8 Inexpensive Upgrades for the Remington 870

Remington 870 Shotgun

With more than 11 million built, it is safe to say the Remington 870 is a very popular shotgun choice.

This does not mean it comes from the factory perfect or exactly how you want it.

Below, you will see a list of eight ways to upgrade your 870 without hurting your credit card.

1. Magpul MOE M-LOK Replacement Forend

This drop-in forend has three great benefits. It is lighter, with much greater texture for more sure manipulation.

Both the front and rear have positive stop points to keep your hand from sliding off under stiff actuation, especially in wet weather.

Lastly, the M-LOK slots allow for direct mounting of accessories if that is a desire.

2. Uncle Mike’s Swivel Cap Set

Most 870’s do not have a simple option for mounting a sling. For a few dollars, it becomes a lot simpler to transport your shotgun on your shoulder.

Anyone who has turkey hunted without a sling, knows how much of a juggling act it can be with your seat, your pack, your assortment of calls and the shotgun.

This swivel cap set makes life a whole lot simpler.

Uncle Mike's Shotgun Swivel Cap

3. Aimtech Scope Mount

This is a must-have for those wanting an optic on a Remington 870 that is not drilled and tapped.

Whether you are turkey hunting, deer hunting with slugs or mounting a red dot for home defense, on those guns without the option, this is a simple fix.

Aimtech Remington 870 Scope Mount

4. Remington Supercell Recoil Pad

This recoil pad has a tough outer skin for long life. Below that skin, is a thick, highly aerated foam that is full of millions of little air bubbles.

These air bubbles act as mini shock absorbers as they each flatten under recoil, spreading the load and increasing the duration of the impulse.

Remington claims up to a 54 percent decrease in felt recoil.

My shoulder is not calibrated that finely, but my sight re-acquisition times improved greatly and the recoil impulse feels much more like a push than a punch, even with three-inch slugs.

Remington 870 SuperCell Recoil Pad

5. HiViz Front Sight Shotgun Bead

For those of us with less than perfect vision, this is a replacement for the front bead on those shotguns with a screw-in bead.

Check your shotgun first to confirm this, as some are and some are not. But if applicable, this “bead” jumps out at you and greatly improves both accuracy and acquisition time.

HiViz Screw In Shotgun Bead Sight

6. Carlson’s Seven-Shot Magazine Extension

This magazine extension is a plus-three extension. It brings the capacity up from 4+1 to 7+1.

Whether you are running your 870 in 3-Gun or a home defense scenario, this is a welcome increase in round count.

Installation is as simple as unscrewing the stock magazine cap, removing the stock spring and follower, replacing with the new spring and follower and screwing the extension into place.

I would suggest the addition of the next item as well, but that is optional.

Carlson's Remington 870 Magazine Tube Extension

7. GG&G Replacement Aluminum Follower

One of the most common failure points of the Remington 870 is caused by the degradation of the plastic follower.

When it gets gouges or the plastic starts to deteriorate due to age or use, it doesn’t follow properly.

When it gets off-kilter, jams happen. This replacement follower has a stainless steel exterior for a lifetime of gouge resistance.

The red center portion is aluminum and is painted bright red for quick visibility.

8. Wilson Combat Jumbo Head Safety

The factory safety is very functional, but is slow and requires fine motor skills.

The Wilson Combat upgrade greatly increases the surface area of the safety and makes the manipulation a gross motor skill for increased speed when it really counts.

Wilson Combat Jumbo Remington 870 Safety

Remington 870 Upgrades: Conclusion

It certainly isn’t mandatory to purchase all of these options. Some make for more convenient use, such as the sling and magazine extension tube.

Others make it easier to hit, like the fiber-optic bead or the scope mount. Yet others make for a safer shooting environment, like the over-sized safety and recoil-reducing butt pad.

Who doesn’t want the more reliable functionality of the steel and aluminum follower?

For those of you who broke your wooden forend and need to put a laser on the replacement, Magpul’s forend has you covered too.

While not exactly as mix and match as the AR platform, the Remington 870 has these and dozens of other options to enhance your shotgun shooting fun.

What upgrades have you added to your favorite shotgun? Why? Let us know in the comments below.

About the Author:

John Bibby

John Bibby is an American gun writer who had the misfortune of being born in the occupied territory of New Jersey. His parents moved to the much freer state of Florida when he was 3. This allowed his father start teaching him about shooting prior to age 6. By age 8, he was regularly shooting with his father and parents of his friends. At age 12, despite the strong suggestions that he shouldn’t, he shot a neighbor’s “elephant rifle."

The rifle was a .375 H&H Magnum and, as such, precautions were taken. He had to shoot from prone. The recoil-induced, grass-stained shirt was a badge of honor. Shooting has been a constant in his life, as has cooking.

He is an (early) retired Executive Chef. Food is his other great passion. Currently, he is a semi-frequent 3-Gun competitor, with a solid weak spot on shotgun stages. When his business and travel schedule allow, you will often find him, ringing steel out well past 600 yards. In order to be consistent while going long, reloading is fairly mandatory. The 3-Gun matches work his progressive presses with volume work. Precision loading for long-range shooting and whitetail hunting keeps the single-stage presses from getting dusty.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (9)

  1. My 2 best inexpensive upgrades were an 18 1/2” barrel tapped for choke tubes ($90) and a trigger sear spring ($5) that reduced from factory trigger pull of 5.5 pounds to 3 pounds. It works perfect for turkey hunting.

  2. I don’t t know about the mentioned magazine extension but the one I bought requires Removal of detente in fund’s tube. I have not installed it since I don’t know if fun could be returned to original

  3. Crimson Trace has just added a red dot and a green dot saddle for the 870. Not cheap, but it does solve a couple of problems mentioned here.

  4. Bought a first gen Knoxx Spec ops stock and fore end recently replaced it with genIII. As my receiver on my 18″ defense(tactical now?) model was not tapped I put a saddle on it to mount a Gobble Stopper red dot. With that large circle surrounding a small center dot, I can spank clays regularly on casual shoots. Can tag 8″ targets at 100yds with full power 2 3/4″ slugs too. I use Magpul’s fore end so I can mount a light laser combo under barrel for in house work, using #4 buck here in suburbia for min. over penetration.

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