View Full Version : After a trip to the gun store yesterday looking at shotguns...

October 16, 2012, 06:45 AM
Looked at a Winchester XPS?? yesterday at a gun shop, 18 inch barrel, seemed pretty nice. Just don't know enough about these weapons yet. I want something mainly for self-defense, but I also would like to do some skeet-shooting and don't want to purchase two guns. I want something that is dependable and would hold value well for trade-in purposes. And I want the best bang (no pun) for the buck. I am not adverse to spending more if it can get me what I want, just want to make sure that I get what I want.

... I remain on the fence as before. I am new at this so not quite sure what I'm looking for, don't know what features are a must, which are take or leave, etc. I am not a hunter, but I would like something I will be inclined to practice with so I can learn the weapon, too. I can tell you that I do NOT like pistol grip, so that at least narrows it down a bit.

Like the Mossberg 930 based on reviews only, have not seen one yet or had the chance to handle it, don't know what it'd be like to shoot skeet with.

Any further suggestions, ideas, things to research or look at, think about, etc.?
If this helps any, I'm a revolver guy by heart but carry two semis on me as I like that they carry more rounds and feel comfortable handling, unjamming, etc. Somethign about the simplicity and reliability of a revolver will always appeal to me, though, and my bedside gun is a S&W 686P. Will also at some point purchase a Ruger LCR as a carry gun, though I handled a six shot Taurus UltraLite .44 at the gun shop that had me salivating!!


October 16, 2012, 09:28 AM
get a 9mm Glock 17 or 19, seriously. The most indestructible firearm on the planet, and plenty of firepower to boot...

Lee Lapin
October 16, 2012, 10:21 AM
Would that be the SXP you were inspecting?


Spend some time actually handling a variety of shotguns, and shooting them if you can BEFORE you buy. Some ranges and gun clubs/trap and skeet ranges have rental guns if you don't know any shotgunners you can ask for help with this.

Better to work off your own experience than what a bunch of strangers on the net tell you IMHO.

Best bet for what you describe IMHO is one of the major manufacturer pumpguns with a wide variety of extra barrels available. I like Remington 870s but you may decide on the Winchester or a Mossberg. Whatever you like will work. The two barrel/one shotgun set is even offered as a combo in some cases, it's not as if it's a new idea. A shorter barrel, maybe with rifle sights, for defense, and a longer vent rib barrel for other stuff.

Get someone for whom this ain't their first rodeo to show you around shotguns a little. Don't be embarrassed - it'll save you time and money in the short and long run. If you're in my area drop me a PM...

October 16, 2012, 10:58 AM
Since you want to shoot some clay targets...a good pump gun is a good idea ...with a 28" barrel. You'll have a lot more fun with it - than an 18" barrel for clays ( longer sight plane really helps on flying targets).

You already have some "tactical handguns" ...so adding a purely fighting shotgun to the mix makes no sense to me / when you can add instead a more versatile shotgun with a 28" barrel ...and while it may not be optimal for "Fighting" its just fine for Defense.

Remington 870's are decent guns ...they make a lot of models ...on their high end is the Wingmaster version - nice gun. Value for resale on Remington 870's, with the exception of the wingmaster..isn't very high or consistent / they just make too many - and they're always on sale.

A pump gun that does hold its value is the Browning BPS Hunter model - 12ga, 28" barrel....and they're selling new for around $ 600 ...and if you take care of it, selling it down the road is no big deal / and it'll probably hold most of its value or even appreciate depending on what happens with prices on the new ones in yrs to come. Browning makes other models of the BPS - but the Hunter model is a strong selling model / and has been for over 30 yrs ( I still have my BPS Hunter models in 12ga and 20ga that I bought in the late 70's )...still solid guns / been thru 2 boys - and me - and some grandkids as training guns.

So my vote goes to Browning BPS Hunter model ...or 870 Wingmaster. If you with a used gun / make sure it has changeable screw in chokes - to make it versatile.

October 16, 2012, 02:03 PM
Like BigJim says, whatever you get you should get soemething that takes screw in chokes.

Also consider getting a shotgun that will accept different barrels. That is a problem with some of the Mossbergs and now one model of a Remington 870. Both have some models with large capacity magazines that prevent them from accepting all barrels. (Because my 870 has a 4 round magazine, I can switch between an 18.5" fixed open cylinder HD barrel or a 28" field barrel that takes choke tubes.) At home it wears the HD barrel, but I swap it out for the 28 when I take it to the range.

October 16, 2012, 03:02 PM
The New Winchesters are in a league by themselves. I wouldn't compare the new Winchesters, to the Rem or Moss...hence the Price differ as well.

With that said, there is an abundance of Used Winchesters on the market..especially in this economy. As of recent years, Moss, Rem and Marlin, are all in the tank for reliability issues..not sure why they can't pull it together :(

Again, the used market, is flooded with great Winchesters at the moment.

