1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

On Fighting Shotguns....

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Dave McCracken, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. chieftain

    chieftain Participating Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    The Free State of Arizona
    Mike, Duke, welcome home brothers. 67,68,69. 3rdMarDiv.

    Mike my experiences around the Remington 870 were not as positive as yours. The 870 was the one model shotgun no one wanted. The 870 had a proclivity to double shuck, which would tie up the gun, often and unfortunately for the rest of your, now most likely to be, short life.

    I remember in the mid 70's when Remington advertised their "new improvement' on the 870. They split the lifter so you could use your pocket knife to get that second shell out of the receiver. Not a winner.

    For me the 870 was a non-starter. Personally during the war I preferred the Ithica's, and later the Mossbergs, particularly the 590 variant. Gave my 590A to my son-in-law and I now play with a Benelli M4 or a double barrel hammer gun when a 12ga fighting weapon is the ticket.

    It took me to the late 90's to find out that Remington had finally fixed the double shuck problem some time in the mid 80's. Didn't do any good for some of my buddies in the Nam though. Sort of like the Matty Mattel.

    I was able to hang on to my M14 into the middle of 69. I do agree that for 100 yards in the 55gr 5.56 NATO worked pretty good in the XM16E1's and the A1's. By then though I would not trust the AR system any more than the 870 family, at all. Reliability in any fighting weapon was then, and still is today job #1 for any fighting weapon.

    Of course the folks that want to run your healthcare system, then chose to "fix" the existing 5.56 NATO round with the M855 62gr round that "tumbled" less. Works through the SAW "better" but who cares that it doesn't put the bad guys down as effectively. The brass and desk jockey's that make these decisions, weren't going to be wounded and killed when the bullet's didn't work as well, as the earlier rounds.

    One word comes to mind, "Priorities", the typical government decision is not based on the what is needed by the troops or citizens, but what the government is interested in this week.

    AS to the M14, I still have a M1A/M14 in my safe today. Stone reliable and with an effective round. The Army today is still trying to find an "effective" bullet for our service weapon 45 years after being accepted into service. Any one see a disconnect here?

    Interestingly enough, no one had or has had any problem with the 30-06 or 308/7.62 NATO. They work well even when not using the most modern or up to date bullet material and/or designs.

    I have always believed we need two calibers anyway. One for in town and one for out of town, I like the idea of a "do all" caliber, sounds great, but in life most duel use things don't do both things well. We are back to priorities.

    So endith the rambling and inane sermon.

    Good luck to all.

  2. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Participating Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    Black Hills, SD
    Not that I have a lot to contribute, but in my tour in the "Sand Box" (Al Anbar Province, Iraq) in the Marines (attached to 1stMarDiv) as an infantryman I can say the Benelli M4 worked pretty well when actually deployed and used for its intended purpose. Never observed one to jam or go down for any reason, and being a semi-auto follow up shots were no doubt easier for guys who had them if for no other reason than everything else is semi or full auto and pulling the trigger again is more consistent with your muscle memory training.
  3. mharveyww1

    mharveyww1 New Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    Remington 870 Problems?

    Chieftan: Good to read your input.

    It occurs to me that my noting that I carried the 870 pump AND and M-14, WOULD seem to indicate that I was 'jarhead' (lovingly expressed!). :)
    Actually 1st CAV...where the shotguns were not nearly as widely used as in the Corps.

    I had the great advantage of having grown up in a 'gun-family'. My father, who WAS a Leatherneck in WWII (Guadalcanal, New Georgia) was an avid shooter and antique gun collector (I actually got my first gun the same week I got my first bicycle!).

    The upshot is that I had been using pump shotguns (especially the 870) since I was a kid. And although I know there were some mechanical/design "issues" with the weapons in combat use, I can't help but think that "human error", especially under such extreme stress was a contributing factor.
    I never experienced a failure of any kind.

    How I came to hold onto the M-14 I carried to Nam while almost all the others around me had already converted to the "Plastic Fantastic" is a story for another post. I'll just say that "greybeard" First Sergeants had more sense
    than the 'West Pointers' in higher echelons. :)


    PTMCCAIN member

    Jan 1, 2011
    OK, some people have busted my chops for my previous videos showing how quickly the Benelli M4 can cycle, claiming that I'm obiously just spraying pellets all over the place and no way can I hit anything when I shoot it so quickly.

    Well...I thought, "That's a fair enough point."

    I got the M4 out to the gun club and my son and I put it through its paces against a few very suspicious looking characters with handgun and black ski masks on.

    I think the conclusion is simply this:

    Yes, the Benelli M4 is manageable enough to get a lot of lead down range in a big hurry and be accurate at a self-distance distance.

    Please note....

    NO, I am NOT advocating ever shooting a shotgun this quickly in a SD situation and yes, I know pellets missed the BGs too, but...as you will see, with more controlled double tapping, etc. I got the lead on target just fine, and even at the quicker speeds, got the majority of lead on target.

    So, there you go.

  5. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Mentor

    May 5, 2005
    Garrettsville, Oh.
    My own dedicated HD shotgun is a Mossberg 500 with an 18 1/2 inch barrel, cylinder bore, youth length stock, five round mag and a five round sidesaddle stocked with 2 3/4" slugs. The tube is stocked with 2 3/4" buck.
  6. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Senior Member

    Oct 26, 2008
    Peoples Republik of New Jersey
    Dave encouraged my acquisition of, and especially my practice with, classic but still serviceable riot guns:


    Wishing you all the best, Dave:

  7. rugerron67

    rugerron67 New Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    I run the original fighting shotgun.
    1903 Winchester 1897 12g 20" slam fire baby !
  8. kris7047th

    kris7047th New Member

    Mar 6, 2010
    Wrong about that. Some of the top trainers in the Country teach shotgun for defensive shooting and can run them as effectively as an AR15. Google & You Tube Magpul.
  9. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Apr 24, 2008
    Hot and Humid FL
    RIP Dave, see you on the other side
  10. spotch

    spotch New Member

    Dec 29, 2011
    As someone who is still reading and researching about buying a first shotgun I think it's interesting that so many people seem to still favor pumps over semi-autos (like, say, a mossberg 930) and that lighter-weight 20 gauges aren't more popular (since a lot of people have said that weight is a real important factor).

    Also, Rip Dave :(
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  11. JamieC

    JamieC Member

    Mar 31, 2012
    PSL, Florida
    I just bought a Remington 870 Express, got it off a friend who needed $. Came with a 28 & 18.5" barrel. Scattergun Technologies extended mag. Had maybe 20 shots through it. Way too long to fit the wife, got a Knoxx GenII recoil absorbing stock, with the adjustments, fits both of us fine. Need to get to the range and shoot it a bit, I've been told shooting 'clays' is a good way to have fun and use the gun, looking for a class for both of us to take. In the meantime it sits unloaded in the closet. She keeps her .38 special on her night stand, my flash light and Sigma on mine.
  12. 12gTim

    12gTim New Member

    Jan 3, 2013
    Great post - possibly the best I've read!!
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  13. 12gTim

    12gTim New Member

    Jan 3, 2013
    Great post; could be the best I've read on the subject. Thank you!
  14. ZVP

    ZVP Active Member

    May 20, 2010
    Totally helpfull!

    I am currentlly in the market for a home defense Shotgin and this string has debated and answered many of my own doubts!
    I only saw one Brand suggestion, that being in favor of the 870. The model I am leaning toward! I like wood atocks and I like Remingtons. I want a simple shotgun sans all the gizmos.
    I'm after function with a sholder sling and a slip onto the stock 5 round shell carrier. I figgure that pratice will replace a snap on Lazer and that knowing where the shot colum will hit means more. I am leaning toward a 20"bbl though a 18 1/2 would do.
    Mossberg offers so many "Kits" that it would be easy to just buy a new plastic stocked gun *I don't likr Plastic)
    Chance and looking on the "used" market is sorts exciting!
    I want a pump just because I had a pump when I was a kid. They bespeak utter reliaibility to me
    ANy suggestions would be appreciated.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  15. WolfPak

    WolfPak New Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    I recommend shooting a Remington, Mossberg and Benelli or any shotgun you are interested in, in a 18.5 or 20" barrel format, prior to buying. Try both pistol grip and standard stocks if you can. This way you find the one that fits you best.

    I personally went with Mossberg for the weight, ergonomics of the safety and the slide release. I have a Mossberg 590 with ghost ring sights and an ATI Akita stock, which has an adjustable LOP and comb height so I can get a perfect fit.


    Sent from my LG-E970 using Tapatalk 2
  16. ZVP

    ZVP Active Member

    May 20, 2010
    WHen buying the gun you can make mistakes...

    Well I bought a Sweet 20 ga Stoger Uplanser combo (just had one barrel tho) for $200 "used". The problem is that the Uplander has 28" bbls and needs to be chopped for easiest handling in the hall.
    I couldn't do it! Frankilly the lines and handling quality of the little English stocked Double was just too good a fit for me and I decided to just start over.
    Same Hock Shop (super deals!) I found a Montgomery Wards M550AG 12 gauge Pumpgun with a 30" bbl for $100! The "M" in the designation stands for Mossberg! Truthfully the gun is a Mossberg 500/550 made for Wards to sell.
    Back to the drawing board.
    The Barrel will be cut to 19" or 20" a bead installed.
    I bought a Blackhawk shell scabbord for the stock. Depending on the handling qualitys of the finished gun it may/not get used.
    I also need to add a recoil pad as it hasn't got one.
    That's it plain and simple, no extra goodies to hinder speed.
    Oh yea several cases of target loads to get familliar with using the gun as if it grew there!
    OK I made a little mistake up front, but gained a very nice field/ play SxS 20ga Shotgun. I woulda wasted the money on coffee and tips at Starbucks anyways. I also got the advantage of starting this project with a Pumpgun. As a renewed Shotgun owner (haven't had one since 1970!), and "Gun Tinkerer" this project is "Big Time" for me! I am going about it carefully (the barrel cut) and I may even have a 'Smith do the chop to have it done right?
    The M550 won't get refinished or reblued cause the little dings and scrapes add character to a working gun. It'll likely get several more so why worry?
    Ammo choices in this Post Obama NESS are slim but as I said a couple cases of Target loads to learn the gun with. I scored some Federal 20 Ga slugs for the SxS and really acored on some Low Recoil 12 Ga slugs. I got 4 boxes of #4 Phesant loads for the SxS till I can find some Buckshot loads for it. Finally I am stuck with 1 oz, 3 1/2 dram #8 Dove loads for the pump for the time being. Now these are some very heavilly charged Dove Loads and kick like hell because of the power they make! A little trick for inside the house loads to stop agression or attack.
    When ammo frees up again I will use Buckshot loads and slugs for H/D loads.
    Then pratice, [ratice, pratice.
    I want to thank everyone here for the fine advice contained in this string it helped me choose which route is best for me to follow with a H/D Shotgun!
  17. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Mentor

    Nov 21, 2008
    Great Thread, I have shot every brand of shotgun made in the USA, Any of them will work in either in 20 or 12. So find one that fits YOU and stay safe out there.
  18. ADRskew

    ADRskew New Member

    Apr 9, 2013
    To all who see these present's, greetings. After reading through a good portion of this thread I see some trends, good and bad. As for my choice I am as close to what my agency uses without an NFA tax stamp. I am using a Rem 870 magnum express with a 18.5 barrel bead sight, 6 point pistol grip stock with a 5 slot shell carrier on the stock and a light on a pressure switch. In my younger days I had the aftermarket tacticool rails mounted, the mag extension, the 40mm red/green dot and the three point sling. But after replacing the word tactical for practical my gun lost a few pounds. For HD ultimately it is your choice on what you choose, for me my pump gun works, it is close to what I use at work, I can effectively combat and tactical load. For my HD situation I can see both major entries into my house from the top of the stairs and if SHTF I will stay at the top of the stairs. You can have the TV, don't really care. But set foot on my stairs and I will light you up then I will shoot you down IF I need to (hence the light). But every situation is different and before I PCS'ed the shot gun was ineffective and a hand gun would have been preferable due to the tight lay out of the upstairs hall but I made due and thankfully did not to use it in a HD situation. regardless of what you choose the most important thing I have read on this sight and many other's is practice like you play and practice, practice, practice. With respect Skew
  19. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Senior Member

    Jul 20, 2009
    I shoot my shotguns a lot (persoally prefer Mossberg 500 for "field work" and Mossberg 590 for home defense though other name pump brands are just as good). I'm at the point where it really doesn't matter to me if it is a bead or iron sights. I think the most important thing by far is no matter what you choose (within reason) is to take formal classes such as Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, and Loui Awerbuck and then practice a lot.
  20. wolf695

    wolf695 New Member

    Nov 21, 2011
    You got that right Dave!

Share This Page