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Discussion Starter #1
I've been thinking of buying a Remington 870 Express combo because so many people recommend the 870 for great quality and reliability. However, I don't care for the finish of the hardwood stock or the matte finish. I prefer walnut and regular bluing, but that only comes on the fancy Wingmaster models. I would like to hear from those who have direct experience with the Express. How well does the finish on these guns hold up? The matte finish on the metal parts strikes me as a cheap altenative to good bluing. Am I wrong? Does it resist marking and scratching, or does it wear off easily? Has anyone tried putting a better finish on the stock and slide? The pores in the hardwood seem rather open, and I'm worried they wood take on moisture easily. Lastly, I've heard many people say that Remington's quality and customer service have decreased in the last couple years. Have you found the quality of 870 going south recently? Thanks.
 

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I have both.
The Wingy wins hands down.
The market is much more competative for Rem tahn 20 years ago. This sometimes shows here and there with little gliches.

You can strip the stock and use a product like Casey's Tru-Oil to get a good finish that will hold up good and look good.

Keep the metal WELL oiled. I rub in TC Bore butter when storing it and after cleaning. Keeps the rust down well and smells good.

A good value for the money, or save $200 more and get the Wingy or BPS
 

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Yup---sounds like the Wingmaster is what you want---just going to have to pay more for it is all.

If funds are tight---save your pennies---and ramen noodles a few times a week won't kill you---- :p
 

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have you considered a BPS? The regular ones come with nicer finishes than the wingmaster. They are also much better for lefties. 870 is a work horse but I think the BPS fills that role better.

I own both.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I agree that the Wingmaster has the better quality finish that I want, but I don't think it is available as a combo with a slug barrel. I definitely want a shotgun that I can hunt deer or turkeys or grouse or ....you get the idea. None of my local gun stores carry the BPS. Almost every place carries the 870. I thought about Mossberg, but I don't like the aluminum receiver or all the plastic used on them. Whatever I get, I want to have the receiver drilled and tapped for scope mounts. I know that Remington sells a combo with a cantilever scope mount, but it only comes on a rifled barrel, and I want a smoothbore slug barrel. I found a used Winchester model 120 combo that is close to what I'm looking for, but it's a 12 gauge, and I'm set on a getting a 20 gauge. Also, I haven't heard much good about Winchester's lower lines of shotguns, which I believe this model was. Maybe I'll just have to get the Express and refinish it.
 

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Mossberg even sells slug barrles for the 870 at a reasonable cost. Mossberg does have good barrels.

Dukkillr, are you going to be burried with that BPS? :wink: :-D
 

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No, it's not even my favorite shotgun. I do believe it's the best mass-production work gun available today. The gun I'll be burried with is my 2 3/4" 28" modified Model 12 (pre-64 of course). Unfortunately they don't make guns like that anymore.

I wouldn't own a modern mossberg or winchester pump (I hear good things about the Winchester autos).

The 870 is a great gun but it's not as good for lefties and it's easier to jam than a BPS. I feel the BPS is easier to take apart too, but that could be a personal choice.

I know absolutely nothing about slug guns. I've fired one slug in my life, and it was out of a smoothbore barrel (we can use rifles here). I'll have to defer to others on rifled barrels and such.
 

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Your BPS comes apart??? To read the manual that came with mine---they don't want you touching the innards and give no info how to.

I might be pushing the pins on the side of the reciever one of these days---for now she works just fine.

Picked a 20ga Micro about a month ago----Had a cheap Chinese safe on lay-a-way---came home with a nice Japanese BPS instead-----couldn't stand the thought of the Chinese getting more of my money than necessary(try buying a pair of shoes that isn't made in China these days)---plus the safe was already too small anyway----I'll be getting another American made Liberty when I get the cash up to go with my first Liberty safe.
 

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Knock those pins out and there are only a handful of pieces. The trigger, two bolt pieces, the ejector, two magazine containment rails, and a sleeve for one of the two pins (the one holding the ejector).

