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Old October 16, 2005, 04:38 PM   #1
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HD Single shot 20 GA?

Hello, I'm a newbie. I'm also on my wife's budget, and looking at HD options, i.e. GUN. Another thought, I want my wife to be able to use it with ease if I'm not home, or there and incapacitated. Input please.
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Old October 16, 2005, 05:34 PM   #2
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I personally don't think that a single shot anything is a good HD gun... you may want to look into a used Remington 870, Winchester 1300, or Mossberg 500. You could find a double barrel gun, too, but those will be more expensive (usually) than the pumps and will have lower ammo capacity. You may also want to consider a semi-auto shotgun (sometimes called a "gas gun"). Any pump (or especially semiauto) shotgun in 20 gauge should be low recoiling and you can get decent buckshot loads in 20 gauge. The single shot 20s are nice, but not for HD purposes... they also tend to kick quite a bit more than their pump counterparts. There are also used .38 spl revolvers to look at, and bulgie maks... how limited is your budget, exactly? I think a lot of people have found used Smith & Wesson Model 10 .38 spl revolvers for ~$110, which is about the same price as the single shot shotguns from NEF.

(sorry if my post is a hard read... im in a hurry, but i should be back later to clarify this post a bit better.)
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Old October 16, 2005, 05:59 PM   #3
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Single Shot 20 ga?

Effective for the 1 shot that it has, but once you've shot it, you are up the creek. So you better be a good shot, and there better not be multiple attackers. Still, it is much better than a sharp stick for the 1 shot it has.

For just a bit more money, you should be able to find a used .38 Special/.357 Magnum revolver that will give you more shots. Avoid the "no-names", get a used S&W, Ruger or (newer) Taurus. Rossi might be an acceptable low-cost option, for that matter.

For about the same amount of money, you can get a HiPoint, for that matter. Yes, they are heavy and homely, yes a lot of people sneer at them, but the newer ones do tend to work and they'll give you more shots. Also, HiPoint is known for honoring their warranties. Consider their carbines as well as the handguns.

Likewise, you should consider a Makarov -- you can get those for less than $200, and they'll certainly get the job done. Ammo is cheap, too. If it is currently outside of your budget, I'd suggest saving up for it, they are worth that little extra cash. Same thing for the used revolver suggestion above.
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Old October 16, 2005, 06:19 PM   #4
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Ok I get the idea. Now, I just checked out Hi-Point. eegads! Homely for sure! How about ruggedness/reliability/biggest complaints? I hope they work better than they look. Any info or feedback?
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Old October 16, 2005, 06:49 PM   #5
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Everything you ever wanted to know about HiPoints:

My humble opinion:

Ruggedness: check! That's what they are really known for -- truck box guns, tackle box guns, etc.

Reliability: Not bad at all, from what I've heard. Them that actually have them seem to like them. One problem I have heard is that they are a bear to field strip, though. But OTOH it seems that they just don't require it.

Biggest complaints? First, older ones seemed to be VERY problematic, and that lead to many people hating them. Second, I heard that whatever you do, do NOT use brake cleaner to clean them. As I mentioned earlier, they are a bear to field strip. And they are big, heavy and homely. They have also been associated with gangland crime, due to their low cost.

Oh, and the folks that seem to badmouth them are either the ones who had old ones and got "burned", or are those who feel that everyone should spend a bunch more $$$'s and get "name brand" guns instead. Both have their points, but should be taken with a grain of salt.

IMHO, if you are on a tight budget and want something new, and can't afford a Bersa or a Makarov, then a HiPoint is a good SD option. No question that they are well worth the money.

For that matter, I've considered getting one in 9mm just as a range gun (for the cheap 9mm ammo), a backup HD gun, truck/tackle box gun, and something I won't be too sad to lose in case I need to head down to N.O. to help friends clean up after the hurricane.

Oh, one other thing: I know that the 9mm is a little more expensive than the .380, but even if you are on a tight budget, I'd still suggest going with the 9mm. You'll make up the price difference and then some quickly in ammo savings, not to mention that 9mm is a more effective SD round.
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Last edited by gb_in_ga; October 16, 2005 at 07:28 PM.
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Old October 16, 2005, 07:09 PM   #6
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A single shot 20 beats tooth and claw. If it is all you have or can afford, practice, and practice some more, but I would recommend that regardless of the gun. A resolute, skilled fighter with a single shot will beat a twit with a machine gun. I've never heard of a fight lost or won because someone was using a particular type of gun.
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Old October 16, 2005, 07:14 PM   #7
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Here you go. Put a cheap red dot on it, cost you less than $200. They're even coming out with a .45 version next year. Mine has been dead-nuts reliable with no malfunctions whatsoever.

