Exploring the Remington 870 Wingmaster

For over six decades, the Remington 870 Wingmaster has stood as a paragon of American gun making. Sought after for its reliability, craftsmanship, and performance, it has become the shotgun of choice for law enforcement, military, hunters, and shooting enthusiasts. This article delves into the history, specifications, functionality, care, maintenance, and customization of the Remington 870 Wingmaster.

The History and Evolution of the Remington 870 Wingmaster

The Remington 870 Wingmaster  was introduced to the public in 1950 as a successor to the Remington Model 31. Designed by L.Ray Critendon, Phillip Haskell, Ellis Hailston, and G.E Pinckney, it quickly gained popularity due to its robust design, smooth pump action, and affordability. With over 11 million units sold, the 870 Wingmaster is one of the best-selling shotguns in history.

The 870 Wingmaster has undergone various modifications over the years to meet changing demands and technological advancements. In the 1960s, Remington introduced the Express variant, which was a more cost-effective model with a matte finish and hardwood stock. A subsequent Magnum was introduced. The Wingmaster, however, has always been distinguished by its high-polish blued finish, walnut stock, and superior fit and finish.


Despite the numerous changes, the core design of the 870 Wingmaster has remained essentially the same. This is a testament to the robustness of the original model, and this consistency is one of the reasons it has remained popular for over six decades.

Technical Specifications of the Remington 870 Wingmaster

The Remington 870 Wingmaster is a pump-action shotgun with a tubular magazine. It’s currently available in a variety of gauges, including 12, 20 and .410 bore. The standard barrel length is 28 inches, but shorter and longer barrels are available. The capacity of the magazine depends on the model and the shell size, but it typically holds 4-6 rounds.

The 870 Wingmaster is known for its solid steel receiver, which contributes to its durability and robustness. It includes features such as twin action bars for a smoother, bind-free slide and a three-shot adapter which allows the shooter to quickly switch from high capacity to lower capacity.

The Wingmaster also includes interchangeable Rem chokes, allowing the shooter to adapt the gun to different hunting or shooting situations. Its walnut stock and fore-end are not only visually appealing but also provide a comfortable and secure grip.

Understanding the Functionality of the 870 Wingmaster

The Remington 870 Wingmaster is renowned for its exceptional functionality. The pump-action mechanism is simple to operate and provides a reliable cycling of ammunition with little chance of jamming. Its solid steel receiver ensures that the shotgun can withstand harsh conditions and heavy use.

The twin-action bars on the Wingmaster make the pump action exceptionally smooth, reducing the risk of binding or jamming. This means the shooter can focus on aiming and shooting, rather than worrying about the operation of the shotgun. The trigger pull is crisp and predictable, which aids in accurate shooting.

Interchangeable chokes are another feature that enhances the functionality of the Wingmaster. This allows the shooter to adjust the spread of the shot to suit different conditions and targets. Whether hunting waterfowl, upland game, or shooting at clay targets, the Wingmaster can be quickly adapted to fit the situation.

Care, Maintenance, and Customization of the Remington 870 Wingmaster

Regular care and maintenance are vital to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your Wingmaster. This includes cleaning the barrel after each use, lubricating moving parts, and periodically checking for rust or wear. The gun should be stored in a dry, cool place to prevent corrosion.

The 870 Wingmaster offers a high degree of customization. With a wide array of aftermarket parts and accessories available, a shooter can tailor the shotgun to their specific needs. This could involve changing the stock, adding a scope, or fitting a different barrel.

Despite its robustness, the Wingmaster is not immune to wear and tear. Regular maintenance, including replacing worn parts, will ensure it continues to operate effectively. It’s worth noting that Remington provides a comprehensive manual detailing how to dismantle and assemble the shotgun, making it easier for owners to conduct routine maintenance and modifications.

The Remington 870 Wingmaster is a timeless icon in the firearm industry. Its classic design, robustness, and versatility have made it a favorite among law enforcement, military, and civilian shooters alike. While technology and trends in firearms may change, the Remington 870 Wingmaster’s longevity and popularity are a testament to its exceptional design and performance. Whether you’re a seasoned shooter or a novice, the Wingmaster offers a reliable, adaptable, and enjoyable shooting experience.


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