SHTF Shotguns ...


March 9, 2004, 03:28 PM
ok all, I am tired of seeing all the SHTF scenarios containing Rabid Zombies/ModernizedCubans/UndeadATFEAgents etc etc in the rifle sections of THR.

Lets talk SHTF shotties ....

I personally think a SHTF arsenal should be a super accurate handgun, a high powered handgun, a 22lr rifle and a combat shotgun. Stealth and CQB /security will be the order of the day for the majority of Americans. In that vein ...

What would your Shotgun choice be?

An 870 ... but what about the plastic parts of the express and possible repair in the ravaged future?

A Beretta 1200 FP ... semi auto security and firepower .. relaibility?

A Benelli M4 .. so ugly it frightens the zombies away?


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March 9, 2004, 04:26 PM
In a SHTF scenario it would probably be my beloved 1100 hunting gun after a quick visit with a hacksaw. If in a survival situation I would probably opt for my 20 gauge H&R for simplicity.

March 9, 2004, 05:00 PM
...ok all, I am tired of seeing all the SHTF scenarios
Yep !
What would your Shotgun choice be?
Looks like I'm gonna have to post that Part II I spoke of afterall - huh?

The Reality - Reality I've seen the results of shotguns creating *HTF for the perp full of payload. Honest I could tell no difference from the single shot and the high dollar semi-auto duck gun I was told that was used. Both DRT...kinda screwed up the idea of organ donation as well.

Yep, some tools fit a task better than others. Then again folks for too many years defended themselves against a bunch of bad stuff with single shot and pump guns fitted with fixed choke bbl...that full being the most popular you see.

Now these folks had survival instincts, proper mindset, and they knew how to shoot. I subscribe to the notion what worked then - most likely will work today.

Nope , not against progress, always been against buying skill and targets through equipement tho.

Figure 1911s , KFrames, 870s , model 70 in '06 , Model 94 in 30-30 name only a few...have a proven record of "fan situations".

March 9, 2004, 05:09 PM
This ones easy....Saiga-12....AK reliable and benelli fasy . Just my .02

March 9, 2004, 05:10 PM
ooooooops and those other voids. Ruger 10/22 and Glock 35 :-)

March 9, 2004, 05:12 PM
That would be my HD Wingmaster. Parkerized with a 20" rifle-sight, slug barrel -- works great with 00B. As regards parts, I have two other 870's which are used for trap and Skeet which have near identical trigger assemblies, no plastic and a few extra barrels. Actually, since I never use 3" shells, any of the three guns would be fine for SHTF duty. BTW, get a whole bunch of 00B, as awell as bird shot and a few boxes of slugs. You never know what the target might be.

March 9, 2004, 05:38 PM
My combination SHTF/HD shotgun is an 18" barrel Mossy 500 with ghost rings, Choate side folding stock/handgrip, sidesaddle and extended tube. With 00buck, #4 and slugs it is more versatile than my AR for CQB.

March 9, 2004, 05:56 PM (

All I have, but it'll do. Winchester 1200 w/ sidesaddle and buttcarrier.

March 9, 2004, 07:22 PM
Remington 870 with a Pistol Grip Stock. I don't know about plastic parts on the 870...I've got a 20 year old one and we use Marine Magnums that are only 2 years old but see daily hell (bad weather conditions 24/7, rookies qualifying with them, slamming the butt on the floor for failure drills etc.) I have yet to see one actually fail.

March 9, 2004, 09:55 PM
i'll second what sm had to say, hence my forum name.

i'm fond of my 870P, no frills

March 10, 2004, 12:40 AM
ANY of my 5 different 12 gauge shotguns would work fine. The one thing though would be 'fear me, I know how to use them ALL' and with any one of them I would be very very dangerous to someone that intended on harming me or mine.

I have owned 25+ different 12 gauge shotguns over the last 10 years and shot most of them at least 1000 rounds, the rule here is they all work really well on the first target and from there the seperation begins. If ony one bad guy is on the schedule you would be a frickin' nut to have anything other than a single shot NEF or similar gun. If contingencies tell you there will be or might be more than one bad guy other guns should be on your shopping list. The 870/590/835 is THE standard (100% reliable when semi-decent ammunition is used) and make your own choices from there.

This is the old impossible question again. Me? I am taking a SuperX2 3.5" as my 'only shotgun'. It works, enough said.

