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Steelers252006
November 7, 2012, 11:59 AM
I have posed questions about other shotguns trying to educate myself and am curious to get some on here's take about defensive shotguns.

I am going to start as the gold standard, partly because I read good things about it mostly and partly because I freely admit I'm under-educated overall here, the Mossberg 930 SPX I believe it is or the tactical self-defense version that seems to be very popular. In this price range, what would be the top three self-defense shotguns in your opinion, and why? Pump, auto, doesn't matter.

Secondly, in a price range of $1,500 and under, same question, what would be the top three self-defense shotguns and why?

Just gives me more stuff to research and delve into and possibly more guns to go and check out and maybe find a deal on, which I enjoy to do.

I got to say I played with a 590a-1 the other day, thing is built like a tank!! Was impressed. Overall out of all the shotguns I've handled so far, I was very, very impressed with the smoothness of the action on the Browning. That's where I stand today, but I'm enjoying learning everything I can. Thanks again!!

g.willikers
November 7, 2012, 12:10 PM
For strictly self defense purposes, the choice of gun is not nearly as important as knowing how to use it, at a moments notice, and with effectiveness.
Which ever one you choose, learn how to use it so that it becomes second nature.
Know where every control is and practice reloads.
And practice every thing else, too, until conscious thought is not required for its deployment.
They are all good ones for the intended purpose.
Just make sure it has no problems with the ammo you want to use.
Look for action shotgun type matches in your area to attend, too.
They will really help sharpen up your skills.

BigJimP
November 7, 2012, 01:00 PM
If you really want some nice Tactical shotguns...look at the Benelli lineup of guns...way better options than anything Mossberg put outs in my view:

M4 is the Benelli high end option...
http://www.benelliusa.com/shotguns/benelli-m4.php
The M-4 is a gas operated weapon.

They have some tactical versions of the M-2 as well:
http://www.benelliusa.com/shotguns/benelli-defense-models.php
The M-2's are all Inertia Operated

list prices are $ 1,250 - $ 2,700 or so / the M-4 would be my personal choice, if I wanted a dedicated Tactical Shotgun, and they're selling new in my area for around $ 1,850.

Comancheseven
November 7, 2012, 01:09 PM
I like my Mossburg 590 I used this weapon in my Patrol Shotgun Instructors class. And yea it's built like a tank (me like tanks). No problems and it ran without a hitch. Plus you can get all kinds of stuff to put on it. Still looking for a cup holder. IMHO you can't go wrong with the Mossburg.

Dave

Steelers252006
November 7, 2012, 02:16 PM
In that price range, the 590 definitely has caught my eye, no doubt. What else in the lower price range, $700 and below, interests people? Curious.

I know those M4s are supposed to be rock stars!! Would love to find a deal on one.

Steelers252006
November 7, 2012, 02:24 PM
Just checked out that Benelli line sent by Big Jim. Look REALLY sweet!!

BigJimP
November 7, 2012, 03:01 PM
It's not just a price issue in my mind. Honestly, I think you should probably see if you can rent some guns / or maybe ask your buddies if you can shoot some of their tactical shotguns at your local range. Actually shooting some of these guns - may be the only way you can really evaluate them / so you can decide if you even want one or not.

In a fixed breech gun ( and I'm a pretty big guy at 6'5" and 290 lbs ) but a fixed breech gun(like a pump) with heavy slugs or OO Buck in them - can be a little on the "Unpleasant Recoil" side of things...after you're fired 40 or 50 rounds..../ when I was younger it wasn't that big a deal ...but I sure as heck don't want to run 50 rds thru them today if I don't have to.

So in general terms....I'd want the heaviest pump gun I could get that was still well balanced ( every lb you add to a shotgun for a given shell / will reduce the recoil 15-20% ). Obviously at some point - too heavy is too much / but I'd rather shoot a 8 1/2lb gun over a 7 lb gun in a 3 day class or whatever...in a pump.

Some pump guns ...like Benelli Nova tactical ...some models have the Comfort Tech system in them too ....and it'll help a little as well to absorb some recoil.

Then there is the gas operated options - like the M-4 Benelli above --- or the M-2 Inertia operated with Comfort Tech in it...as well.

Wilson Combat and other companies out there ...will take a stock Rem 870 and tune it up ....so its a little smoother, some rail options or whatever you want as well.

