Remington 870

Remington 870 Fieldmaster vs 870 Wingmaster 12ga Pump Shotgun Review

shotgun review Aug 18, 2022

     

Remington went bankrupt in 2020 and sold off their ammunition and firearm businesses to Vista Outdoors and Rem Arms, respectively. Rem Arms recently released the updated version of the Remington 870 with the 870 Fieldmaster and the 870 Wingmaster. Getting hands-on with these shotguns, I wanted to review them but also look at the predecessors like the Remington 870 Express, the most popular pump shotgun ever sold.

In the 1940s, Remington had the Model 31 pump shotgun aka the Ball Bearing Repeater. The Problem with the Model 31 was that it was expensive to make. So, looking for a more affordable pump shotgun option, in the '50s, Remington came out with the 870 Express.

Over time, the 870 Express became the most popular shotgun ever sold, selling more than 11 million guns.

In this review, I focus mostly on reviewing the new field/wing master shotguns manufactured by Rem Arms, but we also take a look the 870 Express and Model 31 for comparison and historical fun. The full review is in the video above, but if you prefer to read it, there is a quick snapshot of the review below.

PRICE

Field Master MSRP: $600 - I got mine for EVEN LESS than that at REEDS SPORTS 

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QUICK SPECS

FieldMaster

  • 12 gauge Pump (20 Gauge available)
  • 3" chamber (3 1/2" available)
  • 28" Barrel (26" available)
  • 7.5lbs 
  • Length of Pull 14" 
  • Drop at Comb 1 1/2"
  • Drop at Heel 2 1/2"
  • Comes with 3 REM chokes (IC, M, F) 

WingMaster

  • 12 gauge Pump (20 Gauge, .410 available)
  • 3" chamber 
  • 28" Barrel (26" available - 25" in .410)
  • 7lbs 
  • Length of Pull 14 1/4" 
  • Drop at Comb 1 1/2"
  • Drop at Heel 2 1/2"
  • Comes with 3 REM chokes (IC, M, F) 

TRIGGER

FieldMaster

  • 4lbs 10oz (Average pull weight)
  • It appears plain and basic compared to WingMaster (That's kind of a trend you'll notice here)

WingMaster

  • 4lbs 13.5oz (Average pull weight)
  • I really like that both of these triggers are pulling this light! Surprised that the WingMaster is heavier than the FieldMaster

ERGONOMICS

FieldMaster

  • This gun felt a bit heavy/chunky in my hands right away.
  • It has a matte finish all around - the wood is nicer than the 870 Express but isn't anything fancy.
  • I definitely noticed that this length of pull was short for me .
  • The texture is adequate - speed shooting will give us a better look at that.
  • The FieldMaster compared to the Express, has had a pretty significant upgrade over time on its coating. This new FieldMaster has a very durable feeling to it.
  • The trigger guard and safety are adequate - they are plastic - nothing fancy. 
  • Comes with swivel studs.
  • I like that it has a very minimalistic single white bead.
  • The receiver is drilled and tapped.

WingMaster

  • Right off the bat, I think this gun felt better than the FieldMaster. Even though the weight is similar, the grips and texture felt more comfortable.
  • I don't necessarily care about the high gloss finish, but the wood and checking felt a lot better.
  • Mounting this gun up was nice for me specifically because of its longer length of pull. 
  • I like that they both have stepped-up ribs. Great for people with long necks!
  • The trigger guard here is a lot more solid and has a gold trigger.
  • Comes with swivel studs.
  • I like that it has a very minimalistic single white beat on front PLUS a small mid-bead.
  • The receiver is drilled and tapped.
  • The WingMaster feels and looks a lot nicer overall - I'm pretty sure they'll be mechanically identical. We'll have to find out!

RECOIL/RELIABILITY

  • The WingMaster and FieldMaster felt very similar as far as recoil right off the bat - with waterfowl rounds, the WingMaster seemed to punch up into my face more.
  • As I continued to shoot, the recoil between the two seemed indistinguishable - both pump guns - both punch a fair amount.
  • To deal with said recoil AND to help my length of pull situation, I'd definitely get a FALCON STRIKE 🙌
  • These are pump guns - reliability is going to be there for ya!
  • Just for fun, I whipped out the 870 Express to compare recoil - what I found is that it's very similar, but I could run the Express super fast without even trying. The model 31 felt good too. Might be giving these new 870's a run for their money!

 

DISASSEMBLY/QUALITY OF BUILD

  • Right off the bat, I knew these guns would be pretty much identical - I couldn't notice any difference in quality between the two internally.
  • They came apart in the same way - the bolt and the trigger assembly seemed to have a little bit different material between the two but were constructed/shaped pretty much the same
  • The ease of breakdown was just fine - putting them back together is where I had the most trouble. I am sure anyone that has taken apart an 870 many times is laughing, but these guns are considerably more complicated than some of the other pumps.

SPEED SHOOTING

  • For this test, I decided to alternate between the WingMaster and the FieldMaster to see if I could more naturally get on target and be more successful with one.
  • As I mentioned earlier, running these guns as fast as I'd like continued to give me trouble. Even though I missed, the first score I was happy with was a 1.51 with the FieldMaster.
  • As I tried to run the WingMaster, I ran into ejection/feed issues as I had on the FieldMaster. The faster I tried to go, the more issues I had.
  • Once I hit all three clays with the WingMaster my hands were hurting. I got a 1.54...not fast at all.
  • When I got sick of the new guns being too slow, I picked up the Express and ran a 1.41 very smoothly. That was interesting.
  • I had some struggles today! If I had to choose between the Wingmaster and the FieldMaster, I'd probably go WingMaster because it looks better, feels better and runs a little better overall.

In summary, I really enjoyed putting this video together for the fact that there's so much history behind these shotguns. I'm happy to see REM ARMS keep the legacy going after Remington went bankrupt, and I think they make some decent shotguns! I also know that I really like to rip on guns and shoot fast and these 870s just didn't do that today. I know most folks aren't shooting 3 birds in under 2 seconds, but that's the fun in seeing how far we can push our guns! 

Whether our targets in the field or our targets in life, we will only hit what we are focused on so live the #targetfocusedlife 

Stay Target Focused,

Steve

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