View Full Version : pistol-grip s/g for home SD?

September 12, 2005, 06:05 AM
Hi. Long-time reader (of almost all threads), first time question. I really appreciate the depth and breadth of the knowledge in these forums, and respect the answers and opinions. I expect to get my CT CCW permit soon (maybe this week) and get first pistol, but lately (since Katrina) have been thinking that maybe a handgun is not the best choice for home SD. I'm a heavy sleeper and desperately wear glasses, so maybe a s/g affords better protection.
Here's the question: is a pistol grip s/g like the Mossbeg 500/590 the best answer? Easy to operate (I think), 6-8 rounds, easy to get on target, point-and-shoot, less penetration/damage to the rest fo the house/surrounding area----any thoughts?
Thanks. :)

September 12, 2005, 06:20 AM
I consider myself a HD Shotgun afficianado. I have several about the house, and have owned various models and makes.
The formulation I prefer is a Mossberg 500 with a 5 shot magazine, a 18.5 inch barrel, a full stock, a corncob forend, a 6 round sidesaddle, a bead sight, and a metal safety button. I like to keep things simple.

All the rest is fluff. Pistol grip shotguns are not very accurate, nor easy to employ effectively. I like the Mossy for the safety placement, and the shell lifter design. I solve the 5 round magazine problem with the side saddle and another shotgun in the next room.

September 12, 2005, 09:57 AM
Here are some comments for you to consider. I have a slightly differing view.

Personally, I prefer a 590A1 or an 870 for a defensive shotgun. Both are proven and reliable. I am not a big fan of automatics but that is personal preference. I generally prefer the fit and finish of the 870's.

Most people do not shoot a shotgun well with a pistol grip only. However, many prefer a full butt stock with integrated pistol grip. This type of stock is better suited for the 870 due to safety location. A conventional butt stock works fine with either.

I agree largely with XB as far as the shotgun . . . keep it simple. Realize that a side saddle can damage the receiver if mounted with screws. This is not much of a problem for the 870 due to the steel receiver. I believe the 500/590 has an aluminum receiver so an alternate mounting method should be considered. Side saddle works well to keep some slugs handy, especially for a closet gun. Realize that a full side saddle makes the gun pretty heavy. Recently I have removed mine and not sure I will put it back on.

I strongly believe an integrated forestock light is essential for a defensive shotgun. Surefire offers several. Although costly, they are hard to beat when needed. Since most situations occur at night or low light, it is good to have.

Finally, make sure to run a lot of your defensive ammo through the gun. Make sure it operates 100% reliably with the ammo you intend to use.

September 12, 2005, 10:08 AM
I believe the 500/590 has an aluminum receiver so an alternate mounting method should be considered. The Mossy does have an aluminum reciever. The sidesaddle mounts with a longer extractor screw and a bolt that replaces the trigger group pin. I have had no problems with the sidesaddles on my Mossbergs, and if anything the steel plate for the sidesaddle reinforces the aluminum reciever. As long as both are flat prior to snugging things down, and the trigger group screw is locktited once snug instead of wolffing down on the torque, there should be no problems. If this remains a concern, a SpeedFeed stock will hold four rounds.
AA makes good points, I am not trying to be argumentative. Ultimately the brand chosen is not significant. It's the training one gets in it's use.

I'll go ahead and post a few pics.


edited to add: I just found this Winchester 1300XTR today for $89. http://thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=14968&stc=1

The furniture on it is grained so nicely I almost hate to strip it off.

Sooooooooo.... should I or shouldn't I?

September 12, 2005, 02:43 PM
XB makes some good points. I should have been more explicit on the side saddle issues. One is that over tightening the mounting screws can deform the receiver and inhibit proper operation so some care should be taken there.

Further, with the aluminum receiver, it is possible for the screws to wear the holes in the receiver as the gun recoils. They can end up egg shaped. One alternative is to attached the side saddle with an industrial grade velcro or adhesive to avoid the problem.

As XB said, a lot of this is personal preference. As long as you pick a quality gun you like you should be fine.

This is similar to the gun I run: http://www.vangcomp.com/ron_1.jpg but I prefer the vented rib on mine.

September 12, 2005, 04:59 PM
Or you could get like an Uncle Mikes stock shell holder (elasticized wrap around holder on the stock) nice an integraged and easy access. I dont like sidesaddles on guns Ive shot due to weight placement, but thats just me. For sights, theres HiViz beeds, or the ultimate, maybe a trijicon or other glow in the dark ghost ring would be nice.

September 12, 2005, 05:10 PM
The stock with a pistol grip was designed for special use, like SWAT, so the shotgun can be held with one hand while the other is doing something else. It's much easier to disarm someone with such a shotgun, since they have no leverage and will break their wrist if they try to hang on.

A pistol grip only with no stock is difficult to use, very innacurate, since shooting must be done essentially from hip level. If you have to face someone armed with a shotgun, hope they have a pistol grip only. The only conceivable reason for having one is where space is at a premium and you have no choice. You'd be slightly better off with a folding stock, but avoid those, also.

Don't go for the pistol grip because it looks cool. Get a straight stock.

October 5, 2005, 10:32 PM
After much reading, I narrowed down to Winchester 1300 Defender and Mossberg 500A Persuader (I think it's actually called a Cruiser -- 20", 8-shot, heat shield with a pistol grip).

Finally bought a Defender thru Gunbroker.com from Bolsa Gunsmithing from California for $245, $23 shipping and $25 for FFL. Just received Startac heat shield from Midway, and disappointed because the heat shield texture and color does not match the Defender barrel, also I would have to trim off foreend arm to make it fit. Thinking of returning the heat shield -- and may be buy me a second shotgun, 500A Persuader with a pistol Grip. It may hurt my wrist but it sure looks good. Since the Defender has a syn full stock, may be I'll go for the Persuader pistol grip too.

