5 Best Ammo for the Remington 870

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Winner
Best Remington 870 Ammo
Best Value
Best Remington 870 Ammo
Best Remington 870 Ammo
Best Remington 870 Ammo
Best Remington 870 Ammo
Remington 870 Ammo
Federal – Vital-Shok Ammo 12-Gauge 3″ #4 Shot
FP Vital-Shok 12-Gauge 3” #00 Shot
Remington Express Buckshot Shotgun Ammo 12-Gauge 2 3/4″ #00 Shot
Remington Gun Club Lite Target Ammo 12-Gauge 2-3/4″ 1-1/8 Oz #9 Shot
Winchester – Super-X – Buckshot 12-Gauge #1 3″
Our Test Result
Test Result 9.9/10 Excellent August 2020
Test Result 9.8/10 Excellent August 2020
Test Result 9.7/10 Very Good August 2020
Test Result 9.7/10 Very Good August 2020
Test Result 9.6/10 Very Good August 2020
Value for Money
Performance
Pros
  • Great penetration capacity due to copper coating
  • Very good value in the high-end segment
  • 41 pellets stacked via spiral order
  • Great for longer distance shooting
  • Great for medium sized game
  • 1100 fps muzzle velocity
  • AMazing muzzle velocity (1325 FPS)
  • Very good price
  • Very tight grouping
  • Very good price-performance ratio
  • Great for target & practice shooting
  • Muzzle velocity of 1145 fps
  • Muzzle velocity over 1000 fps
  • Great for Personal Defense & Home Defense
  • Very tight hit pattern
Cons
  • Harder recoil
  • Spread pattern too tight for self defense
  • Spread pattern too tight for self defense
  • Pattern is pretty spread out
  • Recoil more pronounced
Recommended by us
Check Price
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Winner
Best Remington 870 Ammo
Remington 870 Ammo
Federal – Vital-Shok Ammo 12-Gauge 3″ #4 Shot
Our Test Result
Test Result 9.9/10 Excellent August 2020
Value for Money
Performance
Pros
  • Great penetration capacity due to copper coating
  • Very good value in the high-end segment
  • 41 pellets stacked via spiral order
Cons
  • Harder recoil
Recommended by us
Check Price
-
Best Value
Best Remington 870 Ammo
Remington 870 Ammo
FP Vital-Shok 12-Gauge 3” #00 Shot
Our Test Result
Test Result 9.8/10 Excellent August 2020
Value for Money
Performance
Pros
  • Great for longer distance shooting
  • Great for medium sized game
  • 1100 fps muzzle velocity
Cons
  • Spread pattern too tight for self defense
Recommended by us
Check Price
-
Best Remington 870 Ammo
Remington 870 Ammo
Remington Express Buckshot Shotgun Ammo 12-Gauge 2 3/4″ #00 Shot
Our Test Result
Test Result 9.7/10 Very Good August 2020
Value for Money
Performance
Pros
  • AMazing muzzle velocity (1325 FPS)
  • Very good price
  • Very tight grouping
Cons
  • Spread pattern too tight for self defense
Recommended by us
Check Price
-
Best Remington 870 Ammo
Remington 870 Ammo
Remington Gun Club Lite Target Ammo 12-Gauge 2-3/4″ 1-1/8 Oz #9 Shot
Our Test Result
Test Result 9.7/10 Very Good August 2020
Value for Money
Performance
Pros
  • Very good price-performance ratio
  • Great for target & practice shooting
  • Muzzle velocity of 1145 fps
Cons
  • Pattern is pretty spread out
Recommended by us
Check Price
-
Best Remington 870 Ammo
Remington 870 Ammo
Winchester – Super-X – Buckshot 12-Gauge #1 3″
Our Test Result
Test Result 9.6/10 Very Good August 2020
Value for Money
Performance
Pros
  • Muzzle velocity over 1000 fps
  • Great for Personal Defense & Home Defense
  • Very tight hit pattern
Cons
  • Recoil more pronounced
Recommended by us
Check Price
-
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USCCA Membership

5 Best Ammo for the Remington 870

Shotguns can be divided by barrel configuration or by mechanism of operation.

Variations involve single and double barrel shotguns.

If you are concealed carrying you should think about getting a Concealed Carry Insurance from USCCA. Also check out our Test of the Best 9mm Revolvers or the Best Home Defense Rifles.

Considering the styles of operation (mechanism), we have three major forms today: break-action(single shot and double barrel), pump or slide-action, and (semi-automatic) auto-load operation.

The Remington 870 is renowned for its flexibility and durability, as it offers you an advantage in whatever target that you and your good pal Remmy are striving to accomplish.

We will be taking a look at some of the best ammo available in this article.

Shotgun Ammo Aspects-Explained Terminology

A quick overview of the shotgun ammo is given below:

Gauge Shotgun

Best Ammo for the Remington 870

The first step is to find the right gauge or caliber for your shotgun when shopping for shotgun ammo.

Unlike other firearms that use caliber as a dimension, shotguns do not use the linear measurement, but their bore diameter is expressed as a gauge, which is a weight, in fact.

Shotguns come in gauges of various types, but the most common, for example, is 12 gauge.

Though it actually refers to the 12 solid spherical balls made from one pound of lead and having the same diameter as the barrel’s inside.

Also, a 20 gauge is one of the most common, meaning 20 lead balls can be produced from one pound of lead.

The Model 870 is offered in 12, 16, 20 or 28 gauges and in shotgun chambers of caliber.410, though a.410 is an unusual case with a gauge nearly equal to a 68 gauge.

