used rem 870 POLICE or new rem 870 express?

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by Midget, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. Midget

    Midget Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 1, 2002
    so there is a good deal on Remington 870 "police" shotguns, used. price is a little lower than an 870 express brand new at my local store.

    my understanding is the police models have more "clout" than the normal expresses. better built, more metal intervals, thicker barrel?

    so assuming the police model is in reasonable condition, what would you recommend? used police for cheaper and nicer or new express but it's new.
  2. stealthchaser13


    May 22, 2010
    A good used shotgun is what I'd go for if budget is tight. Look around, and you may be able to find a used (non-police) 870. But the great thing about the 870 is that there are a lot of aftermarket parts, so you can buy an off the shelf shotty, and turn it in to something that is truly yours.

    The police model has an 18" barrel (normally smooth bore), and usually has rifle like sights. depending on what your going to use it for, I'd buy that, get a 20"-24" rifled barrel, and switch out the stock for a (m-16/4 style) pistol grip shotgun.

    May I ask, what do you intend on using the shotgun for? hunting? home defense?
  3. dalee100


    Mar 15, 2008

    There is no difference in build between the two receivers. The barrels are different only in length and sights or lack thereof. And are replaceable in any case.

    So buy the one you like and the price that suits.

    An aside story. Years ago, early '70's, my brother bought a 870 Wingmaster that had been a police gun. It had the short barrel, cylinder-bore, and rifle sights. We think it was a very early '60's model. It was old enough that it didn't have the trigger disconnecter that newer pumps have. So you could hold the trigger down and slam-fire the thing. You could empty it just as fast as you could work the slide. My Brother took a lot of deer with that gun. He finally sold it off and replaced it with a 20ga. Wingmaster.

  4. Sid Post

    Sid Post

    Oct 14, 1998
    The Police 870's are better shotguns for hard use. The Express models are built for a lower price point market. Most likely, the Police model trade in will have no choke or very little choke and was purpose built for Buckshot. I have one with a Modified choke so be sure you know which one you are buying if want to shoot birdshot. Sights and stocks come in every configuration under the sun so, hold out for one that has the features you want.

    I own an Express model too so, while a good shotgun for it's pricepoint it does not compare to the quality in my "Police" model (14" USSS model).

    If you are buying this shotgun for home defense, I can highly recommend the VangComp for Buckshot use. If you watch his website, you can pickup 870 barrels for a great price.
  5. proud2deviate


    Apr 5, 2004
    I'd definitely go for the used Police. "Used" in this context means "slightly slicked up". Get one in a condition you can live with. Also be aware that they come in about every flavor imaginable; wood furniture or synthetic, Rifle sights or bead, 18 & 20" barrels (Most others will fit regardless,) blued or parkerized. Parts are everywhere and can be found cheap.

    Here's a pdf outlining the major differences between the Express and Police guns. Clicky Linky.
  6. SaguaroKid


    Jan 20, 2008
  7. gadgetgeek


    May 19, 2007
    I've heard, so I don't know how true it is, but the difference between the different grades of 870 was just the fit and finish, so a perfect one got to be a wingmaster, and a slightly off one got to be an express. either way they are great guns so you can't go wrong with either.
  8. sotto


    Feb 18, 2008
    I was just exclaiming about my 28 guage Remington Express I got probably 10 or 12 years ago. I put at least 500 rounds through it every year shooting skeet. I clean it maybe a couple times per year, squirt a little Break Free in it every now and again just to keep the action slicked up. I wipe it down when I'm done shooting. It takes a lickin', keeps on tickin'. My buddies Model 12 Winchester froze up on him today after two shots, so we shot 4 rounds of skeet using my gun. The barrel was so hot you couldn't hold it. Never a hick-up. If the police 870s are better than the cheap Expresses, they're one H of a gun is all I can say. Mine also has an unusually nice walnut stock with curly grain in it. I'm not sure but most every other Express I've seen come with some non-descript "hardwood" (birch maybe?) stock.
  9. yoz's friend

    yoz's friend

    Jun 30, 2001
    police model has no plastic parts.
  10. stealthchaser13


    May 22, 2010
    some of the modern shotguns can be slam fired (I believe mossberg's can)
  11. DPris


    Nov 27, 2003
    The police model will have a stronger carrier dog follower spring, a stronger sear spring, and possibly a stronger mag spring. It'll also have some form of metallic triggerguard assembly, and a forged extractor.

    The Express models use weaker versions of all three springs (still functional), a polymer triggerguard assembly, and a MIM extractor.
    There are claims made that the polymer guard is more resistant to breakage than the metal versions, which may be true, but they are more vulnerable to breakage higher up.

    The police guns are built to save lives.
    The Express models are built to save money.

    Both work, but I'd spend the money on the police model if it's going to be used for protection.

  12. Sundsvall


    Jun 25, 2002
    Used Police model all the way. I don't like the build quality of the new 870 Expresses.
  13. mwerner


    Apr 23, 2002
    I have an ex-police model which still has the "property of XXXX police department" rather crudely marked on the reciever with an engraving tool.
    It's so old that there is literally none of the original finish left on the weapon... I wipe it down frequently with rust-preventative.
    However....Still as reliable as when it was made. I haul it out to the outdoor range every year when we do our rifle qualification and put a few rounds through it.
  14. Midget

    Midget Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 1, 2002
    thanks for the advice, everyone.

    i have an 870 police magnum on order. should be a fun little project. this is my first shotgun (although i am not unfamiliar with shotguns). it'll also be my first pump, and the first time i've fired a pump (i have previously used autoloaders and over/unders).

    i think it will be a nice weapon to keep my hands busy. it is destined to be a utility gun, i will probably open it up and polish metal contact areas, and possibly replace anything that looks well used. maybe in the end a flashlight & rail, but that's all.

    pics to come!
  15. GingivitisKahn


    Jun 8, 2010
    I had a couple of Expresses and I'd never buy another. The Wingmaster is excellent but the wood in the forend of the express is crap - in my experience anyway. The first broke after two or three deer slugs (which they replaced, in fairness) and the second broke after a couple of seasons of shooting nothing but shot (typically 6 shot but occasionally some bigger stuff for ducks / geese).

    The express is cheap for a reason and just not reliable.
  16. Midget

    Midget Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 1, 2002
    so my next question....

    870P's have "improved cylinder" bores.

    so that means... i can shoot what?

    can i shoot smooth slugs?

    can i shoot rifled slugs?

    can i shoot saboted rounds (although this will be meaningless, right? b/c sabot rounds are made for rifled bore)

    bear with me. i'm learning here, and you guys have been an awesome wealth of knowledge.
  17. DPris


    Nov 27, 2003
    You can shoot slugs, sabots, and shot.
    Some sabots will stabilize, some will not.
    Dr. Seuss
    :)) )
  18. Midget

    Midget Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 1, 2002
    awesome, thanks!

    when my s-gun arrives i'll be cleaning her up to whatever extends needed, then buying some various loads for training, testing, and eventually HD.

    and eventually i'll have to pick up a magazine plug. :(

    the magazine is currently set up for 6+1. in the lovely state of MA, i'm limited to 5+1, as i understand it.
  19. DPris


    Nov 27, 2003
    Good luck with it.
  20. 338375


    Nov 4, 2006
    I built mine out of an early 870 Custom trap gun :D
    A good friend was the gun guy at a local pawn shop, and took it in because he knew I was looking for a cheap project.
    Complete disassembly, action and a little trigger work (not that it needed either), cut the barrel down, striped all metal surfaces and used gun-kote.

    The same friend has a Wilson/ Scat Tech 870 and he said he would take mine over his Wilson any day

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