Play in the barrel to receiver fit of your 870 Police?

Tactical, combat, military, law enforcement and home defense use of a Remington 870 shotgun.
Post Reply
Mister_Remington
Shotgunner
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:21 pm

Play in the barrel to receiver fit of your 870 Police?

Post by Mister_Remington » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:20 pm

I noticed that even after tightening down the large nut on my 870 Police, there is play in the barrel to receiver fit, is this normal? If I hold the end of the barrel in one hand and the receiver in the other hand and twist back and forth there is noticeable and audible play where the barrel fits into the receiver. I stumbled upon that by accident but the play is definitely there. Do you have it in your 870 Police? Thank you

Chief Brody
Senior Shotgunner
Posts: 219
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:19 am
Location: Long Island, NY

Re: Play in the barrel to receiver fit of your 870 Police?

Post by Chief Brody » Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:05 pm

Maybe you didn't tighten it enough? There really shouldn't be any play at all, on any 870. None on my 870P.
Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready. - T.R.

Mister_Remington
Shotgunner
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:21 pm

Re: Play in the barrel to receiver fit of your 870 Police?

Post by Mister_Remington » Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:44 pm

I made sure I tightened that magazine cap as far down as I could, I stopped just short of using a plumber's wrench!!! I made it as tight as it would go using finger strength only :-)

Still, the play is there, "clack clack clack clack..."

I just got off the phone with the kind folks at the Remington factory who agreed there should be no play and they are sending me a shipping label so I can send them my 870 Police and hopefully they can make it right. They are also going to be fixing a very loose trigger guard... keep your fingers crossed for me! Thanks for taking the time to respond.

User avatar
Synchronizor
Elite Shotgunner
Posts: 3022
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:04 am
Location: The Inland Northwest
Contact:

Re: Play in the barrel to receiver fit of your 870 Police?

Post by Synchronizor » Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:26 pm

If you open the bolt and look inside, how well is the ejector fitting into the rear of the barrel? This is what keeps the barrel aligned in the receiver.
BE_R_2.PNG
BE_R_2.PNG (950.6 KiB) Viewed 4028 times

Mister_Remington
Shotgunner
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:21 pm

Re: Play in the barrel to receiver fit of your 870 Police?

Post by Mister_Remington » Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:35 am

Synchronizor, thank you for posting that photo. When I look inside I see exactly what I see in the photo you provided. I'm comparing the relationship of everything I see to everything else and it all looks as it does in the photo. I may go back to the shop I bought this and check the second one they have and see if it too is loose.

When I say "loose" I mean that once the mag cap is tightened down properly, if I grab the barrel in one hand and receiver in the other and firmly, and then twist clockwise and counterclockwise back and forth, I can hear very clearly a faint "clack clack clack clack..." and I can feel the barrel move ever so slightly clockwise and counterclockwise, that is my qualitative experience, I cannot quantify it. Is the movement one degree? Half a degree? I cannot say, I can only describe my experience.

One customer svc. rep on the phone said it's fine, don't worry about it. I said thank you and bye, and then called back and the second customer service rep said it is NOT fine and to send the gun back. Myself, I would rather not have that movement.

Do any of your 870 POLICE models do this, Synchronizor?

A shipping label is on the way from Remington and I'll send it back to them and hopefully they can fix that and the loose trigger guard. Regarding the trigger guard, when searching online, I found a few 870 Wingmaster owners who claimed their trigger guard was loose, even the old ones, but I find more people who say theirs is tight, the Remington rep said it should be tight.

So the gun goes back and hopefully they'll be able to tighten everything up, maybe try a few barrels until one fits much better. I checked my Mossberg 590A1 and it too has a very very very very miniscule amount of play, far less than the Remington 870. I asked Mossberg owners about this and they chimed in 50/50 that some have it, some don't.

The Remington has more play but ONLY in that direction, not forward and backward looseness, not side to side, only rotational.

