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  #1  
Old 07-16-2019, 10:11 PM
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Default New barrel replacement on old Wingmaster?

I have an old Remington 870 Wingmaster from 1955 with a fixed full choke. Since the lead ban on hunting, I'm looking at purchasing a new barrel that can shoot steel.

Is it as simple as buying a new barrel and just swapping it out? Any other considerations I should be aware of?

Barrels look expensive online, but probably still the best option for my old shotgun. Thanks.
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Old 07-17-2019, 6:43 AM
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If it's a magnum receiver, get a remchoke barrel that is chambered for 2 3/4" & 3".
If it's not a magnum receiver, get a remchoke barrel that is chambered for 2 3/4".
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Old 07-17-2019, 7:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOBGBA View Post
If it's a magnum receiver, get a remchoke barrel that is chambered for 2 3/4" & 3".
If it's not a magnum receiver, get a remchoke barrel that is chambered for 2 3/4".
I did this almost 15 years ago on my wingmaster magnum. Replaced the fixed barrel with a Remington remchoke barrel and haven't had a single issue. Back then it was about $150. No idea what they are now.
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Old 07-17-2019, 7:50 AM
eddy 600 eddy 600 is offline
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I put the rim choke barrel for 2 3/4 or 3in on my wingmaster with the 2 3/4 chamber,it works fine
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  #5  
Old 07-17-2019, 8:57 AM
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Look on ebay and gunbroker.com for a used barrel, they are significantly cheaper than a factory new barrel.
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Old 07-17-2019, 9:44 AM
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Any remchoke barrel is proofed for steel. Replacing the barrel will be cheaper than a new shotgun.
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Old 07-17-2019, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyD View Post
Look on ebay and gunbroker.com for a used barrel, they are significantly cheaper than a factory new barrel.
Thanks you probably saved me $100+

Looking at buying a Rem Choke barrel this week, thank you Calgunners.
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Old 07-17-2019, 4:25 PM
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Zak --=--

Just be sure to that new barrel has the same finish as the Wingmaster high gloss finish. Most on the current market are the Matte finish 870 Express that seems to have some corrosion issues if not taken care of properly. Plus it won't match the receiver if it's for an Express model.
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Old 07-17-2019, 8:22 PM
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It's a 1955 gun, so almost certainly not a 3" mag receiver. The problem with putting a 3" barrel on a 2-3/4" gun is that some yahoo down the road will see the 3" chamber marking and try to use 3" loads in it. Not prudent. Used barrels with 2-3/4" chamber are everywhere, and are generally cheaper than the 3" barrels. And safer on that receiver.

Why has no one mentioned the fit difference between the standard (1955) barrel and the later "light contour barrel." The light contour barrel will work, but the forend gap will be larger, and objectionable to anyone who is serious about 870s.

Another option is to just have the choke opened on the current barrel. Or to fit screw chokes to the current barrel. Not that expensive. OP can call Bob Day at AmeriChoke in Pico Rivera for pricing. There is probably a smith in San Diego who can do the work, but Bob is the go-to guy for most of us.
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Old 07-17-2019, 8:29 PM
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Large frame or small? 12ga or 20ga?
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  #11  
Old 07-17-2019, 8:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducky's Dad View Post
It's a 1955 gun, so almost certainly not a 3" mag receiver. The problem with putting a 3" barrel on a 2-3/4" gun is that some yahoo down the road will see the 3" chamber marking and try to use 3" loads in it. Not prudent. Used barrels with 2-3/4" chamber are everywhere, and are generally cheaper than the 3" barrels. And safer on that receiver.

Why has no one mentioned the fit difference between the standard (1955) barrel and the later "light contour barrel." The light contour barrel will work, but the forend gap will be larger, and objectionable to anyone who is serious about 870s.

Another option is to just have the choke opened on the current barrel. Or to fit screw chokes to the current barrel. Not that expensive. OP can call Bob Day at AmeriChoke in Pico Rivera for pricing. There is probably a smith in San Diego who can do the work, but Bob is the go-to guy for most of us.
I'd largely echo this. Where I might part is that I know several who've put 3" barrels on non-magnum receivers and shot 3" successfully.

I've turned several "closet queens" into shooters by having screw-in chokes installed (Factory chokes way too tight in today's world). I haven't "converted" anything into 3", though I do know it gets done on O/U's as do 2-9/16 into 2-3/4".
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  #12  
Old 07-17-2019, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducky's Dad View Post
It's a 1955 gun, so almost certainly not a 3" mag receiver. The problem with putting a 3" barrel on a 2-3/4" gun is that some yahoo down the road will see the 3" chamber marking and try to use 3" loads in it. Not prudent. Used barrels with 2-3/4" chamber are everywhere, and are generally cheaper than the 3" barrels. And safer on that receiver.

Why has no one mentioned the fit difference between the standard (1955) barrel and the later "light contour barrel." The light contour barrel will work, but the forend gap will be larger, and objectionable to anyone who is serious about 870s.

