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View Full Version : How to convert an 870 2-3/4 into a 3 inch


DJEinConcord
08-30-2011, 12:41 PM
I need to convert an 870 2-3/4 into a 3 inch magnum. From what I have learned you just need to drill out the ejector rivets and replace with a 3 inch ejector.

I also learned some of the 2 3/4 inch receivers will extract 3 inch hulls just fine the way they came from the factory. The receivers are same except for the ejectors and roll stampings.

Does anyone have any experience with this?

I got it cheap and want the option to shoot either size shells.

ceresco
08-30-2011, 01:20 PM
I have both. You may be right about the differences. My 2 3/4" receiver will not eject fired 3" shells reliably. I'm sure you understand that 2 3/4" chambers should not be used with 3" shells. 870's are really low priced around here as are the barrels..which has led to some problems when someone replaces their barrel with an old 2 3/4". Good Shooting.......

DJEinConcord
08-30-2011, 02:14 PM
I got the 870 without a barrel for $50 plus transfer fees. A steal to say the least. There were a bunch of them and I was only allowed the one, or I'd have 10 of them at that price.


I plan on using it as the home defense and camp gun due to its low initial cost. I will put a 3 inch chambered riot barrel on it, or an 18-20 inch cut down from a gun show barrel if I can find a cheap one. I don't mind the 2 3/4 so much for what I want this for, but like the option of not having to worry about ammo.

Tuna 1
08-30-2011, 02:49 PM
Why bother with this? For defense there is not a lot of difference between the two shell sizes and 2 3/4 inch shells are everywhere and cheaper. A 2 3/4 inch magnum shell is more then enough for an 2 or four legged critters From buck to slug anything hit with it will not know the difference between the two.

ceresco
08-30-2011, 02:51 PM
So many guys have replaced the original barrels with rifled slug barrels you can find smooth bore barrels for $20 at auctions. I think 2 3/4 inch 12ga is more than enough for anything I ever see...except maybe waterfowl. I woudn't bother changing parts. You are likely to find a 2 3/4" barrel anyway. Good Shooting.....

DJEinConcord
08-30-2011, 02:54 PM
Why bother with this? For defense there is not a lot of difference between the two shell sizes and 2 3/4 inch shells are everywhere and cheaper. A 2 3/4 inch magnum shell is more then enough for an 2 or four legged critters From buck to slug anything hit with it will not know the difference between the two.

Why 3 inch magnums?

One word answer: Grizzlies.

Warlock
08-30-2011, 05:13 PM
I understand the weapon you are setting up. The 2 3/4 loads will be easier for anyone to handle in the event of an emergency and they are cheaper. In todays market the mag really has no advantage over standard rounds. JW

kollector03
08-30-2011, 05:43 PM
Just a random thought, but have you verified that there is no difference in the receivers that would restrict you from using a 3" chambered barrel on a 2 3/4" receiver?

Just thinking out loud here......

edlmann
08-30-2011, 06:04 PM
Why 3 inch magnums?

One word answer: Grizzlies.

Two words: steel shot.

buckshot85
08-30-2011, 06:07 PM
i have fired 3" fine shot out of 2 3/4" tubes for more than 10 years in my 870 and 11-87. yeah, i know it ain't cool, but it works. even duck loads. never had ejection or extraction issues. when ya run out in the duck blind you borrow from you neighbor. now slugs are a different story. won't do that.

ceresco
08-30-2011, 06:51 PM
I measured the ejection ports on my 870's--no difference. As mentioned my 2 3/4" reciever will not eject 3" hulls reliably due to the ejector no doubt. All 870 barrels fit either receiver. There is a fairly common problem with the action rails in some 870s that will cause a (really) bad stoppage, that requires some tool (like a knife or screw driver) to overcome. You can fire 3" in a short chamber if you wish--but there is a difference and it isn't just the stamp on the barrel " use 2 3/4" or shorter shells". When I was in Alaska, my choice was the 870 with short, smooth bore slug barrel and 1oz slugs. Never needed it. Good Shooting......

