I am looking into getting a Remington 870 shotgun.
I talked to someone who owned an older one and he said the only thing he doesn't like about it is the fact that it has a floating firing pin. He went on to explain to me that if a round is chambered a strong enough force (dropping on cement etc) could cause the firing pin to strike the primer of a round (he also seemed to condition this on the fact that the round would have a raised primer).
Is this a problem with the Remington shotguns? Is the answer to this problem simply to not keep a round chamberd? Has remington done anything to improve upon this possible defect in say the last 5 years (I would guess his shoutgun is much older than that, but I didn't ask).
Thanks for any help.
This is one of those things that go "Well, ya it CAN happen, but not in the real world".
Due to the 870 design, it would be necessary to drop the gun from a fair height, and have it land squarely on the muzzle.
So while this is POSSIBLE, it isn't LIKELY.
As far as I can remember, there's never been a case of this happening, that's been documented.
People claim to have heard of this, but attempts to actually trace the story down always fail.
ALL shotguns have essentially the same type firing pin design, and have for nearly 100 years.
If there was a genuine risk or a real problem, the guns would have been modified by now.
Since 95% PLUS of all American Law Enforcement agencies use the 870, if there was a problem, they would have demanded a fix, or they would have changed to another brand.
Bottom line: Of all the problems you might encounter with an 870, this one would go on the very bottom of the list.
In my expereince with LEO's (I was a cadet with a local PD for 2 years) the officers don't carry a round in the chamber in the shotguns. Would this be the reason? I guess I'll have to ask one.
You mentioned that "off all the problems you might encounter with an 870...." are there other outstanding problems that I should take into consideration with this shotgun?
So bottom line you would feel comfortable keeping a round in the chamber on this shotgun?
Appreciate your help!
ALL guns have problems.
The 870 is certainly the toughest, most durable, and trouble-free pump gun of modern times.
It's because the 870 is so trouble-free that the police use it almost to the exclusion of all other shotguns.
Make no mistake, the Remington 870 is a TANK.
The only "weakness" the 870 has is strictly user induced.
This is a situation where when loading the magazine, a shell isn't pushed ALL the way into the magazine, and it slips back out, and back into the receiver.
With older 870's, the shell would jam the action, since with the bolt closed, you couldn't open the action to clear the jam, and had to remove the trigger group to clear it.
Newer 870's have a "Flex-Tab" conversion that allows a mis-fed round to be cleared by simply forcibly pulling the action open.
Flex-Tab equipped guns can be recognized by a rectangular, "U" shaped cut in the bottom of the shell lifter.
All 870's made in at least the last 10 years or so have it.
Since this type of jam is "operator error", the "fix" is to train with the gun to eliminate any chance of fumbling a reload.
In truth, with newer 870's with the Flex-Tab, this is largely a non-issue.
As to keeping a round in the chamber......why?
The best way to carry or store a pump gun in a ready condition is in the police "cruiser ready" condition.
To do this, check the gun over to be sure every things in good shape, close the slide and (pointing in a safe direction) pull the trigger.
Then, load the magazine and it's safe to carry or store.
The gun is 100% safe in this condition, and all that's needed to use it, is to pump the action to chamber a round.
If you need to keep a round in the chamber for some legit reason, remember that this is NOT a very safe method for ANY shotgun, due to the fact that the safety only blocks the trigger.
Treat a fully loaded pump gun like a live hand grenade.
Unless you do have good reason to keep the chamber loaded, use the Cruiser ready method. It's MUCH easier and there's less risk of fumbling around trying to "find" a small safety button, when all you have to do is grab a large handle and pump it.
The only thing I can add to Faris' excellent summary is that I once saw a loaded and chambered 870 dropped about 20 feet from a treestand - and IT didn't "go bang" - and didn't appear to suffer any ill effects from it's fall, either....
I think I'd look for another source of gun advice if I were you, rdiggidy - the guy condemning the 870 for it's firing pin arrangement seems to be lacking....
Exactly why I came here to you guys!
Appreciate the time and help!
No prob, dude - we're there for you... I've been into shotguns for nearly 30 years, and wwhen it comes to knowledge about them, Mike103, dfariswheel, ikor, etc... are as good as it gets, IMO....