Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the savvy Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II, is often quoted as saying, “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.”
It’s a great quote, but he may have never said it. Entire armies of couch warriors have devoured tons of Cheetos while debating the authenticity of this quote on the Internet. I wish I had their free time. I wish I had their Cheetos.
But even if the quote is misattributed, we all know the notion is true: America is a land of gun owners and as such it would be hell to pay for any invading foreign army.
However, in a new book by shotgun expert Nick Hahn, The Gun Digest Book of the Remington 870, we learn this truth: Today you cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be an 870 behind every blade of grass (and many would be slug guns).
Indeed, Remington’s 870 shotgun has been the company's grand slam in terms of quality and value. In a testament to modern mass production efficiency, to date we have been blessed with 10 million of these rugged scatterguns. A remarkable number of other countries have benefited, too.
No other shotgun is found more often in the racks of the police patrol vehicles and in the hands of S.W.A.T. team members in the United States, than the Remington Model 870. In addition to North America, here’s a partial listing of countries that have and still use the 870: Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands, Poland, Norway, Finland, Thailand, Philippines, Panama, Colombia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Jamaica, Haiti, U.A.E, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Afghanistan, Iraq, Oman, Djibouti. That’s 35 countries, and it isn’t even the complete list!
Hahn tells of the “Pumas” — the Ecuadorian Army Special Forces — and Mexico’s special narcotics units using the ‘ol “Eight-Seventy.” And certainly the pump-action is the reigning king in American law enforcement, plus among U.S. Army Special Forces Green Berets and U.S. Navy SEALS.
It really says something about a gun when that many countries choose the American-made 870, many over their own domestic pump shotgun manufacturers, for police and military use.
Notable examples of Remington’s global market hegemony include Belgium (who can ignore the giant Fabrique Nationale?) and Italy’s Beretta.
Heck, even the super-elite British SAS agents — of Britain, the home of Holland & Holland and birthplace of the very “gauge” system we use in shotgun nomenclature today — have been using the Remington 870 since 1969.
The Remington 870 rules. And you can thank your lucky stars that here, in America, there really is one lurking behind every blade of grass.