There is a huge debate over the best pump action shotgun. Whether it be the Winchester 1300, Remington 870, or the Mossberg 500. My personal favorite is the Remington 870. I have fired them all and I just prefer the good ole 870. My first pellet rifle had the safety in the same position and shouldered up just the same. Not only that, but Remington makes a very consistent gun when it comes to all aspects. The 870, 1100, and 1187 have a very similar design. Other than the action, they are the same gun. When it comes to breaching and home defense I prefer the reliability of a Pump Action. One reason is that there are no o-rings to change or gas ports to fail. Here are 7 must have parts to build the Ultimate Defense Shotgun.
First up, get rid of that old 14″ Length of Pull factory stock. We are kicking down doors and slicing bad guy pie, we need to keep a small profile. I opted for the Mesa Tactical Adjustable stock. It has a great adapter and features an M4 style adjustable stock. They even offer a set-up that reduces 70% of felt recoil. I personally would rather know when I let the lead go, so I went the inexpensive route. Get it here Mesa Tactical Leo Telescoping Stock Kit For Remington 870
Next up is the Forend. This invaluable piece of the shotgun is not critiqued nearly enough. Not only does the forend keep your target in your sights, it also feeds the next “behavior modification pill” to your action. Anyone that reads my articles knows I am a big fan of Hogue grips. Mainly because of the “grip”. Hogue mastered the “weapon is an extension of your body” feeling. I run Hogue on my AR 15, AK 47, 10/22, and Remington 870. Main reason is this: Super glue your hand to your weapon. Need I say more? The rubber polymer they use baffles even Einstein. They have somehow managed to make it feel like you were born with a lengthy black extremity that sends wads and webs of lead downrange. Hogue Stock Remington 870 Overrubber Forend
Number 3 is replacing the old bead sight. One of my favorite, and many other Law Enforcement Agencies are the XS Sights’ Ghost Ring Sights. XS Sights has a proven track record and builds very high quality products. The over sized rear aperture makes target acquisition extremely quick and they are dead on accurate. I prefer to use the larger front stripe post along with the largest aperture rear ring. The idea and reason for the name “Ghost Ring” is that you are supposed to be focusing on your front sight which in turn makes the rear ring appear hazy. This is extremely useful in tactical situations and makes follow up shots much faster and deadly. This is not a bolt on sight and will require a gunsmith to drill and tap mounting holes. So toss another 25 to 50 bucks on top of the price, but in my opinion it’s money well spent. Get it here Rem.870-1100-1187 W/Stripe Ghost
Number 4. Adding magazine capacity. We need more ammo and less reloading. Adding a magazine tube extension will gain us another 2-4 rounds depending on which style you go with. If you are running an 18″ barrell, the extension from Remington will add another 2 rounds *aka lifesavers. It is a rather simple install depending on which 870 platform you start with. Some 870′s will have two dimples inside the stock tube and will not allow the magazine follower to back past them. If this is the case with your 870, all that is needed is to drill down and file away these dimples. Just makes sure to thoroughly clean tube after procedure. Get yours here Magazine Extension Kit (Blue Finish, 18-Inch)
One the 5th day of Remington 870 Christmas I mounted an Elzetta Flashlight mount. I prefer to not use a forend fitted for a flashlight as I feel the barrel shadows the light’s stream right at your window of aim. It also is moving each time you chamber a new round and makes for crappy follow up shot or new target acquiring. Having a rigid mount to the side of your barrel is a much better option in my experience. You can keep a full stream of light on your target even while racking a new round. I went with the inexpensive Elzetta as it fits several different profiles of tac lights and fits VERY snug. Here’s where you can get a deal Elzetta Flashlight Mount for Tactical Shotgun, Remington 870, Mossberg 500, Quick Release Thumbscrew model
6. As far as lighting goes, I went with the Streamlight 88850 Polytac. It uses the new C4 style LED and puts out 120 lumens that appears almost 3 times brighter than previous style LEDs. Plus, it was only 35 dollars and can handle as much abuse as an 80 dollar tactical light. Check it out here Streamlight 88850 Polytac LED Flashlight with Lithium Batteries, Black
Last thing to add is a forward point for your sling to attach. GG&G makes an indestructible QD Sling Swivel that mounts to the front of your stock magazine tube. You will never replace this part. It’s the little things that are so important. GG&G Remington 870 Front QD Sling Attachment with Heavy Duty Quick Detach Sling Swivel