View Full Version : What should I do with my tax return- AKA shotgun for home defense

February 2, 2002, 04:56 PM
I recently sold my Mossberg 500 to fellow TFLer Jody Hudson because I was in need of the cash (I'd been unemployed for a few months). Now, I'm not much better off but with tax return season coming up I'm thinking about what to spend mine on. First purchase may well be a replacement for my beloved shotgun.

In my shoes would you get another Mossy? Nice gun, especially with the 20" barrel (small enough for indoors) and decent magazine capacity. It was a lot of fun and 100% reliable. However, having just sold it out of need it is kind of difficult to bring myself to spend $100 more than I sold it for to get a new one. Don't get me wrong, it isn't that I sold it because I was unhappy with it in any way- I just needed the money and there weren't many other ways to come up with the cash in the same time frame. In a month or so when the tax return comes I'll have the money to replace it. Still, having just sold it something in me doesn't really want to spend the money for what I already had (as much as I liked it), it would probably be easier to replace after a year or two but now replacing it would only make selling it seem like a really expensive loan.

Other, slightly different, options I'm thinking about is the Mossberg 590, the Remington 870 and some of the cheaper versions of the Remington 1100 (probably at Wal Mart). How do these compare with the 500 I had? Which is best for my needs (home defense, though I wouldn't mind starting some skeet or trap shooting as well and I'm still poor so one gun that can do both is better than two speciallized guns)? Can a pump be used effectively as a beginers gun for skeet and trap?

Also, there is another consideration that I just started thinking about. I've long believed that a shotgun with a revolver backup is best for home defense. The shotgun or a carbine is most forgiving under high stress situations and a pump shotgun, along with the revolver, is very simple to operate and very reliable in high stress situations. However, I've noticed that some people don't suggest magnum handguns for inside the home defensive use because the noise can be deafening. Wouldn't a shotgun be worse? Would shooting one inside for self defense potentially cause hearing problems? I've never shot one without hearing protection, but it seems to me that it is louder than my .357. If a shotgun is too loud I may go with a carbine loaded with .38s for home defense (as a long gun it should be just as easy to use in defensive situations as the shotgun and in a pinch the ammo for it could be used in my .357). I will still get a new shotgun but if I go this route I may look more at the autos or cheap over/unders and side by sides (i.e. Condor, IGA, EAA, or maybe for a little more a Charles Daly) and only use it for getting into skeet and trap. Also, any feedback about Condor, IGA, EAA and Charles Daly shotguns would be helpful.

February 2, 2002, 09:33 PM
I'd say go for the Mossberg again if you already like it and am used to it, but while you're shopping you might as well handle everything that is in your price range. Who knows what you might end up liking the most if you don't. 500's go for around $200 at walmart with a 28 inch barrel w/porting. And you can pick up a 18" barrel for around $70 on Cheaperthandirt.com, maybe a bit less. That will cover for than a few of your bases without dropping a lot of your money. Or you could always cruise the local gun shops and look for another used shotgun, good deals can be had there on a wide range of shotguns. Just make sure to look it over real good to see if it is a lemon, and don't rush into something if you have any unanswered questions.

As far as Moss. 500 vs. Other pump shotguns, it is a all around great shotgun. I own both the 500 and the Win. 1300 and neither has ever given me a problem, neither has my Browning BPS for that matter. If you go back and read the threads comparing the different pump's, you'll find that most people recommend the 870. In my personal opinon in isn't because the other shotguns don't work, aren't tough enough or just because all the others just plain suck. You'll just notice that people who use other shotguns give the smart advise of handling a variety of them and getting the one that feels best in your hands, as opposed to saying, "Just get this." Of course don't take this as a rip against the Rem. 870, I think it is an okay shotgun. Nothing about has ever jumped out at me as a Got To Have gun, but it has for plenty of others.

For noise, I personally think my .357 mag is louder than my 12 gauge. But if my life were on the line I wouldn't mind losing a bit of hearing for a month to use the best weapon I could get my hands on. I can only guess how loud a shotgun would be inside also. One time I took everything out of a 20 ga. shell but the primer and fired it inside, sounded 2x louder than my 12 ga. outside with a normal shell. I'd still use my shotgun though, my personal theory is that I'd much rather have to worry about a hearing problem than a hospital bill that could have possibly been avoided.


Dave McC
February 3, 2002, 08:45 AM
You've got a month to think things over, Homeguy.

Handle, and if possible, fire as many shotguns as you can, and unless there's an overwhelming other factor, go with what FEELS best.