So you do have some options out there....or just go with a stock 870 or whatever and see what you think of it.

Noreaster
November 7, 2012, 03:58 PM
I would recommend a short barrel (18.5 or 20 inch) Rem 870 or Mossberg 500/590. You can always find someplace for a light, ammo carrier like a side saddle and they accept weaver rails for optics if you wanted one. I prefer pump actions over semi auto any day. The recoil of a shotgun makes the follow up shot almost equal between a pump and a semi and a pump usually are easier to use.

I'm an LEO firearms instructor and the Rem 870 and Mossy 500/590 shotguns hold up to the abuse and neglect of police officers. If you don't intend to use it much then a cheaper model such as a maverick or 870 express will do fine. Before you shell out $1,000 or more just go down to Dick's Sporting Good or whatever you have in your area and check out a couple set up for self defense, most are under $500.

PJR
November 7, 2012, 05:08 PM
The first thing IMO to remember is the shotgun isn't tactical. You are. Do scenario planning and responses including the aftermath should the worst happen. Develop a tactical plan. Your shotgun is stupid. It can't do it for you.

Whatever gun you choose PRACTICE! Your shotgun is lazy. It won't do it for you. Practice firing in low light, loading without looking, how to clear a jam. Practice so much that everything is subconscious movement and you're not thinking about what you are doing.

Keep it simple. Don't festoon your gun with useless tacticool stuff. Less is more. Good sights, perhaps a light, maybe a magazine extension but test all modifications and make sure they are worth the effort.

If you follow the above the gun doesn't matter. Personally I use a Remington 870. Second choice would be a Benelli M2. Third a Mossberg 590. YMMV.

Hoosier_Daddy
November 7, 2012, 05:47 PM
For home defense, I recommend a pump shotgun rather than a semi auto shotgun.

I am moving from 12 gauge to 20 gauge only because I am getting up in years and 00 buck in a 12 gauge is starting to become more than uncomfortable when I practice.

I have at three home defense shotguns:
A Remington 870 Express 7 round 20 gauge with a specops stock to allow me the chance to hold the shotgun with my right hand and hold a flashlight or open doors or fight with my left hand.
A Remington 870 Express 7 round 12 gauge with a specops stock to allow me to better live through the recoil and the chance to hold the shotgun with my right hand and hold a flashlight or open doors or fight with my left hand.
A Stevens 350 6 round (I think) 12 gauge. About the cheapest shotgun around for home defense.

I am a pump shotgun advocate. Autos are great but if your auto fails to fire while duck hunting, no harm no fowl. Fails to fire in a home defense situation, not a picture I want to participate in.

jmortimer
November 7, 2012, 07:44 PM
If you want the fastest cycling and less felt recoil, then the FN SLP would be the best. About $1,200.00 I believe. Faster than any Benelli and less recoil.

BigJimP
November 7, 2012, 08:02 PM
The FN-SLP is a gas operated shotgun....

http://www.impactguns.com/fn-slp-self-loading-police-shotgun-12ga-18-inch-61rd-3088929010-818513001229.aspx

-------------
but the Benelli M-4 is also gas operated....
http://www.benelliusa.com/shotguns/benelli-m4.php

---------------
The Benelli is a little bit lighter than the FN-SLP ( and weight is a big factor in helping to absorb recoil )...but I would think the felt recoil from each of these 2 guns would be very similar with the same shell. I also think either the M-4 Benelli or the FN-SLP would give you less recoil than any of the Benelli Inertia guns ( the M-2's ) even with the comfort tech system in them - but in my experience with the comfort tech system in Benelli's sporting guns ..the system works very well.
-------
Which gun is faster...I don't know for sure / but I don't think I would say the FN is definitely faster. There may be no discernable difference in them in term of cycling speeds.

