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First shotgun...strickly home defense! What should I buy

Discussion in 'Tactical Shotguns' started by cburgin, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. cburgin


    Jul 12, 2004
    I like the 870s but I am unsure of the differences in models available. I am not opposed to a mossberg either. I really like the look of the 590a1 tactical, too. I am just looking for advice on pricing, reliability, and ease of modifications. Also, I am seeing shotguns with barrels shorter than 18.5" on the there a different permit required for these. Since this is a home defense shotgun, I want it to be compact as possible. Thanks.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
  2. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie

    Sep 6, 2001
    As to barrel length...

    For HD my preference is an 870 youth model in 20 ga. due to the 21" barrel and shorter stock. But there's also the IAC Win 97 clone nearby should I feel the need.

    In the 870 series the Express line is their low cost product. Wingmasters cost more for good reason. Heres the link to Remingtons "Compact" series.

    Nothing wrong at all with Mossberg 500 series or old Winchester 1300s for that matter (except they're no longer being made... the Winchester)

  3. tenntornado


    Oct 17, 2011
    what is the good reason for spending twice as much for a wingmaster,when the gun is gonna be a dedicated HD gun?I doubt pretty bluing and shiny wood matter much to the OP.
  4. Tomac


    Aug 12, 2001
    Caldwell, Idaho
    870 Express HD (6+1), then replace the extractor, carrier dog follower spring, magazine tube spring & follower and you're gtg.
    If you want the most compact possible, this is the route I'm going (28" OAL w/an 18" bbl):
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
  5. 4 glocks

    4 glocks

    Jun 29, 2010
    I like the 870 I have two. I would look for a used older one. I have the express and a 1970's Wingmaster. I was looking at a new 870 in a shop and the action was very ruff and felt gritty. The old ones are so much smoother.
    Maybe it was just that one but it felt like it was full of sand. I got my Express used about 15 years ago for $215 and it's been flawless.
  6. Averageman


    Oct 22, 2011
    Haunt some pawn shops.
    I bought a unused 870 for $150 and cleaned it up, refinished the wood and cycled it about 300 times then polished the internals and bought someones "mistake" barrel and an extension so it holds ten rounds.
    Now I have a hunting shotgun and a home defence shotgun that cost me some time and about $250.
  7. Aceman


    Nov 30, 2008
    I'm gonna throw out a call for a Maverick 88. splits the feature difference between 870 and 500 down the middle, cheaper than either and as reliable/effective as both.

    No need for anything but an ammo cuff and the tac light of your choice. Done.
  8. i use a mossberg 535 turkey gun for double duty. i like its 20" barrel with choke tubes and a fiber optic sight.

    as far as shorter than 18", you need to pay a $200 tax stamp to the BATFE for a SBS (short barreled shotgun).

    make sure you are going to train with it as well. shotguns are big and bulky compared to other alternatives but also have a very devastating capability.
  9. NAS T MAG


    Feb 12, 2007
    Northern Ohio
    Mossberg Tactical Cruiser with light and laser. End of conversation.
  10. CrackerKen


    Oct 25, 2009
    Lakeland, FL
    I've been researching and doing reviews on HD shotguns for a while now. I'm buying one soon. I'd rather buy new. I make a good living, but I don't have unlimited resources for firearms purchases. All I want is a reliable shotgun that I can buy, clean/lube, test, and sit in the corner on standby. While I certainly agree that a nice 870 or a Mossberg 500 (or 590) is nice, I cannot justify the extra $100 to $200 (or more), when compared to the economy models, which will also do the same job.

    Here's what I've been looking at:

    Maverick 88 (made by Mossberg), 5+1. Clone of a Mossberg 500. Parts interchange.

    Maverick 88, 7+1.

    More on the Maverick:

    H&R - New England Firearms, Pardner Pump Protector. Basically an 870 clone. Reviews give these good marks. I found a few review threads using Google. These go for about $180 to $200. They can be found on-line at Bud's, Cheaper Than Dirt, and others. Dick's Sporting Goods sells them too. I think they can be found and/or ordered at Wal-Mart too.

    More on the H&R (scroll down to the bottom of this page) :

    Hope this helps.
  11. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Jan 16, 2001
    Buried in the X-files
    It's your life. Is it not worth an extra $100?

    Personally if I still ran a 12ga for house use, an 870 Express or preferably Police, 18", five shot tube, Speedfeed IV-S shorty stock.

