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trunkmonkey
11-25-2016, 10:15
Gentleman,
I am looking for advice on my purchase of a new shotgun. I have had several shotguns over the years but I am far from a shotgun master. I've casually shot skeet and used them on the farm. I have no formal training on a shotgun and that is one of the first things I will seek.
I am working out the weapons loadout for my RV and I will be adding a 12ga shotgun to the mix. I have an 1100 Tactical with a surefire forend and side saddle shell holder. When the charging handle broke off in the field it was nearly useless, I have lost quite a bit of faith in the gun. I would like to keep the budget for the shotgun itself under $1500 although if the must have shotgun is more I'll wait a little.
This shotgun is going to be primarily for social work and it will be the go to gun for under the truck seat or camping in bear country. I'm not planning on hunting with it or shooting skeet. When it is used I need utter reliability. I do not forsee using low recoil loads.

Initial questions I have are:
Pump vs Auto?
Needed Accessories (tac light, sights, forend, sling mounts)
Sling, who has a preference and is there anything I should avoid?
Training, where, who?

sfshooter
11-25-2016, 14:06
Regards, pump vs. auto....I built a Remington 870 (pump) 20" barrel, extended mag tube, tritium rifle sights, and with a side saddle shell holder. I think it works excellent and can hit bulls eyes at out at 100 yds with slugs.
The three gunners are all using autos although they started with pumps. Either or can make an excellent using gun. Haven't heard of an 1100 breaking but I guess it could happen. Have never seen a pump break (yet).
The only thing special on my gun was tritium sights and extended mag tube. A guy could put the fore end light mount on if wanted.
Shotguns are relatively cheap to build up. If you are shooting competition then ya may want to go with an auto as they increase your speed by a little bit (Benelli's have an excellent reputation). If you are wanting a good using gun there is nothing wrong with a pump.

Just my .02 cents.

Peregrino
11-25-2016, 14:56
Bare bones - Rem 870. Reliable, available everywhere, and lots of options for personalizing.
Middle of the road - Stoeger M3. Already has many of the custom upgrades that make it easier to manipulate (load); respected in the competition community for good value at a reasonable price.
Cadillac - Benelli M2 or M4. Love mine; wouldn't trade it. Course it's not every day someone gets to turn a $1200 shotgun into a $2300 shotgun.

All require an extended magazine tube. (Both the Stoeger and the Benellis aren't available with an extended tube from the factory because of 922 compliance idiocy.) All are excellent choices within their price range.

Other shotguns have devoted followers who will defend their choices "vigorously". Before deciding on the features/price range, I would suggest spending some time checking out what top 3-gun competitors are using. I'm not aware of any other game out there that demands as much
from their shotguns or runs/abuses them as hard. Hunting, trap, skeet, sporting clays - none of them work the gun or the shooter as hard as 3-gun.

My .02, worth exactly what you paid for it.

DaveP
11-25-2016, 23:57
Gladly defer tactical advice to the professionals, but if it's going to spend most of the time under the truck seat or in the RV gear locker, may not need to reinvent the wheel? 870 marine mag gives you 6+1, heavier receiver than a Moss 500 but one that points much cleaner for me, and a lighter triggerpull. Dead-nuts reliable.
If you're so inclined, mount a light and maybe a shorter stock and start contact drills. If it's stored in the vehicle for a time, I'd tape over the muzzle opening.

Peregrino's got good taste; my go-to is an M2, 24" 20ga. Most balanced and softest-cycling rig I've tried. And she does NOT ride under the truck seat...

DaveP

frostfire
11-26-2016, 01:34
Initial questions I have are:
Pump vs Auto?
Needed Accessories (tac light, sights, forend, sling mounts)
Sling, who has a preference and is there anything I should avoid?
Training, where, who?
IIRC, both TR and TS have posted primers on this topic.

Pump is less sensitive to ammo selection, as auto depends on enough force to cycle.
IMHOO, side saddle is an excellent force multiplier. A few slugs, and bucks oriented in way that you can tell even in the dark i.e. my slugs are pointing up and bucks are pointing down. I have also perfected changing shell in chamber without loading the next one from the magazine
With that high budget, I would choose any accessories that make your shotgun works harder (increase shootability) for you i.e. polished ramp, aftermarket forend with light, ghost ring, and so on.

