2019 Buyer’s Guide – Best Remington 870 Side Saddles

Remington 870 is a widely used shotgun for home defense, hunting, and competitions. Such an actively used shotgun requires an appropriate tactical accessory to prove its mettle under stressed and unprecedented situations.

A side saddle is an amazing add on for the shotgun, with other benefits than just increasing the ammo capacity. Here we will learn about the benefits of using a side saddle and the features of an ideal one. We will also review the top side saddles on the market for the Remington 870.

So cock and lock your shotgun, and keep those fingers scrolling.

Comparison Chart of the Best Remington 870 Side Saddles

PRODUCT DETAILS
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ATI Remington 870 12 Gauge Halo Side Saddle

  • Modular design for appropriate adjustments
  • Extra top rail for mounting scopes and accessories
  • Durable construction with skeletonized design for low weight
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Lyman - Side Saddle Shell Holder

  • Extremely lightweight and durable
  • Lets you choose from 4 or 6 shell models
  • Designed for armorers and law enforcement agencies
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GG&G Remington 870 Side Saddle

  • Offers best value for money
  • Anti-marring finish on the backplate
  • Oil-resistant replaceable softshell retention system
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TacStar SideSaddle Shotshell Carrier

  • Best side saddle from TacStar
  • Features a capacity of 4 shells
  • Works with multiple series of shotguns
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Mesa Tactical SureShell Side Mount Carrier

  • Best side saddle from MESA
  • Rubberized inserts for optimal retention
  • Well-constructed and aesthetically pleasing
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What is a Side Saddle and What Are They Used For?

A side saddle is also sometimes referred to as a shotgun shell holder. It is a strip made out of metal, plastic, or fiber that is mounted on the side of the shotgun, and holds some extra cartridges into it.

Side saddles are used to carry extra ammunition in a more convenient and easy to access manner. When using a side saddle, you can quickly pull out and reload new rounds into your shotgun, without the need for reaching your ammo pouch or crate.

These saddles are extremely useful in self-defense and competitions, where a quick rate of fire is crucial, and you can’t waste time reaching out your ammo pouch for finding new rounds. In simpler terms, a side saddle is an accessory for a life or death situation. Due to its ‘quick reloading’ capabilities, many people like to use it as a backup for SHTF.

Why Would You Want a Side Saddle?

The real question is, why would you not? Here are some astounding benefits of a side saddle, to make even the most stubborn wits agree.

Extra Ammo

As is obvious from the design of a side saddle, it lets you carry some extra ammunition, which can be of extreme importance. Especially with a weapon like a shotgun which only has a 7-8 round capacity.

Quick Access

A side saddle is a tactical accessory that provides quick access to ammunition. You don’t have to reach out your pockets and waste your precious time, while you can still spew some shots on your target. A side saddle is undoubtedly the quickest option for reloading your shotgun, either in a competition or when SHTF. However, attaining high reloading speed does require some practice.

GG&G Remington 870 Side Saddle

Convenience 

Side saddles offer convenience to the user. You can mount some extra rounds over it, rather than stuffing them in your pockets, which doesn’t also seem very wise. Additionally, consider yourself in a home defense situation at night. Having some extra rounds on your shotgun can be a boon, especially when you can’t reach extra ammunition.

Aesthetics

This one is for the beauty lovers out there. A side saddle makes the shotgun look more deadly and ‘tacti-cool’. Enough to make a difference for some people.

What Makes a Great Side Saddle?

Lets look at some of the features that makes side saddle great.

Durability

The very first quality of a good side saddle is durability. Shotguns are tough, both in terms of recoil and usage. A saddle must be durable enough to withstand such pressure. The last thing you want is your side saddle crumbled into pieces in the middle of shooting.

Easy to Mount

A good saddle must be easy to mount and must not require any gunsmithing or permanent alterations to the weapon. Additionally, it should be gentle enough to not mar the finish of the shotgun.

ATI Remington 870 12 Gauge Halo Side Saddle

Good Design

Good design refers to the quality and functionality of the side saddle. The shells must have enough friction to hold the rounds in place, so they don’t fall out under swift maneuvers. Plus, a saddle must allow the serial number of the shotgun to be visible. Obviously for inventory maintenance and other legal implications. Angled side saddles can also be of great help under such circumstances.

