Remington 870

30 August 2012   |   by Colin Smith   |   Library

Remington 870

The Remington 870 Pump Shotgun


The Remington Model 870 pump-action shotgun is one of the most widely-known and popular firearms of all time. This classic model is manufactured by the Remington Arms Company and is used ubiquitously for sport shooting, hunting, and self-defense, as well as by law enforcement agencies and militaries around the world.


The Remington Model 870 sports a bottom-loading, side ejecting receiver with a tubular magazine underneath the barrel. It also features dual action bars and an internal hammer, as well as a bolt locking mechanism which fits into an extension in the barrel.

It is worth noting that many of the same attributes, including action, fire control, receiver safety catch and slide release catch of the Remington Model 870 pump-action shotgun are very similar to those used in the classic Remington Model 7600, a line of pump-action, centerfire carbines and rifles. The design of the fire control group on the Remington Model 870 was first demonstrated in the automatic, Remington Model 11–48.

There are seemingly countless variations of the Remington 870 pump-action shotgun, designed for 12 gauge, 16 gauge, 20 gauge, 28 gauges, as well as .410 bore. Although there are hundreds of models, the main Remington 870 variants can be grouped into the following categories:

  • - Express
  • - Marine
  • - Mark 1
  • - MCS (Modular Combat Shotgun)
  • - Police
  • - Super Mag
  • - Wingmaster
  • - Tac-14
  • - Tac-14 DM
  • - 870 DM
  • - 200th Anniversary Edition


The Remington 870 pump-action shotgun was the fourth seminal design in a line of Remington pump shotguns. This historic firearm has certainly impacted the history of gun-making and influenced seemingly countless numbers of designs that followed. John Pedersen was the key innovator of the Remington Model 10 as well as the Remington Model 29. Another huge name in the history of firearms development, John Browning, was instrumental in the design of the Remington Model, a gun which provided the foundation for the Remington Model 31. The Remington Model 31, although generally well-received by the public, still struggled for market share against the Winchester Model 12. It was a hot competition driven by forward-thinking innovations and advanced technology. In 1950, Remington made a move to address this by introducing a brand new, modern, pump-action shotgun- The Remington Model 870. It would be streamlined, reliable, durable, and considering the time and the enhancements, it was even comparatively inexpensive. It enjoyed widespread adoption and became one of the most significant firearms produced during this period of history.

Since 1950, the Remington Model 870 has enjoyed ongoing success, reaching the benchmark of two million sales by 1973. By the 1980’s, it was the best-selling shotgun in history, with sales tallying over three million units. As of 1983, the Remington Model 870 held the record for best-selling shotgun in history with three million units sold. 26 years later, the ten millionth 870 was sold on the market.

signature Colin Smith GUNCC Guest Writer
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