View Full Version : looking for a shotgun

February 25, 1999, 07:53 PM
I'm new at this gun thing, got an ar-15 like 6 months ago, now i think i want a shotgun primarily for home defense any suggestions? For some reason all the gun store are trying to sell me 870s. are they that good?

cornered rat
February 25, 1999, 09:03 PM
18,5" barrled 870 in 12ga seems like a perfect choice to me...sadly, I can't take the recoil of anything larger than a 410.

February 25, 1999, 09:11 PM
Yes, they are that good. I like Remington shotguns but there are several other reliable shotguns out there that won't break the bank. Mossberg has a couple of good models as well as Winchester. A lot depends on what you want to do with it. Just for home defense I would stay as stock as possible. I would shoot it as much as you can. It will get better with use and so will you.
There are probably more aftermarket products for the 870, but there are some for the others too. If you are going to shoot a lot, get a good shotgun.

February 25, 1999, 09:16 PM
Yes, they are that good. I like Remington shotguns but there are several other reliable shotguns out there that won't break the bank. Mossberg has a couple of good models as well as Winchester. A lot depends on what you want to do with it. Just for home defense I would stay as stock as possible. I would shoot it as much as you can. It will get better with use and so will you.
There are probably more aftermarket products for the 870, but there are some for the others too. If you are going to shoot a lot, get a good shotgun.

February 26, 1999, 12:29 AM
I've said before, I think Mossberg is the best bargain in shotguns. The model 590 comes with all the extra goodies normally added to a combat type shotgun straight from the factory. And, its still cheaper than a plain jane 870.

February 26, 1999, 01:16 AM
I bought a Mossberg 500 Persuader 8-round pump gun last week at Walmart for $189. This is my third Mossberg. I have been very happy with Mossberg's quality and dependability. I've had people tell me that other shotguns are more dependable, but what is more dependable than 100% dependable? I've never had one of my Mossbergs fail to feed or fire.http://ericcom.com/syspics/temp/supergrin.gif

[email protected] Talk

[This message has been edited by EricGT (edited February 27, 1999).]

February 26, 1999, 10:13 AM
I like Mossbergs also. I think I'm down to 4 or 5 500s now. Really like the tang safety especially. Don't care for the plastic trigger assembly housing though.

[This message has been edited by fal308 (edited February 26, 1999).]

February 26, 1999, 10:57 AM
The 870 is that good. If it's for defensive use, I suggest the 870HD.

FWIW, my favorite Mossberg is the mil-spec 500 USA. Its metal trigger housing and metal safety inspire confidence.

[This message has been edited by jimmy (edited February 26, 1999).]

February 26, 1999, 02:09 PM
I have a Mossberg 590 with ghost ring sights and the speedfeed stock.

It is very reliable and easy to shoot.

I have found that the federal reduced recoil tactical buck makes it a bit easier to handle. My wife (5'2") likes to shoot it from the hip but not from the shoulder.

February 26, 1999, 02:59 PM
I've got to jump on the Mossberg bandwagon too. i've never had a lick of trouble out of my 500. Also my S&W Mdl. 19A looks an awful lot like a Mossberg, i like it too. YMMV :D

fiat justitia

[email protected]

[This message has been edited by longhair (edited February 26, 1999).]

February 26, 1999, 05:12 PM
My Mossberg 500 12-ga is, in a word, perfect. After several hundred shells in a few weeks, it still fires perfectly. The pistol grip and synthetic forearm give it that "You in a heap o' trouble, boy" look as well :)

February 26, 1999, 06:11 PM
Gotta love that Mossberg. Not that there's anything wrong with the 870 (there's probably a little more aftermarket junk for the Remington, in fact), but -- at least back when I bought mine -- the Mossie had dual slide bars and the Remingtons only had one. Plus, they just work (not that I'm saying Remingtons are finicky, cos I'm not) and they're *CHEAP* (which Remington's aren't as good at). You'll be happy with either. Just don't get a new "Winchester" . . . .

February 26, 1999, 06:46 PM
What about the other manf. Browning, Winchester, Ithaca, et al. Right now i'm leaning towards Mossberg 500 cuz it is cheap, but I haven't really figures out why I want a shotgun beside the fact that I don't have one

February 27, 1999, 01:24 AM
chink, I've owned two Winchester Defender shotguns and I'll never own another one. The first one I bought used. It had lock-up problems. The bolt would blow open when fired, pretty consistently. I got rid of that one quick. Thinking the first one was a fluke, I bought a second new Defender. That one persistently failed to feed. I then started buying Mossbergs and never looked back. There are a bunch of nice shotguns out there I would love to own, and probably will someday, but Mossberg is my first choice for a cheap dependable home-defense weapon.