Stockyards brat
08-30-2011, 10:04 PM
i have fired 3" fine shot out of 2 3/4" tubes for more than 10 years in my 870 and 11-87. yeah, i know it ain't cool, but it works. even duck loads. never had ejection or extraction issues. when ya run out in the duck blind you borrow from you neighbor. now slugs are a different story. won't do that.
Dude-thats DUMB !!!! You are forcing that heavy 12 ga shot charge through a 1/4 inch of 16 ga. or smaller bore. Perhaps it was lawsuits by people like you that caused the big class settlement rape of Remington on using "weak" steel in their shotgun barrels.

DJEinConcord
08-30-2011, 10:20 PM
I measured the ejection ports on my 870's--no difference. As mentioned my 2 3/4" reciever will not eject 3" hulls reliably due to the ejector no doubt. All 870 barrels fit either receiver. There is a fairly common problem with the action rails in some 870s that will cause a (really) bad stoppage, that requires some tool (like a knife or screw driver) to overcome. You can fire 3" in a short chamber if you wish--but there is a difference and it isn't just the stamp on the barrel " use 2 3/4" or shorter shells". When I was in Alaska, my choice was the 870 with short, smooth bore slug barrel and 1oz slugs. Never needed it. Good Shooting......

I won't fire 3s in a 2 3/4 chamber either. Too scary for me.

I have one other shotgun, another 870, that sports a 3 inch riot barrel, Streamlight, ammo sleeve and extended tube. Looks like it could be in a Schwartzenegger movie. I don't want to have to think or second guess with either of them. If I have to grab one, in the bush or outta the closet, I want it to work with whatever I got in an instant without having to think about shell size.

Agreed that slugs are the way to go with big bears. If you carry a shotgun nearly every fishing and hunting guide on the northwest corner of the continent recommends slugs. I have never heard of any Alaskan or Canadian guide recommend shot. And if something is close enough for me to shoot with an 870 and I have to shoot it to keep it from eating someone like I will not be concerned with recoil at all. The 870 I just got is a retired duty gun in excellent functional condition. I have no concern that it will not perform.

Shot of any kind or size is likely to just get their attention. Which is not what you want at all.

buckshot85
08-31-2011, 04:59 AM
i never said it was the smartest thing and i'm not the suing type. one must take responsability for his own actions. just for the record i now own several 3".

Dthom
08-31-2011, 11:32 AM
It won`t be worth the extra money it will cost you to have a gunsmith put in a new ejector, grind it down flush with the exterior of the receiver, and then have to refinish the receiver.

I would keep it a 2 3/4 in. only. There is no big deal about adding a 3 in. barrel if that would be cheaper though.

2 3/4 in. is more than enough for home defense, or bears with the right slugs.

edlmann
08-31-2011, 12:10 PM
i have fired 3" fine shot out of 2 3/4" tubes for more than 10 years in my 870 and 11-87. yeah, i know it ain't cool, but it works. even duck loads. never had ejection or extraction issues. when ya run out in the duck blind you borrow from you neighbor. now slugs are a different story. won't do that.

When you do this, the crimp of a 3" shell extends into the forcing cone. Could have an interesting spike in pressure.

CADBURY
08-31-2011, 03:55 PM
2 3/4" is more than enough for home defense. Better yet is to get the little short loads that way you can put more of them in the gun instead of 8 shots you now get 10 or 12 with out reloading. Now if you want to go magnum why not go 3 1/2" that way you can shoot anything through it with out worrying about it

dontknowdiddly
08-31-2011, 07:39 PM
Debate without insults! Good thread (save one post - always one)...


SO, if OP keeps his receiver configured for 2 3/4", and he has bird load, what will that do to a Brownie, or Grizzle, that's looking for some fresh grub on the hoof??? (or on the hunting boot :eek: )

Whereas, if it's converted to 3", same situation, wouldn't the same shotload in 3" make a little more difference???

AlReiter
08-31-2011, 07:47 PM
SO, if OP keeps his receiver configured for 2 3/4", and he has bird load, what will that do to a Brownie, or Grizzle, that's looking for some fresh grub on the hoof??? (or on the hunting boot :eek: )

Whereas, if it's converted to 3", same situation, wouldn't the same shotload in 3" make a little more difference???
JMHO, but I don't think I'd want to face a Brownie or a Grizzlie with only bird load regardless of 2-3/4" or 3" shells.

dontknowdiddly
08-31-2011, 08:07 PM
JMHO, but I don't think I'd want to face a Brownie or a Grizzlie with only bird load regardless of 2-3/4" or 3" shells.