You can run pump (almost) as speedy as auto, just takes longer to master charging while riding the recoil
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhUmeGZfkdE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvoHJgRtgk4

A CCW class on the legal aspects of firearm use in home defense is a solid first step....even if the shotgun is not for CCW

Added: FWIW, the 870 is supposedly the tried and true standard. However, I would stay away from the newer express series. Mine started rusting just from going outdoor, not in the rain, dropped on ground, nothing...just from condensation/dew! That's a no go. It won't last as your truck/RV gun. I keep mine just because I have a 26" skeet/trap barrel I use with it. Anyone in the market for 18" 870 express with pistol grip, adjustable stock, stand-off choke side saddle, ghost ring, and extra barrel w modified choke? $400 obo :D

Toaster
11-26-2016, 01:55
IIRC The Mossberg 590a1 is the shotgun that hands down won the military's reliability/abuse testing. Had I been aware of that when I got my 870 years ago, that would be what I have.

With the budget left over you would have some options like the following, Vang Comp barrel/sight upgrade, lighted forend, red dot, ammo and training.

I think TS lives out that way, you might be able to meet up with him for training in exchanges for donations to the GBF.

Odd Job
11-26-2016, 03:05
Some years ago I participated in a shotgun course in South Africa, using a selection of 12g pumps. Some of the course was firing line shooting at stationary targets, some was room clearing in a shoot-house made of tires and the last part involved shooting around vehicles and moving from vehicles to cover.

One of the things I found out in that course is that a pump is fine if you learn how to use it and practise with it often. If you have a predictable course of fire and a clear plan, you can be quite good with a pump.

However...when the script was changed unexpectedly, adrenaline kicked in and I short-cycled the pump. When I say the script changed, I mean that live rounds were fired ahead of me into the ground, totally unexpected. I was startled by the noise and the dust and I panicked.

For that reason, if it was me and I had a 12g that I wasn't going to use every day, I would rather get a reliable semi-auto than a pump. Especially if you are likely to have to get it out under non-scripted conditions.

miclo18d
11-26-2016, 03:11
Mossberg 500 and Rem 870 are fairly synonymous. Both good pump shotguns.

I have been wanting to buy the Rem Versamax as my next auto. Interesting design features and come "competition/tactical" ready (or hunt ready if you like). Shoots a variety of ammo well because of the chamber design.

Stingray
11-26-2016, 04:10
I've had both 870's and 500's. My humble opinion is it really only comes down to the safety placement. I like the 500's placement a little better. Probably just because I grew up with a Mossberg.
I haven't owned a 590. But reading it had the best reliability make it more interesting.
Just my .02 cents.

Brush Okie
11-26-2016, 05:11
I have both a 590 and 870 and owned a winchester 1300 in the past. I can recommend all of them. Pick the one that fits you. I prefer the 590 due to capacity and safety placement being left handed. One of my uncles used and Winchester model 12 in Vietnam said it was the best thing he used there.

Keep it simple, stay away from pistol grip stocks and extra crap all over it.
Sling? Could go either way for our door use it can be handy, get a simple 2 point remember KISS

Lights, again can be a good thing, see what fits your needs.

I don't like side saddles for ammo, throws off the balance. Some like them

I tried a sling that carried ammo, didnt like it to much weight swinging around.

The biggest investment you can make is in ammo, practice, practice practice. Practice in low light, practice at diffrent ranges, practice with diffrent ammo. You are the weapon, the shotgun is just your tool.

Oh and did I say keep it simple?

Dusty
11-26-2016, 07:23
870 (not the "express"-a real one)
Use a modified choke and #1 buckshot.
Shoot 4 boxes through it, disassemble it, soak everything in Breakfree.
Wipe off the Breakfree, assemble it and shoot 4 more boxes.
Disaassemble it, clean it perfectly, put a light coat of Breakfree on it, assemble it.
Load it and put it in your truck and go on to something else.

