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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked one of these up tonight. 12 gauge intended primarily for home defense. The owners manual that came with it is for all 870 series. I am trying to determine what would be a good hunting barrel for deer and small game/water fowl. I am still not sure if it's even possible to swap the barrel. I'll have to double check the laws for NH, but I think I may be ok with the 7 round capacity for hunting.

I'd appreciate it if anyone can enlighten me on the barrel situation.
 

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I just picked one of these up tonight. 12 gauge intended primarily for home defense. The owners manual that came with it is for all 870 series. I am trying to determine what would be a good hunting barrel for deer and small game/water fowl. I am still not sure if it's even possible to swap the barrel. I'll have to double check the laws for NH, but I think I may be ok with the 7 round capacity for hunting.

I'd appreciate it if anyone can enlighten me on the barrel situation.
Quick overview:

Well, it's 6+1 for 7 total, not 7 in mag, AFAIK, same as my 870 Synthetic 7 round model.

Yes, you can change barrel. Easily. Takes 5 min or less.
Take it apart and you'll see.

Federal law limits you to 2 in mag and 1 in chamber when hunting migratory waterfowl. You must have "plug" in magazine to limit this, they won't "take your word" for it.
NH may or may not have shell limits on other game, some states do, some don't. Some do for some game, not for other game. Like that.

Deer, of course, you need to shoot slugs, and the smooth cylinder bore 18." barrel on yours will do fine with rifled slugs, and the ghost ring/front sights should be adequate. Should hold line of sight up to about 75 yards, then will start dropping, so some sighting in beyond that will be necessary to figure hold over. Still not as precise as .30 family of rifles, but somewhat more forgiving what with the huge diameter of slugs.

Also will work okay with 6-7 size shot for squirrels and rabbits.

If you're going to do much on the wing hunting, you'd be better served with long barrel 26 or 28" with Rem Choke on it, so you can shoot modified to full choke. Also, if you were going to do a lot of deer hunting, this longer barrel, assuming it has a sight on front that the ghost ring can index on, will be more accurate even for slugs, what with the longer sight picture. You'll generally want no more than improved cylinder choke with rifled slugs, although up t modified is safe enough, just might or might not affect accuracy.

The other alternative for slugs is to get a rifled barrel and shoot sabot slugs. The barrel (and the slugs) are more expensive, but somewhat more accurate.

- OS
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for the very informative reply.

I'm a little confused now as to which model 870 I actually have. It looks just like the Tactical on the Remington website but it does not have the ghost rings.

It was labeled as an 870 Express Home Defense, but I can't find that model anywhere on Remington's site. :xeye:

It does have the synthetic stock but the fore-end is the same one used on the tactical version. It also is 6+1, but with a basic bead site on the barrel.

It looks just like this one with the exception of the fore-end.

http://www.remington.com/products/firearms/shotguns/model-870/model-870-express-synthetic-7-round.aspx
 

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This is the tactical. I bought it this week and the wifey pics it up on Friday... 9 more guns to buy in the next few months.. yaaa me...

 

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I believe the choke that is on there isn't an improved cylinder. If so do not shoot slugs through it you might want to buy an improved cylinder choke if you want to shoot slugs through it. Next week I will be getting the same one but in the home defense combo and I will just buy a magazine extension for it, for more firepower.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I believe the choke that is on there isn't an improved cylinder. If so do not shoot slugs through it you might want to buy an improved cylinder choke if you want to shoot slugs through it. Next week I will be getting the same one but in the home defense combo and I will just buy a magazine extension for it, for more firepower.
This is why I'm so confused. Mine does not have the choke on the end of the barrel, but looks identical to the tactical model without the ghost rings and choke.
 

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This is why I'm so confused. Mine does not have the choke on the end of the barrel, but looks identical to the tactical model without the ghost rings and choke.
That choke on the end of the tactical is a special extended Rem Choke with flash suppressor/breacher. Most all 870 barrels that come with RemChoke have the screw in type Rem Choke inside barrel, it shows nothing on outside. All 870 18" barrels except for this "tactical" model (actually most all are 18.5 except some LE models), as far as I know, are cylinder bore only, none have RemChoke system.

This is the Remington website pic of Synthetic 7 Round:



However, I HAVE a Synthetic 7 round and my fore end is a little different:

Bought mine about 2 years ago, so they may have changed forearm since, and yours is older in stock like mine, or have made both styles at same time, or whatever. (note the flashlight on front is my own cobbled together arrangement).

So sounds like you do maybe have Synthetic 7.
Where/how was it "labeled as an 870 Express Home Defense." ?
What does it say on end of the box?

- OS
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm a dumbass, when in doubt look at the box. :rolleyes:

Box says Model 870 Express Synthetic pump action shotgun, 18" bbl, 12 ga. cylinder bore with 2 shot extension.

The store hang tag stated it was a 870 Express Home Defense.

Either way it's a nice handling gun. I just put a box of 25 through it after work. If the bite doesn't get 'em the bark will sure as hell scare them.

Thanks for the help. I'd post a pic, but I'm to paranoid to post my FA pics.
 

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...
Box says Model 870 Express Synthetic pump action shotgun, 18" bbl, 12 ga. cylinder bore with 2 shot extension.

...
Okay, same gun as I have.
The 2 shot extension is what makes it "synthetic 7 round" (6 in mag, 1 in chamber).

Cylinder bore, means no choke at all, only full diameter of barrel.
So anyway, all my previous statements in long post apply, except that accuracy of shooting slugs at longer distances is problematic with an 18.5" barrel with only beaded front sight.

- OS
 

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Model numbers always help to resolve these kind of situations quickly. I have a 5077 and am considering having Ghost Ring sights put on it.
 

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870 is an awesome gun. The vast majority of Law Enforcement agencies have used them for over 30 years. Simple and they just work.
 
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