October 16, 2012, 04:45 PM
In new guns....Browning purchased Winchester a few yrs ago ..and both are now owned by FN ....but on the shotgun side, Browning seems to be running things...so Winchesters have Brownings Invector Plus choke systems in them ...and the Winchester SX3's on the semi-auto side and the Browning Silver series share the same activ valve technology...

so don't get confused if the Winchester and Browning offerings are virtually identical.

October 17, 2012, 09:04 AM
get a 9mm Glock 17 or 19, seriously. The most indestructible firearm on the planet, and plenty of firepower to boot...

How do they work for skeet shooting?

mr kablammo
October 17, 2012, 11:48 PM
Good advice here. I further the recommendation for a switch-barrel pump. The Browning BPS is true quality. But the 870 has got to be the most accessorized shotgun. The short barrels can found for very good prices, try CDNN. The Win 1300 is solid but there are not accessories like the 870. It would help to know your price point.

Overall, I think that used-in-good-condition Rem 870 with choke tubes fits your situation.

October 18, 2012, 12:28 AM
get a 9mm Glock 17 or 19, seriously. The most indestructible firearm on the planet, and plenty of firepower to boot...

I'm left wondering if you read the original post. He wants a multipurpose defense/skeet gun. G17 or G19 wouldn't be bad for HD only, but he wants to purchase a single gun.

OP, I'm loving the Remington 870 Wingmaster for your purposes. Get a 26" barrel to accompany the 18" and you're golden. My Grandpa's 1967 Wingmaster works like it's new.

October 18, 2012, 08:04 AM
Got an 11:00 deposition this morning to attend, then going to go by a gun store right by there, will check out the Wingmaster.

I have read some good reviews but also some negative ones now after delving further regarding the Mossberg 930. If you had to rate a semi-auto shotgun in terms of reliability first and then features next, which ones would be your top five? I know you can spend lots of dough and get certain guns, so let's say under $1,000. I am thinking I do need the option of long barrel, short. Also need to look at something with screw chokes to adjust. Something tells me the Winchester may not be the route for me to go here based on some of the responses I've garnered off you guys.

Neighbor came over yesterday, had a 26 inch barreled Berreta semi, can't remember the model, maybe U931 or something?? Said it's his favorite gun, has shot thousands of rounds through it without failure on one, paid I believe
7-800. Going to keep researching and asking, also have a gun show coming into town in a few weeks, just wanted to see what y'all thought of Beretta's shotguns. Thanks!!

October 18, 2012, 08:45 AM
I've got a very early model Rem 1100 with 28in. barrel. Also have a 21in. barrel for it with rifle sights. You can also get the shorter 18.50in. barrel for close quarters HD use. There are a lot of used 1100's out there at a decent price and mine does not malfunction. Only 2.75in. shells and holds five rounds. One shotgun with two barrels works good for me.

October 18, 2012, 12:10 PM
Just got back from looking at some more shotguns, fondled ... cough, cough, handled a new Remington 887, used Remington 1100, used Remington 11-87, used and much older Winchester 1300.

What's the difference between Remington 870 and 887?

How about Remington 1100 and 11-87?

Aren't the latter just the newer versions of those two?


October 18, 2012, 01:36 PM
I'm no expert on Remingtons...but the 887, as I understand it, is marketed more in tactical finishes.../ internally, I don't know if they're any different than the 870's or not....I would think not.


1100's vs 11-87 - have a different gas operating system in them. The 1100 is older technology ...but they're both good systems. In theory the 11-87 was produced - to shoot more reliably with a wider variety of shells - where the 1100's were typically a little finnicky. Personally, I think they're both fine ...if you keep them clean and properly lubed.

For around $ 500 - $ 600 ....Browning BPS Hunter model is still a better pump gun than the 870's ...in my view

If you're looking at these older model guns ...make sure they have changeable screw in chokes in them ...so they're versatile.
If you want to go with a semi-auto ....Browning Silver series is a good gun / Beretta makes a number of guns ( go to their website ) / lots of options out there ...and still keep it within reason on a budget.

Part of this is you need to figure out what fits "you" ...not me or your neighbor ...and what barrel length you want for the best handling on flying birds or targets... for many of us 26" is a little too short, 28" is ok, and personally in a semi-auto I like a 30"....but all those are personal decisions based on balance, weight, length of your arms, etc...

October 18, 2012, 02:37 PM
Seems a switch barrel pump is the way to go for your application.

I have a Beretta AL391 and love it for shooting trap etc... It is an excellent choice for what I do with the shotgun. However:

- I don't think an 18" barrel is available
- if there were one available it would probably be so expensive that you could buy a dedicated pump / defense gun for less money
- the Beretta gas operated system has its merits, however I don't think they function as reliably with a short barrel (regarding the dwell of gas pressure)

get a 9mm Glock 17 or 19, seriously. The most indestructible firearm on the planet, and plenty of firepower to boot...
How do they work for skeet shooting?

Now that's funny right there :D:D