View Full Version : What is the "gold standard" of home defense shotguns?

November 30, 2006, 08:47 PM
I am not new to shooting, but I have been considering adding a shotgun to my collection.

What I would like to know is, what is "the best" shotgun you can buy for home defense?

I like reliability, simplicity and (ideally) a firearm I can keep for a lifetime?

Any suggestions?

November 30, 2006, 09:05 PM
1. Remington 870
2. Mossberg 500
3. Winchester 1300 Defender

I myself own the Remington 870 Express Magnum with the 18" bbl. It's a rock solid, and extremely reliable pump action shotgun, that I would recommend to anyone considering a great HD firearm without breaking the bank. The Mossberg 500 and 1300 Defender I hear are both very good as well for HD, but I like the rock solid feel of my 870.

November 30, 2006, 09:12 PM
Check out:


November 30, 2006, 09:13 PM
I would preffer the mossberg 590 like this one. holds 9 shells, has sights, pump action for reliability, speed feed stock, 20" barrel:

Mossberg 50668 590 12 20 CB 9SH CB SFGSRNG

Action: Pump
Gauge: 12 GA
Barrel Length: 20"
Capacity: 9
Chamber: 3"
Length: 41"
Weight: 7 1/4 lbs
Drop: 1 1/2" @ Comb & 2 1/8" @ Heel
Stock: Syn. (Black ), Speedfeed
Finish: Matte Blue

November 30, 2006, 09:16 PM
Or a remington 870 marine magnum. choices choices..........

November 30, 2006, 09:45 PM
I dunno if there is a gold standard, but if there is, it'd probably be one of these:






Get a pump, since you said reliability & simplicity - that's what pumps are all about!

Fabarm has some really nice ones too, but the coolest ones are 14", and you need an SBR permit in the USA to have one:


Dave McC
November 30, 2006, 09:56 PM
Lots of good shotguns out there, starting with the 870. More crucial is the software. Learn to shoot a shotgun, then BA/UU/R until you're deadly.

November 30, 2006, 10:20 PM

I fully realize and agree that "software" is crucial.

That is one of the reasons I was wondering if I should take a lesson from
a professional to get off to a good, safe start.

December 1, 2006, 01:32 AM
I vote 1300 defender. I would highly reccomend you get out there and shoulder the 870, 1300, and others. whatever one feels most comfortable to you is the one to get. the reliability difference between an 870 rem and a 1300 win just isnt there IMO.

December 1, 2006, 05:02 AM
Lok at some well used 1300s vs 870s with the same mileage. The difference is there, trust me. The 870 is simply a more rugged gun, inside and out. Even the Mossberg is a better suited gun for social interaction purposes. When you see enough bent, dented barrels, stress cracked receivers, broken stock attachement points, and simply worn out guns, its fairly evident. Just to prove a point, the Oklahoma CLEET Police Academy does not allow the 1300/FN pump shotguns on the range.

December 1, 2006, 09:50 AM

Interesting about FNs and 1300s..... what about Benellis?

Dave McC
December 1, 2006, 10:00 AM

Buy Ammo, Use Up, Repeat. The only way to get expertise. Shortened to BA/UU/R in Netspeak.

Re a lesson, great idea. Even learning to shoot trap or skeet from a qualified instructor really shortens the learning process.

If you doubt the relevance of busting clays, trust me. If one can hit 4" discs moving at up to 100 MPH(Bunker trap) and hit doubles moving on different trajectories, hitting larger and slower stuff gets easier.

Besides, it's great fun and use begets expertise. Clays fans shoots lots.

December 1, 2006, 02:05 PM
Did you say shoot Clays?



old 12 gauge
December 1, 2006, 02:06 PM
I have a few of the guns listed above, the 870 and the mossberg 500 with slug and turkey barrels, an old westernfield 20 slug gun, but i love my old Ithaca model 37 feather weight 16ga. I can shoot it faster than an auto as this gun will fire as fast as the slide can be pulled and never taking the finger off the trigger and it's easy to shoot from the hip.

David Armstrong
December 1, 2006, 03:05 PM
For most people a pump, particularly the Remington 870, is the standard. If you are willing to put in the time and effort to learn it, however, I think an autoloader really is the benchmark. I swear by my Beretta 1201, but the Benelli is about as good<G>.
BTW, if you want to use ashotgun for defense, you really need to get some good training with it. Without it, shotguns can be more trouble than they are worth. However, a well-trained shotgunner is a force to reckon with.

December 1, 2006, 03:59 PM
The Benelli auto guns are very nice, and shoot well, but are very ammo sensitive, in my experience. I have seen two guns bought at the exact same time, one run on anything, and one run only on full house stuff. I have also seen a lot of them fail. If you have one that runs, they are absolutely great. If your doesnt run, its horrid.

The Nova's are still pretty rare around here. The ones I have seen are decent. I dont care for the LOP, and its non adjustable. I also feel the gun is very tall, as in from top of receiver to loading gate, just feels weird. All in all, they seem like solid shotguns. The LPA sights are very nice, and they are a good buy.

All in all, its hard to go wrong with an 870. The Mossbergs are a lesser gun, IMO, but they are still more than adequate. I won both, and the 870 is a better built gun, but both do the same thing.

Geoff Timm
December 1, 2006, 06:20 PM
The Gold standard?

Browning Auto-5 Midas Grade of course.

Who wishes he had a picture of one. :D

December 1, 2006, 06:42 PM
Winchester Model 21, and it's going to cost you a lot of gold!

