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Old May 7, 2002, 10:52 PM   #1
Join Date: April 24, 2002
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Shotgun for 3-Gun Matches

What 12ga. shotguns do you recommend for competition at the same time for home defense? should i get it in pistol grip stock (like the AR15) or the standard stock? Pump or Semi-Auto? Accessories? (limited not open)


How do you carry your ammo for the matches?

Last edited by Stalker; May 8, 2002 at 06:18 AM.
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Old May 8, 2002, 06:20 AM   #2
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Old May 8, 2002, 09:02 AM   #3
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Location: Missouri
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I use a Benelli M1 Tactical for competition. I've never used a shotgun for home defense but it a personal choice and not that it wouldn't be suitable. With the extended mag tube, my M1 holds 8 (9 if you slip one under the bolt). FYI, I carried both a Remington 870 and a Benelli when in LE.

Many folks use something on the Remington 1100/11-87 platform. They work great too. They are a little softer shooting due to their gas system than the Benelli and it's recoil system. There are lots of accessories for both but especially the Remington guns.

Remingtons will shoot very light loads while a Benelli prefers a heavier charge. The Benelli will speed up with use and wear. Keep it oiled up more so than other guns.

I liked the Benelli since you can compete right out of the box with it. The Remingtons will require some accessories to make them competative.

I know there are exceptions, but you will be hard pressed to be very competative with a pump gun. Not that you can't hang in there, but semis will usually always lead the pack. I used to use a Mossberg 500 in matches (until the constant pounding broke the trigger group assembly). I also used my Rem 870 for a while. I was rather quick with a pump gun and usually finished at the top against other pump guns. But I almost always was getting beat by the semis in the end. I switched to a Benelli back in the early 90's and stayed with them.

For home defense, there is something about the sound of a pump action shotgun being racked that will send shivers down the spine of an intruder. I would go with the shorter barrel and load it with birdshot, not buck or slugs. The reason is at the close range a confrontation would occur, birdshot works as well and doesn't penentrate other walls in the home as much.

As for grips, I have the pistol grip on my Benelli. It's easier for me to hang on to it in my shooting hand when loading more rounds into the mag while on the run. More competition shooters probably use the straight grip and roll the gun over to load. Plus you can use the speedloaders with a straight grip and load 4 at once. That again is a personal preference.

Overall though, a Benelli would be an excellent choice for a double duty shotgun. With it's 19" barrel, choke tubes, rifle or ghost rings(with Tritium if you want) 5-9 rd capacity, it is light and short enough for the house duties, while maintaining the capacity and durability for competition. If you get the rifle sight model, you can get a second barrel with vent rib and use it for hunting too. The rear Ghost Ring would be in the way on the receiver where the rear rifle sight is on the barrel.

I would suggest you go to a competative shotgun match, like the ones at IPSC or 3-Gun Matches. You will see a wide range of guns, accessories to match shooting styles. Ask a shooter with a shotgun that interests you if you can look at it or handle it. Most will probably let you and be glad to tell you about what they may have done to it. They might even let you pop a few rounds through it. That would be the best way to find the right shotgun for you.
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Old May 8, 2002, 09:06 AM   #4
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I personally prefer a semi-auto for both uses. I have trouble short-stroking a pump under the stress of competition and assume I would do likewise during a hostile encounter at home. I do shoot mine quite a bit in competition and have found it to be completely reliable which is an absolute MUST for defensive use.

Mine is a Benelli M1 Super 90. It happens to be pre-ban but it wouldn't matter if it was post since I prefer the standard stock over the pistol grip style anyway. I have a CQB Solutions Tac-sling with an integral buttstock shell carrier. For competition I also have a forearm (human forearm) carrier and a series of kydex clip on belt carriers (2 shells each) which tilt out slightly at the top. I like the 2-shot models because I can add or subtract as many as I need at that time.

I also prefer the rifle type sights (actually look more like pistol sights - square notch and post) over the ghost rings. I find the open sights to be faster although a little less accurate at longer ranges. So far accuracy has not been an issue.


Last edited by Mikey; May 9, 2002 at 06:09 AM.
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Old May 9, 2002, 04:19 AM   #5
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How big a barrel you got on that thunder stick ? and I notice it has bead sights..... any accuracy problems with that or is it ok at the longer ranges ?

and what exactly are the longer ranges for a shotgun in a 3 gun match (having never shot in one)
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Old May 9, 2002, 06:19 AM   #6
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The barrel is 19.5" long and the sights are notch and post (no bead) which look just like pistol sights during use.

The longest shot I've taken during a 3-gun match is about 20 yards and there are no accuracy problems there. I went to a 4-gun match (they added a Long Range Bolt Gun stage) and we had to shoot B27 targets at 25, 50, 75 and 100 yards with slugs. The Ghost rings are a little more accurate at distances beyond 50 yards. I can use the notch and post sights well enough to take head shots at 50 yards with slugs and I find them much faster to acquire at the shorter distances.

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Old May 9, 2002, 01:04 PM   #7
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No matter what you buy.. practice with it. I've seen some awfully tricked out black shotguns get whupped by guys with pumps, or even one guy with a double barrel. (no joke)

Shoot some clays, learn to handle your shotgun in a familiar way before you "go tactical".

The 870 is a great platform, stock or dressed up. The Mossberg is a nice pump too as is the Winchester defender. All can be had for a third of the price of a Benelli.

As for short stroking, practice and use full power loads, read up on everything Dave Mc has to say on the shotgun forum, that guy knows his stuff.

I use a Remington 870 with a 21 inch deer barrel with rifle sights and a rifled choke. I'm good to 100 yards with a 3 inch magnum slug. With shot it's like shooting improved cylinder.. out to 20 yards or so. I have an extended mag for mine, giving me 7 shots. I usually carry my spare ammo in a vest or speed pouch (its much faster than reloading out of your pockets). Sometimes I don't bother with the extended mag, as it really makes the weapon front heavy. (besides when I hunt with it I never use the extension).
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Old May 9, 2002, 01:10 PM   #8
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I'm a little bit different in that I use a pump. Remington 870. The reasoning for me is simple. I have used the same shotgun since I was 12 years old. I have hunted with it, and with a short barrel and extension it usually sits in the top of the closet as my main HD gun. Loyalty (and therefore familiarity) have got to be worth something.

But Spd522 is right on. The guys shooting the semis usually win the shotgun stages. The last two 3gun matches I have been too, the top shotgunners all used semis. I was the fastest pump, and came in always just behind the top two guys (one Benelli, one 1100). There wasn't a whole lot of difference in split times, but it was there.

I'm shooting my same pump in the WC3gun in Las Vegas in Sept. At least there they list if you are shooting a pump or semi.

Pistol grip or regular stock all depends on what feels good for you. For me once again it comes down to familiarity and I use a standard stock.

Some matches require large round counts, make sure you can reload fast. Most of the hard core will have side saddles mounted on their guns.

Mag extensions are a must have.

Sights are once again a personal thing. I'm not much of a slug shooter, (not a whole lot of slug hunting around Utah! )and I just use a regular bead sight. At just about any regular shotgunning distance I don't aim, I just point. Kind of like shooting clay pigeons.
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Old May 15, 2002, 12:19 AM   #9
Join Date: January 27, 2002
Location: Kansas
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Me and the majority of shooters at our local 3 gun club use M1 Benellis. I love mine, its probably one of the "funnest" guns that I own.
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