    Alternatively a Mossberg 590A1 set up the same way, six-shot tube, short stock.

    XS Big Dot tritium front bead as this would be a strictly short range interpersonal conflict resolver, and add a Surefire fore-end, or a railed fore-end and Surefire G2X LED. Viking Tactics VTAC sling and i'd be all done.

    I could accomplish the same with a stock gun, but that is how i'd PREFER the gun set up.

    As it is, I use an AR and pistols. My shotgun is a pure hunting piece.
  12. Bello

    Bello America/Italia

    Sep 24, 2008
    East Coast
    dont listen to this ridiculous guy lmao

    Get a Benelli M2 Tactical
  13. aippi


    Jun 12, 2009
    Good Thinking Cracker. With that thought be sure to get the economy break pads since they stop the car also. And those budget tires work just as well. Cheap bunji cords if you ever decide to do that stuff and check Wal-mart for a chute incase you want to take up sky diving. And if you ever need serious surgery just head down to Mexico as those doctors work cheap.

    Being most all of you will never need a firearm to defend yourself with anything will work just fine, however, if that time comes then what do you want in your hands?
  14. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
    I bought the Remington 870 Tactical as a 2d 870:

    I have a much older 870 with a simple bead sight and a Blackhawk stock:

    My favorite SD shotgun is the Benelli M4:

    The M4 is a serious piece of hardware even if it is on the high side of expensive.

    But, if it came to clearing my house, I don't think I will use a shotgun. I have a lot more experience with a handgun.

  15. CrackerKen


    Oct 25, 2009
    Lakeland, FL
    aippi - Are those two models of shotguns I posted junk? Not arguing here, or being a smart $#%&$, just asking, and I am really interested in a qualified opinion. Seriously.

    I tend to buy quality stuff in all areas of life. I don't like buying junk. My handguns are Glocks and a S&W. However, what will an 870 or 590 do that the Maverick or H&R won't? Are they that sorry and unreliable? If so, I'll just ante up another $100 for a Mossberg 500, and/or hit the pawnshops and gunstores for a good used more expensive gun.

    I wasn't the only one who mentioned a Maverick.

    When I was a deputy sheriff, I carried a chopped down (18.5) 12ga High Standard Flite King hunting shotgun. It gave me years of very reliable service. That would probably be considered inferior junk too, but at the time, I didn't have enough money for expensive shotguns when the cheaper worked fine.
  16. aippi


    Jun 12, 2009
    The High Standard Pumps were made well and made here in the USA. It would have been there when you needed it. Had some in the Armory and loved shooting them.

    The Remington 870 is the go to LEO Duty shotgun for all the right reasons. I relied on it to protect me all those years and still do. If there was not an 870 I would not hesitate to use the 590, a 1200 or even a vintage 37. I would not select any of the budget models for my defense shotgun unless I was cash poor and had to have something quick. I would save the extra and get the 870 or the 500.

    There is also a rule I learned the hard way. Buy cheap and you buy oftern. My Dad still has Craftsman Tools hanging in his shop he bought 50 years ago. I wasted hundreds of dollars on cheap tools before I learned that lesson. With that said will any of those budget shotguns be here 50 years from now? That 870 will. In fact on my web site on the red link "Refinishing Service" is some before and after pictures of two old 870's customers sent in. I refinished them, changed out a couple springs and sent them back looking factory new and since they came to me working just fine I can't take any credit for that. Look at those before pictures and what those two weapons went through over the years. That Topeka Police Department weapon (see the TPD stamped on the receiver)would have been thrown away if based on looks alone. That thing ran like a Swiss watch when I got it. I seriously believe and state this with full confidence, none of the other models that so many guys bring up on these gun blogs, none, could have taken the abuse and neglect that weapon took and still function like that one did. Check out the Pictures.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
  17. sdsnet

    sdsnet NRA Member CLM

    Feb 8, 2007
  18. CrackerKen


    Oct 25, 2009
    Lakeland, FL
    Thanks for your insight JD. I'll check out your web site. Most likely, I'll go for a Mossberg 500. I've seen them as low as about $275 on the 'net. No telling what I can find used. When I have the $$$ in my pocket, I'll hit the shops and see what's out there.
  19. Nestor

    Nestor Lean & Mean

    Jul 13, 2003
    Saving someone's life maybe?
    Wingmaster is much smoother (especially the older ones) and will shot better pattern than any Express out there.