Remington 870 Express Turkey

Discussion in 'Self Defense Tactics & Weapons' started by CampingJosh, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    I was wondering how the Remington 870 Express Turkey shotgun would work for home defense. Being a turkey gun, it's supposed to keep a pretty tight pattern with the shot (80% in 30" circle at 40 yards). Would this be OK, or would I probably want a different choke tube to open up the pattern a bit more?
  2. remguage

    remguage New Member

    Sep 24, 2006
    doesnt matter in close quarters u will still put a nice hole in them hopefully u never have to

  3. Josh, the turkey loads (I'm assuming #5 shot) would certainly do the job on any intruder at close range. The only problem with them, in my humble opinion, is that they're usually 3" magnums with an ounce and a half of shot, and that means an unnecessarily hefty recoil. Personally, I prefer standard 2 3/4 inch shells, loaded with 1 1/14 ounces of buckshot, preferably 00, #1 or #4 buck, mostly because of better penetration. I also opt for a cylinder choke on any shotgun I intend for home defense. Out of a cylinder choked, 18" or 20" barrel, a shot pattern expands only about 1" per yard traveled. This means that across a room, say 18 feet or so, your shot patter will only be about the size of a 6" saucer. Many think of a shotgun as a "trench sweeper." It's not; it has to be aimed even at room distances.
  4. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Upstate NY
    You could go to a more open choke, but your best bet would be a different barrel. There are plenty of 870 barrels out there. I would recommend the plain 18" no-frills improved cylinder with just a bead front sight. Very handy for indoor work.

    Any barrel made for the 870 Wingmaster will fit your 870 Express.
  5. Just chimming in an often overlooked factor...

    With a lot of shotgun ammo it can travel almost 3 yards before really separating from the wad/cup. Those brands with a deep cup especially...made to protect the pellets from deformation all the way out the choke to give a tight pattern at longer range. So at 18 feet it's often a pattern smaller than your fist.

    For the biggest pattern try loads that have the shot sitting on a flat wad. Soft lead is best. Also, for buckshot, sometimes a full choke deforms pellets more and you get a wide pattern full of "flyers".

    On aiming...In training new shotgunners, I noticed a long time ago there is a powerful perception in many that you can't miss. (A close quarters demonstration on paper always impresses people, since many have never shot anything but hunting loads and at distances of 15+ yards) Shotgun shooters are very prone to "jerk" the hell out of the trigger. A buddy or coach loading inert shells in the mag is the best way to self correct it by showing how bad the problem is. I've seen guys on a door breach in training miss hinges, deadbolts etc...and ya probably know how close a breach gun is applied to door hardware....less than 10 inches...and wasting a $4 metal slug aint kool :D
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2008
  6. BillP

    BillP New Member

    If you cut off a barrel just be careful how short. The ATF gets ugly about the really short ones. I think the limit is still 18" and it's customary to leave a little more. Remember the official way to measure a barrel is to slide a cleaning rod down the barrel till it hits the closed bolt face. Mark the rod and measure it. Measuring the outside of an 870 barrel could easily lead to a costly mistake. :eek:
  7. The limit is 18" unless you go through the feds.

    It's too easy to buy an 18" 870 barrel for not much $$.
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