I have not fired the FN-SLP / but I have put several boxes thru the M-4 and its an impressive weapon - and a few shells thru M-2 versions of the Benelli as well ....and both the M-4 and the M-2's cycled very quickly.

jmortimer
November 7, 2012, 08:26 PM
The record for fastest shots is held by SX3. The FN SLP is essentially a SX2.
From the Winchester web site:
"Many of you know that the Winchester Super X® 3 Autoloader shotgun has proven to be the fastest cycling shotgun in the entire world. This shotgun has set records for speed in cycling, firing 12 shots in just 1.442 seconds."
From Multigun Media web site article "The Practical Shotgun and The Need For Speed" BY PATRICK E. KELLEY
http://www.multigunmedia.com/speed-shotguning.pdf
"David (Neth) amazed the small gathering at a 3 gun match in
Winchester, Idaho by firing those five shots in 51
hundredths! The splits were three .13’s and one .12.
This gun(SX2) is full auto fast! By the way, this was with
Federal 00 buck. No, not the low recoil stuff, this was
Federal MAX 2 3/4 Classic."
From Chuck Hawks web site, article by Randy Wakeman
"Cycle rate is touted as important. A fast cycling shotgun is supposed to be good. Is it? Beretta Xtrema2 advertising spots show Tim Bradley firing 12 rounds out of an Extrema2 in 1.73 seconds. Tom Knapp shot a then world record with a factory Benelli M2 in 2004, breaking ten hand-thrown clays with ten shots in about 2.2 seconds. That record didn’t last for long, as on July 6, 2005, it was eleven clay targets hand thrown, individually shot, from the shoulder and without assistance with a Winchester SX3 by Patrick Flanigan. Patrick Flanigan cracks off 12 rounds with a Winchester SX3 in 1.442 seconds in another widely seen spot, clearly, quite a bit faster than the Xtrema2 managed. I’ve met Tom; he’s quite a gentleman and a fine spokesperson. I know Patrick, like him, and consider him a friend"
BTW, the new record did not last long as after Flannigan left Winchester for Mossberg, a new record was set as noted on the Winchester web site:
"CONGRATULATIONS RANIERO TESTA -- WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. With his Winchester Super X3 (SX3) autoloader shotgun, Raniero Testa succeeded in beating the world record by breaking 12 clay targets (thrown by the shooter with his right hand and shot individually)."

Pfletch83
November 8, 2012, 12:30 PM
Just as important as what others have said.

No matter the maker,action type,or gauge.

Make sure that you have the right ammo for the task.

Birdshot is for cheap training/manual of arms use and hunting small game,never use it as a defensive load.

Make it a point to stock up on buckshot and slugs in your chosen gauge.

Any well made 12,16,20,or .410 with the right ammo can be a very effective anti-personnel weapon,as long as the user does their part.

Dragonheart2
November 8, 2012, 01:01 PM
If you have the bucks, the Benelli M-4. Just point and pull the trigger.

TheKlawMan
November 8, 2012, 01:12 PM
My feeling is that to choose a self-defense gun, you have to look at your own individual needs.

Generally, a short barrelis chosen for a defense gun. You mentioned the Browning. I should know, but do not. What is the shortest barrel available with one. Speaking about barrels, if they are supposedly available how easy is it to get them? The shortest security barrels are often open cyllinder (no choke and do not accept srew in chokes). Some want to be able to use choke on a security gun.

Will you be the only one to use it? If not, consider other shooters such as the wife and whether you will need an adjustable stock. Perhaps a short stock with a slip on pad will do. Is a pump or a semi easier for all users to learn to operate? Weight can be an issue for a little person.

What is the environment? Are you on a large piece of property and will you want more reach or in a small apartment. Perhaps a smaller gauge does the trick in confined urban spaces, but you may need more boom juice to reach out further and say howdy.

Will this defense gun serve other duties, such as shooting trap or skeet. Pumps can be used for double shots, but will handicap a target shooter. Some very inexpensive pumps may suffice for your security needs, but may not have barrels available for target shooting, hunting.

Do you need a right or left handed gun? What about the safety location? If you want to trick it out, are there accessories available? Perhaps you really like a bottom ejector.

Then, with a budget of $1500, you can consider wood.

What I am saying is none of the top three may be right for you.

Steelers252006
November 9, 2012, 09:01 AM
Good post, Klawman!

ROGER4314
November 9, 2012, 09:52 AM
It never occurred to me that a high Dollar shotgun was necessary. I am a life long fan of the Remington 870 and 1100 shotguns and have owned a sizable pile of each model. I'd trust my life to either one of them without a moment of hesitation.

What makes the 12 gauge so versatile is the wide selection of ammo. You can hunt birds to buffalo and anything in between. I'd put the 12 gauge shotgun slug against almost anything at 50 yards.

