870 Wingmaster

9.2 score
[Editors rating (9.2) + Users rating (9.0)] / 2 = (TheGearHunt) score (9.2)/10

Editor rating: 9.2 / 10
User's rating: based on 91 user ratings
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870 Wingmaster Review Facts

It is rare for a shotgun to be a top contender year after year. Generation after generation is even more extraordinary. The 870 Wingmaster has kept its original form and remained unaltered despite the ever-changing ‘coolness factor’ and trends.

It is as smooth and reliable as can be. The Wingmaster is a first-class device for defending, sporting, hunting, or having fun. It is a shotgun with pure strength and precision. The Wingmaster 870 outperforms nearly anything on the market. It would take almost a lifetime to use all of the accessories available for the 870. This is among the best pump-action shotgun you can find.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Comfortable scattergun
  • Many accessories available
  • Nice finish
  • Reliable
  • Consistent
  • Forend could use softer grip panels


The 870 Wingmaster has interchangeable chokes in the end. The choke is the amount of barrel reduction you get from the chamber of the gun to the end of the barrel. Interchangeable chokes allow the choice barrel reduction.

The choke is slid into the barrel and screwed in place. There are four kinds of chokes. The cylinder choke means the barrel diameter is consistent. As bores tighten, so does the grouping. Distances become longer and more effective. The choice depends on the types of hunting and shooting to be done. Some chokes can only support lead loads. The full choke of the Remington 870 supports lead or steel.


The barrel lengths available are 25-, 26-, and 28-inch. Light contour barrels used on the 870 Wingmaster have over a half pound weight reduction that improves handling, portability, and balance without sacrificing durability and strength.

The two most common 870 barrels are the smoothbore or rifled barrel. Rifled barrels are best suited for shooting sabot slugs such as Copper Solid Slug or Premier Accutip Slug. They are barrels used to kill at a long distance.

The barrels have the accuracy and stability needed for that kind of damage. Smoothbore barrels are more suited for buckshot, birdshot, or rifled slugs. When hunting small birds or ducks a smoothbore barrel is a better choice than the rifled barrel.


The pump-action shotgun design of the 870 model delivers the ultimate in sleek, classic lines, silky smooth bind-free action, durability, and strength. It is machined from a simple block of American steel. The pump-action is heralded as being the most innovative ever conceived.

Remington pump-action shotguns are among the most enduring and popular shotgun design. They are the most reliable and smoothest pump-action shotguns on the market. The superior dependability is the reason it has been trusted by law enforcement professionals, shooters, and hunters for over six decades. Twin-action and smoothing shucking bars deliver positive ejection and chambering. It is a by which standard by which other pump shotguns are measured


Gauge is the number of lead balls having the same diameter as the bore (the inside of the barrel) that are needed to weight a pound. It takes 12 lead balls with a diameter equal to the 12-gauge barrel to weigh a pound.

The bigger the gauge number, the smaller the balls that are needed to make a pound. A 20-gauge shell is smaller in size than a 12-gauge shell. The 870 Wingmaster is available in 12-, 16-, 20-, 28-gauge and .410 bore. Each gauge has advantages and disadvantages. Typically, larger gauges are used for small game. A .410 shotgun is for very small game.


The average weight of an 870 Wingmaster varies from six pounds for the .410 bore and 28-gauge shotgun to seven pounds for the 12-gauge shotgun. When walking all day with a gun ready to fire a six to 7½- pound shotgun makes the most sense.

Anything lighter is too whippy to maintain a smooth swing. A shotgun over seven pounds becomes a pain to lug around all day. Experts say a gun should weight 96 times the intended shot charge to absorb the recoil properly. A 20-gauge shotgun using one-ounce shot should weigh approximately six pounds. Using 1¼-ounce shot in a 12-gauge shotgun requires a 7½-pound gun. The 870 Wingmaster falls with these parameters.


Balance is a personal preference. Some shotgun enthusiasts like the shotgun heavy in the front of back. Others prefer it to be perfectly balanced. Balance and barrel weight are critical factors in trap shotguns. Fast disciplines benefit from lighter barrels.

For hunting light barrels, approximately 28 inches in length on hinge pin balance is ideal. Added accessories can have a profound effect on the way a shotgun handles. A gun that is heavy and well-balanced is superior to one that is light and ill-balanced. The 870 has perfect balance. The balance allows the natural point of aim to be quickly discovered.


The forend and stock are made of classically checkered and clean finished custom quality American walnut. The barrel and receiver are highly polished bluing. Ventilated ribbing and a beaded front are standard on the 870 Wingmaster barrel.

The shotgun has ivory front bead sights. This beautiful, American made gun is the answer to quality that most firearms today lack. It makes others appear to be unfinished. Machine graving is tastefully done. Found on the receiver’s lift side is a dog done in gold inlay. On the right is a small gold ‘American Classic ‘ banner. It is tasteful elegance. The shotgun has a significant amount of sparkle without being splashy.


Many firearms have been proposed to the Federal government. There are frequent orders for the Remington 870 Wingmaster. The endless supply of accessories makes it a shotgun preferred by many civilians as well.

There are different configurations and barrel lengths in the form of upland game, deer hunting, slug barrels, skeet, and trap barrels. There are many options for home defense and tactical use. The number of choices available spoils shotgun owners.


