Remington 870 Problems that New Buyers Should Know About

Since its introduction in 1950, the Remington 870 has been in service for ages. It might be the most dependable shotgun Remington has ever produced. You can easily kill pigs, coyotes, snakes, deer, and birds with the 870.

But there are a few issues that make this gun a little less than perfect.

The most common problems with the Remington 870 are: ejection problems, jamming issues, pump problems, slide lock issues and finish problems.

I will give you the solution to these common Remington 870 issues in this article. Additionally, you will get authentic reviews from users as well. So, stay tuned!

Features & Specifications of Remington 870:

  • Action: Pump Action
  • Cartridge: 12, 16, 20, 28 gauge or .410 bore.
  • Product weight: 7.0 lbs
  • Product length: 26.3 to 50.5 inches
  • Capacity: 3+1, 4+1, 5+1, 6+1, or 7+1 rounds
  • Finish: Depends on variants
  • Barrel length: 14-30 inches                 
Remington 870 Problems
Remington 870

Common Remington 870 Problems and Solutions

Ejection ProblemsReplace the ejector or troubleshoot.
Jamming IssueReplace extractor.
Pump ProblemsChange ammo.
Slide Lock IssuesTroubleshoot or send to factory to get repaired.
Finish ProblemsClean and Lube.

Ejection Problems

Unfired rounds are easy to load but when you shoot them, it is extremely difficult to work the pump and expel the fired bullet. Additionally, the ejector frequently breaks at the tab that inserts into the notch on the barrel.

The Fix

If the chamber is particularly dusty or rough, you can’t rack the slide hard enough to eject the shell.

Because it’s held up tight when the steel-plated cheap shell base swells and grabs the chamber wall. It doesn’t shrink back to its previous size.

Spend 4-5 minutes now and then cleaning and polishing the chamber. It will keep your gun working.

Use only high-quality Winchester shells with steel bottoms. Additionally, conduct honing if circumferential ridges are present. Only honing will remove them.

Finally, replace the damaged ejector. This is the ejector you need: “F99539 V-17 870 EJECTOR 12 GA MAG”

Jamming Issue

After firing, the Remington 870 jams in the chamber and will not cycle. Loading and feeding problems are common.

The Fix

The lower edge of the extension is most likely rolled enough to bite a coil and hang the coil up. Something appears to be pinched in the joint between the extension tube and the little nut.

Examine the end of the mag tube for burrs. Also, changing the extractor could resolve the issue. Additionally, contact Remington and request that they resolve the problem.

Pump Problems

After shooting, there is an issue with inserting a new round into the chamber. The fresh shell jams between the bolt and the top of the chamber. Furthermore, after firing, you may be unable to retract the action.

The Fix

For some reason, cheap Winchesters have a history of jamming up in 870s. One particular ammo, the Winchester Super X Heavy Game Loads, 2 3/4″ ammo “3 1/4 Dr Eq, 1 1/8 oz, No 8, 1255 fps are quite problematic.

The chamber may also have a burr that needs to be fixed. Additionally, shooting Federal ammo will solve your problems.

Remington Game and Target Loads 2 3/4 “, Dr Eq, 7/8 oz, no 8, 1390 fps pose no complications.

Slide Lock Issues

The slide locks up with expended bullets in the chamber. In addition, after around 20 rounds, the magazine cap loosens just enough to cause the barrel to rattle.

The Fix

It’s a well-known issue with the 870 Express Super Mag. It’s also frequently ammo-dependent.

Typically, there is a burr or poor surface polish. I would recommend returning the rifle to the factory for repair.

Additionally, use your fingers to tighten the mag cap as much as possible. You may also be starting the action as you recoil.

The higher recoil in the 3-inch shells is likely causing the slide to shift.

Finish Problems

Remington 870's color changes
Remington 870’s color changes

Remington 870’s color changes due to rusting. Just overnight, the whole gun can turn into a solid reddish-brown. The rusting can form alarmingly fast!

The Fix

Some face this issue, while others don’t. Use the Express variant instead of the Super Mag to reduce the chances of rusting.

A good cleaning and lubing will remove the rust, however.  

User Feedback on Remington 870

The Remington 870 pump shotguns are excellent. In addition, if you wish to accessorize yours, there are many options available.

But, even if they are not junk, they are not nearly as sophisticated as they once were. The best variants are those that are camouflaged. Although even the less finished non-camo models get better with a good oil rubdown.

On newer ones, the black oxide finish tends to rust fast. The action is frequently rough at first but smooths out with usage.

The 870 Wingmaster (before 2007) and any 870 Express are very different. The majority of Wingmasters are buttery smooth.

The 870 had no problems throughout its lifetime with those for whom it was good. It also chambers quite well and with a bang every time.

A used 870 is a wise investment. The most reliable rifle you may ever possess is probably an antique one you can find for under $250. Overall, it’s a great gun.

Top 3 Alternative Guns of Remington 870

Based on comparing the specs, features, practicality, and performance, I have found the 3 best alternatives to Remington 870. 

Mossberg 500

The Mossberg is a good option if you enjoy weapons with aluminum receivers. Additionally, Mossberg’s tang safety may be superior to the 870’s cross bolt. People also appreciate the Mossberg lifter’s ability to stow up rather than down.

Mossberg 590 A1

With a thumb safety that is perfectly positioned, the Mossberg 590A1 is without a doubt the most durable and dependable of the two. It has a really robust system. If you fire a lot of slugs, the Ghost Ring sights are nice.

Remington 1100

The 1100 is a well-built firearm that will allow you some time to learn the best ways to care for a gas-operated shotgun. Consequently, with this one, you’ll aim more closely between the targets.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the effective range of a Remington 870?

About 40 meters.

Which are the problematic shells in the Remington 870?

The 3 1/2″.

What is the difference between new and old Remington 870 parts?

The newer 870’s use a lot of cast parts. The older Wingmasters used machined parts.

How is the extractor on a Remington 870 Express made?

The Expresses’ extractors and ejectors (not the ejector spring) are produced via the MIM process.

Is the Remington 870 a problematic lower price model?

Remington appears to have recently lowered costs wherever it could, especially with the most affordable versions.

What kind of quality control is done on a Remington 870 police model?

A unique 23-station checklist for 870 police shotguns is used, which includes visual inspection, functional testing, test fire, and final inspection.


The Remington 870s is a sophisticated and gorgeous shotgun. But for about half the price, almost any Mossberg or Savage pump gun would match or surpass the 870.

A Police model 870 Magnum has a better trigger, lifter, and action group components than an Express model.

Overall, if you are considering buying one, I am 70% positive that you will like it.

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