Of course not.

But if he's out looking for birds, and Smokey T. Bear shows up with an appetite, will a 3" with a birdload do any more deterring than 2 3/4"???

Even if I had 00 in my pocket, I wouldn't take time to change it out. That's MY HO...

Warlock
09-01-2011, 04:02 PM
Birdshot (71/2,6,5 etc) will do nothing to a large mammal even a close range other than just blow a patch of hair off. When you have no other choice, for gods sake blow as many patches off that animal as you can! Better yet, don't put yourself in a bad situation.

rugersworld
09-21-2011, 12:15 PM
You could go through the hassle of changing the ejector, etc, BUT you are forgetting that most remington shotguns that were made in 2-3/4" were made with a NON-magnum receiver. Meaning you cannot safely shoot 3" mag shotshells. Some of the newer 2-3/4" model 1100s will shoot 3" steel shells only safely out of a 3" chambered barrel. No original 2-3/4" chambered 870 or 1100 is safe to fire 3" lead shells, be it shot or slug!
Go with a heavy 2-3/4" slug standard lead or a Barnes out of a modified choke max. Save your money on ammo and practice. Most likely you will only get 2 shots at a grizzley IF you see it comming. Last time I checked, 2-legged critters won't know the difference between a 2-3/4" or a 3" slug to the chest!

Fogtripper
09-21-2011, 12:39 PM
Slugs kick..hard.... 3" Magnums are listed @1750 feet per second velocity.

I can attest to how hard a 3" slug kicks. Serious shoulder bruises.

DJEinConcord
09-21-2011, 06:07 PM
You could go through the hassle of changing the ejector, etc, BUT you are forgetting that most remington shotguns that were made in 2-3/4" were made with a NON-magnum receiver. Meaning you cannot safely shoot 3" mag shotshells. Some of the newer 2-3/4" model 1100s will shoot 3" steel shells only safely out of a 3" chambered barrel. No original 2-3/4" chambered 870 or 1100 is safe to fire 3" lead shells, be it shot or slug!

Go with a heavy 2-3/4" slug standard lead or a Barnes out of a modified choke max. Save your money on ammo and practice. Most likely you will only get 2 shots at a grizzley IF you see it comming. Last time I checked, 2-legged critters won't know the difference between a 2-3/4" or a 3" slug to the chest!

There is no physical difference between Wingmaster's and Express' receivers excpet for the location of the extractor and what is roll stamped on the receiver. Gunsmiths have been altering the extractors for decades by shortneing them or reportedly replacing them with Mossberg extractors they work into the Remingtons somehow. Police departmetns have done this in the past according one gunsmith.

Here is a link to google on it.

http://www.google.com/search?q=remington+870+receviers+convert+to+magnum&btnG=Search&rls=com.microsoft%3A*&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1&gs_sm=s&gs_upl=6656l7234l0l13061l3l3l0l0l0l0l203l562l0.2.1 l3l0&oq=remington+870+receviers+convert+to+magnum&aq=f&aqi=&aql=

The following post sums it up. Says Remington will do it for you.

http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-219367.html

I finally got my retired service gun and a cop friend's Parkerized and they came out fine after having to repark the receivers. They fell off the wires suspending them in the Park solution and got an uneven finish. Look good now though.

Per ceresco's post I tried to eject a spent 3 inch shell and it FTEd by about an 1/8 of an inch. Not sure what I will do. I won't do it myself, but may have someone more skilled do it.

sigman2
09-21-2011, 10:01 PM
Best bear load around, 2 3/4" 1 oz. #9 shot... for the bear at least. ;)

Choot em!

bd1
09-22-2011, 10:03 AM
What DJE said. Stick a 3" marked 870 barrel on your Wingmaster and try it with 3" shells. Mine works fine even though the original barrel says 2 & 3/4" shells. Just don't shoot 3" shells with that barrel.

CADBURY
09-22-2011, 11:24 AM
Just save all the hastle and go buy a 3-1/2" its not that expensive.
If you cannot afford to buy it maybe you shouldn't own a gun.