March 10, 2004, 12:56 AM
If ony one bad guy is on the schedule you would be a frickin' nut to have anything other than a single shot NEF or similar gun. I don't quite understand how using anything other than a single shot qualifies one as a frickin' nut when confronting a single perp. Could you clarify?

March 10, 2004, 01:51 AM
Yeah, what if you miss on your first shot?

Black Majik
March 10, 2004, 03:43 AM
Ya guys want to see a "hell freezes over moment?"

Mossberg 590

C'mon, I gotta admit, 9 + 1 on a shotgun is pretty damn cool :o

March 10, 2004, 09:07 AM
My comment was meant to imply that it would be silly to spend $400 on an 8 shot pump with the laser designating ghost ring super sights when a $75 single shot would take care of it just as well.

All I was trying to say is think about YOUR situation and possible needs, and buy the shotgun that fits YOUR needs.

March 10, 2004, 09:10 AM
For me, it is the Maverick 88 by Mossberg...because that is what resides in "Foghorn's Artillery Locker".

18-1/2" barrel, stoked with Remington 3" #4 Buck. One butt cuff, and a bandolier/belt with 25 more of the same.

Dave McCracken
March 10, 2004, 09:38 AM
Ladies and gents, a demurrer.

ANY reliable shotgun taking readily available ammunition will do the job.

The weakest link is not the shotgun nor the ammo. We are.

Unless you've practiced with your weapon so you can operate it safely and effectively under emergency conditions, that weapon is but an illusion of security.


March 10, 2004, 11:28 AM
It always comes back to the shooter doing his part; however, besides regular practice, choosing the weapon is part of that shooter's responsibility.

My choice for this question will always come back to a 12 gauge pump shotgun. It doesn't need a 3" chamber because 2 3/4" is plenty adequate, but it has to be 12 gauge because that's the most common/readily available shotgun gauge available. A 3" chamber would be nice but not necessary. In general, I don't trust automatic shotguns with a wide range of loads. Besides they're higher maintenance.

As I stated earlier, my choice is a Rem 870 Wingmaster Magnum. All I ever buy/shoot is 2 3/4" shells but I could go to 3" if pressed. The three guns I use for clay games are 2 3/4 " but two of them are also Wingmasters and would essentially be spares in whole or part for the primary gun. I haven't tried it, but I'll bet the trigger assemblies and bolts would cross over easily, but I don't anticipate the primary gun breaking, the 870 is purty tough. The third is an O/U and would be a tertiary back-up or perhaps used strictly for hunting small game (birds, wabbit).

March 10, 2004, 12:15 PM
I just updated my Winchester 1300 with a new Barrel
22" 'ranger' barrel with rifle sights. Its essentially a chokeless smoothbore slug barrel. I'll pop the plug out when I have a chance.
IMHO, a shotgun is a very formidable and intimidating weapon. I'd still feel more comfortable in any SHTF with a high-cap longgun, but I feel that with the shotgun I'm now much more prepared to stave off the goblins if society comes tumbling down.
I've also got a 10/22 in my arsenal, a Taurus PT145 (daily carry), and a Ruger Security Six 2 3/4" .357mag. I'd arm the wife with the Rugers, and myself with the shotgun.

Dave McCracken
March 10, 2004, 01:19 PM
OK, I'll play the whole game.

An 870 12 gauge for every adult in the family.Bellsnwhistles optional.

A centerfire rifle for every two adults. My choice, Model 94, Peep sighted.

One 10-22 for foraging and low noise ops. Scoped.

K frames for every adult, a GM for those that will do the extra training.

All to use common ammo.

Every long arm sling equipped.50 rounds each for the 870s on the operator.
50-100 for the rifles.

All handguns have holsters. 3 complete reloads carried.

And all practiced with frequently, often and hard.

If I had to choose just one, the 870 of course...

March 10, 2004, 03:08 PM
870 12 ga and a 1911 for me, thank you.
I'd probably arm my wife with the Win 94 30-30 and the boy with the scoped Marlin Model 60 or his 20 ga 870.

