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Remington 870P MAX.

To me the test of time is one of the most important measures of the success or failure of any firearm. When we work within a field where the technology is very mature, truly new stuff is hard to find. Often we see the same basic action adapted to fill different roles.

That is how it is with the Remington 870 pump. Since it has been in continuous production since 1950, I guess we'd have to call it a success. More than 7 million sold removes the guesswork.

My experience with the 870 goes back almost that far. As a beginning skeet shooter I couldn't afford the Brownings or Model 12s that were the popular choices back then, so an elderly Model 870 SC taught me shot-gunning. In turn that gave me the chance to shoot clays and birds with a legend. The late Rudy Etchen used an 870 on his way to the trapshooting hall of fame.

Off and on over the intervening years another connection with the 870 was as the comforting presence in my patrol car. Perhaps you can tell by now that I'm a fan. For years now Remington has offered variations of the 870 for law enforcement use and the latest is the Model 870P MAX.

There are quite a few differences from previous models. This one is intended for tactical or entry use so the fore-end includes a Surefire LED Weaponlight. The fore-end is hand filling and positions the light directly below the centerline of the bore. On the left side are on/off switches and a momentary on touch pad is on the right. This setup is comfortably ambidextrous. The right-handed user can activate the light with his fingertips and it is equally easy for a southpaw to do it with his thumb.

The synthetic stock is a Davis Speedfeed pistol grip style with a 13" length of pull. Stock length is a real issue for officers wearing heavy gear and protective vests, so the 13" length is a good compromise. It's not too short to be uncomfortable for folks in standard uniform but doesn't cramp the guys in SWAT gear either. Another great feature is the use of the new Remington R3 recoil pad. Buckshot or slug loads can be prodigious kickers and the new technology in the pad really does wonders. There is also a two-shot magazine extender under the 18 1/4" barrel bringing it up to 6+1. Choke is improved cylinder.

Another variation of the 870 is the new Modular Combat Shotgun intended to fit several military and police jobs. There are three interchangeable barrels of 10", 14" and 18 1/4", and the new Rem Loc pistol grip stock can be used either as a stand alone pistol grip for breaching jobs or fitted with a conventional stock with a 13" length of pull. There is even a special mount that allows the shotgun without grip or stock to be hung underneath the handguard of an M-4 carbine.

To go with the guns there's some new buckshot. Several years ago Remington introduced a Reduced Recoil load that carried eight pellets of 00 buck. I tested them and got good patterns with noticeably lighter recoil. A new load includes frangible buckshot made by Remington's Disintegrator process that uses copper-plated powdered iron for the projectile. The downside of the eight-pellet load was that it would not cycle semi-automatic shotguns. That has been corrected with a new load with slightly higher velocity but the same eight-pellet loading. One of the advantages of the eight-pellet charge is that they seem to stack better in the shell which contributes to more uniform patterns. From the Max's IC bore, 25-yard patterns averaged no more than 4" although it was not uncommon to see a single flyer add two inches to the spread.

This is a pretty substantial hunk of shotgun with an empty weight of 8 1/4 pounds. The combination of weight, a very effective recoil pad, the pistol grip and Remington's LE buckshot makes recoil almost a non-issue. The pistol grip helps with recoil since it allows the hand and arm to absorb some of the recoil that would normally go straight to your shoulder. I don't know about anyone else, but I have never felt the need to keep a strong grip on the fore-end of a pump shotgun so the first time I shot this one I got an unexpected rap. The presences of the light on the fore-end necessitates a larger area at the front of the fore-end so if you don't grip it firmly the gun will accelerate to the rear faster than your support hand and thump you. I found that firmly gripping the fore-end a bit further back still allowed good control of the light buttons but prevented that little discomfort.

One of the common buzzwords associated with defensive type weapons is "firepower" which generally means who can sling the greatest amount of lead in the least amount of time. Consider this: a single round of Remington's Law Enforcement buck dispenses eight 33-caliber projectiles weighing roughly 53 grains at 1,150-1,200 fps. It takes only seconds to launch the full capacity of the gun. Submachineguns may be cool, but shotguns rule.
870P MAX

Remington Law Enforcement
870 Remington Dr., Madison; NC 27025
(336) 548-8899,

 Action type: Pump action
 Gauge: 12
 Choke: Improved Cylinder
 Capacity: 6+1 (with two-shot
 Barrel length: 10", 14" or "18 1/4"
Length el pull: 13"
 Weight: 8 1/4 pounds
 Finish: Parkerized
 Sights: Wilson Combat
 Ghost Ring rear;
 XS interchangeable front
 Stock: Davis Speedfeed IV
 Price: Law enforcement only
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Title Annotation:Out Of The Box
Author:Petty, Charles E.
Publication:Guns Magazine
Date:Mar 1, 2005
Previous Article:Glock goodies.
Next Article:QuickLOAD: reloading has never been safer.

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