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Posted: 2/11/2006 9:17:34 PM EDT
Im in the market for a new shotty and its going to be an 870, or clone maybe?
But damn theres a lot of models / types
I'm rather lost so can someone explain the differences to me.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 10:32:28 PM EDT
Here's how the various Remington 870's and the Chinese "Clones" stack up:

The Express is Remington's "budget" gun, made to compete with the cheaper to make Winchester and Mossberg guns.

The Police is Remington's top-of-the-line defense gun, and is generally considered to be the finest quality defense pump gun made.

The Wingmaster is Remington's top-of-the-line full polish commercial sporting gun.

How Remington lowered the price of the Express was to reduce hand labor to a bare minimum, to eliminate much of the polishing and de-burring the better quality Wingmaster and Police guns get, and to use some plastic parts.

The Express is basically the same forged and milled steel receiver and heavy-duty internals gun the better 870's are, just without the smooth, no burrs, no machine marks finish and some plastic parts in non critical areas.

The Express "Home Defense" type gun has:
A plastic trigger group. (This seems to be standing up just as well as the aluminum groups).
The dimples in the mag tube and the new style magazine retention system. (Won't take an extension without alterations).
NOTE: Remington now sells a Synthetic Express 18" that comes WITH a factory extension.
A rougher finish inside and outside, with machine marks and some burrs left.
A rougher blue job.
A less polished bore.
A two piece barrel. (not 100% sure about this)
Synthetic stock, with a sporting-length fore end. (Won't take many side saddles without alteration)
An 18", cylinder bore barrel, with a bead sight.
Some Metal Injection Molded (MIM) parts, like the extractor.
Has the locking safety button, although Remington MAY have discontinued it.

The 870 Police has:
An aluminum trigger group.
The old style magazine retention system.
A much smoother finish inside and out, no machine marks or burrs.
The Police gun receives a higher level of inspection and finishing.
A military-grade parkerized finish.
A polished bore.
A one piece barrel.
Walnut or synthetic stock, with a short police-length fore end.
Choices in different stocks, including Speed-feed, and others.
18" to 20" improved cylinder barrel, with a wide choice in sights, including rifle, ghost ring, and luminous.
Heavy-duty magazine spring.
Heavy-duty trigger-sear spring.
Sling swivel mounts.
The new "R3" super recoil pad.
No use of MIM parts, the extractor is milled.
No lockable safety.

The Wingmaster has:
An aluminum trigger group.
The old style magazine retention system.
A much smoother finish inside and out, no machine marks or burrs.
The Wingmaster receives a higher level of inspection and finishing.
A bright polished glossy, commercial blue job.
A polished bore.
A one piece barrel.
Better grade Walnut stocks with the famous "Bowling Pin" finish and better checkering.
Commercial sporting barrels with many options on screw-in chokes and vent ribs.
No use of MIM parts, the extractor is milled.
The Wingmaster is the high-polish fancy version of the Police gun.

The Chinese "Clones" of the 870.
These are all made by Norinco, and imported under a number of names including:
Norinco, NEF, Brolin, Interstate Arms, Hawk, and others.

These are an all steel "almost" exact copy of the Remington. Apparently even the trigger group is steel.
Many parts will interchange with the Remington, but NOT barrels.
The Norinco has a longer magazine tube that holds a full 5 rounds, so the barrel support ring is located farther forward.
For this reason, barrels will not interchange.

The Norinco is rougher and has a lesser fit and finish than even the "budget" Express gun.
Most owners say they are a good truck, farm, boat, or "knock-around" gun that always goes "BOOM" when the trigger is pulled.
Not a heirloom to be passed down, but a reasonably serviceable gun at a bargain basement price.

Getting repairs or parts will be a problem.

The guns seem to be standing up, but as in all Chinese guns, long term durability is always questionable due to suspect steels and heat treating.

My recommendations on defense guns:
Bargain basement, price is everything, quality is nothing.....A Chinese clone.

Bargain gun.....The Express synthetic 18" with the factory magazine extension. Even if you don't want the extension, get it. You can remove the extension easily. On the standard magazine gun, you can't add an extension easily.

Build it yourself......Buy a used Wingmaster. These can be found just about everywhere at good prices. You can add whatever accessories you want and have it refinished and have the same gun as a Police model cheaper.

The very best....The Remington 870P Police model. You can order it equipped with about anything you want already installed as factory options.
A little harder to get and expensive, but it's the Cadillac of pump guns.
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