A word of caution. Much is said about the 870 locking up after short stroking the action. I've never had that happen but it can lock up the gun at a very embarrassing time! The slide rods on the 870, time release of fresh rounds from the magazine. A short stroke will feed a new round before the gun has cleared the fired one. The cure for that is to always work the slide smartly....fast and hard. It's not for show. That's a genuine guarantee of reliable action.

The slickest pump action shotgun around is the Remington Wingmaster 870. Express models are less expensive but they don't have the "smooth as glass" action. I can take one of my Wingmasters, hold it muzzle up and when I press the action release, the action will open of its own weight. How far the action opens depends on whether the hammer was cocked or not. That's smooth!

SO...spend a ton of money on a shotgun if you wish but it's just not necessary.

Good luck with your selection!

Flash

Xfire68
November 9, 2012, 10:37 AM
I will second or third the Mossy 590 with Ghost ring sights. Super reliable and tough as nails!

Yes the Benelli is great no doubt but, it is not magical.

TheKlawMan
November 9, 2012, 01:25 PM
Ghost ring sites for a home defense gun are a poor idea, imo. Target acquisition with a bead is fastest.

Major Dave (retired)
November 10, 2012, 04:35 PM
"Make sure you have the right ammo".

I recently discovered Winchester PDX1 Defender segmented rifled slug ammo. It states, on the box, "Stop the threat" (trade marked statement)

So much for advertising hype - what do you who live in the real world say?

Oh, by the way, these statements are also on the box:

"Programmed notching on inside/outside of slug ensures positive expansion and segmenting at short and long range"

Also, "slug breaks into three segments upon impact - compensates for aim error and provides critical penetration"

Hype, or for real?????

shrewd
November 10, 2012, 06:31 PM
"Compensates for aim error"

shenanigans

Pfletch83
November 11, 2012, 03:57 AM
I would say that the best round for any gauge in a home defense role has got to be #4 Buck.

The shell packs more shot than typical '0'-'000' but the pellets are larger than birdshot,which offers good coverage of the threat while having a somewhat limited pass through concern.

Pfletch83
November 11, 2012, 04:00 AM
The 870 does have a slick action....until a Winchester 1200/1300 is brought out to play.

natman
November 11, 2012, 04:10 AM
Ghost ring sites for a home defense gun are a poor idea, imo. Target acquisition with a bead is fastest.

Please elaborate why you think GR sights are a bad idea.

jmortimer
November 11, 2012, 11:02 AM
Target acquisition is faster with a bead. All the professional exhibition shooters set speed and number of targets broken records with a bead. From the AIP Tactical web site:
"Ghost rings can get you killed ( my opinion)." Bead sight or rifle sights and yes the tritium inserts for the rifle sights are worth it on this weapon."
That is the owner of AIP's "opinion" not mine. I'll take his advice. This is home defense, not a war.

hogdogs
November 11, 2012, 11:28 AM
The first thing IMO to remember is the shotgun isn't tactical. You are.

AMEN!!! Tactical is a mindset... it is neither a noun nor an adjective...

If guns are "tactical" than so is my toilet paper... I use planning and fold it into a neat square, wipe and fold into a triangle than another wipe and fold...

I am tactically getting every bit of use so it is now tactical toilet paper...???

Brent

natman
November 11, 2012, 12:33 PM
"Ghost rings can get you killed ( my opinion)."

Yet another unexplained opinion. Anyone got a reasonable explanation why ghost rings are supposed to be so bad?

TheKlawMan
November 11, 2012, 05:11 PM
If guns are "tactical" than so is my toilet paper...

I love it!:D

TheKlawMan
November 11, 2012, 05:16 PM
Anyone got a reasonable explanation why ghost rings are supposed to be so bad?

While Ghost Rings may be more accurate when firing slugs at distant targets, the accuracy of a bead sight is enough and speed is more important at home defense distances.

jackpine
November 11, 2012, 05:26 PM
you would be better served getting a lower cost shotgun and then spending the additional budget on ammo and training from a good school/instructor.

If it were my $1,500 I'd get an remingtom 870 (but a 590 is fine) used if possible for around $500 or less and then an SOE gear micro shotgun rig and the rest on ammo and a class like suarez int shotgun or gunsight shotgun class or tactical response. After the class if I think I need a different shotgun I'd have the knowledge to make an informed selection.

natman
November 12, 2012, 03:31 PM
While Ghost Rings may be more accurate when firing slugs at distant targets, the accuracy of a bead sight is enough and speed is more important at home defense distances.

