View Full Version : Which Shotgun?

October 30, 2000, 06:02 PM
Hello all. I must start by saying that I am a novice shooter, who knows "nothing" compare to most of you on this forum. With that in mind, I need your help on choosing a shotgun for home defense. I am undecided between the Ithica 87 and the Franchi 612V. Does anyone know anything about these shotguns? Help!!

October 30, 2000, 10:04 PM
for home defense? really, don't choose a shotgun, get a revolver, If after taking a basic defensive handgun course, you still think you need a shotgun, then only a Mossberg 500/590 or Remington 870 will do. Then take a Level I defensive shotgun class...

Dave McC
October 31, 2000, 06:44 AM
There's lots of old threads about HD, and some research should give you lots of input.
I do NOT recommend a shotgun for HD for a novice. After training a few hundred rookies,I know that it's the hardest one to reach proficiency with.

A good first gun/HD tool is a used, DA revolver in 38/357. Stick with US brands. After becoming proficient with that, then you may want to consider getting a shotgun, IF you will practice with it frequently. The only people I've seen move past bare minimum with a shotgun are those that lIKE shotguns and use them recreationally.

And that applies here at Casa McC. Wife and Daughter do not like shooting shotguns, so there's 38 caliber alternatives available. The HD 870 is mine.

9x45,I disagree. While a confirmed 870 fan, I believe that ANY reliable shotgun of at least 2 shot capacity is a great HD tool in TRAINED hands.

Ala Dan
October 31, 2000, 12:51 PM
Hello All-

After choosing your favorite sidearm, a person in the market for a "home defense"
shotgun would serve themselves well by
looking into the possibility of obtaining
a Remington 870 Marine Magnum. This gun will accomodate either the 2-3/4" or
3" shells; and is of the very superb Marine type finish. You may want
to run a search under mariner type shotguns
for further information on this fine weapon? :) :D

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

PS: Forgot to mention that this is a 12 gague.

Dave McMillan
November 1, 2000, 10:01 AM
I've always thought the argument for a pump shotgun for home defense was at its best with:

If you think someone's in your house, the unmistakable sound of a pump shotgun chambering a round will either send a bad guy running, cause friends to identify themselves, or prepare you to shoot a bad guy with now confirmed bad intentions.

Another plus for the typical person, the issue of maneuverability with a shotgun versus handgun is less of an issue. Rack the action and get the phone. Most of us are not LEOs and a combat course would be good for learning the weapon, but proficiency comes from repetition. Lacking for most typical home owners.

Personally I feel that loaded revolvers in the homes of "casual owners" result in too many accidental shootings. Something about just having to pull the trigger makes it too easy. With a shotgun or pistol, at least you can leave the chamber empty avoiding the "let's go play with daddy's gun" tragedies. I know how it's supposed to be done; I just see too much irresponsible gun ownership by these "casual owners." I try and cater advice toward the lowest common denominator - the non-enthusiast that will ignore recommendations toward getting training.

Just my thoughts.

Dave McC
November 1, 2000, 12:46 PM
Thanks for that, Dave. A coupla points...

While I did stop a prison escape once by racking a 12 ga,it's not something I'd depend on.Many intruders are intox'd to the max, enraged, psycho or just plain stupid. Nice when it happens, and you gotta do it anyways, so...

And each home security system and problems are unique. Here,the security plan includes revolvers for the non shotgunners of the house, and some 870s. Those are mine is a crisis, and I'm well trained and familiar with same.

Elsewhere and when, others folks need to think out what their personal Plan B is,and acquire the right tools and training to stay safe.

November 1, 2000, 01:16 PM
dpoguer, you want to consider "splitting the difference". For the price you would pay for a 612V you could purchase a used Mossberg 500, a decnet used revolver and some ammo for practice/training. ;)

Other wise if you would prefer to stick to your two original choices in shotguns pick the one that "feels right" to you. Preferably go to a shop that has one of each in stock and shoulder them.


I was promised a Shortycicle and I want a Shortycicle!

November 1, 2000, 01:37 PM
"Personally I feel that loaded revolvers in the homes of "casual owners" result in too many accidental shootings." How many that you know of? How many times is that offset by casual owners successfully defending themselves in their homes?

