Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical Review
A discussion I’ve been having quite often lately is, “which gun is best for home defense?” The topic usually narrows down to a pump shotgun (the sound when chambering it speaks all languages) and soon thereafter, the Remington Model 870 gets mentioned—and for good reason. The Model 870 has been in our households, our police departments, and our military for over 60 years.
Anyone would be hard pressed to argue against the proven reliability, the demonstrated performance, and the ease of function that the Remington 870 has provided us with throughout the decades. It’s because of these attributes associated with the Remington 870 that I was extremely excited to get my hands on Remington’s new shotgun, the Model 887 Nitro Mag Tactical. I was curious to see if the new shotgun addition deserved its own model line, or was it just a supped up Model 870 with a fancy name?
Read the featured full review after the jump…
The Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical comes with a plethora of features for an out of the box tactical shotgun. It features a 18.5” barrel, a 2-shot magazine extension (bringing the total to 7+1), a HiViz fiber optic front sight, picatinny rails for mounting optics, a barrel clamp with an integral picatinny rail for mounting a tactical light, built in sling swivel studs, an extended ported tactical Rem Choke, and all exterior surfaces are covered in Remington’s patented ArmorLokt coating.
It’s impossible to look at any of Remington’s new 887s and not notice Remington’s new ArmorLokt coating on them. It’s a feature Remington is applying to its new line shotguns and its military version of the ACR. Remington claims that the Armorlokt Technology is “impervious to moisture …highly resistant to abuse,” and that means, “No rust ever.”
To be fair, we’ve only had the Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical for 2 weeks, and we haven’t had the opportunity to test/observe its rust prevention qualities; however, we didn’t review the Model 887 with kid gloves on. We dropped it, laid it against rocks and inadvertently scrapped it a couple of times. The ArmorLokt coating seemed to do its job in regards to common impact resistance—the coating didn’t show any major scraps or gouges, which leads me to believe that the Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical will hold up well against daily wear and tear and even in harsh environments.
The Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical was based on the Model 870; however its action seems to be significantly different. The 887 Nitro Mag Tactical’s action features a rotating bolt design, whereas the 870’s does not.
The M887 Tactical can accept 3 ½”, 3”, and 2 ¾” shells, and already comes with a multitude of features that one would probably add on in order to make their shotgun “tactical.” The ArmorLokt coating seems that it would provide ample resistance to the elements and daily wear and tear—and the overall quality of the Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical seems to be parallel with what one would expect when purchasing a Remington shotgun.
The most noticeable aspect of the Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical is when picking it up for the first time—the Model 887 is very unsuspectingly light. Looking at the Remington 887, it’s bigger, beefier, and just more intimidating in appearance than its older brother, the Model 870. Those qualities would lead me to believe the 887 is heavier than the 870; it’s not. Everyone that picked it up or shot it immediately had the same thing to say about it, it’s much lighter than someone would anticipate.
Holding the new Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical provides a feeling similar to all traditional shotguns; however, the synthetic texture combined with the lightweight feel of the Model 887 sets it somewhat apart. It’s lightweight, but it still feels a bit rugged even if it is part “plastic.”
The cheek weld felt good and the top mounted picatinny rails also serves as a rear sight—allowing you to align it up with the front sight for a nice, easily obtained sight picture. The shotgun feels very balanced as well. With the magazine tube full, and one in the chamber, the Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical didn’t seem to feel significantly heavier in the front or the rear of the shotgun.
The handguards on the Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical are little longer and wider than other shotguns; which gives the operator more real estate for their off hand to grip. Users can have a shorter or longer grip to suit their comfort level. In either case, operating the pump on the slide-action shotgun was easy and smooth.
Releasing the bolt takes a step in a new direction when comparing the Model 887 to the Model 870. On the Remington Model 870, I found it quite cumbersome sometimes with regard to where the bolt release was located (near the 11 o’clock on the trigger housing). I find the location of the bolt release on the Remington 887 to be much more ergonomically friendly (for me at least). It’s located directly on the front of the trigger guard, and I find operating it to be much easier than on the Model 870.
Granted, there may be some safety concerns since operating the bolt release is essentially like operating a “second trigger” since your trigger finger operates it with similar body mechanics as with a trigger. I find it unlikely that I personally would confuse the two functions resulting in a misfire; however, it’s always a good idea to be safety conscious especially in this case.
