What is the best shotgun you own/have shot, seen people shoot, etc? Factors worth mentioning would be recoil, action, and length of life. any help would be much appreciated.

I own a Mossberg model 500 pump action 12-gauge, it’s been absolutely (pardon the pun) bulletproof :wink:

the 500 is incredibly reliable, shoots well, has a nice smooth action, it’s one of the “big three” used in law enforcement, and that speaks volumes for it’s reliability, the fact that there are so many 500’s out there also means you have a huge selection of barrel lengths and other accesories, it also means you can get a used gun for much less than new and not have to worry about reliability, i picked up my 500 used for about $130 and it looks brand new

the other 2 members of the “big three” are the Remington 870 pump and the Remington 1100 semiautomatic

what type of shooting will you be doing, hunting, sport shooting (skeet, trap, sporting clays?) or home defense?

for hunting, it doesn’t matter what action you have, it can be a side-by-side or over-under dual barrel, a pump, a semiauto, pumps and semis will allow you to carry 5 shotshells wheras doubles limit you to two (obviously), pumps are mechanically simpler and a little more reliable, but chambering the next round is slower as you have to manually pump the foregrip to eject the empty shell and chamber the next shell

for sport shooting, you’re limited to no more than two shells in the gun at a time (for the doubles portion in skeet), so the increased capacity of a pump or semi is a non-issue, in trap and sporting clays, most of the time you’re shooting one shell at a single target, if you want to get competitive in sport shooting, you’ll do better with an over-under double barrel, any shotgun will work fine though

for home defense, you’ll want a shotgun with a short barrel (18 inches maximum) for ease of maneuverability, i’d reccomend a pump for home defense, simply because the act of chambering a shell creates a unique and unmistakeable sound that may scare the robber off without you having to fire a shot, it tells the robber he’s up against some serious firepower and it’s best if he leaves, now…

as far as recoil goes, most modern shotguns are equipped with a recoil pad on the end of the buttstock that absorbs a good amount of the recoil, it won’t eliminate it, and all shotguns have recoil, even the lowly .410 (the .410 doesn’t have much, but it’s there), what really determines recoil is the power of the shells you’re firing, if you’re shooting target/trap loads, recoil will be minimal, however, if you’re shooting 3" Magnum rounds, well, they’ll kick like crazy…

the shotgun’s gauge is also a factor, the bigger the gauge, the more kick, shotgun gauges are as follows (biggest to smallest)

10-gauge (uncommon)
12-gauge (the most popular gauge)
16 gauge (relatively uncommon)
20 gauge (common)
28 gauge (common)
.410 Bore (common)

the two most popular gauges for sport shooting/home defense are 12 and 20, .410 is used for varminting

Like MacTech said. You need to supply some more information.

I have a Rem 1100 12ga. And an Ithica 20ga pump featherlight.

Both are great. A gas operated auto like the 1100 will not kick as bad as a pump or double barrel. I find that the 12ga auto kicks about as much as the 20ga Ithaca.

The Ithaca is lighter, that makes a difference as well, makes it kick more. But it also makes it easier to carry.

Also consider chamber size. The length of the (shotgun)shell. Most are 2-3/4" but some people choose a 3" magnum.

Mossberg 590 Never had a single problem, And for sheer visual intimidation factor…it’s THERE!
(With the caveat; never flash a weapon, or aim in on a target you are not willing to destroy.)

What do you want to do with the shotgun? Is it for hunting? Trap? Home defense? Or a combination of these?

If it’s for hunting and/or home defense, I am a firm believer that the shotgun should be rugged and inexpensive. How did I come up with this “rule”? Ten years ago I set out to buy my first shotgun. I have always had a penchant for high-quality hardware, so I bought a brand new Browning BPS 12 gauge with walnut stock. It was a beautiful gun. But therein lied the problem: it was too nice. I never wanted to take it hunting because I was afraid of getting it wet, scratching the stock, etc. Then I said to myself, “This thing is so nice it’s useless.” So a couple years ago I sold it and bought a Mossberg 500 12 gauge with synthetic stock. It’s a real workhorse of a shotgun; very reliable and 100% utilitarian. Much better!! I never worry about it… I get it wet, drag it through the mud, etc.

