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Lefty Shotgun


KWRB

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So my nephew has decided he loves hunting. I took him out this year and he got his first turkey and he's hooked. I've been tasked with picking out a shutgun for him. His grandfather worked at Remington Arms in Ilion, NY, and so I think he'd really like to have a Remington 870. I've been trying to find a left handed 870 Wingmaster, so it appears maybe they don't exist (??).  A new 870 Express can be purchased left handed, however. I know there are firearms forums, but I don't know those people and I don't need to hear from condescending gun snobs. I much prefer condescending tractor snobs! I have tried to call gun shops locally, but surprisingly they aren't much help.

So I have two questions:

  1. Can anyone tell me the difference between the 870 Express and the 870 Wingmaster other than the walnut on the Wingmaster being much nicer?
  2. Any non-Remington suggestions for left handed pump action bird guns in a sub-$1k price range?

Thanks

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26 minutes ago, EquipmentJunkie said:

I was in the same Southpaw boat.  I ended up with a Browning BPS Hunter which ejects the shells down.

I too was going to mention the BPS. Ithaca 37 also ejects down, not sure how the safety works on the 37, BPS is in the middle on the back of the receiver I believe, too lazy to go look at mine.

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8 minutes ago, DT Fan said:

I too was going to mention the BPS. Ithaca 37 also ejects down, not sure how the safety works on the 37, BPS is in the middle on the back of the receiver I believe, too lazy to go look at mine.

X2 on the Ithaca Mod. 37 w/ lefty safety conversion.

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I got a used 20-ga. Ithaca 37 over the winter and haven't been able to try it out yet to talk intellegently about the safety.  Dang Gov. Wolf and his buddy Corona...

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The Wingmaster is a higher grade as you mentioned. It has a high polish blued finished and finer stock.  The express has a matte blued finish and a slightly lower grade stock. There may be some other differences but I know those off hand. 

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I have a left handed 870 Wingmaster here in Wisconsin.  As a matter of fact, I have two.  My grandpa's is 2.75" and my dad's is 3.0".  Dad has been looking to sell them for a few years.  Let me know if you are interested.

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You will find that among the wing master and the express the lines and ergonomics on the wingmaster are better, the action is smoother, I believe I read an article about it that the wingmaster receives a hand fitting and extensive polishing of all internals. All in all, I think it’s worth it . I have a tac14 which is express grade and a wingmaster. If you want to buy him an heirloom, get him a wingmaster, if you want to buy him a work horse to replace when he gets a better feel for it, get the express. Both are going to work just fine. 

I will also add that the BPS as mentioned would be an easier sell if he wanted to down the road and is a fine shotgun. The bottom ejection port makes it pretty universal left or right 

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K your taking him with you when you go and get the shotgun? He needs  to be part of the process , I think ,

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I have an 870 wingmaster that I have used for years.I changed the safety for a lefty. I  changed it back because I was so used to using right hand safety.  Wingmaster is a nice shotgun. Some weapons eject back into your face but mine never has come close. Most trouble I had was with the  pos m-16 I had in the service.

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5 hours ago, EquipmentJunkie said:

I was in the same Southpaw boat.  I ended up with a Browning BPS Hunter which ejects the shells down.

That's what our family went to after Remington's.  That way dad and I can pick up the same gun.  Have two BPS Deerslayers, a BPS 3.5" and a BPS 10 ga.

Being pretty much waterfowlers we have now moved on to SBE3s.  I'm ok with them, but the safety is too easy to push off.  I bumped it off once in the layout blind and that terrifies me.

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I took a look at the BPS after reading this too and they look real nice. However three things are in favor of Remington of Browning for this instance

  1. Remington is American which means a lot to me. It's to say nothing about the quality of Browning -it seems they're premium firearms, but I have a thing about buying things designed, engineered and manufactured in the US.
  2. The boy's grandfather (not my side of his family tree) worked at Remington in Ilion, NY
  3. Remington is in a better price bracket for a first gun. He's been shooting my dad's (his other grandfather's) Winchester 1200. He does fine enough with the right hand gun, but I think it would be special to have his own lefty.
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are you looking for a 12Ga? 

https://www.cabelas.com/product/REMINGTON-EXPRESS-PUMP-SHOTGUN/1909705.uts

I have supplier issues lately as I have lost 3 in the past year, ( gone out of business, trump is bad for gun sales) but my suppliers don't have one in stock for me to even get completely accurate pricing on, but thats a darn good price, I can't have it delivered to me for that, unless I did a large order. 

you should ask yourself a few questions, how important is the left hand feature in a pump shotgun anyway? is it worth limiting yourself to one sub model from seemingly one manufacturer? 