Another option is to just have the choke opened on the current barrel. Or to fit screw chokes to the current barrel. Not that expensive. OP can call Bob Day at AmeriChoke in Pico Rivera for pricing. There is probably a smith in San Diego who can do the work, but Bob is the go-to guy for most of us.
Yes it's 2-3/4". I'm wondering if it's problematic to shoot steel out of an old barrel due solely to the fixed full choke, or are there other issues with an old barrel. If it's just a choke issue, then getting my current barrel modified at AmeriChoke sounds like a great idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shafferds View Post
Large frame or small? 12ga or 20ga?
12ga, not sure about the frame though

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revoman View Post
Zak --=--

Just be sure to that new barrel has the same finish as the Wingmaster high gloss finish. Most on the current market are the Matte finish 870 Express that seems to have some corrosion issues if not taken care of properly. Plus it won't match the receiver if it's for an Express model.
You're right, almost all the barrels I'm seeing have a matte finish. I did some research and it looks like it'll interchange just fine, probably won't look as pretty though
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Old 07-18-2019, 7:49 AM
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Quote:
I'm wondering if it's problematic to shoot steel out of an old barrel due solely to the fixed full choke, or are there other issues with an old barrel. If it's just a choke issue
With some guns (mostly English and Spanish light game guns) it is both a choke and barrel wall thickness issue, but seldom a steel issue (unless it's a Damascus or other hammer welded barrel). The steel in the old Rem barrel is fine, so your problem is the full choke for steel. If you like the way the barrel performs for you with FC and lead shot, then a Mod choking with normal steel bird loads will perform about the same as the old combo. Bob can measure your barrel wall thickness and let you know if there are any issues before he does any other work. Screw chokes would make the gun more versatile for the long term.
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Old 07-18-2019, 9:25 AM
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Another good source is gunbroker.com. I just looked and they have 286 auctions of Remington 870 barrels.
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:40 AM
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Another option would be to buy a used barrel with a fixed IC choke.

That's what I did for my Remington 11-48 and Beretta AL-2.

But if I were you I would look for a barrel with Rem chokes as others have suggested.


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Old 07-18-2019, 1:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zak View Post
I have an old Remington 870 Wingmaster from 1955 with a fixed full choke. Since the lead ban on hunting, I'm looking at purchasing a new barrel that can shoot steel.

Is it as simple as buying a new barrel and just swapping it out? Any other considerations I should be aware of?

Barrels look expensive online, but probably still the best option for my old shotgun. Thanks.
Hello OP. I have a barrel that allows chokes. I wanted to know how long your full choke barrel is? If it's at least 30" would you like to trade? Mine IS a matted version which I think it's hard to find the polished blued version new. Since I shoot sporting clays I won't be restricted using steel.

Thanks,

John
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Old 07-18-2019, 3:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducky's Dad View Post
With some guns (mostly English and Spanish light game guns) it is both a choke and barrel wall thickness issue, but seldom a steel issue (unless it's a Damascus or other hammer welded barrel). The steel in the old Rem barrel is fine, so your problem is the full choke for steel. If you like the way the barrel performs for you with FC and lead shot, then a Mod choking with normal steel bird loads will perform about the same as the old combo. Bob can measure your barrel wall thickness and let you know if there are any issues before he does any other work. Screw chokes would make the gun more versatile for the long term.
Plenty of "old" guns have seen steel shot. I wouldn't worry about an 870. SS or O/U, perhaps a different answer due to soldered ribs/barrels.
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Old 07-19-2019, 1:49 PM
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Maybe a gun smith could bore out the existing choke to whatever spec you want and remark the barrel. May be cheaper than a new barrel?
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Old 07-20-2019, 9:36 AM
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OP.
For swapping out a Remington 870 barrel it is pretty straight forward. Unload the shotgun, point the barrel in a safe direction, open the chamber, remove the magazine cap, and slide the barrel off the receiver toward the muzzle end of the gun. However, there are some minor issues you need to consider when purachsing a replacement barrel.

Magazine Cap:
When buying a barrel, you need to make sure you are using a Remington 870 "Wingmaster" barrel with the ball detent in the magazine ring on the barrel. The "ball detnet" is a small pressed in spring loaded ball bearing about 3/32" of an inch in diameter mounted in the steel magazine ring under the barrel. The ball detent faces the muzzle end of the barrel. This ball detent, along with your original magazine cap, will go together and tighten the barrel to the receiver.

If you buy a 870 Express barrel, the barrel will still work with the original magazine screw on cap, but the barrel cap will loosen up over prolonged shooting. This is due to the difference in design between the express barrel and the wingmaster barrels. The express barrel uses a magazine spring retainer system and not the ball detent system of the Wingmasters. If you buy an express version barrel, you may want to consider buying an express magazine cap to help keep the barrel tight to the receiver.