Well, it's a start.

Please explain why you think GRS are slower than a bead.

Also please mention if you have ever:

Owned a shotgun with GRS
Fired a shotgun with GRS
Handled a shotgun with GRS

Can you explain the difference between GRS and a peep sight?

scrubcedar
November 12, 2012, 05:46 PM
Let me chime in on a couple of things. Yes, if you are looking for a pump specifically the Browning action makes follow up shots quicker and more smoothly than any other pump. Partly the geometry of the gun, very little muzzle rise. Couple that with a smooth fast action and it definitely makes you better.
Now onto Ghost Ring sights. The first time I had an opportunity to take my BPS out it was not at a skeet range but at a local area used for shooting. I threw a bunch of clay pigeons up and down the hill and tried to hit three in a row as quickly as the gun would let me. Bruised the crap out of my shoulder running through multiple boxes because it was so much fun:D Shoulder the gun, drop the bead onto the target, pull the trigger, transition to the next target, pull trigger, etc. There is no possible way I could have transitioned from target to target as quickly as I did while keeping my eye focused through a small hole. As soon as the bead hit the target it would almost disappear on it's own by the end. I like and have used ghost ring sights but at least I can't use them as quickly as that. BTW I think I stumbled onto a fun (but not painless:D) way to train to use my home defense weapon, after the first time, my reflexes were already well on their way to where they needed to be, and subsequent sessions tuned them further. I KNOW if I have to pick up my BPS in the middle of the night that I can unload as many rounds as are needed accurately and quickly.

BigJimP
November 12, 2012, 06:37 PM
A couple more points here....

a. If a shotgun fits you ....there shouldn't be any bruising to your shoulder or face, etc......unless you're doing something very fundamentally wrong - with the mount or execution of the shot. I'm a clay target shooter ...and in a 12ga where my loads are not powder puff loads ...but 1 oz at 1225 fps ...I can easily handle 10 boxes a day ...if I'm doing things correctly. ( and I'm in my 60's with a completely rebuilt shoulder and only half a bicep in my shooting arm).

b. Practicing with what you consider a Defensive shotgun ...on clay targets is a good idea ...because its an easy way to practice sucessive shots ..at least 2 shots anyway ...on a number of target presentations. Now if your defensive shotgun doesn't have changeable screw in chokes / and you have just an open Cyclinder choke in the gun ...you can compensate a little to tighten it up by shooting 1 oz or 1 1/8oz loads of 7 1/2's vs 8's or 9's ....and even though typical OO Buck loads are often heavier payloads at faster velocities that "clay loads" ....you can run some loads like Remington Nitro Sporting clay loads 1 1/8 oz of 7 1/2's at 1300 fps ...thru those guns and they'll give you some "pop" as well ...and still be legal to shoot on a clay target field ( most clubs won't let you go any bigger than 7 1/2's -- because of safety on their ranges ).

This is a typical Remington OO shell....
12 Gauge, Remington Express Buckshot, 2 3/4", 000 Lead Buckshot, 8 Pellets, 5 Round Box, 1325 FPS.

scottd913
November 12, 2012, 11:14 PM
[QUOTE][/If guns are "tactical" than so is my toilet paper... I use planning and fold it into a neat square, wipe and fold into a triangle than another wipe and fold...
QUOTE]

oh way to much information....with all the things that keep me up at night i sure didn't need that bouncing around in my head:D.
But good point!!

scrubcedar
November 13, 2012, 12:36 AM
BigJim this is my first shotgun (a BPS hunter, synthetic stock) and seems to have great ergonomics for me, but there is no question I feel the recoil more with it than I do with others I've borrowed. I just figured that the lack of muzzle rise had to do with the barrel sitting a little higher than other shotguns and that it therefore directed recoil toward my shoulder rather than the others that the barrel rose more but didn't hit so hard. I think the term is it has more drop at the comb than others. It may very well be fitted wrong for me as I have very long arms and a long torso. How would I know? Having recently injured my shoulder this has become a much more important question.

