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I am a pistol guy, but i just bought my first shotgun, a Remington 870 express 7 shot synthetic 18" (it has the factory two shot mag extension installed). I head that the remington 870 was the swiss army knife of the shotgun world, and that pretty much everyone has one.

This gun will be used as primarily a home gun, with all the goodies, like the knoxx specops stock. It will probably be the gun that will take the Gunsite shotgun course beating as well.

I also want to use it as a target gun, for stuff like trap or skeet, and MAYBE a little bird hunting. What conversions do i have to do to make my gun able to do that? I know i will have to change the barrel, but to what size, and what chokes? That kind of stuff. Any input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
 

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Welcome to SGW.

Send the barrel to Polychoke and have them install their deluxe variable choke device on the barrel you have. Then you will have the most versatile gun available. Good for everything a shotgun is good for. No need to change barrels if the gun is balanced for you. The Polychoke adds a few inches to the barrel.
 

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I personally would get a 26" or 28" barrel for bird hunting. You probably could hunt with the 18" but I wouldn't ... barrels are usually relatively inexpensive.

Also, if you plan to hunt migratory birds (and possibly upland birds - check your local laws) you will need to plug the magazine so that it will only hold 2 shells (three including the one in the chamber). You can usually just use a dowel cut to the right length. I don't have an 870 (I have a Mossberg 500 and assume they are fairly similar) and don't know how they are set up but it should be pretty easy to do.

Hope this helps,
John
 

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There may be a number of ranges that won't allow you to use that 18" barrel for trap, skeet or sporting clays. Check before you go. It may be the barrel of choice for home defence, but certainly not that for the clay target sports. Get a minimum barrel length of at least 28" and leave the pistol grip home.
 

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Pilotdude;

Welcome to the forum and to shotgunning.
Excellent choice in your 870 and as said it is similar to the mossbergs in that they are both double rail pump guns that will funtion reliably under nearly any conditions.

Also good to hear yo plan to invest in some excellent training ie gunsite. They are among the very best, IMHO.

A word of caution, plan to attend at least their basic course before you begin to load up your HD gun with a lot of gacgets that you may not like or may not be at all necessary for a good, reliable hd shotgun.
Also is your wife going to be part of your SD package? If so, even more reason to get professional advice on what to mount for best and most reliable equip. and not make the gun unuseable to the little lady.

I agree with sjohnny in selecting a spare barrel for clay targets or hunting for several reasons not to mention expense and accuracy.

Just some more thoughts and ideas from a gallery that really does like to help.

Good luck with your new toy and I hope you have years of enjoyment without ever having to fire a shot in anger, fear or self defense.

UF
 
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