Could you add aliens to the possible threats? I'm really looking forward to the whole Independence Day thingie. :p If its like the movie Signs, make mine a Super Soaker:D

Doug S
March 10, 2004, 05:46 PM
My pick for a defensive shotgun is the 8 shot Mossberg 500 Persuader. I’d probably prefer the 18.5 in barrel instead of my 20in, but I like the higher magazine capacity of the 20in. It’s not pretty, but it’s definitely functional.

March 10, 2004, 08:57 PM
A punt gun! Wether defending yourself against savage Mongol Zombie Hoardes or savage hoards of geese, you cant go wrong with a Punt Gun!

What I really want is one of these bad boys loaded up with 0000buck. :D

March 10, 2004, 10:40 PM
remington 870 with goodies

March 11, 2004, 03:46 AM
"I personally think a SHTF arsenal should be a super accurate handgun, a high powered handgun"

Why did'nt you just say an accurate high powered handgun?:neener:

March 11, 2004, 09:45 AM
how do you like your pistol grip stock?? does it lessen recoil of hevier loads?? better maneuverability??
also, what type of light is that??


March 11, 2004, 10:57 AM
"I personally think a SHTF arsenal should be a super accurate handgun, a high powered handgun"

Why did'nt you just say an accurate high powered handgun?[

Because it gives me an excuse to have more then one ... a rapier and a broad axe type of arrangement.

AUadvisor ... I will assume from your handle and locale that your dayjob is as an advisor at Auburn. I was therefore not suprised to receive such a simple question. Did the different colors help?:neener:


March 11, 2004, 11:05 AM
I don't need an excuse to have more than one accurate high powered handgun.

March 11, 2004, 03:02 PM
I would prefer 20" barreled centerfire rifle as a first choice.

A Remington 870 P with a second, longer barrel.


March 13, 2004, 12:00 PM
870 Express with both barrels. Mag extention for the short barrel. Whole bunch of #6, #4 Buck, 00Buck and slugs. Pretty much covers everything.

March 13, 2004, 01:30 PM
Here it is.

March 13, 2004, 01:51 PM
"The weakest link is not the shotgun nor the ammo. We are.

Unless you've practiced with your weapon so you can operate it safely and effectively under emergency conditions, that weapon is but an illusion of security."

Dave, I am not telling you anything new I am sure. But, if you posted a follow up to this thread, something like: Ok, you have chosen you SHTF shotgun, now how do you train with it ? You would get one or two weak replies. I have tried several times to start threads about dry fire drills, live fire drills, training of all kinds. Some of them didn't receive one reply.
On these boards, software doesn't sell. Hardware will bring plenty of replies along with pictures of bone stock guns that anyone could see in the company catalog. Ask about what really matters and everyone is too busy on the thread about their favorite 9mm to waste time even TALKING about training.

Ok, my answer to the topic at hand: 12 gauge pump shotgun. I don't think it makes much difference which one. Personally, I chose a Remington 870 with a 14" Vang Comped barrel, ghost rings sights, no magazine tube extension, a Hogue 12" LOP stock, a single point sling from The Wilderness, a six round side saddle, and a Surefire 918FA weapon light.
I think any decent pump shotgun would be just as good starting with the Mossberg 500 and going up from there. I wouldn't trust a chinese pump shotgun or a Russian pump shotgun personally.

March 13, 2004, 02:24 PM
444 Made a Big Point!
On these boards, software doesn't sell.
I have to agree.

I have started threads to see "how" a person would spend "xxx" of monies if given to spend as they see fit. I think only a handful even mentioned training. Many wanted ammo to practice or ammo supplies. I consider this part of training [ BA/UU/R] Most wanted new toys...or to trick out and bling bling a toy.

pax - yes our lady moderator has , we would naturally expect El Tejon, I've seen 444 subscribe as well. Lesee Dave naturally, Smoke, HSMITH, kudu, ...and others I'm forgeting ( apologies) same folks do the same thing. It is a given which side othe fence folks are on. Obvious real obvious.

Personally I have a LOT of experience with bone stock 870's 1300's and SX1's. I used to do 100 repetitions of mounting a day, been only doing 35- 50.

Shorter bbl has advantages sure...I can hold my own with a 26" IC...I betcha.

I know there is a place for certain features for certain tasks...I have NO problem. I have seen too many folks buy a gun and trick it out and never once practice , train or pattern the darn thing.

I Hate and Detest some of the things folks do to guns to post pics and brag. Really turns me off. Truthfully , I've come close to not posting anymore, because the format of the BB has become such...even in Shotguns...hard to believe and accept.

