Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Winchester 1300 or Remington 870

     Ok, i realize these aren't the newest shotguns on the market but they are a couple of the most used and relied upon shotguns in the country. There is much controversy over which is better. People say Winchester is better (the Winchester guy). Others will sit back and tell you Remington can't be beat (the Remington guys). Both groups may make this assumption based on little fact other than they own one of the two shotguns. This my friends is why I decided to write this article. I probably won't put an end to the wide debate on this topic but I would like to point out the facts for each gun.
     We'll start with the Remington 870 Express 12 gauge 2-3/4" to 3" shotgun. The 870 is is a well engineered and beautifully made gun. Certainly the work horse of the hunting industry. Many would recommend this gun for its reliability. I do not disagree that its a reliable shotgun however the "course" cycling action causes it to be slightly more apt to jam than the Winchester 1300. I have experienced this first hand as well as many hunters I've spoken with. I've also researched this as well, so as not to place inaccurate information in this article. Really the only flaw that most have found with the 870. The Remington is better balanced and has a shorter barrel making it much easier to swing and follow through when firing at a pheasant, grouse, or even waterfowl. Although Remington makes an 870 Wingmaster I would recommend this gun for any small game including waterfowl. Slugs are not the best when fired through the regular smooth bore barrel but it's still capable of taking a deer. The luxury of accessories is another pro for this gun when compared to the 1300. There are about double the amount including the option of a larger tubular magazine.
     Winchester... A formidable competitor of Remington. Producing weapons and tools that far surpass many other American arms companies. Today we will be sticking to the Winchester 1300. With its smooth cycling action it becomes the most reliable of the two shotguns. I've personally never experienced a jam with this gun and in my research have not come across many who have. In fact I only came across two reports of this. The Winchester 1300 does however take a back seat to shoulder feel, swing and follow through of the Remington 870. When held the whole gun seems longer and the barrel actually is. This causes a slower swing when firing at a bird on the wing, although I've personally downed hundreds of upland birds, ducks and geese with this gun, I would have to say it's more suited to squirrels, rabbits and turkey. In fact it makes an excellent turkey gun as the longer barrel will allow you to reach out a few yards farther. The 1300 comes factory with a Winchoke setup so the long barrel and interchangeable chokes help make the smooth bore an excellent slug gun with deadly accuracy.
     I would love to compare these two pieces of solid American ingenuity and engineering side by side to declare a winner but it just can't be done. They both excel in different areas and yet manage to be fantastic in any application. Yes the 1300 offers a huge selection of chokes that just screw right in and the Winchoke design excepts the Accu-Choke well. However the Remington 870 is an almost completely interchangeable gun, with aftermarket barrels, magazines, stocks etc.. They are both well designed and efficient guns. They're versatility is unmatched in the class and price range. I would recommend either of these shotguns for any application.
     I suppose I'll let the readers tell me how to judge this one, although I have little doubt they will end up in the same boat as yours truly. If anything can be added to send one gun over the edge and have it go home with the gold I certainly don't know about it yet.

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