2019 Shotgun of the Year: Remington 870 DM

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posted on January 9, 2019
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At the end of every year, Shooting Illustrated staff gathers to consider firearms released in the past year and determine which one is worthy of the title, "Shotgun of the Year." To qualify for the award, the shotgun in question must be available to the public, must have been tested and either met or exceeded our testing-and-evaluation protocols and offer a unique value to the American shooting public, whether by innovation, affordability or other stand-out qualifications. For 2019, SI staff chose the Remington 870 DM as its Golden Bullseye Shotgun of the Year.

Pump-action shotguns have long been a go-to for home defenders for a variety of reasons, whether its the authoritative knockdown power of 12-gauge, 00-buck, the inherent reliability and versatility of the action or the comforting sound of a racked slide. However, the system hasn't been without its drawbacks. The Remington Model 870, one of the country's most-popular defensive shotguns for decades, fed from a limited-capacity tube magazine running under the barrel. Typically, these tubes topped out at 5 or 6 rounds, with the occasional Police Magnum allowing for 8 rounds. Plus, the single-feed system had to be reloaded slowly, one round at a time. All that changed with the Remington 870 DM.

As Shooting Illustrated Managing Editor Jay Grazio noted in his March 2019 review of the Remington 870 DM, there are a lot of reasons to appreciate the new model, including its ease of use and familiarity:

"The 870 has been in production for nearly 70 years, and has sold in excess of 11 million units in that time. It’s a known quantity, something with which most gunnies are familiar and know how to operate. The manual-of-arms is second nature to countless enthusiasts, so changing how the shotgun is loaded can be more-easily explained and demonstrated. In fact, it’s arguable that the Remington 870 DM with a box magazine makes it even easier for a new shooter, in that there’s no learning curve in getting rounds into the gun. Load shells in the magazine, load magazine into the shotgun, run the action forward and it’s ready to go."

Options abound in the Remington 870 DM lineup, with consumers able to choose from Magpul-equipped, hardwood-stocked or plain polymer models of the shotgun to fit their tastes. Currently, the gun ships with 6-round magazines, but room exists for future expanded magazines, as well as semi-automatic models. One thing's certain: the shotgun world looks a whole lot more interesting and innovative with mag-fed pumps on the market, and that's why the 870 DM wins our Golden Bullseye for 2019. The suggested retail price on the shotguns start at $529.

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