Team Sergeant
11-26-2016, 08:39
870 (not the "express"-a real one)
Use a modified choke and #1 buckshot.
Shoot 4 boxes through it, disassemble it, soak everything in Breakfree.
Wipe off the Breakfree, assemble it and shoot 4 more boxes.
Disaassemble it, clean it perfectly, put a light coat of Breakfree on it, assemble it.
Load it and put it in your truck and go on to something else.

4 boxes before cleaning? Just 4 ? More like 40 or 400 before it really needs cleaning. ;)

The Army teaches us to "over-clean" our weapons. Shoot 4 boxes and wipe down the outside and in the safe it goes. When I hit 400 boxes I'll clean it. ;)

Longstreet
11-26-2016, 09:39
Jayson here and out of curiosity, why stay away from a pistol grip shotgun? When I was looking for my first shotgun, I was given the same advice from this board. I never did find out why. Please explain.

jaYson

atticus finch
11-26-2016, 15:29
Jayson here and out of curiosity, why stay away from a pistol grip shotgun? When I was looking for my first shotgun, I was given the same advice from this board. I never did find out why. Please explain.

jaYson

A pistol grip alone on a 12 ga? Answer: recoil first, aiming second.
A bonafide stock with a pistol grip is a different matter entirely.

Brush Okie
11-26-2016, 19:21
A pistol grip alone on a 12 ga? Answer: recoil first, aiming second.
A bonafide stock with a pistol grip is a different matter entirely.

What he said, although I don't like a pistol grip on a bonofied stock either.

Dusty
11-27-2016, 00:10
4 boxes before cleaning? Just 4 ? More like 40 or 400 before it really needs cleaning. ;)

The Army teaches us to "over-clean" our weapons. Shoot 4 boxes and wipe down the outside and in the safe it goes. When I hit 400 boxes I'll clean it. ;)

You need about 100 rounds wet to break 'em in. Then about another 100 dry. Then you clean it to the bone, lube it and stash it.

I've had four of 'em and the only dud was a cheap "express" with no bluing or anything.

On the same note: I cycled my SWMP.45 5200 times before it smoothed out the way I wanted it. (This statement is not a lead-in for a repeat showing of the first-shot bullseye video with your HK, BTW.) :D

craigepo
11-27-2016, 09:21
I put a couple of boxes of ammo through my benelli super black eagle II this weekend shooting quail and pheasants in Kansas. Benelli's action is the best auto loader in the business, bar none.

My backup hunting gun is a Franchi auto. Good shotgun, it has never failed me, but it isn't as fast and doesn't handle like a benelli.

I have an 870 I bought with hay hauling money as a kid. Good shotgun, but it has failed me much more than the benelli or the Franchi.

Personally, I wouldn't put too much bling on a shotgun. Extend the magazine, get a high visibility bead, possibly a spot to attach a light. Shotguns need to handle well. Put 100 pounds of lightweight crap on it and you're better off carrying an m-60.

All of these shotguns are pretty good. A big concern is ammunition. Don't shoot low brass cheap stuff for protection.

Old Dog New Trick
11-27-2016, 11:29
I don't know what a "Fighting" shotgun is but if that means "Tactical" or "Combat" then it should have a short barrel (<20") a large capacity magazine (tube or box fed) a stout stock and ultimately be reliable in all weather. And by weather I'd ask (myself) is this going sweat and freeze on a regular basis - Nickle, Parkerized or a Nitride finish. I would stay away from Blued metal for a trunk gun.

The next question I'd ask (myself) is how many bad guys or bears I'd think I have to take on in one engagement. Two or more I'd want a semi-auto. One at a time a pump does just fine. A pump will do just fine in practiced hands on multiple threats but there is always the chance to short stroke it. A good top quality semi will eat all your ammo under duress in a matter of seconds.

Lots of pumps will fill that bill on your budget with money left over. A few semi-autos will come in under or just at.

I have three - Bennelli Super 90 (just love this gun, a little ammo specific) a Mossberg 500 (trust my life to it,) and new to me haven't shot it yet :( but everything I've heard - it's the "Best" tactical shotgun ever made - Remington Versa-Max. (Is not finicky about ammo, quick to point, comes ready out of the box for a top tier 3-Gun Match. (Also the most expensive of the three)

I personally would not leave a Versa-Max unattended in a locked vehicle for long. The Mossberg - no problem - stolen - oh well.

