Saturday, March 16, 2013

Project 870 and Various Shotgun Stuff

 The start. A basic plane Jane Remington 870 Express. It came with the long barrel. Got the gun for a solid deal in a Pawn Shop. It's mechanically excellent but has some finish issues. The 18.5 inch barrel was purchased later to make it into a more viable defensive weapon. A shotgun with long and short barrels is really versatile. The downside is spare barrels start about $120ish. Remember that if you consider getting a shotgun with the wrong barrel for your goals. The end result is a lot of versatility but the cost is pretty high. Folks are probably better off just getting the right barrel length for their purposes.
 My camera is not good enough to catch it but the finish has some rust damage (though thankfully no pitting). I cleaned it up but the damn thing just seems to attract rust. I'm not sure exactly what my plan there is. Probably going to clean it up well and either get it refinished (which I do not like because it costs money) or just rattle can the thing. Input is welcome here.
 The long barrel also needs some love. I get these cleaned up then leave them well oiled but they still get nasty. It will get whatever the gun gets.

 In our previous talk on shotguns the issue of carrying ammo came up. The thinking of keeping ammo physically on the gun is that at 3am if you grab the gun it has a reload or two on there. As most folks would be nekid or in their PJ's the options for ammo are on the gun or secreted in some body cavity. You might not have the presence of mind or time to put on body armor or whatever. If you have the gun you have ammo.

An easy and cheap way to do this is a buttstock shotshell holder. Pictured are two of them. The upper one is a pretty heavy duty model made by Tactical Tailor. The lower one is a neoprene one I got as a gift. Both work fine. Some folks use sidesaddle's that hold rounds on the receiver. I do not like the big plastic ones for a lot of reasons. The new method some folks are using of putting velcro on the gun and using those HSGI shot shell panels has a lot of potential. I will probably give it a try down the road.
There are many ways to carry shotgun shells. In addition to what you have on the gun one might want more ammo. If you keep a shotgun as a trunk gun or use it as a go weapon this is important. I do not like bandoleers but they are a decent option I guess. I HATE the sling bandoleers. Who wants 10 pounds of shotgun shells flailing around all over the place attached to your gun?

My method of carrying shotgun shells is an old M249 SAW drum pouch. I sewed some buttons on to keep it shut. In there are about 40 rounds of 2 3/4's #4 buck. I like #4 as a good compromise between projective count and size. We could debate what shotgun ammo to use for defensive purposes; however if it ends in 'buck you are good to go. Also in there are 5 slugs in there. I kept them in the box so they are easy to find if needed.

If I get into those HSGI panels then a lot of options open up for storing them on body armor in pouches and such. 

As to where this project is going.......

I am going to convert this shotgun into an optimized home defense type gun. It will get an extended tube to hold a couple more shots. To do that I will need to deal with those stupid dimples in the tube. Also a sling will be attached. Going to figure out a way to make the gun more durable in terms of finish. It might be a good way to practice painting guns. 

A light would be nice but it's going to be awhile.  Any options I consider duty grade and worthwhile are pretty expensive.

So that's my old trusty shotgun and what is in store for it.

 

18 comments:

Aesop said...

For actually getting into the metal, the Birchwood Casey bluing products, (Super Blue, etc.) work just fine for touching up formerly rusty spots. When I've had rust issues, I like to get the metal protected even if it's getting Krylon camo later. It eliminates the possibility of moisture getting under the paint and rusting the gun up even after it's painted.

Love the stock-cuffs. They're the only way I'll hang spares on the gun if I do it at all, because just as you noted, the other options kinda suck. It also gave me a way to put 3 buck reloads and a couple of 1 oz slugs handy, and I could tell them apart even in the dark by feel.

MikeGeorgeC said...

I just saw this video on YTube and thought it was pretty good for this post. Don't ever comment but feeling the need to try and help if I can. Hope this works/helps out.Title is: Remington 870 HD Shotugun Upgrades...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eLSP5vRYPI
He makes his own sling, drills the stock and carries extra stuff in as well. His is plastic however.

Commander_Zero said...

Given the price of spare barrels, cutting, crowning and rebeading the longer barrel might have made more sense.

Ryan said...

Zero, It might have. However that expense is in the past and at this point I am happy to have both.

Aesop said...

And for far less than the price of another shotty, you have a barrel that's good for birds and small game.


You're probably there already, but in case not, I'd also replace the crappy black factory shell follower with a high-viz and heavier one. Brownell's has some in anodized aluminum, and I've used a chunky blaze orange plastic one, by Choate, IIRC.