Think personality and preference play into which models, brand, etc. I also liked Remington 870 Express Syn, but did not like magazine extension to make it a 7-shot; finish looked like a Chinese made (checked one out at a gun show).

If you get a pistol grip, let me know how the recoil felt after shooting it. Interested in which shotshells you used also. I tried to find some reduced recoil shells, but hard to find and too pricey online, so I got two 25/boxes of #8 shots just to run it thru with a full stock and a pistol grip configuration to check out recoil.

October 6, 2005, 09:15 AM
I just bought a 500 Persuader 20" with the pistol grip. I took it out last saturday. I shot Winchester 3" 00 copper plated shot, Federal Hi Shock rifled 440 grain slugs, and Reminton 2 3/4" 00 9 pellet. After those 3 boxes I put the shoulder stock on and had a very sore web of my hand. I just got some Federal Tactical 00 9 pellet and can't wait to test it. I'll stick with the shoulder stock.

Dave McC
October 6, 2005, 07:46 PM
A short barreled repeating shotgun with a standard stock is perhaps the BEST close range weapon yet devised.

The same shotgun cursed with only a PG is much less effective.

Anyone that disagrees, the same challenge stands.

We'll shoot YOUR choice of COF, using YOUR choice of ammo. You can use ANY accessory, I'll use a fairly unmodified 870.

Score wins, time decides ties, but there won't be any. Results published rat cheer and over on THR.

Any PG fans willing?....

October 6, 2005, 09:39 PM
I really have little use for shotguns for Home Defense

I actually feel that a good carbine is better for most scenarios and see some issues with ANY long gun for home defense.

I see a real advantage to "one-handed" firearms for HD..allows you to hold something in the other hand....flashlight, phone, child...etc.

If you do use a long-gun...go for a weapon mounted light...

I did a bunch of "testing" with a PG-Moss500 many years ago.

At HD ranges the shot and wad went through one large hole...no patterning at normal HD ranges...hence...not much advantage over any other weapon

I found that most users needed to aim at the "feet" of the target to allow for a tendency to shoot high.

YMMV....but I vote NO

Blackwater OPS
October 6, 2005, 10:00 PM
At HD ranges the shot and wad went through one large hole...no patterning at normal HD ranges...hence...not much advantage over any other weapon

Umm, gee only one 2 or 3in hole? Damn, might as well have used a .22 it only one hole right? :rolleyes:

October 6, 2005, 10:06 PM
Obiwan's post is exactly why we should not limit ourselves to one home defense weapon. A good shotgun AND a good handgun are nessessary. If your holed up in a room, hallway, stairway, etc then a shotgun or carbine would be the best. But if you had to move about your house, everyone knows that it's much easier to do so with a handgun of suffucient caliber and a flashlight. We cannot just buy weapons that we think will work. We have to have a plan and employ tactics that fit our perticular situation.
I am no expert by any means. But I prefer any well made 12 guage. I have owned Winchester, Mossberg, and currently have an 870. I can accomplish whatever I need to with either one. Then I have a few other handguns that I can use or be used by another family member. Our "cutoff point" is the stairway leading upstairs. If an intruder comes up then they get the shotgun. If I go downstairs then they get the Kimber. I know I have said this in other posts. It just seems to make sense to me. To answer the original question, pistol grips can be useful but they take much practice.

October 6, 2005, 10:44 PM
I found the PG stock on the Mossberg 500 Cruiser to be excessively uncomfortable to use. The recoil hurt, bad, I stopped shooting it for serious fear of permanently damaging my wrist. I replaced it with a conventional stock, fast.

In my defense for buying it in the first place, I went into the shop intending to buy a conventionally stocked Persuader, but they didn't have one, so I bought the Cruiser. I was impatient, and figured I could try it, and replace the PG with a stock if it didn't work out. It didn't, and I learned a valuable lesson about patience.

October 6, 2005, 11:10 PM
Thanks for the feedback. Just received Winchester's factory/OEM pistol grip kit ($20), and put it on today. Just playing with snap caps and handling it, I could feel the stress on my web of wrist. I will shoot some rounds this weekend with it, but I would probably go back to the full stock.

I appreciate about having patience. I was thinking about buying a Mossberg 500A Cruiser w/ PG, but I think I will pass.

I did get a TacStar barrel shrout, but color and text don't quite match the Defender barrel, fit is good, though.

Does anyone know where I can get it parkerized, how much it would cost?


October 7, 2005, 12:11 PM
I've got a Maverick 88 with a PG, or at least will have until tomorrow, and I've had a lot of fun with it. With lite field loads and a ton of practice I'm actually pretty good with it, but loaded with any serious HD load it's a whole different beast. Now my favorite pistol to shoot is my Contender with it's 14 inch 444Marlin barrel. The thing is a brutal pain dealing fire breather that leaves my hand numb after about 20 rds. It's a -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- cat compared to the Maverick with it's PG shooting 00 buck. That things leaves my wrist sore and swollen for days.
Tomorrow it goes to the gunshow with me. Fun toy, but I have a short attention span.

October 8, 2005, 09:14 PM
Went to a range and shot about six rounds thru with a pistol grip. This was enough for my wrist, web of my hand. Took it off, and put on a regular stock.

Think HD may be good for few rounds with PG, but that's all. Would have to have my pistol ready in case a HD shooting goes beyond few rounds.

October 8, 2005, 11:42 PM
Thunderstrike, that is precisely why I am looking for full stock with a pistol grip like you see on some tactical models. Then you have the best of both worlds.