I haven't heard anyhting about problems with the 870. It is a classic gun and has been around for a while. I do not own one, but my father does (870 Wingmaster 12ga LC) and I can't recall him ever having a problem.
I do have a friend that works at the Remington Mayfield Firearms Plant in KY. I'll shoot him an e-mail and see if he can give me any info.
The 870 is the best all around shotgun you can buy. I mean if you want to use a shot gun for lots of stuff(deer, birds and other small game) I have 4 870s my self. one is a 12 wing master my grandad owned. I also have a 12 ga express and 2 870 20ga. I have only shot the one a few times I use it as a back up in case a friend needs a gun or my other ever would go out. I shot 2,500 shells out of my main 20. from last may to august I use it for trialing,hunting and shooting skeet. Looks like its been in a war but I would bet my life it will go off when I touch the trigger. In fact I beleave they are issued by police and the U.S goverment, so aleast they did somthing right
I have one made in the early to mid 1960's that I have had since 1979. It is suppose to be choked modified but is probably closer to a full choke. I have never ever had a single problem with it in the 20 plus years I have owned it. I have mostly used it on upland game, but when I hunted ducks I would use it. The last time I hunted ducks though lead shot was still allowed, so have no idea how it would work with steel.
I have a 12ga 870 Wingmaster that I bought in '78', a 12ga. 1187 bought in '92', and a 22-250 Mod. 700 rifle bought in '85' and have never had a problem with any of them. Just keep them clean and they'll last.
The only thing I noticed on the Express model is it was the action is stiffer than my Wingmaster. Over time I'm sure it'll smoth out, but I'm guessing the tolerances are a bit better on the Wingmaster. I could be wrong, though.
I've had a 16ga Browning forever and that gauge is fine for pheasants. There's a few less pellets in a shell comparred to the 12ga, but I have never missed a bird that I could blame that on.
I guess my concern is more with the current production of 870's. Iv'e owned a few myself bck in the 70's and 80's, and they were great guns. I still own an 870 Special Field in 20 ga that my son has pretty much comandeered as his own. But I've heard lately that there have been some problems with the quality of Remington Firearms, i e shotguns shooting way off point of aim, barrels having to be replaced mechanical problems etc.
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