Remington 887 Tactical

Remington Model 887 Nitro Mag Tactical

Remington's newest tactical shotgun uses top technology to reinvent the utilitarian pump, while making it tougher.

By Chad Adams (RSS)
December 21, 2010

I, as much as anyone, can appreciate a good hunting gun. Few things are more enjoyable to me than a hot duck blind. However, from the gun’s launch to my first shots with the new pump gun, two things jumped to my mind: First, I couldn’t believe Remington was building something to compete with the 870. Second, I wanted to see a tactical version.

Discussing the new pump gun with Remington personnel, I’ve come to understand the 887 is not meant to replace or compete against the seminal 870. Sure, any 887 purchase is potentially robbing Peter to pay Paul, so to speak, but after walking through the factory, seeing the production and gaining more understanding of the immense customer base the 870 enjoys, it’s very clear the 870 isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.


The 887 has its own merits. It’s a different animal, if you will—a new idea in shotgun making. Its lines are contemporary and its construction is a bit radical, a perfect concept for the utilitarian defensive shotgun.

Remington answered that call this year with the 887 Nitro Mag Tactical, making several key changes to the field version that result in a very solid out-of-the-box entry gun in the tactical shotgun market. With a shorter barrel, magazine extension and sections of Picatinny rail atop the receiver as well as along the barrel clamp, the 887 Nitro Mag Tactical offers considerable value at $498.

However, the heart of the 887 is still very much what caught the industry by storm last year: Remington’s proprietary ArmorLokt coating. The 887 starts with a steel receiver and a hammer-forged barrel of 4140 steel reminiscent of the 1100 and 870 platforms. However, that’s where the similarities end, as the 887’s metal components are fully encased in a 0.041-inch glass-filled nylon overmold the company claims is impenetrable by water and fully protects the gun’s metal surfaces from corrosion.

To back that claim, Remington’s engineers cross-sectioned barrels after submersion and salt-corrosion testing, and also endurance-tested the gun to more than 10,000 rounds. In all the tests, ArmorLokt held up to the abuse and it did not separate, making the 887 an ideal shotgun for less-than-ideal conditions. Duty use will prove how indestructible the 887 Tactical truly is, but after a few weeks’ use, I like its chances under the harshest conditions.

A sling swivel stud is found on the clamp that holds the extended magazine tube and it can be mounted to either side.

Manufacturers have come up with a host of treatments to protect a gun’s metal surfaces, but overmolding the barrel and receiver with polymer is a unique concept. Remington first cold-hammer forges the 887’s barrel blank from 4140 steel and then, in a process similar to the receiver construction, fuses the ArmorLokt to the blank’s exterior via injection molding. The polymer envelops the blank in a protective shell, with the integral barrel rib and rectangular design impressions also formed in the mold. A green HiViz LitePipe front bead tops the shotgun’s rib, which is plenty adequate for close-range defensive work.

Internally, the 887 Tactical utilizes a robust rotary breechbolt with dual lugs locking into the barrel extension. A massive claw extractor and blade ejector ensure reliable cycling. Dual action bars actuate the bolt when the fore-end is manipulated.

Like the field model, the 887 Tactical’s modular trigger-plate assembly completely drops out of the gun via two push pins. This unit contains all fire controls, the carrier and the shell latches. The left latch, similar to the 870, allows manual unloading of the shotgun. Instead of cycling the pump, one can depress the latch to unload. The shells are under spring tension, so maintain control of the shotshell while unloading.

I found the 887 Tactical extremely intuitive in operation. Running through a variety of loading, handling and shooting drills, I found several key advantages to this platform.

First, the bolt-release button, both in location and size, is the best I’ve seen on a tactical pump gun. Instead of the traditional tiny, metal lever poking out from the bottom of the receiver, the 887 uses a large, polymer button located on the front of the trigger guard. With training, this button should excel in promoting better gun handling through the manual-of-arms typical during defensive use.

In law enforcement, pump guns are commonly staged “patrol ready.” Whether in a keeper on the dash or in the trunk of a squad car, officers typically load the magazine full with the bolt closed on an empty chamber. In theory, this method gives ample firepower, yet locks the gun for safe storage and transport during their patrol. This means when it’s time to employ the pump gun, the bolt release must first be depressed before the fore-end can manipulated to work a round into the chamber.

Obviously, training is required to automatically perform this task under duress. However, the bigger button, located in what I feel is a more obvious location, should only complement that training. During testing, I ran through drills loading the gun patrol ready, then laying it on a staging table, forcing me to acquire the gun and depress the bolt release before engaging targets. The drill further reinforced that the button’s design is well suited for the scenario.

Once the firing began, I also appreciated the contour of the fore-end. While it delivered ample purchase, it also gave the added advantage of leverage. Larger in circumference toward the receiver, then sculpting down in width toward the muzzle, this “fatness” on the receiver end provided leverage on the rearward stroke. This is important, because it requires more force to unlock the bolt, cock the mechanism and extract the round than it does on the forward stroke.

