Wilson Combat Standard 870 12 Gauge Shotgun

Hey, thanks for tuning in to TWANGnBANG. Two is better than one for a lot of things, but I don’t think that applies to bad guys, which is why it’s a really good idea to practice for that and I had a lot of fun doing exactly that with this shotgun that Wilson Combat sent me to test. It’s their Standard 870 and the name Standard comes from the fact that this is the kind of shotgun that is built to their standard of what a duty shotgun should be.

It starts life as Remington Magnum 870, but then they put on a lot of duty-proven aftermarket accessories, some that they made themselves, some that they don’t. Their gunsmiths go over every single part to make that they are functioning the way they should. In the end, they end up with a shotgun that, out of the box, is ready for their military and law enforcement customers.

It’s also available for individual purchase and what’s especially unique about the Standard is that it’s one of only a handful of firearms that Wilson Combat keeps in inventory for immediate delivery to your agency or FFL. That’s why the Standard from Wilson Combat’s what’s coming up next on TWANGnBANG.

The Wilson Combat Standard is a 12-gauge shotgun built under the name Scattergun Technologies. Based on the Remington 870, the Standard combines duty-proven accessories with Wilson Combat’s expert gunsmithing, becoming the type of shotgun that Scattergun Technologies supplies to every branch of the armed services and hundreds of law enforcement agencies around the country.

The Standard starts as an 870 Magnum with 3-inch chamber and an 18-inch cylinder-bore barrel. A proprietary plus-2 magazine extension is stuffed with an extra-power mag spring and a high-visibility follower bringing the total capacity to 6 + 1. All parts are Parkerized, then finished with a proprietary baked-on finish Wilson calls “ARMOR-TUFF.” Like other finishes of this type, ARMOR-TUFF is tough enough to wear bits of metal off other things that it comes into contact with, leaving the Standard very well-protected against corrosion and abrasion.

Wilson adds a six-round polymer shell carrier complete with heavy-duty cross bolts that replace the factory Remington trigger pins. The Wilson jumbo-head safety is sized just big enough to make disengaging the safety easier without becoming a snag hazard or compromising its proper function.

The Standard wears Wilson Combat’s famous Trak-Lock ghost ring rear sight and Tritium front sight The rear is adjustable for windage and elevation and it’s zeroed at the factory during Wilson’s extensive function test before releasing the shotgun for delivery. The front sight is soldered directly on to the barrel, with the silver outline of the Tritium insert giving a bee-like aiming point for fast shooting up close.

The stock is from SpeedFeed, containing 50 percent more nylon than the factory stock that greatly increases strength when butt-stroking. A sling stud protrudes from the left side, seen here with a swivel that Wilson conveniently includes. Another stud can be found in the usual location underneath the stock for those with that preference.

The forend is an excellent, SureFire DSF-870 integrated weapon light. It houses a recoil-resistant LED that puts out 600 lumens on high or 200 lumens on low. Separate switches for momentary and constant-on activation can be found on both the left and right sides of the DSF.

The rocker switch underneath the forend disables the light for storage, transport, or to prevent accidental discharge during stealthy operations. Side-by-side battery placement keeps the light module short with only the aluminum lens housing protruding out the front of the DSF.

The Standard is much more than just the sum of its parts. It’s the result of many hours of gunsmith time, ensuring that every part is worthy of a duty gun and the Scattergun Technologies name. See the video description for the full list of gunsmithing steps that go into the Standard, before it’s released for shipment.

I found the Standard to have the smoothest action of any 870 I used, and I love the trigger! The Tacstar shell carrier has a very good balance of tension, just enough to keep the shells in place without being too hard to remove. Using the shells from a carrier like this is a skill to practice, though – especially when you want to do it without taking your eyes completely off the target.

The Standard’s cylinder bore is my personal preference for a defensive shotgun, as it provides a good spread of shot for the distances typically found inside a home.

Woo! Look at that pattern! 27 holes! I love #4 buckshot! That is a lot of leaking right there.

Combined with Wilson’s Trak-Lock ghost ring sights, the barrel’s cylinder bore also does a great job with slugs.

