View Full Version : Cheapie 3-gun shotgun?

April 10, 2009, 06:19 PM
I'm not a shotgun guy at all. No interest in clays, bird hunting, etc. Rather hunt big critters with a rifle than slugs. Rather keep a pistol or rifle near the bed than a shotgun.

But, I'd like to start playing 3-gun games. I've got pistols. I've got an AR and a couple other rifles that might be suitable for that particular stage.

But I don't own a shotgun at all.

I've shot a friend's Mossberg 500 with ghost rings and extended magazine. Sight picture made me think "AR" or "M14". I liked that.

What's the cheapest shotgun worth buying that can take aperture style sights and a magazine extension?

Mossberg Maverick 88?
Mossberg 500 or 590?
Remington 870?

And... for a 3-gun shotgun, do I want the 18.5" barrel and 6-shot tube, or 20" barrel and 8-shot tube?

I'm thnking just a standard stock, augmented with a sight picture I like... I'm not handicapped if I don't "tac" it out with a telescoping stock or pistol grip, am I?

April 10, 2009, 06:41 PM
I'm not a 3-gun competitor so I'll only comment here on what I know.

The Maverick 88 and Mossberg 500 (standard variety) do not accept magazine extensions. You're fixed at 5+1 or 8+1 and they aren't available out of the box with ghost rings I don't think. The Mossberg 500 breachers can accept extensions, as they have the 590 mag/barrel attachment system. But you're not breaching doors here so........

The 590 is available (IIRC) in 8 and 9 shot varieties with ghost rings. That's probably gonna be your cheapest route to get where it is you are wanting to go. You can have it done on an 870 but will likely cost you a bit more. Think Scattergun Tech/Wilson Combat custom work here.

If you're looking more for semi-auto there's the 930 SPX to consider which is probably your cheapest, quality semiauto. 11-87 Police may be worth a look. Not sure how much they are going for with ghost rings (or really even if they are available from the factory that way).

By all means stick with a standard well fitting stock with a proper recoil pad. The AR collapsibles look cool in pictures but don't lend themselves to extended shooting sessions.

April 10, 2009, 06:51 PM
With respect to barrel length, you'll probably be happier with the longer sight radius and added weight of the longer option.

April 10, 2009, 07:36 PM
I am thinking that to have 7-9 rounds, you will have a 22-24 inch barrel but I may be wrong on this...

srt 10 jimbo
April 10, 2009, 07:39 PM
Might take a look at the stoeger p350 too:)

April 23, 2009, 11:50 AM
What type of ammunition is used at 3-gun for shotgun loads? I see recommendations for a 20" barrel and extended tube, threaded for chokes.

Will you cheapie bird shot stuff be good for 3 gun or does everyone compete with expensive slugs and buckshot?

Zak Smith
April 23, 2009, 03:49 PM
If you can't afford the "standard" 3-Gun shotgun, the Benelli M1S90 or M2S90 in 12ga, then I recommend buying an 870 in "police" configuration (a bunch of these turned up on the used market some years ago). Alternatively, some have had good success with the Benelli Nova. Sight choice is not critical; many like a regular vent rib, or just a bead, while some prefer "right sights" or ghost rings.

Zak Smith
April 23, 2009, 03:50 PM
For shot, most people use 1oz or 1 1/8oz "light target" loads for the majority of targets. Some matches/ranges even outlaw buck due to target damage. For slugs, most people use the tactical/low-recoil slugs. It's nice to have replaceable chokes. I normally use M in my 18.5" M1S90.

April 23, 2009, 08:11 PM
If you want a pump gun to take a long-term pounding, go with the 870.

Zak Smith
April 23, 2009, 08:19 PM
http://demigodllc.com/photo/WC3G-2008.07-3DI/smaller/IMG_3215.jpg (http://demigodllc.com/photo/WC3G-2008.07-3DI/?small=IMG_3215.jpg)
............... Larger version of above photo. (http://demigodllc.com/photo/WC3G-2008.07-3DI/?small=IMG_3215.jpg)

April 23, 2009, 08:29 PM
I believe Limited and Tactical Divisions use a max of 9 rounds. Find out the rules of the class you're shooting in and max it out. A pump will be fine for most 3 gun shoots. I shoot limited, as in LIMITED BUDGET. I borrowed a shot gun. ;)

April 23, 2009, 09:32 PM
Well I don't often say this, but I think an 870 might be better than a 500 for this. If you are going to compete you are going to send a whole lot of rounds through it. An 870 has a lot of extra steel on it, so I assume it is a little bit sturdier. It may also help the felt recoil a little as it always seems to be significantly heavier than a500.

April 26, 2009, 09:26 AM
"Cheapie"? Hmmmmmm..........

I hope you aren't offended by my suggestion but NEF makes a nice little shotgun that is giving a good account of itself among those who bit their lips and donned body armor to weather the castigating they recieved for buying the Chinese knockoff of the venerable 870.

The Pardner Pump Protecter is an inexpensive( NOT cheap) pump shotgun with some very nice features and it seems tailored for just what you have in mind.

I have the field grade 12 and 20 gauge shotguns and couldn't be happier.:)

They are very similar in operation to the 870 but they are also different as well.

I have had and have worked on a few Remingtons over the years and they are great shotguns.(The older ones.)

The Pardners are built similar to the Rems but have a thicker reciever and different designed lifter that eliminates the need for a flex tab.

Solid aluminum trigger guard housing, nice dark parkerize or blue(not sure which) in a matte finish.

They are tank tough and shoot and pattern well with virtually no "new gun" issues that I've heard and seen with some of the other standard brands out there.

Also, if this isn't what you would consider than you might get lucky and find a used Wingmaster for a decent price but then there are the accessories to be added.

