View Full Version : Need Suggestion

August 30, 2001, 12:04 AM
First let me say I have a safe full of hanguns but have never in my life owned a long gun. I'd like to buy a shotgun for home defense and would like to get some opinions from you great guys on brands/models and ammo.


August 30, 2001, 12:36 AM
A lot depends on what your preferences are. Many here will tell you to go with a semi-auto. Personally, I prefer a pump action. I am partial to the Mossberg 500, but many here will swear to the Remington 870 being more durable. I don't doubt it - I just have no experience with the Remington. A lot will tell you to stay away from pistol grips as well, but that is also a matter of preference. Personally, I don't see how you can beat a Mossberg 500 12ga for under $200 new at Wal Mart.

Dave McC
August 30, 2001, 05:35 AM
The Archives here are a font of info. A few quick things....

Any RELIABLE shotgun of at least two shot capacity is an awesome CQ weapon in trained hands.

Pump guns, with their legendary ruggedness, dependability and lack of ammo sensitivity, are excellent choices. While my pick is the Remington 870, the Winchesters and Mossies are also good.
Steer clear of offbrands.

And contrary to some folks opinions,absolutely stock 870s, 500s, 1200s,etc,are effective weapons.

Ammo is not critical, nor is choke. At typical HD ranges, the pattern's about the same size and effectiveness, regardless of pellet size or constriction. For urban or suburban settings, a smaller size of shot may reduce, tho not eliminate the chance of overpenetration. Slugs are hardly ever a good choice for HD.

What is critical is practice. Few folks move past bare minimum competence unless they enjoy shooting shotguns.Try one of the clay games, or Practical shooting. The discipline is not as important as handling and firing the weapon.


August 30, 2001, 05:37 PM
Moss 590 in the trunk for work and Moss 500 that I picked up while attending Blackwater Shotgun & Pistol School in bedroom. The later is loaded with dove loads to minimize overpenetration in the house while maintaing lethality from contact distance to ranges inside my house. The 590 has a pistol grip and homemade three point sling. It also sports a speedfeed stock with pistol grip. I find this helpful for social work.

Big Lou
August 30, 2001, 07:18 PM
Another vote for a pump-action. I have both a Remington 870 Wingmaster and a Mossberg 500. While the 870 is nicer looking, they both are very reliable. The Mossberg is my house gun (18.5" barrel, pistol grip). I keep it loaded with a couple of #4 buckshot followed by a couple of 00 buckshot.

August 30, 2001, 10:08 PM
Go to your local gun shop that does police trade ins. Go find yourself a butt-ugly short-barrelled 870 in stock configuration. This should run you under $200.

Shoot it. A lot.

Then figure out what add-ons you want to get. BELIEVE me, the cops use 870s in out-of-the-box state every day...it is a good, solid, workman-like weapon. The same applies to mossy 590s and Winchester 1300s, too.


PS The 870 has the edge in the durability debartment- it IS possible to wear out a Mossberg or a 'chester, an 870, too...but you REALLY have to work at it.

August 31, 2001, 06:50 AM
Look for a Remington 870 in any shape with any barrel length. Hopefully it will have a ribbed barrel. Take it to a good gunsmith and have the barrel cut to the minimum length 18" add an 1/8th to this for good measure. If yuou get one with a rib he will cut it at the rib support so the length will not be just that. Then put an Ashley Express front Big dot trintium front sight on. If it is an older 870 get the upgrade kit from Remington.

The rib with the front night sight helps with rapid target aquistion.
You do have to aim a shotgun. For interior self defense shots you can use low power bird shooting loads due to the distances involved. Do not use pistol grips. Tuck the butstock into your side above waist level if the distance is too short to shoulder the gun.This allows you to index the gun and control recoil better.

My first 870 has had thousands of rounds of full power 00 buck and Brenneke slugs though it in the last 20 years. Qualified seven officers and been shot in over 100 matches.

Wish they had come out with LE low recoil loads years ago.



August 31, 2001, 09:31 AM
You can also get a short double which will perform well for your needs.


1. Price. Used are available for reasonable prices $200 +-

2. Just snick the safety off and two immediate shots.

3. Shorter in overall length by about 6 - 8" for the same bbl length as a pump or other repeater. This makes for much handier handling in confined spaces.

4. Tremendous psychological advantage two 3/4 muzzles for the BG to stare down.

September 1, 2001, 12:02 AM
Thanks guys for all the suggestions. I ended up going to the gun shop and handling all of them. I bought a Winchester 1300 defender with 7 rounds mag and fiber optic sight. $239.95 I didn't think that was too much to pay and it felt good to me.

Thanks again for the help!

Dave McC
September 1, 2001, 10:17 AM
Enjoy that 1300. Buy ammo, use up, repeat, until that shotgun starts feeling like a body part, and not a tool.....