Price is a factor to take into consideration. If looking for a shotgun for home defense, the buyer may not want to pay top dollar. Paying top dollar may interest someone who wants to ensure the gun be reliable and will always work.

The machine-steel receiver, smooth chucking twin-action bars, and time-proven performance and reliability make this shotgun worth a great deal. At a price of around $720, the gun is one of the most popular on the market.

The MSRP is $847. It can be found at lower prices. Research found advertised prices of $370, $629, $689, $731, and $831. With the wide variety of accessories available, the perfect shotgun for an individual is difficult to price. Those accessories are also available in a broad range of prices.


The 870 has a disconnect group. It works differently and is more complicated than those not having a disconnect group. The shell lifter pushes the shell from the magazine tube into the barrel. There is an apparatus that locks the bolt forward.

A button is pushed to release the slide. On the 870, there is a piece of metal that lifts the part of the trigger that drives on the sear. Pulling the trigger pushes on the sear. The sear releases the hammer, and it moves forward.

The disconnect is meant to keep the shotgun from firing when not being used. The entire trigger assembly is lifted off the sear. When pulling on the trigger, it will not sear at all. The disconnect has to be released to fire.

Also, as the hammer comes up, the hammer spring comes up and pushes up on the piece that pushes on the disconnect and prevents firing again. It is a safety feature for people who forget to release the trigger.


Originally, the 870 Wingmaster had a fixed choke and was chambered for 2¾ -inch rounds. The three-inch chambered version was designated as a Magnum model. After 1986, the RemChoke Interchangeable choke tube system was offered.

The 12-gauge and 20-gauge models are three-inch chambered for either 2¾- or three-inch shells. There are two primary shotgun slugs. They are full-bore and sabot slug. Full-bore slugs fill most of the shotgun born as they travel through the barrel. Sabot slugs use a plastic sabot that engages the rifling and drops off after leaving the barrel. Remington has a quality brand of ammunition that can be used in shotguns.


The 870 Wingmaster has a fixed stock. The length of pull afforded by the shotgun stock is one area that does not receive compliments from some shotgun owners. The stature of some does not allow the shotgun to be fired comfortably.

A shorter length of pull would solve the problem. There is a youth model that has a shorter pull length that still allows a fixed stock to be maintained. The youth version is one option from which to choose if the standard stock is uncomfortable. There are also interchangeable stocks on the market.

Spare Ammo

One of the accessories available for the 870 Wingmaster is an ammo side saddle. Side saddles are an individual preference. Some people prefer not using them because they add weight to the shotgun. Others find having a couple of extra slugs handy does not make a significant difference in the mass.

Still, others want a massive eight-shot saddle for full reloads. Remington has a side saddle that holds six rounds of ammo for a shotgun. It is lightweight and compact. The carrier is made of polymer materials and aluminum.


In days gone by, sights were simple. There was a bead on the muzzle end used as a reference with pointing the barrel or focusing on a bird. Stationary targets were the focus point used to aim a shotgun. The industry has become very tactical. The Remington 870 comes standard with ghost rings. One expert opinion offered, says that the bead is the best sight option for home defense. A peep sight provides better focus at 100 yards. However, the field of vision is limited. Field of vision is critical in close quarter situations.

Mounted Light

Light is among the essential upgrades required for a tactical or home-defense shotgun. ‘Tactical’ is typically associated with the military or law enforcement. Light is a benefit for that particular line of work. Private shotgun owners can purchase tactical flashlight upgrades also. Using a mounted light in dark terrains and environment allows light to shine on the path directly in front of the user. You need both hands on the shotgun. The only way to accomplish hands-free light is to have a mounted light attached to the weapon.


Slings are useful in carrying a shotgun without holding onto it. They serve as a loop on the shotgun bottom that is thrown over the shoulder to carry the gun. Slings are especially handy when getting ready to shoot it at any given moment or when out hunting.

They also offer support when shooting the weapon. The support may not be necessary for birdshot ammunition but is very helpful when using slugs to get off a good shot. Carrying a shotgun exhausts some of a gun owner’s energy. Slings keep the gun next to the body while hands remain free.


An oversized safety is among the must-have upgrades for the 870. It is essential to be able to disengage the safety fast for competition, tactical, and home-defense shooting. Big safeties enable the shooter to disengage them easily and quickly even when under stress or wearing gloves.

The Remington 870 factory safety is small and does not allow switching fast. In competition, pulling a trigger and nothing happening because of fumbling to switch the safety off costs between a half to two seconds of time. The time saved is essential competition and life or death situations such as home defense.


Shotguns are designed to take a beating. They can get filthy dirty. With a little maintenance and love, the 870 can be an heirloom passed on for generations. It takes a few minutes to clean an 870 so that it will perform as well as and look as good as new. The shotgun is as simple as any pump-action shotgun to clean. Quickly flush the barrel and wipe the receiver with a rage. It will deliver tack-driving performance long after the owner is able to shoot

Bottom Line

The 870 Wingmaster is famous among hunters, military and law enforcement personnel, and competitive shooters. It is available in 12-, 20-, 28-gauge and .410 bore. A dirty 870 will outperform nearly anything else on the market. The solid billet receiver seems capable of shooting under any conditions. The number of accessories for the 870 Wingmaster is nearly endless. The most useful accessories are mentioned in this review.