The Remington 870: An American Icon

The Remington 870 is the most popular pump-action shotgun ever made. Here's why.

Plain and simple, the Remington 870 is reliable and versatile. It has a smooth action. It feels sturdy and comfortable in your hands. And with countless aftermarket accessories, you can customize it to your specific shooting needs.

That's why bird hunters, sport shooters, police officers and military personnel have made it their shotgun of choice for more than 60 years. It is indeed a versatile shotgun.

Remington first released the 870 in 1951. By 2009, the company had produced 10 million models. Today, the Remington Model 870 is considered the best selling shotgun in history.

The success of this gun has a lot to do with its reliability and sturdy design. The 870 has a solid steel receiver, while most other pump-action shotguns have alloy receivers. That translates to lasting durability. Also, the pump moves super smooth. The 870 features twin action bars and a bottom-loading, side-ejecting receiver that create consistent ejection and smooth action. Varying barrel lengths typically have a vent rib and most include a Rem choke.

Bird hunters, particularly turkey shooters, gravitate to towards the 870 because it has a comfortable stock that makes pointing at birds easier that other comparable shotguns. For whatever reason, Remington was able to design a comfortable stock that feels comfortable to nearly every shooter.

As mentioned before, the Remington 870 is also popular because its highly versatile. Whether you need a sport shotgun or a tactical weapon, the market is flooded with after-market accessories to pimp out your 870.


An example of a modified Remington 870. Image via Pinterest

Remington is well aware of how versatile the 870 is. Over the years, they've made several variations of the Remington 870 for a wide range of uses in a variety of calibers. 12-gauge is the most popular chambering for the Remington 870, though hundreds of variations exist in 16, 20, and 28 gauges, as well as .410 bore.

The 870 series models geared towards hunters and sport shooters include the Model 870 Wingmaster, the Model 870 Express, Express Super Magnum, and the 870 Express Shurshot Turkey gun. Some have hardwood stocks, some have a synthetic stock, and most gauges of shotgun shells are covered.

The 870 series has also been added to the combat shotgun market. These include the Marine, Mark 1, MCS, and Police. They're catered for law enforcement and military applications, and some even include a pistol grip.

The Remington 870 is arguably the best pump shotgun you can buy under $500. Most models retail between $400-$600. If you want a gun with a no-nonsense type of approach, this is the shotgun for you.

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