Thinking about a shotgun

So I am thinking about a shotgun but I know just about zip about them. I am told you can get Remington 870's on sale for a decent price at Bi Mart or Big 5 if I pay attention. Do I want your basic pump action? Pistol grip? 8 shot tube? 12 or 20 gauge? What kind of ammo do I want to practice with and what type do I want for defense?

Well shotguns comes in a variety of configurations. Pump actions, single shot, side by side, over/under, and etc. The most popular are the pump action style. This is reliable and allows you to shoot all different loads. Semi auto can be picky with ammo that are not strong enough to reset the action. Rifle stocks are the most versatile while pistol grip, with or without the stock, are for more of the tactical purposes. Then you also have varying barrel lengths with shorter barrels for hd while longer barrels are for game.

Ammo is a whole other mess but the most common shells are the 12 and 20 gauge. I like the 12 gauge since recoil has more to go with the overall weight of the gun and shell load than the gauge size. In any case I go plinking with target load since the recoil is manageable. However, if you're shooting 00 or 000 buck shots than the recoil is quite a bit more. Most pump shotty will come with a 5 round tubes and the 8 round tubes, stock, is rarer. Most people just add the tube extension to achieve the 8 rounds.

What this long winded and drawn out posting boils down to is the age old question of what gun/caliber should you buy? I would just get a standard pump action with an 18" barrel and go shoot it. You can upgrade just about every part later on to fit your need. Hope this helps. Btw Remington 870 are probably the most popular model available with the most aftermarket parts available. Now I'll have to make my escape before the mossberg, benelli, and other maker snobs piled on how wrong I am. ;)
Mossberg makes a Model 500 combination shotgun that comes with 2 interchangeable barrels. One is 28 inches long for hunting (no interchangeable chokes, though) and one is 18.5 inches long for home defense. Bi-Mart often has these on sale for somewhere in the $250 range. I have one and I consider it to be completely dependable and serviceable. Also, you can never go wrong with the 870 Remington, which also comes on sale from time to time at Bi-Mart. Just watch their weekly ads.
If you're just getting one to have one, then I'd recommend a basic 12-ga pump Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 to start out with - they're on sale all the time at one of the sporting good stores. They normally have a 28" barrel on them w/ removable chokes that'll allow you to hunt birds, small game, or go shoot shotgun games with your friends at the range. The great thing about these is you can easily change the barrel to fit your needs. If you want to use it for home defense, get an extra 18" barrel and you're good to go (as mentioned above, some come with this extra barrel already). Want to hunt deer or other bigger game? (why not) Get yourself a barrel with rifle-sights and you can do that also.

There's a certain "feel" to shotguns where when you bring it up, it just feels right. So, I'd go shoulder a few at the store to see which one you like better. I actually prefer the controls on the Mossbergs more, but the Remingtons fit me better, so I use an 870 (and an 11-87).

There are a bunch of other affordable models out there made by H&R, Charles Daly, IAC, etc. Some of these are clones or close copies of 870's or other shotguns. I think these are fine shotguns, but personally, the price difference isn't all that great between them and a basic 870 or 500 to make me interested. Just my opinion.

There are a range of gauges from .410 to 10-ga - I'd suggest going with 12-ga as a good, all-purpose option.

If you have a very specific use in mind, there are probably better options for each type of use, but the pump gun will cover a lot of bases.
I asked myself, "What am I going to do with the shotty?" In my case I knew that I was going to throw a speed feed pistol grip stock on it so it made my choice way easy. Remy 870 since it has a trigger guard safety unlike the Mossy that has a tang safety. Other than that the shotguns both perform pretty much identically.
For practice use a mix of the cheapest stuff you can find AND whatever you choose for defense (got to know what it will do). For defense use standard 2 3/4" 00 buck, don't buy into that tight pattern "defensive load" BS. Shotgun loads are suppose to spread, don't want spread use a carbine.
Agreed with everything you stated up until this point...a shotgun's appeal is that it is versitile, devistating and simple to use. There are as many shotguns rounds out there as there are minutes in the day...most are junk, but some have real purpose. 00 Buckshot is not a cure-all for everything...tight patterned, multi-purpose rounds have their use (which is why you should put different rounds on a side saddle). Having a mix of slug on a side-saddle and buckshot in the tube is probably your best overall bet to handle threats both near and far.
true, 16" barrel AR is about same size or less then 18" barrel shotgun. There are many people recommend AR-15 over shotgun for HD with right ammo.

But it's all comes down to personal choice.

Each has their own pros and cons.

Kimber Custom

Let me tell you about a couple of mistakes I made with my HD shotgun.
1. I bought a Moss 590 thinking I was getting a 590A1. Didn't realize there is a difference.
2. My 590 had a huge LOP that made it very unconfortable to shoot. My left hand (I'm a righty) felt like it was fully extended and made the gun awkward.
3. Replacement stocks are way over priced. My point is get the stock you want from the get go.
4. 12G in a pump wasn't much fun to shoot. I really wish I had gone semi-auto for the recoil reduction.
5. It was really purchased for HD and I realized my wife would never shoot the thing.