[email protected] Talk

Jeff Thomas
February 27, 1999, 01:57 AM
chink, you want a shotgun because (1) in a home defense situation, your AR is just as likely to kill someone 2 houses down as it is the BG, (2) a shotgun has to be the most versatile gun made (defense, trap / clays, and hunting everything from birds to deer and more - bird shot to buck shot to slugs), (3) not quite as true as some think, but you're firing many projectiles (usually) instead of one, and don't need quite as much precision as a handgun or rifle, and (4) becoming more of a consideration in my mind, the shotgun retains its 'politically correct' reputation, as opposed to an AR or handgun. IMHO. But, you knew all that I think. ;)

A Rem 870 might cost a little more, but the quality is tops, the heritage is there, and it is probably the most modified and modifiable shotgun made. You might divide the extra cost by the number of years you plan to own it - the extra $$ may not appear so large at that point. ;) Besides, there are a ton of used 870's, and a quality rebuild is not that expensive, when you're ready.

March 2, 1999, 12:18 PM
I've got to go with the Mossberg suggestion too. I own three and love all of them. I've run at least 2000+ rounds through my 590 in the last year, and never a problem once. The 835 i just bought seems to be a damn good shotgun too. I would stay away fromthe 9200s though (semi-auto) they have a bad habit of malfunctioning right we you need em.

So if its a pump you want, get a Mossberg!

March 2, 1999, 12:52 PM
I've got to weigh in here. I've had a Winchester 1300 Defender for about 5 years and never, ever had any problems with it. The gun is designed so that recoil opens the bolt and pushes the bolt and forend back. How far back it is pushed depends on the recoil of the load you're firing. Magnum buckshot will pump the action practically all of the way back by itself. This design characteristic might be perceived as a "bolt unlocking problem." The Remington 870 is also a good design; however, I've never read a Gun Tests magazine review of a Mossberg where there was not some kind of problem with the gun.

Apart from that, I say look at all three brands and pick whichever one fits you best. One thing to check for is the reach to the forend--some pumps require you to extend your support arm too far forward, making it difficult to find a comfortable stance. Since you already have an AR-15, I'd suggest a shotgun with ghost ring sights, which will give you a sight picture similar to the large aperture on your AR-15.

Good luck and have fun shopping.

March 4, 1999, 01:01 AM
Ok, I dont want to "attack" the last post about gun magazines having proglems with Mossberg shotguns, but I'd like to point out that as far as i know, Mossberg shotguns are the ONLY pump shotguns to meet military specifications. (please let me know if there are others)

I'm not sure what those specs are exactly, but hey, if it meets Military standards, it cant be all bad.. :)

Just my $0.02

March 4, 1999, 09:27 AM
HAIRBALL--I didn't take your post as an attack. However, your statement about Mossberg shotguns meeting "military specifications" (whatever they may be) reminds me of Murphy's Laws of Combat, #6: "Never forget that your weapon was made by the lowest bidder."

I certainly have no objections to inexpensive weapons, as long as quality control is good. Based on what I've read, I just don't have a lot of faith in Mossberg's QC. However, I do think Mossberg has a good design and IF I found one that seemed to be in perfect working order and thoroughly tested it, I wouldn't hesitate to rely on it for self-defense.

If you are really interested in the tactical use of the shotgun, I highly reccomend Massad Ayoob's book, "Stressfire II: Advanced Combat Shotgun." It is about 8 years and therefore a little dated, but it is an excellent training manual for the police officer or civilian interested in using the shotgun as a defensive weapon.

[This message has been edited by Alfadog (edited March 04, 1999).]

[This message has been edited by Alfadog (edited March 04, 1999).]

March 4, 1999, 11:24 AM

Thats very true.. it was built by the lowest bidder, but I dont think that the Mil-Spec test has much to do with cost. Heres an exert from a Mossberg catalog about their 500 series shotguns.

