured Marlin products have nothing to do with the quality of Remington named products made by Remington.
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Old December 4th, 2016, 07:48 AM   #13
 
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If you are looking at hunting pheasants (or any bird hunting), why not get a semiauto shotgun? Beretta A300s and Remington 1100s are one of the best semiauto shotguns out there.
For Home Defense, there are plenty of good choices of pump action shotguns, but nothing beats the Remington 870, imho.
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Old December 4th, 2016, 08:18 AM   #14
 
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In the semi-auto shotgun world I would have to go with the Beretta 300 series.

I have a Beretta AL391 that, by a conservative estimate, has over 10,000 rounds through it (probably closer to 20K +). It's as good now as the day I purchased it.

Out of all of the gas operated shotguns, the Beretta 300 series are the best in my opinion.

The Benelli inertia system is very reliable and the Montefeltro is a lot of gun for the money. And Benelli is owned by Beretta.

If you prefer the long recoil system, there's the old Browning Auto-5 which is a great gun but no longer in production. The Franchi AL-48 (also a Beretta company )is an excellent upland game shotgun.
If you can find an old Remington 11-48, that's also an excellent long recoil design but they're getting rare.

The Remington 1100 has its followers but I don't think it is the equal of the Beretta.
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Old December 4th, 2016, 09:21 AM   #15
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Thanks Petrol and Powder! All good considerations.

Not looking for a semi-auto. I have a couple old glossy shotguns from the day when they were all really well made, but for sentimentality reasons they aren't really field guns that I would keep behind the seat of a pickup in case I decide to walk a field for birds. They also have fixed full chokes that preclude me from using them for waterfowl. I absolutely refuse to shoot steel shot though them no matter what people say about whether that is/isn't ok.

The search criteria remain restricted to a cheap, field grade pump.

I know what you're saying about Winchester quality. I purchased two Winchesters (model 1300s if memory serves?) in the early 2000s and both had to be returned. First one's action would pop open if you tugged hard on the forearm. Second one had a barrel rib that practically twisted like a corkscrew it was so crooked. A classic case of looking at the display model then not carefully inspecting the new-in-box one they brought out for sale. The store replaced them on request and after the second one I applied the money to a Franchi Alcione O/U that I gifted to a friend in Africa who guided me on a lot of hunts.

Don't know if 2016 Winchester quality has improved from the day of those 1300s. I swore off Winchester "forever" back then, but I"m now lured by the siren's song of a gun that looks and feels pretty well made, feels like it fits "just right".

The 870s fit me 95% right. The Winchester feels like 100%. The temptation lies in that 5% which can make a big difference when you've got a couple seconds to mount your gun and get a bird.
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