I’m lucky to live in a place where I’m surrounded by woods and not neighbors. After moving to my small slice of heaven, my wife decided she wanted to start breeding dogs. Of course, being a good husband, I help her out. I let the dogs out at night, but it can get a little spooky when the sun goes down, especially in the fall. There are coyotes out here, and they sometimes come sniffing around, even more so if we have a girl in heat. That’s when the Remington 870 DM Magpul really comes in handy.

Remington recently released its 12-gauge 870 DM, but I feel like I have been waiting for it for almost a lifetime. What makes the DM unique to the 870 shotgun series is its detachable magazine system. It comes with one 6-round magazine that can handle up to 3-inch shotshells. I was lucky enough that my sample came with two magazines. I wrapped one of the magazines in red tape and loaded it with Remington’s Ultimate Defense 00 buckshot shells for when problems with two legs arise. Then I loaded the other magazine with Hornady’s Heavy Magnum Coyote shells to handle problems of the four-legged variety. After adding a Trijicon RMR reflex sight and a Crimson Trace Rail Master Pro light/laser unit, the 870 DM was ready for 24/7 homestead duty.

Scattergun Details

The Remington 870 DM Magpul earns its name from having a synthetic Magpul SGA stock as well as a Magpul forend. This stock has 1.25-inch-wide sling loops on both sides, and users can adjust the length of pull by adding or removing spacers. The grip area is ergonomically angled and textured, and you’ll find a SuperCell recoil pad at the rear. The Magpul forend is ribbed on the bottom to provide traction for your support hand, and M-LOK slots on the sides make it easy to add accessories.

The 18.5-inch barrel comes with a tactical Rem choke that easily screws in and out. It has several ports and teeth up front so it can be used as a standoff or breaching device. Remington also includes a set of XS Ghost Ring sights, with a white-dot front sight on a metal ramp and the rear sight milled into a short optics-ready rail on top of the receiver. In use, sighting was quick and easy. All together, the entire package has an MSRP of $799, but I am sure you can find it for less out in the wild.

A Closer Look

The big advantage here is of course faster reloads. There’s no need to load one shell at a time. There is a paddle-type release just forward of the magazine well. It’s placed so righties and lefties can use it. Unfortunately, the magazine does not drop free when you hit the magazine release—it needs to be pulled out. To reload, just slam the magazine home. Overall, you can tell the engineers at Remington really invested a lot of attention to detail in the magazines and magazine well. Everything felt solid.

The tube under the barrel is empty—it’s only there to guide the forend when you cycle the shotgun. I’ve been considering creating some sort of survival/first-aid kit that could safely ride inside this tube without being affected by the heat coming off of the barrel. Alas, it was time for something more important: a trip to the range.

On The Range

As advertised, the Remington 870 DM was fast! My first outing with it, I must have put about 100 field rounds through it. It took me a couple of seconds to figure out the magazine, but once you do, loading the shotgun becomes second nature. It was also extremely quick to transition from target to target.

Because I was using a new feeding system, I decided to switch things up on my second trip out with the 870 DM. I loaded the magazines with a variety of shotshells. Everything was thrown into the mix, from 2¾- to 3-inch shells, with some being managed-recoil loads while others were standard to magnum shells. The 870 DM handled everything like a champ. After running another 100 shells through it, I couldn’t get it to sputter. And its patterns were dead-on, too.

In short, Remington has a hit on its hands. This is an update that greatly improves upon the 870 platform. The 870 DM Magpul is fun and quick, and can handle any slugs or shotshells you throw at it (up to 3 inches long, of course). When I head out with the dogs, the red-taped magazine sits in my pocket while the other magazine is loaded in the 870 DM just in case I run into any problems. I can’t recommend this shotgun enough.

Remington 870 DM Magpul Specs

Gauge: 12; 3-inch chamber
Barrel: 18.5 inches
OA Length: 38.5 inches
Weight: 7.5 pounds (empty)
Stock: Magpul SGA
Sights: XS Ghost Ring
Action: Pump
Finish: Matte black
Capacity: 6+1
MSRP: $799

For more information, visit

As a bonus, we have a little vote for you. Our friends at Tactical Life put the Remington 870 up against the Mossberg 500. They wanted to see what readers thought was best. Head over to and let your voice be heard.

This article was originally published in the winter/spring 2018 issue of “Personal Defense World.” To order a copy and subscribe, visit

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