How to Disassemble and Clean a Remington 870 Wingmaster Shotgun




Introduction: How to Disassemble and Clean a Remington 870 Wingmaster Shotgun

The Remington model 870 pump action shotgun is one of the most popular shotguns ever made. It is a rugged and reliable weapon. Although it is capable of performing even with heavy use and abuse, properly cleaning your 870 will keep it working smoothly and looking beautiful for many, many years.

This Instructable will show you how to properly disassemble, clean, and reassemble the major components of the Remington 870 Wingmaster shotgun. The procedure is identical for 870 Express models.

Disassembly of the magazine tube, trigger assembly and stock is not covered, since doing so is not needed for routine cleaning.

No special skills are required for cleaning this weapon, however moderate hand strength and dexterity may be required for certain steps. Also, this Instructable assumes the reader is familiar with basic firearm-related terms such as muzzle, bore, etc.

If you have never cleaned this shotgun before, this procedure may take approximately 30 - 40 minutes. With experience you can cut that time to 15 minutes or less.

Let's get started!

Step 1: Gather Supplies and Choose a Work Area

All supplies needed to clean this shotgun can be purchased at most sporting goods stores that carry shooting supplies, or they are common household items.

1. Before beginning, gather the following supplies:

  • Bore cleaning rod with a threaded tip (Figure 1)
  • Bore cleaning rod adapter (Figure 2)
  • Bore brush (Choose the correct size for your shotgun's gauge: 12, 16, 20 gauge, etc (Figure 3)
  • Patch loop (Figure 4)
  • Gun cleaning fluid or solvent (Figure 5)
  • Gun oil (Figure 6)
  • Gun grease (Figure 7)
  • Disposable drip container: Useful for catching fouling, excess cleaning fluids, and used patches.
  • Non-abrasive, lint free cloth.

CAUTION: Do not use paper towels, napkins, or other wood-based material for cleaning. They tear easily and can leave pieces inside the gun, and they are abrasive to some finishes. Old cotton t-shirts or tea towels work very well.

  • Clean toothbrush
  • Rubber gloves
  • Scissors

2. Chose a work area.

Select a clean, well-lit and well-ventilated area. Turn on a fan if available. Some cleaning chemicals used can cause headaches in sensitive individuals. If you feel faint or nauseous at any point while cleaning, stop immediately and get fresh air.

Choose a non-scratch work surface. A wooden table or work bench works well. If you only have a metal work area, put several layers of newspapers down to protect the finish of your shotgun. The length and width of your work area should be at least the length of your shotgun.

Step 2: Clean the Bore

WARNING:Always check that your shotgun is unloaded before performing any maintenance. Inspect the chamber and magazine tube for shells. With the gun pointed in a safe direction, pump the action several times. Be certain there are no shells inside!

Now, lets get cleaning...

TIP! Before beginning this step, cut a batch of ten 5" x 5" patches so you do not have to stop and cut a new patch every time you need one. (Figure 8)

1. Remove the barrel.

1. Remove the threaded magazine cap by gripping it firmly and unscrewing it counter clockwise. Set the magazine cap aside. (Figure 9)

2. Grip the barrel firmly and pull it out of the receiver. Set the barrel aside. (Figure 10)

2. Prepare the bore cleaning rod.

1. Attach the tip adapter and patch loop to the bore cleaning rod.

2. Fold a patch over 4 times and pull it halfway through the patch loop.

3. Over the drip container, wet the patch with cleaning fluid. The patch should be thoroughly wet, but not dripping with fluid.

3. Clean the bore.

1. While holding the muzzle end of the barrel over the drip container, push the patch back and forth through the entire barrel 3 - 4 times. (Figure 11)

2. Thoroughly wet the inside of the barrel with cleaning fluid.

CAUTION! Be slow and gentle when pulling the rod backward after the patch loop and adapter have exited the muzzle, especially if you are using a metal adapter at the end of the cleaning rod. You do not want to scratch or ding the muzzle of the bore or damage your choke if one is present. (Figure 12)

TIP! Get more use from your patches by removing them from the patch loop and refolding them with the dirty side folded in. Apply fresh cleaning fluid to the clean side.

TIP! Your patch should be moderately tight fitting in the bore. Depending on the gauge of your shotgun 5" x 5" may be too loose. If it is too lose, roll it around the patch loop like a sleeping bag, or cut larger patches.

3. Remove the patch loop from the bore cleaning rod and attach the bore brush. Scrub the bore by pushing the brush back and forth through the barrel 3 - 4 times. Scrubbing with the brush loosens burnt on copper, lead, and smoke fouling. (Figure 13)

4. Once you have finished scrubbing the bore, attach the patch loop to the cleaning rod once again and push a clean patch with fresh cleaning fluid through the bore several times to remove any fouling loosened by the brush.

5. Wipe out any fluid in the bore by running a clean dry patch through.

6. Inspect the bore by pointing it at a light surface such as a wall or near a light fixture. If spots or streaks of fouling are still visible, repeat steps 1 - 6.

7. Once the bore is shiny clean, apply 4-5 drops of gun oil to a new patch and run it through the bore 3-4 times. Twist the cleaning rod while pushing it through to lightly coat the entire surface of the bore. Examine the bore again with good light. It should be very bright and shiny but not excessively oily. If excess oil is visible, remove it by running one more clean patches through the bore.

You have now finished cleaning the bore. Wipe off any cleaner or oil on the outside of the barrel and set the barrel aside. Let's move on to the bolt...

Step 3: Remove and Clean the Bolt

1. Remove the bolt and bolt carriage from the receiver.

Press down the catch inside the receiver on the bottom left side (Figure 14) with the right thumb (Figure 15) while pulling the forearm forward until the bolt exits the receiver. (Figure 16)

The upper and lower parts of the bolt are lose, so be careful not to drop them when the bolt slides out.

