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What's the difference between 870TA-TB-TC

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by School Teacher, Jul 25, 2010.

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  1. School Teacher

    School Teacher Well-Known Member

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    I have an 870 TA (circa 1980) and a TB (circa 1955). Several of my friends have 870 TC's and I have an 870 TC Trap (circa 1987).

    As to your original question, my understanding is that "T" stands for Trap dimension and the "A", "B" or "C" stands for grade of wood. Also, "C" grade wood has cut checkering while "A" and "B" grade wood has pressed checkering. "A" grade wood looks like a standard 870 Wingmaster of the era while the "B" grade wood is highly figured.

    My 870 TA has "Wingmaster" on the left side of the receiver and does not say "TA". The TB's and TC's I have seen do not say "Wingmaster" but are instead marked "TB Trap" and "TC Trap".

    The barrels are identical except I have heard that the very early TC's had better quality barrels as did a special 870 called the All American Trap. The 870 TA, TB and TC barrels do not have step ribs and are not over bored. The barrels on the limited edition 870 Comp and the TC Trap had step ribs and were over bored. Some of the TC Trap barrels had choke tubes.

    I like to shoot my Monte Carlo 870 TA with the over bored barrel from the TC Trap. It fits me to a T and, sometimes, I can shoot it well.

    Ed Ward
     
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  2. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    What the school teacher says is correct. I have a beautiful D grade 870 trap like new for my grandson when he gets old enough. I also have a 870 all American grade new in the box never assembled for another grandson. it has engraving on the receiver as well as part way on the barrel, a very pretty gun. I also have a 870 tc grade made in 1964 with beautiful wood like new for my youngest grandson. I never had an F grade, could not afford it, but I once saw one at a shoot, beautiful gun with gold inlays. The 870 TA is basically the same gun only the wood is not as figured. All great guns.
    Steve Balistreri
     
  3. OldGoat

    OldGoat Well-Known Member

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    senior smoke...based on the gifts you are holding for your grandsons, would you consider adopting a 70 yr. old man? Best Regards, Ed
     
  4. Pull & Mark

    Pull & Mark Well-Known Member

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    John, Its all the wood, the wood. My TB does say Wingmaster on the side. Breka-em all. Jeff
     
  5. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    The 1960's and 70's TCs had barrels that Remington took a little more time with and they were excellent. They will only have the proof mark stamped on it. The TB barrels of that era are just production run barrels but aren't bad, just not special. The TB barrels will have all kinds of production stamps on them near the breech.

    Back then it was common for folks to buy a TB and a TC and swap out the barrels. Then they'd sell the TC with the TB barrel in the box.

    The wood is usually better on a TC too, as said above, but the TB's of that era usually had pretty nice wood too. Good luck.
     
  6. School Teacher

    School Teacher Well-Known Member

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    Barry:

    I bought my 870 TA in 1980 and it came with a 30" full choke ribbed barrel. I also ordered a 30" modified trap barrel for it. It took the gun store several months to find one for me and it cost almost as much as a new 870 TA. As memory serves, I paid $300 for the 870 TA monte carlo trap and about $150 for the modified trap barrel.

    When the modified barrel arrived, it was in a Remington factory carton marked TC Trap. I was told that the barrel was a little more expensive because it was hard too find and it was for an 870 TC.

    This barrel has almost no proof marks except a REP in an oval and three faint marks, one of which (under magnification) on the very bottom of the barrel under the chamber is a small "c", another is a small "v" and the other is like a smudge. The full choke barrel that came with the gun has 5 distinct proof marks in addition to the REC in the oval. One of these is a "B" in a triangle and another is a very distinct "H". The other three are an "M", "XL" and what looks like a "9" or a question mark without the dot.

    At any rate, the 30" modified trap barrel seems to crush targets with 2 3/4 dram 1 1/8 oz 7 1/2's at any distance including 35 yards behind the house (in games) and beyond. At 16 yards with 1 oz of 8's, it smokes targets and I have shot some of my best scores (98's and 99's) with this barrel.

    I do not know if this is a special barrel but it sure shoots nice for me. Although marked MOD for modified, this barrel with light 7 1/2's seems like it has a good pattern at any distance. 870's IMO are a lot more pleasant to shoot with light trap loads.

    I used to shoot with a very fast "timing" when I was younger. I now shoot a little slower but it is nice to know that the barrel has plenty of choke so as to reach out on hard rights and lefts.

    I just looked and my 1955 TB trap has "Wingmaster" on the left side of the receiver. My earlier comment may be in error but I remember seeing some 870 trap grades that did not have "Wingmaster" on the receiver.

