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View Poll Results: POLL: Vote for the best 18" 12 ga. Defense Shotgun
Remington 870 Police 62 38.51%
Winchester 1300 Defender 20 12.42%
Remington 11/87 10 6.21%
Benelli M1 Tactical 30 18.63%
Beretta 5 3.11%
Mossberg 34 21.12%
Voters: 161. You may not vote on this poll

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Old October 10, 2002, 10:33 PM   #1
ZWolfgang
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Your top DEFENSE shotgun: Rem 870, Rem 11/87, Win 1300Defender, Benelli M1???

I know this won't be easy, but I'd really like to hear what ya'll have to say about picking one of the following shotguns for defense purposes. All are with 18" barrel. All are in 12 gauge. Price is not a factor.

PUMP:
Remington 870 Police
Winchester 1300 Defender

SEMI-AUTO:
Remington 11/87P
Benelli M1 Tactical

What are your top two choices and why?
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Old October 11, 2002, 04:42 AM   #2
Dave McC
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I voted for the 870 of course, but EVERY shotgun named is a fine choice for Defense.

The crucial factors have nothing to do with brand.

A trained, cool hand can pick up any of these and be abso-%^&*lutely deadly with it.
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Old October 11, 2002, 07:28 AM   #3
HSMITH
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The 870 is my choice too. It will be ready when you need it.
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Old October 11, 2002, 08:33 AM   #4
retiredsquid
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Unfortunately you left out the new Winchester Super X2 Practical. If it is as solid as its parent gun it will be superb for this application.
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Old October 11, 2002, 08:43 AM   #5
Bud1
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I own over a dozen shotguns.


My "go to" shotgun is a Winchester 1300.
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Old October 11, 2002, 08:58 AM   #6
Litlman
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Have 5 shotguns. Win. 1300 defender is my go to gun. #2 if I had to buy another would be an 870 done by scattergun tech. Like the Benelli also.$$$$




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Old October 11, 2002, 08:59 AM   #7
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Seeing all I have is a Beretta 1201 I have to go with that.
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Old October 11, 2002, 11:20 AM   #8
Cody
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Another vote for the Win 1300 Defender. It has a terrific Action smooth as silk and non binding. It is kept loaded in the corner of my bedroom
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Old October 11, 2002, 03:46 PM   #9
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I own (and voted for) the 870. I've trained with it. I'm confident in it. I'm good with it.

I have had the chance to shoot the Benilli, an incredible gun. If you are looking to buy and price is not a factor get one by all means.

But I have to agree with the other posts, all are good guns. Personal preference the only real issue here.
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Old October 11, 2002, 06:13 PM   #10
Robby from Long Island
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I have a Benelli M1 Super 90 Tactical that I really feel comfortable with.

It has a pistol grip attached as well as the shoulder stock and ghost ring sights.

Feel it is a very controllable weapon when firing several rounds quickly and have never had a problems with it since purchased about 8 years ago. It holds a total of 8 rounds.

Of course as many have pointed out, price is the one downside. I paid about $900. But like everything else.......
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Old October 12, 2002, 01:51 PM   #11
DARTH 44
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If I could have two from the four you mentioned,I`d take:
pump-Remington 870 Police.
semi--Benelli M1 S90 Tactical.

Why ?I like the 870 for its steel receiver and many accesories,
and I like the Benelli for its simple construction and high
capacity.
The 11-87 seems to have problems with reliability.

If only one of the four,I`d go with the Benelli
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Old October 12, 2002, 10:24 PM   #12
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I own 2 Winchester 1300 Defenders. Absolutely the best in my book. I have one with the wood stock (named that one "Full House") and one with the synthetic (named that one "Pair of Treys"). I really, really like the Tru-Glo sight on the synthetic stocked one, so I'm going to put a Tru-Glo on Full House also (it currently has a brass bead.) But the Tru-Glo for Full House will be the red one. Pair of Treys has a green Tru-Glo.

What I love about Defenders is the speed and silky smoothness of the action. FAST!! Boy, oh, boy, is it fast! The shotgun itself fits me perfectly. And it already comes with extended magazine. No dickering around with it to be done. It disassembles for cleaning easy. I just plain love it! That's why I have two. Who knows? I might buy more!
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Old October 13, 2002, 09:06 AM   #13
Dave McC
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Caution, Kevan, pump guns are addicting(G)...

