Ran across these photos of two riot shotguns I built – a Winchester 1200 I bought new in the early 1980s and a Remington 870 Express I got a good deal on from Gander Mountain in the early 2000s. One thing I learned is that the Blackhawk recoil reducing stocks really make a difference.
To be honest, I think Remington makes a lot cheaper guns than they used to and their quality has suffered. Some years back I picked up a Remington 870 express in great shape but one thing that drove me nuts was that the little orange plastic follower would spring out and jam the action. I did some quick digging and found a machined aluminum replacement that I installed and never had a problem since.
Also, from a pure “keep it simple” angle, I have since stopped installing anything on a tactical shotgun other than a light. It took to long to turn on the red dot plus worries around battery life, was it still zeroed, etc.
For lights and lasers, I really like the Streamlights. I use a TLR-1 300 lumen LED light on my home defense 870 to this day. They are rugged, simple, easy to operate and durable. Having had a ton of cheap Chinese imports fail over the years, I only use proven lights and lasers on critical firearms. To save on the CR-123 batteries, read my post on that topic.
The red fiber optic sight really worked out better than I thought. It made target acquisition fast. I eventually ditched the red dot optic, installed a side saddle shell holder and used just that sight.
The flashlight on the Winchester was a Hellfighter with a xenon bulb. It was ok but I would only buy LEDs going forward and my preferences are Streamlight or Surefire.
The Blackhawk recoil reducing stocks do a very good job but make sure you buy the right model. They sell stocks both with and without the recoil reduction system. Also make sure you get the right model – they make them for Winchester and Mossberg. The following is an automated search from eBay so you need to double check the product and that the buyer has plenty of trades and good feedback.
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