View Full Version : Shotgun choices...pros and cons

October 1, 2001, 04:35 PM
Although I am very well-versed with handguns and their use, I have rarely used a shotgun. I have owned both a Benelli M1 Super 90 and a Remington 11-87P but sold them because I just bought them on a whim, anyway, and really never fired them except to make sure that they worked.

Now I am in the market for one (and only one) shotgun to use defensively and in the "tactical" competitions. To my mind, there are only three to choose from...the Benelli M1S90, the Remington 870, and the Remington 11-87. These seem to be the most commonly-used shotguns and are really the only ones that I want to consider. I am aware that there are many Mossberg proponents and some people advocate the use of other shotguns, but I am really only wanting the opinions of people on these three.

So...I am open to being informed. Which is the best of the three and why? Please keep in mind that price is not really an issue and that I would most likely have whatever shotgun that I buy customized at least a little to suit my own preferences. If anyone has a recommendation for a custom shotgun (Vang, Scattergun Technologies, etc.), then please speak up on it.

Cavè Canem
October 1, 2001, 05:11 PM
You're open to be informed but only want to hear about those 3? Very Interesting.

From what I know and have read, I would say the Benelli.

Happy Hunting

October 1, 2001, 06:08 PM
To: Cave Canem

If you have another choice, feel free. I would imagine that most aren't going to disagree that those are the three top choices of existing shotguns.

October 1, 2001, 06:53 PM
870...cheap..aftermarket parts/supplies are plentiful..8 million sold since 1950...con....notorious for elevater jams.pump gun..dont want a pump gun for home defense

1187..great gun....con...31/2 inch shells are a nightmare in the 1187 magnum

benelli....great gun..simple..inertia idea stolen from winchester..con...light loads can be a problem

mossberg...cheap..6 million sold since 1960..everybody has parts/suplies....con..pump gun..dont want a pump for home defense

this list could go on 4-ever..buy what you feel comfortable with...just do not choose a pump for home defense

October 1, 2001, 07:38 PM
HK1, why don't you want a pump for HD? I have a Win. 1300, and it functions perfectly. I can get of 3 shots as fast as most with a semi, and more accuratly than my grandfather with his 1100.

Also, 3.5" shells aren't really for HD. I've never even seen them offered in buck shot, or small game loads(which I use[I don't think it really matters in my house, as it will be a plastic shelled lead slug]). I have also been thinking of making the first shot 'Less Lethal', with a rubber batton, for liability issues. I think it would make a good argument: "I shot him with a rubber bullet first. He didn't get the message, so I shot him with something 'more convincing'."

Jody Hudson
October 1, 2001, 08:10 PM
I like the Super 90 best of those on your list, having owned them all for years I find it the most reliable with all loads, including light loads.

However the one by my bed is a Mossberg. Reason: I want ONLY a pump by my bed. I like the top mounted safety best for fast and reliable safety and of all the finest shotguns -- and I agree that your three are considered the finest... I trust my Mossy most for middle of the night emergencies. Each of us has our own opinion and mine is based ONLY upon my own experience not upon anything read or the opinion of anyone else.

After LOTS of testing I've opted for the highest velocity #8 shot I can find and that is my load. It's in a plastic shot cup so it acts as a slug out to about 25 feet or less for the first layer contacted -- and penetrates double walls less than other stuff.

I've had and shot a lot of tricked out shotguns of various types but for me, I like the stripped down model with less stuff the better when I go for in hoe self defense. For other reasons and places I'd choose differently.

October 1, 2001, 08:14 PM
For competition use, the Benelli Practical is the way to go- very reliable, very quick to load, high mag capacity in stock form, able to mount optics w/o modification and ghost rings standard. Although it is a tad long for home defense, I don't see why you couldn't use it- good for safe room use- the porting may be a concern, though.

For defensive use, there are a ton of options.

I think with the dual-purpose of competition and defense, you should probably choose a semi-auto as it can be significantly faster in competition and you don't move off-target as much when cycling the action.

In my observations, I've seen a bunch of 1100s or 11-87s that were tricked out for competition fail to cycle properly. That may be due to the mods, I'm not sure. Out of the three Benelli shooters I know, none has had any problems with their guns. All M1S90s, BTW.

Personally, I'm a fan of pumps- simpler but slower to use. If you're looking at pumps, I recommend either a Rem 870 or a Benelli Nova.