Accidental deaths by firearms are very uncommon, decreasing, and the lowest they have been since records have been kept. I am not sure about accidental shootings in general and am curious where you get the data on which your base your feelings.

Dave McMillan
November 1, 2000, 03:31 PM
My points were made based upon those who want to obtain a firearm for "home defense" but are unwilling to make the commitment necessary to properly train in the safe use of the firearm. My definition of "casual user." I understand that nobody on the forum meets that definition since your presence here means you have some degree of enthusiasm to learn more about firearms.

With that definition in mind....

I will concede that a revolver is easier for the novice to discharge and unload. Every single novice that I introduce to handgun shooting instinctively puts their finger on the trigger as soon as they take the handgun into their hand. Even after repeatedly discussing the proper grip, demonstrating for them, they all put that index finger on the trigger. My children all did the same until working with them repeatedly and frequently.

Given that experience...

I read the news stories about "accidental shootings." That's the only source. That's why I said I "feel". I haven't looked at any studies, but intuitively a DA revolver will go bang with less user input than a pistol with an empty chamber. Again, I'm not talking to the professionals, I'm referring again to my "casual owner."

Of interest, one of the recent local "accidental shootings" with a revolver was simply a bunch of teens playing Russian roulette. The news only reported that the gun was being pass around and the teens were pointing at their heads. I don't think that's an accidental shooting by most definitions. I think it's loosing the game. Smart bunch, can't wait till they play the game with a pistol.

Dave McC, I agree completely with all your points. Thanks.

ljl, I was only meaning to discuss the "never owned a gun, what should I get" issue. Do you think that a revolver is the best defense weapon for someone who never touches it until it's needed thus fails to appreciate the need to safely handle it?

November 1, 2000, 03:55 PM
"Do you think that a revolver is the best defense weapon for someone who never touches it until it's needed thus fails to appreciate the need to safely handle it?"

I don't have an opinion on this one. It would seem to depend on the circumstances and what the overall PD plan was. i.e. urban vs rural, woman with children present vs single male, use of a safe room, etc.

November 1, 2000, 04:30 PM
Hello everyone! I must thank everyone for the informative response you have provided. I feel that I need to clarify a few things about my original posting. It's obvious that I may have mislead everyone by considering myself a "novice" shooter, when in fact I am an owner of a .357 and a 40 S&W, which I take to the shooting range once or twice a month. Realizing that this is a "Shotogun" forum I automatically assumed that everyone would understand that when I say a "novice" shooter, I was referring to shotgun shooting. Again, I apologize for my lack of explanation in my original posting. I must also state that I have shot the Remington 870 and the Mossberg 500 before, and both guns felt good. I am simply asking for your opinion and knowledge of the Ithica 87 and/or the Franchi 612V. Thanks again.

Dave McC
November 2, 2000, 07:41 AM
I know nothing about the Franchi, but the Ithaca is a JMB design, well executed. I suggest getting the Ithaca our of the two.

I DO regard the 870 as close to optimum for a HD shotgun,but again, any reliable shotgun of at least two shot capacity is oneheckuva HD tool in TRAINED hands.

In fact,you might want to get a used 870 and spend the difference on ammo and training.

Also, since you're a tyro, there's an old thread here about proper mounting techniques.

cuerno de chivo
November 3, 2000, 03:48 PM
"Do you think that a revolver is the best defense weapon for someone who never touches it until it's needed thus fails to appreciate the need to safely handle it?"

This would be a good topic for Handguns and Pistolcraft.

I do think that a revolver is best for complete novices. Pull trigger and bang. No limp wristing jams. No levers and safeties all over the place. Requires very little familiarity. Fairly heavy trigger pull for the prevention of "AD" type situations.

It's shooting not rocket science. It's really pretty simple.

I wonder sometimes if some here would prefer that "non-shooters" not own guns for self-protection. I doubt that more "shooters" are involved in defensive gun uses than "non-shooters".

Another accidental shooting story is a Police Firearms Trainer shooting a Police student dead during training. These were also SWAT folks.