Noreaster
November 13, 2012, 02:38 PM
Ghost ring sights are very nice indeed but I find them slower and somewhat harder to use inside buildings. I have gone through shoot houses with them and it narrows your field of vision and it can be slower on target. I find the beed sight or rifled sights (the williams fire sights are awesome,) much quicker in a shoot house and easier ID of threat / no threat. This is just me though, if you gave me a slicked out shotgun with ghost ring sights I would keep it!

natman
November 15, 2012, 03:22 PM
Target acquisition is faster with a bead. All the professional exhibition shooters set speed and number of targets broken records with a bead.


They were wingshooting. I'll readily agree that GRS have no business on a gun used for wingshooting. However, the topic under discussion is self defense shotguns, an entirely different application.

From the AIP Tactical web site:
"Ghost rings can get you killed ( my opinion)." Bead sight or rifle sights and yes the tritium inserts for the rifle sights are worth it on this weapon."
That is the owner of AIP's "opinion" not mine. I'll take his advice. This is home defense, not a war.

It's seems there are a lot of people who criticize GRS uninhibited by a complete lack of understanding of how GRS work or any experience with them whatsoever. Now the proprietor of AIP has enough experience in combat shotguns that had he chosen to back that statement up with some sort of rational explanation as to why, I would have read it with great interest. However since he didn't, I remain unconvinced.

While we're swapping quotes, here one from Jeff Cooper, who knew a thing or two about defense guns:

Hard as it may be to believe, there are still people around who do not know about the "ghost−ring" sight. This sighting system was described in the early decades of the twentieth century by both Townsend Whelen and Karamojo Bell. It is so far superior to any form of open sight, for either snap shooting or precision work, that there is simply nothing to discuss.

Cooper's Commentaries, No. 1, Vol 9



Not that it's stopping us. ;)

Here's another:

I was able to deliver the Marlin "Co−pilot" from Wild West in Alaska to its new home as a lion−stopper in Africa. This piece, as you know, is a cutdown and customized version of the Marlin Model 95 45−70. It was much admired in the field, and one of its most admired features was a sighting system I proposed, which consists of a brilliant red shrouded bead front and a Steve Wickert ghost−ring rear. This is about the fastest arrangement I have seen, and considering that the weapon will not ordinarily be used beyond a range of 25 meters, it is every bit as precise as the shooter can make it.

Cooper's Commentaries, No. 4, Vol 5


I suspect that a lot of people think that GRS are slow because their only experience is with peep sights on target rifles. On a peep, the hole is small and one centers the front sight precisely for maximum accuracy.

GRS, despite their superficial resemblance to peep sights, do NOT work the same way. When using a GRS, one simply puts the front sight on the target. One does not look at the rear sight at all. The eye will reflexively center the front sight in the ring and no conscious effort or time is wasted doing so. The result is a very fast and accurate sight.

Here's an article that explains it well:

http://africanxmag.com/ghost_rings.htm

TheKlawMan
November 15, 2012, 04:01 PM
Natman, Just answer one simple question. This assumes that an HD situation occurs in the middle of the night and there is very little ambient lighting, the BG is mobile, and you are at a relatively close range (no more than 10 yards). In general, which system will more quickly acquire the target; bead or ghost ring?

Than answer this. Does either system generally require significantly more practice time for a shooter to become proficient under extreme stress, as in a home defense situation.

My point is what is the better system for a non pro. I do expect the lay shotgunner not to just to purchase and park a weapon, but I do not expect them to perform like SWAT.

I will add that I can see why a LEO might prefer GSR, but they are more likely to have greater need of more precision sights. They have to perform in outdoors situations requiring accuracy at greater distances. Should they go into dark indoors environments, they are hopefully equipped and trained with the use of gun lights. Whatever, I remind you we are speaking here of Home Defense.

You probably know this better than myself, but the fact is that many target shooters prefer NO sights. That does not mean that they do not point there gun at the target, but a well fit and mounted shotgun points where they look.

Spats McGee
November 15, 2012, 04:10 PM
I'm not a SD/HD expert by any means, but for $1500 (as stated in the OP), I'd be looking for:

a used Rem 870 or Mossberg;
a few goodies & mods (stock, mag extension, sights); and
the rest in ammunition.


Personally, I'm an 870 guy, but there's nothing wrong with Mossberg, either. IMHO, getting a basic gun and lots of trigger time is probably a better plan than a really fancy gun but no bullet budget.

natman
November 15, 2012, 05:12 PM
Natman, Just answer one simple question. This assumes that an HD situation occurs in the middle of the night and there is very little ambient lighting, the BG is mobile, and you are at a relatively close range (no more than 10 yards). In general, which system will more quickly acquire the target; bead or ghost ring?

