Modifying the Fighting Remington 870 Shotgun (Part 2)
Poor Kerryann, her 5’8″ 120-pound frame was getting battered by our “Fighting” Remington 870 project. She suffered from a bruised and battered shoulder after about 50 rounds of 00 buck and slugs in part one of our series. Little TiQgirl was getting beat up too and not liking her test duties as well. This is all normal with a lightweight pump action shotgun when shooting high brass slugs and buckshot, ie normal defensive loads.
Since Vice President Biden is telling all of America that a 12 gage shotgun is the best thing for woman’s defensive use, we took it upon our patriotic duty to try to build a shotgun that would not tear up an experienced but small shooter! Reducing recoil and thus increasing control would be a welcomed thing to do for larger shooters as well.
To reduce recoil and tighten up our pattern with buckshot, we sent our barrel out to Vang Comp Systems for them to work their magic. Vang Comp modifies the forcing cone of the barrel by putting more of a taper in it and back-bores the barrel so it has a more gradual taper along its entire length. This is done using a special proprietary reamer.
A barrel’s forcing cone is a sharp taper in the bore’s diameter just past the chamber. In the past when cardboard wads were used, the forcing cone helped strip the wad from the moving shot column to help with pattern consistency. The taper in the bore was used to form the shots pattern.
The V.C. system reduces the steepness of the forcing cone by increasing its taper. The reamer’s back-boring makes the bore’s front to rear taper to be more gradual as well. These changes reduce the chances of the shot traveling down the barrel from bouncing off the forcing cone and getting dented screwing up its aerodynamics or banging into other shot and making them dented or disturbing their flight path. The gentle taper of the barrel will also reduce the chances of deforming shot or giving the shot an irregular flight path as it travels down the barrel.
By having the shot leave the barrel smoothly, the shot pattern is tightened and recoil is also reduced by about 10%. In our experience, the Vang System increases the range of a shotgun firing 00 buck by about 10 yards. Typically at 25 yards all of the shot will strike a 12″ circle around the point of aim, even with a cheap unbuffered shot. This system will give you the performance of expensive Federal Tru-Flight buckshot with cheap buckshot. Tru-Flight shot uses a wadding that has a plastic cup which protects the shot and keeps it together while it is traveling down the barrel. The shot itself is also protected by plastic granules which cushion the shot as it moves down the barrel, keeping it from deforming. When shooting Tru-Flight in a Vang barrel, the performance increases are much less but that is a very tight grouping buckshot that is hard to improve on. The recoil is still reduced when using the Vang barrel with Tru-Flite shot.
The Vang Comp Systems barrel modification also includes porting. The many port holes are drilled into the top of the barrel to reduce both muzzle rise and recoil. The front OEM Remington XS Sight Systems dovetail front sight has a white bead for better visibility. It does not have protective wings like many sights but is very sturdily built, milled out of solid steel, so an impact is not going to harm it.
Since a number of shots you can have in your shotgun are limited, we wanted to increase our shot capacity. We replaced the seven shot factory Remington magazine tube with this 8 shot Nordic Components tube. Nordic Components magazine tubes are modular so we could increase the capacity even more in the future if we wanted to. The gun would be longer with a goofy looking magazine sticking way past the barrel which is pretty common in 3-gun competition but unwieldy for defensive use. Now we have a pretty impressive 8 in the tube plus one in the chamber capacity.
The stock Remington barrel clamp was always vibrating loose which would cause the slug point of aim to shift around. The clamp would come loose in as little as 10 rounds. The clamp was also blocking some of the Vang Comp ports and causing plastic residue from the wadding to build up and clog other ports. The point of aim shift was particularly irritating.