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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You may or may not remember a while back my brother bought a used 870 Wingmaster from a gentleman for $100. It is now in my possession :D (temporarily :( ).

Anyway, it seems it is missing one part. There should be a "magazine spring retainer". I'm going to find a dealer and order one, but in the mean time, I found a copy of the 870 manual on Remington's site, and it mentions two different retainers and I don't know which one I need or whether or not it makes a difference.

The manual shows how to assemble the gun with:

- a magazine spring retainer with a hole in it
- a magazine spring retainer with a slot in it

Would anyone here know the difference and which one an 870 Wingmaster is supposed to have? :?:

Thanks in advance for any help!!
 

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There is little difference. It is not a Wingmaster vs. non-wingmaster thing. It is an evolution thing but I am not sure which came first.
I take them out and throw them away. I like to clean the mag tube when I clean my gun and those dang caps are a pain in the butt. I also use extensions on most of my pump-guns and there is no use for the spring retainers.
Mike
 

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I do believe the slotted is the newer design, permitting the removal with any flat screwdriver.
 

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Maybe I'm missing something here in this discussion, but without a spring retainer, the magazine spring would come out every time you remove the magazine cap. Additionally, I would think it would make it harder to assemble the barrel to the receiver while trying to hold in on the magazine spring until you get the magazine cap on.

I recommend you keep (or replace) the spring retainer because the inside of the magazine tube just doesn't need to be cleaned that often on most guns. It's not hard to remove a spring retainer anyway. The spring retainer (Part #45 on the Parts List) should fit into your gun regardless of which type retainer you get as long as the gauge is correct.
 

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Ulysses said:
Maybe I'm missing something here in this discussion, but without a spring retainer, the magazine spring would come out every time you remove the magazine cap. Additionally, I would think it would make it harder to assemble the barrel to the receiver while trying to hold in on the magazine spring until you get the magazine cap on.

I recommend you keep (or replace) the spring retainer because the inside of the magazine tube just doesn't need to be cleaned that often on most guns. It's not hard to remove a spring retainer anyway. The spring retainer (Part #45 on the Parts List) should fit into your gun regardless of which type retainer you get as long as the gauge is correct.
The used guns that I have bought usually have a bit of rust in the mag tube because, I'd wager, prior owners did not feel like removing the spring retainer. Assembling without the retainer is easy. Unless you're assembling the gun with the muzzle pointed down, I can not imagine why it would be difficult to keep the barrel place. I use gravity (muzzle up). The springs are not long and not under much tension, at least mine are not. It is no different than working with a non-captured spring in a semi-auto pistol.
The last 1100 that I bought had a spring that was rusted close to breaking. The gun looked very clean and well-kept. I am still removing small amounts of brown haze from the mag tube with every cleaning.
I do not recommend removing them as a matter of course but this is no reason to think that they are necessary and they certainly do not make gun maintenance any harder in my opinion.

Mike
 

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Either way the gun can function as normal with out the retainer until one is obtained.

The easiest way to tell is look at the the inside the the magazine cap, if there are detent holes around the rim of the mag cap above the threads you have an old style 870 which requires thethe metal spring retainer, if you have ridges below the threads you have a new style plastic spring retainer.
RON KONTOWSKY
ACTIONS BY R.A.K.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We suspected that the gun would work without a spring retainer. The action definitely cycles by hand without a problem. Removing and reassembling the endcap is not a problem even without the retainer. It will surprise anyone that doesn't know that there's no retainer, but as long as we remember, we can deal with it as it is now.

Thanks again!
 
G

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They say "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing . . ." Well I have as little as anyone, so here goes. Older 870s (like mine) have a magazine spring retainer that is kept in place by friction alone (i.e. friction between the retainer and the sides of the magazine tube). Newer ones (I am told) have a "dimple" in the magazine tube wall, and the spring retainer has an "L-shaped" slot in it's cylindrical side that is inserted over this dimple, then turned (with a screwdriver or whatever) to engage the foot of the "L" and keep the retainer in place mechanically. I guess you'd check for the presence of a dimple to tell which your 870 is. Parenthetically, if you ever want to add a magazine extension, and you have the dimple, you have to get rid of it (by filing, maybe?) or the extra shells will not be able to enter the extension tube. Thereafter, if you wish to convert back, you'd have to use the friction-fit type of retainer. Altogether, I'm happy I have the friction-fit version of this excellent shotgun . . . :roll:
 
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