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Discussion Starter #1
Lookin' to get a shotgun for home defense, and I just was wondering what the practical difference is between an Express and a Police Magnum? Does the PM fire more potent (12 gauge +P, if you will) ammo or something? FYI, the shotgun I'm looking to get is the Wilson standard model.

Thanks!

KB
 

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This has been covered here before, and some other sites, like 10-8 and M4carbine. Do a search, for the specifics.

The Police models are basically better built guns, w/o plastic trigger guards and some MIM parts, heavier springs, easily adapted to longer mag tubes, better finish.

I spoke to Hans Vang (Vang comp) via e-mail awhile ago, and he explained that for a typical home defence, shot little gun, a HD model Remington would probably be fine. For a heavy use gun, the PD model would be better. I believe he can upgrade the more important parts to PD spec, if not all the differences, if you want.

I had an older model HD, before they went to plastic trigger guards and furniture. IT was ok, but I hardly shot it, I'm not a shotgun guy. I sold it, when I got a good deal on two used, like new, Police Magnums.

For average HD use, you should be fine with the HD model, the new ones even come with the extended tube.

Bob
 

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To me the Wilson shotguns dont make much sense. Most of the money is going towards the accessories and the base gun is an Express model. Why not use the better gun as the base and then spend all that money on accessories if/when you have a need or want?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks to both of you. Mr. Moran to the rescue.... never thought I'd say that! :biglaugh: I did a little research and it became apparent that it's what's IN the shotguns, not ON them, that makes them different. So if I were to get the Wilson shotgun I'm after, he'd replace all the MIM and plastic, thus making them just about the same gun when finished. Thanks guys!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Scratch that, Wilson still uses the high-impact (Glock frame material) polymer trigger guard that Remington introduced recently. Not metal, but a vast improvement over the old flimsy plastic ones. I'm not concerned. Thanks again!
KB
 

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Here's the actual differences:

Differences between the Express, Wingmaster, and Police

The Express is Remington's "budget" gun, made to compete with the cheaper to make Winchester and Mossberg guns.

The Wingmaster is Remington’s "Cadillac" top-of-the-line sporting gun.

The Police is a Wingmaster with a dull finish and is a much more carefully inspected and built gun.

The new "Tactical" and Marine Magnum guns are based on the Express.

How Remington lowered the Express price was to reduce hand labor to a bare minimum, and to eliminate much of the polishing and de-burring the better quality Wingmaster and Police guns get.
The Express is basically the same forged and milled steel receiver and heavy-duty internals gun the better 870's are, just in a rougher, less well finished form with some plastic and MIM parts.

The Express Model has:
A plastic trigger group.
The dimples in the mag tube and the new style plastic magazine retention system, EXCEPT on the extended magazine versions, which do NOT have the dimples.
A rougher finish inside and outside, with machine marks and some burrs left.
A rougher, bead blasted blue job.
A less polished bore.
A two piece sleeved barrel. (not 100% sure about this)
Hardwood or synthetic stock, with a sporting-length fore end and pressed-in checkering.
The Defense version has 18", Cylinder bore barrel, with a bead sight.
The Marine Magnum and Tactical models have plated or polymer finishes.
Some Metal Injection Molded (MIM) parts, like the extractor.

The Wingmaster has:
An aluminum trigger group.
The old style magazine retention system.
A much smoother finish inside and out, no machine marks or burrs.
The Wingmaster gun receives a higher level of inspection and finishing.
A fine, commercial polished blue finish.
A polished bore.
A chrome plated bolt.
A one piece barrel.
Walnut stocks with the famous "Bowling Pin" finish in gloss or satin and better checkering.
Wide choices in barrel lengths and choke options.
No use of MIM parts, the extractor is milled.
The Wingmaster is the full top-of-the-line commercial Remington pump gun, and is priced accordingly.

The 870 Police has:
An aluminum trigger group.
The old style magazine retention system.
A much smoother finish inside and out, no machine marks or burrs.
The Police gun receives a higher level of inspection and finishing and is built in a special area of the plant from 100% inspected parts.
A military-grade parkerized finish.
A polished bore.
A one piece barrel.
Walnut or synthetic stock, with a short police-length fore end.
The Remington “R3” super recoil pad that reduces felt recoil by 30%.
Choices in different stocks, including Speed-feed, and others.
18" to 20" improved cylinder barrel, with a wide choice in sights, including rifle, ghost ring, and luminous.
Police options like magazine extenders, forearms with built-in lights, and sling swivels.
Heavy-duty magazine spring.
Heavy-duty trigger-sear spring.
Heavy-duty shell lifter spring.
Sling swivel mounts.
No use of MIM parts, the extractor is milled.

The Express is a "bottom of the line" budget gun, the Wingmaster is a "top of the line" sporting gun, the Police is the top-of-the-line in defense guns.
The 870's are generally considered to be the finest quality pump gun made.
===================================
Here's what Remington says about the difference between the Express and Police guns:

REMINGTON ARMS COMPANY, LE DIVISION
Important differences between Remington 870 Police and 870 Express shotguns.

