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Beartooth Regular
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Gentlemen,

I'm in the immediate market for a new shotgun. I've always liked and owned Remington 870's but the USRAC Model 1300 caught my eye. In Ranger form vs. the 870 Express the wood is nicer looking and I get all three of the common choke tubes for &#3620 less than the Remington. However, without any experience with them I'm not completely sold. Can I expect the same durability and reliability as I've had with the 870? The Winchester seems lighter, does it have an aluminum receiver or other major components? If you have experience with these guns please reply ASAP as I'll be buying Thursday evening. Thanks in advance.
 

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Even after working for Winchester-Western for many years....Forget the 1300 and go with the Rem pump.
The Win has an alloy receiver and turn bolt head. The Rem chokes cost more, but are longer(line up) and better made.
Best Regards, James
 

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The Winchester 1300 is just a slightly updated mdl. 1200.

The 1200 has at least 4 major problems that I've experienced. Right after purchase in 1971 my 1200 was replaced for cutting shells open at the mouth as they fed into the barrel. Apparently, the wide cut for the extractor was sharp as a razor on that one and the replacement does not cut shells. This same 1970's vintage 1200 had some type of sinistered metal trigger guard assembly. This assembly failed for me as I fired on a running buck during a dog drive in the early 80's. The part broke in half shutting the gun down! The replacement trigger guard assembly was made of plastic and no further failures have occured.

The next failure involved the breakage of the left slide arm during a dove shoot. The replacement slide arm assembly seemed heavier and has not failed. The weakest part of the 1200 has to be the riveted right and left shell stops. I have had to replace those also.

I was 13 at the time my father purchased this 1200 for me with money I earned cutting lawns. I chose this model because of the winchoke option as I could not afford to buy extra barrels at the time. Now 32 years later with all the parts replacing (no gunsmiths involved) the old 1200 works and still accompanies me on several hunts each year. But given the top drawer reputation of the 870 today that is what I would buy. I say that in spite of Remingtons ****able magazine capacity limiting detents and flimsy plastic magazine follower.
R. McLaney
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter #4
Ralph,

Thanks for your post. To be honest I had a great many doubts about the Winchester before starting this thread. Several of the problems you mentioned have been experienced by people I know. The only reason I considered the 1300 was because it was new to me compared to my longtime companion the Remington 870.

The reason why I was shopping around is because I'm down to just one shotgun (!!!), an 870 HD. I had to sell my last Wingmaster in a time of financial crisis. Now my HD is just fine except I modified it for an extended tube, filing away those detents you mentioned in the process.
What I do to limit the capacity for hunting is insert a homemade dowel cut to the proper length. Works just fine and is completely legal.

I was looking at another used example when the good folks at my local gunshop told me of a NIB 26" VR Express barrel lying around. Apparantly someone wanted to buy an 870 Express slug gun and they only had the combo affair. He didn't want the Remchoke barrel so his loss is my gain for only &#36110. Mounted on my HD it may look a bit odd but with the extra weight of the steel mag extension it swings smoothly with a bit of muzzle heaviness I like. It should do nicely for pass shooting geese this coming Saturday. James and Ralph, thanks for the input.
 

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Bill...It's bad when an ex-Winchester man push the Remington 870, in any cofiguration, but that's just the way it is. The 1200/1300 and the 1400/1500 series leave a lot to be desired. When I was shooting the Florida Winter Trap Chain for Winchester, I would carry big fishing tackle bax full of Mod.12 parts. Spent many hours keeping shooter's Mod.12's going. Yet, I never saw the first rem 870 Trap Gun quit!!!
The Wichester Mod 101 and Mod SuperX1 are a different story....great guns worthy of the old WW quality.
One thing to watch...some Express guns got out with soft bolts/barrel extensions. After shooting the gun for awhile, check for any pinging/battering! If so, Rem will replace the part.
Good Shooting, James  
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter #6
Nothing to fear. This particular HD Express has well in excess of 5000 rounds already. Everything from mild Skeet loads to bruising Brenneke slugs. Everything still locks up nice & tight.

I didn't know that the beloved Model 12 had major problems like the newer 1200 and 1300? It has such a reputation among those old enough to remember it firsthand.
 

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The Mod 12's that were shot on the trap fields were fired 200 times a day..100 16 yard birds in the morning and 100 handicap in the afternoon. Most were fired more in one trap season than the fieldguns in years. The major problem was with broken firing pins, extractors, and ejectors. The field guns did pretty well...the point I was trying to bring out was even with this hammering the 870's keep shooting.
Best Regards, James
 

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Gentlemen:

Thank you for the information posted here.  I am in severe need of a shotgun myself, and didn't know which way to go, so this topic is very helpful.  I want a pump-action.  I'll stay away from the Winchesters.  I kind of figured on going with the tried and true Remington 870, and the info here confirms that.  

If you all don't mind my cutting in here, do you all have any opinions on the Mossbergs?  The "Mart" nearby has a sale on a camo finish Mossberg that shoots the 3 1/2 shells.  I can't remember if it is a Model 500 or not, but the price is pretty low, though the 870 is not bad either.

I haven't done much shotgunning, but am getting into dove shooting this year, hopefully some duck hunting this winter, and turkey hunting in the spring.  Basically I just need an all-around shotgun.

Any thoughts?

Thanks for any input.

Regards,
Ray Floyd
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter #9
Ray,

I would steer clear of the Mossberg 500. I know of two personally that have had broken safeties (a plastic part) and one that had to be returned to the factory twice for feeding problems. Granted every manufacturer's wares have problems from time to time, but 100% of the Mossbergs I'm familiar with have been trouble.

If you are in need of an all-around shotgun, there is none better than the Remington 870 Express Combo. It gives you a Rem Choke bird barrel and a rifle-sighted slug tube. With this setup and the proper ammo you are set for literally anything that walks on or flys above this planet. Not bad for &#36300, eh?
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Ray, you can spend more money but you can't buy a better pump shotgun than an 870.  The new ones are ... shall we say, a bit ugly, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy a used one either, if you could find an older one with nice wood.  On the plus side, you won't feel bad if you have a plain wood/parkerized Express and it gets beat up hunting.

Just take the barrel off the receiver and check for battering/rounding where the bolt locks up on used guns.  This will give you an idea of how many rounds have been through the gun.

I'd get one with the Rem Choke tubes, if buying used.

I think that the real advantage to the 870 series is the huge aftermarket for them.  You'll never run out of spare parts or options.
 

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Mr. Lester and Mike:

Thanks for the info.  Sounds like the 870 is the way to go.  With the extra slug barrel on the Combo model, I'd have an extra gun to loan somebody during deer season.

Thanks again,
Ray Floyd
 
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