I went and pulled a few times with my Wingmaster left handed and honestly once you get used to the safety, which I believe you can switch, I don't see it being a big handicap, its not like a bolt gun.

I don't know how old your nephew is, and this might make a difference, if he's 12 he's going to want to drag that gun through absolutely everything he can find, 12 year olds are pretty proud of that stuff and don't like to be without it. if he's 18-20 maybe he would appreciate the wingmasters advantages in terms of fit, finish and that he can put it up along side much more expensive guns without being looked down upon so to speak even gun snobs respect the wingmaster. 

myself, I own a lot of shotguns, my hands down favorite gun to handle is a mossberg 500 20/24 I bought for my wife but decided it was too big for her. it points well, it handles well, it cycles every single time without any fuss whatsoever. 

as far as dealing with a local dealer, if they are giving you a hard time about a special order, screw them, go to Cabela's or wherever. 

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I'm a southpaw as well. It's not an issue. I only have one actual left handed rifle. I just finished putting it together so I can't even say if getting a legit left handed rifle or shotgun makes a difference.

My wife is right handed but left eye dominant as is one of our children. They seem to do alright. Though just picked up a Remington M81 last month that needed a couple parts. I've heard that it'll drop the brass on my head, so I suppose I'll need to start wearing wide brimmed hats. :)

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I have an 870 Express I bought about 15 years ago.  It has been a good, reliable gun.  Always cycles, quick on target. 

It has also been through a lot, been used a lot, been carried a lot, because I've never worried about scarring it up or damaging it, the way I might worry about my nicer guns.

So its got some scratches and scars.  But to me, there is some beauty in something utilitarian and well used.  Anymore, give me functional and durable over aesthetics.  I want em to use, not to collect or look at.  Actually I feel the same way about tractors.  But that's just me.  We're all different and that's okay.

But I would give a big thumbs up to the 870, Express or Wingmaster.

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Myself I'd go with an older Wingmaster or Ithaca 37. Several people have mentioned the BPS. Buy a used one they are significantly cheaper than new. The resale at least in these parts isn't great. Personally I think they shoulder like a 4x4x8' fence post. But on the other hand my son loves his(that's how it became his).

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1 hour ago, exSW said:

Several people have mentioned the BPS. Buy a used one they are significantly cheaper than new. The resale at least in these parts isn't great. Personally I think they shoulder like a 4x4x8' fence post.

Agree.  My BPS will soon be traded on a new Henry .410 lever action shotgun since that is a more immediate need. 

My Ithaca 37 feels so much more natural to me.  I will be looking for a used Ithaca 37 12-ga. myself.

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4 hours ago, exSW said:

Myself I'd go with an older Wingmaster or Ithaca 37. Several people have mentioned the BPS. Buy a used one they are significantly cheaper than new. The resale at least in these parts isn't great. Personally I think they shoulder like a 4x4x8' fence post. But on the other hand my son loves his(that's how it became his).

That makes me laugh you put model 37 Ithaca and fence post in the same post. I have shot a fence post Ithaca 37 for 50 years. Dad  got it for me as a Christmas present, and hardware guy at the store  wrote it up as fence post so it was a business expense.

I have seen them talked of as a good south paw gun,but with the button safety not so much. So that leads me to think you could turn it around.

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I'll second the KTP comment. I've bought and traded several guns with them and they're top notch. Prices are always fair both ways.

I'm a RH with LH dominate eye and it always was a pain skeet shooting. Problem seemed to fade a bit once I got old enough to need glasses. I used to put a bit of scotch tape on my shooting glasses left eye and that would make my brain shift to right eye.

Friend's daughter is a southpaw and was trying to use an auto. It always looked awkward and she finally got a O/U and does well with it. No more shells off the head or inconvenient safety. It must be tough adapting to a RH world when wired LH.

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You will find that among the wing master and the express the lines and ergonomics on the wingmaster are better, the action is smoother, I believe I read an article about it that the wingmaster receives a hand fitting and extensive polishing of all internals. All in all, I think it’s worth it . I have a tac14 which is express grade and a wingmaster. If you want to buy him an heirloom, get him a wingmaster, if you want to buy him a work horse to replace when he gets a better feel for it, get the express. Both are going to work just fine. Mossberg also has an ambidextrous safety. 

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