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Home defense shotgun suggestions

mitdr774mitdr774 MemberPosts: 1,445 Senior Member
I have been debating a different shotgun option for home.  Currently I only have one shotgun and it is my 870 Express 20 gauge with a 26" barrel.  Not exactly an ideal combination for in a home.  

I would like to stick with a pump as im not a fan of semi auto shotguns and a side by side or over under limit me to two rounds.  While I really do like side by side shotguns, I feel they would be best suited for hunting or clays.  Never did develop a love for the over under.  A pistol grip shotgun, or any of the similar offerings, is not an option.

I have not decided on 20 vs 12 gauge, however it does seem that 12 gauge ammunition options far exceed that for 20 gauge.  My current setup uses a full choke and Remington Gun Club shot shells.  Longest shot in my house would be at most 10 yards, but that would be the furthest possibility.  Possibility of children running around the house is about 0% and if someone did force entry into the house at night my wife would already be in the bedroom with me.  Interior over penetration is not a concern.  

What does everone prefer in both manufacture/model and gauge?  Any reasons for one over the other?
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Replies

  • 10canyon5310canyon53 Member Posts: 2,119 Senior Member
    Just curious, why not semi-auto?
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,445 Senior Member
    Past experience with semi auto shotguns has taught me that they tend to be overly complex for the reliability I am willing to accept for home defense.   I can tolerate an occasional failure in recreational use, but I need 100% reliable for a defense gun. My 870 has never given me a reason to doubt its reliability.  I know several people with semi auto shotguns that have issues fairly often.
  • 10canyon5310canyon53 Member Posts: 2,119 Senior Member
    I understand your viewpoint.  It does make a difference which semi-auto shotgun you have experience with.  I have a Russian built Molot VEPR-12 which is an AK platform based on the ultra rugged RPK receiver.  Unlike its cousin the Saiga, mine is not picky about what I feed it and in my experience has been absolutely reliable (at this point I have probably run over 1,000 rounds through it).  It has a different gas system than the Saiga and does not require adjustment depending on what rounds you are running through it like the Saiga does.  I can even mix high brass and low brass rounds in the same magazine and it does not care, it will feed them all.  But.....unless you have a good experience with one like I have, you will not likely be comfortable using it for home defense.
  • horselipshorselips Senior Member Posts: 3,628 Senior Member
    My defense shotgun is a Remington 1100 Tactical with a 10 round mag extension. It's a bit unwieldy in very close quarters, but it's not the gun I would take clearing rooms - it's for hunkering down behind the bed if the dog goes postal about something going bump in the night. Call it a "garrison" shotgun if you want. 

    Anyway, my load of choice is #4 Buck. The longest sight line in my dwelling is about 40 feet. I like #4 Buck because (1) the pellets are still large enough to at least do mind-altering, attitude-changing damage to a home invader, and at most to end his thought process altogether, and (2) I get a helluva lot more pellets per round than larger buckshot, so that the chances of scoring a hit on a potentially moving-diving-dodging target 13 yards away are much improved.   Second choice is BB shot - same reasons. 
  • MichakavMichakav Senior Member Posts: 2,728 Senior Member
    I have a Mossberg 500 Tactical 20" 12ga 8 shot. I use the pistol grip on mine. I love it for what it is.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    Check the used racks for an old 870 that's close to the right size you want.

    I've read that the old Win model 12s run like water down a hill, but well, you know the rest.

    Who knows, if you haunt a few pawn shops and LGSs ya might find an old Ithaca 37 or a Stevens.

    Ive got a Mossberg 88. Not top drawer but its never had a failure.
  • FreezerFreezer Senior Member Posts: 1,756 Senior Member
    edited January 2019 #8
    There's nothing wrong with the Mossberg 500. I've see two barrel packages at B-5 sporting goods for years. a short barrel for home defense and long barrel for hunting. There are a lot of aftermarket parts available also for reasonable prices.

