View Full Version : I know nothing about shotguns,need help!

June 4, 2002, 05:17 PM
Hello all,My dad has shown interest in a shotgun for home defense.This benifits me because ill get to take it out and shoot it :D I am very interested in the Remington 870 home defence model and will be the one paying for the gun.What,if anything has to be done to this factory gun to shoot slugs?From what I can tell is it has an 18inch barrel that is not rifled.I am also guessing that it has a factory extended mag tube sense the tube sticks out slightly past the barrel,correct?Oh and anything else you can think of telling a rookie would be very helpfull,Thanks

June 4, 2002, 05:48 PM
That gun will shoot slugs as it is. Get rifled slugs for a smooth barrel. Federal "tactical" slugs are a great choice and easy on the shoulder.
If it has a factory extension (a wee bit smaller at the tip) it should be a +2 for the 18" barrel, probably cylinder bore which will pattern wider than you'll want for recreational shooting but is perfect for HD.
I shoot my 870's with a 20" barrel with an Improved Cylinder choke which is only slightly more restrictive than your cylinder bore and it's a blast.
Soon the advice to buy lots of ammo and practice, practice, practice will be coming.
I would pay heed to that, not that you will have any trouble motivating yourself to go out and shoot! 870's rock!

June 4, 2002, 05:53 PM
The factory short barreled 870's need no modifications to shoot slugs. Most factory guns are either Cylinder bore (no choke at all), or are Improved Cylinder (slightly choked). As I recall, you can shoot slugs from most shotguns even with tighter chokes.
The only addition you might want, is rifle sights, which make it possible to shoot slugs more accurately. These can be added later, but will usually need a gunsmith's services.
In any event, slugs are rarely used for home defense.

The standard Home Defense gun DOES NOT come with the factory magazine extension. If you want one, be sure it is ordered that way, otherwise you may get a gun with a 4 shot tube.
The Remington factory magazine extension has an end that sticks out past the muzzle. This is to allow the gun to accept a bayonet. The original mag extension was a military development project, and Remington has seen no need to change it for Police and civilian guns.
If you can't find, or don't like the factory extension, the Choate and Tac-Star extensions are both top of the line.

Al in Md.
June 4, 2002, 06:07 PM
Isaidme, A shotgun can be a wise choice indeed for H.D. The Rem Home Defense model would be a good choice. However it is a tool that requires practice to become proficent with its operation. Any decent "Name Brand" Shotgun such as certain models of Mossberg, Winchester, or Benelli among others would fit the bill. Ammo selection and tactics are all part of the equation. And yes that Mag tube on extended capacity Remmingtons can stick out past the barrel a little. I am assuming that you and possibly your Dad are new to shotguns and would suggest snap caps for learning handling at home and plenty of practice with the inexpensive sporting ammo at the range. There is no substitute for practice. All safety rules must apply 100% of the time no room for error. I have lurked on this board and learned a lot. Try the search button above for specific questions and answers and ask here when needed. Back to the safety issue, yesterday I observed an individual "cover" a whole line of shooters at a range for about 10 seconds with a carbine! Not a pleasent sight! Al in Md.

June 4, 2002, 06:15 PM
I originally got my shotgun for HD. However, I took it to the range and got into trap shooting.

I suggest get a shotgun that can also be used for the clay games. It's a lot more fun than just keeping it in your closet.

I got a 12 gauge 20" Mossberg Persuader with an extended magazine. I just ordered a 28" barrel for it.


June 4, 2002, 06:17 PM
Thanks guys!This model looks exactly like the marine model on Remingtons web site only parkerized!The pic on the site shows a tube the sticks out past the barrel an inch or so! :)

June 4, 2002, 06:22 PM
That would be the +2.
By the way, I have rifle sighted barrels on my 870's as well and they are quite nice for slug shooting (or shooting slugs ;) ).
The sights are not a problem for my clay busting activities either.

June 4, 2002, 06:32 PM
Thanks mike for comfirming the +2 extention!That will save me from having to get an aftermarket version!I was also thinking of sending the gun to Wilson to have the track lock sights installed and I like the idea of the Polymer Fore Grip and SureFire Light for my dad!

June 4, 2002, 06:37 PM
No problem.
If you're looking at Wilson for work, you should look at Vang as well.
I do not have anything from either of them but Vang gets good reviews on several boards.
I got my barrels modified locally (forcing cones and one back-bored for an experiment) but if I had the extra dough, I'd consider sending a barrel to Vang.

June 5, 2002, 01:35 AM
Coupla things before you jump:

shotguns are not a "magic bullet shooter." No matter what you've seen, read, heard, you still have to aim them for home defense ranges. (yup, point for flying game, but that's later).
Get that shotgun, buy a few boxes (at least) of "cheap stuff" (Federal's Multi-Purpose is good enough & found at WalleyWorld, etc. & about $10/100 shells), go someplace comfy, place some milk-jug-size targets out at about 10-15 yards & start getting familiar with your new shooter. Shoot slow to hit first & then start shooting to hit with speed.

Save your dollars for shells & not anything extra or fancy for now. No amount of dollars/trick add-ons can make you a better shot & that's the first & oremost thing about getting this as a home defense shooter, no? & once you have some more experience with it, you'll know what extras you'd like to have put on - if any.

I'm not familiar with Rem's Home Defense shotgun, but if anything like the rest of their 870s, you can buy an additional barrel & swap 'em out as you see fit. Personally, I think the best all-round barrel is their 21", double bead, vent (screw-ins obviously for added versatility).

Dave McC
June 5, 2002, 05:07 AM
The guys covered it well, but let me put the cherry on top.

That 870 model is an excellent weapon for close range use right out of the box IN TRAINED HANDS.

Instead of addons, mods, fuzzy dice and fender skirts, buy ammo and practice,practice, practice.

The ammo best for starting out is the lightest and cheapest stuff you can find. 1 oz, 2 3/4 dram eq is fine.

Search the archives, there's a wealth of info on proper mounting techniques, "Serious" shooting and
so on.