I got lucky and managed to sell it for what I paid less the cost of a replacement wolf mag spring and BG check. I'd still like a shotty but I now know I want either a Saiga or Benelli M.
For home defence, I'd go with a break open side by side in 12 GA with buckshot loads. The barrels should not be more than 28 inches. If you don't use a shotgun much, the side by side is easy to learn to shoot. Choke should be IC/mod. One moe thing, never point a firearm at someone you don't intend to kill. If the situation is serieous enough to bring a gun into play, Shoot the threat before he gets a chance to take your gun and shoot you with it.
I disagree; a carbine is your best bet to handle threats near and far. A shotgun with slugs is a poor substitute for a rifle when it comes to anything beyond 25 yards or so. IMO their versatility is over-rated, sure you’ve got breaching, LL, flare, bird shot, buck shot, slugs and a whole slew of “specialty” rounds most of which are worthless to me and most citizens. As far as simple to use, that is also debatable, compared to a carbine they have limit capacity and are slow to reload, recoil is stiff and slows follow up shot against multiple adversaries, to say nothing of short stroking. The shotguns devastating power on up-close, fast moving targets is their true strength and major appeal, there is no denying that. I am not saying don’t use slugs, they are certainly another tool in the tool box, I am saying if I had to choose a single load for defensive purposes it would, without question, be 00 buck…or maybe I’m just “armchair quarter-backing” here too. ;)
do you think in a HD situation he'll need to plan on shooting out at 25yds? if its beyond 10 feet I'd be surprised. I suspect we can all come with crazy what if scenarios around distance but the most likely here its feet. a shot gun will level the threat and I would NEVER use slugs for this.
If you will shoot it a lot,just like any other gun,spend the money and get a better gun.If you won't hunt or shoot skeet,most will work.
With that said,many duck hunters shoot Mossbergs with no problems.Or the 870s.The only thing I look for is the position of the safety.I like it in front of the trigger guard.

How many shots do you need? Everybody likes the 5-8 round shot guns,but the reality of it is most bad guys don't even like the sound of the slide racking.
So a regular shot gun that holds 5 rounds without the plug is just fine.BTW,you won't miss the target at say, 10 yards,so with 5 rounds you will most definitely hit the target.

For home defense ranges,any type of load will work just fine.In the city or with others in the house,small pellets are good.
I said in one thread that cheap bird shot was just fine.It would work to deter a intruder. (again the sound of racking the slide will make most poopy their pants and leave) Then I watched the one Youtube channel where the guy trims maple branches with buckshot.
And you don't think it will stop an intruder?

12 or 20? How much of a recoil wimp are you? 12 always

I am not coordinated enough to use a pump for ducks,so I use a auto.Same as for pistols,what do you prefer?

For hunting and trap/skeet you need way more research. And lots of money to be considered cool

For hunting,it depends on what type of game,what type of bird,how far is the game/birds coming by at?

Ducks,turkey and deer,most use a 12 gauge.For grouse pheasants and skeet/trap lots use a 20 or somewhere in between.

So I have a Beretta Omni 390? for ducks and a Remington Wingmaster for deer and home defense.The Beretta is 28" and the Rem is 18. Both 5 shot and the Beretta has the plug.
If I go turkey hunting,the Beretta will get the call.

I don't really have a home defense gun,come on over.But any shot gun with any load will work for home defense.
Cool story bro.

Did you read the word most in there? MOST criminals are opportunistic feeders and don't want much resistance and as dumb and desperate as most are,they understand they can't get drugs or home with bullet holes in themselves.
And I have heard first hand stories of the slide sending folks away.

As for me,I want the last thing for someone threatening my life to heard is the bullet entering the skull,not the slide on my shotgun or pistol.The slide noise is directly followed by the trigger being pulled

BTW did I say to rely on the noise anywhere?
Just asking

Y'all make such a big deal out of home defense,but fail to understand that if someone wants you dead,they can make it happen pretty easy.Unless your house is bullet proof.
For the most part,thieves don't want anything to do with the home owner OR THEIR GUNS.

Back on tract.Some good points brought up about lefties we right handers don't think about.What if we have a bad right hand? Can we work the safety with our left easy enough?
So my buddies dad has a sawed off double barrel shotgun he keeps for home defense. I asked," Only 2 shots?", He replies," I only need 2 shots." Whatever you pick, make sure the controls are comfy and it feels good to you. Don't get something that doesn't feel right just because it looks cool. And like most people, 12g, go big or go home.
I have a few friends that chose a Tactical shotgun for home defence and all either chose a mossberg or rem 870, but I have found that their hd guns of choice get very little use they seem to prefer using a 12ga that is made for shooting clays when we go out. So learning from them I chose a winchester 12 for HD and for killing clays because it allowed me more trigger time on my hd weapon. I have full confidence in it and the action is smoother and much faster than the chosen tactical shotguns.

the winchester 12 is also known as the "1200" and the "Speed Pump" I also hear that weatherby makes a nice smooth pump action.

just a word from someone who has seen more than one pistol grip shot gun collecting dust
i never thought about the practice issue with a shotgun. i use my 1187 even for clay pigeons, and would say that knocking out several moving targets fleeing from you in several direction is good practice... i always tell people that they have to practice with their handguns if they expect to use them in a time of crisis... so, the same should also go for a shotgun. i'll just have to remember to roll the bodies over and make sure there is some buckshot in the front of them, too. it would look suspicious to LE if all the bad guys on had buckshot in their backs... ;)


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