If you’re the lucky owner of a Remington 870, you must know it is highly customizable. Like many other parts of the gun, the barrel of this legendary shotgun can also be modified, drastically altering shooting characteristics. For example, to further improve your hunting experience, you may consider changing the barrel to something that suits the kind of game you hunt.
In this article you’ll learn about a few types of barrels, how they can impact your performance, and how to select the right barrel for your shotgun. Additionally, we’ll be breaking down our top picks for the best Remington 870 barrels and discussing their main features, pros, and cons. Let’s begin!
Remington 870 Barrels Comparison Chart
REMINGTON - 870 BARREL 18" CYLINDER BORE
REMINGTON - BARREL, 18.5", IC BEAD SIGHT, PARKERIZED
REMINGTON - BARREL, 18", POLICE W/RIFLE SIGHTS, PARKERIZED, IMP CYL
CARLSONS - Remington 870, Ramped Front Sight
CARLSONS - Rem 870 12ga Vent Rib, 24", 3" chamber, MOD Choke, S-Matte
Shotgun Barrel Types
There are two primary kinds of shotgun barrels; here’s what you need to know about them:
Smoothbore barrels are most common and suitable for rifled slugs, birdshot, and buckshot. If you plan to hunt small ducks or birds, then a smoothbore barrel would work great.
Rifled Short Barrel
Rifled barrels are for shooting sabot slugs such as Premier Accutip Slug, etc. They are used when shooting at longer range targets and are perfect for large predators. The rifling imparts spin to the slug, providing more precision and stability in flight. For long range shotgun shooting, this is a top pick.
Benefits of Using an Aftermarket Barrel on a Shotgun
While the factory or stock barrel that comes with a Remington is already good, you might need to upgrade your barrel due to better suit your lifestyle and needs. For example, hunters often prefer a longer barrel for their shotguns, as it enables them to shoot targets at much longer distance.
Another reason to upgrade your barrel may be the need to have a removable choke system. This helps shooters vary their pellet dispersal patterns based on the kind of game they are hunting.
How Do Different Barrel Sizes Impact Performance?
The length of a barrel changes the shooting characteristics of a shotgun. Longer shotgun barrels provide a longer sighting and the sights are spaced further apart along the barrel plane, making it easier to accurately aim the gun. They also create less noise and muzzle flash compared to short barreled guns.
Longer barrels are better suited for hunting and activities like trap shooting, skeet, and sporting clays. On the downside, longer barrels are heavier and harder to maneuver.
Shorter barrels are ideal for home defense and tactical situations. They are more versatile, and less heavy. The downsides are that they have a shorter sighting plane, create more noise, muzzle flash, and recoil than longer barrels.
The most popular barrel length for the Remington 870 is 18″ as it’s short, simple, and inexpensive. Lengths such as 32’’ and 30’’ are common for hunting, but in order to get the best balance, they are often customized to be lighter via aftermarket boring.
How to Choose the Best Remington 870 Barrel
When you’re shopping for a new aftermarket barrel, take into consideration the length, rifling, sight, choke, and the balance. As mentioned, the length of the barrel may affect shooting characteristics of your gun, such as choosing a rifled barreled allows you to use slugs for hunting large game.
With this, there a few aspects we want to review so you’re fully prepared to pull the trigger on a new barrel when the time comes.
Selecting a barrel with a good sight is useful for accuracy and precision. Modern light gathering sights are popular as they help users ensure they’re on track and aligned with their target.
Some barrels allow you to insert removable chokes. A choke is designed to shape how the shot spreads after you pull the trigger, potentially improving the accuracy and range of the shot.
Two kinds of chokes are available: screw-in chokes and fixed chokes. Fixed chokes are integrated into the shotgun’s barrel, and cannot be replaced. On the other hand, screw-in chokes are removable.
When buying a new barrel, ensure that it does not affect the balance of your shotgun adversely. Often, longer barrels are heavier and make the gun difficult to balance and shoot effectively. That’s why hunters who use longer barrels often modify them by boring the barrels.