    I believe they also make the Maverick 
    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,712 Senior Member
    Buy a shorter barrel
    Shut up-----KAREN; OK Cynthia
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 10,905 Senior Member
    I have had a Mossberg 500 with 28" and 18.5" barrels for years now.  It has never once jammed or failed to fire.
    It is very easy to handle indoors with the 18.5" barrel
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 23,654 Senior Member
    We too have a 20 gauge Mossy 500 with the two different bbls. I put an ATI stock on it so the LOP would be something reasonable for my wife, and with a quick pull I can adjust it for myself.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    About the only time I keep a shotgun handy for SD is when I'm camped out.

    After experimenting with slugs, I really like them. I feel very warm and fuzzy behind five big soft lead flying pumpkins I can put through a pie plate at 50 yards. Sometimes I load up 00 buck, but thats only because I have a bunch of it purchased cheap. I got #4s too, but I've never fired one.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,445 Senior Member
    A shorter barrel will run me around $175 new.  Thats only about $25 less than I paid for the shotgun back when i purchased it.  I would also like to ability to just grab my 870 to take out for clays without first having to swap barrels.  While this is an easy process, its an extra step on the way out and when i get back home.
  • 10canyon5310canyon53 Member Posts: 2,119 Senior Member
    edited January 2019 #14
    As has been suggested, keep an eye on the used gun rack at your LGS.  Deals can pop up with no warning.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,395 Senior Member
    You already have a good shotgun in the Rem. 870 Express 20 ga. Just get a 18 inch slug barrel in cylinder bore with rifle sights already installed. If you want an extended magazine, then a Rem. Express in 12 ga. with a magazine extender installed will give you more rounds, but require a longer barrel. 20 gauge mag extenders are mostly made of unobtanium.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,917 Senior Member
    Don't need anything fancy or expensive...keep in mind you're likely going to lose it for a spell if you use it...
    Most gun shop used racks are awash wit used 870s and 500s...I picked up my last 870 for about $250...threw the abused wooden stock away and replaced it with a cheap 
    Ramline stock set, put a side saddle and a mag extension on it...found a plain jane 18.5" barrel with a bead sight in thevused barrel box for $50.00...and there you have it..a perfectly capable yet expendable HD shotgun...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,445 Senior Member
    My current 870 was my first purchased firearm.  It has some mild sentimental value. I  feel better taking the risk of losing it for a bit with a different shotgun.  I know it's nothing special, but at the same time its special to me.

    Used racks around me have been very overpriced lately.  When a used and abused shotgun is marked for $50-75 less than a new version of the same model, I have a hard time justifying buying the used one.

    I have heard a lot of good about the Mossberg 500, and I know how my 870 has performed.  That's about all i have much knowledge about when it comes to shotguns. 
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,395 Senior Member
    mitdr774 said:
    My current 870 was my first purchased firearm.  It has some mild sentimental value. I  feel better taking the risk of losing it for a bit with a different shotgun.  I know it's nothing special, but at the same time its special to me.

    Used racks around me have been very overpriced lately.  When a used and abused shotgun is marked for $50-75 less than a new version of the same model, I have a hard time justifying buying the used one.

    I have heard a lot of good about the Mossberg 500, and I know how my 870 has performed.  That's about all i have much knowledge about when it comes to shotguns. 
    Mossberg 500 is a good dependable shotgun, and accessories are available for reasonable prices. They have models already set up with 18" cylinder bore slug barrels with sights, too.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • 10canyon5310canyon53 Member Posts: 2,119 Senior Member
    Sorry, I just couldn't resist leaving this here:  :D


  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,252 Senior Member
    Intimately acquainted with both Remingtons and Mossbergs.  Both will serve, but I strongly feel that the Mossberg is harder for the novice to screw up under stress - effectively an ambi safety, action release where you don't have to stretch for it, and an elevator that can't flop into the wrong position from where it's needed.

