Sunday, September 18, 2005

Remington 870 Express

I bought a shotgun yesterday. I was looking at my all-too-sparse battery of firearms and realized that I didn't own a personal riot shotgun. For my entire career I have fired shotguns during annual qualification and my personal armory has a couple of utilitarian hunting shotguns.

Mine looks like this:
Remington 870

As pump shotguns go, the Remington 870 is about as generic as it comes. Police agencies use them, sportsmen use them, target shooters use them. The standard Remington pump shotgun comes in a dazzling array of stocks, barrels, gauges, and styles to fit any game, or any budget. If it were to be introduced today, the 870 would be hailed as a breakthrough in shotgun design. It is strong, durable, sleek, with a silky smooth action. The fact that is has been around over half a century is testiment to its versatility and utility as a modern firearm.

There is no sound anywhere in the world that sounds like a pump shotgun being brought into action. That "shack-shack" sound shatters through the bullshit and puts everyone in earshot on notice that the conversation just got serious. Police shotguns are normally carried with the barrel empty and the magazine full. The officer only has to pump the forearm to put a shell in the chamber and be ready to fire 9 .30 cal balls. The shotgun is a devastating short-range weapon and people of all stripes universally accept that fact.

I have been present at large disturbances (read: bar-fight) where the combatant citizens were immediately brought under control by the simple act of an officer walking through the door of the building and jacking a shell into the chamber. No matter how drunk a person might be, no matter how combative he might be, no matter what else is going on immediately, that sound will clear the fog from his brain and the blood from his eyes.

The best part of the whole exercise is that I got mine cheap. I happened to wander into a pawn shop yesterday and saw it sitting in the rack. I engaged the shopkeeper in conversation. I dickered and bargained, and when it was said and done, I walked out with it under my arm for $225.00 cash money. My copy has some weird camo treatment on the stock, but a little sandpaper and linseed oil will take care of that. I might even spring for a synthetic stock for it.

I think I done good.

11 comments:

Standard Mischief said...

No, you really want a wooden stock. OK, we really want a wooden stock, you are LEO.

If a non-special person ever has to stand in front of a of voir dire selected jury, and defend his self-defense, you can be damn sure the D.A. will hold up the evil black shotgun and try to portray you as a evil person who was just waiting for a chance to blow away someone and get away with it. There are enough anti-gun people and snobby skeet shooters out there in this world that you might as well assume some will be on your jury.

But if you just happened to have that fine sporting firearm around, and you desperately had to press it into a last ditch effort to save your life, well...

Anonymous said...

I have always favored the Mossberg 500. Both are good guns though, I've had two 870's. I experienced jamming under mud confitions with the 870, that is why my primary is a 500. For looks though the Remington is hands down purdy.

Pawpaw said...

Standard: Actually, I like wooden stocks. And I am thinking about those too. Just a nice birch or walnut stock. Nothing fancy. I haven't made that decision yet. Thanks for the input.

Anonymous. Lots of good things to be said for the Mossberg. I own one, in 20 ga with a ribbed barrel (for upland game). I also like the Win 1300 (for waterfowl). I have one of those too. Each of the three are great shotguns.

Jeremy said...

My favorite for most shooting is an American 12ga double circa 1905

j said...

Brownell's sells 870 stocks from at least a dozen different companies. You can get one in Mossy Oak and in hunter's orange. Wood, too. Me, I'd go for Mossy Oak.

Cowboy Blob said...

Congrats! My first gun was an 870 that Dad had bought in the Tokyo BX while he was stationed overseas. It's got beautiful polished wood furniture. I picked up a beater 870 a few years ago and got a black synthetic stock, mag extension, and rifle-sight slug barrel so I could use it in 3-Gun competition. It ended up being kinda balky during matches, so I put the barrel and mag on my shiny 870...it rocks!

Standard Mischief said...

Mossy Oak or Blaze Orange says "hunter", Black synthetic stock says "wanna-be ninja/black ops/jackbooted thug". My personal shotgun says "870 HD" where the "HD" stands for "home defense". Still, I'm overdue swapping out that stock. (I'm claiming young & stupid)

I wonder what the jury will think of my lovingly peened out magazine tube dimples. You know, those dents that Remington put in, on purpose, just to keep the magazine extensions aftermarket parts from being added on.

You know I hate discrimination in all it's forms. Can we pleeeeasze get some help from the ACLU on black evil looking gun discrimination?

Nate said...

I am actually looking to get a wooden stock for mine and I have a synthetic stock...if you are still considering the synthetic...

Anonymous said...

Although i agree that a dirty lawyer would make you look like an evil thug because you own the black synthetic version of the 870, i would also like to note that a dirty lawyer would also make you look like a crazy redneck if you own a shotgun with a wooden stock. More and more people are being raised with little or no familiarity with firearms. people are generally scared of things that arent familiar with. It's nearly impossible to protect your home with a firearm unless you live in texas...lol...

but back to the point. i own the 870 with the black synthetic stock and that thing is unstoppable. its been dropped in the water and mud and still fires every time. it also still looks good after 3 years of torture. i am particulary clumsy if you cant tell but this gun stands up to anything that i can possibly do to it. if you want a gun thats going to last for a long time, i would go with the black sythetic.

Anonymous said...

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the black synthetic stock. I have the 870 Express with the black synthetic stock that I use for deer hunting. You don't have to worry about it in the rain, sitting on the gravel, or tossed in the truck. Black synthetic stocks are extremely common now on "all-weather" type hunting rifles. Worrying about wood vs. synthetic based on hypotheticals is a waste of time. If a person is that worried about it, perhaps owning a firearm is not for them. Wood or synthetic? Wood looks much better. Synthetic is more durable. Basically a personal choice.

Sammy said...

So you had no intention of buying a gun until you saw it in the pawn shop?