For those of you not familiar with Vang Comp, they modify tactical shotguns. Last year I had them modify my Magpul Edition Remington 870.
Here is what it used to look like.
It came with a picatinny rail and an integrated XS rear peep sight while the barrel had a tall rifle sight mounted on it.
I sent my 870 to Vang Comp to have them work their magic.
- Vang Comp System Barrel Modification
- Vang Comp Ghost Ring Sight Set with integral 1913 rail
- Vang Comp Dome Head Safety Button
- Vang Comp Stainless Steel Magazine Follower
- Vang Comp All Steel Magazine Tube Extension with extended Wolff magazine spring
- Refinished in matte black finish (they re-cerakoted my barrel and receiver)
The best modification is the lengthening of the forcing cone and ports in the barrel. Followed by the dome safety.
Vang Comp removed the XS sights that came on my 870 and replaced it with their sights. I will be honest, I do not see much of an improvement over what I had before. If you have a Remington 870 without rifle sights, then I could see how it would be an improvement. But going from the XS sights to the Vang sights, is just not worth the added cost.
Last weekend I helped my friend Adam of Aridus Industries test a new optic mount he made for the 870 and we used my Vang Comp 870 as a test mule.
I have dabbled in mounting optics to my 870 before. In the photo above, of me shooting my 870, you can see I tried mounting my Burris Fast Fire to the factory picatinny rail. It works but it does not co-witness the iron sights.
Next I tried using a Burris Speed Bead. I had to modify the magpul stock a bit to get the Speed bead to fit. But you can see it works. I was able to co-witness the Vang Comp irons with the Meopta Meored. The only downside is that the speed bead is not machined to match the contour of the Magpul SGA stock. So the whole mount would shift a considerable amount and throw your zero off.
Adam had already made an optic mount for Beretta 1301 tactical shotguns. It allows the use of an Aimpoint Micro to cowitness the iron sights
.Now he is working on a similar mount for the Remington 870. The mounts come equipped with an XS rear aperture sight. It is fully adjustable for windage and elevation.
I dont have an Aimpoint Micro but I do have a small variety of Aimpoint clones. Here they are next to Adam’s Aimpoint for comparison.
We mounted the Primary Arms MD-ADS onto the Vang Comp 870. When we removed the Vang Comp rear sight rail we found that they had drilled and tapped four new holes in the receiver to mount their rear sight rail. The screws that Vang Comp used are wider than the Remington factory screw holes. I suspect they did this to increase robustness and reliability.
We shot 375 rounds of buck shot and 25 rounds of slugs out of the Vang Comp 870. 125 out of the 375 were Aguila Buckshot while the rest were Sellier & Bellot buck shot.
Was it torture to shoot that many rounds of buck shot? Yes and no. My arm and hand were tired of constantly feeding the shotgun. The Aguila buckshot are a little bit wider than the S&B buckshot so they were hard to draw from the side saddle. The task was not that bad since there were two of us loading the QDC carriers for each other and we shared the load shooting the shotgun. So that is about 200 rounds each that we shot out of the Vang Comp 870.
I can positively say the barrel work by Vang Comp saved out shoulders. My shoulder was a smidgen tender but not at all sore the next morning. I contact Adam and he experienced the same result in his shoulders.
The porting and lengthening of the forcing cone reduced a considerable amount of recoil. You can see in the top photo, the ports in the barrel redirecting a huge V shaped cloud of gasses.
If you watch the video below, carefully pay attention to the slow motion part of the video. You can see the gasses spew upwards before the buckshot hit the steel target.
Between the two different buckshot shells, the Aguila loads were fatter but less smokey. The S&B buckshot made so much smoke that after a couple shots, it was difficult to see the steel targets.
We did come across a couple of hiccups. A number of times when I shot my 870 the pump would lock up after firing. I suspect I was applying rearward pressure as I was firing. I would end up having to mortar the shotgun to get it to cycle.
During a string of buckshot the magazine tube extension popped off the gun.
The Primary Arms MD-ADS had moments where it would shut off. I prematurely thought that we might have killed the optic. However I discovered it was simply the battery cover had come loose. After I re-tightened the battery cover, the optic kept shining.
If you want to reduce recoil on your Remington 870, I highly recommend Vang Comp’s barrel work. It is only $200 for the forcing cone lengthening and an additional $55 for the porting. One issue with the porting is if you decide to suppress the 870. The ports allow gas and pressure to leak out of the barrel so it is not remotely hearing safe. I made the mistake of trying out the setup below without hearing protection. So if you want to suppress your shotgun, do not get the barrel ported. Or get another barrel just to shoot it suppressed.
Overall I am happy with the build and was glad to have a Vang Comp shotgun for this test. I can only imagine how sore I would have been if this 870 was unmodified.