Firearms / Shotguns / Remington M870

Remington M870

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Shotgun

  • ORIGIN
    United States

  • NICKNAMES
    Modular Combat Shotgun / MCS
    L74A1 (Uk designation)

  • DESIGNED
    Late 1940's

  • DESIGNER
    Remington

  • PRODUCTION
    1951 - present

  • PRODUCERS
    United States - Remington
    United States - Robar
    United States - Scattergun Technologies (now Wilson Combat)

  • QUANTITY
    Over 10 million, including civilian sales

  • UNIT COST
    $ 491 for M870 in 2001
    $ 636 for MCS in 2005
    $ 1.530 for Robar Elite in 2010

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Very reliable
    May fire non lethal rounds
    Many versions available
    Limited costs
    Limited rate of fire

Introduction

The M870 is a pump-action shotgun of US origin. It was developed by Remington in the late 1940's in order to compete with the Winchester Model 12. It was first sold to civilians and police models soon followed. The M870 is an iconic firearm and the most produced shotgun in the world with over 10 million produced. Over the years the design has been updated to suit the demands of law enforcement and military operators.

Design

The M870 is based on the earlier Remington Model 31, but is a more rugged and more reliable design. The M870 is a fairly conventional pump action shotgun with a tubular magazine below the barrel and a conventional grip. The police models were at first fitted with a wooden stock and slider. This later changed to a black polymer furniture. Over time the tactical models have been vastly improved and are currently available with pistol grip, retractable stock and accessory and sight rails.

Firepower

The M870 fires 12 ga shotgun shells with a length of 2.75 or 3 inch. The standard magazine capacity is 5 rounds but many tactical models feature magazine extensions. The M870 is a pump action shotgun and therefore has a limited rate of fire. It is known to be very reliable and has the ability to fire non lethal rounds. Models with rifled barrels for firing slugs are also available.

Users

The M870 is the most popular police shotgun in the United States and is widely used by the US military. It is also in use with many military and law enforcement units around the world. Even though the design is dated constant improvements make it up to date with the latest trends.

Variants

M870P (old)

The original M870 Police models used in the USA for many decades were standard 5 round models with wooden furniture. Not until the late 1980's the synthetic furniture models were introduced.

TypeShotgun
Caliber12ga 3"
Magazine5 round tubular magazine
OperationPump action
Fire selector0-1
Rate of firePump action
Barrel length457 mm
RiflingSmoothbore
Muzzle velocity?
StockFixed
Length985 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight3.4 kg
SightsIron sights, post front and adjustable notch rear
Remarks-
TypeShotgun
Caliber12ga 3"
Magazine5 round tubular magazine
OperationPump action
Fire selector0-1
Rate of firePump action
Barrel length508 mm
RiflingSmoothbore
Muzzle velocity?
StockFixed
Length1.036mm
Width?
Height?
Weight3.5 kg
SightsIron sights, post front and adjustable notch rear
Remarks-

M870 Mk 1

The M870 MK 1, MK 3 and MK 6 are early military models adopted in the 1960's. The Mk 1 has a magazine extension and bayonet lug. The Mk 3 is similar to the Mk 1 but has no bayonet lug. The Mk 6 is an air force model with 4 round magazine. All versions feature wooden furniture and feature an oil finish that differs from the civilian models.

TypeShotgun
Caliber12ga 2.75"
Magazine7 round tubular magazine
OperationPump action
Fire selector0-1
Rate of firePump action
Barrel length533 mm
RiflingSmoothbore
Muzzle velocity?
StockFixed
Length1.006 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight3.6 kg
SightsIron sights, post front and adjustable notch rear
Remarks-

M870P (short)

Late production M870P's are also available with a shorter 14 inch barrel. The short barrel models are often referred to as the M870P Entry, although this is not an official name. Most short models feature a pistol grip and many of the accessories found on the full size models are also available.

TypeShotgun
Caliber12ga 3"
Magazine5 round tubular magazine
OperationPump action
Fire selector0-1
Rate of firePump action
Barrel length356 mm
RiflingSmoothbore
Muzzle velocity?
StockFixed
Length870 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight3.3 kg
SightsIron sights, post front and adjustable notch rear
Remarks-

M870P (current)

The current production models of the M870 Police feature a synthetic furniture. The original M870P with synthetic furniture was known as the M870 Police Special or M870PS. Currently the synthetic models are simply referred to as M870P, despite the differences with the original model. The current police models are available in many configurations and may feature a pistol grip, tactical light, magazine extension, ghost ring sights, accessory rails, speedfeed stock or a retractable stock. The latest model is the the M870P MAX and contains many features previously found only on the Scattergun Technology models.

