Remington Model 870

Remington 870

Remington 870
Type Shotgun
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service 1951–present (U.S.)
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 14 in (360 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 pump-action shotgun manufactured by Remington Arms Company, LLC. It is widely used by the public for sport shooting, hunting, and self-defense and 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 1951 by introducing a modern, streamlined, rugged, reliable, and relatively inexpensive shotgun – the 870.

Sales of the 870 have been steady. They reached two million guns by 1973 (ten times the number of Model 31 shotguns it replaced). As of 1983, the 870 held the record for best-selling shotgun in history with three million sold.[5] 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.

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, fire control group, 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 fire control group design was first used in the automatic 11–48.[6][7] Twelve gauge stocks will also interchange on the older 12-gauge-sized 20-gauge receivers, although modification is needed to fit the smaller sized 20-gauge receivers employed since the late 1970s. 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 only in 12 gauge in barrel lengths of 21", 26", and 28". The following year the availability was expanded to the 20 gauge and included other barrel lengths.[7][8]

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][9] 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, combined with a modified machining on the underside of the slide assembly, allows the action to be opened with a shell on the carrier.


There are hundreds of variations of the Remington 870 in 12, 16, 20, 28 gauges and .410 bore. In 1969 Remington introduced 28 gauge and .410 bore models on a new scaled down receiver size, and in 1972 a 20 gauge Lightweight version was introduced on the same sized receiver, and all of the smaller gauges today are produced on that size receiver. 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:

They are equipped with Police-specific walnut or synthetic stocks which are fitted with sling mounts. Walnut stocks lack checkering as found on the Express/Wingmaster models. 870P models come with matching walnut or synthetic forends that are shortened to prevent interference with most vehicle-mounted rack systems. The shortened forend also allows quick visual inspection of the magazine regardless of what position the forend is in, whereas the lengthened sport-type forend on other models partially blocks the loading port when pulled to the rear.

Police models are available with 18" or 20" barrels, with or without rifle sights, and have a standard capacity of four rounds. They can be ordered with a two or three round extended magazine tube from the factory, bringing total capacity to 6+1 (18" barrel) or 7+1 (20" barrel). All police barrels come with an Improved Cylinder choke unless special ordered.

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.[11] In the United States, where most Norinco products are specifically non-importable,[12] this shotgun was imported and sold under the names Norinco Hawk 982 and Interstate Hawk 982.[13]


A U.S. Coast Guard petty officer from Maritime Safety and Security Team 91106 armed with an Mķ870P 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 Reference
 Argentina Argentine Army _ _ -
 Australia Australian Defence Force _ _ [7][14][15]
 Austria EKO Cobra _ _ [7][16]
 Bangladesh Bangladesh Army _ _ [7][17]
Dhaka Metropolitan Police SWAT _ _ [7][18]
 Belgium Federal Police Special Units _ _ [16]
Belgian Armed Forces _ 2008 [19]
 Canada Canadian Forces _ _ [7][20]
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) _ _ [7][21]
Correctional Service Canada (CSC)
Various police forces such as Toronto Police Service _ _ [7]
 Finland Finnish Army _ _ [7][22]
 Germany Bundeswehr, GSG 9 and Spezialeinsatzkommando _ _ [7][23]
 Greece EKAM counter-terrorist unit of the Hellenic Police _ _ [7][24]
 Hong Kong Hong Kong Police Force, Hong Kong Customs, Hong Kong Correctional Services, Bird Control Unit of Airport Authority Hong Kong, Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and cash security firms _ _ [7]
 Ireland Army Ranger Wing, Special Detective Unit, Emergency Response Unit _ 2000 [7][25]
 Israel Israel Defense Forces and YAMAM _ _ [26]
 Republic of Korea Republic of Korea Naval Special Warfare Brigade _ _ [7][27]
 Luxembourg Unité Spéciale de la Police group of the Grand Ducal Police _ _ [7][28][29][30]
 Malaysia Royal Malaysia Police _ _ [7]
Malaysian Prison Department _ _
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency _ _
Department of Immigration (Malaysia) _ _
RELA Corps _ _
Various special operations such as: _ _ [7][31][32]
 Philippines Philippine National Police, Special Action Force Philippine Army _ _
 Poland Policja _ _
Polish Special Forces
_ _
 Singapore Singapore Police Force (including STAR and Police Coast Guard) _ _
 Sweden Swedish Armed Forces (designated "Understödsvapen 870") _ _ [7][33]
  Switzerland Swiss Armed Forces (designated Mehrzweckgewehr 91; MzGw 91) _ _ [34]
 Taiwan Taiwan Coast Guard, Taiwan Reserve Army (T85 Shotgun) _ _


