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Question by ImColty. Uploaded on December 30, 2011
Internally, both versions are the same. The Wingmaster has a better finish on all metal and wood parts, has a higher grade wood, and the stock is better fitted than the Express.
I've had issues with the wood finish on my Express. The forearm got soaked when duck hunting in the rain and developed a small crack when it dried. A liberal amount of linseed oil rehydrated the wood and the crack sealed. 20 years later that shotgun is still giving me great service. I carried it as a slug gun hunting pigs this past Tuesday. It's now leaning against my closet wall, loaded with buckshot for home defense. It's shown in one of my profile pics with a 20-inch barrel. I also have a 28-inch barrel for bird hunting. I like the Express for the value and for how it hold up to rough treatment in the field.
I've shot a 20ga Wingmaster and a 12ga Express and both are fine guns. The Wingmaster is much smoother action though. and just "feels" nicer. I think it's just basically a higher quality 870... at a 11-87 (semi-auto that I own) price.
I have had both and the main difference is cosmetics. The wood type, finish both on the wood and metal. As far as function I see no difference. As a tool I don't see the price difference. I suppose if you are going for looks you need to go with the Wingmaster.
Thanks. I didn't want to buy a gun double the price if there weren't any major differences.
The Wingmaster is beautiful and the Express is serviceable. Both are fine guns. It just depends on your eye and your wallet.
If you were to spend the extra cash for a Wingmaster I don't think you'll be sorry. With proper care an old (well made) shotgun just looks better and lasts longer to me. I have seen alot of hunters who can afford more expensive guns still reach for there Wingmaster. We all know the Wingmaster can last 50++ years. I'm not so sure about any of the cheap stuff. I also agree with CL3 about the smoother action.
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