Sunday, March 1, 2009

Biweekly Gun Shots 7 - Remington 870 Express Super Magnum Waterfowl Camo

Is there anything I need to say about the Remington 870 shotgun other than I think it is a great shotgun. Now I am not the only one of that opinion, there are plenty of others who think the same way about it as witnessed by the fact that the 870 is one of the most popular pump action shotguns of all time. Despite that praise I guess I'll have to say a few things about it, otherwise my blog would not be much of a blog.

The particular model I have pictured is the Remington 870 Express Super Mag Waterfowl Camo. It is obviously being marketed for shooting waterfowl, but my guess is that it would make a great turkey gun too. That camo job in Mossy Oak Duck Blind might look like reeds at pond side, but my guess is that it would make it hard to see for waterfowl, turkey, and even a hunter who may have put down the shotgun while answering another call of nature other than that of a game animal while out hunting. The specs on this gun as supplied by Remington are:

Gauge: 12
Chamber: 3 1/2"
Magazine Capacity: 3 (3 1/2")4 (2 3/4" & 3")
Barrel Length: 28"
Camo Design: Mossy Oak® Duck Blind™
Choke: Vent Rib Rem™ Choke
Overall Length: 48"
Average Weight: 7 1/2 lbs.

Of course, if I got one of these, I would use it mostly for hunting waterfowl and turkey. Why? Well I already have an 870 Express Combo that I can use for everything else. The 870 Express Combo comes with two barrels (yes the barrels are interchangeable). I have had mine for about 25 years now. Mine came with a 28" vent rib barrel and a 20" smoothbore deer barrel with rifle sights. It has taken one heck of a beating out in the woods hunting, and has fired thousands of rounds (I used to qualify with it for my job when carrying a personally owned shotgun was within regulations) and it has never failed me. Of course the finish on the metal parts of the one I own is pretty worn and the gun could use a refinishing, and same is true for the wood (I even redid the wood once myself and it still looks pretty good). I have got to say that this gun is one of the most reliable ones that I own. It is only when I look at this older version of the 870 that I can bring any fault to bear on the newer models. I am currently issued a Remington 870 for my job, it is an 870 Express Synthetic with Ghost Ring sights (absolutely great sights for quick target acquisition). It being a newer model lacks the magazine spring retention cap of the old models, and on that point alone I can find a lot of fault to shoot over in Remington's direction. Why all the fuss over one little piece being removed. Well when they removed it they also altered the magazine tube so it would not be able to accept the magazine spring retention caps at all. Now if you want to disassemble the shotgun you had best have your hand ready to capture the magazine spring or it will go flying. This is not all that bad, but what truly is a pain in the neck is the reassembly because you have to force the spring back into place each time, and then get the magazine end cap screwed back on without allowing the spring to come loose. Houdini might have had a bit of difficulty with this maneuver. For the life of me I just don't get it when a company like Remington has a good thing going and then goes out to improve something by fixing something that is not broken! The result in this case was a pain in the ass neck reassembly procedure. Remington also apparently went to nylon or polymer trigger guards on some guns, or so I have heard. I think they went back to metal trigger guards after quite a bit of discontent being expressed by the peon who buy the Express, but you may want to check on that. Now if only they would go back to the magazine spring retention caps!

I suppose, when you think about it, a small complaint like the one I just expressed (was that a pun) is not too bad. My guess would be that someone becoming familiar with this gun for the first time would not even notice the shortcomings I just wrote about. What they would likely notice is the great reliability of this gun to function properly time and time again, and the quality that goes into making them. They would also probably notice the decent price that makes the Remington 870 Express models pretty easy on the pocket book. The 870 Express Super MagnumWaterfowl Camo has an MSRP of $577. The 870 Express Super Magnum Combo with Extra Deer Barrel & Rifle Sights also comes in at an MSRP of $577. Wow, what a great buy with that extra barrel when compared to the Waterfowl model!, and my guess is they are less expensive in the gun store.

Remington offers a lot more choices when it comes to the 870 than the few I mentioned above. If you want more information on the Remington 870 shotguns that are available, go to:

All the best,
Glenn B