I really like the gun, it's a beaut piece, it's much handier than my 18.5 inch Mossberg, more svelte, lighter, faster to action. I won't say I like one over the other, they're both wonderful guns, they both have or had issues, I'd be equally happy with either, ah, make that with both. The 870 is the fast handling sports car, the Mossberg is the bigger heavier but still handy shotgun.

Keep your fingers crossed that Remington can tighten things up on this gun... Thanks again Synchronizor!

User avatar
Synchronizor
Elite Shotgunner
Posts: 3022
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:04 am
Location: The Inland Northwest
Contact:

Re: Play in the barrel to receiver fit of your 870 Police?

Post by Synchronizor » Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:58 am

Mister_Remington wrote:Synchronizor, thank you for posting that photo. When I look inside I see exactly what I see in the photo you provided. I'm comparing the relationship of everything I see to everything else and it all looks as it does in the photo. I may go back to the shop I bought this and check the second one they have and see if it too is loose.

When I say "loose" I mean that once the mag cap is tightened down properly, if I grab the barrel in one hand and receiver in the other and firmly, and then twist clockwise and counterclockwise back and forth, I can hear very clearly a faint "clack clack clack clack..." and I can feel the barrel move ever so slightly clockwise and counterclockwise, that is my qualitative experience, I cannot quantify it. Is the movement one degree? Half a degree? I cannot say, I can only describe my experience.

One customer svc. rep on the phone said it's fine, don't worry about it. I said thank you and bye, and then called back and the second customer service rep said it is NOT fine and to send the gun back. Myself, I would rather not have that movement.

Do any of your 870 POLICE models do this, Synchronizor?
For the record, my 870 is built on an Express receiver with a mishmash of parts inside/on it from all different types of 870s. 870s are 870s, I don't care about names, I pick whatever parts meet my preferences and budget. That said, my receiver is identical to a Police receiver except for the finish and the engraving, and the ejector is the exact same part used in Police models.

At the moment, I have three barrels for my 870, the 18.5" bead-sight riot barrel you've already seen, an older 20" Wingmaster smoothbore slug barrel with rifle sights, and a 28" vent-rib Express barrel. My 18.5" barrel is a tight fit in the receiver, I can't produce any discernible movement when I install it with a hand-tightened magazine cap (though that may be due in part to a very slightly tweaked guide ring - which was my fault). My 20" Wingmaster barrel (the one in the picture above) does have a little play when installed. It sounds like the same sort of thing you're experiencing, the movement is virtually impossible to notice visually, but I can hear and feel it shift when I crank on it. My 28" barrel has the tiniest amount of play you could imagine; just a miniscule tactile hint of something bumping inside the receiver when I twist it as hard as I possibly can.

I don't see any of this as a problem. The 870 is designed for mass production and complete parts interchangeability, it's not like the old Winchester 1912s, which had to have barrels and receivers specifically fitted to each other (seriously, read up on what's involved in trying to install a used barrel on a Model 12...). 870 barrels are intended to be dropped into or swapped between receivers with absolutely no fitting or adjustment, so the design allows for normal part-to-part variance due to machining tolerances, different finishes, wear, tooling changes, and so on. And if some 870s that don't have thick double plating or baked-on ceramic coatings end up with a tiny bit of play, well, they're shotguns, not precision rifles. With all the random factors inherent in shotshells, a normal amount of play in the barrel won't hurt patterning at all. Even dedicated slug hunting 870s with rifled barrels acknowledge the possibility of barrel play; and maintain zero by either mounting the scope directly on the barrel, or by pinning the barrel to the receiver.
Slide superslug screw_C.JPG
Slide superslug screw_C.JPG (28.66 KiB) Viewed 4028 times
Of course, excessive play is a bad thing. If the barrel's alignment notch is machined improperly to the point where it can literally flop around under recoil, that can lead to broken parts and unsafe function. If you think that's the case with your gun, by all means have it looked at. But what you're describing sounds much more like the result of normal manufacturing tolerances.
Mister_Remington wrote:Regarding the trigger guard, when searching online, I found a few 870 Wingmaster owners who claimed their trigger guard was loose, even the old ones, but I find more people who say theirs is tight, the Remington rep said it should be tight.
I think part of the reason you're hearing mixed reports from Police and Wingmaster owners is that those 870s still use the old-style cast aluminum trigger plates. I'll be honest, I much prefer the new-style polymer trigger plates, and that's what I use in my 870. Remington knows how to get the most out of powder metallurgy processes, but the old-school methods used to produce those aluminum trigger plates are not the most precise in the world. Ruger switched from similar powder-cast aluminum to polymer for their 10/22 trigger groups because they could manufacture them to much tighter tolerances, making for more consistent performance in the final guns. In addition, the modern polymer was far tougher than the powdered aluminum, and didn't show scratches or wear.