I'd bet $50 pax, whom is not to my knowledge a shotgunner, could run some folks ragged using a stock Shot gun. Why? Simple - the lady has training, mindset , and puts software ahead of hardware.

March 13, 2004, 02:39 PM
Not to beat a dead horse............................ well ok, maybe I am beating a dead horse.

I am new to defensive shotgunning. I have taken a number of handgun and carbine courses in the past and have spent a lot of time doing drills competing in IDPA and IPSC etc. But never did much with shotguns. Even though I have shot trap, skeet, and sporting clays a little bit here and there. And even though I have owned and hunted with shotguns since I was in grade school, I knew from my handgun and carbine training that just owning a particular gun and shooting it informally wasn't enough. So, I asked some quesitons about defeinsive shotgunning. Got a lot of good advice from Correia. Last month I took the Frontsight four day Defensive Shotgun class and day after tomorrow start the Gunsite 260 Shotgun class for five days with Louis Awerbuck. Now I will have a good basis on sound and proven techniques that I can practice both dry and live. It is important to get some instruction so you are not just reinforcing bad technique with your practice.

March 13, 2004, 05:18 PM
Classes are good and well if you have some schools in your area. Not many gun schools in New England.

March 13, 2004, 07:05 PM
NO schools...HORSEPUCKY!!!

I haven't been to a "formally recognized gun school with a noted trainer, instructor" either.

I did bug the living ???? out of folks to teach me at a young age. Used whatever gun available, did odd jobs, collected coke bottles for money so could reload shells.

How bad do you want it? If one wants something bad enough they will strive to obtain that goal.

So we get folks with some training and get them to teach us.Military, LEO, Rangers...etc. WE made it happen. Personal responsibility...we made targets, made berms, we wanted, we worked it out.

Now we used what we had " run what we brung". 870s, 1300s, 1100s JC Higgens pumps, Model 12s Ithaca 37...whateve we had - we used. 26" IC , 28" Mod and 30" Full choke guns. We took out the "plug" for Migratory Reg's. We informed the Sheriff and Game and Fish what we were doing...because we shot at night. Didn't want to give impression we were poaching.

Bone Stock guns, no side saddle, no lights. That fella with a stock model 12 with 30" full choke, FEAR HIM, he shoots one gun and KNOWS it intimatly.
He went through the shadow of death , saw the elelphant and lives to prove it. One of two fellas picked the wrong 60 yr old to mess with.

Ever train with an individual on a homemade course and bust your gun? I have, buttstoked one steel and used the muzzle to take out another. I wasn't "suposed" to go that extreme. My Mentor wanted to see "if" I had the guts, tenacity, and had learned anything.

In a real deal, I would have survived and gone home breathing.

And hell yes I've been in situations that I in fact have to use a firearm...maybe not the same valley - shadow of death- as some...maybe my elephants were not as big and mean...but they were real to me and others , posed a life threatening situation. " I was in fear of my life " the first time as a kid that included "others" as well. Had happen more than twice...lets just say the number of times don't matter, I have been in life threatening situations and survived because I bugged the ???? out of folks to teach me. Still ain't been to a "noted" school...but I know the shotgun well, very well.

So when I say /suggest the best kept secret is a 20 ga 1100 or Beretta 303 I know of what I speak.

If I say a stock 870 Express with 28" bbl , and factory mod choke, bone stock will keep one alive - I know.

When I say a stock '74 SX1 will work, I know.

I can take and use any of these guns without use of either hand, including racking / shucking and shooting one -handed. Yes even a pump!

I am not alone.
It is important to get some instruction so you are not just reinforcing bad technique with your practice. Exactly what my mentors stressed and taught.

I agree and I look forward to your report 444. Have fun and learn lots to share.

March 13, 2004, 09:02 PM
Lots of pontificating. Some of it worthwhile too.
While only a small percent of the gun BBS population will ever take a course, most of us could benefit from a lot more practice. Unless you are going into the gunning business from a professional standpoint, the practice will suit most just fine. If the SHTF, all bets are off, and the lucky will probably do about as well as the skilled.

Civility is still a virtue until then.

March 13, 2004, 09:13 PM
"the lucky will probably do about as well as the skilled."

