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870 Express to Wingmaster Conversion

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Copper BB
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:38 pm
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:22 pm
I want a Wingmaster, left handed in 20ga, which they don't make. Can I buy an 870 Express LH 20ga and change the stock and foregrip? I'll also have my gunsmith shine up the metal and I'd like to change the barrel to a shorter non vent ribbed one.
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.270 WIN
Posts: 412
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:59 pm
Location: SouthEast Alaska
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:49 am
The short, quick answer is "Yes" you can do all those mods and upgrades and have a nicer, fancier Express that "looks and feels" like a Wingmaster.
NRA Life, NAHC Life, Retired USN
Pain heals, chicks dig scars .... glory, lasts forever!

Copper BB
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:38 pm
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:45 pm
I just noticed that they don't sell an Express LH in 20ga either. I thought I saw that they did. I suppose I could get the 12ga. I don't want to much recoil. Will there really be that much difference?

20g
Posts: 547
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:00 pm
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:29 pm
Anything would be an improvement over the Express looks. That awful looking hardwood stock and the receiver and barrel with the matte finish are the ultimate turn-off to me.
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.270 WIN
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Location: SouthEast Alaska
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:09 pm
mauser9 wrote:.... and the receiver and barrel with the matte finish are the ultimate turn-off to me.


Ah, the soul of the unbeliever! Ha! On the other hand, I love the matte finish, deflects glare, repels fingerprints, looks to me like a nice dark Parkerized finish that I don't have to care too much about. :mrgreen:
NRA Life, NAHC Life, Retired USN
Pain heals, chicks dig scars .... glory, lasts forever!
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.270 WIN
Posts: 412
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:59 pm
Location: SouthEast Alaska
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:13 pm
Johnr283 wrote:.... I don't want to much recoil. Will there really be that much difference?


Depends on the load you shoot. a 1-oz load in a 12GA or 20GA going 1145 fps solves the mass-velocity equation exactly the same regardless of bore size, which never factors in to the equation. You can get lighter 20-ga loads, but they tend to compensate by adding velocity. Most people always assume a 20ga will recoil less than a 12ga, but there are many other additional factors involved.
NRA Life, NAHC Life, Retired USN
Pain heals, chicks dig scars .... glory, lasts forever!

Copper BB
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:50 pm
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:26 pm
I dont think adding nice wood makes an Express much of a Wingmaster clone. The Express finish is rough as a cobb, rusts is you look at it with a damp eye, and feel heavier to me. An Express is better than much of the competition but its no Wingmaster.

I have some experience parkerizing firearms and if my efforts ended up with an Express finish I'd probably be quite discouraged. I'm not crapping on the express but a lot of fit and finish corners were cut to make a price point. Amd Im glad they did because a new Wingmaster is priced WAY too high IMO.

For the price of a new Express one can score an old Wingmaster that will clean up beautifully. Have a few tools and some skills? Blast, parkerize, throw on a set of nice police lumber. They dont get much prettier.

Copper BB
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:50 pm
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:30 pm
And there are 12 ga loads that throw the same charge weight at the same velocity of a 20 ga, so heavier gun with less recoil and same performance, but the option to breathe fire if you want to. I loaded an ammo can of 7/8 oz target loads for my kids, who will start out with 12 ga 870 (with trimmed stocks and shorter barrels)
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.270 WIN
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Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:31 am
Location: Williamsburg, Va.
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:46 pm
The new Expresses I have seen have a MUCH smoother finish than those of a few years ago. It is not Parkerizing, but is not that prone to rusting.
What could have happened... did.

20g
Posts: 547
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:00 pm
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:38 pm
That is some good news Virginian. Friend had an earlier model Express that did rust easily. I read that the bluing salts can cause this.
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.270 WIN
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:38 am
You heard right Mauser9. The rough finish did not always get all the salts washed out in the dip baths, and no amount of oil will dissolve bluing salts. I took care of three of them by stripping them down and giving them a good bath in hot soapy water, and then a good rinse. Then I dried them and oiled them and sold them with no rusting issues. Decent profit and i saved 3 guns.
What could have happened... did.

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