On a more practical note, the Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 seem more reasonable. Inexpensive, reliable... either one will get the job done.

My Ithaca doubles would work well, but they've also gotten quite expensive and why they now live in the safe.

My bedside "grab gun" is a handgun. As much as I would like to rely on one of the shotguns, they would be difficult to manipulate around my house.

December 1, 2006, 06:55 PM
Geoff, close enough?


December 1, 2006, 08:06 PM
This is a sweet one too.

December 1, 2006, 08:33 PM
Recently finished a basic defensive shotgun course at Tac Pro Shooting Center. The Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 have to get my vote. Virtually unjammable, will shoot just about anything (can't really say that about autos). If you are serious about the shotgun as a defense weapon, then you really, really need to get some training and a lot of practice. If you know how to use the weapon, and how to select your ammo, it a weapon of formidable power and utility, and it is highly effective at much longer ranges than most folks realize. I got the 870 with a 20" barrel with rifle sights, and magazine extension.

December 3, 2006, 11:23 AM
Shappy, now that's just wrong... :)

Lee Lapin
December 3, 2006, 04:02 PM
For one lifetime of use, any of the big three will most likely do OK (Winchester, Mossberg, Remington). But if you want it passed it along to a grandkid, get an 870. Please note that after about 40 years of experience, I am biased in favor of Remington's finest.

But no matter what tool is purchased, it is the skill level of the shooter that matters most. That cannot be bought, it must be learned and earned.

Stay safe,


LA Mike
December 5, 2006, 01:36 AM
Benelli M4 is the newest tactical shotgun from Benelli. It is awesome and amazing and will do the job. It is used by the US Marines. However, it is about $1700. A remington 870 pump gun is a quarter of that price and will do just as good a job. Also, there are so many different aftermarket upgrades and add-ons for the 870 that you just can't go wrong with it.

December 5, 2006, 01:28 PM


December 5, 2006, 02:02 PM
I love my 870 Police with a Wilson Combat tube extension & Knoxx Spec Opps stock.

It is everything I could want in a home defense shotty.

December 6, 2006, 03:41 AM
I'm considering trying to locate a Remington 870 Marine Magnum, otherwise I'm leaning towards purchasing a Benelli Nova or Supernova tactical at the local gun shop. I need a 12 Gauge pump, 18"-20" barrel.

I've seen Win 1300, a shotgun named Escort, the Mossy 500/590s, and of course the redheaded Mossy stepchild, the Maverick. Does anyone have experience with the Benelli that might come in handy? It feels right and I'll probably drop in and buy one this week.

December 9, 2006, 08:36 PM
the "golden standard", would have to be a old coach gun in 10 gauge with excessive amounts of black powder, not sure how common winchester 97's were in the civilian market but when their time came they were a damn fine weapon. Next step would be a remington 870 just because they have worked for year, after year after year and almost %100 part interchangable for their what 50 plus years. So for a modern standpoint the standard is the remmie, but i prefer mossbergs. Just figure i'd give credit where its do.

December 9, 2006, 08:47 PM
Have you looked into the Beretta Xtrema 2 KO? It's been on my wish list since seeing the capability of being used one handed due to the apparent almost non-existant recoil, and the rapid fire capability was impressive.

December 13, 2006, 08:19 PM
Im gona have to say that, well atleast I think the Mossberg 500 is the best for home defense. It has a short barrel and with a 7 shot, shot shells that will be perfect.

December 14, 2006, 12:55 PM
Ithaca 37 M&P, w/ integral extended mag tube.

I own 870s and 500s, but I keep my Ithaca by the bed.

December 16, 2006, 10:52 PM
The gold standard is a firearm that is dependable(read pump or revolver).
Accessable,swings and fires quickly, covers target easily with a large margin for error(panic situation). Handgun is more accessable and handles easier than shotgun. There are two drawbacks to a revolver 1. If loved ones are in other parts of home highpower projectiles can pentrate walls
2. requires precise targeting.

Shotgun is a little less accessable however a properly configured weapon easily stores and swings.
Therefore a Pump shotgun with large magazine capacity and a wide pattern is the smart choice.
Barrel should be as short as legally possable and overall length at Federal minimum length. Guage should be 12ga for adult males and 20gauge for Ladies.

The make of the gun should be the highest quality gun that one can get, after all it is for protection.Money is not the issue.

Some thought on which to purchase depends on if the weapon will also be used for other purposes. If going to be used for hunting, it is essential that the weapon is a take down model for barrel interchangability.And as such should be a modern weapon not grandpa's cut down.
A matte finish is recommended to reduce any glare that may reflect and indicate your position within your home.

Choke selection should provide for maximum pattern and 20 feet.
Shell Shot selection should be very large for penetration. I load two 00 shells follwed by two slugs, (slugs for wall or vehicle pentration).

Therefore a Remington 870, Mossberg 500 are fine. The Winchesters 1200 and 1300 are ok, a little lighter but under extended use may not be as robust.
A thumb safety is great as it speeds shooting as well.

A Winchester old Model 12 with a short barrel is my choice ,it shoots faster as the trigger can remain pulled and shoots as fast as one can pump.Great magazine capacity and stock at comb fits well and easily covers target.
In addition the gun is well built and can be used as a club in event that the action gets close.

Whatever the choice it is serious and simply the weapon needs to function, feel comfortable have ample killing power(not wounding) and one must have total confidence in it and be expert in its use.