If it's that dark, you should shine your light and identify your target. HD is not combat; you can't just blast away at a form in the dark lest it turn out to be your neighbor stumbling into the wrong house after a night at the bar.

A GRS is not faster than a bead, but it's just as fast and delivers a better chance of a hit where you want it.

Than answer this. Does either system generally require significantly more practice time for a shooter to become proficient under extreme stress, as in a home defense situation.

My point is what is the better system for a non pro. I do expect the lay shotgunner not to just to purchase and park a weapon, but I do not expect them to perform like SWAT.

This is a good point. GRS are without a doubt a better system for a beginner under stress because the rear sight gives a clear indicator of where your head is supposed to be. It's all too easy to keep your head high in order to see your target better and with a bead you can shoot right over your target, even at HD distances.

You probably know this better than myself, but the fact is that many target shooters prefer NO sights. That does not mean that they do not point there gun at the target, but a well fit and mounted shotgun points where they look.

Again, wingshooting. And again, I'll agree a bead, or nothing, is better than a GRS for wingshooting. It's different than HD, unless you're repelling an invasion of vampire bats or something similar.

If your shotgun fits perfectly and you mount it perfectly, then the GRS will be lined up perfectly. Best of both worlds.

Look, there's plenty of room for personal preference in this and if a bead works for you, that's great. I just wanted to dispel some of the misunderstandings and outright nonsense that seems to surround GRS.

TheKlawMan
November 15, 2012, 07:50 PM
Natman, I said there is "very lilttle ambient light" and did not say that you could not identify the target. Am I not correct that ambient illumination can suffice to id Mr. BG, but be low enough to make GRS slower to use than a simple bead sight? Some beleive that by using your light you just made a target of yourself, whereas before Mr. BG may not have spotted your position. Forget wing shooting and focus on hitting a BG as he darts from one place to the other.

Noreaster
November 15, 2012, 09:20 PM
Much of debate over peep sights and or ghost ring sights. Let me just say this, when confronting a threat or searching for a threat you are really amped up and your eyes are bulged out looking down range. With a bead or rifled sights the sight is forward and in your peripheral vision and easier to pick up when the threat is confronted. High speed operators in the military and Law Enforcement now place their red dot sights forward as far as it will go entry carbines so they have a wider field of vision and the sights are easier to pick up when you need them.

Another factor is proper use of GSR type sights. You need a good cheek weld and your nose as close to the sight as possible. Some find this harder to achieve or maintain with the recoil of shotguns. I can use a GRS just fine on a combat shotgun but for room clearing a bead front sight or rifled sights. With a GRS on the receiver it is much harder to use front sight only shooting (reflex, point shooting...,) as they teach for close range work at Quantico.

You want a GRS go for it. Nothing wrong with it just practice allot and prepare yourself. If you have the occasion to do scenario based shooting or force on force like simmunitions you will appreciate a bead or rifled sights in a typical house structure. Better yet have someone set up shoot / no shoot targets for you with corners and blind spots within five to seven yards and then run the exercise with ghost ring sights and a bead sight and check your times.

ripnbst
November 15, 2012, 10:47 PM
Winchester SXP. These guns are great and can be used for both home defense and hunting as you can get barrel packages. The actions on them are so fast that under recoil the action unlocks itself. In a semi I'd have to recommend an SX3.

Winchester has the fastest shotguns out there, period.

shortwave
November 16, 2012, 12:58 AM
I'm no expert by any means. Just a few of my own experiences.

I've shot a few timed courses over the years that started outside of a building during midday(sunny)to the inside of a building with low light conditions. As well as courses simulating a building sweep with low light conditions and pop-up targets. Some targets BG, some GG.

Have used shotguns with GRS, bead and rifle sights. My best times were always with a florescent bead. Especially on the course going from daylight to low-light conditions. Some of the BG targets would pop up next to each other within a split second. I didn't loose much time on these targets with the GRS versus the bead or rifled sights. The targets I lost time on with the GRS were the BG targets that popped up within seconds of each other that were several feet apart. Seems the further the targets were apart when they popped up the more time I lost using the GRS compared to the other sights.