Chamber longitude

Best Ammo for the Remington 870

The regular 12-gage chamber size, 870 shotgun comes in 2-3⁄4 (70 mm) and 3-inch (76 mm), also known as 12-gage Magnum, whereas the Model 870 Express Super Magnum is chambered for 31⁄2 “(89 mm) shotshell (shotgun).

It can be mentioned that the way you calculate a shell ‘s length is by calculating the length of the spent hull (empty shotgun case) and this ensures a Model 870, like any shotgun, will fire shells shorter than its chamber but not longer.

Although the larger shell may fit physically inside the weapon, it may be dangerous to fire a larger shell, as the weapon may not be able to handle the higher pressures, which may result in damage to the firearm or, more likely, to you or the bystanders.

In the shooter’s standpoint, it’s simpler and quicker to locate ammunition with 2 3⁄4-inch shell lengths, with less friction and strain on the cylinder, as well as less recoil.

This means shooting faster and more accurate compared to Magnum shotgun loads which are like + P loads in pistols.

Low / High Brass

Additionally, shotgun shells are available in high-brass or low-brass iterations.

Whereas high-base (AKA high-brass) meant better paper shell protection in the early days.

High-brass today provides greater feature (with auto-charging shotguns) and is around 30 percent more costly than low-base shooting.

Shotgun Choke

Best Ammo for the Remington 870

The distinctive thing about shotguns is that they’re sporting a choke, a section at the end of the barrel, placed in the bore which slightly restricts the muzzle diameter.

Compared to cylinder barrels, these “choked” barrels are more or less used to tighten the shot pattern, which have no bore reduction.

Classic break barrel shotguns usually have fixed choke barrels, but the interchangeable, screw-in choke tubes are used in modern day shotguns.

Best Ammo for the Remington 870

Some shotgun barrels are rifled for newer shotgun slugs, metallic projectiles which offer the shooter rifle-like precision beyond 200 yards when supported by a plastic sabot.

Ammunition Shotgun Technology

Shotshells with short shots (birdshot # 9 up to # 4) are the strongest for small animals or clay targets according to common wisdom.

Believe it or not, there are birdshot proponents of home protection situations, as a house or apartment’s limited area may be very lethal to soft targets.

It’s better to use buckshot, shotshells with somewhat larger BBs than birdshot for bigger animals and self-defense.

Best Ammo for the Remington 870

They range from BB size (.018′′/ 4.5 mm) to No.000 (.36′′/9.14 mm), but the most popular buckshot round is 00 buck (“double-aught buck”) with nine pellets, each of which has a diameter of approximately.33′′ (8.4 mm).

The 00 buckshot is a pretty standard defensive load for 12-gage shotguns offering FBI Testing procedures an average of 20′′ penetration.

Contrary to the common belief, they are neither “space brooms” nor mystical killing machines, as buckshot demands fairly good aim because shot dispersion at less than 30 yards is not significant.

In addition to the smaller buckshot and birdshot types, there are also slugs-the biggest projectile found in a shotgun case.

The slug is a small, wide piece of metal (usually about one ounce) designed for big animals within 100 yards at ranges.

In addition to the solid lead slugs, there are many large, specialized shotgun rounds, such as armor piercing, high-explosive, lock / hinge busting, and less lethal slugs variations, such as plastic riot shots and rubber bullets.

Shotguns do have some disadvantages, as with any firearm, but you can allow full use of the gun by using the right ammo.

Depending on your intentions to use a shotgun, you’ll need to pick from various ammo either for bird hunting, home protection or something else in particular.

In addition, one of the preferred approaches to locate the best ammunition for Remington 870 is to check our buyer’s guide for a shotgun weapon, including this one here, which should take you in the right direction.

Best Remington 870 Ammunition Types

Now let’s take a look at some of our top picks for your Remington 870 ‘s best ammo.

We will highlight each type’s key features, and mention several pros and cons.

Let’s see the ones that made our list, and why.

Best Remington 870 Ammo: Federal – Vital-Shok Ammo 12-Gauge 3″ #4 Shot

Best Ammo for the Remington 870

Pros

  • Great penetration capacity due to copper coating
  • Very good value in the high-end segment
  • 41 pellets stacked via spiral order

Cons

  • Harder recoil

What recent users say?

These shells were a hit among the new users who had been hunters of small and large games.

Varmint, waterfowl, and whitetail deer were among the targets of choice, to name just a few.

Thanks to the close firing groups they managed to fire some fairly good kill shots.

One consumer said the shells he had previously depended on for hunting were not doing a good enough job, but he understood what his latest “go-to” shells were going to be when he tested these out.

Why is this one of the Best Remington 870 Ammo?

These come in a four shell pack.

While for some hunters they may not be enough, one might just be enough depending on exactly where you hit your shot.

So if you’re out shooting, one shot can just do it.

If you want some really good shells for your Remington 870, this is the type you can work with every time you ‘re out and chase your next target.

Since 1922, the Federal Ammo Company has been producing all forms of ammunition, and its Vital-Shok line includes a spiral shot stacking method engineered to provide the terminal output required for shooting.

A tried-and – true pack, the three-inch, 12-gage, # 4 buck for predator hunting is the perfect lead shotshell.

But, for medium game hunts and also for home protection, Federal Vital-Shok with copper-plated shot resulting in deeper 14.5′′ penetration will suffice.

The Vital-Shok Magnum case, marketed under supplier designation P158 4B, reaches 3 “in length and bears a 41 lead pellet payload of # 4 (.24 in) buckshot.

While you can expect to see around 1,100 fps at the muzzle with these cartridges, at 1,250 fps of muzzle speed, Federal also offers 2 3⁄4 “versions of these shells filled with one row of less than 3” shell (34 pellets).

