The Best Remington 870 Upgrades

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

It’s a real shame what has happened to Remington in the last two decades. They seem to be having a comeback, but for quite some time, Remington’s weapons weren’t known for the quality of the old-world Remington. The Remington 870 has long been their flagship firearm and, to this day, continues to be produced with numerous benefits. This classic pump gun is still a behemoth in the world of pump-action shotguns and likely defends the home of many of our readers. 

Remington 870 Model

The Remington 870 was a revolutionary shotgun in its era. Remington designed a reliable shotgun that was easy to manufacture and affordable for the everyday, average Joe. The Remington 870 series of shotguns have changed much since they initially appeared in the 1960s, and for some, that can be a problem. 

Why ignore so many years of progress and evolution? Why shouldn’t we upgrade the Remington 870 to be a modern defensive weapon? With that in mind, let’s look at some of the best upgrades to bring your 870 into the modern world. 

Wilson Dome Safety

One of the simplest upgrades you can make to the 870 is to replace the safety. The stock safety is fine; it’s workable, but it won’t exactly impress you. The Wilson Combat, aka Scattergun Technologies, safety is massive and presents you with a dome instead of a button. This new safety allows your trigger finger to turn the safety off without the need to shift your grip very much at all. 

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In fact, it can be done as your trigger finger makes its way into the trigger guard. This quick-action design doesn’t require a look or even much of a feel. This makes it easy to access on the fly and in the dark without a second thought. Plus, at around 15 bucks, it’s a great addition to any gun. 

Magpul SGA Stock

Magpul changed the game with the SGA furniture. At this point, I’m frustrated they don’t release new stocks for different shotguns. Luckily, the Remington 870 is covered by the Magpul SGA, and it’s without a doubt the best stock for your gun. This polymer stock has a few things going for it. 

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First, the pistol grip is aggressive and blends the best features of a standard pistol grip with the features of a more traditional shotgun stock. It allows you to easily keep the gun up and on target with a single hand but doesn’t change the classic shotgun ergonomics. It’s quite grippy and easy to access. 

One of the big selling features of the Magpul SGA series is the ability to use spacers to increase or shorten the length of pull. These spacers make it easy to fit the shotgun into your body. Most stocks feature 14 or 14.5-inch lengths of pull that is fine on bird guns but have no place on fighting guns. A shorter LOP makes the weapon easier to control and easier to mitigate recoil. 

XS +2 Magazine Extension and Detent Swage Tool

Who would have thought a company known for pistol sights would make one of the more convenient packages for installing a magazine tube to your Remington 870? Remington’s got this odd idea that a four-round tube is all anyone will ever need, and they believe this to such an extent they often dimple the magazine tube, making it impossible to add an extension. 

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XS sights make a magazine extension that comes with a detent swage. This swage allows you to drive out the dimple in your stock magazine tube and then install the magazine extension without any trouble. The XS Sights 870 extension gives you two additional rounds to give you that little extra where you need it. 

The extension itself is made from aluminum and features wrench flats to get it nice and tight on your gun. The extension is beefy with a slight carve out in the middle to attach a barrel clamp to better secure the system. It feeds smoothly and easily and gives you a near-flush fitting option on a standard Remington 870. 

Surefire DSF for the Remington 870

The Surefire DSF provides shotguns with a very easy-to-use weapon light. It’s one of the more intuitive options for pump shotguns, which are notoriously difficult to add lights to. The DSF light replaces the pump with a dedicated weapon light. This weapon light throws 600 lumens of light on high and 200 lumens on low. The reflector casts the light out widely rather than giving it a super powerful hotspot. Wide makes sense for a shotgun that’s used at close ranges. 

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The DSF features ambidextrous controls that make it easy to activate the constant on or momentary modes regardless of your dominant hand. The DSF series allows you to easily switch from high to low and even features a kill switch to keep the light from coming on while you travel and store the weapon. 

Surefire has that rock-solid reputation for high-quality and durable lights, and the DSF is no different. It’s a professional-grade weapon light. It’s certainly good enough for home defense and provides a bright white light that makes target identification easy. 

Arbor Arms Dual Adjust Weapon Sling

Slings are always nice to have. They improve weapon retention, add a support system for your gun, and make it easy to go one-handed or even hands-free. We have lots and lots of modern slings, and my favorite is the Arbor Arms Dual Adjust Weapon Sling. This tactical two-point is at home on any modern weapon, including the Remington 870. 

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The Dual Adjust Weapon Sling features a familiar pull tab that allows you to tighten or lengthen the sling as the user sees fit. This instant adjustment makes it easy to roll hands-free or to loosen up for maximum mobility and freedom of movement. A rear tab allows you to adjust the length of pull quite easily as well. 

Versatility has never been better with the Dual Adjust. Not only can you quickly adjust the sling, but you can overtighten the sling without a big long tail. Outside of the versatility, this is a very well-made sling. The Arbor Arms Dual Adjust Weapon Sling is made from high-quality filament webbing. It’s rugged and tough. It doesn’t fray or tear, and it won’t stiffen up after being exposed to the environment. 

XS Big Dot Tritium Sights

Beads are perfectly fine for weapon sights. They work, are 100% functional, and certainly won’t fail you. However, they are small and can be tough to see in the dark. With that in mind, the XS Sights big dot is my all-time favorite bead replacement. It’s an easy swap, but it’s also a very capable option as an iron sight. Most Remington 870s have a bead sight, and this is a great upgrade to a stock bead. 

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It’s massive and very easy to see. On the outside, we have this wide white circle that’s big and easy to see in the middle of the day. In the center sits a big bright tritium sight that glows brightly at night. The combination of the two makes this easy and quick to see. The XS Sights Big Dot shotgun sight is built for speed, and in general, shotguns are speed-themed weapons. At close range, speed matters more than most. 

It’s also easy to install and fits over the stock standard bead sight. It’s fit with epoxy, and JB Weld will be your best friend. This is an easy upgrade. And a great one for home defense guns. 

The World of the Remington 870

The Remington 870 provides a durable, well-made, reliable, and easy-to-use pump action shotgun. It’s certainly made its bones in the world of shotguns. The original design has good bones, but it could certainly use an update. There are plenty of upgrades for the 870 out there, but these are my favorites. I think they give the old warhorse a welcome facelift. 

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