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Old October 30, 2013, 10:01 AM   #1
gaseousclay
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Looking to buy my first HD shotgun

Sorry to rehash an old topic but I’m interested in purchasing my first shotgun for HD purposes. I’ve looked around and found several candidates, but I’d like for you guys to weigh in and offer your opinions.

So far I’ve looked at:

Mossberg 590A1
Mossberg 500 Tactical with tri-rail
Remington 870 Express Tactical
Remington 870 Wilson Combat
Winchester SPX Defender

Of the ones I’ve looked at the Mossberg 590A1 is at the top of my list, mainly because it’s made in the US, has the top tang safety, aluminum safety and trigger guard and has a proven track record. I want something with an 18.5” barrel and that can take a pretty good beating. I honestly don’t know enough about the other models listed to form an objective opinion. Quality matters and I’d hate to spend hundreds of dollars on a firearm that has cycling issues (or whatever). I initially wanted an all-around shotgun, like the Browning BPS, to use for HD, trap/skeet shooting and hunting. But, the longer barrel makes it impractical to use for HD imo. I think i've ruled out the Winchester SPX because I've read that it has problems cycling low brass shells (which I don't quite understand). The Remington makes me nervous because of the QC problems they've been having. Plus, the 870 Express is Remington's budget gun, so i'm afraid it'll be a cheaply made gun. The Wilson Combat version is priced out of my range so that's a no go for me too. The other contender would be the Mossberg 500 Tri-Rail, which is less expensive than the 590A1. I'm not into the tacticool thing, so the ability to upgrade the shotgun doesn't matter to me.

Again, these are just my observations based on the research i've done. If any of you own any of the above shotguns i'd like to hear your opinions and why you like yours. Thanks.
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Old October 30, 2013, 10:08 AM   #2
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Look at the H&R Pardner Protector. http://www.hr1871.com/firearms/shotguns/pardnerpump.asp

The 590A1 is a good choice, though the regular 590's will do everything the A1's will. I like this one: http://www.mossberg.com/product/shot...e-9-shot/50645
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Old October 30, 2013, 12:14 PM   #3
Bake
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My advice won't be worth much, because I have never owned or shot any of the shotguns you listed. I do own an older Remington Wingmaster 870, that has had 1,000s of rounds go thru it without problems.

I got the wingmaster for "3 Gun" with 18.5" barrel. I now have 6 (Yes, I got another this week) barrels, running from 18.5" to 34". Way too many corn cobs, and stocks. You won't go wrong with a good pump with extra barrels (IMO,).

If you make a mistake and want to get something else, you might consider the resale value of the guns on your list.

When your or families a$$e$ are on the line, do you really need to weary about the budget?

Personally I like a S&W Model 25 in 45 Colt for HD, But that's just me.
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Old October 30, 2013, 12:47 PM   #4
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A basic used 870 with a 4-shot tube and a 20" barrel with a bead is just fine. The most important thing is that you invest the time training with it. Less is more.
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Old October 30, 2013, 11:48 PM   #5
Tony615
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Looking to buy my first HD shotgun

The only issue with the 18.5" 590A1 is there is little room to attach a light. What I did was buy a CDM Gear MTR rail and have a Streamlight TLR-1s on it. I also added a S&J Hardware +2 extension.

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Old October 31, 2013, 06:00 AM   #6
SoilworK777
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Tony615, have you given any thought to buying a barrel clamp? The mag-tube threads on the Mossberg 590's are very fine and can be damaged easily.
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Old October 31, 2013, 07:57 AM   #7
Tony615
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Looking to buy my first HD shotgun

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoilworK777 View Post
Tony615, have you given any thought to buying a barrel clamp? The mag-tube threads on the Mossberg 590's are very fine and can be damaged easily.
I do have one on my extension. I was cleaning it and forgot to put the clamp back on. I guess I should take another picture now.


Last edited by Tony615; October 31, 2013 at 09:07 AM.
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Old October 31, 2013, 10:34 PM   #8
Lee Lapin
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Mossberg 590A1
Mossberg 500 Tactical with tri-rail
Remington 870 Express Tactical
Remington 870 Wilson Combat
Winchester SPX Defender


Not in any order... and for what it's worth:

Last I knew the base gun for the Wilson was ... an 870 Express. If I want a gussied up Express gun I can do that myself, MUCH cheaper.

I personally have no problems with Express guns. I have about a dozen of them, all bought used. I prefer the older, pre-magazine tube dimple guns, because they are basically just roughly finished Wingmasters for the most part. The later ones may have MIM extractors but I have yet to break one of those - and I've run them in (gasp) shotgun classes. An extractor is not a major fix anyway, if an upgrade is desired.