With a plastic shot cup and buffering, the Federal Premium Vital-Shok Buckshot shells produce dense patterns suitable for coyote hunting down to 50 yards.

For whom is this 870 Remington Ammo best suited?

These shells are perfect if you go hunting.

Although you might not knock down any bigger game like elk or moose, when you use your Remington 870 for small game or whitetail deer, they ‘re very successful.

If you want a shell that will definitely do the job and give you a quick, clean kill, these shells could be just what you need.

Don’t be surprised if all it takes to put them down is one shot.

Verdict: Best Remington 870 Ammo

If you have a decent idea of what you plan on hunting for with your Remington 870, the Federal 12-Gauge Vital-Shok Shotshells will do you some good.

Don’t be surprised if you land your next hunting targets with those shells in as little as one shot.

And when you do, you’ll swear your skills in marksmanship have dramatically increased.

This Vital-Shok 3″#4 Buck round works just as well at close range, making it a perfect shell for hunting, sports shooting, and home defense.

Although it does recoil slightly more than standard 2.75-inch Vital-Shok loads, it’s worth the extra speed.

2nd Best Remington 870 Ammo: FP Vital-Shok 12-Gauge 3” #00 Shot

Best Ammo for the Remington 870

Pros

  • Great for longer distance shooting
  • Great for medium sized game
  • 1100 fps muzzle velocity

Cons

  • Spread pattern too tight for self defense

What recent users say?

This type of ammo has satisfied a lot of recent buyers.

Such shells were fed in without any problems of jamming or failure.

Even the shooting groups were pretty tight at different distances on that bad boy.

One user said he’s using these for bird hunting and tune-up target practice.

Why is this one of the Best Remington 870 Ammo?

For most hunting and target shooting uses, these shootgun shells are robust and have the potential to move very quickly.

So, if you’re looking to hit the bullseye or land a pretty quick effective kill shot, those shells are likely to be the ones that can stand out among the pack.

Your Remington 870 12-gage is known to be a force that can be counted with performing in the field.

You will be hard pressed to find somewhere else a decent ammunition like this for the weapon.

Vital-Shok, the latest Federal line of shotgun ammo, calls to mind the classic, played out sniper phrase: reach out to hit someone.

The Federal Ammunition Vital-Shok projectile is a 12-gage, 3-inch shell, filled in the spiral stacking phase with 15 # 00 buckshot pellets.

Also available in the FliteControl variant, which has 12 pellets (P158 00) and a muzzle speed of 1.325 feet per second.

It is also made in normal form, in addition to a Magnum feed, with 2 3/4 “shells and 9 (P154 00) or 12 (P156 00) projectiles, depending on the buffer, at a speed of 1,290 feet per second (fps) and 1,325 feet per second, respectively.

Vital-Shok Buckshot loads with plastic shot cup and the buffer have a compact, consistent template built to consistently work at extended ranges.

It means that 15 pellets fired from Remington 870 Express, copper-plated, reach a muzzle speed of 1.100 feet per second.

Unlike the Federal FliteControl type, this buckshot can be used through any choke without issues, as the buffering avoids pellet deformation and guarantees stable and even patterns.

For whom is this 870 Remington Ammo best suited?

Those shots stick out as one of the better available choices among anyone that wishes to make their shooting more effective in both hunting and target shooting applications.

Make no mistake, those projectiles can do some fairly decent harm at varying distances, regardless of if the objectives are constructed from paper or will fly away at a time notice.

Verdict: 2nd Best Remington 870 Ammo

The Federal Premium Vital-Shok with FliteControl would definitely be the type of ammunition you’ll find in your corner if you need anything that can make hunting or target shooting even more fun for your Remington 870.

Don’t be shocked if those shells wind up being one of your favourites over time.

Although you’d anticipate strong recoil from any Magnum guns, Federal is lethal for any small to medium game, from zero to 50-55 yards.

Federal Vital-Shok buckshot prevents random shots from reaching an accidental goal in the field due to the close design.

3rd Best Remington 870 Ammo: Remington Express Buckshot Shotgun Ammo 12-Gauge 2 3/4″ #00 Shot

Best Ammo for the Remington 870

Pros

  • AMazing muzzle velocity (1325 FPS)
  • Very good price
  • Very tight grouping

Cons

  • Spread pattern too tight for self defense

What recent users say?

Recent buyers have been quick to say a lot of good stuff about these shots.

Most of the users were deer hunters utilizing a Remington 870.

They said the shooting groups were pretty tight and even landed a deer with one or two shots.

One user said within two shots he had managed to land a nearly 200-pound whitetail buck.

He said he would have missed it over and over again had he not switched over from his previous shots.

Why is this one of the Best Remington 870 Ammo?

These shots come in a slightly larger box to this point than those currently on the market.

They are pretty much the example in the textbook of what should be shotgun shells.

The pellets make for closer group shooting and help with better impact and kill shots.

They fit beautifully into 12-gage Remington 870 shotguns and feed via the mag tube with no jamming or compatibility problems.

And they are all in all secure and effective, if and when properly used.

The Remington Express # 00 Buckshot, 2 3⁄4 shells as the best option for shooting whitetail deer, is another buckshot model that comes from Remington.

This great Remington Express ammunition lineup consists of a 23⁄4 inch plastic shell that contains 9 lead pellets inside.

With this the velocity of the muzzle is around 1,325 feet per second.

Remington buckshot presents very good and stable results unlike the buckshot from other manufacturers.

You’ll get a close and consistent series, as with most Remington ammunitions.

The shot columns, which feature a heavy cushioning wad, as well as the granulated polymer buffering, cause these even patterns.

