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Remington 870 Express - ideas welcome

Discussion in 'Tactical Shotguns' started by mr00jimbo, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. My second gun was an 870 express with an 18" barrel and 6 shot magazine. It came with a black synthetic stock and a "j-lock" system, internal locking, which I have not had a problem with but would ideally like gone.

    Out of all the guns I take to the range, this one seems to stay behind. It's been a couple years since this shottie has seen a live round. It's a good woods gun, I do know that.

    So the other day I picked it out of the safe and decided it deserves better. It's never misfired, jammed or otherwise let me down and I need to treat it right.
    It has a rust spot on the receiver I can't seem to get rid of, and the clamp holding the barrel and magazine tube together has marred the finish underneath, sadly.

    Here's a picture of said gun:

    So I want to upgrade certain things:
    Get rid of that J-lock system
    The orange plastic magazine follower and/or spring; would I benefit from upgrading them?

    I want to carry it in the woods still. Not through muck and mud, but outdoors for sure. Should I get it refinished? Duracoat is an option locally, I guess I could try myself, or I can send it off to get it finished professionally. Does anybody know how much either of these options cost?
    I still have the black synthetic hardware I can put back on the gun. It would be tempting to put a Surefire forend and tacticool this gun.

    I want to resurrect it with a good durable finish, good interior parts, getting rid of the J-lock and last but not least, I was thinking to swap the bead sight out for ghost ring sights. Expensive to get the shotgun drilled for ghost ring sights? Keep the bead?
    No real intentions in mind, it would just be nice to have some aimable sights! :)
  2. aippi


    Jun 12, 2009
    There are J lock replacement parts on gun broker for $10 plus shipping. The kit is a new safety, spring and detent ball.

  3. mainegunner


    Mar 5, 2005
    Send it to aippi and have him parkerize the weapon and have him install the wilson combat +2 extension. You could have him install a steel extractor and a jumbo head safety to start.
  4. Z71bill


    Feb 19, 2007
    IMHO your 870 looks great with the wood furniture -

    Your thread reminded me - I always planned to replace the Jhook safety thing - did a few searches way back - have had the part sitting in my Wish list box at Midway for a while -

    I was not sure if the part is with or without the Jhook "feature"

    Remington has 2 part numbers listed on their web site as "safety switch"

    F25115 and F201214

    F25115 available from Midway and F201214 is listed as "factory only" what ever that means. :dunno:

    I did replace the plastic follower and stock mag spring - I would get a Wolff spring - the stock Remington mag spring may be fine - but it is also used in the 20 gauge - so you can do the math - if it fits in the mag tube of a 20 gauge it has a smaller diameter than the inside diameter of a 12 gauge tube.

    This is the follower I used -made out of aluminum

    IMHO the follower sold by Choate is a worthless POS - I would rather use the stock plastic follower.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2011
  5. Thanks! Z71Bill thanks for the compliment! :)
    I was looking at some stuff at midwayUSA, unfortunately they won't ship it things here in Canada, as far as I know.

    I would send it to aippi but getting it across the border and then back into Canada would be a nightmare. The paperwork involved is usually more $ than the gun is worth!

    This place called S&J hardware makes some that look decent:
    The barrel clamp/bayonet looks sweet and hopefully won't marr my barrel like the old one did.

    Do you think refinishing the gun myself, (novice, no refinishing experience) would be doable, or send it to a pro?
    Expensive to get it re-done?
  6. Ferdinandd


    Feb 17, 2008
    That's a great looking shotgun and I really like the wood on it. Being an express, it may be more vulnerable to oxidation problems. I have one that I've kept coated with oil and have had no problems with light rain and conditions that create condensation. If oxidation becomes a concern, I'd look for someone to do a real parkerization job on it. Other than that, I'd put a sling on it that's comfortable for carry and your gtg.
  7. Z71bill


    Feb 19, 2007
    For whatever it's worth.

    I called Remington and ask them which part # was the safety button without the Jhook lock -

    The guy gave me F25115 - and then said - it is the only one they sell because they no longer use the Jhook.
  8. aippi


    Jun 12, 2009
    You need more then just the safety. You need the correct spring and a safety detent ball. the J-lock safety has a different spring and a plunger and should not be used with the regular safety switch.
  9. CESwartz07

    CESwartz07 Sheep Dog

    Jul 10, 2010
    I have the LE short wood forend that would match your stock nice if you want to buy it
  10. Z71bill


    Feb 19, 2007
    Good information - thanks for the heads up - I was planning on replacing these parts when I replace the safety anyway -

    Just a good idea IMHO - as long as you are in there replacing parts might as well replace everything.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011