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Old 11-14-2008, 11:03 AM   #1
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Outfitting 870 for Home Defense

I've ordered a Remington 870 for home defense purposes.

Am looking into stuff to improve it for "home tactical" (yuk) use. Want good quality stuff at a relatively low price. Not gonna be dragging it around in the sandbox, or the Blue Ridge mountains. It'll stay here except when it is going to some place for practice.

Am interested in:

1. Sights (iron, red dot, laser)

2. Lights (White) + Methods for turning on/off laser sight and/or white light on a pump shotgun.

3. Sling ... needed or not?

4. "On Gun" carry ammo. It'll have an 18" bbl, & extended (6 or 7 round) magazine.

5. Rapid, reliable, way of shifting from child-safe status to ready to shoot.

Any comments or suggestions?
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Old 11-14-2008, 11:20 AM   #2
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Re: Outfitting 870 for Home Defense

The only thing I did to my 20" IC 870 was add a full-length magazine and take an inch off the stock. And I have no plans to add any other tac-junk or gun-candy to it, either.

IMHO there is NO way to make any pump shotgun both "child-safe" and ready for immediate (say, within six seconds) home protection. That's why for all the years my kids were growing up, the steel trombones went into storage and my house gun became an M1 carbine.
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Old 11-14-2008, 02:32 PM   #3
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Re: Outfitting 870 for Home Defense

Big Dot Sight that you glue on to the bead front sight.
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Old 11-15-2008, 03:44 PM   #4
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Re: Outfitting 870 for Home Defense

I equipped my 870 with a white light, since it's primary purpose will be coyote service. I got some good advice re the light; the LED ones are much more survivable when getting hammered by the forces generated by a 12 ga. Other than the light, like Snake, I'm of the "less is more" mindset. I had briefly considered the shotgun for interior home use, but decided I was better off with a pistol; more precise, and I handle it a bit better.
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Old 11-16-2008, 09:11 AM   #5
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Re: Outfitting 870 for Home Defense

Quote:
Originally Posted by WaltGraham
I equipped my 870 with a white light, . . . I got some good advice re the light; the LED ones are much more survivable when getting hammered by the forces generated by a 12 ga. ... .
Thanks, Walt.

How about what brand & model, and how/what did you use to attach it? And what you might do different if you had to do it again, on a new 870 for some reason?

Thanks!
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:35 AM   #6
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Re: Outfitting 870 for Home Defense

It's a Fenix light affixed to a piece of rail I bought at TSSI's clearance sale last year. I've got maybe 400 bucks invested in the gun and light. A dedicated Surefire frontend will cost you more than half that, looks more tacticool, but really doesn't work any better. I'll bring it to work with me tomorrow. Drop by, I'm stuck in the orifice most all day.
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:11 PM   #7
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Re: Outfitting 870 for Home Defense

I like rifle type sights on all my shotguns. I also like white lights. I've never been that big a fan of laser sights. If money is no object you might look into the "holographic" sights. I've played with them in the store, but never used one on the range. They look like they might be useful. I would still retain a sling. If you need to use both hands for something, you have to have some way of retaining the shotgun. My "home defense" setup is a 590 with ghost ring sights, side-saddle ammo carrier, and sling. I used to have a elastic ammo carrier on the butt, but it wore out a decade or so ago and wasn't useful enough to be replaced (says a lot about something that costs less than $10). I do need a flashlight on it. It is stored in "cruiser ready" configuration (safety on, uncocked, chamber empty, magazine full). I have a 20gauge 870 that I want to setup in a similar fashion for daughter. Right now, she relies on a 9mm or a M1 carbine (plus a sword or two ). I may give the 9mm to the soon to be ex-wife, but would rather daughter kept it. I have a spare .45 Glock in the evacuation kit, but neither (soon to ex) wife or daughter's hands are quite big enough for it to be really comfortable.
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:56 PM   #8
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Re: Outfitting 870 for Home Defense

along the lines of outfitting the 870 for HD,

(opinions .. insert here...)

whats the BEST, Brightest, like one can install on the 870, OR Mossy 500.

