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Home Defense/Assault/Combat Shotguns

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by the Juggernaut, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. the Juggernaut

    the Juggernaut member

    Mar 30, 2006
    What shotguns do you feel are the best? Best in price for what you get and best in over-all effectiveness. I'm looking to buy a shotgun (first), so any tips you can give would be great.
  2. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Mentor

    Dec 26, 2002
    As far as effectiveness goes, a shotgun is a shotgun.
    NOTHING says "Stop that, leave us alone" like a load of buckshot.

    The "standard" is the 12 gauge, loaded with standard buckshot loads or the newer "reduced recoil" loads.
    Magnum loads have too much recoil to allow fast shooting.
    The longer Magnum loads like the 3" and the 3 1/2" Super Magnum have WAY too much recoil.

    The gun by which all others are judged is the Remington 870.
    There are two basic versions of the 870 suitable for defense, the Express and the Police.

    The Express is a "budget" gun with a rougher finish with some machine marks left on, and some plastic parts to help lower cost.

    The Police is the top-of-the-line in defense guns, and is the gun used by more than 95% of all American Law Enforcement.

    Both the Express and the Police have forged and milled steel receivers, and both will LONG out last almost any shooter.

    Probably the "best buy" is the Home Defense version of the 870 Express:

    If you have the money to spare, want the absolute best, and are willing to go to a little more trouble to find a dealer who will special order for you, the Police is the toughest gun on the market:
  3. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

    Dec 20, 2002
    There's few shotgun questions that can't be answered with an 870.....
  4. BozemanMT

    BozemanMT Participating Member

    May 29, 2003
    Longmont CO
    Another in the 870 camp. I went through all the research when buying "martha" for the bedroom. The benelli's have quite a bit to recomend them, but being semi-auto they are ammo-sensitive, can't have that. The 1100's are known to foul.
    For me, a pump was like a revolver, if something goes wrong, just keep pumping and get a new load and it will handle anything.
    So, Martha is a 870P-max with a surefire light fore-end, 18.5" barrel, extension, 6+1 and a pistol grip stock. I really don't like the pistol grip stock all that much and it might be replaced.
    Karen is the recent purchase for the other side of the house, it's one of the Remington Tactical's, which are not built on a police frame, but not an express frame either. (in between I suppose), it's got the Knoxx adjustable stock and no surefire front end (although that could be added). The knoxx stock is the way to go. Adjustable to fit you and anyone in the house (or keep it short for the smallest person) and it really does eat recoil. and it's a better pistol grip stock than the one on Martha above.

    I'm sure a Mossberg 500 series would do fine too.
    But I believe that pump is the way to go, with some practice you can cycle as quickly as a semi-auto.

    ps. Martha and Karen are the names of my wife's sisters. It just worked out that way. :p
  5. kmrcstintn

    kmrcstintn Participating Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    depends on your budget

    Remington 870, Mossberg 590, Mossberg 500, Benelli Nova Pump, Winchester 1300 (all in defensive setups with cylinder bore 18 to 20 inch barrels)

    less expensive:
    Maverick 88, Stoeger M350 pump, NEF Pardner (Rem 870 copy), Escort pump (all in defensive setups with cylinder bore 18 to 20 barrels)
  6. foghornl

    foghornl Mentor

    Dec 27, 2002
    As Mr. McCracken states:
    Only 2 shotgun questions that I can think of that the 870 won't answer...

    1. What is a good auto-loader shotgun?

    2. What is a good single/double/over-n-under shotgun?

    I REALLY like the looks of a classic 870 Wingmaster. That being said, I'm a Mossberg/Maverick guy due to the way Mossys "Fit" me.
  7. ddj8052

    ddj8052 Member

    Apr 30, 2003
    Nipomo, CA
    I know I am in the minority here, but I like the Mossberg guns better than the 870's. Both are great guns and I have owned both, so this is not to bad mouth the Remington. The reasons I prefer the 590a1 to the 870 are:

    -Tang mounted safety is much easier to use IMHO especially if you are left handed, which I am not. I still prefer this location. In fairness if you plan on using a pistol grip then this would stink.

    -The location of the slide release behind the trigger guard is much easier to reach with out shifting your shooting grip.

    -The lifter for the shells stays up. This is great for a couple of reasons. First you never get piched when loading rounds. Second, heaven forbid you are ever in a situation where you need to do a fast reload, you don't have to worry about possibly getting caught on the lifter.

    -I prefer the heavier barrel on the 590a1, although many dislike the extra weight.

    -Lastly, I really like the factory ghost ring sights that the mossy comes with.

    [​IMG]So, Inclosing this is my choice :D
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2006
  8. Bix

    Bix Active Member

    Jun 14, 2003

    1. Look for a used shotgun. It is not difficult to find police trade-ins online, at local stores, pawn shops, and gun shows. Aside from occassional obvious damage (dents, rust, ect.), you usually find weapons in excellent mechanical order at a very discounted price, IME.

    2. Consider stock length. Many people find the standard 14" LOP stock too long for a fighting shotgun. Fondle a few and see if that's true for you. If it is, options include: cutting the standard stock down, purchasing an aftermarket stock with a shorter (or adjustable) LOP, or buying a "youth" model. This is a pretty important issue if you plan to actually use the gun.
  9. ACP230

    ACP230 Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Upper Michigan
    I wanted a "riot gun" for shooting bowling pin matches.
    The Mossberg 590 filled the bill for me and came with a "ghost ring" peep sight and the tang safety which I prefer.

    As it happens, I haven't shot a pin in a while, but the 590 also makes a good HD shotgun.