During firing and loading, the loading gate would often remain in the upward position after the first shell was loaded into the magazine tube. I appreciated that, as it makes loading subsequent rounds much easier. However, it didn’t do so every single time, and I was never sure if it was my technique or the design that made the difference. Like all new shotguns, some material could be removed to smooth the edges around the loading port, a task easily accomplished by a gunsmith.

The rail attachments on the 887 Tactical are both contemporary and well done. The obvious addition of the receiver-mounted Picatinny rail has become almost standard for defensive/practical shotguns, with tiny reflex or red-dot sights becoming more rugged and affordable in recent years. The additional Picatinny strip affixed to the barrel clamp was a welcome addition, one usually found only as an aftermarket accessory. Since a weaponlight is the single best addition to your home-defense toolkit, this rail is well-suited for a SureFire M300A Mini Scout or similar high-energy, high-output light source.

In function, the gun handled well, and perceived recoil seemed very mild. I even mixed in 3 1⁄2-inch turkey loads to see how the gun ran; it digested the mix well, with no failures to feed or extract. Perceived recoil was also surprisingly mild, a tribute to the effectiveness of the SuperCell recoil pad.

Using Remington’s new Home Defense loads, a No. 2/No. 4 duplex load, the pattern densities were absolutely devastating at 21 feet, a common self-defense distance. Fired offhand, in high wind that surely blew my point-of-impact off center, the combo averaged more than 80 pellets in a 21-inch circle on the pattern board. At 25 yards, under less-than-ideal wind conditions, I still managed nearly half the pattern density achieved at close range, with pellet counts ranging from the high-30s to high-40s, depending on the wind gusts.

It may look radical in approach, but the ArmorLokt technology is really just keeping in step with Remington’s well-known tradition of experimentation with unique material. From the Nylon 66, to the short-lived 105 CTi and the 887, Remington has never been shy about experimenting with new materials and approaches—or bringing them to market when they will provide an advantage for the shooter.

Able to digest any load and operate in any environment, the 887 Nitro Mag Tactical is a solid, high-tech pump gun worthy of consideration by any self-defense shooter. With the addition of aftermarket components, the gun is ready right out of the box as a mid-level pump for duty, home defense or practical competition.

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29 Responses to Remington Model 887 Nitro Mag Tactical

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  3. dannysteel says:

    At first read, this sounds like a really fine defense weapon. However, after discovering that “some material needs be removed to smooth the edges around the loading port by a gunsmith” this tells me that this weapon is not necessarily reliable, or least not ALL of the time. When your life is at stake, this is just not acceptable. Hopefully Remington will correct this known problem immediately? Personally, I think there should be a recall on those that have been sold. Nonetheless, untill Remington makes this gun 100% reliable, I would be reluctant to purchasing one.

    • Subzero2931 says:

      I just purchased this gun a little over 2 weeks ago from Bass Pro Shop. I am already in love with it.I looked at the 870s and Mossbergs and I ended up choosing this one because of the way it was protected with the armor-lokt coating and the fact that it can shoot 3 1/2 shells. I find that this gun shoots very well with the 28″ barrel and the patterning is amazing at various lengths. It does have a lot of kick when using rifled slugs, but buckshot and game load are nothing to this gun. I have shot over 200 rounds thus far trying various ammo, and have had no problems with it jamming or expelling rounds. All in all I think it is a great all around gun and I can not wait to take it duck hunting someday.

      • Brian Wyatt says:

        Thanks for your comment! I’ve been looking for someone who was able to change the barrels on the 887 Tactical. Is this what you’ve done? If so, would you mind posting where I can find a 26″ barrel, for how much and how to install it? Thanks again!

  4. BimBam says:

    I heard nothing but bad stuff about this gun when it came out despite its good looks, and was going to get it based on this recent award. However, after reading more thoroughly it seems Remington still has not done a good job in manufacturing the new 887. The internet abounds with horror stories of the quality of this gun. So, maybe I better wait or get a Mossberg (my first choice) or a Benelli SuperNova.

  5. mike says:

    I purchased this gun approx. 4 months ago. I have recently put well over 600 rounds through. This was my first gun purchase and i did a lot of shopping around. The armor lokt drew me in along with the tactical look. I feel very comfortable with it in the house. It has jammed a few times on my friends, never on me though. not sure if they simply are doing something wrong? This gun has excellent accuracy and is great for everything i’ve tried so far. 2 3/4 are blasted with ease. no recoil. 3 1/2 slugs are even pretty tame with this beast. very comfortable synthetic stock as well. i highly recomend.

  6. Ron Gilson says:

    If you are in the market for a quality nail tough tactical shotgun find yourself an 887 and dig in. Seems most of the clowns who comment on these sites don’t own or have even had any range time with the weapon or weapons being discussed that would mean your opinion is as useless as your post.I own an 887 tact. and while it is definately not your dads 870 it will hold its own with any scattergun on this planet.Early issues were quickly addressed concerning this weapon by Remington and I think you will be very satisfied with performance.

    • Robert S says:

      I just purchased this same gun today and I also have a stuck follower.
      What did you find to be the issue or how did you resolve this issue?