I don't care for anything that calls itself Tactical. Call me an old phart, I don't care. I am one.

I have three or four Win 1200/1300s. They're good guns basically. Don't know anything about the new imported version though - my first impulse is to be shy of it until it has a track record. Usually when I fail to follow first impulses like that I live to regret it.

A Mossberg 500 is a good house gun. But if I'm going to be outside with a shotgun in the weeds and the wet, I want a design that lends itself to maintaining the tubular magazine. The 500 comes up short in that department. I know, lots of them go for years with little or no attention. But they don't belong to me .

The 590 cured that magazine design shortcoming, because the military insisted on it. In short there's nothing wrong with the 590A1 (except that it isn't an 870 - that really is a joke). It's available with factory ghost rings - that's what I'd get, if you ever might take it outside. Otherwise a bead will work for inside duties. The only 590 I have has a bead.

So there's the short version. Best advice is, YOU matter more than the gun does, so make yourself the best defensive shotgun shooter possible. The gun will almost certainly do, if YOU will do.
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Old November 1, 2013, 03:36 AM   #9
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If you ONLY want a shotgun for HD, the 590 may be a good choice. If you want to be able to swap the short barrel for a long one think again. I believe it is possible if you have a 5 round magazine tube. I am with Lee. I got an 870 Express with an 18.5" barrel and picked up a used 28" vent rib for $85. It is my HD gun but serves as a second range gun for friends.
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Old November 3, 2013, 08:16 PM   #10
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That's not a 590, it's a 590 A1 -- they are very different guns. Given your wanting a reliable HD tank the 18-1/2" 590 A1 is the clear winner. I DO like the 590 (SP) -- in fact it is my favorite overall of its type.
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Old November 5, 2013, 04:34 PM   #11
gaseousclay
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Looking to buy my first HD shotgun

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming100Straight View Post
If you ONLY want a shotgun for HD, the 590 may be a good choice. If you want to be able to swap the short barrel for a long one think again. I believe it is possible if you have a 5 round magazine tube. I am with Lee. I got an 870 Express with an 18.5" barrel and picked up a used 28" vent rib for $85. It is my HD gun but serves as a second range gun for friends.
I just want something for HD only. Think I'm settled on the mossberg 500 tri rail tactical. I love the 590A1 but I don't need the extra bells and whistles when the 500 will suit me just fine
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Old November 5, 2013, 06:04 PM   #12
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Have you had the opportunity to handle that model (tri-rail)?

Well, my co-worker has one and I can tell you, we both did NOT like that forend. With a good grip on the forend, you thumb ends up getting jammed against those rails when blasting off 12 gauge. And trying to populate the rails, on the forend, with a light or something, makes working the action a clumsy affair. He quickly nixed that forend and bought another.

I think you would be better off looking for another model. He ended up buying the forend found on a similar set-up.

Try looking for this one (model 50420). It is the same, basically, but without the rails.
http://www.mossberg.com/product/shot...l-6-shot/50420

Since you wrote that you are not really into the taticool stuff, then I will recommend the Mossberg #50411. It is a simple, down and dirty, well made and reliable HD set-up. The finish is a nice blue as well, not the scratch prone matte black most have these days.

http://www.mossberg.com/product/shot...r-6-shot/50411

for approx street pricing.....
http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...ducts_id/46276

For a light attachment, he bought a Laserlyte Tri-Rail. These can be found for around $20 on amazon and the like. you attach it to the mag tub, not the forend.. so there is no getting caught on rails while cycling the rounds. The light stays stationary to the barrel instead.

http://www.laserlyte.com/products/adp-trir-140

I have a Mossberg 500, with Hogue stock/forend and the heavy breacher type barrel. I also bought the laserlyte tri-rail and it works nice. Mine has the matte finish, in retrospect, I wish I had bought the above model with blue finish. That said, it does the trick and I have a 28" vent-rib/ported feild barrel, with removable chokes, for fun shooting clays.

this is my HD shotgun.

Last edited by Waspinator; November 5, 2013 at 07:30 PM.
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Old November 5, 2013, 09:17 PM   #13
gaseousclay
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Looking to buy my first HD shotgun

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waspinator View Post
Have you had the opportunity to handle that model (tri-rail)?

Well, my co-worker has one and I can tell you, we both did NOT like that forend. With a good grip on the forend, you thumb ends up getting jammed against those rails when blasting off 12 gauge. And trying to populate the rails, on the forend, with a light or something, makes working the action a clumsy affair. He quickly nixed that forend and bought another.