Good luck with you hunt. I think an 870 or 500(590) would suit your purposes just fine.

Team Sergeant
11-28-2016, 07:02
I don't know what a "Fighting" shotgun is but if that means "Tactical" or "Combat" then it should have a short barrel (<20") a large capacity magazine (tube or box fed) a stout stock and ultimately be reliable in all weather. And by weather I'd ask (myself) is this going sweat and freeze on a regular basis - Nickle, Parkerized or a Nitride finish. I would stay away from Blued metal for a trunk gun.

The next question I'd ask (myself) is how many bad guys or bears I'd think I have to take on in one engagement. Two or more I'd want a semi-auto. One at a time a pump does just fine. A pump will do just fine in practiced hands on multiple threats but there is always the chance to short stroke it. A good top quality semi will eat all your ammo under duress in a matter of seconds.

Lots of pumps will fill that bill on your budget with money left over. A few semi-autos will come in under or just at.

I have three - Bennelli Super 90 (just love this gun, a little ammo specific) a Mossberg 500 (trust my life to it,) and new to me haven't shot it yet :( but everything I've heard - it's the "Best" tactical shotgun ever made - Remington Versa-Max. (Is not finicky about ammo, quick to point, comes ready out of the box for a top tier 3-Gun Match. (Also the most expensive of the three)

I personally would not leave a Versa-Max unattended in a locked vehicle for long. The Mossberg - no problem - stolen - oh well.

Good luck with you hunt. I think an 870 or 500(590) would suit your purposes just fine.


I know I wrote this on here somewhere.......

Back in the 80's, while in 5th Group we were given a drum fed 12 gauge. It only took a few moments of handling to send it back to the folks who made it. First, the drum sucked anything near it into the feeding mechanism. 2nd, it was heavier than a loaded M60....... and we asked if it comes with an ammo bearer.......

That said, it's a great weapon for close work as long as you don't need surgical precision........ and don't need to reload often.

MAB32
11-30-2016, 05:33
I own a Mossberg 590A1 since they first came out. However in my LEO career I've shot a lot of 870's. As someone stated before me you really have to practice with a pump (aka slider).

So practice a lot of cycling and IMHO I would definitely trust my life to my 590A1. I just prefer it over the 870 because the safety is on top and for me the action just seems a little more robust.

doctom54
11-30-2016, 11:25
I have taken several classes from Rob Haught. He is a wizard with a shotgun and an Excellent instructor of the fighting shotgun (he is also good with a handgun).
Whichever one you decide on I highly recommend one of his classes.
https://www.gunstockfirearms.com/rob-haught/

trunkmonkey
12-01-2016, 05:50
As far as truck gun and fighting shotgun I'm wanting the rifle to be the grab as I leave all the time shotgun. I spend a considerable amount of time afield now, and sitting in surveillance vehicles. I want to have a shotgun that I can take anywhere to defend myself against any reasonable threat. I also want it to be legal in most places.

Thank you for the input and I have been catching up on shotgun research as I was not familiar with all of the options put forth. I am debating between the Benelli M3, M4, and the versamax. Instead of any accessories I'm going to buy snap caps and ammo. When I am more comfortable with it a shotgun class is in order.

Peregrino
12-06-2016, 07:41
As far as truck gun and fighting shotgun I'm wanting the rifle to be the grab as I leave all the time shotgun. I spend a considerable amount of time afield now, and sitting in surveillance vehicles. I want to have a shotgun that I can take anywhere to defend myself against any reasonable threat. I also want it to be legal in most places.

Thank you for the input and I have been catching up on shotgun research as I was not familiar with all of the options put forth. I am debating between the Benelli M3, M4, and the versamax. Instead of any accessories I'm going to buy snap caps and ammo. When I am more comfortable with it a shotgun class is in order.

Recommendation - Get the M4, put an extended tube on it (example: http://freedomfightertactical.com/products/the-freedom-fighter-tactical-finished-titanium-full-length-magazine-tube-for-the-benelli-m4-shotgun; restores it to the capacity of the M1014) and spend the rest of your money on training. Food for thought - I'm sticking with (top quality) semi-auto shotguns for most social work because I can operate them reliably with one hand. YMMV.