The Remington 870 family of shotguns was first introduced by Remington in the 1950s and since, has become one of the most popular USA-made pump action shotguns ever. Sales of the 870 reached over 2 million guns by 1973, and with the introduction of the 870 “Express”, sales topped seven million in 1996.
The 870 began its life as a non-flashy, rugged, dependable hunting shotgun and was offered in a few varying lengths and gauges. In 1966 US Marine Corps purchased thousands of the Remington 870 shoguns and adapted them for fielding; including extended magazines (for 7 or 8 rounds), bayonet mounts, heat shields around the barrels and non-glare, protective and rust-resistant finishes. The 870 family has also become very popular among the law enforcement community. These variants typically have extended magazines, pistol grips, and either a 14 in. or 18 in. barrel with improved chokes which are capable of firing buckshot, slugs and special purpose munitions (tear gas grenades, non-lethal rubber bullets etc.).