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Remington M870



M870 Express Tactical.
Source: Remington - © copyright lies with original owner

United States
Entered service
Early 1950's
In service
Late 1940's
United States - Remington
1951 - present
United States - Remington
Unit cost
$ 491 for M870 in 2001
$ 636 for MCS in 2005
$ 1.530 for Robar Elite in 2010
Number produced
Over 10 million, including civilian sales
MCS / Modular Combat Shotgun
L74A1 (Uk designation)



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.


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.


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.


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.



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. Many of the M870P model feature an 18 inch barrel, but 20 inch models are common as well.

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.

M870P Entry

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.

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.


Facts M870P (18 inch) M870P (20 inch) M870 MK 1 M870P Entry M870PS
United States
12ga 2.75" and 3"
Feed system
Tubular magazine
5 + 1
Barrel length
457 mm
Fire selector
0 - 1
Rate of fire
Stock type
985 mm
3.4 kg
Iron sights, post front and adjustable notch rear

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