View Full Version : Looking for a first pump shotgun

August 20, 2009, 12:16 PM
I am set on buying a pump shotgun. I've been looking at Remingtons and Mossbergs online, but am open to other brands as well. This would be a home defense, trap, SHTF, and all-purpose gun. What is a good compromise length for me? I wouldn't want to have to be swinging a 28" barrel around indoors. Would I be able to hit a trap clay pigeon with an 18" or 20" barrel? I would like to have decent capacity like 5+1 or more. I prefer, but am not stuck on, wood furniture on the gun (just for aesthetics). Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

August 20, 2009, 12:24 PM
Benelli Nova punp

click around. its got a lot of options. and its got swappable barrelsshort for HD, long for clay.

and yes, provided you have the right choke on, you can hit clay with 18" and 20" barrels

August 20, 2009, 12:35 PM
I recommend you look at the H&R Pardner Pump brand as well.* I recently purchased a Pardner Protector for HD ($200) and couldn't be happier. It's an 18.5" barrel, fixed I/C choke. I can't answer your skeet/trap question, and I actually wouldn't mind knowing myself, but for my situation (dedicated HD gun), the Protector was the perfect answer for me. For the price, you can actually get the Pardner HD gun AND a Pardner field gun for the same price as a Rem 870 with an extra barrel.

Mossberg has a pretty good combo set with a short HD barrel and longer field barrel. And you can always get a Remington 870 and purchase a second barrel so it can do double duty as well. Just depends on how much you want to spend. I believe the Mossberg combo is considerably cheaper than the Rem 870 option, but I could be wrong on that.

Try all the brands you're considering if at all possible. See what works best for you. Good luck and have fun.

*If your a "Buy Amerkin'!" type, don't bother even looking into this option. Some of the parts are machined in China and then shipped back here and assembled in the US and sold from a well-known American gun manufacturer. This upsets some, to the point of calling it junk. Despite the 1,000's of positive hands-on performance reviews and the lack of any notable performance negatives (no matter how hard I try to find them).

Evan Thomas
August 20, 2009, 12:36 PM
Both Mossberg and Remington offer combo packages with two barrels, e.g. an 18.5" (suitable for HD), and a 28" (suitable for trap, etc.). These are a much better deal than buying the second barrel separately. And it's absurdly easy to swap barrels.

There's not much to choose, IMHO, between the Moss. 500 and Rem. 870, which are sort of the standard basic pump guns. (Which doesn't prevent endless arguments, of course. :rolleyes:) The overall quality of the 870 is maybe a tad better -- at least it feels tighter to me -- but the locations of the safety and slide release are, I think, better on on the 500.

Wood furniture on either will likely be a better deal than synthetic, 'cause everything "tactical" is ever so fashionable right now...

August 20, 2009, 12:44 PM
The combos are probably your least expensive option - and on the lower price end I would go with the 870.

But a better pump gun, in my opinion, is the Browning BPS - its cast neutral so ok for lefties or right handed shooters, ejects out of the bottom, safety is on top of receiver - easy to reach. I would not suggest you shoot Trap with anything shorter than a 28" barrel - if you want any kind of consistency in your scores.

I like the Browning BPS Hunter model with a 28" barrel.

Its my opinion that the need for a pure "fighting" weapon is overblown / and that any good pump gun could be used for "defense" if it was needed. My first line of defense is a handgun - not a shotgun / but I wouldn't hesitate to grab a 28" pump gun if I needed it for home defense. I think you'll get more use for your money with a good pump gun and a 28" barrel and screw in chokes than any kind of a pure "fighting" shotgun - but you should buy what you want .

the rifleer
August 20, 2009, 12:52 PM
Ive said it before and i'll say it again, get a Mossberg 500 with a combo. I got a 20 gauge with a 18'' barrel and a 26'' barrel for $219 at big 5.

Its a fantastic shotgun and will work when you need it to. It also has a higher stock magazine capacity that the 870.

August 20, 2009, 01:03 PM
Capacity isn't an issue for clay target shooting - max of two in the gun. Federal birds like ducks and dove max three in the gun SHTF - no magazine is big enough. I second BigJim - 28" minimum for trap/skeet to get consistent scores. Both Remington and Mossberg offer either combos or extra barrels so you can get a short one for HD and use the longer one for targets and birds

August 20, 2009, 02:16 PM
Mossberg or reminton on the lower end... Look at where the gun was made...
Why buy a chinese knockoff that costs as much or more than an american gun? The barrels don't inter change with the model they ripped off so you are limited. The chinese have never made any thing BETTER and if it ain't half the price it ain't worth risking it. I wouldn't spend 50 dollars for a chinese gun of any variety... INCLUDING AIR RIFLES!