Oh, and don't look at the factory prices. I got mine for $120 at a gun show, sent it to HiPoint and a week later got a brand-new gun.
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Old October 17, 2005, 12:27 AM   #8
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never use a single if you can get a better choice.

1 most single shot 20 guages are hammer guns. in a moment of haste or terror, a hammer shottie is not really a safe choice.

Some will say otherwise but i have seen two near misses with hammer guns and newbie shooters.

2 Do you hunt? if you do, or maybe want to. spending a few bucks more on a remington 870 express will be money saved if you end up using the gun for more than one purpose.

3 get a pump gun. hundreds of thousands of cops use them and there are reasons. They are more reliable, easy to learn how to use, and very very effective. More effective than 38 revolvers, more effective than a rifle in the house. A sks is a wonderful rifle, but really not a good house gun. I sleep with a 12 gauge in my room.
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Old October 17, 2005, 01:34 AM   #9
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While all of that is true, and I agree with your line of reasoning, I have a sneaking suspicion that going with a pump gun is not an option for them -- it sounds to me like they are extremely tight on funds. If all they can spend is somewhere around $100, then that pretty well counts out a pump gun. Hence, the suggestion for a Hi-Point. Those can be had for cheap, and they are more reliable than, say, a Lorcin or a Jennings.
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Old October 17, 2005, 11:11 AM   #10
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You don't tell us HOW MUCH of a budget you are restrained by. For $100 or less it's pretty tight and will limit your choices. A single shot shotgun is a reasonable sub-$100 choice, given training and practice. With a couple of tricks and some practice a single shot can be fired about as fast as a repeater for a couple or three shots. The gun should be equipped with an ejector and the shooter should practice holding an extra shell or two between the fingers of the firing hand. With dexterity and practice the gun can be reloaded pretty quickly and readied to shoot again. As always it is better to depend on hitting what you shoot at than shooting again quickly- old saying is that you cannot miss fast enough to win a fight.

If the budget extends to $200, there are lots of good used repeating shotguns that can be had for less than that amount. Or IMHO the HiPoint carbine is a good sub-$200 choice as well.

Good luck in shopping, and stay safe,

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Old October 17, 2005, 05:05 PM   #11
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Under $100 gun

I usually just read these threads, but I'm going to reply this time.

I have hunted with a single shot shotgun and we used to try to get more than one bird out of a covy, but it's hard to do. If budget is too tight you might not have enough to practice.

I think I would go to a pawn shop and get a Marlin M60 .22. Very accurate with bulk ammo. Get some practice, then give up sodas, coffee shops, whatever you can give up, and save for a good used S&W M10. Wally World has some cheap ammo for .38.

Don't buy junk!

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Old October 17, 2005, 05:43 PM   #12
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Whoa! Back up the truck folks...

What does the wife want to do?

What is the [B]wife's[B], feelings about lethal force, does she have physical infirmites/limitations , her attitude in regard to firearms period, getting training, continuing to take an active role in PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for HERSELF?

We have rung this thru the ringer many times already. One cannot change people, places or things. One cannot "make" anyone do anything they do not want to do. One is best advised to NOT pick out a gun for another, and best to NOT give lesson to ones own family, especially a wife.

The wife needs to make a determination for herself. Heck let her read this thread. Do under a search under pax (sorry pax, you do know how I feel about matters) let her read pax's take.

A lady needs a ladies perspective, I believe this.


Now in my day I was involved with something that some may not agree with. Yes I knew the "rules" and such...

Still I was asked to assist with ladies. Domestic Abused, Sexually assaulted, raped, or some in fear of being a victim themselves.

Yes I have given, literally given many a single shot shotgun to a lady to use. We did the training, we had to get past a whole lot of stuff besides 4 rules, and state req's.

You stand there with a lady rape victim, beaten, bruised and beat down, no money, even her child's savings was taken by an abusive husband. In total fear for her kid and herself. Hiding with a relative or best friend.

She has the determination to take responsiblity for herself and kid, and she has grit and gumption. Trains thru the pain and tears...damn straight I gave her a Youth 20 ga single shot and ammo to boot.

She has that right, and by golly sometimes bad stuff happens to good folks.

Another, two broke arms, Marlin 60 is what she got to use..

Now when times get better, money comes to them...improvments in training. lessons and firearms are made.

These ladies wanted it, tooth and nail they wanted it. You get a lady to help, you let the lady do her thing, when asked you do your part.

Now the Maverick last I saw in the paper was $134 at Academy Sports. Good used ones are out there, including Police trade in shotguns and revolvers.

Still what does the wife have to say in all this?
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Old October 17, 2005, 05:57 PM   #13
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