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Remington 870
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Remington 870
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 (3.2 kg) to 8.0 lb (3.6 kg)
Length 37.25 in (946 mm) to 50.5 in (1,280 mm)
Barrel length 18 in (460 mm) to 30 in (760 mm)

Cartridge 12 gauge, 16 gauge, 20 gauge, 28 gauge, or .410 bore
Action Pump-action
Feed system 4+1 to 7+1 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, LLC. 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). John Browning designed the Remington Model 17 (which was later adapted by Ithaca into the Ithaca 37), which served as the basis for the Remington 31. The Model 31 was well liked,[4] but struggled for sales in the shadow of the Winchester Model 12. Remington sought to correct that in 1949 by introducing a modern, streamlined, rugged, reliable, and relatively inexpensive shotgun – the 870. It was an adaptation of the Remington 11–48 autoloader, itself an adaptation of the John Browning-designed Remington 11.

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 history.[5]

Design details

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 11–48.[6] 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 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.[7] 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.


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:

  • 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.
  • Marine – Nickel plated with synthetic stocks.
  • Mark 1 - adopted by the United States Marine Corps in the late 1960s and saw service into the 21st century. The Model 870 Mark 1 has a 21 inches (53 cm) barrel with an extended magazine increasing total capacity to 8 rounds, and was fitted with an adapter allowing use of the standard M7 bayonet for the M16 rifle.[8]
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Super Mag – Chambered for 3½" 12 gauge shotshells.
  • 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.

Chinese versions

Arms manufacturer, Norinco, of the People's Republic of China has made unlicensed copies of the Remington 870 as the design is no longer under patent protection. The most common of these designs are the Norinco HP9-1 and M-98, the difference being that the HP9-1 has either a 12.5" or 14" barrel, whereas the M-98 has an 18.5" barrel.[9] In the United States, where most Norinco products are specifically non-importable,[10] this shotgun was imported and sold under the names Norinco Hawk 982 and Interstate Hawk 982.[11]


A U.S. Coast Guard petty officer from Maritime Safety and Security Team 91106 armed with an M870P fitted with a Trijicon reflex sight and a Speedfeed stock.

The Remington 870 12-gauge shotgun loaded with pyrotechnical shells (blanks) is seen here used as a last resort to scare off unwanted birds in flight from the vicinity of Incirlik Air Base.

A U.S. Air Force Security Forces Marine Patrol airman from MacDill AFB with an M870.

Country Organization name Quantity Date
 Australia Australian Defence Force[12][13] _ _
 Austria EKO Cobra[14] _ _
 Bangladesh Bangladesh Armed Forces[15] _ _
Dhaka Metropolitan Police SWAT[16] _ _
 Canada Canadian Forces[17] _ _
York Regional Police[citation needed] _ _
Toronto Police Service[citation needed] _ _
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)[18] _ _
 China Made unlicensed copies by Norinco as the Norinco HP9-1 and used by the Chinese police, SWAT, security guards and border guard units. _ _
 Finland Finnish Army[19] _ _
 Germany Bundeswehr[20] _ _
 Greece EKAM counter-terrorist unit of the Hellenic Police[21] _ _
 Hong Kong Used by various units of Hong Kong Police such as Special Duties Unit and Police Tactical Unit[citation needed] _ _
 Hungary Hungarian Armed Forces _ _
 Ireland Army Ranger Wing[22] _ _
 Israel Israel Defense Forces [23] _ _
 Republic of Korea Republic of Korea Naval Special Warfare Brigade [24] _ _
 Luxembourg Unité Spéciale de la Police group of the Grand Ducal Police[25][26][27] _ _
 Malaysia Malaysian Special Operations Force[28] _ _
 Sweden Swedish Armed Forces[29] _ _
  Switzerland Swiss Armed Forces (designated Mehrzweckgewehr 91; MzGw 91)[30] _ _
 United Kingdom United Kingdom Special Forces (designated L74A1) and some Specialist Firearms Officers (as a breaching weapon)[31] _ _
 United States U.S. Border Patrol[32] _ _
U.S. Department of Education[33] _ _
U.S. Military (designated M870)[34] _ _
U.S. Secret Service[35] 1,600 2001
Internal Revenue Service[36] _ _
Various police forces such as:
  • California Highway Patrol (since 1965),[37]
  • Phoenix, Arizona SWAT
  • Sparta, New Jersey[38]
  • Alaska Department of Corrections[39]
  • Pennsylvania State Police[40]
  • _ _