"Mossberg military-supplied shotguns have passed the ultra-tough Mil-S-3443 standard, the requirement that pump shotguns must meet. The heart of this spec is a brutal 3,000 round endurance test using nothing but buckshot loads. In addition, the guns are frozen, baked and dropped in various attitudes. Parts interchangeability is also required. Since 1979, Mossberg shotguns have continuously met this demanding Mil-SPec requirement. In fact, they are the only pump shotguns that have."

Thats straight from thier 1998 catalog..

No, i'm not addicted to Mossberg shotguns or anything.. hehehehe :)

March 4, 1999, 08:59 PM
If your on a budget, the Remington 870 is your best choice.

If you don't mind spending the money, the Benelli super 90 series is the top of the line! Unfortunately, I own a super90 M3 with ghost ring sights, pistol grip and preban 8 round magazine. Major drool factor for anyone who sees it!! The gun is a joy to shoot. I had a 870 and sold it to a police officer in need. Once you shoot a Super 90, your sold! The only improvement that I can think of is the addition of Meprolight night sights....

March 4, 1999, 09:27 PM
OK, here are my two Lincolns.

My first 12ga. was (and is) a Mossberg 590 Mariner. The main reason I got it was price. back then it was under $300. Since then I got 2 more 590s in Parkerized again due to price and the upgradablity with the aftermarket stuff out there. As long as you stay with the regular loads and stay away from mags and slugs the guns will work OK (keep them lubed).

On the other end of the spectrum, I also got 3 Benellis (and a 4th one in the near future). Leaps and bounds higher quality shotguns compared to the Mosses. Incredible handling. The slide on the M3 even sounds of higher quality than the 590s.

What do I have next to my bed? The Mariner. Three reasons. 1: It works. 2: I would rather have the Moss stolen than a Benelli. 3: If engaged in a shooting and the gun has to go for evidence, better the Moss than a Ben.

I do have to admit that I have never fired an 870, as numerous as they are, so I can't say if it is any better than a Moss or not.

- Ron V.


March 5, 1999, 02:53 AM
Ron V. - whats wrong with shooting slugs / magnum loads through a Mossberg? Have you had problems with them or something?

cornered rat
March 5, 1999, 09:07 AM
Local KMart has a Mossberg 500 (6-shot .410) for $180. I comes with a 26" full choke barrel...where could I find 18.5" replacements? Also, finish on the plastic parts was lousy...lots of nasty sharp edges...wonder how ban the insides are...

Dr Thompson
March 6, 1999, 04:32 PM
I also like the benelli. I have a M3 super 90. But I can't really say I would use a shotgun for home defence unless I was staying in a strictly safe room situtation. I have trouble with clearing any type of building home or other wise with a shotgun unless in a team. If movement to another location is required such as to a childs room(as a safe room, I don't want to rely on them getting to my room and certainly don't want them not with me, then used against me) I still feel a handgun is easier.

Dennis Glover
March 7, 1999, 06:51 PM
The 870 is a very good shotgun. It comes in many gages and you can get it in the affordable express model that doesn't have the pretty finish but it is chamber for 3" magnum shells if you choose to use them. You can spend alot of money for others and have the most expensive single shot made. That is the kind th functions and jams and that jam ends up costing you the ultimate price. your life. I like remingtons in the semi-auto 1100 special field for bird hunting. I use the 20 ga. which has a 21" barrel and holds a max. of 4 rounds with plug out. It falls in the most expensive single shot group because it has jammed a few times. The 870 on the other hand I carried one in the field for years and it never failed me.
The 870 with a 21" barrel in 12 ga. which will hold 5 shoots and you can buy an extended magazine that will increase this to 9 shots would make a very good home defence weapon.

March 7, 1999, 08:36 PM

Another TFLer e-mailed me a similar question. Here was my reply :

Hello Rick,

The first time I had used Foster slugs it was in the Mariner. The recoil was
so great that it prematurely opened the action after the first shot. It did not
open it completely, just enough to lower the carrier and release a new round from
the magazine. This would not have been a big problem except the hull from the
fired round wouldn't come all of the way out of the chamber. Had to put a lot of
effort on the slide to pull the hull out. Although I felt that the action opening
up by itself was somewhat dangerous, I proceeded to shot the rest of the four
slugs one at a time just to get rid of them. Some time after that, I tried mag
loads and they too opened the action slightly, but not as bad as the slugs and
they were easier to extract. Now I know from experience that if you do not hold
the fore-end even pheasant and dove loads will open the action under recoil.
However, every time I did hold the fore-end the action has never opened under
recoil up to regular load #4 shot. (I really haven't tried larger pellets as I
think #4 is the best for indoor defense. Doesn't penetrate as much through drywall
as buck but should provide enough energy and spread to at least get whoever is not
welcome to drop what they may have.)