TypeShotgun
Caliber12ga 3"
Magazine5 round tubular magazine
OperationPump action
Fire selector0-1
Rate of firePump action
Barrel length457 mm
RiflingSmoothbore
Muzzle velocity?
StockFixed
Length985 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight3.4 kg
SightsIron sights, post front and adjustable notch rear
Remarks-

Police Breacher System

The Police Breacher System is a highly modified M870 designed for tactical entry and door breaching. The setup is rougly similar to the CQB model of the military Modular Combat System, although the method for fixing the retractable M4 type stock is different.

TypeShotgun
Caliber12ga 3"
Magazine4 round tubular magazine
OperationPump action
Fire selector0-1
Rate of firePump action
Barrel length292 mm
RiflingSmoothbore
Muzzle velocity?
StockRetractable
Length0.81 m / 0.73 m
Width?
Height?
Weight?
SightsNo iron sights, optional optics on Picatinny accessory rail
Remarks-

Modular Combat System

The M870 Modular Combat System, or MCS, is a modular system based around the M870 shotgun. The MCS comes in a box that contains all the neccessary parts to create three different M870 setups. The full size model with 18 inch barrel is most similar to the tactical models of the M870 with its fixed polymer stock, pistol grip, accessory rails and conventional looks. The CQB version features a stock and pistol grip derived from the M4 carbine and has a shorter 14 inch barrel with flash hider. The smallest setup is the Breacher model with its 10 inch barrel and no stock. The Breacher model may also be fitted under the M4 carbine to form a Masterkey setup.

TypeShotgun
Caliber12ga 3"
Magazine7 round tubular magazine
OperationPump action
Fire selector0-1
Rate of firePump action
Barrel length0.46 m
RiflingSmoothbore
Muzzle velocity?
StockFixed
Length1 m
Width?
Height?
Weight?
SightsIron sights, post front and adjustable notch rear, optional optics on Picatinny accessory rail
Remarks-
TypeShotgun
Caliber12ga 3"
Magazine6 round tubular magazine
OperationPump action
Fire selector0-1
Rate of firePump action
Barrel length0.36 m
RiflingSmoothbore
Muzzle velocity?
StockRetractable
Length0.9 m / 0.7 m
Width?
Height?
Weight?
SightsNo iron sights, optional optics on Picatinny accessory rail
Remarks-
TypeShotgun
Caliber12ga 3"
Magazine4 round tubular magazine
OperationPump action
Fire selector0-1
Rate of firePump action
Barrel length0.25 m
RiflingSmoothbore
Muzzle velocity?
Stock-
Length0.5 m
Width?
Height?
Weight?
SightsNo iron sights, optional optics on Picatinny accessory rail
Remarks-

Scattergun models

Scattergun produces several customized M870 models. The most compact model is the Entry model which has a 5 round capacity and a slider with integraded light. The Border Patrol model is a full size model with magazine extension. The Border Patrol Short model is similar but slightly shorter. The FBI model has no magazine extension but features a slider with integrated tactical light. All Scattergun models feature a variety of upgrades including ghost ring sights. Currently many Scattergun modifications are available from Remington as well.

TypeShotgun
Caliber12ga 3"
Magazine5 round tubular magazine
OperationPump action
Fire selector0-1
Rate of firePump action
Barrel length318 mm
RiflingSmoothbore
Muzzle velocity?
StockFixed
Length830 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight3.7 kg
SightsIron sights, post front and ghost ring rear
Remarks-
TypeShotgun
Caliber12ga 3"
Magazine6 round tubular magazine
OperationPump action
Fire selector0-1
Rate of firePump action
Barrel length356 mm
RiflingSmoothbore
Muzzle velocity?
StockFixed
Length870 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight3.5 kg
SightsIron sights, post front and ghost ring rear
Remarks-
TypeShotgun
Caliber12ga 3"
Magazine7 round tubular magazine
OperationPump action
Fire selector0-1
Rate of firePump action
Barrel length457 mm
RiflingSmoothbore
Muzzle velocity?
StockFixed
Length970 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight3.6 kg
SightsIron sights, post front and ghost ring rear
Remarks-
TypeShotgun
Caliber12ga 3"
Magazine5 round tubular magazine
OperationPump action
Fire selector0-1
Rate of firePump action
Barrel length457 mm
RiflingSmoothbore
Muzzle velocity?
StockFixed
Length970 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight3.9 kg
SightsIron sights, post front and ghost ring rear
Remarks-

Robar models

Robar produces several high customized shotguns based on the M870. The Robar Elite is the best known example. The Elite features new sights, a modified barrel, improved trigger, a magazine extension, a new finish and various other improvements. The result is a high quality shotgun at a very high price level.

TypeShotgun
Caliber12ga 3"
Magazine7 round tubular magazine
OperationPump action
Fire selector0-1
Rate of firePump action
Barrel length470 mm
RiflingSmoothbore
Muzzle velocity?
StockFixed
Length985 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight3.5 kg
SightsIron sights, post front and adjustable rearsight
Remarks-

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