View Full Version : Few questions about an HD shotgun...

September 15, 2005, 11:36 AM
I'm shopping around for an HD shotgun. There are a couple of issues I am considering...

1. I will be keeping it in the master bedroom, which can get a bit humid after showers. I am concerned about rust, and am considering a Marine model. Is this necessary, or should I just keep the finish well-oiled and not worry about it?

2. I want my wife to become reasonably proficient with the shotgun. I am considering a 20ga for that reason. She is of average height and somewhat slender build. I am concerned that the recoil of a 12ga would keep her from quickly getting off another shot if needed (such as more than one bad guy). I am also concerned about the weight of the 12ga for her. Does 20ga sound like a good choice here? I haven't seen any Marine models in a 20ga, though.

September 15, 2005, 11:44 AM
Keep it well oiled and you shouldn't have too many problems...Maybe use an exhaust fan, but as long as tehre isn't any condensation on the guns, you should be ok.

Secondly, I would recommend getting the 12 as you have more load choices. Get reduced recoil loads and it takes the kick down to 20 gauge levels, but throws more lead..

September 15, 2005, 11:56 AM
Chances are you won't be selling your HD shotgun, so any freckling is inconsequential. Oiled blue should be fine. Or, buy a couple of used, rusty barrel guns and be done with it. GunKote the barrel if you are retentive regarding rust and appearances.

I second the low recoil 00Buck in a 12 gauge. This is the way to go, both for ease of use, and safety from penetration issues.

September 15, 2005, 09:44 PM
I'm also a little concerned about how the gun will fit her. I'm thinking about something like the Winchester Compact Ranger...going out this weekend to find one and see how it works for both of us. I'm 5'11" 165 lbs, so hopefully we can find something comfortable for us both.

September 17, 2005, 11:05 PM
Checked out a 1300 Compact Ranger today...I think that it might fit my wife and me OK. I'm going to take her out to the gun shop soon to verify that.

Any reason why a regular 1300 magazine tube extension wouldn't fit the Compact Ranger? Four shots ought to be enough I guess, but still... :confused:

24" barrel OK for HD? Would work out better for shooting at the range...

September 18, 2005, 01:32 AM
For what it's worth, get what you feel most comfortable with in 12 or 20. Either will be adequate for home defense. Shot placement, as everyone here will agree, is the most important aspect of lethality rather than caliber. And, shot placement only comes with practice in a gun you are comfortable shooting. That said, if the 12 makes you both miserable, it will gather dust. Ideally you will both enjoy shooting and practice.

As for barrel length, the shortest barrel legally allowed is best for home defense. You WILL be using buckshot in your HD shotgun and shorter barrels equal faster shot load spread and are more maneuverable. Longer barrels are not as good for HD for the opposite reasons. The buckshot doesn't spread fast enough and the gun is too unwieldy. Now, in all reality, in the space of a home even the shot of an 18" shotgun won't spread very much at all, but it will spread alittle.

If you want to shoot trap, a short barrel will work but pick up a longer barrel (they aren't too pricy and swap out in moments).

If you are both small and slight, go with the 12 in the lighter loads or the 20 and practice alot.

September 18, 2005, 08:50 PM
As noted above, I'm pretty much average height and build. This may just be one of those deals where a compromise measure doesn't work out...meaning we get one firearm for me and another one for her. I'm not forcing anything on her that she doesn't like to shoot, because then she won't get the practice she needs. I'd prefer to buy just one for now, though.

September 18, 2005, 09:13 PM
If you are really worried about the environment get an 870 Marine Magnum, Mossberg Mariner or Benelli Nova H20. All are stainless/Nickle plated and are designed for maritime use.

As for 20 guage vs. 12 gauge recoil, I personally have found most 20 guages "kick" more then 12 gauges due to smaller stock areas contacting the shoulder. A good 12 gauge loaded with reduced recoil 00 buck and if necessary some kind of slide on rubber recoil pad should be a pussycat for both of you to shoot.


September 19, 2005, 12:25 AM
I'm also a little concerned about how the gun will fit her. I'm thinking about something like the Winchester Compact Ranger...going out this weekend to find one and see how it works for both of us. I'm 5'11" 165 lbs, so hopefully we can find something comfortable for us both.