We took the Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical out to the Nevada desert a few times and put roughly 1,500 shells through it. I was expecting the Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical to have significant muzzle climb, and to kick like a donkey, considering how the shotgun is so light. It was a pleasant surprise to have both of my assumptions proved wrong.
Upon first firing the Remington M887 Tactical, it was almost a shock in regards to how little recoil this 12 gauge tactical shotgun produced. The recoil reduction can be attributed to the thick SuperCell recoil pad that is featured on the Remington 887 shotgun line. We had a Remington 870 with some tactical modifications (M4 Stock, ported barrel) to use as a control, and I can confidently say that the Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical’s recoil was significantly less than the modded Model 870.
Follow up and rapid shots were an ease, and also an ease on my shoulder/upper torso. After my first magazine tube, I wasn’t as reluctant to empty the gun as fast as I could, fearing that I would be feeling it in the morning—something that couldn’t be done when shooting my Remington 870, Winchester 1300 Defender, or Mossberg 590. No matter how fast I shot, or how much I shot, the Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical was persistently comfortable to operate.
An aspect I like about the M887 Tactical that compliments the low recoil is the HiViz sight. Using in combination with the rear picatinny rail provides a very rapid and accurate sight picture. Combine that, with the low recoil and muzzle climb and you have a deadly recipe that’s an incredible joy to shoot.
We fired a wide range of shells through the Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical—from 3 ½” Mag Slugs, to the bargain buck shot, everything went through the M887 Tactical as anticipated. Slugs seemed to have a little more recoil (as expected), but it was noticeably less than firing the same slugs through the Model 870.
We had a few hiccups with the Independence 2 ¾” 7 ½ buck shot; the shells would seem to expand too much in the chamber and would have trouble ejecting. The same shells seemed to work fine in the Winchester 1300 Defender and the Remington Model 870. It was very difficult to pump the shotgun when using these specific shells; it took a considerable amount of effort to eject the shell. It should be noted that this was the only ammo we had trouble with; all of the other 12 gauge shells we used functioned flawlessly.
One of my favorite activities with a shotgun is clay shooting. I know it’s not the intended design for this particular Model 887; however, it’s still fun. Even without the correct choke tubes or longer barrel, the Remington M887 Tactical made it almost impossible to miss. We even shot doubles, and with the low recoil combined with the HiViz sight, it was a hit almost every single time.
The Remington 887 Tactical Nitro Mag was definitely the most enjoyable shotgun we brought out to the desert those days. Normally we would have shells left over due to our shoulder/body being a little sore, but the M887 Tactical’s low recoil and comfortable operation allowed us to blow through all of our ammo and leaving us wishing we had brought out more.
Out of the box the Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical is a great deal. For at an MSRP of $500 USD, you get a traditionally reliable Remington shotgun with an updated 21st century feel and features. It would be a difficult task to purchase a new shotgun, along with all the tactical accessories, and come under $500 dollars.
I personally like the updated look and feel of the Remington’s new M887 Tactical Shotgun, but I feel that the general opinion about it is going to fall along generational lines. I would feel safe to assume that traditionalist will probably be less likely to enjoy its polymer look, while the younger shooters will likely accept it more.
The function and feel of the gun is unblemished in my personal opinion. The few days we got to go out and shoot it were nothing less than a fulfilling experience. The Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical is a comfortable, reliable, and very durable slide-action tactical shotgun.
My absolute favorite feature with the Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical has to be the effectiveness of the ArmorLokt coating in regards to dispersing/absorbing heat generated while firing the weapon. After unleashing 3 or 4 full magazine tubes (24-32 consecutive shots), I was still able to fully grip the barrel—this task would of sent me to the hospital with 3rd degree burns if I tried it on the Model 870. The barrel was about as warm as a ceramic bowl when taking it out of the microwave; whereas my Model 870 would have been like taking a baking sheet out of the oven.
The only reservations I feel towards the Remington M887 Tactical are the parts that do not have the ArmorLokt coating. Mainly the magazine tube (under the handguards) and where the serial number is located. It just seems logical that if those areas are scratched and exposed to moisture, then rust and/or corrosion are likely to follow.
Speaking along the lines of tradition, the Remington 870 is the benchmark for slide-action shotguns—it’s been proven in combat, and adored by gun owners everywhere. Remington’s new addition, the 887 Nitro Mag Tactical, has its work cut out for it if it wants to live up to its big brother, but this tactical shotgun has its own legs to stand on to start its journey. The Remington 887 Nitro Mag tactical deserves to be recognized as a great new addition to the Remington family, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it protecting more families across America very soon.