August 20, 2009, 02:34 PM
I would say go with a Mossberg combo set up. My first shotgun was a Mossberg 500 and I loved and still love that gun. Its been replaced out in the field, but I still love taking it out occasionally and I can shoot clays just as well as my buddies with SBEIIs. They're great guns and I've never had a problem with them.

I would caution you about choosing a Benelli Nova or Supernova. They're awesome guns, but far pricier and the barrels run for a few hundred bucks or more. If you've got the money then I would say you couldn't go wrong with either one. I love and use my Supernova all the time and I would say (for me at least) its the best pump currently on the market. And the recoil is definitely lighter than on a Mossberg or Remington.

I'll admit that I've never been a big fan of Remington shotguns, but I know plenty of people who are. You should give those a try too.

I think the most important thing to consider is how each gun fits you. If you have the chance try and shoot all of the shotguns you're interested in and see which one you shoot better and feels more natural to you. If you can't do that then go to a gun store and at least shoulder them to find which you like best. Fit will be the most important thing for you. Everyone here can give their opinions and personal experiences, but only you know which one will feel right.

August 20, 2009, 02:52 PM
Don't mind hogdogs, he ate a bad eggroll.

But in all seriousness... buy what fits you, as well as your budget, the best. Try as many as you can. And don't be so close-minded as to reject a brand because of the origin of some of it's parts (Benelli's are great guns and they aren't made here). Read as many hands-on reviews as you can. If it's an option, ask your friends and family what they like best.

August 20, 2009, 03:10 PM
I am under the impression that the pardner is 100% chinese made. May be put together here (I doubt that tho) but still chinese guns. Italian and high end turkish are much more likely to be good compared to any thing made by an $.08 per hour 13 year old girl...
Specially after her shift is in the 12th hour or more.

August 20, 2009, 03:11 PM
I am set on buying a pump shotgun. I've been looking at Remingtons and Mossbergs online, but am open to other brands as well.

What price range?

If you want a simple HD and all around gun, check out the Partner Pump too.

August 20, 2009, 03:50 PM
This will be my last post in this topic as Lunker was simply asking for opinions on what pump shotgun to purchase, not asking where everyone stands on the pro-US/anti-Chinese front. I only have myself to blame, it's my fault for suggesting a well-made gun when he/she mentioned being open to brands other than Moss and Rem.

Max100 would be a better person to answer the origin questions you have about the Pardner line. I have a feeling we're both a bit wrong.

And I'd love to know where you can get a NIB "American" gun (apples to apples) for the same or less than a Pardner. And I'm not be sarcastic at all.

August 20, 2009, 03:57 PM
Bad egg rolls or not - HogDogs is right .... if its made in China its crap / and that goes for shotguns, tools and auto parts .....in my opinion.

I'm not a big fan of Italian craftmanship - but comparing a Benelli, made in Italy, to that junk made in China is like comparing a good steak to cheap smelly cat food ...

When it comes to guns, I think you get what you pay for / you might find plastic trigger guards on cheaper models, poor steel, etc - a Benelli Nova isn't overpriced / anymore than the top of the line Rem 870 Wingmaster is overpriced - they're both good values. $ 500 - $ 600 is not much money to pay for a decent shotgun .....but buy what you like, what feels good to you and what you can afford.

In a pump gun - for me, its a BPS Hunter like I said - list price right now is $ 579 / its a great deal for a classic pump gun.....


August 20, 2009, 04:08 PM
Thanks for all the replies. It looks like I am still down to Mossberg and Remington, although I will check out Browning too. The Benelli seems like more than I need, especially as my first shotgun.

August 20, 2009, 04:12 PM
Chinese with limited barrel selection.
$270 Mossberg american made.
$316 for the wood american made.
Both the Mossberg and Remington have threaded barrels for chokes.
Maverick 88...
$193 for a threaded barrel. Synthetic. But for 40 bucks you can buy new walnut stocks.
These prices at buds are higher than walmart for both the Maverick and Mossberg...
I am not going to tell anyone what to buy but will share the knowledge I have. The chinese have a horrid reputation in manufacturing quality products...

