The United States’ Remington Model 870 shotgun was the fourth in a series of major designs by Remington.  The shotgun was designed in 1951 by four different designers:  L. R. Crittendon, P. Haskell, E. Hailston and G. E. Pinckney.


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Design Features of the Model 870

  • Tubular magazine under the barrel
  • Receiver is bottom-loading and side ejecting
  • Internal hammer
  • Dual action bars
  • Bolt locks in an extension in the barrel
  • Original models offered fixed chokes


Remington Model 870 Specifications

  • Production:  1951 to present day
  • Weight:  7 to 8 lbs. depending on variant
  • Overall Lengths:  37.25 to 50.5 inches
  • Barrel Lengths:  18 to 30 inches
  • Cartridges:  12, 16, 20 or 18 gauge (or) .410 bore
  • Action:  Pump Action


Model 870 Variants

Though hundreds of variants of the Model 870 are available in a number of different gauges, they can basically be grouped in to six different categories:


Wingmaster – Offered in Field configurations as well as skeet and trap configurations

Police – Features a stronger solder and magazine spring and sometimes an extended tube magazine

Marine – This shotgun design is nickel plated with synthetic stocks

Express – Laminated hardwood or synthetic stocks - 12 and 20 gauge

Super Mag – 12 gauge

Modular Combat Shotgun (MCS) – Allows quick modifications of barrels, magazine tubes and stocks


Since it first rolled off the production line in 1951, sales for Remington’s Model 870 have remained steady.  By 1973, the manufacturer had sold two million guns.  In 1996, with the introduction of the basic ‘Express’ model – a more economical version of the Wingmaster – Remington sales for this model exceeded seven million.  In April of 2009, Remington’s production of the Model 870 reached 10 million, making it the bestselling shotgun in history.


This weapon is used by nineteen different countries.  In the United States, the Remington Model 870 Shotgun is used by the US Border Patrol, the US Department of Education, US Secret Service the IRS and a number of police forces as well as the US military, in which the model is designated as the M870.