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 Post subject: What to look for when buying a used pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 10:17 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:35 pm
Posts: 73
Location: SW Ohio
Going to look at a few used Remingtion 870 pump guns this weekend. Some have said they have high round counts. Is there anything specifically I should be looking for as far as excessive wear?

Thanks,
John

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Remington 870 Wingmaster 30" Full
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 Post subject: Re: What to look for when buying a used pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 4:40 am 
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 8:20 pm
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Look for signs of abuse, or high wear such as severely worn bluing, or a sloppy rather than slick feeling when cycling the action. Parts are readily available and relatively cheap, so unless you have a worn receiver, which will show up in that sloppy feeling, anything else can be pretty easily remedied.
It is not real easy to discern the "sloppy" feeling. I have only run across it twice, both times on old trap guns with probably in excess of 250,000 rounds thry them.
If it's an Express, look at he action bars and make sure the notches and camming surfaces are smooth and not battered, as some of those have turned up lately, and look closely at the extractor to see if it has started rounding off yet. Extractor is easy, action bars not so.

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 Post subject: Re: What to look for when buying a used pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 12:30 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:33 am
Posts: 126
Location: Boise, Id
Quite a few of the used pump guns I see these days have bulges behind the choke tube from (IMO) shooting large steel shot through too tight chokes.
The bulges aren't easy to see when you look down the barrel on the inside or when mounting and sighting as you might to check fit. It's most noticable when you look down the side of the barrel and hold the gun so the light shines on it, like looking for bondo in car body work.
I've seen this more in fixed choke guns, more often in Win pumps and Mossbergs but I've seen it in a few 870's too. In guns with screw-in chokes, this can be a real mess.
I used to only see this in pawn shop guns, but even the better stores have a couple sneak in these days.


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 Post subject: Re: What to look for when buying a used pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 1:44 am 
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Are you going to actually use the thing? Do you like,,,,,don't have a shotgun and want one?

If so, don't buy a used 870, unless it's a current production 870 Express or Wingmaster, and looks like it's hardly been fired, still has all the blue on the magazine tube and slide rails, and has that aura of newness that just leaps out at you.

Take three hundred dolars to Wal Mart, and they'll sell you a brand new 870 Express with a 28 inch barrel and a laminated wood stock. This is all the gun any of us actually ever need. Nothing will handle much better, shoot much better, or last much longer. It will be new, have a warranty, and you can't get cheated on either condition or price. If you drop it over the side of your boat, you are out less than $300 bucks, so depreciation isn't a valid concern.

I don't practice what I preach. No. I'm a shotgun addict, and I prowl the little gun shops, pawn shops, and gun shows looking for bargains. That means an Express under $200, which doesn't happen, or a Wingmaster under $300, which happens, but only with fixed choke guns, and guns with "issues". I think it's great fun to find a low mileage old shotgun, with really nice metal work, and a scratched up stock, so I can refinish it, put on a nice recoil pad, lengthen the forcing cones, take some choke out of it, add a nice Bradley front bead and mid rib, recut the checkering, and make a really nice old shotgun out of it. Then,,,,,maybe I might get my money back, but the idea is to have a bunch of old shotguns, of all types and makes, as a hobby.

I suppose somebody might shoot an 870 to the point where it's worn out. It would take a lot of shells. You can buy every part that one needs, and so long as one is tight, locks up nice, and the hammer falls when you pull the trigger, it's hard to imagine a very bad shucking buying a used 870.

Just don't think you are going to save any money to amount to anything, buying one. With shells over five bucks a box for the cheapies, you'll shoot up the value of the entire gun in no time at all, if you shoot very much. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: What to look for when buying a used pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 10:47 am 
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I realize the new Expresses have a lot of allure for the current prices, but I have an aversion to black and plastic. I got an absolutely great 1976 vintage Wingmaster Magnum with a 28" full choke vent rib barrel for $225 last Fall. Then I added a Light Contour barrel with RemChokes for another $160. Wal-Mart's cheapest do not stick in the chamber with either barrel, and I can point it skyward with one hand, push the release, give it a slight jerk down, and it falls open. You could say I'm satisfied.

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 Post subject: Re: What to look for when buying a used pump shotgun?
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 11:30 am 
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Location: Harrisburg, IL
SuperXOne wrote:
Take three hundred dolars to Wal Mart, and they'll sell you a brand new 870 Express with a 28 inch barrel and a laminated wood stock. This is all the gun any of us actually ever need. Nothing will handle much better, shoot much better, or last much longer. It will be new, have a warranty, and you can't get cheated on either condition or price. If you drop it over the side of your boat, you are out less than $300 bucks, so depreciation isn't a valid concern.

Truly that's the best advice so far if your budget will allow. After that, it is hard to put so many rounds through an 870 that it becomes a poor choice. Typically the price should state the condition but in this market people want to sell you a single shot for $1,000 because they think they can.

A solid 870 with up to a few thousand rounds should sell for around $200 ~ 250 depending on your region and the first impression (as previously stated) should give you an idea as to it's overall condition.

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