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Remington 870 Magnun Express & Chokes

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by ArcturusRising, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. ArcturusRising

    ArcturusRising Hillsboro, OR Member

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    I recently bought a Remington 870 Magnum Express for home defense. It is a great shotgun and I am very happy with my purchase. The ammo I purchased is 00 buck 2 3/4 shells. Today my friend asked me about what choke I have on it and I had no idea what he was talking about. He explained that they were things things that people screwed onto the end of shotgun barrels to vary the spread of their shot at different ranges. I have cleaned, disassembled, did maintenance on, fired, and taught with hundreds of Mossberg 590s when I was in the Navy and we did not use chokes and I don't recall that word ever being used in conversation or PMS (Planned Maintenance System) cards. I never went duck hunting growing up, only big game such as deer, elk, moose, bear, cougar, big horn sheep, etc., so I have a few questions that may sound newbish.

    I noticed some unusual threading at the end of my Remington 870 Magnum Express, so I believe there is a choke already installed from the previous owner.

    Why do some shotguns have chokes and others do not? Is it a combat vs. non-combat thing? Are chokes only designed for bird hunting?

    Should I remove my choke for home defense?

    Is it safe to use 00 buck with chokes or are they only designed for bird shot?

    Thanks for taking the time to educate this shotgun newbie. Here is a link to the Mossberg 590 we used in the Navy. http://world.guns.ru/shotgun/sh04-e.htm

    *Edit* One last quick question, are there any legal ramifications for removing the plug from the magazine, as long as I am not duck hunting?
     
  2. dave

    dave Independence Member

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    most 870's come stock with a modified choke. Screw the choke tube out and it will be written on the side above the threads. I would recommend shooting your 870 at a cardboard target at 10 yards. See what the pattern looks like. I think you will find it adequate for home defense. I would certainly not take it out as this can foul the threads and reduce the value. If you dont like the pattern, pickup an improved choke.
    Your magazine can be modified. look at cabelas or other online retailers, the options for 870's is unlimited. Its a real good all around shotgun.
    Some shotguns have fixed chokes, most commonly full or modifed. Yours is threaded, bird hunters will change up to a full or turkey choke to pattern their shot for different applications or clay sports.
    Your buckshot is fine to shoot.
     
  3. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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    I noticed some unusual threading at the end of my Remington 870 Magnum Express, so I believe there is a choke already installed from the previous owner.

    If you see bare threads inside the barrel - the choke tube is not installed. You should see a tube screwed in there w/ four square dimples. You can remove/change this cylinder w/ a choke wrench. Below is a picture of typical Remington choke tubes and a choke wrench (although, there are simpler ones).

    Why do some shotguns have chokes and others do not? Is it a combat vs. non-combat thing? Are chokes only designed for bird hunting?

    Chokes typically control how far the shot pattern will spread. Most combat guns have open/cylinder chokes while hunting guns will have a variety of chokes depending on shot used, distance you are shooting, etc.

    Should I remove my choke for home defense?

    I don't believe you should shoot a gun w/o the choke tube installed. I think you risk damaging the threads in the barrel. You can buy a cylinder choke tube if you want to use it for home defense. Or, you can buy a shorter, cylinder barrel w/o a choke (that's what I have) and keep the longer barrel for use on the trap range, hunting, etc.

    Is it safe to use 00 buck with chokes or are they only designed for bird shot?

    You should be able to shoot your buckshot through any choke. Before shooting *steel shot* through a choked gun, you'll want to make sure it's designed to shoot that.

    One last quick question, are there any legal ramifications for removing the plug from the magazine, as long as I am not duck hunting?

    I don't believe so - this normally only applies to hunting regulations. Check your local laws, YMMV, etc, etc, etc...
     
  4. ArcturusRising

    ArcturusRising Hillsboro, OR Member

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    Thanks for your help Dave, I really appreciate it! Being safe and legal are my biggest concerns. I'll do some research into modifying my magazine and removing the plug and probably stick with the choke I have now, although I will definitely test it out on cardboard at 10 yards, as you suggested.

    Thanks to Sun195 also, I replied just as you replied. I will double check that I actually have a choke installed and not just bare threads. I'll also look into buying a shorter cylinder barrel w/out a choke for home defense and double check the ammo I am using is not steel (or if it is, it is safe to use with my choke).