I've got a few rifles and a few handguns, but haven't picked up a shotgun yet. It will have a few purposes. It will spend most of its time locked and loaded alongside my 9mm for home defense. On occasion (few times a month) it will accompany my other guns to hit some targets. And eventually, I plan to go pheasant hunting with my brother once he returns from Iraq. I really don't want to spend too much on it, I just want a decent 12ga staying under $300.
Here's what I've scoped out so far. For new pump guns I've found the Remington 870 $280, Mossberg 500a $250, Maverick 88 $170, Stoeger P350 $250, and Benelli Nova $300. I don't like the feel of either the Stoeger or the Benelli (ribs on the grip and stock don't agree with me). The Maverick looks fine, but only Wal-Mart has it and I can never get help there. Also, I try to give as little money to Wal-Mart as possible, so I'd rather not buy it there if possible. The Mossbergs I've seen all have terribly cheap looking wood stocks. One store has some "tactical" 500's & 590's, but they are out of my price range and have too much B.S. on them. Finally, the 870 is available most places with more options (wood or synthetic, 24-28" barrels, express or super mag.) They also have a $30 rebate at the moment. They are looking like a pretty good option.
Here's some of the kickers I've also found. One is a used Remingtion 870 Wingmaster for $230. I hear good things about these. However, it is old. No chokes (full choke barrel), it's wood and checkering pattern is kinda ugly (I'd prefer synthetic). Feels smooth and has a good name going for it. I've also found a few guns that don't get much press at all. One was a Mitchell Escalade pump for $200. Felt good, had a short barrel with a magazine extension for home defense. Just can't find much of anything about them online so I've got no feedback. It looks like a Winchester 1300 defender knock-off. Another is a TriStar autoloader for $250. That is pretty cheap for an auto- perhaps too cheap. I found a little more feedback on this gun online and it sounds like it works fine. Fit and finish was "eh."
I had purchased a Mossberg 835 for my buddy's wedding for $230- I wish I could have found another deal like that. That guns works pretty well and can handle 3 1/2" shells in case I ever wanted to take a turkey. Oh well.
I have two 870's - a 12 and 20 gauge. The 12 gauge is a Wingmaster, and I highly recommend it. However, mine has interchangeable chokes and I don't recommend a full choke for much of anything outside of a few hunting applications.
I'd say Remington and Mossberg are equally reliable and suited for home defense (and hunting as well), but I find the 870 more aesthetically pleasing.
As for the others, I haven't heard of a Maverick but I'm suspicious based on the price. I've handled a Nova but not a Stoeger.
If it were me, I'd decide between the 870 and 500.
An 12 gauge 870 with a couple of barrels will fill all your needs. A long (26"-28") barrel with interchangeable chokes for hunting and a shorty (18"-20") with cylinder or improved cylinder choke for defense and you're good to go. The Remington 870 has been giving smooth, reliable, trouble-free service since before the other shotguns you mentioned were even designed.
Use a full or extra-full choke for turkey and a more open choke for upland birds. A 3" Mag 12 gauge out of an extra-full choke will easily dispatch any turkey on the planet, assuming you don't treat your shotgun like a rifle and go for an inhumanely long shot.
I bought my 870 used for around $200 and it has given excellent service. In fact, it is the only shotgun I need. I strongly prefer it over the several Mossbergs I've owned. Maverick, by the way, is a "low end" () shotgun made by Mossberg.
I'd snap up the new 870 with the $30 rebate - there's your hunting gun. It'll even work fine for home defense, as long as you have no illusions of "house clearing." When you can afford it, or when you feel like it, buy an 18" barrel for $100 or so, and call it good. Skip all the goofy mall ninja "tactical" accessories and spend money on practice ammo.
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First choice: Clean used 870 Wingmaster
Second choice: New 870 Express
Third choice: New Mossburg
Fourth choice: Anything else.
75% of experienced pump shotgunners will support the 870 Wingmaster as king (aside from the 870 Marine or Police, $$$)
The rest are former Military who trusted their life to Mossburg or Benelli, since Remington won't drop it's prices for the Mil contracts???
The 870 is just tighter, stronger, and better built. The only real difference structurally is the safety positon.
The Express is a cheaper-built Wingmaster to compete $-wise with the Mossburg. The interior parts are not as good as the Wingmaster, but just as good as any Mossburg.
Think of the Wingmaster as the Caddy, and the Express as the Chevy. Same car, nicer leather, better fit and finish.
There is a reason that Remington built 870 number 1,000,000 earlier this year, with no major design cahnges... in 50 years.
Either way... Get an 18.5" cylinder choke barrel, and a mag tube extension of 2 rounds. Perfect defense gun. Then get a 24" Ventilated Rib Rem-choke barrel with variable chokes: Imp-Cyl, to Mod, to Full...
You can now hunt anything fro turkeys to quail.
To fill the collection, get a rifled 20" slug barrel catilevered for a scope, and you have a great shot-range deer gun, with a 2-4 power scope.
One gun, 3 barrels, a LIFETIME companion. Mine has been in my dad's case since 1969??? It's a year older than me, and it'll last longer than I will. It's taken deer, partridge, pheasant, turkeys, ducks... you name it. ree stands, duck blinds, Canadian shield tundra swamps, and months in the case. No rust, no failures, no problems... and the old flat-oiled-wood stock looks great!
I picked up an 870 Express Magnum today. It was a close-out 26" barrel model with synthetic stock for $199. Luckily I had been scoping out the selection for a few weeks now and was able to pick this one up the same day they put it out. Even better, there was a bank error in my favor, you might say. I picked up some cleaning supplies too, and the salesman told the cashier to take 10% off the accessories. After I saw my receipt, she had taken 10% off the entire sale. So I picked up an 870 for $180 If it hadn't been a big-box retail store I probably would have said something. Since it wasn't a ma & pa shop, I will just enjoy my deal.
Now I just need to find some time to shoot it and see what kind of patterns she has. Thanks for all the input.
I think you'll really enjoy your purchase, and the price makes it oh so sweeter... lol
That one will last you for just shy of 100 years. Hope you've got a worthy son/daughterto hand it down to... lol
Last edited by JeffWard; 11-21-2007 at 08:44 AM.
Mossberg 500 at dick's sporting goods for $189. just bought one for myself. The 870 is a good gun but it is not $75 better, imho. This gun gets the job done and has a good feel. Actually bought the gun, flambeau hard gun case and a case of 12 gauge all purpose shells for $230, still cheaper than an 870 and unless you are a big time shotgun buff, u can't tell the difference, again imo.
I picked up an new 870 12 ga 3 1/2" Super Mag at Wally World that was going out of the firearms business (2 years ago) for $199 and got a $50 rebate from Remington to boot.
Check out the remington web site as I think they are running another promotion and the 870 is an fine pump for the money.
Check the remington web site as you can get a $30 rebate as well. On their site go to Sportsmans Library--Promotions--cash rebates
Originally Posted by sandness
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