Makes visually verifying no rounds in the tube a snap, and the upgrades are usually slicker and less likely to give you a feeding snag when you least need it, that one time in a thousand.

Anonymous said...

Remington must have tinkered with the Express' finish formula. I have a pair of them (12 ga. Turkey 21" barrel and 20 gauge Youth 21", both Rem-Choke) and rust is not an issue with either of them. I wipe them down every time I touch the metal because skin oil will encourage rust.

The 20 is for hunting quail (lightweight), the 12 has a pistol gripped fixed Choate stock, 8 round magazine and Sidesaddle for home invasion possibility.

I prefer Wingmasters and used ones used to be found for $200ish at pawn shops. Not so much anymore.

Good luck with your peoject - sounds like a great start.

Ryan said...

Aesop, As you said it is a really versatile combo.

Switching the follower makes sense while I'm in there anyway.

@6:11, A 21" barreled shotgun that takes chokes is probably the best all around scatter gun option. Well played.

I do not know if they went through a rough period where something happened or there are just duds in the finish department. However my experience is not a statistical anomaly.

Wingmasters are great guns that made the 870 lines. They are the shotgun an 870 should be. Deals can come up but they are still relatively expensive compared to the express line.

Archer Garrett said...

Not to start a debate, but I went w/the Mossberg platform and picked up 2 used 500s (One long one short) for about 220 total. So I have long/short barrels + 2 working actions.

Also practically stole a great condition parkerized 590 for $200, so I'm kind of awash in shotguns (there are others). I keep the speedfeed stock full of slugs and the tube full of BK.

870s are great - i love mine, just have a thing for inexpensive(er), reliable guns. Hurts less when you pass em around.

Ryan said...

Archer, I have a post in the cue on Mossbery 500 vs Remington 870.

If you can afford it a dedicated HS gun and a separate hunting type shotgun is an excellent option. That way you could arm a friend, stash one in another location or have a backup if something happens to one of them.

An extra 12 gauge and a .38 revolver (or 4 of each) is a nice option for arming others without breaking into your stash or breaking the bank.

Archer Garrett said...

Cheap 38s, shotguns and 22s are cheaper by the dozen, even if their only use is to be divided up amongst a mob of sniveling grandyunguns one day.

Ryan said...

Archer, There are some guns that will always be a buy at the right price. Older S&W revolvers, Mossy/ Remington pump shotguns and decent .22's come to mind.

Anonymous said...

One thing I have done for surface protection of parts that don't get a lot of friction is a heavy coat of rubbed-in-hard silicone car wax. It doesn't change the appearance so, it there is a large area you might want to go ahead and spray paint over it. I also use Rustoleum/Krylon but both are subject to wear even more than the wax.Unless scratched off however, they protect well in heat and humidity (SW Fl.)
Venice

Anonymous said...

I spray painted bar-b-que pit krylon on a .410 barn gun whose exterior was messed up - works well.

WPC said...

I was just looking into converting my 870 to HD also: perfect timing! I'll definitely be checking in for the series.

I watched a video on YouTube (http://youtu.be/IG5yt-5KlJE) about adding the tube extension: he just drilled out the tabs/indents, then deburred them. Didn't look too hard. He also had something that he put on the metal that he said you could get at Walmart (Cole Blue?), but I couldn't be sure what he said.

Besides the mobility issues, are there any problems shooting buck or slugs through a longer barrel? This was a duck hunting gun, and I think it has a 28" barrel. I'm trying to do this on a very limited budget and was surprised the tube extensions were $75. I was thinking a tube extension would be a good start, then the shorter barrel down the road.

Love the site: keep up the good work!

Ryan said...

2:19, That is pretty much what I am planning to do.

WPC, I have seen that option. Still assessing the problem.

Buck through a longer barrel is no problem. Depending on your choke slugs could be an issue. Honestly that's not an area I know much about.

The real issue with a long barrel is with moving through a structure and retaining control of your weapon. If it's going to be a farm gun or something that is fine but for a house gun a 28" barrel is a bad idea.

I went short barrel pretty quickly and have been meaning to get to the extension for awhile now. To me the barrel length is more important than 2 more shots at least in the short term.

TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf said...

Cool! I am working on a similar project for my newly acquired 590A1!

Ryan said...

Alexander, It is big fun. Mine is sort of on the back burner till another thing gets done. However it should be done inside 60 days or so.

Anonymous said...

Brownells Teflon/Moly Gun Finish

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