By the end of the season I will have taken the guts out of 4-6 BPSs, of which the quickest will take 5 minutes and the longest will take 20. The problem is always the same, getting the magazine rails to hold in place while sliding the trigger in place is tricky. The good part is that there is no debate, either it slots in or it doesn't. You'll always know when you've gotten it correct.

The rest of the parts are very easy. The bolt only goes one way, the ejector is obvious. You can save yourself some work by leaving the more dorsal pin in and not removing the ejector or bolt but just the trigger.
 

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The 870 Express is a good field gun. It is every bit as tough, well made and reliable as it's brother, the Wingmaster. If "pretty" is high on your list, the Wingmaster is the way to go in the Remington pump shotgun line. The finish on the express is quite durable. I bought one for my son about 15 years ago. He has shot that gun a lot. His first deer fell to it with a slug. He has taken turkeys and much small game with it. To him, it is "beautiful" and it ain't for sale at ant price. Like the saying goes, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I will admit that I do prefer the look of walnut and traditionally blued metal. However, my main concern with the wood and finish on the Express was regarding durability. If the matte finish of the Express will hold up to scratches and rust as well as or better than the finish on the Wingmaster, then I'm sold. Likewise, if the hardwood stock and slide on the Express are no more likely to swell from humidity or split than walnut, then I can live with it. Heck, it might even be kind of fun to refinish the wood to whatever color and level of gloss I feel like. If anyone else has experience with the current Express models, let me know how they hold up and perform.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Oh, one more thing. I've been pretty firm on the idea of getting a 20 gauge, because I've heard that 12 gauge slugs can really pound the old shoulder. I definitely want to practice and put a lot of rounds through the gun before deer season, hence my leaning toward the 20. I know this question has been asked many times before, but what do you think about the 20 vs. the 12? I know there are more loads (slug and shot) for the 12, but it looks like the 20 has plenty of choices too. Any real concerns with using a 20 out to 100 or 125 yards, if needed, for whitetails? Slugs are pretty fat too; what about meat damage with the 20 vs. the 12? Thanks again.
 

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Why not get the synthetic stocked Express---if you're worried about the wood???

I also have a 20ga youth Express----but she just lounges around the house as I set it up for HD duties.
 

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I have a 870 Express with a synthetic stock. The black matte finish holds up pretty good but I like it because it dull and there's no reflection. The gun is used mostly for deer and turkey.

I have no experience with the wooden stocks but the synthetics are ok. I have a straight comb stock for wingshooting and a monte carlo stock for slugs with a scope. Its easy to change them.

If you are going to get a 12 gauge, make sure you have a R3 recoil pad. Makes a big difference for 3" slugs and turkey shells. You still get hit pretty hard but its tolerable.

I got an Aimtech scope mount that saddles the receiver. Works great and you can use any Weaver style rings. If you want to change barrels you do not have to take off the scope mount. If you want to use a barrel without the scope, the mount comes off in 10 seconds and the scope can stay attached to the mount.

Lots of barrels are made for the 870 by Remington, Hastings, Ithaca, and Mossberg and you can find new/used ones on Ebay, Gunbroker, Auction Arms, and all the mail order companies.

I can't speak about Remington's customer service since I have had the shotgun for 10 years and never had a single problem. The 870 Express may look ugly but it works well.
 

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If you want blued metal w/o having to pay a steeper price, Wally Worlds around here anyway, are carrying an 870 Sportsman (Express but w/ blued metal). My hardwood/matte paint Express has been a very good buy for me and after having used it for awhile, I am quite happy with it and I really don't have the interest is the Wingmaster that I used to have. If I was to buy another Rem pump, I'm going with another Express.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, my hunt for a shotgun is over. I found a used Remington 870, magnum receiver 12 gauge with rifle sighted deer barrel. Was looking for a 20 gauge, but the 12 fit me well, it had the finish and barrel I wanted, and the action was SO smooth. Put it on layaway. Probably going to put a Sims recoil pad on it. Can't wait to pay it off and then practice shooting!
 
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