Help me choose a shotgun....


November 13, 2007, 02:29 PM
Im just having a hard time choosing what to get thats reliable and stable. I'm leaning toward a 12g pump-action shotgun, something like this Mossberg Special Purpose 500 Persuader.

Any thoughts in what I should get? :confused:

Also, any recommendations on ammo for the 12g?

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November 13, 2007, 02:37 PM
First, get one with a stock on it!

Shotguns have to be aimed accurately in order to hit anything with them.
And you can't aim them accurately without a stock.

Then, tell us what you want to use it for and we could do a better job of helping you sellect the best gun and ammo for it.

Blasting beer cans? Home-Defense? Hunting?
Hunting what? Dove, Quail, Pheasant, Ducks, Geese, Deer? Clay Targets?

November 13, 2007, 03:02 PM
Well the shotgun is mainly used for home defense.
What do you mean by stock?

November 13, 2007, 03:41 PM
I mean the picture of the one you posted doesn't have a shoulder stock on it, only a pistol grip.

IMHO: Pistol-grip only shotguns are only good for two things.
1. Blowing door locks off locked doors during a SWAT raid!
2. Looking Mall-Ninja cool in the movies & video games!

But thats just my opinion. Others will disagree.

The Mossberg 500 or Remington 870 will serve you well for home defense.
But not if it doesn't have a shoulder stock on it so you can aim it and control it.

2 3/4" 00 Buckshot from any manufacture will be the shells to use.
Try several brands and then get the ones that pattern tightest in your gun.

November 13, 2007, 04:06 PM
Well the barrel of the Mossberg is about 3", so should I look for ammo that supports 3" or stay with the 2 3/4"?

November 13, 2007, 04:15 PM
The reasons I said 2 3/4" shells was:
1. They will give you one more round in the mag.
2. Way less recoil for fast follow-up shots.
3. They will kill anything that walks on two legs at close range.

The only time I might suggest 3" shells is for waterfowl hunting with steel shot.
You can't get enough of in a 2 3/4 shell.

Fred Fuller
November 13, 2007, 04:30 PM
If you want a Mossberg, get a 590 and not a 500. You have to take off the magazine tube to pull maintenance on a 500, while the 590 has a straight-through design as befits a serious shotgun. A goodly number of tubular magazine-fed shotgun issues arise in the magazine tube- the tube, magazine spring and follower need to be easy to get to if necessary.

All you'll need for defensive work and training/practice are 2 3/4" birdshot (for training and practice), buckshot and slugs. Your skill level (software) matters more than the hardware, training and practice will build your skill set.


November 13, 2007, 07:06 PM
Well this particular shotgun I mentioned above is a 580.

November 13, 2007, 07:12 PM
Im curious, whats the difference between the 12g, 16g, 20g, 28g, and the 10g?
Is it the just size of the diameter of the barrel or is it something else?

November 13, 2007, 07:17 PM
Diameter. As I understand it, it is how many lead balls of the bore size will equal 1 lb. So, 12 balls the size of a 12g barrel will equal 1 lb, 28 balls the diameter of a 28g shotgun will equal 1 lb.

November 13, 2007, 07:23 PM

Not yet anyway.

Get with some seasoned shot gun users. Ideal would be to take a defensive shotgun class and have to borrow a bone stock shotgun to take the class.
Heck, borrow one from the Instructors if could.

Clay Shooters, Skeet, trap, 5 stand, sporting clays...bird hunters even.

Gun Fit to shooter, correct basic fundamentals, are that important.
MORE important is the Brain.

Mental, Lethal use of Force, YOUR laws and interpretations of Lethal force, and what is legal as far as weapons, in the event there are restrictions, on firearm types and the like.

Do a search for Awerbuck , Cain and other defensive shotgun instructors here on THR, read the course reviews.
These folks in a class, will share the pros and cons of every shotgun make, model and accessory.

Many will share what the instructor suggests. Often times the most simple regular shotgun, with a shorter barrel.
Less is more when it comes to accessories, fuzzy dice and curb feelers.

Basic Win Model 12, 1300, 1897, Ithaca 37, Browning A5, Rem 870, 1100 ...
Even 20 gauge shotguns...

November 13, 2007, 07:47 PM
Also, out of curiosity, have you fired a shotgun without a buttstock before? I have a good friend who bought one just like yours, took it to the range with some #00 buck, and then never really shot it again. You're probably going to want to practice with it before you entrust your life with it, and practicing with a stockless shotty is rough.