But in all fairness, I've shot more with bead and rifle sights over my lifetime then the GRS's. Maybe I just need more range time with a GSR. ;)

ripnbst
November 16, 2012, 02:05 PM
WTH is GRS/GSR?

shortwave
November 16, 2012, 02:57 PM
GSR = Ghost Sight Ring

GRS = Ghost Ring Sight

same difference.

natman
November 16, 2012, 03:29 PM
Natman, I said there is "very lilttle ambient light" and did not say that you could not identify the target. Am I not correct that ambient illumination can suffice to id Mr. BG, but be low enough to make GRS slower to use than a simple bead sight?

Ok, let's say that target ID is not a problem, but lighting is still poor. Let's see, which is easier to find in low light, a tiny 3/32" bead or a 3/16" wide sight that's half an inch tall? Tough decision.

Some beleive that by using your light you just made a target of yourself, whereas before Mr. BG may not have spotted your position.

Some do not understand the difference between HD and combat. In HD you can't just blast away at a form in the dark.

With a GRS on the receiver it is much harder to use front sight only shooting (reflex, point shooting...,) as they teach for close range work at Quantico.

The point I've been trying, and apparently failing, to make is that proper use of GRS is front sight only work. It's just accurate front sight only work.

Noreaster
November 16, 2012, 05:48 PM
Sorry bout the GSR/GRS spelling. Natman I know what you mean and yes shooting a peep or GRS you only focus on the target and front sight, no rear sight to line up. Peep sights offer accurate and precise shooting. If you train with a GRS I'm sure you will be fast and accurate. My opinion is based on my own experience. I find it easier to negotiate a home without a GRS. I also don't like lasers on handgun but many people use them with ease and swear by them.

Slopemeno
November 16, 2012, 06:26 PM
I have a BSA Meteor airgun set up with a ghostring rear, and I've hit birds in flight. That pretty much sold me.

natman
November 17, 2012, 03:08 AM
Sorry bout the GSR/GRS spelling. Natman I know what you mean and yes shooting a peep or GRS you only focus on the target and front sight, no rear sight to line up. Peep sights offer accurate and precise shooting. If you train with a GRS I'm sure you will be fast and accurate. My opinion is based on my own experience. I find it easier to negotiate a home without a GRS. I also don't like lasers on handgun but many people use them with ease and swear by them.

As I've said before, there's plenty of room for personal preference. If you understand how GRS work and you've tried them but based on your actual experience find something else works better for you, then by all means go with what works best for you and Godspeed.

Spats McGee
November 17, 2012, 11:43 AM
I don't have a dog in the fight on the ghost ring issue. I'll freely admit that I've never once in my life used a ghost ring on a shotgun.

With that said, I use something similar to this (http://www.hivizsights.com/products/shotgun-sights/s400.html) for duck hunting. I know it's wingshooting, but it is also wingshooting around dawn. It's very easy to pick up the sight.

mharveyww1
November 19, 2012, 02:55 AM
I have a special affinity for the 870 after toting one for a while in lovely SE Asia! In a wet climate and conditions so dirty that you'd just have to experience (and endure) to believe, it never failed to get the job done.

Yes, you can do the same things to the Mossbergs and I knew some guys who carried THEM in combat and were also well-served.
Either will get the job done and both are reliable if handled properly.

Since those days of my ill-spent youth, I acquired an 870 Tactical and have 'tricked it out' with a side-mounted shell holder, Knoxx Stock and Tritium night sights.

A left hand injury (permanent damage) has caused me to forsake it, however, because I just can't be sure than I'M going to perform reliably... especially in an adrenaline-flooded situation!

Enter: The Benelli M-4...WOW! Yes, it IS expensive. But, if you plan to keep whichever gun you buy for many years, the M-4 is well worth the extra $$$.
To my knowledge, it's the first semi-auto shotgun that has been accepted by the US Military. If the USMC thinks it's reliable enough to use in the Sandbox, then it's good enough for me.
I've "tricked it out" as well, including the magazine extender (7+1), larger charging handle, side-mounted shell holder, 3-point sling and Trijicon night sights. It is as beautiful to look at as it is to shoot and, through 1,000+ rounds...so far...not one hiccup or cough. This is a semi-auto you can really trust your life with.

Good luck with whatever decision you make.

Mike