The 870 Express has been an important part of Remington’s offering to the sporting market.
It was designed to meet a price point in the commercial market while still providing classic 870 functionality.
All of Remington’s 870’s have interchangeable parts, even if they have cosmetic differences.
It is also important to note that many manufacturers use the 870 Express platform for their Police / Combat models.
Without exception, every manufacturer who utilizes our 870 platform serves to upgrade their system to a more efficient, street worthy platform.
While the 870 Express is still an 870, the best pump shotgun on the market, there are some very important cosmetic and functional differences between it and the 870 Police.
To our customers in Law Enforcement, Military, Corrections, and Security, whose lives depend upon the unfailing performance of Remington shotguns, the Police modifications are of paramount importance. Synopses of the variances are provided below.

• 870 Police shotguns go thru a special 23 station check list – ranging from visual inspection, functional testing, test firing, and final inspection.

• All Police shotguns are assembled in a “special build area” at the plant in Ilion, NY. This section is secured and serves only to build LE and Military shotguns, with the same factory personnel working at that assignment each shift.

• All parts that enter the “special build area” are visually inspected by hand to ensure top quality and functionality.

• Due to heavy recoil in buck and slug loads, all 870 Police guns have a longer magazine spring which ensures positive feed and function.

• A heavier sear spring is used to generate a reliable, positive trigger pull between 5 and 8 lbs.

• A heavier carrier dog spring is used to ensure when the carrier elevates the shell, it will be held there until the bolt can push it into the chamber. This ensures positive feeding when using heavier payload rounds.

• Police shotguns do not have an ISS (Integrated Safety System) which is a locking mechanism on the safety of commercial shotguns. This type of locking mechanism can cause delay to an officer who needs the weapon but does not have the appropriate key. LE shotguns have the standard, proven, cross bolt safety.

• The fore-end on the Express model is longer and not compatible with many police shotgun vehicle racks.

• The Police shotguns utilize the heavy duty SPEEDFEED Stocks and Fore-ends.

• The Express model will not allow for the addition of an extension tube without physical modification to the tube and barrel, which can nullify the warranty.

• The Express model has a BEAD BLAST BLUE finish while the Police models utilize either High Luster bluing or Parkerization.

• The Express model utilizes a synthetic trigger housing while the Police models use a compressed metal housing.

• The Police shotgun barrel is locked down with a “ball detent” system in conjunction with the magazine cap vs. a lesser grade “synthetic magazine spring retainer” lock down as used on the Express system.

• The receivers used in Police guns are “vibra honed” to smooth out rough finishes and remove burrs before parkerization or bluing.

• Police shotguns use machined ejectors and extractors, as opposed to powdered metal cast which are utilized on the Express models.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow, man, damn, you didn't have to go to all that trouble for little 'ole me! Thank you SO much!!!!! I can't thank you enough, man! This just confirmes it, then, Wilson will do all the work on the Express that Remington didn't, except it will still have the new plastic trigger group. Ah, well, so does the Glock, M&P and Springfield XD, so I don't care. I think I have my new HD gun....
 

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Dfariswheel,

Thanks for some great information, after reading that I had to go to the gun safe and pull out my 870 police for some fondling! :rock:
 

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I've got a good line on several police turn in 870 Police Magnums. All of them have synthetic furniture and some finish wear. Prices range from 244.00 to 269.00. Not to hijack this thread, but since y'all are WAY more knowledgeable than me on this issue, does this sound reasonable? What should I check for as far as defects or problems? The platform is perfect for what I want it for, so I just want to find out about possible issues. Thanks in advance.
 

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That's reasonable for a used Police gun.
New prices start between $450.00 to $500.00 for a basic model.

What to look for:

Rust or pitting on out of the way places.
You may see rust outside, that's not an issue unless it's heavy.

Check the bore and chamber for rust or pitting. Don't confuse a fouled/dirty bore for a bad bore, don't confuse a bad bore for just dirty.

Bent or dented barrels or magazine tubes.

Cracked or broken stock or fore arm.

Broken or missing sights, either bead or rifle.

Check the extractor for free movement, no rust.

Check the receiver for bends or "squashed" sides.

Check the trigger guard for bends or cracks.

Check function. This includes the safety, disconnecter, etc.

Check the action bars on the fore arm for bends.

Check the shell releases inside the lower receiver to be sure they are tightly staked in place.
NEVER remove the releases unless they're to be replaced.
Replacement requires a special staking toll to re-rivet them in place.
If a release is loose, it must be re-staked or the gun will likely have problems feeding shells.

Police guns get carried in cars a lot but shot very seldom, and the 870 is an absolute tank. So, you very seldom see anything wrong other than cosmetics like wear and possibly some light surface rust.

Once you have a gun, disassemble it, including removing the trigger group and disassembling the magazine.

Use some "gun scrubber" to spray down all the parts, and inside of the receiver, ESPECIALLY under the shell releases.
The idea is to blast out any fouling or build up of burned powder, plastic, or fragments off shell heads that might be impacted under the releases or embedded in the other parts.
Allow to dry.