However, with every yard traveled this hard-hitting Remington buckshot load provides fairly close patterns with slightly less than the one-inch range.

Since the pattern is closer than you would anticipate for around 12 + yards and it does not extend out across the normal room ranges, the Remington 00 Buckshot is not the right option for home defense.

For whom is this 870 Remington Ammo best suited?

These are going to be great for deer hunters.

Yet they, too, may be used to kill other big game targets and even waterfowl.

Anyway, these shots are certainly worth the investment if you’re a sportsman searching for the right kind of shots for your Remington 870 and they’re one of the most economical on the market, even if you’re on a budget then check them out.

Verdict: 3rd Best Remington 870 Ammo

If you want Remington 870 shells perfect for whitetail deer hunting or anything that’s in season, the Remington Express Buckshots might be your best option if you want something affordable.

Only a professional shooter can consider the right ammunition which he can buy.

Especially when for the money it is the best performing ammunition.

The Remington Express buckshot is a really nice and reliable choice if you’re permitted to use buckshot for hunting in your region.

The recoil is not soft as you’d expect, but it’s still controllable and comfortable.

Combining this with good results at a fair price, make your Remington 870 pump-action shotgun a great projectile for this weapon.

4th Best Remington 870 Ammo: Remington Gun Club Lite Target Ammo 12-Gauge 2-3/4″ 1-1/8 Oz #9 Shot

Best Ammo for the Remington 870

Pros

  • Very good price-performance ratio
  • Great for target & practice shooting
  • Muzzle velocity of 1145 fps

Cons

  • Pattern is pretty spread out

What recent users say?

Some of the latest buyers used these shots for bird and waterfowl hunting purposes.

And of course, out of the whole thing they’ve got some pretty dang good results.

Some of them with their Remington 870 were able to precisely reach their objectives from about 20 to 25 yards away.

One user said he was hunting ruffed grouse with those shells and in the slightest they did not disappoint him. His shooting groups were small and in his phrases “mad strong” the shot was precise.

Why is this one of the Best Remington 870 Ammo?

For a case where you are chasing lighter targets, these shots are more valuable.

In other terms, we’re all about animals, waterfowl and also certain goals for smaller sports, including a varmint.

Although they certainly won’t be as successful in knocking down a deer (and by the way, they aren’t suitable for deer hunting), if you have a site beaded on your preferred small game target, these shells won’t guide you wrong.

Like the name suggests, this Remington, budget-priced ammo is meant for high-volume and cost-effective shooting making it an ideal shot for newcomers and target practice.

Remington Gun Club Lite Goal Loads is made of tested Power Piston wad, Gun Club-Grade Shot and powerful Premier STS Primers.

Such high-quality low-base components include clear shot after shot, no matter what, without misfeed or issues.

The lead shot is cooled in a pool of chilled water during manufacturing process to ensure uniform patterns.

Remington Gun Club Lite shotshells are filled with a lead shot of 1 1/8 ounces (32 g), offering a lighter recoil than normal clips, causing fewer shooter fatigue.

The # 9 shot is fired into 2-3/4 shells and is propelled by specifically mixed powder to achieve a pace of 1,145 feet per second in the muzzle.

For whom is this 870 Remington Ammo best suited?

Obviously, those rounds will be used more or less for bird hunting or even duck hunting purposes (among other small targets).

If you love your Remington 870 so much that you depend on it to hunt just about everything, those shells would probably stick out as one of your favourites as well as shooting targets for small games go.

These shells are worth the investment and will surely give you more bang for your buck (of course no pun intended).

Verdict: 4th Best Remington 870 Ammo

When you choose to use your Remington 870 for shooting small game and also reptiles, the Remington Gun Club Lite Aim Ammunition is the go-to ammunition for you!

This should do the job provided you can draw a bead on your target and land such a shot with precision and accuracy.

When it comes to hunting, timing is everything so make it count.

As a bonus, the Remington Gun Club line is made of one-piece, compression-formed plastic hulls that can be reloaded approximately five or six times.

Although the shells of the Remington Gun Club are as accurate as those of STS, they are significantly cheaper, leaving the choice to mount these shotshells a little uncertain.

5th Best Remington 870 Ammo: Winchester – Super-X – Buckshot 12-Gauge #1 3″

Best Ammo for the Remington 870

Pros

  • Muzzle velocity over 1000 fps
  • Great for Personal Defense & Home Defense
  • Very tight hit pattern

Cons

  • Recoil more pronounced

What recent users say?

For a few different reasons most recent customers liked these rounds.

They used some for deer hunting purposes.

Not to mention, they were very pleased about the fact that they did not have to struggle about issues that were not running properly.

But the shooting groups were pretty close, to top it off.

One consumer said his shooting groups were strong and reliable.

Additionally, he said the ammunition was perfect for feeding and shooting more.

Why is this one of the Best Remington 870 Ammo?

For Remington 870 shotguns, those buckshots are one of the greatest in industry.

Besides, some of the other images are a little longer than others.

In fact, they are proven more accurate than other buckshot on the market.

So if you’re looking for shells susceptible to malfunction and jamming then you’re going to be disappointed.

It’ll be easy and quick to fire those.

When you use these shots to your benefit, a whitetail deer does not realize what hit her.

Another Buckshot bullet-style shotshell emerged from Winchester Super-X Ammunition, a line which has been running for approximately 100 years.

This time, we’ll bring you to Winchester Super-X Shotgun Ammo built with high-brass and high-quality three-inch hulls, holding 24.30 (7.62 mm) caliber unplaten bullets.

It launches lead buckshot at 1,040 fps using proven Winchester 209 primers and clean-burning powders, making this an excellent payload for coyote, fox, and bobcat or even for two-legged predators.