I think you would be better off looking for another model. He ended up buying the forend found on a similar set-up.

Try looking for this one (model 50420). It is the same, basically, but without the rails.
http://www.mossberg.com/product/shot...l-6-shot/50420

Since you wrote that you are not really into the taticool stuff, then I will recommend the Mossberg #50411. It is a simple, down and dirty, well made and reliable HD set-up. The finish is a nice blue as well, not the scratch prone matte black most have these days.

http://www.mossberg.com/product/shot...r-6-shot/50411

for approx street pricing.....
http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...ducts_id/46276

For a light attachment, he bought a Laserlyte Tri-Rail. These can be found for around $20 on amazon and the like. you attach it to the mag tub, not the forend.. so there is no getting caught on rails while cycling the rounds. The light stays stationary to the barrel instead.

http://www.laserlyte.com/products/adp-trir-140

I have a Mossberg 500, with Hogue stock/forend and the heavy breacher type barrel. I also bought the laserlyte tri-rail and it works nice. Mine has the matte finish, in retrospect, I wish I had bought the above model with blue finish. That said, it does the trick and I have a 28" vent-rib/ported feild barrel, with removable chokes, for fun shooting clays.

this is my HD shotgun.
Thanks for the helpful response. I haven't handled the tri rail, but based on your comment I might go with the 50411 Persuader model now. I think I read a review somewhere that listed the same complaint that you mentioned with the forend smashing your thumbs. I initially went with the tri rail because my LGS has it for $360 new. But, since Buds has it pretty cheap I think I'll get the 50411 model now. It gets so confusing because there seem to be so many variants of the Mossberg 500 and it's hard for me to spot the little differences (like the tri rail). Thanks again for the useful info
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Old November 5, 2013, 09:37 PM   #14
Bill DeShivs
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You don't need rails, or flashlights, or an extended magazine.
Get a standard Mossberg 500 and learn to shoot it.
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Old November 5, 2013, 10:58 PM   #15
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Keep it simple
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Old November 6, 2013, 12:39 PM   #16
gaseousclay
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@ Waspinator, do you know how online ordering works for a site like Bud's? I've ordered via gunbroker before but this required me to go to my LGS and have them them deal with the FFL info. Do I have to do the same thing for Buds, or do I simply add an item to my cart and have them ship it to my LGS?
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Old November 6, 2013, 04:20 PM   #17
Waspinator
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Sorry, I haven't the foggiest idea. Every purchase I have made was in a shop, face-to-face.

Bud's does have a page that may be of help to you.
http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/howtobuy.php

I'm actually reading this page as well, for future reference
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Old November 6, 2013, 06:03 PM   #18
gaseousclay
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Looking to buy my first HD shotgun

Looks like I have to go thru the same process as I would any other online gun purchase. The cool thing about buds is the free shipping
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Old November 7, 2013, 12:12 AM   #19
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Mossberg 500 or 590A1 Never look back.

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Old November 7, 2013, 12:57 AM   #20
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Walmart has 930's....
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Old November 7, 2013, 06:45 AM   #21
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Gaseousclay, you can get a semi-auto for the same price as a pump. If you have ever rapid fired a 12 gauge semi-auto from the hip, (or ever have a HD need to rapid fire one), you can spit out five shells in less time than you can rapidly count to five. The same cannot be said for a pump. Also you can short stroke a pump in a HD emergency situation and that could cost your life. That won't happen with a semi-auto.

I would recommend you to a Remington model 11, 12 gauge, semi-auto. It is a clone of the Browning auto five. You can buy one for less than $150.00 if you shop a bit on GB. I have two I bought off GB. One I got for $151.99 with a full choke 30 inch barrel and the other for $140.00 with a 23 inch barrel with Cutts compensator with a full choke, modified choke, and spreader choke tubes that screw into the Cutts comp. I plan to cut the barrel down even further and reinstall the Cutts comp. That way it has a short barrel for HD that being cut is chamber bore, but....with the Cutts comp removable different chokes on it, it now is choked again and I can select from full choke, modified choke, and the spreader tube. So even though it will have a very short barrel for HD, I can still also use it for hunting since it will be rechoked again with the re-installation of the Cutts comp. You can do this with any adjustable choke too, it doesn't just have to be the Cutts comp choke.

You can easily cut down a long barrel and either reinstall the front sight bead, or if it's just going to be for HD, leave the bead off. You don't need it for close up. Cutting the barrel will remove any choke the barrel has and make it chamber bore. Which will give you more spread,...which is good for HD.