Most will be neither lucky or skilled.
If you are counting on luck, think about it, if you were lucky you wouldn't be in that situation.

March 13, 2004, 09:28 PM
the lucky will probably do about as well as the skilled. In many things in life, you make your own luck. I would prefer to start out with some skill, if I get lucky so much the better, but I don't intend to on lady luck. That said, I'd like to take a couple of these courses myself. Maybe when I retire again I'll take firearm courses for something to do to improve my luck :cool:

March 13, 2004, 09:52 PM
Heh, i think a NEF single shot, cut down to minimum legal length, makes for a great throwdown gun in certain situations.

March 13, 2004, 10:13 PM
I mentioned formal training classes, but let's keep one thing in mind, taking a week long class will not make you a great shooter. Becoming a great shooter is going to take many, many, many hours of practice. Years of practice. Possibly decades of practice. What the formal class will do is to show you proven techniques for you to practice after taking the class.
No matter what you want to do, there is a right way to do it. There is no need to reinvent the wheel and discover the best way to do something. This is what you learn in these training classes. You start off (hopefully) doing it the right way. From that point on, your are developing muscle memory to make these techniques instinctive. Your own dry practice and your own range practice are what is eventually going to make this instruction come together.

March 14, 2004, 01:33 AM
With all due respect, let's not hijack this thread. The thread is about SHTF SHOTGUNS, not TRAINGING! If you want to talk about training, create a post about it then. Otherwise get back to the subject at hand!

Now, my opinion is that SHTF will be a very rough time; therefore the gun will have to be capable of operating in adverse conditions. That leaves out most semi autos, as when conditions get rough and they jam you are screwed (except the benelli M3 which can also pump.)

A large magazine capacity would be helpful, and every extra round counts, esp. when dealing with large hoards. I'd rather have one extra round unfired in the gun, than be one round short!

Side saddle, or butt cuff is good for instant access to top off the gun.

Steel receiver, I don't trust aluminum to be able to take as tough a beating.

A special extra durable finish will help the gun out during the hard times.

Good rugged ghost ring sights are a must on all my serious shotguns, SHTF is no different.

March 14, 2004, 01:46 AM
Making side comments about a closely related topic certainly doesn't prevent anyone from posting on the original topic. You certainly gave your two cents on the training topic.

"Good rugged ghost ring sights are a must on all my serious shotguns, SHTF is no different."

I have a Remington 870 with a Remington factory barrel. The barrel is 18" and has rifle sights on it. In a nutshell these sights suck. They are slow to pick up. The round bead front sight is not very precise. However the big problem is that they are not rugged. Over the last month I have fired in excess of 100 slugs including 35 today. During my class last month I was doing real good with slugs. I was firing some nice groups offhand during the select slug drills. I was real confident with slugs. Today, I was having a terrible day. I was hitting all over the place. Tonight as I was cleaning the shotgun I noticed that the sight is loose as a goose. The screw was all but out.
Moral of the story: Don't waste your money on a gun or barrel with Remington factory rifle sights on it.

March 14, 2004, 02:07 AM
If one has NOT trained in some capacity, how in the hell are they going do be effective in surviving?

I figure the bird hunter, deer hunter, skeet,5 stand ,trap, SC, duck hunter gonna have an advantage. Why? Simple he has the ability to hit a small target effectivley and quickly. The deet hunter has seen the effects of slugs on large critters.

Using cover, concealment, keeping the gun fed, knowing how to move quickly and quietly. Lessons learned afield helped /helps many soldiers / LEO's past or present in harms way.

Then add the folks that have gone to more advanced training. Sorry but the name of the game IS TO SURVIVE...I don't care what is slinging against the fan.

I'm gonna have a 1911 and probably a K frame along with simple stock SG. FACT the further one gets away from original design the greater the chance for failures. Simple stuff means simple repairs IF they should occur.

( where is pax when I need her - I'll probably butcher the quote)

"Having a gun doesn't make one a gunfighter anymore than having a guitar makes one a muscian."

444 -
I have had good results with a slightly oversize front bead...if want a smaller about 8" ( the old mid bead theory). That single oversize is rugged...not to big and NOT a Bradley...Bradley blocks the target and affects the elevation ( Kentucky elevation). Personally a mid bead and single oversize front is quicker for me using slugs...rugged.

