View Full Version : Newbie looking for shotgun answers

October 3, 1999, 12:43 PM
I have read so many posts here claiming both Mossberg and Remington to be equal in one aspect or another and no clear superior excpt for Benelli. I cannot afford the Benelli.
Are the Beretta's cheaper versions of the Benelli?
I thought I read (can't find it now) that there is a shotgun that will allow the user to eject the fired shell from the chamber, and instead of cycling another shell from the magazine, open the breach(somehow) and insert a slug or different type of shell. Is this even possible? Or do all shotguns allow this? Yes I am new to shotguns and basically want one for house protection.
Also what effect does the choke have? Does it just change the pattern of the shot by the shape of the choke?
Do some or all guns shoot multiple size and types of shells?
! WHEW ! Care to add anything else?

Art Eatman
October 3, 1999, 05:25 PM
never having messed with Mossberg or Benelli, I'll leave those comparisons to others.

Generalizations: The "gauge" of a shotgun came from the last century or maybe earlier--it's the number of round lead balls to make a pound. Today's standard gauges are 10, 12, 16, 20, 28 and the .410. This last is 41 caliber, not a gauge. Ain't gunning fun?

To narrow things down a bit more, the 12 and the 20 are the most commonly used for sport or combat. Most folks object to the recoil of the 10, and the 28 is mostly used for skeet competition by precision shooters.

The most common chokes are full, modified, improved cylinder and cylinder. The tighter the choke from a straight cylinder, the smaller the shot pattern.

The usual test is done at 30 yards on something like butcher paper. With each different choke, shoot and count shot holes inside a 30" circle. I don't recall the shooting-industry standards for the various percentages. Arbitrarily, it might be ALL of the shot from full choke; 90% from a modified choke; 80% from an improved cylinder choke...

For no known reason, some brands of ammo give a more uniform pattern of shot from a gun than other brands. You beg and borrow a few loose rounds of different brands and shoot as above and see if the pattern is evenly spread across the paper. Some shots will result in "holidays" through which a bird will fly untouched. Afterwards, stick with that brand. It might be true for your dove and quail loads--and then you go up to larger shot for ducks or geese gotta and start over. :)

It is totally unsafe to mix shells. A 16-gauge shell might drop into a 12-gauge chamber, but will slide forward and the gun might look empty. The rim will hang up at the forward end of the chamber. Then, loading and shooting a 12-gauge shell will create an interesting explosion with dire results.

The Europeans used to be fond of multi-barrel guns. I have seen "drillings" with a 12-gauge and a 20-gauge barrel on top; a .30-30 or 7mm rifle barrel centered below them, and a .22 rimfire barrel on the bottom. Multi-barrel, multi-purpose, and multi-heavy.

FWIW. Hope all this helps...

October 3, 1999, 08:21 PM
If you work the bolt of a Benellis with a round in the chamber the loaded round will eject without another being released from the magazine. This is it's normal function (i.e., no other action is needed, just pull the bolt back). If you want a round from the mag to load into the chamber when cycling the bolt, you'll have to depress the mag release (or fire the round in the chamber - squeeze the trigger).

Browning semi-autos have a magazine cut-off lever that you can pull before pulling the bolt back and the rounds in the mag will not advance. The normal mode, I think, is whenever the bolt cycles (without pulling the MC) the next round will eject onto the carrier (the moving part that angles the round toward the chamber when the bolt goes forward). This is sort of the reverse of the Benelli where you have to keep the rounds in the mag from advancing before pulling the bolt.

Not sure about Remingtons but I'll know next week since I just ordered an 11-87. Don't know about the Mossberg 9200 also.

For pumps, the new Benelli NOVA has a mag cut-off button on the bottom of the foregrip. Mossberg 5XXs don't have one (at least the 590s). Don't know about Brownings or Rems.

- Ron V.


[This message has been edited by hksigwalther (edited October 03, 1999).]

B Shipley
October 3, 1999, 08:23 PM
Benellis allow for the change of rounds. I'm not sure if the M1 does this, but I'm sure the M3 does. Some have complimented the Beretta as being nearly as good as the Benelli. I just bought an 870 b/c 1) I don't want to spend that much now, and 2) you can't find Benellis now anyway-- massive backorders.

October 3, 1999, 08:35 PM
To add a little to what Art has supplied:

The Beretta 1201 is essentially the same as the Benelli Super 90, without the ability to accept extended magazine tubes. It is a nice gun for the money.

Some pump and auto (I believe) shotguns have the magazine cutoff that you desvribed, which allow a different shell to be inserted, without loading from the magazine. This feature is not universal, but I can't remember which guns have it.

As Art noted, mixing shells of diffferent gauges is something that you don't ever want to do. However, different sizes of shells (usually 2.75 and 3 inch) OF THE SAME GAUGE can be used in a pump, if it has a three inch chamber, and in an auto, if it is chambered for both and if it has a variable gas system (Rem. 1187, Beretta A390, etc).

Also, short barrels have little, if any, effect on pattern size. Pattern size is determined by choke and the type of shell/shot used.

October 3, 1999, 09:27 PM
Thanks to all. Now that I read your replys I see that I have much to learn.

Ok. So if the shotgun I want has a 3 inch chamber I can shoot whatever size (as long as they are of the same gauge)in that gun.(?)

Also can I shoot slugs and buck/bird shot through the same barrel or do I need one of the combo types (I guess it involves swapping barrels)?

Where do I find info on (over)penetration of these rounds into say, drywall or badguys? Is a MagSafe/Glaser type round preferred for HD? I guess the bird shot is kinds like that already.

Can I insert a different type of shell (same gauge) in a pump when I eject the empty shell, the breech is open, and before chambering a round from the magazine? Or does this require the cut off lever like the semi-autos?

I guess that for a HD shotgun I really wont need this option anyway. Just curious.

I am looking at the Remington 870 Marine Magnum for it's finish and overwhelming popularity, available accessories, and great reviews from the people here at TFL. And the similar Mossberg model for same reasons.

I read that a folding stock is sometimes preferred. Is this legal for a civilian? I wont be shooting competion but want the gun to be brought to bear (or BG) with ease and thought the folder would make it easier to get from under the couch, side of the bed, closet, or whatever with less hassle. Plus would it allow the little lady a better/more comfortable reach?

Thanks again to all.


October 3, 1999, 11:40 PM
I'm no expert on shotguns. I just bought my first one a few days ago. My criteria for buying a gun was pretty much the same as yours. I'll attempt to answer a few of your questions.

Q) So if the shotgun I want has a 3 inch chamber I can shoot whatever size (as long as they are of the same gauge) in that gun.(?)

A) The best way to answer that question would be to go to a gun store and take a look at the gun. The type of ammunition it takes will be engraved on the barrel of the gun. I just bought a Remington 870 Youth Model 20 gauge. The barrel says that it will take 3" or 2 3/4 " shells.

Q) Where do I find info on (over)penetration of these rounds into say, drywall or badguys?

A) http://www.recguns.com/VG1.html This is an excellent resource on defensive ammunition.

Q) I read that a folding stock is sometimes preferred. Plus would it allow the little lady a better/more comfortable reach?

A) This is the reason I bought the Youth Model.

October 4, 1999, 07:27 PM

Thanks for the info and the link. It (the link) clears up some unasked questions I had for my HK USP compact 9mm as well.

Thanks again to all.