    20 gauges will be lighter to use for smaller folk, but the ammo choices are nowhere near as abundant as they are for the 12.  There are some SERIOUSLY good 12 gauge buckshot options out there - Federal's Flight Control being right at the top.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,980 Senior Member
    Not being the biggest Mossberg fan, my vote is for the Rem 870 in 12ga. 

    https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/mobile/product/3743/remington_model_870_hardwood_home_defense
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,574 Senior Member
    Mine are Rem 870 12 ga, police magnum.  Every few years, the local LGSs are awash in police or prison trade 870s.  I found a few that were virtually new when the State Highway patrol traded up a few years ago.  Mine are equipped with three round mag extensions, 5 round side saddles, and 18" rifle sight barrels.   Not that I think all of that is neccesary, but, they came that way.  They also came with Speedfeed stocks.  I swapped out the forends,  for Magpul, to facilitate light mounting.
    I also swapped out the safeties for the big button version.

    I grew up with Remington shotguns, so, that's what I'm used to. 
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    If you’re stuck on a pump I vote the 870.
    personally I’m a VEPR12 owner. Amazing shotgun, easily controlled with rapid fire, mag fed for easy reload and 100% reliable. 



    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,733 Senior Member
    The only repeating shotgun I own is a S&W pump with rifle sights I bought for less than $200...a cop trade-in.  I can't remember ever shooting it more than once, to see if it functions.  Any pump gun will do the job.  I prefer doubles and had one under my bed for years. 
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,445 Senior Member
    While im not opposed to a double, the trend around here lately has been groups of 2-3 entering homes.  While its not terribly common in my neighborhood, it is happening a little more regularly than it used to.

    I have 0 experience with any of the AK based shotgun designs.  Like most other auto loaders, it just has more bits and pieces that could potentially fail and cause a problem.  Given the direction the political climate is headed, not a gamble I want to take anyways.

    Given my past experience with the 870 in 20 gauge, I already tend to lean that way.  Any reason you are not a Mossberg fan, Zee?  I have not heard much against them.
  • 10canyon5310canyon53 Member Posts: 2,119 Senior Member
    mitdr774 said:

    I have 0 experience with any of the AK based shotgun designs.  Like most other auto loaders, it just has more bits and pieces that could potentially fail and cause a problem.  Given the direction the political climate is headed, not a gamble I want to take anyways.

    If you get the chance to shoot one that belongs to someone else, do it.  I think you would be pleasantly surprised if you try the right one.  They are not all created equal, the VEPR is the high end brand and worth the extra money.  I keep mine loaded with 10 rounds of 00 buck for home defense and generally also keep another 10 round magazine loaded with slugs nearby as a backup.  Over the two years I have had it, it has been utterly reliable.  As for the political climate, that depends on where you live.  I live in Florida which has laws on the books preventing anyone, including the government, from compiling lists of who owns what firearms.  So......officially, I do not own one.  :D
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,445 Senior Member
    If its banned on a federal level it wont matter if anyone knows I have it or not.  If I use it, I will be screwed.  Easier to just not take the gamble especially when for what im looking for its not the type of tool I want.

  • Uncle FesterUncle Fester Senior Member Posts: 1,371 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    Not being the biggest Mossberg fan, my vote is for the Rem 870 in 12ga. 

    https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/mobile/product/3743/remington_model_870_hardwood_home_defense

    I go out of my way to avoid buying anything new from Remington.  If I didn’t go used, I would get the Mossberg or a Winchester.  I love my SXP Turkey setup.  The HD version is very affordable.

    https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/mobile/product/52704/winchester_512252395_super_x_defender_5+1_3_12ga_18?cpath=
      
    The only downside to Winchesters is a lack of accessories.

  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,445 Senior Member
    From what I have been able to come up with in regards to the 870 having issues (only applies to fairly new production ones) is that the machining on the barrels sucks and the rim of the shell gets caught up and allows the extractor to slip off the rim.  This seems to be more of an issue with lower end ammunition than higher end stuff.

    Apparently Benelli also makes a pump action with an 18.5" barrel.  Didnt even know they made a pump action.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,980 Senior Member
    mitdr774 said:

    Given my past experience with the 870 in 20 gauge, I already tend to lean that way.  Any reason you are not a Mossberg fan, Zee?  I have not heard much against them.
    Their clunky nature and overall lack of smoothness. 
    Dont like the location of the controls and general cheap nature. 

    But, mossberg and Remington would be my two choices due to support and accessories. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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