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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

So, I just paid for an 870 Wingmaster that was a consignment and only $20 more than the 870 Express I was originally walking in to buy, and really excited about it. The only bummer is I have to let it sit at the store for 30 days before I can dros and start the background check on it! It This feels like the longest month of my life!

Anyway, I am going to use it for range fun with the 28" barrel, and am looking for an 18.5" home defense barrel when it's parked at home. As a new shotgun owner, (and one that cannot seem to verify the serial number properly), I have a few questions I that are probably common knowledge but I can't seem to verify:

Is there any considerations one must take when selecting an 18.5" barrel for the Wingmaster receiver? From all that I can gather, as long as it's not a Special Field or Super Magnum, an 870 barrel should just drop right in the receiver, right? Based on what I can gather from the receiver serial number, it's rated for 2 3/4" or 3" only. Does this shell size rating dictate compatibility, or would I just be limited to the smallest size shell rating of the receiver/barrel setup?

Thanks for any info,

Nate
 

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Mossberg makes a good barrel for the 870. Remington can be fairly retarded about getting spare barrels.

One of those barrels and +2 mag extension from Wilson Combat should get your life right.

Know the build date on the Wing Master? It SHOULD have the good extractor in it. The new Express models are sadness.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The only serial number I have is the one on the vendor's receipt and I would assume that to be the receiver serial number, correct? It begins with AB and ends with M, Most all of the literature I can dig up talks mostly about barrel serials, and almost nothing of what's on the receiver. One source told me that the M at the end denotes a full size frame, 12GA, 2 3/4" and 3" shells only. I have no idea how to date this thing until I can actually look at it.

I found a blued, 18.5" Mossberg smooth bore barrel P/N that I like. Would be nice to match the receiver as I've never owned such a pretty gun before. The Wilson mag extensions look really cool. If I can't find a blue finish extension I'll look into those.

I donno why, but there's just something about the look of a short barrel shotgun with a flush magazine tube and wood furniture that does it for me:D
 

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You're probably not gonna have the blued jobs on the Mossberg or mag extension matching it quite as well.

The older Wingmasters were just a damn pretty job on that end.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yea, I can't find anything close. Maybe I'll match the barrel and the mag in a matte or parkerized finish instead.

I don't believe this one is very old. Won't know much more until I see it again but she is mighty pretty. Any idea if those 28" vented barrels might come with Rem Chokes? I didn't think to check when I bought it.
 

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I was an 870 armorer and rebuilt a TON of beat to snot 870's back to good condition.

As to the 18" barrel, your old Wingmaster will have a ball detent for the magazine detent. The newer express guns have a different system, without a ball detent. You can interchange the barrels on your gun, but the ball detent system is more desirable as the magazine cap doesn't come loose. Remington doesn't polish the bore chamber barely at all anymore. I consider it mandatory to chuck a cleaning rod and some steel wool on a drill and polish the chamber on any new 870 barrel, so the shells extract properly and don't jamb.

One other consideration, depending on how old your gun is, it may or may not have the flexitab anti-jam system. This is MANDATORY on a defensive use 870, as without it, your gun could jam spectacularly when you don't want it to. Most guns built in the past 20 years or so come with the flexitab. If it doesn't have the parts, the conversion parts are expensive. The cheapest way to get them is to buy a cheap 870 at a pawn shop, swap the conversion parts into your Wingmaster, put the old parts into the donor shotgun, then sell the parts shotgun on the used market for exactly what you paid for it. (Free parts)

After making sure you have the flexitab, then the most important part as it relates to reliability is a good follower, a strong magazine spring, and replace the carrier latch spring for the 870P/1100 spring. This is MANDATORY on every 870 I work on. An old weak spring will cause jams.Honeslty, 30-50% of the OLD 870's I have worked on have had such a weak spring that the guns were jammomatic. This one spring seems to be the most important part as it relates to reliability on the 870 platform. I always replace this spring on any used 870 gun I get. Best $5 you'll ever spend. Takes 90 seconds to install.




Remington 870 Flexitab system and parts identification

Remington 870 Carrier Latch Spring Upgrade
 
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