Any of the Big Three will work for you. I think the 870's the best of the breed, but a Mossie or Winchester taken care of will outlast you and maybe your Grandchildren.

Some local options....

Hit the BBs at both AGC and PGC ranges, there's always some shotguns for sale.

Call Valley Gun shop (410-668-2171) and see if they have any police turnins, cheap. Try Clyde's (410-242-6108) for used pumps.

If all else fails, try Bass Pro and Dick's. That 870 Turkey Express is one very versatile shotgun.

Oh yes, try the Gun Rack out in Burtonsville, they handle little used stuff but you might get lucky.

As for Trap and Skeet, remember that PGC has that #$%^&* rule about a minimum bbl length of 23".

And if you PM me a phone number, I'll be glad to help further. Later...

February 6, 2002, 12:47 AM
Look at the safeties, the Moss's is on the thumb. Almost everyone else is in front of the trigger. I just bought a Benelli and am having a hard time getting used to it, having grown up with the Mossberg.

February 6, 2002, 02:40 AM
My mouth is really starting to water over a shotgun. I just got a decent sized check from Prudential insurance (from when they switched from the old fashioned policy holder owned ins. co. to a stockholder owned co.) and my tax check is coming. I still have to pay down some bills but I may have some left over.

I only went to Wal Mart today so I only saw what they had. All were hunting sized guns and there were no short barrels for home defense. However, they did have a nice Charles Daly auto for $300 (I think it may have been a 24"). Anyone know if you can get replacement barrels for these and if so do they make the barrels in 18 or 20 inch? I'll head to OnTarget (local range that often has some shotguns), Dick's Sporting Goods and probably a couple more sporting goods and gun stores to see what they have. Last time at Dick's they had a nice wood stock Rem 870 for $250 (I think it was the Turkey Express with either a 20" or 18" barrel, though I don't remember which) and when I bought my Mossberg I got it there (I like dealing with them- though they did sell me my POC Marlin Model 60). I like the selection at the Bass Pro Shop but they never have enough people manning the counter (I don't think I feel like waiting 10-20 minutes before being helped).

February 6, 2002, 03:31 AM
[I]"First purchase may well be a replacement for my beloved shotgun."[I]

That may answer your question regards the long gun.

If you're already "sold"/familiar with your M500 & "love it," I'd say there's really nothing to discuss. You like that platform = stick with it. "Beloved" really is the key, no?

Far as "can a pump be competitive?" ... I've a shooters' vest my Dad left me that has so many "broke 250 straight," "broke 500 straight" skeet patches that you can't see the vest any longer .... all done with an 870 - up, a "lowly" pump.

Nice thing a bout a pump is the same about a revolver = if it doesn't go bang! you have the immediate option of a manual "fix it!" & move on to the next working round. Autos are less-ergonometric ....

Regards a shotgun for home defense versus hearing - use the shotgun. Nothing much else will provide for that level of protection w/in home-defense distances.

Most anything really, in an enclosed are such as your bedroom, etc. will do a bit of a job on your hearing .... better to "hear the bells" for a while than not to be able to hear anything later at all ..... & shotguns really don't have "that" level of intensities (re sond oulse) that rifle-types do. YMMV Moot anyway, from my perspective. You have to live through it to bitch.

A handgun's always a nice back-up. Get what you shoot best.

If using a shotgun as a primary, & the bad guy gets by that, your choice of a handgun is moot. Anything of a .38 special/9mm-class will work.

Mr. James
February 6, 2002, 04:30 PM
I'd second what labgrade said. As to noise, I'm the ashamed father of a negligent discharge of a .357 magnum in a very small room. The ears rang for about five minutes, hearing was diminished for a few hours, and by the next day I was 100 percent, with no discernible hearing loss. Not that I recommend it, mind you. If you're forced to fire on an intruder, your ears will be the least of your worries. You'll be worrying about you and yours living to see the morrow's sunrise.

And, for heaven's sake, if you haven't already, get in touch with Dave McC! He's a treasure - and he's your neighbor.

February 6, 2002, 07:58 PM
Huh? Whadd ya say? Sorry (mis)spent my youth enjoying the following:

Hard Rock Music (close up and personal)
Racing Cars (and buiding engines for them)
Firing a wide variety of guns (sans hearing protection)

And, I'll gladly trade what hearing I have left for the opportunity to blast away at any @#$%#$ BG that comes after me or my family!

I might be deaf, but he be DEAD!

February 6, 2002, 08:00 PM
Oh, and I be killin him with a Mossberg 500, "Special Purpose" (read bad-ass) shotgun....