Remington Model 870
|Place of origin||United States|
|Used by||See Users|
|Designer||L.Ray Crittendon, Phillip Haskell, Ellis Hailston, G.E. Pinckney|
|Variants||Wingmaster, Express, Marine, SPS, SPS-T, XCS, TAC, Super Mag,MCS|
|Weight||7.0 lb (3.2 kg) to 8.0 lb (3.6 kg)|
|Length||37.25 in (946 mm) to 50.5 in (1,280 mm)|
|Barrel length||18 in (460 mm) to 30 in (760 mm)|
|Cartridge||12 gauge, 16 gauge, 20 gauge, 28 gauge, or .410 bore|
|Feed system||4+1 to 7+1 round internal tube magazine|
|Sights||Bead, twin bead, adjustable open sights, or ghost ring (all iron sights). Also cantilever and receiver-mounts for scopes|
The Remington Model 870 is a U.S.-made pump-action shotgun manufactured by Remington Arms Company, Inc. It is widely used by the public for sport shooting, hunting, and self-defense. It is also commonly used by law enforcement and military organizations worldwide.
The Remington 870 was the fourth major design in a series of Remington pump shotguns. John Pedersen designed the fragile Remington Model 10 (and later the improved Remington Model 29). John Browning designed the Remington Model 17 (which was later adapted by Ithaca into the Ithaca 37), which served as the basis for the Remington 31. The Model 31 was well liked, but struggled for sales in the shadow of the Winchester Model 12. Remington sought to correct that in 1949 by introducing a modern, streamlined, rugged, reliable, and relatively inexpensive shotgun – the 870. It was an adaptation of the Remington 11–48 autoloader, itself an adaptation of the John Browning-designed Remington 11.
Sales of the 870 have been steady. They reached 2 million guns by 1973 (ten times the number of Model 31 shotguns it replaced). By 1996, spurred by sales of the basic "Express" models, which were added as a lower cost alternative to the original Wingmaster line, sales topped seven million guns. On April 13, 2009 the ten millionth Model 870 was produced, and the 870 holds the record for best-selling shotgun in history.
Design details 
The 870 features a bottom-loading, side ejecting receiver, tubular magazine under the barrel, dual action bars, internal hammer, and a bolt which locks into an extension in the barrel. The action, receiver, trigger system, safety catch and slide release catch of the Remington Model 870 shotgun are similar to those used on the Remington Model 7600 series pump-action centerfire rifles and carbines. The basic trigger group design was first used in the automatic 11–48. 20 gauge stocks will also interchange. Several parts of the 870 will interchange with the semi-automatic Remington 1100 and 11–87.
The original 870 models were offered with fixed chokes. In 1986 Remington introduced the new Remington "Rem Choke" system of screw-in chokes (also fitted to Remington model 1100 auto-loading shotguns at the same time). Initially, the Rem Chokes were offered on barrel lengths of 21", 26" and 28". It was not offered on 30" barrels, deer guns, target guns or as a retrofit.
Production 870s for over 30 years had a design whereby a user could fail to press a shell all the way into the magazine when loading such that the shell latch did not engage the shell, and such actions could tie up the gun. This was caused by the shell which slipped out of the magazine under the bolt in the receiver to bind the action, requiring rough treatment of the action or even disassembly to clear by the uninitiated. The potential issue was resolved with the introduction of the "Flexi Tab" carrier. Guns with this modification can be identified by the "U"-shaped cut-out on the carrier, visible from below the gun. The cut-out allows the carrier to flex when the shell presses on it without binding the action.
There are hundreds of variations of the Remington 870 in 12, 16, 20, 28 gauges and .410 bore. From the original fifteen models offered, Remington currently produces dozens of models for civilian, law enforcement, and military sales. 870 variants can be grouped into:
- Express – Matte blue/black bead-blasted with laminated hardwood or synthetic stocks and chambered for 2 3/4" and 3" 12 or 20 gauge shotshells. All Expresses have been chambered in 3" in 12 and 20 gauge, but markings have varied.
- Marine – Nickel plated with synthetic stocks.
- Mark 1 - adopted by the United States Marine Corps in the late 1960s and saw service into the 21st century. The Model 870 Mark 1 has a 21 inches (53 cm) barrel with an extended magazine increasing total capacity to 8 rounds, and was fitted with an adapter allowing use of the standard M7 bayonet for the M16 rifle.
- MCS (Modular Combat Shotgun) – A new modular version of the M870 which can be quickly modified with different barrels, magazine tubes, and stocks for different purposes, such as urban combat and door breaching.
- Police – Blued or Parkerized steel with satin walnut, stained hardwood, or synthetic stocks. These models feature a stronger sear spring and magazine spring, and they receive extra care and inspections during assembly. The Police models also often have an extended tube magazine.
- Super Mag – Chambered for 3½" 12 gauge shotshells.
- Wingmaster – Blued steel with high gloss or satin walnut stocks. They have been offered in Skeet, Trap, and field configurations. Originally the basic Wingmaster was chambered for 2 3/4" rounds and came with a fixed choke, and the 3" chambered versions were designated Magnum models. Models built after 1986 offer the RemChoke Interchangeable choke tube system, and the 12 and 20 gauge versions are chambered in 3" for either 2 3/4" or 3" shells. Prior to the introduction of the "Police" model 870, altered Wingmasters were popular among law enforcement.
Chinese M870 
The M870 copy is a widely-distributed design no longer under patent protection, and most parts interchange freely. In the United States, where Norinco products are specifically non-importable, this gun is imported and sold under the names Norinco Hawk 982 and Interstate Hawk 982.
See also 
- Combat shotgun
- KAC Masterkey
- List of individual weapons of the U.S. Armed Forces (Shotguns)
- List of shotguns
- Norinco HP9-1, Remington 870 derivative.
- Remington 887 Nitro Mag
- Remington model history
- Remington product page
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- Harold Murtz. Gun Digest Treasury (DBI Books, 1994), p.193
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- "An Uncommon Remington 870 Review". Shooters' Journal. 2010-11-05. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
- Canfield, Bruce N. "Combat Shotguns of the Vietnam War" American Rifleman March 2002 pp.44-47&92-95
- "870P Shotgun". Royal Australian Navy. 2010-09-09. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
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- Remington 870 Shotgun makes a comeback
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- "El equipo de los tiradores de precisión de las fuerzas armadas suizas | Armas – Revista Armas | Reportajes de armas cortas, rifles, armamento policial/militar, armas blancas, competiciones". Revista Armas. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
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- Clancy, Tom (1996). Marine: A Guided Tour of a Marine Expeditionary Unit. Berkeley, California: Berkeley Trade. pp. 64, 79–80. ISBN 978-0-425-15454-0.
- Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35 edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
- "TIRWR-10-Q-00023". https://www.fbo.gov – Federal Business Opportunities. February 2, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-10.
- "On the Range". The Sparta Independent. June 02, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-03.
- Diez, Octavio (2000). Armament and Technology. Lema Publications, S.L. ISBN 84-8463-013-7.
- NRA Staff. "Pennsylvania State Police Select Remington 870". American Rifleman. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
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- Remington page for 870
- Remington page for 870 Tactical
- Remington Military MCS page
- Important differences between Remington 870 Police and 870 Express shotguns
- KAC Masterkey page
- Model 870P MAX Police
- Blog and forum about Remington 870