Not trying to change your mind, I just don't want you to jump on something you don't like (like I watched a buddy do).

November 13, 2007, 08:03 PM
Yea, I understand. Im going to rethink about it and go ahead to do some more research. But I did stumble over this shotgun, Mossberg 590 SP-9 Shot.

November 13, 2007, 08:39 PM
That 590 is a solid HD gun. The other one to look at is the Remington 870 express. I have the Home Defense (HD) model that came with an 18.5" stock, and mag extension.
The bore size is what the gauge numbers are all about. the smaller the number, the bigger the round the shotty shoots. Kind of counterintuitive until you learn it, but a 12 gauge is bigger than a 28 gauge.
I'd suggest you look for 12gauge as it is the standard, but many will also tell you to go for 20ga because you are obviously new to the whole shotgun thing, and it will have lower recoil.
You'll be well served with either. Just go practice
And practice does NOT just mean going to the range with a box of shells and making a youtube video to watch. I means regularly shooting the gun, learning angles to hold and locations to defend in your house, and carefully selecting your ammo based on common sense rather than marketing.
Remember there is a LOT of useless marketing and hype out there.

November 13, 2007, 09:51 PM
Thanks for the info

The Deer Hunter
November 13, 2007, 10:00 PM
When are you really going to need a heat shield?

November 13, 2007, 10:08 PM
I don't think you'd go wrong with either a Mossberg or a Remington pump. Even though it seems like you going for a defensive shotgun, I wouldn't rule out something that you can switch barrels on to shoot some clays. It's really fun and it's good practice. That might mean rethinking the models with mag extensions, because IIRC they won't accept the longer barrels.

Mossberg makes a Persuader model with the regular mag tube that will accept the other barrels too. Or you could just get a field model and buy a shortie cylinder-bore barrel for it. Same difference.

I've always heard that shoulder-stock shotguns are for shooting and pistol-grip shotguns are for hiding under your trenchcoat. There's always the "third way"--a shotgun with pistol grip AND shoulder stock:


November 15, 2007, 08:37 AM
Mossberg or Remmigton 870, can't go wrong
but please, get something with a stock. Read some of Mas Ayoob's stuff about stockless shotguns in court of law. Some reptile attorney will try to say you didn't aim, you "sprayed death with abandon". Get a folding stock if you have restricted space, not my first preference, but get some sort of stock.
outside of that, what are you planning to use it for, I presume HD, but do you want to hunt, skeet shoot, trap shoot? That will decide a lot of what "after market extra's" you want on it.

November 15, 2007, 04:51 PM
Well Im choosing between the Mossberg 590 SP-9 Shot (50665) or the Mossberg 500 Special Purpose Tactical (50420).

November 15, 2007, 05:28 PM
That 590 is a good gun. I can promise you that you will want to practice more with that than the one without the buttstock. Good call.

November 15, 2007, 05:57 PM
@ Floppy D
Thanks for the tip about the 590.

But its seems that no one had tested out the Mossberg 500 Special Purpose Tactical (50420) yet. If anyone gotten a chance to test it out, can you tell me your thoughts about the gun.


November 16, 2007, 07:51 AM
Take note of Lee's comments in post #7 regarding the Mossy 500 magazine tube.

Not a deal breaker by any means, but worthy of consideration. Trying to get to a 500's spring and/or follower should the need arise, can be a bit of a chore.

November 16, 2007, 10:10 AM
I'm a "Mossberg Guy", they 'fit' me better out of the box than anything else.

Now, I have tried the Pistol Grip Only (PGO, as your pictured in your first post).

NOT 4 ME!!!!!

I put a PGO on my Maverick 88, and a few of us were testing it out with some light loads (Fed Classic 1 Oz of #8 lead shot)...nothing spectacular, but we SOMETIMES hit what we were shooting at..."hip-shooting" style.

So I dumped in a few of my favorite Serious Socializing Loads (Rem 3" #4Buck), and one of the guys tossed one of those dangerous "Clays". I forgot 2 VERY IMPORTANT things...gun was loaded with Monster Butt-Stomper rounds, and it was set up PGO...

I swung it up like a normal field gun...BOOOM! ! ! ! ! !