 Thailand Royal Thai Police, Royal Thai Army, Royal Thai Air Force _ _
 United Kingdom United Kingdom Special Forces (designated L74A1), Police Service of Northern Ireland and Specialist Firearms Officers as a breaching weapon _ _ [7][36]
 United States U.S. Border Patrol _ _ [7][37]
U.S. Department of Education 27 2010 [7][38]
U.S. Military (designated M870) _ _ [7][39]
U.S. Secret Service 1,600 2001 [7][40]
Internal Revenue Service 60 2010 [7][41]
Federal Bureau of Investigation (including SWAT and HRT) [7]
United States Marshals Service [7]
Various police forces such as: _ _

See also


  1. Remington model history Archived March 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. Remington product page Archived March 1, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. "Remington Model 870 Shotguns". Remington Arms Company, Inc. Archived from the original on June 8, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
  4. "The Five Most Popular Remington Rifles and Shotguns – Page Two". Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  5. Wallack, LR. "Sixty Million Guns". 1983. In Gun Digest Treasury, Harold A. Murtz, editor, DBI Books. 1994 p.193 ISBN 0873491564
  6. Michalowski, Kevin (2005). The Gun Digest Book of Sporting Shotguns. Gun Digest Books. p. 152. ISBN 0-89689-173-9.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 "Remington Model 870 (M870) Combat / Game Pump Action Shotgun (1950)". Military Factory. August 7, 2014. Retrieved 2015-04-12.
  8. Remington Firearms Catalogs. Remington Arms. 1986&1987. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. "An Uncommon Remington 870 Review". Shooters' Journal. 2010-11-05. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
  10. Canfield, Bruce N. "Combat Shotguns of the Vietnam War" American Rifleman March 2002 pp.44–47&92–95
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. "870P Shotgun". Royal Australian Navy. 2010-09-09. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
  15. "Weapons : Royal Australian Air Force". 2009-09-07. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
  16. 1 2
  17. "Remington Model 870 (M870) – Combat / Game Pump-Action Shotgun – History, Specs and Pictures – Military, Security and Civilian Guns and Equipment". Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  18. "Dhaka Metropolitan Police SWAT – Overview". bdmilitary. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  19. "Belgian Defence Remington 870 technical sheet". Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  20. Remington 870 Shotgun makes a comeback
  21. "Report to the Attorney General – Public inquiry into the deaths of Connie and Ty Jacobs". Alberta Justice. 2000-05-18. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
  22. "Pumppuhaulikko 12 HAUL REM 870". Retrieved 2013-10-17.
  23. "TRANSIT-Informationsseite:". 2007-02-11. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
  24. "Greece Ministry of Public Order Press Office: Special Anti-Terrorist Unit" (PDF). Official Website of the Hellenic Police. July 2004. Retrieved 2009-10-13.
  25. Janq Designs. "Special Operations.Com". Special Operations.Com. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
  26. " - The Israeli Special Forces Database".
  27. url=
  28. "Unofficial Pistols Page, Equipment". – Unofficial Website of Unité Spéciale, Officially Endorsed. Retrieved 2009-10-06. External link in |publisher= (help)
  29. "L'Unite d'Intervention de la Police Luxembourgeoise" (PDF) (in French). RAIDS Magazine. March 2006. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
  30. Lasterra, Juan Pablo (2004). "UPS Unidad Especial de la Policia Luxembourguesa" (PDF) (in Spanish). ARMAS Magazine. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
  31. Dan, Alex (9 February 2016). "PASKAL Malaysian Special Forces Weapons". Military Factory (Small Arms). Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  32. Thompson, Leroy (December 2008). "Malaysian Special Forces". Special Weapons. Retrieved 2009-11-29.
  33. Högkvarteret Informationsstaben (February 2011). "Försvarsmakten". Högkvarteret Informationsstaben. Retrieved 2011-02-26.
  34. "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.
  35. Diplomat, Shannon Tiezzi, The. "Taiwan's Coast Guard Conducts Armed Raid to Reclaim 'Hostages' Taken by Chinese Fishermen".
  36. Skennerton, Ian D. (2005). "L-prefix Nomenclature". Arms & Militaria Press. Retrieved 6 January 2010.
  37. "Guns of the United States Border Patrol". Human Events. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
  38. "Remington Shotguns – Federal Business Opportunities: Opportunities". Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  39. 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.
  40. Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35 edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
  41. "TIRWR-10-Q-00023". – Federal Business Opportunities. February 2, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-10. External link in |publisher= (help)
  43. "LAPD Equipment - Los Angeles Police Department".
  44. "On the Range". The Sparta Independent. June 2, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-03.
  45. Diez, Octavio (2000). Armament and Technology. Lema Publications, S.L. ISBN 84-8463-013-7.
  46. NRA Staff. "Pennsylvania State Police Select Remington 870". American Rifleman. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
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