Out of the box, the Pardner Pump is ready to go and I think that they can be had for around 250.00 max, or better if you have a mart that discounts them.

Good luck in you descision!:D

April 30, 2009, 12:59 AM
Remmy brought back the 1100 Competition Master, this time called a "Tac 4" IIRC. Straight up 3 Gun auto shotgun, cool as hell all purpose shotty too-22" barrel, 8+1. I believe this model is not ported but goes come with I believe 3 chokes. I know some clubs minimum barrel length even in 3 Gun is 22", but not too long to pull double duty as a house cannon. MSRP around 900., which is a good deal for what you get. One thing about action/combat type shotguns. A 200. Pardner pump or Maverick will probably do the job as well as any. However, the finest makes/models are not insanely overpriced. This is a top of the line production specialty item (utilitarian as it is) for under a grand. I really can't think of any other factory, out of the box, 3 Gun specific shotties

I'm about to take up 3 Gun as well, now that I have the time, and money to get set up. First got interested in it last year, seemed like a good way to get trigger time on 3 types of defensive weapons, and have fun. Thought about (then) choosing my battery of guns with competition in mind first/foremost (i.e., the above Remington or the 930 Combo model with an extension long enough to fit flush the 28 incher, and for a pistol the P-18 Para or Glock 17 L, etc.), which would theoretically work as good or better maybe, for HD than service spec type firearms. Even tried to plan what division or class suited me as criteria, before even shooting a match! Decided it would be foolish to get all this fancy stuff before even trying the game, how silly I'd look getting smoked with special weapons by those with common models. Now when I compete I'll be using guns that I'm about to purchase, which would be the same ones if the sport was never developed. Then maybe down the road if I get good might benefit from "race guns", but want to do it as I originally thought, a IDPA type philosophy, real world guns in what amounts to under pressure live fire training. All that said, that 1100 would make a very nice 'only one' shotgun.
Good luck with your choice and performance in what appears to be the funnest sport out there.

I love the Mossy 930 SPX, very sophisticated fighting shotgun at wonderful price (550).
I think the clays portion would rule out anything but a bead or fiber optic pipe for me, but from what you described of your likes and tastes, Benelli M2 Tactical may be the way to go. I'd like one myself. Shotguns are a weakness, probably end up with more than I need, but won't feel done with buying them till I got an M2 Tactical under my bed. But they are a lot of money...worth every cent, but way more than I feel like paying for a riot gun. The LPA Ghost rings are incredible particulary with tritium, stretch the range for slug shooting (IMO plain bead or XS Tritium big dot are faster and preferable for indoor/SD use) comfortech with a 7 shot cap or steadygrip/5 shot, I'd be happy with either. Both feel and handle extremely well
Winchester made a 1300 model called the Camp Defender, pretty rare but a utility/defensive shotty on the long side 24" that always struck me as a good choice for 3 Gun comp except the rifle sights. Winny Super X2 Practical is popular in this game from what I hear and now that I think about it, is probably meant specifically for 3 Gun shooting.

Maybe your best bet would be a 870 which are very well priced, and use the wealth of aftermarket parts and accessories to make your one of a kind personal shotgun. KISS I say though, and stick with quality and actually useful upgrades. I imagine that is the route most folks take, stock 870 with a selection of enhancements of their choosing...kinda got the vibe you want something set up right from the box (could be wrong)
I have a Saiga, sporter config. for the moment. I got 2 12 rounders for it and plan to get a 20 round drum. Thought this would make a decent competition scattergun in an Unlimited class- slow as rocking in thoselong mags can be, has to be as fast as a tube speedloader, and definately buys you some reload time. Still, a pretty clunkyguns.
I've seen some of the top (right handed) shooters favor southpaw shotguns (remington pump and autos) for better/faster technique, would think going 20 gauge could yeild some good results too in the speed department also comfort, no real downside except for instance the He Man division requires the shotgun to be 12 gauge (and IIRC, pump only and limited division restricted setup...?might be wrong about that). Zak Smith was very helpful in getting me info when I was about to jump in last year.
If you don't have any shotgun, might as well make your only one something enviable.
Shotguns are indespensible, as much or moreso than a .22 LR...everyone needs one.

May 1, 2009, 11:34 PM
OK, I was at Dick's here in town and saw two different guns there.

One was a Remington 870 with 18.5" tube and full length magazine. I want to say it was about $379.

The other was a Mossberg 500 with a 20" tube and full length magazine. I think it was $329.

Both had evil black furniture. I didn't check the sights on either... I was actually knife-grazing and picking up some rafting sandals.

My inclination is to the Mossberg for the longer magazine and sight radius, but I'm a rifle shooter and probably acting as such.

Coach me!

May 1, 2009, 11:49 PM
You may prefer the locations of both the slide release and the top of tang safety button of the mossberg... That is reason i never even thought of buying a Remington.

Dave McC
May 2, 2009, 02:20 PM

Either the 870 or the 500 will suffice. The 870 will last longer, but even the 500 will take 50-65K shells before things get hinky. 50K is a lot of shooting.

Get the one that feels best.

May 2, 2009, 08:16 PM
Charles Daly Field Tactical...ran me $250 out the door brand new from Big 5 last month...

May 3, 2009, 06:36 AM
If the question is, "do I want a 6 shot capacity or 8 shot for 3gun", the answer is 8.

My 20" 590 (8+1) is way heavier than a 6-shot 18.5" 870. But the 590 holds more, has a longer sight radius, and has the safety in the correct place. :D Although, now I shoot an 1100 competition master and it has a Choate mag tube so I can go 9+1 if I want. The magazine tube sticks out about 1" past the 22" barrel, which is fine for my competitions. Also, more FN SLP guns turning up at matches. However, neither the 1100 tactical, nor FN, nor Benelli qualify as "cheapie".