Shotgun for skeet and for defense - interchangeable barrels


June 6, 2005, 09:51 PM
I don't own a shotgun, and I need some advice. I can't afford 2 guns, and when I can afford a shotgun, home defense will be my first priority. I've shot skeet a bit recently, though, and it's a ton of fun, so I'd like a longer barrelled shotgun. I was walking through a gun store the other day and they were offering a brand new shotgun with 2 different interchangeable barrels. I think one was 18 and one 29. Is it common for shotguns to be sold this way? Can you point me in the direction of one combo that can be had like that for 200-300? This was a Norinco. Even though it was under 200, I'm not too keen on buying Chi-Com. Please provide some other options! Thanks.

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June 6, 2005, 10:16 PM
Mossbergs have combo barrels guns that are often sold for the price range you mentioned. Occasionally Remington 870 Express's have a two barrel set IIRC. Either would fit the use you want. Or you could find one with a barrel maybe 25" and use for both. Shorter barrels usually mean more muzzle flash.

Fred Fuller
June 7, 2005, 06:39 AM
The approach you describe is very sound IMHO, it is the most economical way to get multiple roles out of the same gun. Several manufacturers offer models whose barrels are interchangeable for that very purpose. And it is not necessary to buy the set as one unit- look for a good used gun of the make and model of your choosing, and keep a lookout for the other barrel or barrels of the length and style you want- interchangeable choke tubes, vent rib, rifle sights etc. Barrels for modern repeaters are not 'fitted' but will interchange among the same make model and gauge.

First thing to do is to decide what gun you want, by renting different guns at the gun club where you shoot or by shooting different guns belonging to friends. After you make up your mind which gun you want, then start shopping. I find better deals on used guns in good condition, and will always buy an extra barrel when I find one at the right price.

I prefer Remington 870 pumps, they have a 55- year track record for durability and performance. Not to mention that they have been made by the multiple millions. They are also among the most modular and versatile guns available, and easy to set up for whatever task is at hand, the virtual Swiss Army knife of shotguns. They are sold as 'Combo' sets new, as Kudu mentioned, or you can do-it-yourself by shopping for used gun and barrel(s) and save money as well as having more choices as to the barrels you get.

It shouldn't be too hard to get a good used 870 Wingmaster and an extra barrel for less than $300 with some juducious shopping. Sometimes LE agency trade-in guns are available also, often these have been carried a lot buy not shot much. It certainly is doable with Remington's economy Express guns, be sure to look for an older model with an aluminum trigger plate and no dimples in the magazine tube though.

Do stick to a smoothbore barrel for your short home defense barrel, sometimes short barrels are offered in a rifled version for big game hunters who want to shoot sabot-type slugs. You will find smoothbore versions of short 870 barrels offered from the factory in lengths of 18 or 20" with rifle sights or simple beads, some even have interchangeable choke tubes. Remington makes a 21" vent rib barrel with interchangeable choke tubes for its turkey guns, if you wanted to 'do it all' with one gun and one barrel or a while, this would be a great one to get started on.

You are not limited to pumps, by the way- you can do the same thing with semiautos. It may well take more shopping (not to mention more money) to put together a package on the used market, though. And getting an out-of-mainstream brand will make it difficult to find extra barrels and accessories at good prices.

HTH, remember you can ask more questions if needed... and there is a lot of material here about this already if you search for it.


June 7, 2005, 10:05 AM
870 express combo barrel deal.

A Cleaner
June 7, 2005, 10:34 AM
This link below may have some information that's useful to you, although the price is a little higher than the Norinco you mention.

It's the first one on the list, 12g with a 20" and a 28" barrel.

June 7, 2005, 10:52 AM
The factory combos are the way to go if you want to buy new. Buying a second barrel separately is often more expensive. Consider this however: If money is tight right now, buy a shotgun that is better for one or the other and buy a second barrel later. A 26 barreled shotgun is far from useless for defensive purposes and we have members he that shoot trap with HD guns on a regular basis. While neither is ideal, both will work well enough for the time being.


June 7, 2005, 10:57 AM
In 1993 I said I was going to buy a 20-inch barrel for my 28-inch 870 Express. Then I realized that it would only be 8 inches shorter and that I wasn't going to be doing any house clearing anyway.

It's not like me to go out of my way to avoid spending money.


Guy B. Meredith
June 7, 2005, 11:33 AM
In our area the Big 5 Sporting Goods stores regularly have the Mossberg combos (18 1/2", 28") on sale for the low $200s. Great purchase.

June 8, 2005, 12:25 AM
I have a Remington Express 870 I bought at Wally World about 16 or 17 years ago that came with a 28" barrel. Last year I found a 20" barrel with rifle sights at Bass Pro.

Long barrel for birds, skeet, and such. Short for other things. Go for it! ;)

June 8, 2005, 02:32 PM
I bought the second barrel later, my Maverick came with the 28" modified choke. I use that for most things "field & woods".

For deer and HD/SD purposes, the 18-1/2" cylinder bore plain beaded barrel...$74 +tax/freight from Mossberg, sometimes less locally.

You can frequently find the Mossberg/Maverick 2 barrel combos for a bit under $200, if you poke around a bit. Dunhams, Wally-World, Big 5, etc are good places to look.

June 9, 2005, 10:34 AM
I've got a ribbed 26" with a handfull of choke tubes that I use for: trap, skeet, 5 stand, and sporting clays. I've also got a 18" rifle sight, fixed IC that I use for steel/3 gun matches, tac shotgun classes, and piece if mind. You are on the right track!

Chris Rhines
June 9, 2005, 07:30 PM
Everybody I've ever known who has gone this route has eventually purchased a second shotgun for the secondary role.

- Chris

June 13, 2005, 06:37 PM

Met Mrs Scout26. When her 20 ga. Bantam 500 comes out of the safe for trap/skeet the slug/HD barrel comes off and the field barrel goes on. Comes home, the slug/HD barrel goes back on and the field barrel goes down to the basement where I get to clean it (along with everything else that got dirty at the range.) :D :D :D

Dave McCracken
June 13, 2005, 07:52 PM
The one shotgun, two barrels approach has a lot going for it. But, like Chris, one 870 tends to multiply around here. Now up to six 870s, total of ten barrels, and still looking for deals....

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