While the branding craze has taken the firearms industry by surprise for 00 (.33 cal.) and # 4 (.24 cal.) buckshot, you can not forget the buckshot at Winchester # 1.

This buckshot still manages to keep 19 pellets in a man-sized target’s thoracic area (kill zone) at 15 yards, and can create a typical group of 8 out of 24 pellets in a 50 yard 12 “circle.

The Super-X Buckshot is wrapped with a one-piece hinged wad in a poly-buffering solution to eliminate deformation for clear, close designs.

The Winchester Super-X Buckshot line is accessible in many different sets, but for smoother follow-up shots # 1 can only be contained in 2 3⁄4-in shells with 16 pellets and decreased felt-recoil.

For whom is this 870 Remington Ammo best suited?

It would be perfect for anyone who hunts whitetail deer.

Although such shots won’t be restricted to these sports.

When you like sports in general, you’ll need some good shots that can allow aiming consistent and precise no matter what the target is.

When precision and consistency are what you’re searching for to get out of such shots, don’t look any further.

Verdict: 5th Best Remington 870 Ammo

Maybe the Winchester Super-X Buckshot Ammo is the one kind of shot that you can rely on for all your hunting needs.

If you’re looking for an ammo that can make kill shots much more possible, it might be the ideal choice.

Don’t be surprised if you end up replacing your old hunting ammo after trying.

While the Super-X buckshot can certainly let you realize it’s there in 3 “Magnum version, this hard-hitting pack has tested stopping ability for both varmint hunters and personal security.

An important point to point out though is: as a true sportsman, because of unnecessary animal suffering, you wouldn’t use a #1 buckshot for deer hunting.

What are the best types of Remington 870 Ammo suited for?

Remington 870

Here’s what you got to understand:

Materials of the Shot

Before we present some aspects of shotgun ammo, there is one short note about choosing materials from pellets.

The standard shot was made of lead for decades, but with the advent of environmental contamination, ammunition manufacturers began making shotgun pellets from new, non-toxic, lead-free products, such as titanium, bismuth, or tungsten.

Ammunition weapons

There are two main types of ammunition shotguns: single solid lead or steel bullets on the sides with grooves called “slugs”

The shot is split down into two groups , based on the thickness of the bullets.

Hunters usually use shootgun shells filled with the smallest form of projectiles, called birdshot, to shoot birds and small animals.

The other form of ammo firearm is called buckshot, identical to the birdshot rounds, except armed with big balls of lead or steel.

Both types of shells of pellets use measuring gage systems where large numbers indicate smaller pellets, and vice versa.

For eg, shot birdshot # 7 (.10’/2.5 mm) is much smaller than birdshot # 1 (.16″/4.0 mm).

Concluding

In the form of scattergun shots, a shotgun shell in shot configuration has been addressed in general.

There is, as you already know, one form of ammo composed of single wide pellets, called slugs, which makes the shotgun behave like a rifle.

Shotguns filled with birdshot or buckshot need limited targeting and shooting skills.

As a major element of their effectiveness, the scatterguns use a shot pattern spread, choosing chokes and shot patterns as a decisive factor for a successful shot.

Remington 870

With respect to personal and home safety, the rule of thumb is to use buckshot No. 4 for near self-defense and under 20 yards, and buckshot No. 1 or No. 0 for ranges beyond 40 yards, because they could be more powerful and accurate than 00 buckshot.

Most of the common sense of shotgun usage is focused around assuming that a greater amount of somewhat smaller pellets reaching a target is more successful than larger big pellets.

Smaller shots however provide maximum damage and minimal penetration of walls in a house.

We hope that this analysis has helped to detail some of the right ammunition for your Remington 870.

Should you have some particular input on any of the ammunition that we mentioned, please be sure to drop a note below to let us know.

We enjoy reading, and look forward to what you have to suggest!

Remington Shotgun 870

Few other repeating shotguns achieve a similarly long production time and such high numbers as Remington’s Model 870, so we set out on the trail of the perennial favourite with the built-in pump function.

At one of the usual regulars’ round tables on the range the question on:

Which are actually the most built weapon models?

Sure, Paul Mauser’s 98 system and Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov’s AK-47 with its derivatives first shot you in the head.

After all, both the number of “Awtomat Kalashnikovs” and the number of repeaters based on the 98 system are said to have passed the 100 million mark.

And what comes next? According to the manufacturer Colt, Eugene Stoner’s M 16 rolled off the production line about eight million times.

But Colt has a second iron in the fire: the Colt M 1911, which last year became 100 years old.

If you add military and civilian versions together, you come up with about four million examples.

Remington 870

“How about the Winchester 1894?” asks a rifleman friend.

So get on your smartphone and surf the world wide web to find out.

The result: just over 7.5 million of them are said to have been produced.

Was that it? Not at all – the author had almost forgotten about the regulars’ table discussion when he and his colleagues, while researching VISIER Special No. 62 “Shooting with shotguns”, came across another hot contender in the race for the title of the most popular gun models.

In the current catalogue, US manufacturer Remington advertises its Model 870 as the best-selling shotgun in history.

It has reached a circulation of more than ten million – making the Remington one of the world’s best-selling gun models.

The fact that it has been built so often astonished the VISIER team.

Nobody had the 870 on their screens.

The official enquiry to Remington confirmed that by the end of 2011 a total of around 10,300,000 fore-end shotguns with the number 870 had left the factory in its name.

So let’s just take a closer look at Remington’s bestseller and its history, but also at that of its predecessors and their competitors.

Pump Templates

At just under 62 years of age, the M 870 model series is one of the younger representatives of the type of weapon formerly known as “slide/pump action”.

