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870 jamming issues

Discussion in 'Tactical Shotguns' started by Sharker, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. I took my 870 to the range (this is a 870 express I use for sporting clays) over the weekend. I was having several issues with the pump not releasing or being extremely difficult to cycle between shots. (out of 100 plus shots through it, It occurred about 25 times) Now this is a gun I have owned new since 98, cleaned regularly, never any mechanical issues before. I have likely shot 10k rounds through it, and only had it "sticking" like this once or twice over the years.

    Its only on the rear-ward action immediately after the shot is fired that I am having the issue. It feels like the action is binding, or sticking. A little more horse power breaks it free. Up to now, I have had complete confidence in the action (except for the before mentioned rare occurrence where it acted up). Now, it has created a mild concern for me about reliability as I am about to plunk down some $ for a tactical 870 shotgun.

    Anyone had this issue? Is there some place I should trouble shoot for solving this issue? Only factory ammo, it was occurring with Federal and Winchester 2 3/4" size 7.5 shot ammo.

    Quick search didn't reveal anything, although I am certain this must have been discussed before.
  2. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

    Aug 7, 2003
    Louisville KY
    Check your chamber. A lot of 870's have rough chambers that need a little scrubbing and or a small bit of polishing to smooth out some larger tool marks. Not a biggie and easy to fix. Give it a good scrubbing with some solvent and a wire bore brush. Take a look at the chamber and if its still a little rough you might take some 0 steel wool and spin some of it on the wire bore brush and chuck it in a hand drill and use it to scrub out the chamber a little more.

  3. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis

    May 20, 2010
    I work part time at a skeet range and we see this problem regularly with the 870 Express and the Winchester ammo that you describe.It seems to be mostly the newer guns,but occasionally some of the older ones also exibit the problem.Changing ammo helps.I had one gentleman that sent his gun back to Remington with a stuck case still in the chamber.(yes it was stuck that bad,we were afraid of damaging the gun while trying to get the case out)Remington rebored and polished the chamber.It solved the problem.I have two 870's.Both are older Wingmasters and neither has ever exibited a bloblem.I think that the QC of the express line shotguns leaves something to be desired.
  4. sciolist


    Nov 11, 2009
    My HD wanted to hang onto shells with AL heads when it was new. Brass heads worked OK in the new configuration. After I cleaned the gun and polished the chamber (OO on dowel in drill, per JD) AL heads seemed to run fine too.

    I've been hitting the chamber with the OO every third cleaning or so.

    I also polished the inside of the mag tube, and chamfered the open end of the mag extension.
  5. aippi


    Jun 12, 2009
    Go to and click on the red link "Install and Cleaning" make a polishing rod for the chamber like that and follow the instructions and your issue will be over if you do it every time you clean the weapon. Make one for the bore to keep it free of mess also.

    Your weapon is well broke in and yet this occured. This goes to show the ammo issue is more to blame then the weapon. These cheap shells are causing issues in a lot of weapons. Keeping the chamber polished and clean is the only way to prevent this.
  6. Great link. Excellent replies, I thank each of you for your assistance. I guess its a two part problem. I will be stopping at Lowes /or Home Depot to get my AIP tactical bore cleaning brush! Will try to find some brass casings. I am using the aluminum value packs... I guess you get what you pay for! Reminds me of CCI Blazer ammo when it first came out. Jammed up one of my 9mm's so bad I couldn't believe it.
  7. aippi


    Jun 12, 2009
    Great comparison as that Blazer mess was a nightmare in all my auto's. They changed something as I was at a range with a buddy a year or so ago and he ran some Blazer .45 through my Commander without a single issue so I bought a couple boxes to test it, well that and ammo, any ammo was hard to find. It ran great.

    PS. J-ville is my home town. Haven't been back in many years but still a die hard Jag's fan.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
  8. deserttactical45


    Jan 17, 2011
    Stay away from those Winchester Universal target loads they will make any shotgun jam up
  9. The weather was fantastic this past weekend. 81 degrees, sunny and a 5 knot breeze... It is great. My wife works for the Everbank, so I get free tickets to the Jags. I will keep some seats warm for you this year.

    Unfortunately, crime is really on the rise. Plenty of reasons for concealed carry now. Most of the good areas are getting worse as well. I suppose its everywhere now!

    Thanks for your help! Much appreciated!