    • Shaune says:

      I own this shotgun!! plus a 870 tact and A semi benelli! 887 is on its way back to remington for the 3rd time always the same problem that remington fails to fix and customer service being very unprofessional.Many others with the same problem have not been able to get fixed. Recall Remington 887 Nitro Mag & honor the years of great guns by please fixing this one.

  7. William V. says:

    Stuck Follower. My new 887 Nitro Mag. Tact. is experiencing trouble loading the magazine. The follower (which is under spring pressure only), does not depress when I try to loan ammo. I even tried to push it back with slight force of my finger, but it still won’t budge. On my other shotguns, the follower easily allows ammo to load without much resistance.

    I even took a look to see if the mag. was abstructed, but after looking dow the mag., I only see the back of the followers, which seems to be arouns no omre than an inch thick.

    Any sugesstions?

  8. John Bentley says:

    Just got back from first trip to range. Ii’s a keeper. Love those 31/2 in mags. Still keeping my old 870 to.

  9. Jade H. says:

    Bought a 887 Tactical 2 months ago… non this is the best shotgun I have ever owned. I realize some folks have a hard time moving away from the tried and true 870, but I gotta tell you this thing is AWESOME….eats anything I load in it in any combination….patterns way better than my 870, shoots softer and is a joy to care for. Do not be afraid to try something new, you will not be disappointed!

  10. robert varley says:

    I got one about 2 weeks ago. had out in a FTX no problems, shot everything, and held up to the abuse a great shotgun

  11. Mick says:

    I’m not a gun expert and have a couple of questions; I’ve read that the 887 has a couple of specific issues…one mentioned in these comments. Why didn’t Remington find these same issues during testing? Second, does a mfg ever attempt to duplicate the problems, and if successful, correct the problem in future releases of the gun? I’m looking for a home defense shotgun and like the looks of the 887 but I’m concerned about the quality of construction.

  12. boyce says:

    i have the Nitro mag with a 28 inch barrel. but i want to buy just the 18.5 inch tactical barrel and according parts. i cant seem to find it any where on its own. does anyone know where to get one?

    • Tim says:

      Remington has them in stock just ordered parts from last week.
      But you must call customer service there website is worthless for parts.

  13. Adrian says:

    Looking for a tactical sling to fit the 877.

  14. Cameron says:

    Can u shoot 00- buckshot or rifle slugs with just an original 887 nitro mag 12 gauge pump?

  15. martin says:

    Just bought the tactical today. Tore it down, cleaned it thoroughly, reassembled and went to the range. Stuck follower. Bummer. Very expensive single shot. What is the issue? I whacked it pretty good with a wooden dowell and mallett. Still stuck. Any suggestions???

  16. Gary says:

    Got this shotgun 2 weeks ago, been in shop for last 10 days. Worked the slide 2nd day after I got after about 4 time it locked up. Could not move slide foward or back. Sent it to repair will see how remington takes care of this. For a defense shotgun I would except a lot more. Wish I stayed with moss berg.

  17. ehall20 says:

    does anyone know if this gun is the 877 just tactical. the reason being is I would like to buy the barrel and extended mag tube for my 877 and I want to know if they are find fit just like factory

  18. MDG says:

    has anybody attached accessories, i.e. saddle round carrier, scope, etc? suggestions?

  19. Roger says:

    I purchased one for my wife. She has over 20 years in LEO. She loves everything about it. No jams,soft recoil, great patterns, lightweight. I haven’t seen such good patterns or slug accuracy from a smoothbore shotgun, ever! Tore it down. Applied action lube plus, and have about 600 rnds through it now. It’s a lot smoother than new. Reminds me of the old Winchester design. Benneli is good, 887 better. Less recoil, less cost, better patterns, better ergos. I’m not American so it’s got nothing to do with where it’s made.

  20. john wagner says:

    I got this gun as an impulse buy but am glad I did with all the upgrades and very cool reaper pattern this gun shoots flawlessly with just about any load even accepts up to a 3′ load . I have only put a little over 100 rounds down the pipe with a verity of different brands size and load , I do notice a big recoil kick with a 3′slug but buck shot has very little kick with the amount I have shot I have noticed a bit of a hang up when loading the first round it almost seems like the tube is full but this could also be the way I’m loading , I really enjoy this gun not to mention all the comments I get at the range. I’m a big believe in what works and I believe in REMINGTON !!!! Thanks and I hope to see this 887 around for a long lo g time.

  21. DC Moore says:

    Does anyone know if you need to take the included choke off to fire rifled slugs or 00?

  22. Shaune says:

    I purchased this shotgun brand new the year it came out..needless to say its just a big unreliable paper wait and a waist of 500$! Day #1. New shells failed to cycle and eject round, the bolt assembly would slide forward and the only way to eject round was to slam the butt off gun on a hard surface then round will eject and the information came from remington forums with people with the same problem…After sending the warrantied shotgun back to remington and dealing with by far the worse customer service I have ever encountered!..non professional! when I recieved my gun back they cleared it good to go and said it was something I did When I took it apart and cleaned. Ok! Gun still has same problem soon as I got it back im ready to throw this 887 in the river because customer service is horrible and remington will not fix the issues..from reading forums! My gun and remington service is a loss cause..Im a remington lover stick with the 870!!!

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