In the 19th century, the first patents for percussion multiloaders with movable fore-end appeared in England.

In the USA in 1882, it was none other than Christopher Miner Spencer, who, together with Sylvester Roper, mass-produced the first shotgun with a repeating system on the forearm.

Spencer had made a name for himself with his stock magazine bolt action rifles introduced during the US Civil War, before he was finally disembarked by the more enterprising Oliver Winchester.

Remington 870

Spencer’s shotgun already had everything that still characterizes a modern fore-end repeater: a tubular magazine mounted under the barrel, along which the movable fore-end hand guard slides back and forth.

However, only a few years later the Spencer Arms Company again succumbed to the competitive pressure of the commercially better managed Winchester Repeating Arms Company.

Winchester had thus already bankrupted Spencer’s second weapons company after the Spencer Repeating Arms Company.

This time, however, it was not Winchester, but the New York arms dealer Fancis Bannermann who took over the patents and remaining stocks.

Bannermann & Sons continued to sell Spencer’s bolt action rifle until 1907.

This type of repeating shotgun met with great response.

Even in Germany, the first version was produced in 1887 at the Eisenwerke Gaggenau Flürscheim & Bergmann, although it was hardly noticed.

In the same year, Spencer’s main competitor, Winchester, started production of the Model 1887 – a lower lever bolt action rifle with a tubular magazine for shotgun shells, developed against his will by John Moses Browning.

The bulky reloading shotgun sold quite well.

But the brilliant technician had long since seen the advantages of the slim “Slide Action System” à la Spencer:

These weapons remained safely aimed at the target even when repeating rapidly.

And they could be loaded much faster than his shotgun undercounter.

So six years later, Browning and Winchester, respectively, submitted their first Slide Action, the M 1893. The shotgun had an external hammer.

When repeating, it cocked automatically. Winchester launched the new model as “Slide Action Shotgun”.

However, customers quickly associated the fore-end’s back and forth movement with the hand pumps commonly used at the time.

They renamed the repeater shotgun “Pump Action Shotgun” and adopted the short form “Pump Gun”.

Although there were a few accidents with the M 1893 due to operating errors and the strong new nitro-powder cartridges that had just been introduced, some 34,000 of them went over the counter.

Browning eliminated the possible sources of error.

And Winchester finally presented the improved Model 1897 with a lateral ejection window. Almost 1 1/4 million of these were built.

Remington 870

Winchester’s clever marketing quickly helped the new multi-barrelled shotgun achieve a breakthrough in the USA.

Not only hunters replaced their old double shotguns with the repeater model.

The citizens, who were concerned about self-protection, also quickly became friends with it.

No wonder, because the tinkling, rattle-rattling, marrow- and leg-piercing “ratchet” during loading may have put many an uninvited guest to flight – even without a shot being fired.

At the same time, the rapid-fire pump guns also attracted the attention of the police and security companies.

Winchester had included a low-cost version shortened to a 20 inch barrel length called the “Guard and Riot Gun” in its program especially for this clientele.

Many prison administrations purchased these shotguns with the aim of being able to quickly put down potential riots in the prisons with these psychologically effective instruments.

Thus the second name “Riot Gun” was adopted for this type of weapon.

In the time after World War I, the US Army procured Winchesters in 97, after many infantrymen had successfully used their hunting and sporting guns as “trench brooms” in the German positions.

Winchester’s short-range Riot Gun was just too good for this.

Thus this Winchester type came to the third name “Trench Gun”.

Equipped with bayonet mounts, the popular M 1897 as well as the newer M 1912 went to the infantry.

Called the M 12 after the Second World War, the M 1912 was the first slide-action model with an internal hammer. The weapon is also based on Browning:

Winchester technician Thomas Crosley Johnson used essential parts of the proven M 1897 in the design.

Enchanted by the success of the Pump Guns, other US manufacturers now also tried out such weapons.

Among them was the Remington Arms Company.

Remington Pump Guns

Remington 870

In 1915 John M. Browning patented another roofless fore-end shotgun.

The rifle in cal. 20 had a tube magazine and ejected fired cartridge cases downwards.

However, this design no longer ended up at Winchester: they threw up.

The inventor only received a one-time payment from Winchester for his previous patents, and the movement had also been at odds with the concept of a self-loading shotgun.

Since Winchester did not move away from the payment principle or from the “No!” to the self-loading gun, the liaison with Browning went to pieces.

The inventor therefore offered his designs for sale elsewhere.

In addition to arrangements with Colt and the Belgian weapons manufacturer FN, he also made arrangements with Remington.

There they bought the rights to the construction from 1915.

The Remington designer John Pedersen reworked it to the Remington Model 17 – but due to the war production it did not go into series production until 1921.

After further modifications by G. H. Harrison, the M 17 shotgun finally served as the basis for the successful Remington M 31, which ejects the shot cartridges through a window on the right side of the system box.

When the patent protection for the M 17 expired in 1937, the builders of the Ithaca 37 and later the FN Browning BPS also used its design elements.

Even the more modern Mossberg 500 shotgun models and their successors only differ from the basic features of the Remington M 31 by the light aluminum case.

The Remington M 31 was in direct competition with the Winchesters M 12, but only achieved just under ten percent of their two million circulation.

So Remington decided on a new pump shotgun: simpler and above all cheaper, yet absolutely reliable.

In 1950 a team consisting of L. Ray Crittendon, Phillip Haskell, Ellis Hailston and G. E. Pickney laid the foundation for the shotgun that would eventually put Winchester in its place.

The success story of the Remington 870 began with the Wingmaster model.

Significantly cheaper than Winchester’s M 12, Remington’s new (Wingmaster) took over.