    See also


    1. Remington model history
    2. Remington product page
    3. "Remington Model 870 Shotguns". Remington Arms Company, Inc.. Retrieved 2008-06-10. 
    4. Simpson, Lane. "Remington's Magnificent Five", Shooting Times, May 2000
    5. Harold Murtz. Gun Digest Treasury (DBI Books, 1994), p.193
    6. Michalowski, Kevin (2005). The Gun Digest Book of Sporting Shotguns. Gun Digest Books. p. 152. ISBN 0-89689-173-9. 
    7. "An Uncommon Remington 870 Review". Shooters' Journal. 2010-11-05. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
    8. Canfield, Bruce N. "Combat Shotguns of the Vietnam War" American Rifleman March 2002 pp.44-47&92-95
    9. Cutshaw, Charles Q. (28 February 2011). Tactical Small Arms of the 21st Century: A Complete Guide to Small Arms From Around the World. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. p. 327. ISBN 978-1-4402-2709-7. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
    10. Peterson, Phillip (2008). "Norinco". Gun Digest Buyer's Guide To Assault Weapons. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. p. 178. ISBN 978-1-4402-2672-4. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
    11. Lee, Jerry (11 April 2012). The Official Gun Digest Book of Guns & Prices 2012. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. p. 747. ISBN 978-1-4402-2927-5. 
    12. "870P Shotgun". Royal Australian Navy. 2010-09-09. Archived from the original on 2010-09-12. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
    13. "Weapons : Royal Australian Air Force". 2009-09-07. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
    16. "Dhaka Metropolitan Police SWAT - Overview". bdmilitary. Retrieved 22 February 2009. 
    17. Remington 870 Shotgun makes a comeback
    18. "Report to the Attorney General – Public inquiry into the deaths of Connie and Ty Jacobs". Alberta Justice. 2000-05-18. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
    19. "Pumppuhaulikko 12 HAUL REM 870".!ut/p/c5/vZFJj6pAFIV_iz9Aa2AoWCKUBZSAMqiwIahoOyC2zfzr25dO3ls9Vx3vyV2dnPsl54IEPHXLmtMxq07lLbuCDUjklGFZMW2IVI87U2h5c7gi8wXSsQDWYAPFNDj3d2u4DP55WAqBMeOh4bTOnEL3z255GxpsCOlX515OMKAQOrRA0FHRarakmlcfwkEbPW8lr2gMvvYh-vFlgXLqMhGxhS5CKzAiNYyIwCL5Zd7zyY8P_zMaBDFIyL88Q67yzIcLzPwZhFwE4S-28Zolv5ElvZFF3sfSf_dfNkhO22LS7ooJnCgqUmQVSYogiwqGGKzPcbcIW6ujzjrtb3osC9u2bMyi3QWaTRPDqiTG3KuNMTLupBFJUMS5PvexUKeqsq8EHgt9urcC14H7Q5nUGPPA2cUfJY8MXJgVc89jRdYrio1-bdRizz2pkn2h2rbR1Su7dZlcYIbJpfYfD7pSRPXx5XfZZ8HtA7lxzSaLT8Vf7ue9FfHVRxbtXEuHYj4lCUdtYgVY4tOdfxzGXOkqMb8e03bcnPVaqvUNd719nmfIaGg6kE7cqFsz1mWrXrrL0Qi4Zlnk4F40d-qbw-avcu0buC4WHw!!/dl3/d3/L2dBISEvZ0FBIS9nQSEh/?pcid=70d2af00491495289d69fd30a8ea04e8. Retrieved 2013-10-17. 
    20. "TRANSIT-Informationsseite:". 2007-02-11. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
    21. "Greece Ministry of Public Order Press Office: Special Anti-Terrorist Unit". Official Website of the Hellenic Police. July 2004. Archived from the original on 2009-11-08. Retrieved 2009-10-13. 
    22. Janq Designs. "Special Operations.Com". Special Operations.Com. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
    24. url=
    25. "Unofficial Pistols Page, Equipment". – Unofficial Website of Unité Spéciale, Officially Endorsed. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
    26. "L'Unite d'Intervention de la Police Luxembourgeoise" (in French). RAIDS Magazine. March 2006. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
    27. Lasterra, Juan Pablo (2004). "UPS Unidad Especial de la Policia Luxembourguesa" (in Spanish). ARMAS Magazine. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
    28. Thompson, Leroy (December 2008). "Malaysian Special Forces". Special Weapons. Retrieved 2009-11-29. 
    29. Högkvarteret Informationsstaben (February 2011). "Försvarsmakten". Högkvarteret Informationsstaben. Retrieved 2011-02-26. 
    30. "El equipo de los tiradores de precisión de las fuerzas armadas suizas | Armas – Revista Armas | Reportajes de armas cortas, rifles, armamento policial/militar, armas blancas, competiciones". Revista Armas. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
    31. Skennerton, Ian D. (2005). "L-prefix Nomenclature". Arms & Militaria Press. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
    32. "Guns of the United States Border Patrol". Human Events. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
    33. "Remington Shotguns – Federal Business Opportunities: Opportunities". Retrieved 2010-03-17. 
    34. Clancy, Tom (1996). Marine: A Guided Tour of a Marine Expeditionary Unit. Berkeley, California: Berkeley Trade. pp. 64, 79–80. ISBN 978-0-425-15454-0. 
    35. Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35 edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
    36. "TIRWR-10-Q-00023". – Federal Business Opportunities. February 2, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-10. 
    38. "On the Range". The Sparta Independent. June 2, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-03. 
    39. Diez, Octavio (2000). Armament and Technology. Lema Publications, S.L. ISBN 84-8463-013-7.
    40. NRA Staff. "Pennsylvania State Police Select Remington 870". American Rifleman. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 

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