Besides owning one, I have also been issued one at work for many years now. In fact, I have been issued three of them at work if I have the count correct. The first was an old fashioned Remington 870 with wood stock and fore grip. Then a few to several years ago now, when that first one I had been issued was retired for a newer model of 870, I was issued one with black synthetic stocks. Not all that long ago, I was issued another with black synthetic stocks because the issue on in the middle was having problems. Yes, even a gun I love can have its share of problems, but to tell the truth that was the first 870 that I fired that ever had any recurring issues. It would not feed properly no matter how hard you operated the pump. It would feed but with difficulty that could sometimes require two to three pump actions on the part of your pumping arm. That would not be good so to the armory it went for repair. They sent me a new one.
I have got to say there are some things about these newer models that I like over the older ones we had. They come with a ghost ring sight on the receiver. Heck, the rear sight being on the receiver, instead of on the barrel is a plus as I see it. My old issued gun, and the one I own, also an old timer, have the rear sight on the rear end of the barrel. The new ones also have a much broader front post sight. The Ghost Ring system makes for rapid target acquisition in daylight. The sights also have a glow in the dark dot on the front post, and the rear sight has two such dots for a three point night sighting system.
One thing I do not like on the new ones is that there is no tension cap to retain the magazine spring once you take the cap off of the end of the magazine tube. In other words, the spring can and will fly out of the tube if you are not careful. Of course the retention cap was not a sure thing, they could come loose but rarely did. The big pain here is that when you reassemble to gun, getting and keeping the spring inside the mag tube is difficult, to say the least, until you have the end cap on. You cannot add a retention cap because the magazine is now shaped slightly differently.
Just about everything else, of practical matter, on them is the same. So, I like em both, but sure do miss the magazine spring retention cap. I just shot about 2 weeks ago for qualifications. I usually do very well with the shotgun, getting a fist to hand sized group at 25 yards when shooting rapidly from an unsupported standing position. This time though I was surprised to see that my group was opened up to about 10 to 12 inches, maybe even a bit more. I had pretty much shot a circular pattern around the target center. I figured it was due to my shoulders and neck aching a lot. Tonight I found out differently. Tonight I was getting the shotgun ready for my upcoming work trip to Phoenix. As I picked it up I noticed the rear sight looked to be sitting far back on the receiver at a weird angle. I picked up the gun and the rear sight swiveled around loosely. It had looked funny because it was turned around backwards when I saw it. It was about as loose as it could be without falling off. When I picked up the shotgun again to examine it closer, without even touching the sight, the sight fell off. I got it back in place after some several tries, but I will have to have an armorer at work give it the once over and nod of approval before I carry it in the field.
I obviously had not noticed this before but you can bet that is why I had such a lousy group when I qualified recently. I will take it on the trip and have an armorer check it out. I imagine it is okay now, but I don't want to bet my life on it not being an armorer. I will say this, that never happened with the older models I was issued nor with the one I own. Oh well, lucky for me it happened at the range and I found it at home - instead of when needing it when my life depended on it. Still though, I do not like problems like that at all; it does not give me much confidence in the gun. I can only hope the screw was simply not tightened properly at the factory and now that it is tight this will not recur.
The one in the picture is the latest one I was issued at work.
All the best,