Andrew Wyatt
March 14, 2004, 02:38 AM
most of the shotguns i see advocated for SHTF/tetowaki are too heavy and/or not reliable enough.

a shortbarrelled 20 gauge topper with interchangeable choke tubes and GR sights will do everything one needs to do with a shotgun whilst surviving in the woods, and it breaks down really small so you can carry it with you in those pockets of "civilization". you can even load up some oooo buck if you want the ultimate.

for SHTF, this is my choice.

March 14, 2004, 01:34 PM
Yes, the remington rifled sights do suck VERY much!

I had them on two of my guns, but just can't stand them.

Bad sight picture, too difficult to adjust, too flimsy....aweful.

I'd rather have a bead, though ghost rings reign supreme.

March 14, 2004, 02:41 PM
I'd rather have a bead, though ghost rings reign supreme.
Ghost Rings may perhaps be very good for many applications for some folks. I wouldn't make such a ultimate statement as being supreme

We are speaking of "matters slinging against the fan" [ I hate that Acronym in the title btw] . A shotgun is pointed not aimed in most but not all applications.

So being as the "situation" is getting serious ,are speaking of survival in the streets during a riot, or are we speaking of a "situation" where one is stranded due to bush pilot not being able to pick up the clients due to a storm. Capsized canoe on a hunt, being caught in a storm miles away from camp while hunting?

Social Situations - a riot? Where, city, suburb, out in the rural areas?

(I have been in riot btw, more than once in fact, actually the first time I used a firearm to protect myself and my sibs...just a tidbit I thought I'd toss out...not that it matters or anyone cares.)

We don't have the exact context of matters hitting the fan in original post.

One never knows the when or where of next encounter. So I tend to think simple, versatile, mobile, adaptable. Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.

So For ME a front bead only,( oversize or not) with a mid bead about 12" back on a standard "hunting shotgun, ~6-8" on a short one is more versatile.

But I learned to shoot without a bead period. NO sights on handguns or rifles either...just me though. So I don't really see the bead or beads on shotgun. Importance of gun fit and balance of shotgun allows ME to focus on target, my eye...getting a bit technical...IS the rear sight. With both eyes open I have full use of peripheral vision. Speed ,angle of flight / quartering of critter. "Bird , belly, beak, bang".

So since I have run a "few" shells downrange...

I need food - bird in flight or deer quartering away- I can hit a moving target very well.

Stationary target...That front bead and proper gun fit allows the rear sight ( my eye) to hit target, the mid bead gives a "figure 8" sight pic. Alleviates gun canting and if one has in deed checked POA /POI , tested patterned loads , test fired group for best slug choice.

So since I'm just a civilian and just wanting to "survive" I want versatility.
SWAT, HRT, LEO have their own special needs and applications...along with definition of "survival".

So when I can bust a 4.5 " target flying 55 mph at varioius angles...
So when I can hit the steel target "running" 15 - 35 MPH with a "zone" of 12"...and practice with slugs to boot...
So when I can hit the steel at 50 yds, or more...

And I do so with what works for ME...

That does NOT make it supreme or the best choice for everyone.

I could be wrong, that is my right be wrong. Then again it is MY butt on the line. Might be that of others as well, so it is my responsibilty to get the skills needed and keep them tuned. IMO

March 14, 2004, 03:00 PM

Your Backpacking Gun reminds me of What Beretta did some years ago. I wish they still offered them.

Beretta had "Backpacker" shot guns. these were Single Shot, blue and wood stocks, studs and QD sling. Fore end removed without tools. [ IIRC friction pull back, away and some Stoegers - the ones where the trigger guard was "retracted" to open action] Available in 12, 20, 28 and .410. I believe they came with a case similar to what is used for the Marlin Papoose, so it could be slung by itself ,stuffed in a pack, or strapped to outside of pack.

I really liked these, I wish they were still available.

Andrew Wyatt
March 14, 2004, 07:54 PM
taurus makes a similar gun, with case and all that comes in .22 and .410.

I still need a suitable case for mine, actually.

March 14, 2004, 10:51 PM

REMINGTON 870 in 'Y2K' configuration...

Dave McCracken
March 15, 2004, 12:32 PM
I thought long and hard about this, and I hesitate to stir things up, but....

In my unhumble and jaundiced opinion, anyone spending more on hardware than ammo and range fees needs to rethink their priorities.

