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Old November 7, 2012, 11:59 AM   #1
Steelers252006
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Self-Defense Shotgun Only

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!!
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Old November 7, 2012, 12:10 PM   #2
g.willikers
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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.
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Old November 7, 2012, 01:00 PM   #3
BigJimP
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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/b...nse-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.
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Old November 7, 2012, 01:09 PM   #4
Comancheseven
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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
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Old November 7, 2012, 02:16 PM   #5
Steelers252006
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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.
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Old November 7, 2012, 02:24 PM   #6
Steelers252006
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Just checked out that Benelli line sent by Big Jim. Look REALLY sweet!!
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Old November 7, 2012, 03:01 PM   #7
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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.

Last edited by BigJimP; November 7, 2012 at 08:08 PM.
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Old November 7, 2012, 03:58 PM   #8
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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.
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Old November 7, 2012, 05:08 PM   #9
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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.
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Old November 7, 2012, 05:47 PM   #10
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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.
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Old November 7, 2012, 07:44 PM   #11
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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.
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Old November 7, 2012, 08:02 PM   #12
BigJimP
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The FN-SLP is a gas operated shotgun....

http://www.impactguns.com/fn-slp-sel...513001229.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.
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Old November 7, 2012, 08:26 PM   #13
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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)."

Last edited by jmortimer; November 7, 2012 at 08:44 PM.
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Old November 8, 2012, 12:30 PM   #14
Pfletch83
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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.
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Old November 8, 2012, 01:01 PM   #15
Dragonheart2
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If you have the bucks, the Benelli M-4. Just point and pull the trigger.
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Old November 8, 2012, 01:12 PM   #16
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No one size fits all!

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.
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Old November 9, 2012, 09:01 AM   #17
Steelers252006
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Good post, Klawman!
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Old November 9, 2012, 09:52 AM   #18
ROGER4314
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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

Last edited by ROGER4314; November 9, 2012 at 10:03 AM.
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Old November 9, 2012, 10:37 AM   #19
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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.
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Old November 9, 2012, 01:25 PM   #20
TheKlawMan
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Ghost ring sites for a home defense gun are a poor idea, imo. Target acquisition with a bead is fastest.
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Old November 10, 2012, 04:35 PM   #21
Major Dave (retired)
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Pfletch83 stated

"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?????
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Old November 10, 2012, 06:31 PM   #22
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"Compensates for aim error"

shenanigans
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Old November 11, 2012, 03:57 AM   #23
Pfletch83
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Well Major Dave...

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.
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Old November 11, 2012, 04:00 AM   #24
Pfletch83
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@ Roger4314

The 870 does have a slick action....until a Winchester 1200/1300 is brought out to play.
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Old November 11, 2012, 04:10 AM   #25
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Quote:
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.
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