870 Tactical - FTD

Remington 870 Repair and Gunsmithing.
retep66
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870 Tactical - FTD

Post by retep66 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:39 pm

FTD - Failure To Do... just about everything

Purchased my 870 12GA a little less than a year ago. I was finally able to put some rounds thru it over the holiday and what a major disappointment. First loaded with Rem Express Long Range 2 3/4 #4. Then some Federal 2 3/4 Buck. Would not feed from the magazine unless I moved the left shell latch myself. When it would leave the magazine the round would often jam in the carrier, or the carier would not effectively lift. I am not sure exactly what is going on with that.

To ease my frustration at the time, I thought I would just feed rounds thru the port and address things when I got home. That was a another battle in itself with countless FTE and some jams. At that point I declared the weapon a paperweight for my trash and other paper targets.

I found this site when I got home and proceeded to polish the receiver and barrel in the recommended areas, and I purchased a non-MIME from Brownells. A big thanks to those contributors on the board for their postings about this issue. This seems to have resolved the jamming issue but did not impact the FTE issue as much as I had hoped. However this is difficult to get a feel for when I still have the other issue with the failure to feed from the magazine. As I watch the shell latch when cycling, this part does not move at all. It is almost like there is too much tension in the magazine, or this piece was made too flexible and is not moving off the shell.

Some of you are asking yourself how is he racking it. I am no shotgun expert but I have ran shotguns over the years. I have racked it hard, soft, fast, slow, and every which way. After lots of experimentation, this thing runs smooth as glass when it's upside down. No joke. It reliably feeds and ejects like a dream machine. Right side up, it's a complete POS. I may make a video. Makes no sense but does give me some hope that I am close to some ridiculously simple fix.
Part of me wants to ship it back to Remington but if someone out there has a fix I would like to try it. Any suggestions are appreciated.

According to this site my firearm was manufactured in Feb 2012. If I had posted this a few weeks ago this would have been one ugly rant about Remington but I have settled down a bit. Moral of the story is to test your weapons and put them thru their paces if you intend to use them for protection.
Thanks,
Pete

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Synchronizor
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Re: 870 Tactical - FTD

Post by Synchronizor » Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:23 pm

Sorry to hear you're having all these issues with what is normally an excellent firearm.

The various issues you list are probably not due to a single bad part or assembly. It sounds to me like you just got unlucky and purchased a defective gun (or one that was messed up between the factory and the store you purchased it from). Take it from someone who's worked in and studied quality control methods; even with a really good production operation, a sub-par product will always slip through eventually, it's just a matter of time.

Before putting any more money into it, I'd get in touch with Remington at the phone number in your owner's manual. Their customer service has always been very helpful for me, and they should be able to fix or replace your gun for you.

Be sure to explain all your problems and give them your serial number, Remington has systems in place that will let them audit that specific gun and figure out exactly where in the production process the mistakes happened.

retep66
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870 Tactical - FTD

Post by retep66 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:33 am

Thanks. Dropped this off with UPS today. Remington says 4 to 6 weeks for its return this time of the year.

Kentactic
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Re: 870 Tactical - FTD

Post by Kentactic » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:08 pm

We need to start charging Remington for this stuff. They pump out garbage and we help the person with the very common problems that they turn out on a good chunk of their Cheaper shotguns. In this situation there seems to be more serious issues. But i think were now trained to assume we will have to fix several problems when purchasing an 870 Express. You think it would be easier for them to correct these issues. Maybe most people just say screw it and stop shooting the gun. Its unfourtunate. Does walmart own Remington now? I actually heard that rumor.

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Re: 870 Tactical - FTD

Post by Synchronizor » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:41 pm

Kentactic wrote:We need to start charging Remington for this stuff. They pump out garbage and we help the person with the very common problems that they turn out on a good chunk of their Cheaper shotguns.
Most of the time, the biggest Express-related problems I see are with the purchaser's sense of entitlement.