Later on when I got one of the parkerized 590s I went to the range with a
co-worker friend who had a blue one. I handed him a couple of either Brenneke or
Federal sabot rounds to try out. I was thinking that the plastic 'shoes' would
help ease the slugs travel down the barrel and not give any problems the Fosters
did. Unfortunately, the same thing happened to his and my shotgun and I haven't
used slugs in the 590s since.

On the other hand, I had tried the sabots and mags in a Benelli M3S90 and the
gun worked fine. Those rounds are punishing on the shoulder though.

- Ron V.

I know Sabots aren't the best in smoothbores, I just wanted to try them.


[This message has been edited by hksigwalther (edited March 07, 1999).]

March 8, 1999, 02:39 AM
I've shot like 20 or 30 "magnum" slugs through my 590 and never had problems like that.

if i fire it one handed with a pistol grip on it, that happens (and it hurts my hand like hell).

But from the shoulder, it's never bothered me. Of course, I want to buy a double barreled 12ga just so i can fire both barrels at once for the massive recoil it gives. :)

Anyway.. just hold on to the fore-end tighter, or get a pistol griped fore-end.

I was thinking more like barrel damage or something when i asked the question.. hehe

March 8, 1999, 11:38 PM
I was reading your post from 3-4-99. You show the stuff about MilSpec etc. No problem. That's factual history.
Tonight there was a program on the Discovery Channel about "American Commandos". They were with an Army SF team during training. One of the team leaders was carrying and using a 14" barrel shotgun. A Remington 870!
You can pass MilSpec, but the "Rough Boys" will use what works best for them.

March 9, 1999, 02:53 AM
I was reading something about that too Cat..

It seems even though they dont pass the "Mil-Spec" testing, The Army and Marine Corps still use 870s...

Maybe they know something i dont.. :)

Anyway, I have nothing against the 870s, good shotguns they are, i just dont like the placement of the safety and slide-release.

March 12, 1999, 06:42 PM
If you have the money, consider buying a Remington 870 modified by Scattergun Technologies (www.scattergun.com). Their “Standard” model is IMHO the perfect home defense gun. They have already done all of the modifications you would ideally want: 18” barrel, Ghost ring sight with tritium front sight, extended magazine tube, laser-products flashlight permanently mounted on pump, side-saddle shell carrier, and the whole thing is already parkerized. After doing a lot of research, I ended up buying this gun around the first of the year, and love it! It is not cheap, but if you bought the individual parts to modify the 870 yourself it actually would cost more.

David Schmidbauer
March 13, 1999, 08:37 AM
In reguard to DOD and shotfuns the USMC, lead branch for this particular program, has adopted a version of the Benelli Super 90 as the Department of Defense's new standard shotgun. It will be equipped with a rail system (similar to the Reed Knight RAS), and will have the ability to accept all systems compatible with the M4 carbine.

I currently own a Beretta 1201 that made a trip to Ted Yost's shop for Gunsite Police Shotgun mods. This is the gun that resides in my bedroom for those things that may go bump in the night.

My wife, who weighs 112 lbs, has no problem shooting it. Though try as I might, started with #7 shot, then up to 00 buck, and finally as a last resort slugs, she didn't thing the gun had too much recoil and stated "I've got me a new gun!" after she got done shooting it.

March 17, 1999, 02:39 AM
I've got a 590 Moss;stainless but have only shot about 5 rounds thru it. I got it for an excellent price and I'm thinking of trying 3 gun with it. Do you think I'll get laughed off the local skeet range if I bring it out there?

March 17, 1999, 10:33 AM
You know, i used to shoot skeet all the time with my 590. It wasnt easy, but once you get used to it, you can do pretty good. Of course, I went out and bought a Mossberg 9200 just so i could have a choked barrel to shoot skeet with, and I do considerably better with it.

But, go ahead and try it, just dont get too fustrated if you dont start killing clay targets right away. :)

And, if anyone starts giving you smack about it, hand them the 590 and say "I'd like to see you do better with this gun."

[This message has been edited by Hairball (edited March 17, 1999).]