Saw a 1300 trap model a coupla weeks ago. Kinda pretty,heh,heh,heh.....
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Old October 13, 2002, 12:52 PM   #14
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Yes, they are! Very few firearms are as much fun as good 12 gauge pump.
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Old October 13, 2002, 07:39 PM   #15
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As others have said here and elsewhere, between the 870, Win 1300 Defender, Benelli M1, Mossberg... they're all great shotguns... each fully capable of doing the job.. pretty much comes down to user preference.
I went looking to buy an 870 or 1300 Defender today and after checking them all out, I preferred and came home with a Mossberg 18.5" Persuader.... really slick action, felt great, looked great and I've heard nothing but good things about them. I like the tang safety and easy to access pump release lever. I bought the Tru-Glo sight to put on it also. The great price was just a bonus on top of what's a very nice shotgun. I have a friend who has had one for years and has probably put a couple of thousand shells through it without one failure to fire or jam of any kind... nice record!

Perhaps one day I'll add a Winchester 1300 Marine Defender and a Benelli M1 Tactical as well, but this Mossberg is a keeper... kind of like a Toyota... good quality without any pretense or frills.

My second choice would have been the Winchester 1300 Defender. I like it's one piece long magazine... (no extensions which could, ever so possibly, create a problem at some point.) The aluminum receiver on the Winchester Defender didn't bother me, but if the gun crashed into a rock or something, a steel receiver would undoubedtly take more of a beating.

Interesting that the salesman, who has sold a ton of all these brands, said he's seen a number of "broken" Remington 870's come back to the store. They sell a lot of them, but also see quite a few problems with them. I'm sure it's a great shotgun, though. But he feels that the 870 quality, which was once stellar, has been slipping lately.
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Old October 14, 2002, 04:42 AM   #16
Dave McC
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Hmmm,it's running about what my expectations were. About a third of the respondents prefer the 870, with the Mossiephiles in second place. No surprises there. I'm a little surprised there's no Ithaca fans speaking up yet.

Don, older 870s are great shotguns, new ones are good shotguns. The buttonmen at Big Green are definitely asleep at the switch. The good news is that with 8 million 870s out there, there's lots of used ones up for sale now and then.

Also, I'm sure that many of the 870 respondents on this thread were voting for the 870 and not the Police model per se.

Any short bbled, reliable US made pump gun is an awesomely effective weapon. The 870 is but one of the best...
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Old October 14, 2002, 03:29 PM   #17
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Hey guys... I just noticed something about my new Mossberg 500A, the plastic safety switch is incredibly stiff... requiring a considerable amount of effort to switch it... seems like it should be a lot easier to move. Should I just take the gun to any local 'smith and have the metal safety installed and will that process help the stiffness of the switch? I'd just return it to the store, and get one with an easier switch, but if I'm going to replace the plastic one with a metal one, perhaps I should just visit a 'smith. Any thoughts guys?
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Old October 14, 2002, 04:53 PM   #18
Dave McC
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Work it to and fro a hundred times, either it'll smooth up or fall off. If the last, replace it with the metal one. If the former, replace it when it does(G)...

Seriously, break it in a bit, then see how things are.
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Old October 14, 2002, 04:56 PM   #19
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Thanks Dave... your many contributions to this forum are great! I appreciate it.
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Old October 14, 2002, 10:06 PM   #20
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Hmmm... no Remington 1100? No 1148? No Auto 5? No Win M12?


Having shot a couple of tactical shotgun matches, I've come to some practical conclusions--

-Order of arms is everything. Practice your reloads. (Which are virtually the same with all the above.)

-Follow up shots are important. Do what you can to speed them up.

-Shortshucking stops the shooting. Misfeeds, though rare, do not.

Finally: (don't get up in arms-- this is just what I've personally witnessed among competitors) Good men with quality autos are noticeably faster than good men with quality pumps. Period.

Until I shot some shotgun matches, I used to hold that a well-trained man with an 870 was as fast as an equal man with an auto gun. I am now have to give the clear edge to the auto guns. That said, I still love good pumps, and regularly carry one.

