The business end of my Remington 870 12 guage pump shotgun with the Black Aces Tactical shotgun rail system installed. As you can see, all four sides are available in the front, and there is a flat monolithic rail across the top. It does not require a gunsmith or any real tools to install, and you can sight on the original pathetic bead if you wish as well.
We have mounted a Leapers/UTG light and laser combo on the front and a red dot sight on the top rail. Note that all of the standard controls on the gun, as well as the pump itself, is in the normal and accessable configuration. If you look at the rear of the mount, the serial number is visible. Black Aces designed the rail to not obscure it for certain state laws.
The rail is solid and has no play whatsoever in it. Of all the rails I have seen for shotguns, the Black Aces tops my list as a serious optics platform.
You can only buy so many guns (well, not really), so lately we’ve been looking into things that make the guns you already own more effective, and also look much cooler. I ran into this rail system from Black Aces Tactical while researching another article, and I have to say, the Black Aces Tactical shotgun rail is the best in its class that I have found for this application. If you own a tactical shotgun and have always wanted to have the ability to install lights, lasers, red dots, real sights, whatever, at a mere 16 ounces and currently on sale for $179, the Black Aces shotgun rail system is something you should look into. It is available for the Remington 870/1100, Mossberg 500/590, Benelli M1/2/4, and even the Saiga.
My sample rail that the Black Aces guys sent is for the Remington 870 pump gun, and it also apparently fits the 1100. Though I am more of a Mossberg 500 fan myself, I do keep an 870 in the safe for applications such as this. After all, the Remington 870 is the most popular police shotgun in the world, and to this day it is unrivaled in law enforcement armories and squad cars use. The problem I have always had with the 870 is that I have never felt that it deserves this leadership position. It really wasn’t designed as a tactical shotgun, and to this day still relies on an aftermarket quality magazine tube extension to hold more than 6 rounds.
This particular gun was shipped with the extended magazine, and installing the Black Aces rail was pretty easy (see photos), and it brings the gun into an entirely new dimension. The tactical 870 is something of a freak of nature. Besides the magazine extension issue, notice that this gun, replete with digital camo, came with a front bead for a sighting system. Can you imagine having to clear rooms, with potential hostiles mixed with friendlies, and even the possibility of a hostage situation, using a non-adjustable front bead as your only method of aiming the weapon? Apparently the folks at Remington are comfortable with it, because it isn’t them who do the room clearing, nor do they have their rooms cleared. But someone dealing with either side of that for themselves wouldn’t be as comfortable I think. As a working gun, the tactical 870 needs some help out of the box, and the Black Aces shotgun rail does the trick.
On the Remington 870 the Black Aces rail mounts directly to the pin holes for the trigger assembly in the back, and it uses a barrel and magazine clamp in the front. The kit does seem to require that you have the extended magazine installed, as you can see in the pictures. What I like about it most is that it does its thing without adding a lot of weight, and does not interfere with the controls of the gun whatsoever. If you have developed muscle memory for the controls of your shotgun, the Black Aces rail won’t interfere with your natural ability to handle the gun at all. Tricking out a gun is great, but if it is working gun you really don’t want to have to re-learn the weapon, and some accessories just weren’t meant for the gun to begin with. Be particularly careful to avoid forward vertical grips for the 870. The gun wasn’t made for them and the side rails tend to bend when you use a vertical grip, from the torque that is coming at the rails from a different angle. This is a common gunsmith problem these days on the 870. The Black Aces rail allows you to use the pump the reliable way you always have, and also adds the ability to mount whatever optics and other aiming devices you might choose to the gun as you wish.
Take a look at the assembly pictures to get a better understanding of how simple and secure the rail goes together. It is specifically designed to not cover the serial number of your gun, because this is illegal in some states. It is also made of fairly rigid T6 6106 aluminum and the anodizing is very thick, called Type 2. You would think that long span over the top of the gun would be easily bent with downward pressure, and aluminum has no memory like steel, so you would think this rail would be easy to ruin, but it isn’t. They probably designed it with mechanical engineers, because I even banged on it and it only sprung back. The sides of the rail are heavily vented for heat, but somehow the holes don’t take away the rigidity. I bent the steel heat shield on my old Mossberg 500 when I whacked it once, but I have yet to bend this aluminum rail from Black Aces Tactical, though I tried.
We also shot the gun some with the Black Aces rail installed and it retained point of aim 100%. It didn’t budge actually. This is the biggest deal with tactical rails. No matter how good it might look, or how practical it may seem, the lowest common denominator on all rails is that they have to be a stable sight platform on the gun under firing conditions. We only tested this with 2 3/4″ buckshot and slugs, but the Black Aces rail never moved, and never got loose, even without any Locktite. I would Locktite the screws if you intend to leave this on the gun, but the design manages the recoil well enough that the screws don’t seem to naturally come loose. It is on there to stay.
The accessories on the gun are all from Leapers. As you have seen in some of our other rail articles, we got a whole bunch of stuff from them specifically for these projects to show everyone that for your average armchair prepper, these cheap Chinese accessories work just fine and look fantastic. Everyone should have one “ready gun,” and a tactical shotgun is a great choice. The cheap accessories do seem to hold zero and they are at least somewhat durable, but you are much better to rely on a Surefire, Eotech, Trijicon, etc., for your ready gun, and not the cheap stuff. But you can of course only hold one gun at a time, and those name brand name gizmos are expensive, so the Leaper stuff can at least make your other guns look good in the meantime, and for not a lot of money.
You can actually still sight on the original bead of the 870 with this Black Aces rail. So from a practical standpoint, the gun is no worse off than the way Remington sold it to you, and it is most likely a whole lot better.
Installing the Black Aces Tactical Shotgun Rail – Photo Essay
There is no native 8 round tube for a Remington 870. You need either an aftermarket magazine extension or a model like this one that comes with an extension right from Remington. Remove that barrel and mag tube clamp as your first step. Note that you DO NOT HAVE TO TAKE THE MAG TUBE OFF. I just wanted to show the difference between what you would see on a Mossberg 8 shot, which has a factory full length mag tube.