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Remongton 870 shotgun
Remington 870 shotgun review
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By Dan S. Defense

The Remington 870 family of shotguns is diverse and well worth looking into. From hunting to home defense and tactical situations, the Remington 870 is tough and reliable. The Remington web site lists over 20 different configurations for the 870 but this review will focus on just one—the Model 870 Express Syntactic with an 18" barrel. The 870 is a basic and affordable, with an MSRP of about $370 (mid-year, 2010) and it is essentially a functional utility shotgun.

The Remington 870 is a 12-gauge pump action shotgun which holds 5 or 7 rounds, it has a 18" fixed Cylinder choke barrel, single front bead sight and comes in your choice of black. The finish, while being plain is made from non-glare material which helps when it’s used in bright or direct sunlight. , and choice of 5-shot or 7-shot capacities.

The Model 870 Express Synthetic is an excellent choice as a basic weapon or as a base which most custom shops will use to build you as much gun as you can afford. Because I designated the 870 as a home defense shotgun, and wanted to keep it simple, the only modification I made entailed a simple clamp to hold a Surefire flashlight.

The 870 has an internal magazine which holds both 2 3/4" and 3" shells. The pump cycles the action and feeds a new round into the chamber. It’s a very simple weapon to operate.

From a user’s perspective, the shotgun starts with a basic block stock which has a small section recoil absorbing material, then the receiver which holds the trigger, safety, breech bolt and ejection port; the the fore end with its internal magazine and magazine cap; and finally the business end which includes the barrel, front sight and muzzle. The safety lever, which resides just behind the trigger and is essentially a button you press in and out to make the weapon safe or ready to fire.

Operating the weapon is simple in principle—you load shells into the internal magazine, pump the action to load the shell, disengage the safety and pull the trigger. Anyone can fire a shotgun but hitting what you want is a different story. Looking at a 12 gauge shell will tell you that it’s big. Compare it to a rifle round or handgun bullet and you’ll truly get the general idea that when this weapon goes bang, it does so in a meaningful way and it kicks like a mule.

When I broke this weapon in, I took some folks new to shooting with me. This isn’t a starter gun nor one that you should use to introduce new shooters to the sport but these folks were interested and they were about to get their first experience with the Remington 870. After teaching them the proper grip, which leave no space between the stock and the shoulder, and showing them how to put their weight forward, I proceed to send a few rounds down range.
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Remington 870 Shotgun Review
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