This was also helped by the closure design, which for the first time was designed with double push rods.

It made repeating much easier and virtually ruled out the possibility of the locking block jamming or jamming during loading.

Remington 870

A success on the civilian market right from the start, the US military also increasingly resorted to the inexpensive, robust Remington model to replace decommissioned WK two shotguns.

In 1966, the US Marine Corps exchanged the Winchester M 12 for the 870.

By 1973, production of the 870 had already exceeded the two million mark, overtaking the predecessor model, the M 31, and another five million units were added by 1996. And then in 2009 the ten million mark fell.

In the meantime, there are countless variants of this classic shotgun – for hunters and sport shooters, but also for the military and police.

In Germany, the 870 is part of the equipment of some SEKs.

And the Bundeswehr uses the gun alongside the Benelli M 4 self-loading shotgun for KSK, military fighters, combat swimmers and naval boarding teams.

In the dynamic shotgun disciplines, the 870 competes with Mossberg, Fabarm and Co. for the places behind the top Benelli models. In terms of hunting, the 870 plays no role in this country – like all other repeating shotguns.

Unlimited variety for the Remington 870

There is no end in sight for the 870 – new versions are constantly being added.

A rough impression of the previous versions is given by S. P. Fjestad’s “Bluebook of Gun Values”.

In the 30th edition of this market review, you will first find the friendly hint that Remington has produced numerous different, partly limited variations for different business partners and wholesalers over the years.

Then comes the explanation that the prices for versions not covered are usually based on the basic model of the original series and what may be added to the price in certain cases.

Finally follows an eight-and-a-half-page list of the 66 model variations that made it into the Blue Book in the first place.

The question is whether there is even a detailed overview of all 870s built so far.

Difficult – so far there is no book on the subject.

And even Remington’s renowned expert on the company’s own long firearms, John R. Fink, was only able to contribute the number of 10,300,000 copies produced at our request.

He also provided an overview of the current civil model series: 870 Wingmaster, 870 Express and 870 SPS (Special Purpose Synthetic).

Remington 870

The majority of these shotguns are still aimed at hunters on the US market.

For this purpose, shotguns usually leave the factory in the classic caliber 12 and much less frequently designed for 20-gauge shot cartridges.

The twelve shotguns are available in 12/70, 12/76 up to the Supermagnum caliber 12/89.

The models 870 Police, Special Purpose Marine Magnum and Express versions with tactical stock, originally designed for military and police use, are also available.

Special door opening models of the 870 are also available for military and special police forces.

The 870 P (Police) Breacher and the 870 MCS (Module Combat Shotgun), also known as the Masterkey.

However, the ballistic “master key” is produced by KAC (Knight’s Armament Company).

It is available as a ten-inch short barrel version with pistol grip or as an attachment kit for the M 16.

To open the door, the emergency services use special bullets made of pressed metal powder with a binding agent.

These Breaching or also Hatton projectiles break down into the smallest particles when they hit hinges or door linings and thus do not cause dangerous ricochets such as shot or slugs.

Since all barrels fit into every 870 shotgun with their different cartridge chamber lengths, sights and partly exchangeable chokes, the variety of types of 870 shotguns increases further.

The range of accessories for tuning and add-on parts has also become almost unmanageable.

The latest addition to the aftermarket parts range is probably a new tactical stock and a Magpul replacement fore-end.

Both parts should be available after the SHOT Show, i.e. at the end of this month.

The already rich combination possibilities of barrel, stock, colour and surface variants ex works complement a comprehensive range of accessories, both from Remington and other companies.

This is probably the guarantor for the continuing success of the aged but proven 870 system: Here every pot has its lid.

Steel shot for duck hunting – Best Remington 870 Ammo

After the amendment of the hunting law in the US it is now prohibited to use lead shot when hunting water feathered game. Literally, the law states: “It is prohibited beyond §19 of the Federal Hunting Act … to hunt waterfowl on and above waters using lead shot.

Remington 870

This prohibition makes sense, since even a few lead shot, which e.g. ducks ingest with their food, are sufficient for lead poisoning, which leads to the death of the bird, but which does not occur immediately.

This poisoning can even have far-reaching consequences, as studies in other countries, but especially in the USA, have shown.

Here it has been discovered that the next links in the food chain, such as birds of prey or carrion birds, are severely affected – increased mortality and reduced breeding success are the consequences – if they eat animals with lead poisoning.

The hunter now faces the problem of finding a substitute for lead shot.

Fortunately, hunters in England, Scandinavia and the USA have had to deal with this problem for years.

After initial grumbling, the local hunters discovered that soft iron shot – the so-called steel shot – can be a full substitute for lead shot, and in some cases is superior to lead shot.

One only has to follow a few simple rules of thumb and free oneself from outdated myths.

Myth number 1: “Steel shot has a lower effective shot distance and less penetrating power”.

Steel shot weighs less than lead shot of the same diameter and therefore has less energy at the same flight speed.

Many years of experience in other countries have produced a rule of thumb to take this into account:

Choose a grain size for steel shot that is two numbers larger than you would otherwise use for lead shot (the “rule of two”); if you use strength 6 in lead for ducks, you will now use strength 4 in steel.

The energy of 6-gauge lead shot and 4-gauge steel shot is identical, and so is the range and penetrating power.

Only at distances that are no longer important for hunting (from approx. 70 metres) does the energy of the steel shot decrease more rapidly than that of the lead shot.

The number of shot grains in the steel shot cartridge using the “rule of two” is slightly lower than in the lead shot cartridge with the same charge, as the following table shows

For example, a cartridge of 34 grams charge contains 250 lead shot in size 6 or 212 steel shot in size 4. the choice of the maximum steel shot size must be based on the information provided by the gun manufacturer.

