Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical Review
Part 1 - Introduction, Specifications and Summary
June 20, 2011

Over the past several years, it seems that the tactical and home defense shotgun market has been growing at a staggering rate.  As manufacturers battle it out for their piece in the market, we are seeing shotguns come from the factory packed with more accessories, new innovative manufacturing processes, and increasingly powerful platforms emerge.  In 2010, this was true for Remington with the introduction of their new Model 887 Nitro Mag Tactical Shotgun.  When I looked at this shotgun at the Remington website, my first impression was "cool".  With over 60 years of experience producing the Model 870 shotgun, I was immediately thinking that I may be looking at a new evolution in Remington pump shotguns.  As I quickly glanced through the features (rails, extended magazine tube, tactical choke, ArmorLokt coating, 3½" super magnum capable) I was thinking this shotgun has got to be pricey. The next thing I noticed was that the Model 887 Nitro Mag Tactical Shotgun has a price point that was nearly the same as the 870 and my next impression was "wow".  At that point, I was convinced that I would have to get one for a 887 Nitro Mag review.  At the Remington website you will see the MSRP on this shotgun is $498, but you can find it around the $400 to $450 price range depending on your willingness to try an online purchase versus going to your local retail store.

While doing my online research about this shotgun I found that in January 2011 the NRA magazine Shooting Illustrated announced the Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical Shotgun as Shotgun of the Year and winner of the 2010 Golden Bullseye Award.  This also fueled my desire to review one of these shotguns and continued to reinforce my positive first impressions.

 

The following text in colored italics was taken directly from the Remington website on 2/12/11 and gives an Overview, Key Features, and Specifications for the 887 Nitro Mag Tactical Shotgun.  The , and are my way to keep up with details that I have covered in this review with either photos, commentary or both.  I may also add commentary after these marks as necessary to explain some items if needed.

Overview:

  • The most durable shotgun on the planet. Born of the gun making expertise that brought you the best-selling, most trusted shotgun of all time, the Model 870, the Model 887 Nitro Mag is an armor-clad warrior here to carry the torch of our great pump-gun legacy through the most extreme conditions on earth.
  • Our exclusive ArmorLokt™ process seals the receiver and barrel in a vault of weather-impervious synthetic armor that's both completely rustproof and tough as nails.
  • Similar to the Model 870, it's receiver is crafted of solid steel and the barrel is hammer forged to last a lifetime.
  • Twin steel action bars ensure smooth, positive chambering and ejection.
  • And the sleek receiver design, awesome balance and natural pointing characteristics spell trouble for any bird within reach of its 12-gauge 3 1/2" Super Magnum capability.
  • The extremely rugged synthetic stock and fore-end are ergonomically contoured to offer a positive grip and comfortable handling.
  • Swivel studs are built-in.
  • For 2010, our new Model 887 Nitro Mag Tactical combines supreme toughness and dependability with a handy 18 1/2" barrel, a 2-shot magazine extension and a barrel clamp with integral Picatinny rails for mounting your flashlight or other accessories.
  • It also includes a ported, extended tactical Rem™ Choke and receiver mounted Picatinny rail.

Key Features:

  • Action design based on the venerable Model 870 - ultra-smooth and reliable
  • Rugged ArmorLokt™ coating totally prevents rust on all exterior surfaces
  • SuperCell recoil pad reduces the felt recoil up to 54%
  • Our softest-shooting pump gun ever
  • Awesome balance and natural pointing characteristics
  • Handles 12-gauge 2 3/4", 3", 3 1/2" loads interchangeably
  • 2-shot magazine extension
  • Barrel clamp with integral Picatinny rails
  • Rugged synthetic stock and fore-end with specially contoured grip panels
  • 18 1/2" barrel with solid rib and HiViz® front sight
  • Sling swivel studs built-in
  • Includes ported, extended tactical Rem Choke

Specifications:

