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Are Wilson Combat shotguns worth it?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by armymp119, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. armymp119

    armymp119 Active Member

    I am thinking of getting a new shotgun for my wife for home defence. I was thumbing threw the wilson catalog and my wife saw the "border Patrol" shotgun and asked if that would be a good one to use. I know that it is a Rem 870 but is it really worth the price? My wife will be reading this post so she can get the reasons (pro/cons) for the price. If I was on the border and had to deal with the conditions I would buy it but to sit next to the night stand I just can't see it. I think I would be better off getting a 870 and putting a surefire on it or am I just being cheap?
  2. AnthonyRSS

    AnthonyRSS Well-Known Member

    Hard to justify spending $700 or whatever on an 870 with a little bling.

    Go the 'inexspensiver' route. Works the same.


  3. pete f

    pete f Well-Known Member

    My Opinion and my Opinion only. I think they are hideously overpriced.

    The Synthetic express combo with a 18 inch barrel and a 28 inch hunting barrel cost about 300 maybe 325. Add a swat tube(mag extension) and a fat head safety for maybe another $75 and you have all that they offer. and you get a hunting gun tossed in.

    The standard park finish on a express will last for ever with just a little care. a sling in going to get in the way in the house. If you need night sights, you can readily add them to the remington rifle sights on the shottie.

    If you are wanting to be really sharp, look for a good clean used 870 for $150 at a pawn shop this spring, or look for police trade ins at some places for pre made swat guns for under two hundred bucks. They work all the time and cost way wAaaaaaay less.
  4. owenbright

    owenbright Well-Known Member

    I personally agree with the above posts.
    You can use the money saved on more ammo/practice and so on.
  5. lawson

    lawson Well-Known Member

    a used 870 will shoot just as well. with their hell-and-back reliability, i feel perfectly comfortable buying them used.i bought a pair of used 870 Wingmasters a while back in 12 and 20 gauge. both were pretty beat up cosmetically, but they were completely functional and great shooting guns. a buddy of mine uses his grandfather's 870, which his dad also hunted with. that gun has been used pretty hard for almost 40 years.
  6. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    I too think they are overpriced for what you get. They're built on an 870 Express (or were last I knew), and new Expresses are not quite up to snuff in my book. The 870 is so modular that it is easy to mix'n'match stock sets, barrels etc until you get just what you want, and IMHO it is much better to start with a far less expensive used 870 Wingmaster, Police or older Express (that is, one with no J lock safety, aluminum trigger plate, no magazine tube dimples) and build what you want yourself over time as you experiment with it by actually SHOOTING it.

    If your wife is to be happy with the gun it should be built to suit her, not me or you. There are three 12 ga. 870s that 'live' outside the gunsafe here (when we're home that is) and all are fitted to my 5'4" wife. Stocks on all three have been shortened to a 12 1/2" length of pull including a good recoil pad that is shaped for the female form (rounded off at the toe). Each has a full length field type fore-end so she doesn't have to reach out so far to grasp it that her support arm is almost straight, as is the case with a SureFire fore-end. None of them have magazine extensions, as that adds too much weight out front and makes the gun too hard to hold up. Each has a four-round SideSaddle compatible with the long forearm. Two have 20" rifle sighted barrels, the other, her favorite, has an 18" rifle sighted barrel. Each is fitted with a light mount for a Streamlight M3, the kind that fits under the magazine cap. All use low recoil ammunition and she handles and shoots any of them with confidence. Even though I'm 6'3" and 300 pounds they aren't difficult for me to manage either, it is much easier to shoot a shotgun with a too-short stock than with a too-long one.

    Good luck with your project, let her handle and if possible shoot various configurations before she makes up her mind what she wants. Looking at a catalog is a poor substitute for trigger time.

  7. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

    $700 = A Wilson Combat OR a good used WM and lots of ammo, range fees and lessons.

    Build, do not buy, the shotgun of your dreams....
  8. Billy Sparks

    Billy Sparks Well-Known Member

    I too lusted/desired the Scattergun Technologies (the company in Nashville that built those style shotguns before Wilson Combat acquired them) type of shotguns but I just could not justify the money. What I did was purchase a 870 Police model then bought some of the parts I wanted (XS system night sight, Surefire forearm, etc) and sent the entire package off to Arizona Response Systems to have them build it up. I think I came out at least $300 better than Wilson and got the shotgun I wanted. Matter of fact ARS has a couple of shotguns for sale on his site about $100 cheaper than anything on Wilson's site.

