View Full Version : Shotgun quality

July 27, 2002, 08:39 AM
For the shotgun experts: Of all the pump shotgun brands out there, are there any that have fewer problems (on average) than others? Realize that this is probably highly subjective, but was just curious if some manufacturers have tighter quality controls than others.

Al Thompson
July 27, 2002, 09:24 AM
The big four seem pretty good. The 870, possibly due to market, seems to be ahead of the pack.

The problem with trying to get an objective answer is that (outside of Dave Mc) most of us have limited experiance. I've probably owned or shot extensively with 50 or more shotguns.

Statisticaly, that is not much of a population field. The other problem we gun owners have is that we tend to make gross generalizations based on one or two examples.

Fer instance, I have a Colt Detective Special that shoots exceptionally well. I've also bought two more trying to get another that shoots as well. Haven't found it yet. If I had gotten DS # 2 first, I would have never bought another as it shot terribly. Flip side, one buddy's Mossberg 500 was a lemon until we got it broken in. I've been a bit sour on them ever since.

Neither conclusion above was warrented by the facts. :)

Just wanted to get that off my chest! :D

Dave McC
July 27, 2002, 10:11 AM
You flatter me, Giz. Don't stop(G)...

Slater, any of the Big Four pumpguns will likely last longer than we will. The 870 seems to be the one with the best longevity, but there's not many 500s, 37s, 1200s or 1300s that have been worn out, even to the point where retightening is needed.

Old pumps, except for a few POCs like the Noble, stop working from neglect and sbuse, not fatigue.

Between personal and professional use, I guess my lifetime total of shots fired from maybe 20-30 870s is around 50K. Of course, most were dept weapons, oft abused and neglected. I recall no glitches I didn't deliberately induce.

For general use, with a mix of high pressure and lighter target fare, my semi educated wild eyed guess is ANY of the Big Four will last 30,000 rounds if given a modicum of care and PM. If it's a target gun primarily, using nothing heavier than 3 dr, 1 1/8 oz, add another 10K. If used for Steel plate shoots, hog hunting, waterfowl, and other stuff requiring high pressure loads,maybe subtract 5K.If it's an 870, maybe double that.

In actual use, we'd have to fire off lots of shells out of any of these to render them useless.
Some like the 870, can be re headspaced by simply replacing the locking bolt with an oversized one, available from Remington for a few bucks.

QC varies not only from company to company, but over the time line also. Ithaca 37s are great pump guns, but some made during a period of tough times when the maker went into receivership/bankruptcy were rough, poor wood/metal fit, dull and streaked finish, etc.

New 870s, including the premium Wingmasters, have had QC probs, off center bores, looser tolerances, and so on. few of any of these probs seriously affect performance, and none safety.

What I'm trying to say is that durability is a non issue with the Big Four pumps.More important are fit and feel.

The McCRule:

Get the one that FEELS best....

July 30, 2002, 12:18 AM
I have had at least 3 of each of the following

Winchester 1300
Mossberg 500
Browning BPS

Undoubtedly the best quality is the Browning - and the price is similar to 870 when you factor in the extra chokes that come as standard.

Next best made is the 870 - though recent ones can be a little rough.

Winchesters are OK too.

By far the worst ones I've had have been the Mossberg 500s. Lots of jams.

These comments are based on guns owned over the past 20 yrs. If I were to buy a new pump gun tomorrow, it would be a BPS.

July 30, 2002, 10:35 AM
How subjective and difficult this is (per all above post, but especially the last one....All I've ever owned, in 30 years ofshooting, are Mossy 500s...Some fired alot, soem less so..but I've never had a single mechanical failure..ever...So the answer would be: It Depends! (truthfully, as pointed out, odds are probably roughly same for any of Big Four brands...some good, some not so good...These are all "mass produced" item so you mileage may vary)