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How effective is an 870 Express HD for hunting or shooting clays?

Discussion in 'Tactical Shotguns' started by Zell, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. Zell

    Zell IrregularMember

    Apr 22, 2007
    It only has a 15" barrel on it (maybe it's 18" -- I can't remember which). Enough to get pheasant or even jack rabbits? What about clay shooting? I'm sure I'd need something else for duck.


    I guess it's actually an 18".
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010
  2. Zell

    Zell IrregularMember

    Apr 22, 2007
    By the way, has anyone shot pumpkins or watermelons with their shotgun? I shot a few last weekend with my kids and it was a lot of fun. I'm used to handguns and it was a blast -- pardon the pun -- to shred/rip/blow them into pieces.

  3. Glockdude1

    Glockdude1 Federal Member CLM

    May 24, 2000
    You meant 18" barrel right?

    Or is your shotgun a registered SBS with a custom cut barrel?

  4. Zell

    Zell IrregularMember

    Apr 22, 2007
    Funny you just post this because I was changing my initial post.

    Yes, I guess it's an 18".
  5. aippi


    Jun 12, 2009
    It's an 18.5" but that doesn't matter. Yes, you can hunt with it, however, it has a cyl bore choke so you are not going to be hitting game and ranges. You simply get a 26" or 28" VT Rem Choke barrel for it. Remove your tube and install the barrel. Assuming yous is a 6+1 you of course remove the tube extension and will need a 4 shot magazine spring and a magazine cap and you are good to go. If the barrel you get does not have a detent ball to hold the mag cap in place, no problem, use a small drop on blue lotc-tite on the mag tube threads and the cap will be there till you remove it. Or, go to and enter the words "Wave Washer" in the product search block. They are around $6 for a pack of three and will last you for years. These hold the mag cap in place in the absence of a detent ball.

    Now you have a barrel you can do any sport shooting or hunting with and it only takes a couple minutes to convert back to an HD weapon after the hunt.
  6. JD nailed it.

    The Express HD will work pretty well for skeet shooting. Most skeet guns have an almost open choke on them. Won't work well for trap or sporting clays.

    As for hunting, if the animals are close in it will work. That's generally not the case.

    I have an 18.5" barrel for my Mossberg 500 that takes interchangeable chokes. It works just as well for hunting as my 28" barrel, but without the vent rib you do get a bit more distortion from heat during extended firing.
  7. I used my Remington 870 Turkey special for duck hunting it worked :) (of course NOT with the super full turkey choke lol) so you should be fine.
  8. Ferdinandd


    Feb 17, 2008
    I've shot a few clay pigions with my 870 Tactical, with a modified choke tube replacing the breacher. This is great practice but you won't score well with the short barrel and cylider bore. I've also hunted squirrels with a M500 with a barrel like yours. Even with moderate game loads it was tough to get enough shot on them to knock em down. I'd advise against hunting with the cb.