    Ed Ward
     
  7. Pull & Mark

    Pull & Mark Well-Known Member

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    Ed, thanks for the nice story there. I never knew that Rem. even made a 30 inch Mod. barrel for the 870. The only one I could find when I got mine was the normal 28 inch barrel with the fixed chokes. I now have 3 barrels for it. It came with 26 inch skeet, and 30 inch full, so now I have the 28 mod as well. So I'm set for anything. As you said they are abit light, but with some weight in the stock and on the end cap to re-balance gun it now is a nice shooter. I also agree that the TB's had some real nice wood on them, but I have seen some super nice on the TC's that might go two grades higher, maybe. Break-em all. Jeff
     
  8. acorange

    acorange Well-Known Member

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    Most of the early TC's were made with a much smoother action than the TB's.
    I also have never seen a TA marked wingmaster. These were a "cheap" version of a 870 trap. Basically a field gun with trap dimension wood and target barrel.
    I had a TB with a "modified trap choke" barrel. They did shoot VERY well.

    I also have a nephew with a 870 magnum field gun with a 30" mod. field barrel
    that shoots amazingly well also.
     
  9. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    I use to be an 870 collector. The barrels made in the 50's that had a raised solid beginning of the rib were excellent barrels. They were hand choked, and the choke was longer than the newer models. These barrels also shot a little bit higher. Now, collector barrels for an 870 are the 34 inch trap model with front and middle bead, a barrel that is marked modified trap, and a barrel that is marked imp mod trap. these barrels are selling usually between $300.00 to $500.00. I have had all three at one time or another. If you ever see one and there has not been any choke work done to it, and you can get it under $200.00 GET IT!! You will never lose money. Some shooters don't know what they have. In fact the 34 inch full choke barrel I purchased from a friend who originally paid $50.00 for the barrel. I also use to collect old style BT99's made from 1968 to 1975. Great guns!
    Steve Balistreri
     
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  10. School Teacher

    School Teacher Well-Known Member

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    Acorange:

    My 870 TA is marked with "Wingmaster" on the left side of the receiver. My 870 TC Trap, with the over bored barrel and the longer fore end is not marked "Wingmaster".

    Pull and Mark:

    I have added a 6 oz. Staub mercury recoil reducer to the butt of the TA and with the over bored barrel, the TA weighs about 8 1/2 pounds. The over bored barrel IMO gives a softer recoil sensation but this may be due to only the added weight of the recoil reducer and the over bored step rib barrel. The added weight in the butt makes the TA a joy to swing.

    For games, the over bored barrels has choke tubes with the "Super Full Trap" tube yielding 55 points of constriction. With a 1 1/4 oz load of magnum 7's, it can really reach out and break targets.

    It may not be the most pretty gun in the rack but I would rather shoot it than any other gun I have ever seen. It has more than paid for itself many times over.

    A Kentucky shooter named Vic Hughes used an unmodified TA to shoot a 99 in the 1989 Grand American Handicap. There were three 100's but his was the only 99 so he took the second place money by himself. There were over 5000 entries in the 1989 Grand and, counting all options, Vic took home about $30,000. Not bad for a $300 pump gun.

    Ed Ward
     
  11. acorange

    acorange Well-Known Member

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    School Teacher...
    I phrased that wrong. I have not seen a TA wingmaster trap marked "TA" behind the ser.# like the TB and TC guns.
    The boxes that they came in are marked TA though.

    Senior smoke..
    I have a early 50's TB and TC and you are right about the barrels.
    Lots of hand made attention.
     
  12. Dr.Longshot

    Dr.Longshot Banned Banned

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    Engraving, wood, price.

    Gary Bryant
    Dr.longshot
     
  13. mlcameron

    mlcameron Member

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    You might enjoy the link above. It will clear up a lot of questions regarding the evolution of the 870 Trap, time periods, and grading.
    Mark
     
  14. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    acorange:
    You have some excellent 870's.
    Steve
     
  15. Savage99Stan

    Savage99Stan Active Member

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    I have my original TB from 1972, receiver replaced at about 350,000 rounds due to a crack...and my late brother's TC from the same year. I have the full choke, his has the mod trap. We never could see any difference on targets. I bought a mod trap barrel a couple years ago during a slump..didn't see any difference between it and my old FC out to 22/23 yards. Breaks looked the same.

    TC has much, much better wood than my TB, also a much smoother action. His has the MC, mine straight comb. I can't shoot his, at least not yet..best is 23/46/92..I regularly get 48s and better with mine. As stated above, cut checkering on the Cs and up.
     
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