I recently bought a single shot H&R pardner for its light weight and simplicity. Refinished the stock, put on a grind to fit recoil pad, a butt cuff to carry five rounds and sling swivels. I really like it (now) and it's as light a 12 gauge as you'll care to shoot and its super easy to carry with a sling. I totally understand liking to have a shotgun somewhere nearby. Good luck.
Its all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.