But my home defense gun is a Remington 1100. I'd love to have the Benelli.
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Old October 14, 2002, 11:20 PM   #21
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A long time ago I confronted a young man in my yard...(mid-night/flashlight, checking out the cars). I had an O/U 12 ga. He decided to leave, but a shot through the tree limbs convinced him to wait for the police. The sound was still ringing in my ears...but I couldn't remember which trigger for the follow up...if needed.

I said all that to say thats why I now have a Win. 1300 Defender. One trigger,smooth action,eight shots. I can pay attention to the action at hand...maybe I won't get shot.
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Old October 15, 2002, 10:51 AM   #22
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The tactical shotgun matches are interesting.

I've shot in several matches at a nearby club. The contestants run the gamut from guys bringing out the old trap or bird gun to cops with their issue riot gun to hobbyists with full house super-tactical outfits.

For those who can afford them and will learn the manual of arms, the Benellis are superb! A little fussy maybe, but they work like lightning. But - - - Don't sell short the old upland gunner or waterfowler who's been operating the same ol' pump gun for decades. A man who learned to shuck his slick old Model 12 in the quail fields may be a serious contender on steel plates as well.

Spending the money on a tactical Mossberg with all the hang-on accessories, or even a Benelli doesn't guarantee proficiency. Certainly not unless the spender also burns a few cases of shells in practice. Some good coaching by a competent trainer doesn't hurt, either.

As a Remington shotgun lover, it pains me to say it, but I've seen some 11-87s tried and found wanting. At least a couple have been sluffed in favor of older 1100s. Every so often, someone brings out an old long recoil gun--Browning A-5, Rem 11, or even an 11-48--and shows the youngsters how it's done. I guess they never heard how hard they kick.

One thing surprising to me, though--I've never seen an Ithaca model 37 in competetion. This, in light of how popular they were as police riot guns some years ago back. Back when Los Angeles PD was the "wave of the future," seemed like every young cop wanted a short '37. Then they all went away, in favor of the 870.

Just some observations - - -

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Old October 16, 2002, 12:05 AM   #23
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I'd add one word of caution... I love autoloading shotguns for their speed, and use them for hunting and target work, but I am very reluctant to trust them for defense. I've seen too many of them malfunction in a rapid-fire, high-stress situation. One example: I did LFI-2 and LFI-3 with Massad Ayoob during August this year. On both courses, EVERY SINGLE SEMI-AUTO SHOTGUN (including Remingtons, Benellis, Mossbergs and a Saiga AK-style magazine-fed semi-auto) malfunctioned at least once during a high-speed qualification run, sufficient to drop the student using it out of the running for high score, and sometimes enough to make him/her abort the course of fire.

This is only the latest in a long line of experiences like this. So, if my life depends on the gun, it's gonna be a pump! Unless you do something silly like short-stroking it, it will probably work every time, and can also handle a wide variety of loads without worrying about reliability of cycling the action. Yep, it's a pump for me!
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Old October 16, 2002, 01:32 AM   #24
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Sounds like a safe call, Preacherman. I'm sure there are lots of semi-autos out there that perform very well, but if there is even a slighty greater chance of a feeding problem with a semi-auto over a pump, I'll take the pump for defense as well.
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Old October 16, 2002, 05:16 AM   #25
Dave McC
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Thanks, Don, it's nice to know I'm helping folks.

The pump vs auto thing has been going on almost as long as the strife in Ireland.

Both camps have good arguments,but it all boils down to reliability. If it only works great sometimes, it's not a a good choice.

Back in the day, I used to watch the guys with the 1100s do clearance and profanity drills. We called the autos "Aw S--t" guns because the owners always said it in the course of a match.Got to admit the glitches diminished as the owners learned to clean and care for their persnickity pets, but the glitches still happened.

Meanwhile, my 870s worked flawlessly. To this day, I've never short stroked one. I've never had a shell come back behind the carrier unless I deliberately induced same. My lifetime aggregate of shells fired through 870s must come close to 50K now, and the number of $%^&*ups must run less than 5.

When it comes to my butt on the line, or my family's safety, I want a tool reliable as a rock.
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