I now had grossly fattened lips, a severly mooshed but not broken nose, and warped glasses..with A LOT of blood pouring out all over the place....Not to mention that a couple of hours later, I was complete with two swollen "black eyes"...How I got to be known as Rocky Raccoon for about 10 days.

Much like the famous "M1 Garand slammed the bolt closed on my thumb", it is something you do ONCE.

November 16, 2007, 12:09 PM

November 16, 2007, 01:03 PM

The bottom line is- only you can tell what fits you by actually trying a variety of bone stock shotguns.

Too many folks have attended Quality Defensive Shotgun Classes, and the Shotguns used by these instructors, and recommended for student's and THEIR applications are often times Simple.

The student gets with instructors, shares where they live, and concerns, and from that, the instructors can better advise.

Military and Police run toward trouble, as do Fire and EMTs
Civilians do quite well with Simple Firearms, Fire Extinguishers and First Aid kits, most do not run out and buy Tanks, Fire Trucks and Ambulances.

Awerbuck uses a Double Barrel Shotgun for instance.

If one focuses on a thing, they impede the ability to learn and in essence learn on a crutch.

Thing can be the shotgun itself, the action type, gauge, chamber sizes, materials and whether the wood is glossy, or satin, synthetic is black, or camo, and what kind of camo.

Thing can be did this Police Dept, or Branch of Military, Armored Car Company, TV Show, Movie, Video Game, Grandpa, Uncle, Brother, Dad, Champion Trap, Skeet, Sporting Clays shooter, ....use this shotgun

Did Ex Boyfriend, Ex Huband, Ex wife, Ex-Girlfriend ...give one to current boyfriend, husband, girlfriend, wife, buy, sell, use, say something good, say something bad....

Your dead, and those around you are dead if you let Things dictate what keeps you and yours safe.

Single shot shotguns, and double barrel shotgun have defended folks forever and still do, they were proven before repeating shotguns came to be.

Just like "fighting knives" being touted by the tactical crowd.

The oldest fighting knives are proven, long before FRN, Carbon Fiber, Axis Locks and whatever else we have today.

Laguiole is most likely the original "fighting" or "tactical knife".
Douk - Douk, in fact this knife was banned from being imported into some areas back in the day, and this knife is less than $20, has no locking blade, and is not designed to be opened with one hand very fast.
It was banned as the users of these knives had mindset, and terror as their intent.

The users of these two knives knew how to use the tools, it was not the tool itself that did anything.

We use that same argument with the Anti Gun and Politicians today, that it matters not what a firearm or edged tool is, it is the intent of the user as to how that tool is used.

Give me, Will Fennell, Dave, Gordon, Lee Lapin, others around here - heck even Randy Cain and Awerbuck a busted single shot shotgun that does not even fire, and I betcha, we can get a person up to speed on gun fit, correct basics, enough that when we do hand them a shotgun that fires a shell, they can, and can be effective in using that tool to shoot moving clays, stationary targets, and even defensive use.

This is exactly why have no doubt Okiecruffler can use a 311 double barrel , Will Fennel a Beretta O/U, Dave a 870, Gordon a A5, Correia a Saiga, and stay safe.

It is not the thing, instead the person.

fearless leader
November 16, 2007, 01:04 PM
I had a PGO Mossy and shot it pistol style with Nitro Express BB shot! What a rush! I could hit with it, and as a TOY it was fun, but for serious social work and public sanitation, I would select a Mossy 590 with Ghost rings, a Winchester 1300 or a Remington 870. There is a reason these have a long standing track record with police.
The only thing I would have a PGO for now is that it fits conveniently under the seat of my car.

November 16, 2007, 04:43 PM
Well in the city I live in, I cant have no type of firearm inside the car loaded. It has to be in the trunk of my vehicle.

What is PGO?

November 16, 2007, 05:57 PM
First, get one with a stock on it!


I agree. Great gun, just ditch the "pistol grip only" idea. It will only serve to effectively destroy your accuracy. Look into the Rem 870 too. Both guns are basically in the same category of quality.

November 16, 2007, 08:13 PM
i bought a used Mossberg Persuader 20in (with pistol grip) that looked exactly like the one you posted. i shot a full magazine through it and bought a hogue over mold stock and forarm. in my opinion pistol grips arnt ideal for much other than storage.

by the way its a superb shotgun that hasnt givin me any problems. thinking on geting a longer barrel for clays though.

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