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 Post subject: Remington 870 Express magnum 20ga won't feed 3" shells.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2020 11:19 pm 
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Long story short, in the mid 1990s, I decided I was tired of lugging my 12 gauge around all day when hunting doves, squirrels, and rabbits.
So, I bought a nearly new 870 Express Magnum from a local shop.
I hunted with it and enjoyed how much less it weighed and kicked.
It's always cycled 2-3/4" shells without fail.
However, it never would cycle 3" shells through the magazine. I could load them in there, but they wouldn't feed out of the mag and onto the carrier/elevator when the action was cycled.
The shop I bought it from told me I'd have to send it to Remington to get it fixed.
I didn't want to be without my dove and small game gun in the middle of hunting season.

Flash forward 25 years, and I want it to cycle both shell lengths like it's supposed to.
It was unfired but previously owned, when I bought it.
I've kept it clean and oiled.

I'd like to be able to use 3" slugs and buckshot with it.
And, yes, the barrel is clearly marked that it is for use with 2-3/4" and 3" shells.
And, the receiver is clearly marked that it is an 870 Express Magnum.

Does anyone here know what would cause this oddly specific prejudicial feeding issue? Everything I've found online is about a pump shotgun that won't feed any shells at all. Nothing about one that only gags on 3".

TIA




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 Post subject: Re: Remington 870 Express magnum 20ga won't feed 3" shells.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2020 6:45 am 
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What exactly is it doing when you pull the operating handle to the rear slowly with one 3" shell in the magazine ? How about with two ?

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 Post subject: Re: Remington 870 Express magnum 20ga won't feed 3" shells.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2020 11:07 pm 
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That's the weird thing. Regardless of how many 3" shells are in the mag, it won't release them from the mag to the carrier.
They just sit in the mag tube.
Never does it with 2-3/4"
Fast, slow, vigorous, gentle. It doesn't seem to care.


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 Post subject: Re: Remington 870 Express magnum 20ga won't feed 3" shells.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2020 10:09 am 
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What brands and how many different loads of 3" ammo have you tried?
Did you measure the rims of the shells by any chance?

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Remington 870 Express magnum 20ga won't feed 3" shells.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2020 10:16 am 
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It's a shell latch/action bar issue, IF it's a gun issue. Only thing I can figure is the shorter shell can cant far enough to get through, or the head dimensions of the shells are different. Does it happen with all brands of shells?
When it does not feed, which shell latch is holding the shell?
Just for info, I once got a box of Remington shells with no rim for the extractor to catch, a friend got some Winchesters with no powder in them, and another got a box of I think Federal that sounded a little off and would not kill a duck - they also wouldn't penetrate a piece of cardboard on an impromptu pattern test. Stuff happens.

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 Post subject: Re: Remington 870 Express magnum 20ga won't feed 3" shells.
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:30 pm 
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It ran multiple different brands and types of 2-3/4' ammo without fail. Winchester, Federal, and Remington (birdshot), Brenneke (slugs), and Estate(birdshot)are just the ones I remember using. No issues.

The 3" shells I remember using were Winchester (#3 buck), Federal (birdshot), and Brenneke (slugs). None would feed.

Perhaps I can dig it out and the ammo for it, this next weekend or Christmas weekend and test them all again, to be able to give a current account of what feeds and what doesn't.

If it had been only one brand that worked or didn't work, I'd have chalked it up to that particular ammo, but when it runs any 2-3/4" I throw at it, and no 3". Well, I'm a bit confused.

Also, if I can dig it out (haven't had time to dove hunt in years), I'll strip it and clean it and inspect for any burrs that might be interfering with the shell latches.
Don't remember ever seeing any, but maybe a magnifying visor will show something.

I think it was the right side shell latch that was holding up the 3" shells.
Though, I could be mistaken.


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 Post subject: Re: Remington 870 Express magnum 20ga won't feed 3" shells.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:50 am 
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You might have to try polishing or honing the chamber in the barrel.


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 Post subject: Re: Remington 870 Express magnum 20ga won't feed 3" shells.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:33 am 
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Might have crud buildup behind a latch.

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 Post subject: Re: Remington 870 Express magnum 20ga won't feed 3" shells.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:54 am 
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A competent gunsmith should be able to look at it and determine why it won't feed 3" shells out of the magazine. 870's are pretty simple.

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 Post subject: Re: Remington 870 Express magnum 20ga won't feed 3" shells.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 7:09 pm 
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I've been busy with work for the past week and haven't had much time to check in.

Thanks for all the replies. I'll drag it out and strip it and check latches.
Chamber won't be the issue. I can feed them directly into the chamber and they fire, extract, and eject just fine. They won't come out of the magazine tube to slide onto the shell carrier.




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