Standard stock is 14" and short is 13". I'm your heigth and all standard stocks are too long for me. A stock that's too long is detrimental and won't work for anybody. A shorter stock than you need hurts nothing. I like a 13 1/4 to 13 1/2" stock, but my combat shotguns are 13". They work fine and I can use them while wearing heavy clothing if necessary. Cut it down to 12 or 12 1/2" if you need to, but make sure it fits her.

September 19, 2005, 12:39 PM
I am 5'6 and faced many of the issues you touch on regard proper fit with factory stocks. I have a moss 590 marine, and recently purchased :

www.knoxx.com/NewStyleKnoxx/TechSupport/SpecOpstech.html (http://www.knoxx.com/NewStyleKnoxx/TechSupport/SpecOpstech.html)

The stock is advertised to reduced 90% of felt recoil and can be adjusted to fit the shooter. At $129 its an expensive alternative, however if it reduces recoil as advertised its a worthy investment. I received the SpecOps over the wkend and haven't tested it at the range yet so I can not give you feedback regarding its performance. The video on the Knoxx page shows a petite female empting a mag with the SpecOps with no problem, its a pretty convincing clip.

If you choose to get a Moss, I believe the receiver for the 20 & 12 Gauge SG's are the same, therefore the SpecOps should fit either. Knoxx or others on the forum can confirm this. The only Remmy that works with this Stock is the 870 12Ga.

Good Luck..

September 19, 2005, 01:24 PM
See this thread:


September 23, 2005, 10:46 AM
Another guy's review http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=947891 I guess I can see why it could be both good and bad.

September 24, 2005, 08:03 PM
I second the reference to getting a Knoxx comstock. I disagree with the other reviewer's point of view. This person seemed a little peeved that he got his stock a few months late, and was just looking for a reason to get a refund.

Knoxx has great customer service, an awesome warranty and the product is second to none. I am the reviewer in the TFL post, and I had my brother in law and a first time shooter test the Comstock - just to make sure it just was not my own opinion that could be biased and they both agree it does reduce recoil by 90%.

My rapid fire test was successful in getting the weapon to retarget properly. In fact there are several videos on the website.

The main plus is your shoulder does not suffer the pain of recoil and no black and blues the next day. It becomes a pleasure to shoot your shotgun (which I used to hate to do because of the massive recoil.)

December 16, 2005, 10:34 PM
20 gauge vs. 12 gauge:

at home defense ranges (less than 7 yards) they'll both kill em just as dead with some buckshot. Dead is dead, so get something you'll actually practive with and enjoy. Cause when it comes down to it, being comfortable with the weapon and having (you guessed it) good shot placement is the most important.

Good luck and I hope you never have to use it in HD (a possible bg would probably appreciate this too).


December 16, 2005, 11:43 PM
Mossberg 500 20ga Bantam. Would do the trick at surprisingly low cost.


December 17, 2005, 12:36 AM
You want to get her something that she can practice with, and is not afraid to pull this trigger on. Thus a youth model 20 gauge is in order. You can pick up a Remington pump for around $220 new or for a more expensive gun that would recoil less, the Beretta 391. And really, NO one is going to survive a 20 guage with 00K to the chest at 10-15 paces.

December 17, 2005, 02:35 AM
The problem with pumps is that females have trouble reaching the distance on the forearms.

Most prefer the soft autos like the 1100/1187

December 17, 2005, 03:00 AM
any problems other than financial with a his and hers package?

What a formidable homestead defense team that would be...

December 18, 2005, 10:46 PM
I live in a townhome with attatched walls to my neighbor's unit, and shudder to think of shooting a BG with one of my .38/.357 handguns.

Can't assume every shot stops inside the BG, or even hits him, so I'm thinking shottie for HD, unless I should just get some glasers and be done with it.

Is a pump the way to go, or would an autoloader be good for any reason. I'd like to keep the cost down and haven't spent much time looking into shotguns. I know the Rem 870 has been a standby forever, as well as the Win Defender. Are Mossbergs in the same league as the others?

I take it from the above posts that 12ga makes the most sense with low-recoil loads? So a low-recoil 12ga load won't kick any harder than a 20ga, but should put more lead on target?

December 19, 2005, 01:10 AM
Mossbergs are a leading contender in the HD market, probably more so than the winchester 1300. This is being said from word of mouth, as I have never shot, or known anyone personally that has problems with a win pump.