Above that though, the 870's trigger plates do not need to be precision-fit in the receiver. You'd have to have a crap-ton of play before you started seeing function problems like the hammer missing the firing pin, or the action bar lock slipping alongside the action bar. My TPA has a little play in it, but nothing I'd ever notice while shooting, and I've never had a single problem with it. I'd rather have a little play than have to fight it into and out of the receiver. You can bolt the TPA in place if a little wiggle really bugs you, but that won't in any way improve the gun's function. Again, if you think there's actually something wrong (and that does happen occasionally), you should have Remington or some other qualified party take a look at it. While what you're describing sounds normal to me, I don't have your 870 in my hands, so I can't say for sure.

Mister_Remington
Shotgunner
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:21 pm

Re: Play in the barrel to receiver fit of your 870 Police?

Post by Mister_Remington » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:21 am

It's been a while since I've had the spare time to spend some "quality time" on our enjoyable Remington 870 forum but I'm back. Synch, I've spent quite a bit of time perusing message boards for different shotgun makes, and doing google searches, and I'm satisfied that a miniscule (in the true definition of the word) amount of play is just par for the course. Does it bother me? Yeah, a little, but not as much as when I first noticed it. My Mossberg also has this play, and it makes sense given the nature of the beast, easy interchangeability of barrels.

The good news, I find that if I used FOUR FINGERS to tighten the mag cap, I sometimes eliminate the play altogether, and if it stays that tight after I shoot some rounds through the 870, I'll be happy. I'd also like to buy a rifle sight barrel for the gun, 18.5 inch, maybe I'd send the gun back and have them try a few barrels until they get a tighter fit, I don't know, or maybe after shooting the gun I'll be so happy with it I won't care one way or another.

Remington did send a new trigger guard assembly but I'll admit I have not had the heart to put a tool to the pins as I don't want to mark them up, but maybe I'll get a wood dowel and push the pins out and see if the new trigger guard is a tight or tighter fit. This too doesn't bug me as much as it did at first, many report this problem, so it too is par for the course, though a little disappointing on the "Cadillac" of American pump shotguns. As some have told me: "It's a shotgun, don't worry it, shut up and shoot it and enjoy it..."

I do need to get out and shoot it, despite these somewhat minor issues, I will admit I'm very happy with my Remington 870, it's a beaut shotgun, and I would almost dare say I like it more than my Mossberg now!!

"Dare say" because I got out the Mossberg last week and was looking it over and you know what? It's fifty fifty, the Mossberg is an AWESOME shotgun, it's the 18 inch 590A1, it looks like serious business, it's such an awesome shotgun. And the Remington 870 Police? It's such an AWESOME shotgun, it has an entirely different appeal to it, I would not want to have to decide which to choose from and thanks to shotguns being relatively affordable, I did not have to decide between them, I have both.