If our shotguns of choice(Assuming it's our only shotgun) have less than a couple thousand rounds through it, including at least 10% total of the ammo we'd bet our life on in a crisis, we shouldn't be adding stuff to it. We should be buying ammo.

Once you're abso-$%^&*(ing deadly with a stock shotgun, then add whatever you think will help direct that cloud of shot to the target in comfort. Once fit and form are good, the amount of stuff on the weapon tends to be minimal.

Be able to load, unload,reload, make safe, make ready, employ, and repeat as needed under stressful conditions in uncertain light, with some cross handling.

Be able to hit multiple clays in short times, with 90% hits or better, or able to drop 5 steel targets in less seconds.

If we can do that, we're Shotgunners. If not, we're just shotgun owners and very likely to suffer in times of peril.

March 15, 2004, 09:43 PM
The shotgun I'd use is the one that feels like an extension of my limbs. The Remington 870 express worked over by Hans has over 7800 rounds through it now. I've taken shotgun classes from FS, GS, and TR. Everytime I go, I learn something new. I was also taught combat shotgun in the military. One can have their cake and eat it, too. One should acquire the best equipment AND training they can within their means. The gray matter between your ears is your greatest weapon. :p

March 16, 2004, 01:07 AM
Reckon I'd have my Mossberg 500. I'm mostly a slug man, these days, and with the shorter cadet stock, my Mossy just feels right. Plenty accurate with the GR sights, handy, and rust resistant phosphate coating. Yeah, baby.


March 18, 2004, 11:57 AM
This thread was fun ....

So many different points of view and opinions. This is exactly why I am addicted to this board.

I think Dave makes the greatest point ... AMMO and COMFORT.

I personally try to use one shotgun for everything, birds, clays and social work. I have settled on the Benelli Novas as my platform of choice, 20g 24" hunting arm and a 12g SP for HD and social.

Now, if I could just get better at skeet with a pump I would feel better.


March 19, 2004, 12:54 AM
My vote would be for the Ithaca 37. John Browning designed it so it can't be too bad.

March 20, 2004, 04:18 PM
I took the Gunsite 260 (Defensive Shotgun) class last week; got home last night. Between the opinions of Gunsite, Louis Awerbuck (the rangemaster for the class) and my own experience, I feel that I have what I consider the ultimate defensive shotgun. I didn't realize this when I showed up to the class. In fact I was really disappointed that I had to use it for the class.
On day one of the class I needed to clear a malfunction which involved slamming the butt of the gun on the ground. My recoil pad (Hogue) had a big chunk of the heel break off. While I was getting that fixed, I got to borrow two other guns and use them pretty extensively giving me some perspective. The first day I used a gun borrowed from Gunsite. It was one of their custom shotguns that the gunsmith their sells. The second day I used a Vang gun. Both these guns had stocks that were too long. Both had ghost ring sights that I didn't care for, both had extended magazine tubes that made them very heavy. One didn't have a tac sling on it making me even more tired.
When I got my gun back, I couldn't have been happier. It is a Remington 870 Express with an 18" Remington factory barrel with factory Remington rifle type sights. It has no extension tube. It has a Surefire 6v light. It has a single point tac sling, it has a 6 round sidesaddle and a 12" lop synthetic stock. I have now run this gun through two different gun schools for a total of nine days of training and somewhere around 1000 rounds fired. Just as a guess I shot maybe 20% slugs, 50% 00 Buckshot, and 30% Birdshot. Oh, and I have owned this gun for at least 10 years and have used it for trap, skeet, sporting clays and hunting before it became a defensive shotgun.

March 20, 2004, 05:20 PM
444 - Good report.

March 20, 2004, 06:23 PM
Sounds like a good set-up. What are the advantages of a 12"LOP? I shoot Trap and Skeet with a 14" LOP on both my 870's and Browning O/U. Why would a shorter LOP be better for a defensive gun? Which 6 Volt Surefire do you have?

I have the 20" rifle sight (Tritium) smooth bore on my HD 870; I also added a single round Wilson Combat extension, which is as long as I'd want, the 2 and 3 round extensions add too much weight too far out, for me. The only disadvantage I see is when switching barrels the mag spring is released, whereas on a standard mag the retainer clip holds it all together. A little added weight, but not bad -- one more round when you need it.