Capacity

A side saddle must feature optimum shell capacity. However, the term optimum here is in context with the user's requirements. The best saddles feature a six round capacity, which is almost close to the original capacity of a Remington 870.

Quick Take - The Best Remington 870 Side Saddles

These are our recommendations for the best Remington 870 side saddles:

  1. ATI Remington 870 12 Gauge Halo Side Saddle
  2. Lyman - Side Saddle Shell Holder
  3. GG&G Remington 870 Side Saddle

Review of the Best Remington 870 Side Saddles

Finding the right side saddle for your Remington 870 can be a tedious task, especially in this world of overcrowded markets. Luckily, we managed to find and review the best side saddles for Remington 870 on the market. All the saddles reviewed here fit exceptionally well over the criteria of the ideal product, as mentioned above.

Pros

  • Manufactured in the USA by ATI
  • Durable 6061 T6 aluminum body
  • Skeletonized body for reduction in weight
  • Multiple mounting positions for soft shells
  • Extra 6-inch top rail for mounting accessories
  • Manufacturer offers a limited lifetime warranty
  • Modular design to mount shells the way you like

Cons

  • Might require gunsmithing if top receiver holes are not drilled

The halo side saddle from ATI is a multi-purpose addition to your Remington 870. The saddle has been manufactured from 6061 T6 aluminum and features a military type III anodized coating. Both these features speak to this product’s durability and resistance to wear and tear.

The saddle has an ‘enclosure’ sort of design, which covers the top part of your receiver. The saddle mounts using existing screw holes on the top of the receiver, which helps it stay in place. It has a skeletonized body which keeps the weight of the saddle to a minimum.

Coming to its main feature, the saddle has a modular design for adding extra shells. The package includes six separate shell holders, which can be mounted or dismounted from the saddle, depending on your needs.

The saddle has two mounting positions on the ejection port side, and five mounting positions on the non-ejection port side. Another astounding feature of this side saddle is the detachable top mounting rail. This 6-inch rail allows you to mount scopes and BUIS with ease.

The 6-inch rail has ample space to let you mount longer scopes and other accessories. The product has been manufactured in the USA and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Bottom Line

The ATI side saddle features a modular design to let you mount and manage your bullets the way you like. It works well for both right and left-handed shooters and is ideal for home defense and competitions. The extra rail on top is definitely a plus.

Pros

  • Available in 4 and 6 shell models
  • Extremely lightweight for a side saddle
  • Appropriately priced for a good product
  • Low profile design doesn’t interfere with handling
  • No permanent modifications required for mounting

Cons

  • Requires adjustment for some users

The Lyman side saddle holster features an amazing mix of flexibility and strength. The shell holders of the saddle have been made from nylon, whereas the mounting plate has been made from aluminum.

The plate mounts on the receiver using existing screw holes, so that no permanent alterations are required. It is available in 4 and 6 shell models for the Remington 870 12 ga.

The nylon shell holders are soft enough for the cartridges easily slide inside, and firm enough to keep them in place, even under strenuous maneuvers.

The mounting plate has a convenient window, which keeps the serial number visible at all times. This feature is useful for armorers, shooting range owners and law enforcement agencies, who have to keep track of firearms.

The saddle has a compact design, and it doesn’t interfere with your handling of the weapon in any manner. It is an exceptionally lightweight piece of equipment for your Remington 870.

Bottom Line

The Lyman side saddle is an apt combination of lightweight and quality construction. The saddle works exceptionally well for hunting, self-defense, and competitive applications. Overall, it is a decent product at a decent price.

Best for the Money:
GG&G Remington 870 Side Saddle

Pros

  • Type III hard anodized
  • Cuts for weight reduction
  • Holds shells in base up or base down
  • Angled shell holders for quick reloads
  • Anti-marring backplate protects finish
  • Extremely easy to install without any modifications

Cons

  • Front shell case might interfere with synthetic forend mounted Remington 870

A more tactical option in this list of side saddle shell holders, this side saddle from GG&G features a somewhat different design, as compared to other holders. The saddle has been made from high-quality aluminum, the same that is used to manufacture weapon receivers.