The 870 Express is a budget gun - plain and simple. You can't expect a $300 Express to match a $600 - $800 Police, just like neither can compare to a $1000+ gun from a professional builder like AI&P or Wilson Combat. People on a budget wanted a budget gun for a budget price. The Express is Remington's response to that demand.

And for that budget price, the Express is a pretty good value. The only functional issue I would actually call "common" is shells sticking in the chamber of brand new guns before they're broken in. Even then, the major contributor there tends to be those crap Winchester Wal-Mart shells. Break the gun in and use ammo that's actually manufactured to spec, and the problem almost always goes away. Other things like the MIM extractor and stock follower can be improved on, of course, but they usually get the job done. To meet the price point of the market, finishing and materials are fairly basic, but they're perfectly adequate for people who don't want to pay extra for fancy furniture or a high-end finish they don't need.

If you're a casual hunter or shooter and want something functional for a good price, an Express will work fine. If you want a high-end tactical build, either buy a high-end model, or buy a low-end model and expect to put some work into it. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

If there's an actual problem with the gun, get in touch with Remington, hold them accountable. Mistakes get made occasionally - no one's perfect - but in my experience, Remington is good about making them right. My gun came from the factory with its stock bolt and receiver stud stripped. I've worked in fabrication; I know that stuff happens sometimes. I called them, gave them my serial number, explained what parts were damaged, and they sent me replacements right away, free of charge.

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Re: 870 Tactical - FTD

Post by Kentactic » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:59 pm

My Express would jam high end high brass buckshot constantly. The cause was the extremely poor tooling leaving big gouges in the metal. Before i knew the cause i sent it to them. They polished the chamber which obviously did nothing. Every single relatively new Express ive ever touched had the same problem. To blame ammo is like 1911 guys blaming ammo for why there $800 dollar pistol is worthless. When Remington starts calling the Express a budget gun ill shut up. As it is they silently portait it as a reliable gun they use to make.

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Re: 870 Tactical - FTD

Post by Kentactic » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:24 pm

"An ideal 12-gauge utility gun featuring an 18" fixed Cylinder choke barrel, single front bead sight, non-glare matte finish, and choice of 5-shot or 7-shot capacities. The Model 870 Express Synthetic is an excellent choice as a permanent camp shotgun or as the foundation for your own personalized design.

America's best selling shotgun for over 50 years, the Model 870's dependability is legendary. The receiver is milled from a solid billet of steel for strength and durability, and the twin action bars ensure smooth, reliable non-binding action.

Its solid, dependable action makes it America’s favorite, and our continual upgrades make it the most advanced, well-rounded family of pump shotguns around. Along with continually evolving designs, this shotgun’s superiority is a matter of rugged dependability, great pointing characteristics and versatility. In fact, the Model 870™ has been the standard for slide-action performance for almost 60 years."

Straight off remingtons site for the Express 18" Not a word about budget. Lots of reliability and durability though. They know its straight up false advertisement.

Would you agree with their description of the Express shotgun? Not saying every gun has to be perfect. I highly doubt even 50% of the Express shotguns they sell meet that description. Saying its a budget gun is putting words in Remingtons mouth. They dont think its a budget gun at all. If they said budget gun or some modification required then it would be honest salesmanship. The only thing selling that gun is a good past for the company. Sell that gun under a new brand and it will be known as a junk gun in months.

Dont get me wrong i trust my Express with my life despite Remingtons craftsmanship. Ive made it reliable. Even after they got a second try at it when i sent it in. They were incapable of correcting the issues. Its no suprise they turn them out in this condition.

I wouldnt hesitate to recommend others buy an Express but that will be followed by a parts list to order and a time setup for me to work on it. Honestly if a mossberg 590 had the ability to reset the shell in the magazine i would already be using that instead. Its has a better safety location among other perks. And im not comparing the two guns. A police model 870 wouldnt change my opinion. Essentially i have a souped up police model now except for finish.
Last edited by Kentactic on Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:31 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: 870 Tactical - FTD

Post by DaveC » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:33 am

I'm sorry to hear about the malfunctions. There was a time every firearm I bought had to get shipped back to the factory: Rugers, Beretta, you-name-it...