Quick Take - The Best Remington 870 Barrels
These are our recommendations for the best barrels for the remington 870:
Reviews of the Best Remington 870 Barrels
Here are some of our top picks for the Remington 870 barrels. Let’s see why they made out list and what makes them stand out compared to other models.
This 18” cylinder bore barrel fits 12 gauge Remington 870 3’’ guns, and has a bead sight. It weighs 2.59 lbs and is available in black. It has a fixed choke, so swapping out chokes is not possible. The barrel is designed to fit Remington 870 Express guns. This smooth bore barrel can handle rifled slugs and all kinds of shots.
- Easy to install
- Great fit
- Shoots well
- Tough and robust
No rear sight
This barrel isn’t fancy but will get the job done if you want to upgrade an old shotgun, giving it a new lease on life. It is suitable for home defense and hunting, though the short barrel won’t have the accuracy of a longer barrel.
This 12 gauge 18.5’’ barrel comes with a matte finish and manganese parkerized, with a fixed choke. It fits shotguns with a 2 ¾” to 3” chamber, but is not threaded for choke tubes. It has an external type magazine cap retainer and a front bead. The barrel weighs 2.11 lbs. and comes in black. With this, the barrel only allows 2 ¾” or shorter shells, and can shoot both slugs and shot.
The bead on the sight can be changed, but the sight itself is threaded into a pedestal, which is brazed to the barrel, so it may be difficult to remove the sight.
- Easy to install
- Looks great
- Matches the original finish on the receiver
- Replacing the beads requires drilling and tapping the hole
- No rear sight
This is a great looking barrel with great responses from users who’ve experienced it firsthand. If you’re looking for a barrel that’s tough, offers a matte finish gun, and shoots well, go for this one. It is a good choice for beginners or for home defense as well as clay shooting.
This 18’’ black barrel is suitable for a tactical rebuild, thanks to its double rifle sights. The design of these signs are intended to improve your accuracy at moderate ranges. This short barrel does not accept choke tubes as it has a fixed choke, and it handles 2 ¾” and 3” shells. Additionally, this barrel is the preferred choice for many law enforcement officers who own Remington 870s. It weighs 2.22 lbs. and comes in parkerized flat black.
- Solid construction
- Easy to install
- Sights are easy to adjust
- Great fit and finish
Some quality issues reported by buyers
Choose this barrel if you want an accurate barrel for your Remington 870 for tactical purposes and home defense.
This 18.5” barrel has a chrome lined bore and comes complete with a Carlson cylinder-bore choke tube. With this barrel, you can convert your Remington 870 into a slug gun or home defense shotgun. The barrel is threaded for standard Rem Choke and has 3" chambers, so it does not fit 870 Tactical models.
Moreover, you can replace the choke if required. It’s available with either a ramped blade front sight only or adjustable front/rear rifle sights. The manufacturer offers a lifetime guarantee on all their products, so you can purchase with confidence.
- Chrome lining makes it longer lasting
- Robust and tough
- Fits perfectly on most Remington 870 models
- Lifetime warranty
Some quality issues reported by buyers
With plenty of fancy features, this is not your run-of-the-mill barrel. It is suitable for home defense or tactical use, and the sights improve your accuracy significantly.
This 12 gauge barrel is made from ordinance grade 4140 steel with chrome lined bore. The vent rib model has a satin, matte blue finish with a red fluorescent front sight and brass center bead.
It comes with a Carlson Modified stainless steel choke tube and adapts for both rifled slugs and all kinds of shot. The longer barrel strives to improve accuracy compared to standard 18.5’’ barrels and gives longer sighting.
- Red fluorescent front sight stands out nicely against background
- Looks great
- Chrome lined bore
No rear sights
Perfect as a high quality upgrade for your Remington 870, this barrel makes shooting in poorly lit conditions a breeze thanks to its red fluorescent front sight. It is a good fit for hunting and getting rid of varmints.
While getting a new barrel to replace the factory model on your Remington can improve your accuracy and shooting experience, it can also have a negative impact if you don’t factor in the rifling, balance, choke, and length.
Keep your shooting needs in mind when evaluating the barrels on each of these factors and you’ll be more than satisfied with your purchase. We hope this review has been beneficial on your hunt to securing a new barrel for your Remington 870.