    Actually Dave I just checked Wilson's site and the shotguns start at $875 on a Wilson supplied gun.
  9. ryan b

    ryan b Well-Known Member

    I own one of the Wilsons I bought used for 550.00 it is a great gun but my old 870 police did the same as the Wilson it slung buckshot My advise if you want to blow 700.00 go for it. But for a home defense shot gun spend 300 to 400 and use the rest for ammo and range fees
  10. Rob1035

    Rob1035 Well-Known Member

    I definitely concur with the overpriced opinion. I *almost* jumped on a local wilson 870 for $650, until I came to my senses....
  11. El Tejon

    El Tejon Well-Known Member

    I own two Wilsons and 2 Scattergun Technology 870s. All are in the "FBI Model" configuration (short stocks, regular magazine with a light, ghostrings with a sidesaddle). All have rendered excellent service and have attended many famous shooting schools/trainers where I have seen "regular" shotguns (even the vaunted 870) go TU.

    The question of "is it worth it?" can only be answered by you. For me it comes down to the time vs. money problem that we all face.

    For me, I hate to screw with gear. Some shooters go nuts with this geegaw or drooling over that doohickey; my eyes glaze over. I would rather tell someone what I want and have it done, rather than waste time and energy on testing the latest piece of Mall Ninja gear featured in "Guns & BS" magazine.

    Now, I fully admit that this attitude is based on my character traits (I don't like to Mall Ninja around with gear), my educational level (after a number of classes I know what works for me and my situation) and my family situation (single, no kids, non-LEO or Mall Ninja). Each person is different.

    Weapon choices are very personal and sometimes surprise those who do not know the individual. For example, Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch keeps a single shot 20 gauge by his bed (it's in his shotgun tape so I'm not telling tales out of school). Now if the head of a major school of small arms keeps a single shot, doesn't mean you have to, but it is an example of how personal the choice of weapon is.

    Here is my recommendation: go to school. Borrow a buddy's weapon and have her attend a class. At school she can see what SHE (let her decide--I'm sure pax will be along shortly to pound her head against her keyboard) likes and dislikes. The software (the education) will select the hardware. Allow this to happen and you will save her a great deal of time and money.:)
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2006
  12. BozemanMT

    BozemanMT Well-Known Member

    I just bought a HD shotgun for the other side of the house (central door, house basically divided into two parts). For the one in our bedroom we got a P-max with the surefire flashlight, etc
    But for the other side, it's not dark when we are over there and we wanted something to go play in 3gun with.
    Wanted that border patrol (799 at Jensen's) and looked at it and it ran smooth, but built on the express platform, etc just didn't do much for me.
    The ghost sights are nice, but still
    Then, they had one of the new remington tacticals. built on the regular frame, has the Knoxx cop stock adjustable butt stock (perfect for changing for 3 gun) and was only 499. It has a bead sight, but that's ok, all the rest of my shotguns have bead sights too
    The wilson unfortunately wasn't in the running.
  13. sm

    sm member


    Scattergun Technolgies USED to be a great quality made shotgun. Wilson bought them, riding off the name...and the rest is history...

    As El T suggested , or , get a used Police Trade-in, or an Old plain bone stock 870 and ask Awerbuck, Cain or similar ' I am here to learn, teach me "
  14. [​IMG]

    this is the wilson home defense i was wondering what all is one this rifle i know it is cheaper to build one of my own but what after market parts do i need?
  15. dctag

    dctag Member

    In that picture

    Surefire forend
    speedfeed shorty stock
    MMC ghost ring sights
    magazine extension
    magazine barrel clamp
    probably an oversized safety
    KG Gunkote type finish.

    This gun is by Wilson Tactical which is seperate from Wilson Combat. Wilson Tactical is the son of Wilson Combat but it seems as though they have parted ways.

  16. arizcowboy

    arizcowboy Well-Known Member

    It will be a cold day in hell before I spend close to $900 for a shotgun that's based on a $300 platform (Express), no matter how much bling or tactical gear it has on it.
  17. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Well-Known Member

    One thing to consider:
    Before spending that much money on a "gussied-up" Express, consider that for LESS money you can get the very best....A Remington factory Police gun.

    While the Police is a little more difficult to get, you get the absolute top of the line defense model pump shotgun made.
    Unless you've ever handled the Police, you'll be amazed at how smooth and solid the gun is, and feels.


    The Police line offers about everything you can get custom from Wilson as a factory gun, and is the EXACT same gun that more than 95% of all American law enforcement use.

    Why spend more for less?
  18. flashman70

    flashman70 Well-Known Member

    I just bought a Rem 870 Express for $320 with an 18" barrel and extended mag. For $110 I got a Knoxx SpecOps stock which I guarantee your wife will appreciate - it almost totally eliminates felt recoil. If you want to add the Surefire forend, thats another $235. There may be less expensive tac light solutions, however.
  19. sm

    sm member

    deleted by me.
  20. mnblaster

    mnblaster Member

    Agreed, the best 870 you can get is an 870 Police.

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