I've had nothing but trouble-free shooting with my own Rem 870 Express Synthetic that I used as the basis for my defensive build... I've run it twice through classes without a hiccup. I also went white-wing hunting with my 870, and while I didn't bag any doves, it sure wasn't my Remington's fault! :oops:

Good luck with the customer service experience. Hopefully they'll make it right soon.
Alle Kunst ist umsonst, wenn ein Engel in das Zündloch prunst.

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Re: 870 Tactical - FTD

Post by Synchronizor » Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:08 am

Kentactic wrote:My Express would jam high end high brass buckshot constantly. The cause was the extremely poor tooling leaving big gouges in the metal. Before i knew the cause i sent it to them. They polished the chamber which obviously did nothing. Every single relatively new Express ive ever touched had the same problem. To blame ammo is like 1911 guys blaming ammo for why there $800 dollar pistol is worthless. When Remington starts calling the Express a budget gun ill shut up. As it is they silently portait it as a reliable gun they use to make.
I've personally taken my calipers to a Winchester hull that locked up my well-worn and very reliable 870. It was far enough out of spec that the metal wasn't even in contact with the plastic on one side. I don't blame my guns for not being 100% reliable on out-of-spec ammo, just as I don't blame my engine for running poorly when it turns out that the gas station had water in its storage tanks.

I went shooting with a friend on Thursday who brought out the two Expresses she owns; one was a new HD weapon she wanted to break in, the other was her dedicated competition trap gun. Apart from a folding stock on the HD gun, they're both vanilla Expresses; plastic follower, MIM extractor, everything people love to turn their noses up at. And if you think she's a shotgun newbie for not tricking out her 870s, she's a career LE officer.

She was shooting Winchester heavy target loads that day (not quite as bad as the bulk Wal-Mart ones, but still low-brass Winchesters), and with her competition Express, she creamed me on the trap range - not a single malfunction (or miss, that I can recall). Breaking in her HD Express (over at the skeet range), she did experience a couple extraction hang-ups, but she just cleared it with a hard rack and kept shooting. We both knew it was a brand-new gun that wouldn't be at 100% until it had some rounds put through it.

Remington's marketing department is not going to directly call the Express their "budget model", but their website does describe it as a "no-frills" 870 that is "dressed for the hunt and not for the wall" and offered as an alternative to the Wingmaster "at a much more affordable price". And it is an 870, mechanically identical to a Wingmaster, but with a lower price tag made possible by cutting expenses on materials, finishing, and yes, human attention. It makes sense for the Express line to have a relatively higher frequency of factory defects, and Remington should be held accountable for them, but there are millions of Expresses out there - including my own - that seem to be serving their owners just fine.

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Re: 870 Tactical - FTD

Post by Kentactic » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:50 pm

After a shell has been fired the metal base expands. This happens on every shell as im sure you know. This is why we resize the bases before reloading the hull. The rim of the case is smashed into the face of the bolt and this expands the rim. If there is a groove or bump behind this rim then the case can get hung up on it when trying to extract the round. Cheap ammo or not this will happen. Every single case that has been fired is "out of spec" during extraction. Ive had issues with RELOADED junk ammo hulls. And they were in spec as they were put into a resizer. Ive never heard of an out of spec winchester or federal bulk pack shell causing Feeding issues from being out of spec. They all clear these grooves and bumps on the way in. So theres nothing there that would cause issues anymore then any other shell. If my pump shotgun cant shoot off the shelf walmart ammo its a gun problem. Ive got a Glock pistol that shoots all the junk no problem. A Manually operated shotgun better be able to also. More expensive guns and guns in the same price range of oter makes anbd models fire cheap ammo with zero issues more often then not.

I have no Ego invested in my guns. If they suck, they suck. An express out of the box, is a very poorly machined, tooled, assembled gun. In my experience other shotguns in the same price range such as the mossberg 500, are just better built. A mossberg 500 is not a budget shotgun if having serious function issues like on Express 870's is the standard for what budget is.

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