1- Best solid light distance.. (like looking for coons in the tree's etc)
2- bright enough to blind or to cause disorientation to the bad guy.
3- may have the strobe effect to again disorient the bad guy.

4- Money is not a factor... (for a good HD shotty)
 
Old 11-17-2008, 05:32 PM   #9
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Re: Outfitting 870 for Home Defense

Quote:
Originally Posted by Casual
whats the BEST, Brightest, like one can install on the 870
I guess this would be considered the gold standard; and I do mean gold.

On the other hand, the Fenix lights I noted earlier are well built and can be secured to a mag extension tube for a lot less money. I'd avoid the plastic CAA type spring loaded mounts, as they tend to become separated from the weapon upon firing. You're better served, IMO, with a mount that is secured with allen screws so you can crank down on it. Not to be Captain Obvious, but a 12 gauge stresses a mount and a light quite a bit more than a poodle shooter. I was advised to switch from a 6P incandescent light to a LED one. It was good advice. This light was a bit large for daily carry, so it's riding on my 870 now. I bought it last Christmas; I'm still on the first set of batteries. I'm buying a couple more of the Fenix lights shortly; my E2E has gone missing and I'm replacing it with one of these.
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Old 11-18-2008, 05:11 AM   #10
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Re: Outfitting 870 for Home Defense

For home defense, keep it simple. I use a Winchester 1897 with a 6 round stock pouch and 6 in the tube; if that doesn't solve the problem, I'm hozed.

For sights, you really don't need any inside a house. A shotgun is supposed to be shot while focusing on the target, not the sights. That's the beauty of the shotgun, your focus is on your opponent, where it should be.

If you have kids, you could try one of the trigger locks that is just a hard spring. Basically, it takes adult strength to remove it. And always store the gun with nothing in the chamber.
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:40 PM   #11
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Re: Outfitting 870 for Home Defense

Try a second 870, opposite-ejecting, bolted to it to create a Remington 1740... (If a single-barrel pumpgun is good, a double must be better, right?lol)
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=280902
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Old 11-29-2008, 05:10 PM   #12
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Re: Outfitting 870 for Home Defense

I set up my 870 with a Tac Star universal mounting bracket and a Coleman led flashlight from Wally World. Total cost a little under $50. The flashlight has a switch on the back which has momentary capability.
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Old 11-29-2008, 06:17 PM   #13
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Re: Outfitting 870 for Home Defense

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMike
I've ordered a Remington 870 for home defense purposes.

1. Sights (iron, red dot, laser) Bead

2. Lights (White) + Methods for turning on/off laser sight and/or white light on a pump shotgun. None but I've played around with a light that clamps onto the magazine tube. I'd like to know more about the light in the end of the magazine tube. I wouldn't bother with a laser. It's a shotgun. I like LED flashlights.

3. Sling ... needed or not? No but I've considered it

4. "On Gun" carry ammo. It'll have an 18" bbl, & extended (6 or 7 round) magazine. Six round sidesaddle. This is not for reloads, it's my initial load. The gun in the bottom picture has a Bill Davis Speedfeed Stock. Four more rounds of buckshot.

5. Rapid, reliable, way of shifting from child-safe status to ready to shoot. Nothing comes to mind except a trigger lock and you have to wear the key. Anyone have any experience with those "wall safes" that fir in between the studs and have room for a shotgun and a handgun?
One of my 870's has an extended magazine and one does not. I actually prefer the standard magazine. Don't bother with heat shields either. They look really cool but you're going to fire what? Two, three rounds in self defense. The heat shield interferes with sighting over the receiver and the bead.
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:09 PM   #14
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Re: Outfitting 870 for Home Defense

Double posted.
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:10 PM   #15
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Re: Outfitting 870 for Home Defense

I've ordered a Remington 870 for home defense purposes. From here forth, my opinion is based on your words.. HOME DEFENSE

Am looking into stuff to improve it for "home tactical" (yuk) use. Want good quality stuff at a relatively low price. Not gonna be dragging it around in the sandbox, or the Blue Ridge mountains. It'll stay here except when it is going to some place for practice.