When I say shotguns are affordable it's because if I bought a quality sidearm like a Kimber? $1200 easily. A Sig? About the same, $1200 give or take. My quality Remington 870 Police shotgun? An almost laughable $650, about the same price as a budget sidearm like a Glock, and thanks to that, I just bought one of each, a Mossberg and a Remington.

This Remington 870 is an awesome shotgun, I enjoy everything about it, save for the wiggle here and there, it's a real beaut with the wood and parkerized finish, and I hope to shoot it soon enough, I'm sure it'll be miles of smiles when I take that beast shooting!! Thanks again Synch for all time you've taken to provide myself and other forum members on this board with your knowledge on these guns!! I'm going to again attach a photo of the gun the night I brought it home, I have not had a chance to take more photos yet.

For some odd reason, that post with this photo I posted got deleted, I don't know why, I don't know if it was something I wrote or it was because I thank you, Synch, and forum members personally in the photo. I can't imagine that thanking you by your screen name in the photo would offend or break any rules, but if for any reason you want me to remove that photo just say the word and I'll delete that photo in a heartbeat. I just wanted you to know that I sure did finally get myself an 870 and thought it would be nice to put a thank you note in the photo. Your knowledge has been very helpful! Thank you!
Attachments
Again.jpg
Again.jpg (218.41 KiB) Viewed 4044 times

User avatar
Synchronizor
Elite Shotgunner
Posts: 3022
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:04 am
Location: The Inland Northwest
Contact:

Re: Play in the barrel to receiver fit of your 870 Police?

Post by Synchronizor » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:18 am

Mister_Remington wrote:Remington did send a new trigger guard assembly but I'll admit I have not had the heart to put a tool to the pins as I don't want to mark them up, but maybe I'll get a wood dowel and push the pins out and see if the new trigger guard is a tight or tighter fit.
On most 870s, the trigger plate pins are not difficult to push out if you know how to do it right. They're not friction-fit pins like a lot of other guns use, they clip into detent springs in the trigger plate assembly. Disengaging them should only require moderate force, and they'll normally slide the rest of the way out easily. Some 870s have special finishes that are thicker than normal, which can lead to a tighter fit between parts, but your 870P just has the standard Parkerizing. Even if you use a metal tool, as long as it has a pointed tip that will stay centered in the dimples in the ends of the pins, you shouldn't have to worry about visibly marring anything.

I have a quick video on the trigger plate pin detent springs here, and you can find a detailed step-by-step take-down & reassembly guide here (click here to go directly to removal of the trigger plate assembly, or follow the video outline in the description, or turn on annotations and use the forward/back buttons in the bottom corners of the video).
Mister_Remington wrote:This too doesn't bug me as much as it did at first, many report this problem, so it too is par for the course, though a little disappointing on the "Cadillac" of American pump shotguns. As some have told me: "It's a shotgun, don't worry it, shut up and shoot it and enjoy it..."
The way I see it, the 870 isn't really a Cadillac (neither the floaty old boats, nor the new-fangled techno-crazy things), it's a trusty pickup. Whether you dress it up and keep it cherried, knock it around on the farm year after year, or jack it up and soup it up and have fun burning gas and rubber with your buddies, it's just a simple, solid, and reliable workhorse that you can make your own and trust your life to. It may not be the lightest, fanciest, or most high-tech thing on the road, but a little oil, some spark plugs, and a new fan belt every once in a while will keep her running until you're too geriatric to climb up into the cab, and all those flimsy imports have long since been turned into beer cans and cell phones.
Mister_Remington wrote:For some odd reason, that post with this photo I posted got deleted, I don't know why, I don't know if it was something I wrote or it was because I thank you, Synch, and forum members personally in the photo. I can't imagine that thanking you by your screen name in the photo would offend or break any rules, but if for any reason you want me to remove that photo just say the word and I'll delete that photo in a heartbeat. I just wanted you to know that I sure did finally get myself an 870 and thought it would be nice to put a thank you note in the photo.
No worries, you didn't do anything wrong and I have no issues with people using/showing my online handle - that's why I use it instead of my real name. You had the unlucky timing to post that in the middle of a forum-wide glitch that affected a number of posts and PMs over 2-3 days. The issue is fixed now, but a number of posts created during that time period were lost. If you have the time on your hands, feel free to re-write anything of yours that was lost.