October 1, 2001, 10:18 PM
1100 rem is my favorite of the rem line..turned down a new 1100 light 20 guage .. several years ago for my wife...I still regret that...I have kids..I cannot and will not keep a pump gun loaded for safety reason..therefore i have to pump that darn thing and that is a big mistake if the BG is in the house..I just gave away my position..now he knows where I am but I dont know where he is...I can load a semi a heck of a lot quiter then a pump..for this reason I do not have pumps for a HD weapon......IMHO..you are better off with a semi for HD...as far as non-lethal loads for the first round...on paper I guess it makes some since..however I dont wanna test any new theories out with a BG who if in my house has shown intent to do harm to my family..my 2 cents..HK-out

October 2, 2001, 12:16 AM
Of your 3 choices I would say the Rem870. Why? Because they are very reliable, there are tons of accessories available, most gunsmiths know how to work on them, it's pump action. I like pump action for their reliability.

Hey HK1:
You like quiet shotgun for home-defense? How about a compact 12G SxS with rabbit ears? Thats what I keep in the closet.

Dave McC
October 2, 2001, 07:13 AM
HK1,870s do not have elevators. If you're talking about the loading prob that the Flextab conversion was designed to eliminate, in over 40 years of using 870s, I've NEVER had a glitch that was not deliberately induced.

All my guns are first rate. I've been shooting for a long time, and have had the opportunity to weed out the lemons, find what works for me, and T&E a lot of guns. I like Colt GMs, Pythons, Pre betrayal S&Ws, Winchester Model 70s, 94s, and Remington 700s.

And I like 870s. No stones thrown at the other excellent other shotguns in the world, but 870s have kept on going and worked for me under divers conditions and for varied objectives.

I've shot 870s at....

Doves, geese,ducks,predators,crows,squirrels, rabbits, quail, woodcock, deer, flying targets, silohuette targets, tombstone targets,targets of opportunity, steel plates and old beer cans.

Around 1971 or so, an 870 helped me convince two socio-economically disadvantaged vermin in Venice Ca, that breaking into my apartment was not only illegal, but a really stupid idea.

Around 1980, an 870 helped me stop a prison escape at the Md House of Correction.

Besides shooting 870s, I've taught taught several hundred to do so too. Outside of a handful of incidents with unmotivated and incompetent idiots, no glitches there either. These were people that ,given an iron ball and a rubber mallet, would manage to $%^&*( upmthe ball and lose the mallet.

And Correctional weapons receive lots of abuse and not much maintenance by qualified personnel.

There ARE other good shotguns, but any criticism of the 870 due to reliability concerns is suspect.

Would you like to cite a source for info about any Dept or Agency rejecting the 870 due to reliability probs?

Thanks, and I' ll not hold my breath waiting....

October 2, 2001, 10:44 AM
Is it safer to leave a seim loaded, HK1? Is it any quieter to load? My pump isn't loaded, and it won't be until I am sure of a threat, which to me means I see a bad guy. I don't want to shoot someone who went downstairs for a drink or something, so I'll pump it when I see them. Which may be enough to convince them to surrender.

I have no desire to kill anyone. Even if they meant me or my family harm. The non lethal loads, IMHO, are a good idea, because the family of the criminal has the right to sue you for killing their loved one. And there is a good chance they will win. It is a sad state in this country when this can happen, but I read it in American Rifleman. It may not happen now, because of recent incidents, but has before.

October 2, 2001, 12:06 PM
One word of caution regarding non-lethal loads from a legal standpoint - check your local laws. Use of a non lethal load followed by a lethal load is a dicey equation in some jurisdictions unless the BG elevates the threat in between shots. In my jurisdiction you may only use deadly force if threatened with deadly force. Use of non deadly force is evidence that you were not threatened with deadly force, and unless there's an intervening elevation of the threat a follow up of deadly force will cause problems with a slightly aggressive DA or civil lawyer. I'm not sure I want to try to fire once then have to think through whether I can fire again with a lethal load under stress. In my opinion it is better to determine for sure whether deadly force is authorized, then use it, or use a separate defense (mace, pepper spray) if not to keep the two clearly separated in your mind.

October 2, 2001, 06:21 PM
Its nice to see someone else from Delaware on this board...

Cavè Canem
October 2, 2001, 06:36 PM
hdm25: I didn't mean any harm by my comment, just found your post a little amusing. :D

I own a MB500A. 7+1 capacity with a pistol grip stock. Im sorta partial to MB but to each his own.

I would say any of the ones you mentioned should be just fine for HD. I would prefer a Benelli b/c of all the good things I have read about them and their track record. I can not however afford one.

As far as the people who say not to use a pump for HD, why is that? A skilled shooter can be just as deadly/accurate with a pump as one can with a auto.