Or you can cut the barrel down and reinstall the adjustable choke (if it comes with one). Then you have a short barrel for HD, and since you put the adjustable choke back on it, it can also reach out and shoot skeet, birds or whatever. So then you have a short barrel, very handy to move around in tight quarters, HD shotgun, while not sacrificing its range and ability to use for hunting. The best of both situations.

The nice thing about the Remington model 11, is not only the price, but chiefly that they were made from 1911 to 1947 and they are all steel and wood. No plastic, no cast parts, no picatinny rails nor bells and whistles, just all machined steel made with old school hand fitted quality. They truly are "sleepers" (and undeservedly often ignored by todays shooter's shopping), in that in this age of "tacticool" plastic stocks and plastic trigger guards, cast parts, low quality, these old Remington model 11's are quality semi-auto shotguns that you can get for less than a used Mossberg Maverick, low end pump. You absolutely can't go wrong on the quality and price.

I was telling my cousin about my Remy 11's, and he went to a pawn shop this week and picked him up a nice 12 gauge one for $200.00 total out the door, and loves it for all the reasons I stated. He showed it to me yesterday evening and thanked me profusely for steering him into getting one.

For $150.00 or even less, for a old school quality, semi-auto, you just can't beat nor go wrong with a Remington model 11. Trust me on this. Once you get one you'll like it so much you will be shopping for another one. I did, and now I'm shopping for my third one. If you get one, just make sure you understand how to set the friction rings adjustment for heavy or lighter loads, so that you won't batter the bolt and firing pin nor split the fore end from improper setting of the friction rings. It's easy and a breeze to set them for whatever load you are going to shoot. But you'd be surprised how many people neglect to do that and that is the chief reason Remy 11's and Browning auto fives have splits in the bottom of their wooden fore ends. Easily avoidable if you know how to set the friction rings for your load.



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Last edited by Bill Akins; November 7, 2013 at 07:21 AM.
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Old November 7, 2013, 08:59 AM   #22
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@ Bill Akins, thanks for the suggestion on the semi-auto. However, I was watching an HD shotgun training video yesterday on youtube and the instructor recommended a pump over a semi-auto because a semi-auto is more likely to malfunction. A pump can be cycled pretty quickly so i'm not concerned about not being able to make a follow up shot in a stressful situation. Besides, the Mossberg has a rock solid reputation for being a reliable HD shotgun
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Old November 7, 2013, 09:33 AM   #23
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Quote:
Gaseousclay wrote:
@ Bill Akins, thanks for the suggestion on the semi-auto. However, I was watching an HD shotgun training video yesterday on youtube and the instructor recommended a pump over a semi-auto because a semi-auto is more likely to malfunction. A pump can be cycled pretty quickly so i'm not concerned about not being able to make a follow up shot in a stressful situation. Besides, the Mossberg has a rock solid reputation for being a reliable HD shotgun
If there is nothing wrong with your semi-auto, it should always function as long as you keep shells of the same loads in it for the tension you have on the friction rings of the Remy model 11. You might want to reconsider being able to make a quick followup shot with a pump in a stressful situation. Because with your adrenaline flowing, and in the split second chaos of pumping your pump action shotgun, it is VERY EASY and entirely possible to "short stroke" (not pull the pump action all the way back) so that although you've pumped rearward and frontwards, in your excitement and stressful hurry, you "short stroked" the action and didn't chamber a shell. Understand what I mean?

Plus a semi-auto can be fired MUCH faster than a pump. Up to you, just offering my experience and suggestions.



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Old November 7, 2013, 09:45 AM   #24
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Well as a gunsmith I see the "sick guns" people bring in to me for repair.

Years ago I use to have to repair the connection of the bars to the pump ring on Mossburg 500s, but I have not had to do that now in over 20 years.

Winchester 1200 and 1300 shotguns also had a problem with their ejectors a long time ago, but I have not had one come in with that problem in this shop since 1993. Seems Winchester has addressed that in the last 20 years.

I have to repair a Remington 870 about once a month. I sent one out with re-staked shell latches yesterday.

Of the shotguns you list I would go with Mossburg or Winchester before Remington.

In the Mossburg you can get longer magazines than you can with the Winchester, but I am unsure that is really an advantage for home defense. 5-6 seems to be fine to me

I also like the ease of loading the Mossburg over the other 2. It’s very fast to load because you have no lifter to push up in loading
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Old November 7, 2013, 11:26 AM   #25
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