Gun Library ArticleRemington 870
As there are an incredible number of American firearms and manufacturers, it is quite hard to say which one is the best and which one has influenced history the most. Still, there are certain models bearing the names of important producers that have become an important part of history. Among these many firearms, the Remington 870 pump-action shotgun has its well deserved place, having a great number of positive qualities and being regarded as highly efficient. The Remington 870 has been used throughout time by diverse law enforcement agencies, for both assault and defense, not to mention in multiple target shooting competitions and also by hunting enthusiasts.
The history of the Remington pump-action shotgun is filled with interesting events and even more interesting names. It was the design of John Pedersen and John Browning that made that very special model, an excellent shotgun and one of the most dependable ever made.
The two men worked closely together, creating an entire series of pump-action shotguns, some of the best ever made. From the time when it was produced and until 1973, the number of guns produced by Remington had reached the unbelievable amount of 2 millions. Modern models have been produced and the number of Remington pump-action shotguns has managed to reach in the 1990s 7 million units. This firearm is indeed one of the most popular pump-action firearms in the entire American firearm history.
The characteristics of the Remington 870 pump gun included an innovative side ejecting receiver, with a tubular magazine and also an internal hammer. Other features such as the trigger guard and safety system are similar with other Remington models, especially the pump-action center-fire rifles. And as incredible as it may seem, there are hundreds of versions produced for the Remington 870. Originally there were just 15 models produced; in time, more firearms were produced for various purposes including for civilians, law enforcement agencies and military squads. The popularity of the Remington 870 pump-action gun remains undisputed and it will probably remain so in the future. Starting with the Wingmaster, which has beautiful wood decorative texture, continuing with the Express model with satin wood and finishing with the Marine that has nickel textures, it is impossible not to see the big picture. Remington is all about quality and every gun standing under that name follows the basic principle from which the original creator has started. Other models include the Tactical shotgun, with 8-round capacity and 20’’ barrel and the Combat Shotgun, especially adapted for military operations.
Despite Remington being so popular, there are many other pump-action firearms that have contributed to the making of history. The Winchester 1897 model is one of the best examples that can be offered, being one of the most revolutionary shotguns ever manufactured. The external hammer, the tubular magazine and the 16 gauge represent just few of its many features and as it was expected the design belongs to the same, ever popular, John Browning.
If there is one thing that can be said about this particular shotgun that would be that it was one of the first pump-action shotguns manufactured to be efficient and accurate. There were over 1 million of Winchester 1897’s produced in different versions and with diverse barrel lengths. For the 16 gauge guns, the barrel was 28 inches in length, while the 12 gauge guns had 30 inch barrels. Winchester allowed for this pump gun to use smokeless powder and the production lasted until the middle of the 20th century, the firearm being the replaced with more powerful and certainly more modern firearms, such as the Remington 870.
Pump-action rifles or shotguns were popular because of the faster response provided by the pump-action mechanism. They had the advantage of being durable and much more affordable. The ammunition was fed through a tubular magazine but modern firearms had implemented a detachable magazine. One of the most important features that made the difference between modern and early pump-action shotguns was the trigger disconnector. This was present in innovative models such as the Remington 870 and it was considered a highly effective safety feature. As for the first pump-action shotguns such as the Winchester 1897, the lack of the safety features was believed to allow for a higher fire rate.
As much as popular pump-action guns were, they were not half as popular as the ones using the break action mechanism. This category includes a wide variety of firearms such as: single and double barreled shotguns, rifles and combination guns. Also, the break action might be encountered in certain models of single-shot rifles, pistols and even grenade launchers. The main advantage is represented by the compactness offered, being incredibly lightweight and also small in size. And given the fact that the breech system is simple, the break action is perfect for firearms with an interchangeable barrel. The barrel being extremely long compared to the size of the firearm, longer and more powerful cartridges can be used. Thus, the same firearm can use more than one type of caliber, including 12, 20, 28 and even 410 gauges.
And what are the disadvantages of having a firearm with a break action mechanism? Well, the first thing and probably the most important is the compatibility with non-repeating firearms. If you want multiple firings, then you will certainly require more than one barrel. The short range is another thing that might prevent you from considering this firearm action as beneficial; however, if you are a passionate hunter and you are interested in pursuing dangerous game at a close distance, this is the gun for you. And another thing, if you are looking for a strong firearm action, you’d better go for bolt-action designs. Break-open firearms are not so powerful and they work their best using rim-fire cartridges.
Double-barreled shotguns respect the same break-open action, being even more compact than firearms using the similar action. They are practical and are widely used in sporting competitions, including clay pigeon shooting and target shooting as well. They are called double-barreled because they have two barrels, each with its own trigger. In recent models, there is one single trigger for both barrels and they offer the advantage of almost instantaneous shooting. Once you fire a shot, you do not have to wait too long to fire the second which is in fact kind of cool.
Combination guns are usually sporting firearms and they borrow something from every firearm. They have double barrels, one similar as those in rifles and the other like in shotguns. They were mainly used in Europe but they have seen increased use in American as well, being especially liked by hunting enthusiasts. They prefer to use a gun that can fire rifle and shotgun cartridges, having the possibility to pursue various preys. And thus we can end another chapter of the American firearm history, being proud of the firearms invented and of the great men that pictured them!