2. Slide the forearm forward off the magazine tube. (Figure 16)

Set the wooden forearm aside for now.

3. Separate the upper and lower pieces of the bolt. (Figure 17 and Figure 18)

4. Apply gun cleaner to a cloth and thoroughly wipe all accessible surfaces.

If fouling is old or very hardened, apply a drop or two of cleaner directly to the problem areas and let it sit for a minute or two. Use the copper bore brush to gently scrub any fouling stuck on the face of the bolt. (Figure 19 and Figure 20)

5. After the upper and lower parts of the bolt have been cleaned and wiped, apply a very light coating of oil to them with a clean patch. (Figure 21)

You have finished cleaning the bolt. Set the two pieces aside.

Step 4: Clean the Receiver

1.Over the drip bucket, wet a toothbrush with gun cleaning fluid.

2. Scrub all accessible surfaces and parts inside of the receiver. (Figure 22)

Reapply cleaner to the brush as needed. Keep the receiver tilted slightly forward to prevent cleaning fluid from pooling inside and running back toward the trigger assembly and stock. You will not be able to remove it from there without removing the trigger assembly which is not covered in this Instructable.

3. After thoroughly scrubbing the inside of the receiver, take a larger patch and wipe away all fluid.

Pay attention to rails and corners where fluid can build up. (Figure 23)

4. Apply 5 - 6 drops of gun oil to a clean patch and wipe all accessible surfaces and parts inside the receiver. (Figure 24)

You have now finished cleaning the receiver.

Step 5: Clean the Magazine Tube and Bolt Carriage

1. Take a clean patch and wipe the outside of the magazine tube to remove any loose particles or old grease.

2. Apply a pea-sized amount of gun grease to a new patch. (Figure 25)

Spread it evenly over the magazine tube. Apply firm pressure to the patch while wiping to force the grease to penetrate the pores of the metal.

3. Buff the magazine tube with the greasy patch for 1-2 minutes until no grease is visible on the tube. (Figure 26)

TIP! Excess grease will NOT make the gun's action smoother. In fact it will make the action sticky, attract more dirt, and make cleaning the next time harder. With gun grease, less is more. The grease is still effective when not visible if it has been properly buffed into the metal.

4. With the same greasy patch as used on the magazine tube, buff the bolt carriage rails. (Figure 27)

Avoid getting grease on the wooden part of the forearm. Set the forearm aside with the other cleaned parts.

You have now finished cleaning the magazine tube and bolt carriage.

Step 6: Reassemble Your Shotgun

1. Replace the bolt.

1. Set the upper bolt onto the lower bolt and place both in their notches on the bolt carriage rails. (Figure 28)

2. With the gun horizontal, slide the forearm and bolt over the magazine tube and guide the bolt and bolt carriage rails into the receiver.

Be careful not to drop the loose pieces of the bolt and be sure that the bolt stays in its notches on the carriage rails.

3. Pull the forearm back toward the stock until it is stopped by the catch inside the receiver.

4. While pulling the forearm gently toward the stock, reach inside the receiver through the loading port on the bottom and depress the catch on the left side with your thumb.

The bolt assembly should slide inside the receiver. (Figure 29)

TIP! There is a catch on the right and left side inside the receiver! You may need to press both to insert the bolt. Press one, then while keeping downward pressure on the forearm, press the other. Keep alternately pressing one, then the other while pulling the forearm down toward the stock. The bolt will release and slide back into the receiver.

2. Replace the barrel.

1.Press the bolt release by the trigger guard and open the action.

2. Guide the barrel inside the receiver. Guide the loop on the barrel over the magazine tube. (Figure 30)

3. Replace the magazine cap: Screw on firmly, but do not over tighten. (Figure 31)

You have now finished reassembling your shotgun! (Figure 32)

Step 7: Oil the Outside of Your Shotgun

1. Place 4-5 drops of gun oil on a clean patch. (Figure 33)

2. Apply a very fine layer of gun oil to all metal surfaces of the outside of the shotgun.

Be sure to wipe away any finger prints and coat any areas where the bluing has worn off since it is more susceptible to rust.

CAUTION: Do not apply gun oil to wood. Doing so will damage the finish and soften the wood.

Step 8: Clean Up and Safely Store Your Shotgun

1. Dispose of used patches properly, close all cleaning fluids, and store them out of reach of children.

2. Dust buildup on firearms attracts moisture. Always store your shotgun in a dust-free, dry location.

Congratulations! You have finished cleaning your 870 shotgun. This procedure should be repeated after every shooting session. It is especially important to clean your shotgun before storing it. If you live in a humid area, it is important to keep a fine layer of oil on the surface of your shotgun to prevent surface rust.

WARNING: Always store your firearms in a locked case, cabinet or safe and keep the keys in a safe place. Do not store firearms and ammunition together. Following all safe gun handling procedures is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!

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    3 Discussions


    5 months ago

    Excellently written and documented with photos. This is a great adjunct to any of several Internet based videos on the subject but with a valuable difference: It can be printed and saved, useful if there is a failure or loss of your computer - or even an extended electrical blackout that neutralizes its usefulness . Bravo and thank you. Precisely what I needed!


    4 years ago

    very well written, good job. One thing to be careful of using a toothbrush, don't use the cheap ones from the dollar store. I made that mistake once, about halfway through cleaning my rifle the toothbrush started to fall apart from the solvent (hoppes) I was using. Bristles were everywhere. Took forever to clean them all out.


    Reply 4 years ago

    Thanks for the comment. Good point. I have not had problems with the toothbrush falling apart, but I do use a higher quality one.