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Remington's Model 887 Nitro Magnum Tactical
I think George Thorogood described it best...

By Joseph D'Alessandro Editor | RealGuns.Com

I like tactical shotguns. In most home defense situations, they are probably a lot more useful than handguns, although probably not as tidy. They don't require critical aiming, ammunition can be selected to avoid serious over penetration problems, they have extended magazine capacity, but they don't have an extra foot of conventional shotgun barrel to serve as a grab bar for a perpetrator. Tactical shotguns have short barrels because they are made for close in work, they are not made for genteel duck hunting prior to morning tea and a round of golf. Tactical shotguns are not supposed to be pretty, but they can be quite artful in "form follows function" context. They are designed to be tough and reliable, like a 3/4 ton work truck; big engine, no radio and rubber mats that can be hosed off in place of plush pile carpeting.
Not representing any formal law enforcement or military defensive firearms philosophy, and omitting the use of: laser and/or holographic sights, weapon lights, bayonets, and grenade launchers - tactical shotguns fall pretty naturally into defensive situations. You mostly fire away until you run out of ammo, then flip them around and wield them like a club. The Remington Model 887 Nitro Magnum Tactical clearly is a prime example of a tactical shotgun, especially for those of use who don't like to overthink the solution to a problem and for those of us who have not graduated the $5,000 a day Colonel Beaumont Beauregard's School of Chicken Pickin' Barbeque and Advanced Residential Warfare.
It is what it is... and highlights
Feature Description
Manufacturer Remington
Model 887 Nitro Magnum Tactical
Type Pump Action Shotgun
Construction Carbon Steel - ArmorLokt
Gauge 12 - 2¾" 3", 3½"
Magazine Capacity 6 - 2¾" & 3", 5 - 3½"
Barrel Length 18½"
Choke Cylinder
Front Sight Hi-Viz light pipe
Picatinny Rails Receiver & Accessory
Overall Length 39"
Weight 7 lbs 1 oz
Pull Length 13¾"
Trigger pull 4½ lbs
MSRP $498
General description: The Remington M887 Nitro Magnum Tactical is a high capacity, magazine fed, pump action shotgun.
Size: The Remington M887 Nitro Magnum Tactical is a compact 39" long which, in context, is one half inch shorter than a .30-30 WCF saddle carbine and 7" - 9" shorter than a typical non-tactical pump action shotgun. The forearm is a hand filling 2 1/4" wide, the pistol grip is 1 1/4" wide and hand fitting. The M887 feels... substantial for its purpose.
Construction: A steel receiver and hammer forged 4140 steel barrel are heavily protected by Remington's proprietary ArmorLokt™ over molded finish. The tough scuff and wear resistant coating seals metal surfaces,  protecting them from harsh weather conditions and other environmental concerns. AmorLokt™ also assists in heat dissipation.

The Remington M887 Nitro Magnum Tactical's forend, buttstock, magazine cap, and trigger assembly are made of AmorLokt™. Swivel studs are located at either end and it is fitted with a Remington Super Cell recoil pad.

Chamber & Magazine Capacity: The Tactical is chambered to accommodate 12-gauge 2 3/4", 3"and 3 1/2" shotshells. With its two shot magazine extender, the Tactical holds six 2 3/4" and 3" and five 3 1/2" rounds.

Barrel: The M887 Nitro Magnum Tactical 18 1/2" barrel has a full 0.729" bore, end to end, and a 0.730" bore ported, extended tactical Rem™ Choke with a muzzle break feature. This is a good combination for close in work, shot or slug loads. There is a Model 887 Nitro Magnum 20" rifled slug accessory barrel with Hi-Viz rifle sights available from Remington.

Sights: Integral ramp, Hi-Viz front sight, Picatinny receiver rail, plus right side accessory rail below the front sight provide easy mounting for all popular mechanical, electronic and optical sights.


The Remington M887 Nitro Magnum Tactical disassembles slightly different than the Non-Tactical version, primarily because of the accessory Picatinny rail mount that also binds the extended magazine tube to the gun's barrel. A little tighter detail shot of the front end assembly below.

In brief form - To disassemble, the gun is checked for empty as defined in the product's manual. Parts are removed in the order as numbered above. Disassembly takes about ten minutes, reassembly about the same.

The Nitro Magnum was shot quite a bit, but clean up was no more than a quick wipe down due to the ArmorLokt™ over molding. This is of course important for a gun that is destined to see rough handling and inclement weather conditions.

Eventually, it always comes down to this...

Targets selected were Big Tom Turkey targets. They were selected because we have a flock of turkeys that have taken over the range and I thought this might send them a message and, more to the point, they are 15"x19" with a 13" kill zone, which is smaller than most torso targets. The targets were placed at fifty feet because my use of a tactical shotgun is defense of home or business. Not being a law enforcement professional, or a member of the military where circumstances and assignment vary, my setting is static and fifty feet is more than enough range to cover any eventuality.

Three people did the evaluation shooting with the M887 Nitro Magnum Tactical, all experienced shooters, but unfamiliar with this specific gun... same as me. They are, left to right, Joshua Brown, Gary Foster and Geoff Foster. Thanks guys. The gun digested and fed all ammo without complaint. The Nitro Magnum did feel relatively soft in recoil, which I would attribute to the shock absorbing qualities of the ArmorLokt stock and an excellent Remington Super Cell recoil pad.

Brand Type Shell
Fell Within
13" Circle
Remington TAC 8 2¾" 1325 00 .330 8 8* TAC
Federal Vita Shock 3½" 1100 00 .330 18 12 Medium Game
Remington Hypersonic 3" 1700 #2 .150 156 79 Waterfowl
Remington Premium Magnum 3½" 1150 #4 .130 300 118 Turkey
Remington Buckhammer 3" 1500 Slug .725 1 3 Medium Game
*Mossberg Model 835 with 28" barrel with a modified choke put 7 in a 9" circle with one flyer

Based on these results, for defensive loads, I'd be tempted to settle on a 00 buck because less shot is put out there to fly off in all direction and eight or twelve .33" balls would tend to get an armed intruder's  attention. My choice would be the TAC 8 ammo, with the 3½" 00 buck load a close second. The TAC 8 put everything on target and it was easy to control. The 3½" wasn't that much more difficult to shoot, it put more net projectiles on target and the pellets that didn't fall within a thirteen inch kill zone hit in the immediate vicinity.

For barrel length performance comparison, TAC 8 ammo was also fired through a Mossberg pump with a 28" barrel and modified choke. It put seven of eight pellets into a 9" group, the eighth was nowhere to be found. The 18½" barrel Remington put all eight pellets in an 11" circle with an open bore which is virtually no trade off for a foot less gun to manage in a dire situation. Geoff's 3" three shot slug group was pretty impressive for a gun with only a front sight. I would not select slugs for defensive purposes as they pretty much defeat the benefits a shotgun has to offer although I would like to hang a scope on the gun and see how it hit at 50 yards out of technical curiosity.


The Remington's Model 887 Nitro Magnum Tactical is as advertised, all business. It is easy to carry, easy to shoot and easy to keep clean. There are enough places to hang sights and accessories to tailor the gun to individual shooter's need. The capacity is a big plus. The construction is rugged, the appearance if consistent with its intended use and those big diagonal ribs all over the gripping surfaces will make sure it will stay in your hands. The Nitro Magnum Tactical is a gun designed with purpose. Good gun. Good value.
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