Shooting just a little left with these Remington Slugger slugs, which is why that third shot, I did Kentucky windage and that was perfect. That’s right where I want the slug to hit. Right here. Ghost ring sights are really good for doing slug work. There’s no question.

The first time you look at the DSF from SureFire, you might think the same thing I did and that is – it has a lot of switches! A lot of buttons on here, but there’s a method to the madness. Every button has its own function, that way you’re not switching between a bunch of different modes and ending up potentially with the wrong mode at the wrong time. The forward button on both sides is your momentary on. Push and hold to turn on, release to turn off.

The rear button on both sides is the constant-on. You push and release to turn on. You push and release again to turn off. You also have a small button on this side, which toggles between 200 lumens, which is what I keep it set at, and 600 lumens, which is a really big blast of light I think is best for outdoor use, not inside. You don’t need it inside a home defense situation, where you got lots of mirrors, like I have on the wall behind the camera and things like that.

You also have — very easily accessed by your index finger — a defeat switch. That way, you don’t have the risk of your batteries running down during transport and you don’t have the risk of your light discharging if you’re trying to be stealthy.

The forend itself is very ergonomic – not just as a forend in itself, which I love, but it’s also extremely ergonomic in the sense of the light functions, because everything is right where I want it. Right here, for my thumb, I’ve got the momentary on. For my middle finger, I’ve got the constant-on, and of course, with my index finger, I can switch that defeat switch very easily. This is an extremely well thought out, integrated weapon light in a shotgun forend and I can see why Wilson Combat decided to go with it for the Standard.

The Wilson Combat Standard comes in at just under $1,600 and a lot of people look at this shotgun, look at what’s bolted on here and say, “I could bolt that stuff on to my 870 for a whole lot less than that!” It’s true. Wilson Combat will tell you that’s 100-percent true, which is why they offer every single accessory that you see here, including their ARMOR-TUFF finishing service available for purchase separately. If you have an 870 that you think has proven itself to be reliable and you want it to have the features that this has outwardly, then you can have a shotgun that looks exactly like this for a whole lot less.

The difference in price, though, comes down to the gunsmithing. If you price out your local, trusted gunsmith, a really good gunsmith, and see what their price is per hour, and you realize how much time goes in to doing all of the different things that the Wilson Combat gunsmiths do to this shotgun that go above and beyond just bolting things on here, you start to see that the MSRP is actually right in line with market rates, which is why they have so many military and law enforcement customers for this shotgun.

You don’t have to go with this exact configuration. If you’re willing to wait, you can customize every single piece on here. You could get a bunch of different colors. There are two options that they don’t offer, which I would love to see them offer individual purchases. First, this is a great stock and you could actually get the shorter version, which is an inch shorter than this in length of pull, but I’m a big fan of the Magpul SGA.
The great thing about the SGA is it’s tough like this is, but it’s got a straighter pistol grip and it’s user-adjustable for length of pull. You can get one stock that’s going to fit a bunch of different individual purchasers.

The other thing that I really like about the SGA is it allows a swivel cup for your sling on the outside, which is where I prefer to attach my sling on long guns. I think that would add maybe $30-$40 the MSRP to offer that as an option. I don’t know if that’s something that they would be interested in but I think that would be a really good option to have.

The other option – this is my pie-in-the-sky dream option for these sights in general, the Trak-Lock sights. The ghost ring is one little part on the top of this sight here. I would love it if they were to offer an open-rifle sight part. Ghost rings, for me, if you actually see in the last clip, I have to close my left eye to make them work for me. I know there are some people that can shoot ghost rings with two eyes open. I just can’t do it. This is just too busy back here and it takes me too long to find the front blade inside the window of the ghost ring. I much prefer a bead sight or open-rifle sights, because I can run the front just as a bead for the real fast stuff and I can still close my left eye and take very, very carefully aimed shots with standard open-rifle sights. I know it would take them some design time and they’d have to have two different sights in inventory, but I think the actual unit price over the same amount of volume would be about the same, so it probably could be offered as a no-cost option.

The real question is how- I know that there are a lot of people that shoot the same way I do – like to shoot with two eyes open and prefer open-rifle sights, but I don’t know how many of their customers would want that, as well. I think it’d be a really cool option to have for individual purchasers.