The Remington 870 shotgun is simple, efficient, affordable and reliable. No wonder Big Green’s sold almost 12 million of them. With their new 870 DM (for detachable magazine) Remmy has rolled the dice. Have they produced the New Coke of shotguns or a V8-like forehead slapper that will have other shotgun makers wondering why they haven’t thought of this, too?
Remington has announced five new 870 DM Models and added DM capability to their Tac-14 non-shotgun shotgun (see them all here).
The DM’s feature everything that made the 870 shotgun so popular for the last 57 years, with the simple addition of a detachable magazine system in place of the traditional tube magazine. The polymer mag (each gun ships with one) holds six 12 gauge shotshells (2 3/4 or 3 inches), giving a shooter seven rounds of tactical shotgun firepower and all the ease of operation of an 870 pump.
The big advantage: faster reloads. No more thumb-feeding a tube mag one by one. You swap out an 870 DM’s spent mag via a large paddle-type release located just forward of the magazine well. Tilt the release back, slide the mag out and you’re ready to rock.
You reload the 870 DM AR-style. Just slam a new six-round mag straight up and into the mag well (no need to rock it in like an AK). With a full mag in place and one in the chamber, you can easily pack another magazine in a pocket or carrying pouch. That gives you 13 rounds of good-to-go, git-er-done big-boy ballistics.
The review model — the Model 870 DM Magpul – sports a Magpul SGA stock; shooters can choose their length of pull by adding or removing spacers. The Magpul festooned shottie end with a thick rubber Remington Supercell recoil pad.
The rest of the Remington 870 DM Magpul — the trigger component system, cross-bolt safety, and 18.5-inch barrel — are the same as your grandfather’s 870. Which means the DM models will take 870 replacement barrels.
Pay no attention to that not-a-magazine tube under the barrel. It’s empty; there to guide the fore end as you cycle the gun.
That Magpul MOE forend offers a solid, positive grip while shucking shotshells. It has the standard Magpul feel to it, though I’m not sure it’s any more ￼efficient than the ”corncob” forend on my Remington 870 Express Tactical. What it does have: M-LOK capability. You can add a length of rail for lights, lasers, coffee makers, etc.
The 870 DM uses an XS Sight system. The metal ghost ring rear sight’s milled into a length of 1913 Picatinny rail, suitable for owners who prefer to mount an optic. The front sight’s ramped metal XS white dot aligns easily with the ghost ring.
The 870 DM Magpul’s muzzle features a jagged-edged ported breacher-style choke that can be switched out for any other Remington Rem Choke tube for hunting or sporting purposes.
The six-round box magazine’s molded textured polymer walls help enable quick, confident and reliable removal and reloading. The mag, built with a strong spring and a bright orange follower, mates well with the aluminum magwell directly below the receiver for smooth feeding.
Given the new feeding system, I was curious to see how the 870 DM pump action shotgun would cycle heavy loads. So I headed to the range, packing some light #6 game loads, 00 buck and one-ounce slugs. After the first couple of shots of #6 loads, I determined that the DM’s racking action is just as smooth as my Remington 870 Express Tactical.
￼When I think about shooting a 12 gauge shotgun, I’m thinking 00 buckshot. The 870 DM fed, fired and ejected double-ought buck without hesitation or deviation.
Firing one-ounce slugs at AR500 steel targets from 30 yards, the 870 DM took care of business. My shoulder didn’t feel too bad either, thanks to the Supercell pad. And as the DM uses most of the tried and true 870 components, a lot of the 870 aftermarket parts will work on a DM.
In short, the new, box-fed 870 series will likely be a hit: simple, efficient, reasonably affordable (MSRP $799) and reliable. It should sell especially well in the home defense shotgun market, where buyers will appreciate the extra capacity and reload-ability with power that handguns just can’t match and more perceived reliability than semi-autos. In fact, this may be the ultimate choice in a home defense shotgun. Whether hunters will pay the freight for the extra ammo in what is an ungainly looking beast remains to be seen.
Specifications: 870 DM Magpul (81352)
Capacity: 6+1 rounds of 2 3/4 or 3-inch shells
Barrel Length: 18.5 inches (comes with ported tactical choke, Rem Choke compatible)
Overall Length: 38 inches
Weight: 7.5 lbs.
Sights: XS Steel Front Sight, XS Tactical Rail/Ghost Ring Rear Sight
Ratings (out of five stars):
Accuracy: * * * * *
Dead on. I easily hit my target with slugs from 30 yards.
Ergonomics: * * * *
I love the Magpul furniture but a pistol grip would be nice on this model.
Reliability: * * * * *
Perfect. It smoothly cycled everything I fed it.
Customization: * * * * *
While there are hundreds of ways to customize an 870, I think I’ll leave this one as is.
Overall: * * * * *
Remington took an excellent home defense pump shotgun and made it better.