If this “rule of 2” is followed, not only will the number of shots be similar, but also the energy of each shot will be almost identical, as the following table shows

Remington 870

Steel shot is harder than lead shot and is less deformed in the barrel.

There is no deformed edge shot to pull the shot apart.

More shot reaches its target because the shot is more compact and has better coverage.

This advantage also increases with increasing shot distance.

The next table shows that even with coarser shot and a smaller charge in the steel shot cartridge, the coverage at 35 metres is hardly different from that of the lead shot cartridge and is even better at longer distances.

With the same charge, the advantage of steel shot is immediately apparent.

X-ray examinations of 16,000 ducks and geese and more than 300 pheasants showed a 5 – 10% deeper penetration of the steel shot compared to lead shot.

The hard steel shot also penetrates better than lead shot at the same energy.

It is necessary to change one’s shooting habits to the specific characteristics of steel shot.

Because of the more compact sheaf, you can shoot with a more open choke.

What ammunition should I use?

With our mallard ducks you will shoot a cartridge with 30 to 34 grams of steel shot, size 4 or 5 from a barrel with improved cylinder or ¼ choke up to a distance of 40 meters.

Myth number two: “More birds get shot.”

The risk of only wounding game birds is a major concern. It has been shown that the use of steel shot can significantly reduce this problem.

Steel shot forms a much more compact sheaf with superior cover.

This reduces the probability of a bird being hit by individual edge shot.

Due to their hardness, steel shot penetrates the plumage better than lead shot at the same energy.

Soft and possibly deformed lead shot has less penetration.

Duck hunting in Autumn – 10 Tips for Duck Hunting with the Best Remington 870 Ammo

Duck hunt Remington 870

For many hunters among us there is nothing more important in autumn than driven hunts.

But autumn has so much more exciting hunts to offer.

One of these hunts is the evening duck hunt.

What you need for this and how to prepare for it will be explained below.

1. Flint training.

As preparation for the big driven hunts, many hunters queue up in front of the shooting cinemas to practice shooting moving game.

The same care should be taken when hunting with a shotgun.

A few rounds at the skeet stand are a must.

Due to the current situation in most hunting grounds, the handling of the shotgun is significantly reduced.

2. Response.

Before going out and shooting at flying wild ducks, you should be aware of which duck species can be found there, which of them are hunted and what their flight pattern looks like.

For the untrained duck hunter, a test hunt on the corresponding water body with a trained person can be very helpful.

Here, the newcomer can be explained to the newcomer by means of a living example how to best approach which duck species and that, if you are not sure, it is better to keep your finger straight.

3. Ducks in the territory.

Ponds, pools, bracks and lakes are the places where we want to successfully hunt ducks.

To increase our chances of success, you can harness the ducks.

Whether with a duck raft or simply in shallow water is the same, the ducks accept corn, peas or grain with pleasure. Regularity is also required here.

4. Weapon.

As with all types of hunting, the choice of weapon is a matter of taste.

The only thing to consider is that if lead-free shot is used, the weapon must also be suitable for it.

5. Ammunition.

Shot with a plastic case should be used, as these are not sensitive to moisture.

Since lead-free shot is mainly used near water and its density is lower than that of lead shot, 3.0 and 3.2mm shot should be used.

A test with different ammunition on one wall of shot can also be very useful.

6. Choice of waters.

If there is more than one water body in the area where the ducks can invade, choosing the right water body is not easy.

With a little cherry material you can get the ducks to come to a certain place, but you should also choose them carefully.

The water should not be too big or the ducks will land in the middle and be out of reach of the shot.

Then the water must not be too overgrown.

It is also a good idea to observe from a distance a few days before the planned duck strike where the ducks fall in in the evening.

Equipment for Duck Hunting with the Best Remington 870 Ammo

Duck hunt Remington 870

7. Decoy equipment.

Today’s market has a lot to offer in the lure sector.

From teals/decoys to acoustic decoys, there is a huge range of products on offer.

Also here the spirits are divided. If you want to use decoys, you should use a handful of decoys at shotgun range, these should also make the unsafe ducks collapse.

Acoustic loosers can also make passing ducks collapse.

8. Other Accessories.

As with other decoy hunts, camouflage is crucial.

Since you are usually sitting in or on the reeds, appropriate camouflage clothing is an advantage.

You can also use a camouflage parachute if the conditions on site do not provide enough cover.

A backpack with a folding stool is recommended for sitting.

There I can then let the empty shot cartridges disappear quickly.

Very important are lamps in sufficient number and strength.

If it is important to find all the ducks after the hunt, you cannot have too much light with you.

Head lamps are a good idea here, because hopefully you will have your hands full of ducks.

9. Dog.

Duck hunting without a dog is not possible!

And it can’t be just any dog, because he has to know his trade to find all the ducks in the dark in the reeds.

The safety of the dog in finding the hunted ducks is as important for the success of this hunt as the shooting skills of the shooter.

10. Choice of stand and time.

It can be assumed that ducks are invading against the wind.

If you want to have the setting sun as a background for the ducks, you should hunt ducks with the wind behind you when the wind blows from the east.

The best thing is to use the given cover or to redesign it for your purposes.

Reeds trimmed at eye level with the hedge trimmer serve as a natural umbrella.

If you have done important preparatory work, you will know when the ducks will fall on the water.

The evening strike should be started about one hour before sunset.

By the time you have settled down the sun is already flat in the sky and the first ducks can come.

We hope our Guide about the Best Remington 870 Ammo can help you to find the right Ammo for your usecase.

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