Mister_Remington
Shotgunner
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:21 pm

Re: Play in the barrel to receiver fit of your 870 Police?

Post by Mister_Remington » Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:28 am

I was at a gun shop today, and I had the opportunity to examine three Remington 870's, last month they had an 870 Police there but it was not there today. Two of the 870's had play in the trigger guard, I could grab it and rattle it back and forth, the third, an old Wingmaster, did not. The barrel of the Wingmaster had no play in it, the barrel of the 870 Tactical Express had the same amount of play both my 870 Police and Mossberg 590A1 have. I've also read a few reviews online of people's own 870's and one Wingmaster where they claimed to have play in both the trigger guards and barrels.

I'm satisfied it's "par for the course" in these shotguns. Am I happy about it? Not really, but nor am I as disappointed as when I first found both on my own gun. I will say my 870 Police has more play in the guard than those I "rattled" at the gun shop, but nothing outrageous. The Wingmaster, WOW, I nearly broke down and bought it, $350 lousy dollars for that beaut gun, it was used but not abused, a bit lousy in one area where the bluing wear was odd but I didn't look too closely, I figure I better mind my dollars as I will no doubt find plenty of wonderful Wingmasters at the local gun show.

What a beaut those Wingmasters are though, this one had maybe a 28" ribbed barrel, 12 gauge, the action was like butter. The action on my new 870 Police make the action on my Mossberg feel like opening a cheap cabinet bathroom sink drawer in a cheap apartment rental, and that old Wingmaster made my new 870 Police feel like crap!!! (It isn't, it's just that the old Wingmaster was out of this world). Anyway, that's the story with the Remington 870's at the local gun shop today, they were all used, by the way.

I really like my Remington 870 Police, I must say I'm beginning to favor it over my Mossberg, but they are really two entirely different animals. The Moss is a large imposing brutish shotgun, the 870 Police is sleek, svelte, handier, by comparison.

I know I will have another Remington or two at some point, but I'm going to work on my first "luv" in the world of shotguns, the Ithaca 37. That was my FIRST choice before I bought anything. I think I may have explained it before, I instead bought the Moss over the Ithaca because the Ithaca is crazy high priced, $900 when all is said and done, when new, and I didn't want a used one. I chose the Moss over the Remington because of issues like the safety location, the metal flap when loading the 870, the release button location, and a few other things, but it was a VERY CLOSE decision and frankly, I knew I would be happy with either but in my bones I felt I was a Mossberg fan.


If I had to keep only one? Tough question, I'd really like to keep the Remington but one thing I like about the Moss over the Remington, NO LOADING FLAP. I know Synch, I just have to learn "to drive a stickshift..." but that flap really bugs me. Aside from that, I would choose the Remington 870, it's one sweet shotgun and maybe I could learn to be just as fast despite that dang flap. These days, the 870 is always by my side, it's a work of art. So is the Moss but at this moment I like my Remington. Sure, now and then I get out the Moss and enjoy it nearly as much as the Remington, but usually, mostly, it's the 870 in my hands. ;)

User avatar
Banshee
Senior Shotgunner
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:35 pm
Location: Lost State of Franklin

Re: Play in the barrel to receiver fit of your 870 Police?

Post by Banshee » Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:38 pm

The magazine cap may be bottoming out on the magazine tube before the barrel is fully seated. If that is the case a flat file can be used to remove enough metal from the end of the tube to allow the cap to screw on down.
The devil danced as he went down, in the hail of arrows comin' Out on the wild Montana ground, Custer died a-runnin'.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest