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Which Shotgun...here we go again!

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Fat Boy, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. Fat Boy

    Fat Boy Well-Known Member

    I have the choice between a Remington model 31, with the barrel cut to 18.5 inches and an 870 express, with a full length barrel (maybe 26 inches?) My intent for the gun purchase is a home defense gun, so I would cut the barrel on the 870 if I bought it.

    The Model 31 has a crack running down one side of the buttstock, which does not appear to reach the other side of the stock. Otherwise the varnish? is wearing off the stock in places. The barrel has very little if any blue left.

    The 870 has several scratches, dings and nicks on the stock.

    Both can be purchased for about $180.00...

    Ideas on which one to buy?

  2. moojpg2

    moojpg2 Well-Known Member

    depending on where you live, you should be able to buy a brand new (or close to it) Mossberg Model 500 (very good pump) for not much over $200, I would look around for a better deal.
  3. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

    Your call.

    The 31 is a fine shotgun, but so is the Express.
  4. blutarsky

    blutarsky Well-Known Member

    if you have an academy store near you, they have great deals on the 870 express. i think the normal daily price is ~$235 (last i checked) for 12ga (26" or 28" barrel). but with sales or remington rebates you can get that down to ~$200. then you can order a factory 18" barrel for it for ~$100. that's the way to go, it's a bit more expensive (bringing total to $300-$350 when all is said and done) but you get the home defense gun as well as a gun you can take out and shoot clays or hunt with. changing barrels takes only seconds and i love the flexibility to have both kinds of guns all in one. plus, it's a brand new gun ;)
  5. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    Makes me cringe to read that...

    The 31 is a fine gun. A fine, fine gun. But for a utilitarian defense gun, I'd get something current production, for which parts are readily available from many vendors, and cheap. That would be the 870, or a 500.
  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    Why would you want to cut the barrel on the 870 when you can buy one with a shorter barrel to start with. Even if you have an older 870 you can purchase a replacement barrel.

    I would go with a new Mossberg that has a 18.5" barrel and pistol grip. I bought their Field/Security Combo last year for $239. It came with the 3" Magnum Mossberg shotgun, 28" field barrel, 18.5" security barrel, wooden stocks, a pistol grip, 3 choke tubes and a choke wrench. Now that's a good deal IMO.
  7. Fat Boy

    Fat Boy Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the great replies...I have pretty much waved off the model 31, because of the age, and probable inability to obtain parts/repairs, should such be necessary. The Sportsmens Warehouse here has new 870's for $269.00 plus a $30.00 mail in rebate, which means I could buy a new 870 for about $60.00 over what I am looking at now, after the rebate.

    Again, thanks for the input!
  8. Pete409

    Pete409 Well-Known Member

    Which Shotgun

    Fat Boy,

    If it were me making the decision on a home defense gun on a low budget, I'd get either the Mossberg 500 or a used Remington Wingmaster 870. I've never been impressed with the 870 Express. From what I've seen of them, the quality is no where near the quality of a 870 Wingmaster made 20+ years ago.

    Many people buy Wingmasters and use them only rarely. It's not uncommon to find one that is 20 to 30 years old and looks almost like the day it was new except for the slide marks on the magazine tube. Considering that several million 870's have been made by Remington, and many of them are the Wingmaster, I think I'd shop around a while and find a good used Wingmaster.

    Personally, I have a Mossberg Persuader loaded and ready to go in the bedroom. My Wingmaster is in the gun safe because it has a 30" barrel and I didn't want to cut it off.
  9. txgolfer45

    txgolfer45 Well-Known Member

    Plenty of choices out there. Benelli Nova, Remington 870 Express, Mossberg 500 for new. Remington 870 Wingmaster, Marine Magnum, Police used.

    Personally, I'd get either an 870 Express new or Wingmaster used.

    I have two 870 Express shotguns. One in 12 ga and one in 20 ga. Both work just fine.

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