Special Field Barrels:
In the 1980, remington made a special model of 870 called a field special. This barrel is the same as the Wingmaster barrel, but the magazine ring is located 9.25" from the base of the cartridge to the magazine ring. (Closer to the receiver than the traditional 870 barrels) This model barrel will not fit on the 870 shotguns. They are rare to find.


Locations for used Barrels:
Try buying a used Wingmaster barrel on CalGuns, Ebay, or any other on-line/brick and mortar "stores" with the RemChokes and you should be good to go for use with steel shot.

Regarding the Frame size:
The Remington 870 has two frame sizes.
The "standard" frame for the 12ga, 16ga and 20ga (20ga early models, up until about the mid-1970's) and a "light weight" frame version for the 20ga, 28ga and .410.

Remington offered the "standard" frame in 20guage up until about 1977 (Denoted with either an "X" or "N" at the end of the serial number). After that date, the standard frame was only used on the 12ga. (16ga was not offered, and the 20ga was only offered in the light weight frame only)

Regarding Magnum / standard receivers: (Not Super Magnums 3.5" chamber)
Both receivers (Magnum and Standard) will accept the "Magnum" chambered barrels, however. If you install a 3" magnum chambered barrel on a standard receiver you will be able to chamber and fire 3" magnum shell, but you will not be able to extract the shell from the receiver. This is due to the limited size of the ejection port on the standard receiver.

I hope this helps.
Best of luck and good shooting.
870classic.

Last edited by 870classic; 07-20-2019 at 3:45 PM.. Reason: correction from Field Special to "Special Field"
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  #20  
Old 07-20-2019, 6:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 870classic View Post
OP.
For swapping out a Remington 870 barrel it is pretty straight forward. Unload the shotgun, point the barrel in a safe direction, open the chamber, remove the magazine cap, and slide the barrel off the receiver toward the muzzle end of the gun. However, there are some minor issues you need to consider when purachsing a replacement barrel.

Magazine Cap:
When buying a barrel, you need to make sure you are using a Remington 870 "Wingmaster" barrel with the ball detent in the magazine ring on the barrel. The "ball detnet" is a small pressed in spring loaded ball bearing about 3/32" of an inch in diameter mounted in the steel magazine ring under the barrel. The ball detent faces the muzzle end of the barrel. This ball detent, along with your original magazine cap, will go together and tighten the barrel to the receiver.

If you buy a 870 Express barrel, the barrel will still work with the original magazine screw on cap, but the barrel cap will loosen up over prolonged shooting. This is due to the difference in design between the express barrel and the wingmaster barrels. The express barrel uses a magazine spring retainer system and not the ball detent system of the Wingmasters. If you buy an express version barrel, you may want to consider buying an express magazine cap to help keep the barrel tight to the receiver.

Special Field Barrels:
In the 1980, remington made a special model of 870 called a field special. This barrel is the same as the Wingmaster barrel, but the magazine ring is located 9.25" from the base of the cartridge to the magazine ring. (Closer to the receiver than the traditional 870 barrels) This model barrel will not fit on the 870 shotguns. They are rare to find.


Locations for used Barrels:
Try buying a used Wingmaster barrel on CalGuns, Ebay, or any other on-line/brick and mortar "stores" with the RemChokes and you should be good to go for use with steel shot.

Regarding the Frame size:
The Remington 870 has two frame sizes.
The "standard" frame for the 12ga, 16ga and 20ga (20ga early models, up until about the mid-1970's) and a "light weight" frame version for the 20ga, 28ga and .410.

Remington offered the "standard" frame in 20guage up until about 1977 (Denoted with either an "X" or "N" at the end of the serial number). After that date, the standard frame was only used on the 12ga. (16ga was not offered, and the 20ga was only offered in the light weight frame only)

Regarding Magnum / standard receivers: (Not Super Magnums 3.5" chamber)
Both receivers (Magnum and Standard) will accept the "Magnum" chambered barrels, however. If you install a 3" magnum chambered barrel on a standard receiver you will be able to chamber and fire 3" magnum shell, but you will not be able to extract the shell from the receiver. This is due to the limited size of the ejection port on the standard receiver.

I hope this helps.
Best of luck and good shooting.
870classic.
Bold:

Interwebz and anecdotal experience disagrees. The receiver's port is not longer, but the extractor is relocated. Many have found it reliable without the relocation. I believe even Remington, at least at some time, offered the modification.
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  #21  
Old 07-20-2019, 7:49 PM
870classic 870classic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JagerDog View Post
Bold:

Interwebz and anecdotal experience disagrees. The receiver's port is not longer, but the extractor is relocated. Many have found it reliable without the relocation. I believe even Remington, at least at some time, offered the modification.
Good to know. Thank you.
I didn't realize that the extractor was relocated in the magnum receivers. I have standard receivers and years ago I loaded and fire a 3" shell in my 20" rifle sighted barrel, but the shell would not extract it from the receiver.

Best regards,
870classic

Last edited by 870classic; 07-20-2019 at 7:52 PM..
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