August 20, 2009, 05:23 PM
My personal choices in order of preference

Browning BPS

While I like the 870 best, I could live with any of the others. Winchester, Ithica and others made good guns but since they are no longer in production I would not recommend them. I don't see where the Chinese made guns offer any advantages over the 4 above.

Evan Thomas
August 20, 2009, 05:42 PM
The chinese have a horrid reputation in manufacturing quality products...

My father (who wasn't a tool guy) bought a made-in-China hammer at one point. I tried to use it once, and the head of the nail dented the face of the hammer... :eek:

I'd stay away from Chinese-made guns, m'self.

August 20, 2009, 06:14 PM
I'm not going to get into the American vs non-American made argument. I would however strongly caution you against the Pardner pump. My friend purchased one and the internals bent and made the gun inoperable when he tried to eject a shell. I was standing right there with him and he didn't do anything wrong to warrant such a thing.

August 20, 2009, 09:09 PM
Both Mossberg and Remington offer combo packages with two barrels, e.g. an 18.5" (suitable for HD), and a 28" (suitable for trap, etc.). These are a much better deal than buying the second barrel separately. And it's absurdly easy to swap barrels.

+1... i own 2 mossberg 500s one in 12 and one in 20ga . the 20 i got the combo barrel pack for and it was one of the best decisions ive made

August 20, 2009, 11:32 PM
I was looking at the Mossberg and Remington combos tonight. Can someone explain the rifling in the shorter barrel in the combo? I was under the (probably mistaken) impression that rifling was only needed for slugs but not shot. Is it OK to shoot regular 12 gauge shells out of a rifled barrel?

August 20, 2009, 11:40 PM
I have no problem with Remington whatsoever, but my answer will still stay the same. Mossberg offers by FAR and AWAY the best value in an entry level (and even advanced tactical, but thats later) shotgun. They have a field/hd combo 500 that goes for about 275 on sale most places, sometimes a bit more sometimes a bit less. I am a loyal Mossberg customer. I think they do it "right". I love 870s, Ithaca, Winchester and have owned those as well. My answer's still Mossberg.

August 20, 2009, 11:41 PM
I was looking at the Mossberg and Remington combos tonight. Can someone explain the rifling in the shorter barrel in the combo? I was under the (probably mistaken) impression that rifling was only needed for slugs but not shot. Is it OK to shoot regular 12 gauge shells out of a rifled barrel?

Do not.

August 20, 2009, 11:41 PM
I have a Mossberg 835 Ultimag pump and will HIGHLY recommend it to anybody. Every time I have shot skeet or trap or gone huntng with it, I have hade exactly zero(0) problems. I love the dependablity and reliability of this gun, and I know different barrels are available of it. Plus the ability to go to a 3 1/2" shell is always a plus.

Highly recommend it!

Just my experience and my .02.

August 21, 2009, 08:12 AM
My idea of a HD shotgun is for barricade use and my trap 870 will work for me . A hand gun is my primary house gun. If I had to use a shotgun only then a short barreled Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 would be great as would a Winchester, Ithaca, Browning or other comparable gun. Good luck : Bill

August 21, 2009, 08:44 AM
The rifled barrel is basically a sabot slug barrel. No shot shell will pattern worth a crap out of it. It is fine for the sabots but that is all. The sabot shells are gonna cost a bit under $2 per round to nearly 4 bucks.
A rifled barrel produces "doughnut" patterns with shot for the most part...

Lee Lapin
August 21, 2009, 11:06 AM
Same thing I tell most people in your position...

Before you spend your own money, get some trigger time with various makes/models. If you don't have family/friends/co-workers with pump shotguns who will take you out to try them, look for gun clubs or ranges with rental guns. Handling different makes/models at a well-stocked firearms dealer will help some, but is no substitute for actually shooting them.

Once you get some hands-on shooting experience, you'll be in a better position to make a decision than if you only listened to advice/argument on the 'net.

Barrels interchange very easily on most modern design pumpguns, and spare barrels for popular models are common and relatively inexpensive. It's easy to put on a barrel that better suits the job at hand, no need to try and 'make do' with something that doesn't work as well as a job-specific barrel. If you insist on a one barrel do-it-all setup, a 21-23" vent rib barrel with interchangeable choke tubes and double beads is a good bet in my experience. These are often sold as 'turkey guns.'