So for hunting and/or home defense, I would recommend a no-frills pump-action shotgun with synthetic stock (e.g. Mossberg 500, Remington 870). For trap or skeet you may want something a little nicer.

Another Mossberg 500 owner checking in. I have several different barrels and chokes for it, and it has never given me a bit of trouble in 20 years of ownership. :smiley:

I don’t own a shotgun but I am thinking of a Mossberg 500 18" barrel with a pistol grip trigger, detachable stock and forend pistol grip. What is the difference between mossberg numbers like 500, 590, 835, etc?

the 500 is the basic gun, 5 round magazine tube, wood stock, blued finish, your basic gun

the 590 is the “police/millitary” fersion of the 500, it has an extended magazine (6 or 9 shot vs. 5), synthetic stock (pistol grip available) and a heat dissapater shield over the top (optional)

the 835 is a 500 chambered for the new 3.5" magnum shotshell (most magnum shotshells are 3", standard shotshells are 2 3/4"

A buddy of mine recently purchased a Mossberg 590 with an attached bayonet. :smiley:

Let’s say the OP’s looking for a home defense shotgun. What would be the best load for 12ga? Is there something similar in effect to the frangible rounds that aren’t as likely to puncture your good neighbor?

I’d personally never use a shotgun for home defense, relying rather on my pistol. But if the sound of chambering a shell doesn’t scare someone off, you may indeed have a genuine lunatic and should think about using a slug. IMO, of course.

I run sequential loading in mine: the first round is #4 buckshot, followed by three rounds of 00 and a saboted slug. If all that don’t kill it…it’s immortal! :smiley:

I have a Remington 870, and I find it to be a bit too “long” for me in the shooting position. I’m 6’0 and bulk accordingly. It’s a nice weapon, but for pure shooting ease I have an old single shot H&R 12ga that shoots like a dream. If I only had one shot I’d rather it be from the old H&R.

But won’t those, and duffer’s slug too, go right through a few houses? I’ve seen what a 12ga slug does to a fence post.

I was thinking more of a hollow-point, which would slow considerably after passing through a human body. Though a normal slug would slow a lot as well. And ANY round will have the chance of ricocheting or somesuch putting neighbors at risk. This is why learning to use a gun and keeoing a cool head is so important. Sometimes knowing what direction to shoot from or towards is as important as what you’re actually shooting at.

Of course, actually using a shotgun slug on a home intruder is more academic than anything. My BiL only uses them when he hunts full grown Moose. Seems a little excessive for a crack addict trying to steal your tv.

Somebody (post #4) mentioned “destroy”. So with that in mind…
A long time ago, a cop reccommended a shotgun for defense. He said that with the noise, and the pure ugly of the wrong end of the gun, you might not have to shoot. I didn’t pay much attention then, cause I was full of confidence. But I’m getting old and slow. :wink: I’m still not ready, but when and if I am I’ll surely learn to do what I’m doing.

sorry. the gun will used mostly for skeet, with a little bit of squirrel/dove hunting on the side. no home defense for this gun. thanks gus.

Dang. :frowning:

Remington makes special low-recoil buckshot and slug loads for police use. I’m going to look into these mainly so that my wife can practice and not be afraid of the gun.

FWIW I decided it was worth a few extra bucks to get a Remington 870. Mine is a defender type with 18" cylinder bore barrel, extended magazine (7 rounds) and matte finish as I’ll probably use it in three gun matches as well as for home defense.

MSUbulldogs101, thanks for the clarification. Most skeet shooters shoot over/unders, although there are a number of old school who use pump guns. I use a Beretta A303, an older model autoloader. You can probably find one new in box for about $600. The newer model Beretta 390 and 391’s run about $750-900 depending on barrel porting, etc.

The stack barrels are definitely more expensive, with a Ruger Red Label running about $1200 on the low end. Beretta’s excellent 682 Gold and Gold E run about $3200. Brownings excellent Citori series doubles run anywhere from $1500 to $3000 depending on the bells and whistles you want. Due to the value these guns have, you can buy a used one for a lot less and still have a lot of gun. The quality and craftsmanship inherent in these models is well known within the shotgun sporting world. It is not uncommon to put 100,000 rounds through one of these guns, with only minor repairs (hammer springs, firing pins, etc).

Here’s a few sites that may help:

SKB I have an 85TSS for Trap.
Beretta USA
A very popular buy/sell site