The saddle mounts easily on the Remington 870 using the trigger replacement bolt holes. The mounting plate has been made from a non-marring material, so it doesn’t damage the finish of the receiver. Additionally, the side saddle itself features a type III mil-spec anodized coating to resist any wear and tear.

The most exclusive feature of this side saddle is the angle of the shell holders. The holders have been angled at 15 degrees, to facilitate quick reloading of rounds, even under the most strenuous situations.

This shotshell system is also resistant to oil, which means that it works really well under wet conditions. The angled design lets you feed rounds quickly into the mag tube or ejector port.

The shell holders also have lightning cuts for a significant reduction in the overall weight of the side saddle.

Bottom Line

This side saddle has an angled array of shell holders, which facilitates faster reloading of rounds. The doesn’t damage the finish of the weapon and seems ideal for self-defense and competitive shooting

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Extremely easy to install
  • Works with many shotguns
  • Good retention levels for shells
  • Fits Rem 870, 1000, and 11-87 models
  • Includes mounting hardware and washers
  • Doesn’t interfere with operating the weapon

Cons

  • Low capacity of just 4 rounds
  • Might require some practice to use

This side saddle from TacStar is a very compact and sturdy addition for your shotgun. The saddle has been designed to fit four 12ga Remington 870 shells. The base plate of the side saddle has been made from metal, whereas the shell holders are soft plastic.

The saddle is of optimum length to prevent any sort of interference while using your shotgun. The four round capacity of the saddle is neither too less nor too much. Installation of the side saddle doesn’t require any permanent alterations to your weapon, which is definitely a plus.

Additionally, the package also includes the mounting screws required for installation. Other than the Remington 870, this side saddle also works well with Remington 1000 and 11-87 models.

Bottom Line

The TacStar side saddle has a capacity of 4 rounds, and a compact design for convenient use. The saddle is ideal for hunting and home defense.

Pros

  • Includes railed models
  • Anodized non-glare finish
  • Doesn’t require gunsmithing
  • Durable and sturdy construction
  • Rubberized inserts for shell holders
  • Curved base plate with opening for serial number

Cons

  • A bit spendy
  • Not for long-term storage of shells

The side saddle from MESA features an innovative design that is meant to deliver convenience and durability at the same time. The base plate of the side saddle has been made from aluminum, whereas the shell holders feature a hard plastic construction.

These holders have rubber inserts mounted on top of them, to provide optimum retention to the shells. This ensures that the shells can only be taken out by force, and will not drop even under extreme movements.

The base plate of the saddle is a bit curved and features a gap in the rear end so the serial number of the shotgun is visible. The side saddle features a non-glare matte finish, which can be helpful in hunting or home defense situations.

The shell holders have been designed to accommodate 12 gauge shotgun shells. The side saddle is also available in a variant featuring a top-mounted Picatinny rail, that can be used to add scopes and other accessories to your shotgun.

It is easy to install, and the instructions are pretty straightforward.

Bottom Line

The MESA side saddle delivers exceptional retention for shells and has an optimum capacity of 6 shells. The saddle is ideal for hunting, competitions, and home defense.

How to Install a Side Saddle on Your Remington 870

Installing a side saddle on your Remington 870 is extremely easy. All you need is an Allen key, if it is not included in the package, and a rubber hammer.

First, make sure your shotgun is empty and unloaded. Check for safety and place it on a desk. Now use a rubber hammer and the included screws of the saddle to push out the trigger replacement pins.

Leverage the new screws to push out the existing screws inside the receiver. Once you put the screws in place, mount the side saddle by aligning the holes with the screws. Now use the Allen key to tighten the screws in place. Make sure not to tighten the screws too much, as you may end up damaging the weapon.

Use the instruction manual to make sure that everything is done right. For more detailed instructions on installation, please refer to this video below.

Conclusion

A side saddle is used to carry extra rounds with a shotgun conveniently. It facilitates quick reloading or new rounds in an emergency situation. A good side saddle must be durable, must have optimum capacity, and must retain the shells firmly.

However, the capacity depends upon the user’s individual needs. A side saddle can mean the difference in a life or death situation. 

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