Am interested in:

1. Sights (iron, red dot, laser) There's nothing less effective than a laser sight on a shotgun.

2. Lights (White) + Methods for turning on/off laser sight and/or white light on a pump shotgun. Instead of lights, let's think of illumination. At night, is your house somewhat illuminated in the interior? Do you have anyone else in the house with you, and if not, does anybody have a key to your home? The point of these questions is target identification, separating an obvious intruder from a potential familiar. If your house is pitch black at night, or you have others either living in your home or who have access to your home, then a light is necessary to separate friend from foe.

3. Sling ... needed or not? A sling is unnecessary for any strictly home defense weapon, unless you live like Arnold in Commando. You won't have time nor the necessity to shoulder a weapon in a shootout. Slings are for transport, or switching weapons.. most likely, you'll do neither. If this is a 'run-gun' where you may have a plan to evacuate your home and take some belongings, food, weapons, ammunition with you, then a sling is a must. If your shotgun MAY play a dual role someday, consider purchasing a proper sling and keeping it near the gun, but unattached.

4. "On Gun" carry ammo. It'll have an 18" bbl, & extended (6 or 7 round) magazine. Keep this to a practical minimum. With half a dozen rounds on tap, if you've used them all you're either completely in panic mode and spraying shells, or you're fending off a small assembly of ninjas. If you want more ammunition, it's not necessary, but I would keep a saddle with no more than 5 shells, ideally on the butt of the gun for ease of access.

5. Rapid, reliable, way of shifting from child-safe status to ready to shoot. There really isn't one. Most do one better than the other, and it's your choice to make. The market is fairly saturated so do your research. If your new 870 comes with the J-Key for it's safety mechanism, count that in with the time you'll need to take your shotgun (and yourself) from safe to shootable. Whatever you end up with, a student will take the time to learn the routine of disabling safeties and readying your weapon. When you've completed your 'kit,' practice taking the safety(s) off until you can do it as quickly and efficiently as possible. When you feel confident, set an alarm clock during the week for a time earlier than your normal routine, and when it goes off go straight for your shotgun and transition it out of safe mode. This will show you a lot of how your body and mind will act in a moment of alarm (like a shattering window, or banging door), and if done enough will make it second nature to ready your weapon in a moment of stress, alarm, and confusion.

Any comments or suggestions?
My 870 Super Magnum has worn about every outfit anybody could want, all quality parts. As it sits now (it's not my HD weapon) it's quite overweight, and therefore handles like a Cadillac with 3 flat tires. It looks tacti-cool, but completely fails at it's main purpose and supposed objective - a reliable, maneuverable HD shotgun. Having tried multiple systems of butt stocks, fore grips, slings, sling attachments, etc,.. I've made the personal decision that a true HD shotgun needs only the minimum of additions (and subtractions). If I were to buy an 870 today for your intended purpose, synthetic stocks would be my choice. First, I'd remove the factory butt stock in trade for a youth model butt stock (shorter, mine came from SpeedFeed). For more purchase on the fore grip (if needed), I'd apply some skateboard tape or similar. Personally, I went with a Hogue over-molded fore grip and it fits the bill perfectly, although unnecessary as an expenditure compared to cheaper and similarly effective solutions. Disregard this if you choose a SureFire or similar fore grip. These days, if you choose a weapon-mounted flashlight, you can spend a little, or you can spend a lot. If I was considering this route, I'd look into weight as much as into ease of use. A heavy flashlight rig up front may help recoil, but that microsecond aside when recoil is involved, it'll detract from the handling quality of your shotgun. Moving on to ammunition carry options, I'd look at a removable pouch that fits on the butt stock. WIth a youth model stock, you may have slight fitting issues as I'm not sure of any that are also designed for the smaller dimension, but it's easily remedied with a little modification to your chosen pouch. This can be as simple (and should be) or complex as you want. I'd look for either an elastic sleeve with elastic rings for each shell, or if you prefer, a Cordura or nylon carrier with elastic shell rings and velcro stock attachments. For the latter, stay away from any type of cover or enclosed pouch for your shells. They should be easily retrieved with one hand. Magazine extensions should be kept simple, a +1 or +2 extension is fine, make sure your spring is reliable, and if your magazine tube is dimpled (as mine was), make sure that it's free of burrs or anything else that may catch the spring OR the follower. To complete the package, an 18 or 18 1/2 inch barrel with a simple bead is all that's necessary. As someone said before, you concentrate on your target, not your sight. Ghost ring, lasers, etc,. aren't necessary by any means.
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:47 PM   #16
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Re: Outfitting 870 for Home Defense

