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The Venerable Remington 870

I spent some time coming up with one word to define the Rem­ington 870. What came to mind was “venerable.” To save you the trouble of looking up the word, as I had to do, here’s the definition:

ven·er·a·ble adj \ ve-n r(- )-b l, ven-r-b l\

a: calling forth respect through age, character, and attainments <a venerable jazz musician>; broadly: conveying an impression of aged goodness and benevolence

Venerable describes the Rem­ington 870™ perfectly. Brought to the sporting market in 1950 this pump-action shotgun has been a fa­vorite for 62 years with almost no changes other than aesthetic. On April 13, 2009, the 10,000,000th 870™ was produced. It holds the record for the best-selling shotgun in the world, making it the all-time champion. If the Model 870™ were introduced today, it would be hailed as a major advance in pump-action shotgun design – the ultimate in strength, durability, silky-smooth bind-free action and sleek classical lines.

Wingshooters have long loved the Remington 870 because it’s also available in a left-handed model. Photo by Anthony Hauck / Pheasants Forever

Most of you have likely gone afield with a Remington 870™ at some time in your life. For many, the Express model could have been our first shotgun, with a few guns in-between. Today, many have come full circle and have upgrad­ed their love of the 870™ with a beautiful new Wingmaster. Rem­ington currently makes 27 differ­ent variations of the 870 to allow hunters to specialize this pump gun for many types of quarry or sport. You can find a specific 870 for pheasant, deer, turkey, waterfowl or the range. The simplicity of the Remington 870 creates such a reli­able firearm that it is used by over 18 armed forces around the world and countless police departments.

My personal “full circle” came this past fall in the fields just south of Pierre, South Dakota one beau­tiful autumn morning when PF’s Joe Duggan pulled a stunning new 870 from its case. It was a high grade 20 gauge Wingmaster with a gloss finish he had won at a Pheas­ants Forever Build A Wildlife Area event. We were not in the field very long before I asked to give it a try. The gun was light and shouldered quickly. As you can imagine, I was thrilled with this firearm. Just car­rying the gun brought me back to days spent hunting waterfowl with my brothers in Green Lake, Wis­consin. When a rooster flushed in front of me, it was as if I had been shooting this 870 my entire life. My old friend had come home!

For those in the market for a new pump-action shotgun, I strongly recommend you look at the vener­able Remington 870. Over 10 mil­lion users can’t be wrong.

The Pheasant Fest blog is written by Brad Heidel, Pheasants Forever’s Director of Corporate and Special Event Sales. Look for Brad’s column, “The Gun Shop,” in the Pheasants Forever Journal.

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5 Responses to “The Venerable Remington 870”

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  1. Tom Fath says:

    I have shot a Wingmaster since I was 17 years old. I currently have 2 of them, mine that I bought in 1991 and the one my dad bought in 1952. I guide pheasant hunts in western North Dakota and actually still use both guns during the season. I shoot the newer one early season and the old one late season. My newer one has a 30 inch barrel with a modified choke and the old one has a full choke and 30 inch barrel. I’m 6’4″, so the long barrel suits me well. The durability is second to none and the weight is great for walking fields. I have shot many other guns over the course of my hunting years and always come back to my wingmaster. To be able to still shoot a gun that is 60 years old says it all!

  2. Dave Brisk says:

    I still shoot my 870 Wingmaster and its still equiped with a Poly Choke. I have others but this is my go to gun.

  3. Blake says:

    I had an 870 but moved and loved it but then moved to an 1100 and love it too. Does that change make me lazy?

  4. Todd says:

    My parents gave me an 870 Wingmaster for graduation. It is a great pheasant gun. I eventually upgraded to an 1100, but still love to shoot both every chance I get.

  5. love my 870 but the last 2 i have bought will not cycle 3in shells Frustraded anyone know what mite b the problem

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