Remington 870
Remington 870 Marine Magnum
Type Shotgun
Place of origin United States
Service history
Used by See Users
Production history
Designer L.Ray Crittendon, Phillip Haskell, Ellis Hailston, G.E. Pinckney
Designed 1951
Manufacturer Remington Arms
Produced 1951-present [1]
Number built 10,000,000+ [2]
Variants Wingmaster, Express, Marine, SPS, SPS-T, XCS, TAC, Super Mag,MCS
Weight 7.0 lb (Script error kg) to 8.0 lb (Script error kg)
Length 37.25 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm) to 50.5 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Barrel length 18 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm) to 30 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)

Cartridge 12 gauge, 16 gauge, 20 gauge, 28 gauge, or .410 bore
Action Pump-action
Feed system 3- to 8-round internal tube magazine
Sights Bead, twin bead, adjustable open sights, or ghost ring (all iron sights). Also cantilever and receiver-mounts for scopes [3]

The Remington Model 870 is a U.S.-made pump-action shotgun manufactured by Remington Arms Company, Inc. It is widely used by the public for sport shooting, hunting, and self-defense. It is also commonly used by law enforcement and military organizations worldwide.


The Remington 870 was the fourth major design in a series of Remington pump shotguns. John Pedersen designed the fragile Remington Model 10 (and later the improved Remington Model 29). Working with John Browning, Pedersen also helped design the Model 17[4] which was adopted by Ithaca as the Ithaca 37 and also served as the basis for the Remington 31. The Model 31 was well liked,[5] but struggled for sales in the shadow of the Winchester Model 12. Remington sought to correct that in 1950 by introducing 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 sales of the basic "Express" models, which were added as a lower cost alternative to the original Wingmaster line, sales topped seven million guns. On April 13, 2009 the ten millionth Model 870 was produced, and the 870 holds the record for best-selling shotgun in the history of the world.[6]

Design detailsEdit

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 centerfire rifles and carbines. The basic trigger group design was first used in the automatic Remington 11-48.[7] 20 gauge stocks will also interchange. Several parts of the 870 will interchange with the semi-automatic Remington 1100 and 11-87.

The original 870 models were offered with fixed chokes. In 1986 Remington introduced the new Remington "Rem Choke" system of screw-in chokes (also fitted to Remington model 1100 auto-loading shotguns at the same time). Initially, the Rem Chokes were offered on barrel lengths of 21", 26" and 28". It was not offered on 30" barrels, deer guns, target guns or as a retrofit.

Production 870s for over 30 years had a design whereby a user could either "short stroke" the action - not pull the forearm all the way back while cycling the action as they should - or fail to press a shell all the way into the magazine when loading such that the shell latch did not engage the shell, and such actions could tie up the gun.[8] This was caused by the shell which slipped out of the magazine under the bolt in the receiver to bind the action, requiring rough treatment of the action or even disassembly to clear by the uninitiated. The potential issue was resolved with the introduction of the "Flexi Tab" carrier. Guns with this modification can be identified by the "U"-shaped cut-out on the carrier, visible from below the gun. The cut-out allows the carrier to flex when the shell presses on it without binding the action.

Variants Edit

There are hundreds of variations of the Remington 870 in 12, 16, 20, 28 gauges and .410 bore. 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:

  • WingmasterBlued steel with high gloss or satin walnut stocks. They have been offered in Skeet, Trap, and field configurations. Originally the basic Wingmaster was chambered for 2 3/4" rounds and came with a fixed choke, and the 3" chambered versions were designated Magnum models. Models built after 1986 offer the RemChoke Interchangeable choke tube system, and the 12 and 20 gauge versions are chambered in 3" for either 2 3/4" or 3" shells. Prior to the introduction of the "Police" model 870, altered Wingmasters were popular among law enforcement.
  • PoliceBlued or Parkerized steel with satin walnut, stained hardwood, or synthetic stocks. These models feature a stronger sear spring and magazine spring, and they receive extra care and inspections during assembly. The Police models also often have an extended tube magazine.
  • Marine – Nickel plated with synthetic stocks.
  • Express – Matte blue/black bead-blasted with laminated hardwood or synthetic stocks and chambered for 2 3/4" and 3" 12 or 20 gauge shotshells. All Expresses have been chambered in 3" in 12 and 20 gauge, but markings have varied.
  • Express Super Magnum – Matte black bead-blasted with laminated hardwood or synthetic stocks and chambered for 3½" 12 gauge shotshells.
  • MCS (Modular Combat Shotgun) – A new modular version of the M870 which can be quickly modified with different barrels, magazine tubes, and stocks for different purposes, such as urban combat and door breaching.

Chinese M870Edit

China has made unlicensed M870 copies by Norinco as the Norinco HP9-1 and used by the People's Liberation Army as the standard shotgun.

However, the M870 copy is a widely-distributed design no longer under patent protection, and most parts interchange freely. In the United States, where Norinco products are specifically non-importable, this gun is imported and sold under the names Norinco Hawk 982 and Interstate Hawk 982.


  1. Remington model history
  2. Remington product page
  3. Script error
  4. Snyder, Walter C. Ithaca Featherlight Repeaters, The Best Gun Going. NC: Cook and Uline Pub, 1998. ISBN 0-9629469-1-5
  5. Simpson, Lane. "Remington's Magnificent Five", Shooting Times, May 2000
  6. Harold Murtz. Gun Digest Treasury (DBI Books, 1994), p.193
  7. Script error
  8. Script error

External linksEdit

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