I keep mine simple, I found some old 30 inch full choke barrels with VR's and cut them down, then drill the rib and set a great big white ivory bead on the end of the vent rib. With Remington's spacing this leaves about 3/8s of an inch past the last rib stanchion of just round barrel, which affects nothing. I added Choate mag tubes to give them 2 more rounds of capacity and then added some super duty mag springs from Wolffs.

The guns sit just like that, loaded, cruiser ready, with a cabela's bandoleer hanging right beside them loaded with BB lead on the front, and 00 buck on the back. I can drop the bandoleer over my shoulder in a heart beat, and grab the gun knowing I have about 20 rounds of spares ready to go, or just go with the 6 in the gun.

No slings, no lights, just gun and ammo ready to go. behind the gun is an old shooters vest with a 1911, mags, flashlight, and someother stuff if I feel I have to venture beyond where I am.
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:34 AM   #17
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Re: Outfitting 870 for Home Defense

Guntotin, your post brought up a good point. Bandoleers far exceed the usefulness of shell carriers, especially the current run of slings designed to hold extra rounds on the shoulder strap. For a situation where you may end up retreating from your home, a bandoleer or 2 of ammunition is incredibly effective as far as mobility and quantity. It will way as much as all your ammunition does, but they can't be beat for speed and mobility.

Sounds like a good setup, GT. Sitting next to my 870 is my M1A, mostly because I like to look at her. She's not a defensive weapon and I don't plan on Red Dawn occurring anytime soon. In my dresser sits my Kimber ProCarry HD, if the shotgun isn't to be utilized in defense of my home. In the safe, my R700 long range 'black rifle' is ready to roll, as well as the rest of my 'collection,' including my favorite 1911, my Les Baer.
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:48 AM   #18
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Re: Outfitting 870 for Home Defense

My 870 has a white light, LED so it's not prone to failure from recoil generated shock.

If I have the need to egress the house for coyote service or happen to be experiencing a power outage, I'm pretty sure I'm not mission capable of shooting, shucking and holding a light at the same time; at least not well.

I also added a Knoxx recoil reducing stock just because.
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:54 AM   #19
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Re: Outfitting 870 for Home Defense

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoomStickeD
Guntotin, your post brought up a good point. Bandoleers far exceed the usefulness of shell carriers, especially the current run of slings designed to hold extra rounds on the shoulder strap.
I thought that a bandoleer/sling thingie was a great idea until I bought one (used, cheap), put it on the shotgun, and loaded it up. You only have to mount the gun ONCE to find out what a wretched idea it really is. It came off immediately. Makes a good bandoleer, though.
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:00 AM   #20
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Re: Outfitting 870 for Home Defense

Snake, true enough! Bandoleers are fantastic things, and cheap these days. I do own one sling shell carrier, but it's a Butler Creek job on my .30-06. I think it holds 4 rounds, if I recall correctly. It works very well, and comfortable as ever.

The only downside to bandoleering your run-gun(s) is weight distribution. They don't have any! But you can throw it over your shoulder, carry it in a free hand, hang it around your neck, etc,. Retreating with an ammo can, or backpack full of ammo and magazines is fairly ineffective on multiple levels, although it'll accomplish transporting your ammunition enough. I wouldn't mind having a .30 bandoleer for my .308s, come to think of it..
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