    I have done a little grouse hunting with it and taken it along on deer hunting trips as a backup to my rifle. The peep sight lets me shoot slugs well out to 75 or 100 yards.

    I may be odd, but I prefer the looks of the Mossberg to the 870 too. (Although one did call to me at Gander Mountain a few months ago.)
  10. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    Mar 26, 2004
    AL, NC
    There is simply no better shotgun available on the planet than a good example of the Remington 870, no matter what amount of money is available to spend on it. There are shotguns _as good_ as an 870, and there are shotguns that are prettier, of more recent design, or in one way or another more appealing to various individuals. But there is no shotgun more durable, more reliable in properly trained hands, more easily maintainable or more versatile. It is the standard by which all others are judged, and most of the others come up short. It has been setting that standard since 1950, and millions of examples are in service all over the world.

    I have been shooting 870s for most of my fifty- odd years, have depended on them and never been let down. I am broadminded enough to shoot other shotguns occasionally, but when the chips are down I'll take an 870 every time.

    lpl/nc (870s'R'Us)
  11. 226

    226 New Member

    May 9, 2005


  12. pezo

    pezo Active Member

    Nov 28, 2004
    [​IMG] Not bashing 870's. I've handled them, but this shotgun is just plain cool and I like it better. The action is short, quick and smooth. I've only fired rifled slugs thru it do to indoor range restrictions. This thing made me feel like a better shooter by how it hit where I aimed it very easily and every time, the ghost rings are a must. Oh by the way it's a 590-a1 military spec, heavy barrel. 8+1 shot. Metal safety and triggergaurd.
  13. Burt Blade

    Burt Blade Member

    Apr 29, 2004
    My personal favorite pump gun is a Winchester 1200.

    I grabbed one of the last of the Winchester 1300s recently. A decent gun, if not quite as nice as my long-lost 1200.
  14. p35

    p35 Active Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Puget Sound
    A few years ago I picked up a prison-surplus 870 for $150 OTD. Extended mag and all. Wood looks like !@#$- I think the buttstock was replaced at some point- but it works fine. Put on one of those Hi-Viz fiber optic type front beads from Wal-Mart and was set. Lives in the back of my closet now full of #1 Buck.

    You gotta keep your eyes open but the deals are out there, especially if you don't care much about the external finish. Cops are notorious for beating up the outside of issue shotguns while not shooting them enough to put any wear on the insides.
  15. goon

    goon Mentor

    Jan 20, 2003
    Can't speak for others but I can say that the $140 that I spent on my lightly used Mossberg 500 was the best deal I have ever gotten on a gun.
    It is a plain wood stock, plain cylinder bore barrel with porting and utterly reliable.
    It is great for HD use.
    I can't comment on "assault" because I make it a policy to not assault things.
    As far as combat, it would probably do OK but it lacks refinements like flashlights and bayonet lugs that may be useful to a soldier.
  16. kmrcstintn

    kmrcstintn Participating Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    not just a defensive setup...but very versatile

    Here's my setup:

    1) I do not have a camera

    2) I built this setup for multipurpose (hunting, trap, skeet, HD)

    3) I had to sell it to cover bills while layed off (2 weeks ago)

    4) The shop still had it so I put it back on layaway.

    5) What it is: Mossy 500 "Special Hunter" combo sold by Dunham's Sports~~
    Mossy 500 w/ parkerized finish and black synthetic furniture; 12 guage; 5-shot tube; 28" two-bead choked barrel; 24" cantilever rifled slug barrel; scope, sling, shims, etc.

    6) What I added: a used 24" smoothbore slug barrel (camo parkerized finish) w/ basic rifle sights for $35.00

    7) Why this combo: a) deer hunting with scoped slug barrel & sabot slugs; b) if the shotgun gets bumped or dropped, I consider the scope out of zero and switch to the smoothbore slug barrel & forster slugs; c) the choked barrel will handle trap, skeet, small game, and turkey hunting

    8) HD setup: 12 guage Mossy 500 w/ 24" smoothbore slug barrel that will handle anything I load her with (birdshot, turkey loads, buckshot, slugs)

    9) current primary and BUG when the shotty makes it home in a few months: S&W 642 w/ Hornady 125gr XTP JHP's

    10) one platform + several variations = making due with what I have

  17. Spec ops Grunt

    Spec ops Grunt Participating Member

    Oct 14, 2005
    I'm probably the most minor of minorities.

    1300 for the win!
  18. Rupestris

    Rupestris Participating Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    SE Michigan
    Agreed. I put 100 rounds through mine today without a hitch. Dependable as as a sunrise and cheaper than trip to the grocery store.
  19. The-Fly

    The-Fly Active Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    Northern Colorado
    remy 870 in synthetic works for me. I use it for ventilating uninvited guests.

  20. FunGunner

    FunGunner Member

    Dec 23, 2004
    Home Defense:
    After some debate, I went with a 20ga for HD instead of the 12ga with reduced recoil loads. Full house #3 buck 20ga thumps pretty good, but no where near the pounding normal 12ga loads can put on ya after a full day of shooting.

    I like the Remington 1100 youth (about twice as much as the 870) in a 20ga, light weight, handy, and fun as all get out. Just keep up on the mag tube spring, and pretty much keep it stock.

    As it has been said "20ga can do 95% of what the 12ga can with 40% less recoil"

    Assault/Combat Shotgun:
    In this arena, I'll go with the herd. Remington 870 Police with extended mag tube, but none of that other silly stuff hanging off of it. But, thats just me.

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