  • Model: Nitro Mag Tactical
  • Order No: 82540
  • Action: Pump
  • Average Weight: 6 7/8 lbs. The shotgun in the review weighed in at 7.04 lbs.
  • Barrel Length 18.5"
  • Choke: Rem Choke
  • Drop (comb): 1.5"
  • Drop (heel): 2.5"
  • Length of Pull: 14" The LOP measures 13.75"
  • Magazine Capacity: 4 4 is without the two shot extension tube.  Actual capacities with the extension tube were seven (7) 2.75" shells, six (6) 3" shells and five (5) 3.5" shells
  • Overall Length: 39" This length does not include the tactical choke.  Total length with the choke is 41.12".
  • Sights: HiViz
  • Stock Finish: Matte Black
  • Stock Material: Synthetic
  • Barrel Type: Solid Stepped Rib Rem Choke

This review is broken down into multiple parts with this page providing links to each part along with an overall summary of the specifications, pros and cons, and my final "bottom line" comments.  Make sure you take time to checkout the other parts of the review because they contain many photos and lots of commentary.  Also, there is an extreme amount of detail in those parts which is not covered on this page.

As you read these Pros and Cons below, keep in mind that it is hard to keep my particular preferences from creeping in the equation.  Therefore, it is important that you take the time to look at the other parts of this review so you can decide yourself on items which may be more of a personal preference.

Pros:

  • If you are looking for all weather protection, the ArmorLokt coating is clearly an advantage.
  • 3.5" Super Magnum capability is far more than you need inside a home, but it allows this shotgun the versatility of being able to put any 12 gauge shell through it and a real potential distance advantage.
  • Includes a 2 shot extension tube.
  • Includes a barrel mounted accessory rail for a flashlight.
  • Includes a receiver mounted rail for optics.
  • 8 shot capacity

Pro/Con?:

  • I really struggle with whether I should put this comment in the Pros or stay neutral, but since I'm trying to be objective I decided to be neutral (somewhat).  I really like the look of the 887 Nitro Mag Tactical shotgun.  I liked it from the first time I saw it at the Remington website and like it just as much or more today.  I feel this is one of those shotguns that people will admire for the "out of the box" effort in trying to make a shotgun weather proof, or criticize it because it breaks the "traditional look" in shotgun appearance.  I just happen to fall on the admire side.
  • I have not decided if I like the ability to easily remove the front sight.  Since it is a fiber optic sight, I can see arguments in both direction.  If it is damaged, it is easy to replace.  If it is easy to take off, it may become knocked off.  Even if it is knocked off, anyone with shotgun skills can still use the shotgun effectively in most situations.
  • The receiver mounted rail makes sighting down the sight plane of the barrel rib difficult and I recommend removing the rail if you are not going to install any optics.

Cons:

  • As much as I hate to say it, I had to send the first shotgun I received back to the factory.  There was an alignment issue with the barrel and the receiver so Remington swapped out the shotgun with another shotgun based on the change in serial numbers on the receiver.  The second shotgun is the one covered in detail in this review.  For more details, see Part 2.  Now that you are informed about what to look for when purchasing an 887 Nitro Mag Tactical, this should not be an issue.
  • I found that the edge of the brass on some shells would catch on the sharp lip of the chamber when you slowly push the bolt forward when pumping the action.  I feel this sharp lip will wear down quickly and the shells did not hang up with a hard fast pumping action.  This is an indication that the shotgun may need a break-in period.

 

Bottom Line:

I believe that Remington was innovative in the concept of this durable coated shotgun and I feel we will see more of this type of firearm emerge in the future.  I did send the original shotgun back to Remington due to an alignment issue with the barrel, but one of the real measures of a company is with their customer service and willingness to make things right.  They did by sending me another shotgun.  With the introduction of any new process and products, you always have a learning curve in the manufacturing process and it is feedback from the consumers about issues that produces better firearms.  If you ever have an issue with any gun, always take the time to give the manufacturer some feedback and a chance to make it right.

As I have already mentioned, I feel there will be those who will love the Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical and those who won't.  There are lots of good shotguns on the market and if you prefer a more traditional style shotgun, you should consider the Remington 870 Express Tactical.  If you are wanting something that breaks traditional barriers and is on the edge of things to come, you should look closely at the Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical.  As with all products, do your research, study this review and other reviews on the web, visit gun stores, take the time to consider your requirements for a tactical shotgun and think about who may be using the shotgun when selecting a gun to purchase.


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