Public Safety Wiki
Firearm Infobox
Name, Image, type, origin
Name Remington 870
Image Remington 870 Marine Magnum
Remington 870 Marine Magnum
Type Shotgun
Place of origin Flag of the United States United States
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Service history
In service
Used by United States, Israel, Canada, Ireland, Australia, Switzerland, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines
Wars {{{wars}}}
Production history
Manufacturer Remington Arms
Weight pounds (3.2 kg)
Length 48.5 inches (1,232 mm)
Width {{{width}}}
Height {{{height}}}
Barrel length 28 inches (711 mm)
Diameter {{{diameter}}}
Crew {{{crew}}}
Cartridge 12 gauge, 16 gauge, 20 gauge, 28 gauge, and .410 bore
Caliber {{{caliber}}}
Action pump-action
Muzzle velocity {{{velocity}}}
Effective range {{{range}}}
Maximum range {{{max_range}}}
Other identifying characteristics
Wood parts (Y/N) {{{wood}}}
Common color {{{color}}}
Imprint {{{imprint}}}

The Remington Model 870 is a U.S.-made pump-action shotgun. It is widely used by the public for target shooting, hunting, and self-defense. It is also commonly used by US law enforcement agencies.


The Remington 870 was the fourth major design in a series of Remington pump shotguns. John Pedersen designed the fragile Model 10 (and later the improved model 29). Working with John Browning, Pedersen also helped design the Model 17[1] which was adopted by Ithaca as the Ithaca 37 and also served as the basis for the Remington 31. The Model 31 was an excellent shotgun, but struggled for sales in the shadow of the Winchester Model 12. Remington sought to correct that by introducing in 1950 a modern, streamlined, rugged, reliable, and relatively inexpensive shotgun, the 870 Wingmaster.

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 the basic "Express" model, sales topped seven million guns. The 870 holds the record for best-selling pump gun in U.S. history.[2]

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 centrefire rifles and carbines. 20 gauge stocks will also interchange. Several parts of the 870 will interchange with the semi-automatic Remington model 1100 and 11-87. The main competitor of the Remington 870 is the Mossberg 500.


There are hundreds of variations of the Remington 870. 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:

File:USAF 870 Shotgun.JPEG

The Remington 870 12-gauge shotgun loaded with pyrotechnical shells (blanks) is seen here used as a last resort to scare off unwanted birds in flight from the vicinity of Incirlik Air Base.

  • Wingmaster– Polished bluing and glossy wood finishes set off by a 14k Gold trigger in an Aluminum trigger group.
  • Express – Inexpensive bead blasted finish and satin wood or synthetic furniture. Incorporates cheaply-made cast and Metal Injection Molded (MIM) parts, a plastic trigger group an an internal locking mechanism (Remington's J-Lock Internal Safety System/ISS). Due to the fact that these shotguns were specifically created to be bargain priced in order to compete with companies like Mossberg, there is little human involvement/quality control in the process of making the Express, sometimes leaving burrs/marring in the reciever. Also, because the Express is not intended for hard use and the rigors of military and police work, the internal spring set is lighter and it is only chambered for the 2.75" variant of the 12 Gauge round. Since it was designed for sporting use, there is a bump in the factory magazine tube making it impossible to expand the magazine beyond a four round capacity.
  • Marine – synthetic stocks and nickel finishes. Based on the Express platform but with a factory-installed magazine extension and a 3" Magnum chambering.
  • Tactical - numerous versions and options intended for military and police markets. Based on the Express platform but with a factory magazine extension and a 3" Magnum chambering.
  • Police Magnum (870P) – high luster blued or parkerized finish and satin wood or synthetic stocks. The original, and also the most expensive, Remington 870 Variant, this shotgun is designed for law enforcement and military use (though it is still perfectly legal to own as a civillian in the United States). It has many variants with different choices in furniture, sights, magazine capacity and more. This shotgun goes through 23 individual quality control checkpoints and a lengthy test-fire process to ensure that everything works as it should. This variant has no MIM, cast or plastic parts, everything is forged or milled. It features a heavy-duty spring set, all-metal construction, and optional extras such as ghost-ring or rifle sights, pistol grip stocks, breaching devices, weaponlights, sidesaddles, cases and slings. An entire Remington plant is devoted to making the 870 Police Magnum.

See also


  1. Snyder, Walter C. Ithaca Featherlight Repeaters, The Best Gun Going. NC: Cook and Uline Pub, 1998. ISBN 0-9629469-1-5
  2. Harold Murtz. Gun Digest Treasury (DBI Books, 1994), p.193

External links

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