March 20, 2004, 08:55 PM
I would like to report some of the stuff I learned at these classes, but understand that I am a shotgun novice. I certainly don't consider myself an expert in any aspect of firearms but know the least about shotguns. I have owned and shot, shotguns since early childhood but never really knew much about them. Unlike my other guns I considered shotguns as strictly a tool; I shot them only when I had a specific purpose in mind, cleaned them and put them away. The last few months have been my only real experience with defensive type shotguns or shotgun shooting.
"What are the advantages of a 12"LOP? "
Basically, I was taught to shoot a shotgun the same way as I was taught to shoot a carbine. Standing with my feet almost on line, parallel to the target. In other words, belt buckle to belt buckle to the target. Most people shoot rifles and shotguns much more sharply bladed so that their feet are more in a line perpendicular to the target. When shooting the way I was taught, you want a short stock. One reason for shooting this way is because this is the way you walk. So if you are advancing towards a target, you simply roll the gun up to your shoulder and fire. Another reason you shoot like this is because it is very similar to the Weaver stance in handgun shooting. Yet another reason (that doesn't apply to me) is if you are wearing body armor you are presenting the front of the armor and the trauma plate towards the threat instead of the sides where you have very little protection.
The Surefire dedicated foreend light I have is the cheapest model I am in a hurry right now so I won't look up the model number but if you are interested I can do that later. The dedicated foreend light is one of the only accessories that Gunsite or Louis was really big on. The reason is obvious. You can shoot a shotgun with a handheld light, but it is very difficult to run a pump shotgun with a light in your hand. I was one of only two people that showed up to the class without a dedicated fore end light. After hearing the inital lectures I bought one from Hans Vang and installed it before the second day of class. Everyone in the class had the same light. Everyone in the class was also shooting an 870.
There was so much information I learned at this class that I would like to post, but I will have to think about it when I have more time.
One big thing that I found out is that it is EASY to miss with a shotgun even at close range. Now, I knew you could miss with a shotgun before this class, but I never realized just how easy it was to miss when you are trying to do things quickly and possibly on the move. When you are trying not to expose your body to the threat etc. On the last day of the class I completely missed one target inside an indoor simulator at the range of maybe 10 feet. On an outdoor simulator I completely missed a target at about the same range trying to shoot on the move. Of course I got them with the second round, but the lesson was hammered home. This is one of the disadvantages to the barrel modifications that keep your pattern tight such as the Vang Comp system. You basically have to shoot it like a rifle until the target gets way out of normal defensive range.

March 20, 2004, 10:28 PM
I took a real hard look at my NEF pardner tonight...
I have seen them used on racks for around $60-$80.
I measured mine out.
Even with keeping the 26" OAL and the 18" barrel you could have a very compact weapon that is dead simple and very light and compact. It would also be cheap and use commonly available ammo.
It might jump pretty hard but I have shot single barrels with one hand before and I don't really find it to be all that bad.
I think that shooting a load of #4 buck across the street at a BG with one would convince him that he had made a mistake.
Not a repeater I know but I still think that it may fill a certain niche better than anything else.

March 21, 2004, 12:53 AM
I have now run this gun through two different gun schools for a total of nine days of training and somewhere around 1000 rounds fired. Just as a guess I shot maybe 20% slugs, 50% 00 Buckshot, and 30% BirdshotHow much $$$ have you gone through per class on rounds alone? How does your sholder holdup to that?:confused: :eek:

March 21, 2004, 01:04 AM
In the first class I took I bought a case of slug, and a case of buck from my dealer. I would guess I spent about $150 on the ammo I used in the class; I had some left over. I bought all the bird shot at Wal Mart.
In the class at Gunsite, I took the ammo I had left over from the first class plus I bought their ammo package which was about $500. It was way overpriced, but it is easy to just have them provide the ammo. If I had it to do over again, I would have shot Wal Mart birdshot about 75% of the time and saved about half the money; but I didn't know that at the time.

The shoulder is fine. It is in the technique; making sure the gun is in "the pocket". A lot of people don't know how to properly mount the gun, so they get injured. Over the last month, I have fired over 500 slugs out of my 870 and had no shoulder discomfort at all. My back and feet are another story. Standing up on your feet with a shotgun in your hands for 6-8 hours a day takes a toll on you.

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