View Full Version : Need shotgun advice. . .

July 26, 2001, 12:31 PM

I currently own one firearm. It is a Glock pistol. I would like to acquire a shotgun as well. This would be for home defense. I am not into hunting or anything.

I really like the feel of the Benelli M3, but it is expensive. Having never shot a shotgun, I was wondering what is a good quality gun out there for home defense. I don't mind buying used either.

What do I need to look for?



July 26, 2001, 01:10 PM
I don't think you can go wrong with an ordinary 18" Remington 870, Mossberg 500, or Ithaca 37. If you prefer a semi-auto or are bothered by recoil, try a Remington 1100. If there's a trap or skeet range nearby, or a range where shotgunners go, ask if some of them will let you try one out before you buy, and they almost certainly will. (Gun folks are some of the best people out there.) Regardless of what make and model you choose, get something with a cylinder bore, so you can shoot everything up to and including slugs. (Firing slugs through a choked shotgun is a good way to damage a barrel.) At most home defense ranges, ordinary #7 1/2 birdshot will make a mess out of anyone who gets shot with it, and it won't over-penetrate the way some of the larger sizes will.

Dave McC
July 26, 2001, 01:38 PM
Hantra, try some different ones and see what you like. A coupla points....

There's lots of discussion on various HD shotguns. IMO, these criteria apply.

It has to be reliable, durable, and have at least two shots immediately available. 20 gauge or larger, most folk use the 12 ga, but 16 and 20 gauges are up to the job.

It has to have a stock that fits, a decent trigger and sights that one can see.

Most folks prefer shorter shotguns for HD. Mine are.

Ammo is a grab bag. Everything will work at HD ranges, from 000 to 9s, and as with most things, the extremes may not be as good a choice as someplace in the middle. I use 8s or 6s, backed up with 00 and slugs. Tho I doubt the slugs will be crucial in any reasonable crisis, history's filled with unreasonable things.

Like many others, I regard the Remington 870, with a minimum of mods and addons, as close to optimum. Reliability is legend, parts are seldom needed but readily available, and there's millions of them out there, often used and at a reasonable price for the value received. Like the little pink bunny, they keep going and going and going....

There's plenty of other good choices, and I'm sure you'll get lots of input on this.

With any firearm,competent instruction is essential.With shotguns,there's so many misconceptions and war stories that a lot of stuff has to be unlearnt.Get that instruction,practice frequently and well, and enjoy....

July 26, 2001, 03:09 PM
Can I put a pistol grip on the Rem. 870? I loved that on the M3 I was playing with!!!!

Also, How short can it be?
It'll need to be as portable as possible for the revolution.

Dave McC
July 26, 2001, 03:17 PM
I think my 18" bbled HD 870 runs about 37", Hantra. As for Pistol Grips.....

There's a lot of old threads on this, it's one of the most discussed subjects on this BB. Briefly, few folks with extensive experience use shotguns with only a PG, but some use a full stock shotgun with one, a la AK-47, M-16, etc.IMO, a full stock and PG are neither a major improvement nor a great disadvantage.

PGs and Folders are more difficult to use effectively, and IMO should be used only when space constraints command.

Check the Archives here, this BB is one of the greatest resources available to civilians there is...

July 27, 2001, 01:40 PM
Most of the guns mentioned in this thread are excellent for home defense. Random shotgun thoughts at http://www.members.tripod.com/~jth8260/shotgun.html

Yes you can put a PG on a Remington 870. But as Dave mentioned, you may not want to do so. If you do, go with the full stock with PG, not the PG-only route.

The Benelli M3 is a marvelous piece of engineering but as you mentioned, expensive. And unless you really need the dual pump/auto capability (e.g., for breaching rounds, etc.), I'd stick with a dedicated auto or pump.


July 27, 2001, 01:43 PM

I looked at a couple guns today, and I may have it narrowed down to a few.

Please let me know your thoughts on these guns in my price range:

FN Police Model
Mossberg 590-A (i think)
Benelli Nova

Which one do you think would be best!?



Dave McC
July 28, 2001, 07:40 AM
Hantra, none of the shotguns you listed are complete duds. While I've lots of reservations about the Norinco stuff, they are as much political and philosophical as practical. For light duty, any will serve.

But, most Police and Correctional agencies go with the Remington 870 for a simple reason, they outlast everything else by a wide margin.

Some of mine have had 8-10,000 rounds through them, and I've yet to have a FTF or glitch. Yet to have a part break either.The 870TB trpa gun I bought used last January have been digesting trap loads at the rate of about 1000 per month, and I expect it to continue to do so, w/o probs, longer than I will. Folks with decades of heavy shotgunning behind them tell me they know of no 870 being worn out. It takes decades of abuse and neglect to make one stop working.

At the institution in Md I retired from, one 870 was a training weapon from 1981 to 98, when I retired.It was on the line, firing hundreds to thousands of rounds a year. It may still be in use. Total parts replacement, new wood.

An 870 in cool and trained hands comes as close to absolutely reliable as anything made by humans, and used in close range crises, is an incredibly effective weapon.

And a used 870, like an LE tradein, will probably cost less than the new models you listed...

However, ther's other choices. Research will give you plenty of input. PLEASE get some competent instruction along with your shotgun...