They state (about the 870 Express):
- No finish machining (burrs, sharp edges, etc. aren't removed)
- Has a less expensive finish
- Uses a longer fore-end (the Police uses Speedfeed stocks)
- Different barrel lock system
- Uses the "ISS" safety which allows the user to lock the cross-bolt safety in the SAFE position
- Plastic trigger guard (breaks easier)
- Cast extractor and ejector (breaks easier)
- Lighter sear spring (less predictable)
- Shorter magazine spring (less reliable feeding)
- Lighter carrier dog spring (less reliable feeding)
Perhaps this is all true of NEW ones.
- Has been deburred.
- Has a less expensive finish.
- Uses the same fore-end my friend's Wingmaster used.
- Standard barrel locking system (if they're talking about how the magazine extension or end cap ratchets).
- No locking safety.
- Metal Trigger guard.
- Standard extractor and ejector.
- Standard sear spring.
- I replaced the magazine spring when I added the extension.
- Standard carrier dog spring.
They mention the dimpled magazine tube to prevent one from adding a magazine extension. When I bought my gun I specifically looked for a gun with the normal ratcheting cap. The dimpled one uses a plastic part that slides into the tube and has grooves that lock into the dimples with a 1/4 turn. The end cap has teeth that engage on the plastic part to keep it from unscrewing.
The normal one has a ball detent that engages teeth on the cap.
I think they missed that the original Express was just a finish option and not a mechanical change. Yes, later Expresses are very cheap, but that was not always the case.
Of course, my 870 Express didn't come with an 18" cylinder bore barrel, ghost ring sights and a heat shield. That means that anything can be fixed!