Except for the stock and fore arm, spray everything, inside and out, dripping wet with CLP Breakfree and allow to soak 20 minutes.
Spray the trigger group thoroughly, then stand it up and allow to drain.

After 20 minutes, shake the excess out of the trigger group and wipe it and the rest of the gun down to remove the excess.
Use a good 12 gauge bore brush and a shotgun chamber brush to thoroughly scrub the bore AND chamber.

If the fouling is resistant, wrap several strands of 0000 steel wool around a used 12 gauge brush, then chuck the rod in a drill.
Running the drill at medium speed, polish the bore and chamber, keeping the brush moving constantly.
(NOTE: This is a valid technique for cleaning and polishing a really dirty shotgun bore. NEVER do this ANY rifled bore).
Clean out the bore, then apply a thin coat of CLP to prevent rust.

You'll have the world's best pump shotgun at a bargain price.
 

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Mine is a parked version, 3" chamber, marked "870 Magnum". Specifies neither Express or Police. 20" barrel with rifle sights, deadly accurate with slugs. What model it this?
 

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dfariswheel,
Dude! safe to say you've done this a time or two? great info...thanks!
 

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Mine is a parked version, 3" chamber, marked "870 Magnum". Specifies neither Express or Police. 20" barrel with rifle sights, deadly accurate with slugs. What model it this?
The older Police guns often didn't have any "Police" markings.
Some were marked as Wingmasters, some as Police, and some just as Remington. Later Magnum guns were also sometimes not marked with the Police mark, up until the Express hit the market, then they started marking the guns as Police to prevent mistaking the Express as a Police model.

A Police gun would have police type un-checkered oil finished stock, and the short, grooved Police forearm.

The older Police guns had a satin blue finish not as bright as the Wingmaster sporting guns, later models are Parkerized.

If the gun is marked "Express" it is NOT a Police gun, no matter what some internet sellers may claim.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So the gist that I've taken from this thread is, don't build a high end shotgun on a crappy platform, because that's like building a mansion on a sandcastle's foundation.

I opted out of the Scattergun Tech built off of the Express and bought a Vang Comp Systems modified 870 Police Magnum with a Mesa Tactical 6-round sidesaddle, IBD SlingSystem and some spare parts to keep her running for decades to come.

https://www.vangcomp.com/Police_Magnum.html

Thanks for all the info, guys, I owe it all to you! :rock: :rock: :rock:

I knew the 1911Forum wouldn't lead me astray....
 

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Thanks Wheel...your description of the pre-rollmarked Police model fits mine exactly.
 

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don't build a high end shotgun on a crappy platform, because that's like building a mansion on a sandcastle's foundation.

Not necessarily.
Remember, the 870 Express uses the same forged and milled receiver and heavy-duty internal parts as the Wingmaster and Police guns.

The only real difference is the Express isn't as well polished and deburred, and has a plastic trigger groups and MIM extractor.
The extractor can be replaced, although I've seldom seen a broken 870 extractor, and the plastic trigger group actually has some advantages.
It's also just as durable as the compressed, powdered aluminum trigger group on the Wingmaster and Police.

So, you can buy a Police model, if you can stand the price and find a local dealer who'll special order it and not scalp you, or you can buy a less expensive, easier to get Express based gun.

BOTH will only last about 250,000 (1/4 Million) rounds.
 

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don't build a high end shotgun on a crappy platform, because that's like building a mansion on a sandcastle's foundation.

Not necessarily.
Remember, the 870 Express uses the same forged and milled receiver and heavy-duty internal parts as the Wingmaster and Police guns.

The only real difference is the Express isn't as well polished and deburred, and has a plastic trigger groups and MIM extractor.
The extractor can be replaced, although I've seldom seen a broken 870 extractor, and the plastic trigger group actually has some advantages.
It's also just as durable as the compressed, powdered aluminum trigger group on the Wingmaster and Police.

So, you can buy a Police model, if you can stand the price and find a local dealer who'll special order it and not scalp you, or you can buy a less expensive, easier to get Express based gun.

BOTH will only last about 250,000 (1/4 Million) rounds.
Thanks for all the good info, dfariswheel. I bought one for 250.00 plus tax, then the store fitted a brand new pull off wood stock and grooved wood police forend. Looked like a different gun. Got it home and broke it down, and it looked like a new gun inside. Turns out, these half a dozen or so that he had were turned in from a prison lot. Used some Aerokroil and wiped everything down thoroughly. It has some thinning bluing, but that is about it. Very shiny bore. Also has the factory orange follower. I may replace the magazine spring, since I figure these guns were stored a lot fully loaded, since they were for prison use. The police magnums have a different mag spring than the rest, but Brownell's carries the exact spring. Other than a good recommended load for keeping in a apartment building, I guess I'm ready to enjoy this sucker. Very nice for the money; 324.00 out the door including tax and replacing the stock and forend with new wood. Not a bad deal.
 

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As said: MOST police and prison shotguns get carried around a lot, but seldom fired.

Departments figure out what the "average" service life on guns is, then trade them in for new ones.
This means the traded in guns can range from one beat to death to one in brand new condition some one kept in his desk drawer.

Good deals are to be found in used police guns,
 
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