What shotgun do I want?

This is a discussion on What shotgun do I want? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Hoping you guys who know about shotguns can help me out. I have a general Idea of what I want in my first shotgun. I'm ...

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Thread: What shotgun do I want?

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    Member Array ak74's Avatar
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    What shotgun do I want?

    Hoping you guys who know about shotguns can help me out. I have a general Idea of what I want in my first shotgun. I'm just not sure what model to get, or what model to get to modify to get exactly what I want. Basically what I want is a lightweight, handy 20 gauge that I can use for home defense. I would like a short traditional style stock on it, 18.5" barrel, and hope to get the capacity to at least 6 in the tube if possible. I'm thinking some type of mossberg perhaps as I like the location of the safety and the aftermarket for them seems pretty big.

    I'm wondering If I should be looking for one of their youth models, or bantam models. Anyone know the difference between youth and bantam? Are they just normal sized 500's with shorter stocks on them or is the frame itself smaller? Also I would like to try some slugs for fun. Would the standard barrels be good for decent accuracy out to 100 yards? Well that's about it. Hopefully someone can help me out. My shotgun knowledge is limited and I'm kind of lost in the sauce right now.

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    My first question to you would be why a 20 gauge? A lot of times 20 gauges weigh less than their 12 gauge counterparts (due to there simply being less gun), so there isn't all that much difference in recoil. 20 gauge also has a lot less selection and availability when it comes to shell types too, so it is harder to find different types of loads.

    As far as modifications, aside from your requirements of traditional stock, 18.5" barrel, and a capacity of at least 6, the only things I would recommend are a light, and maybe a side saddle, or sling if you want. That requirement of 6 in the tube is going to mean you need something with an extended magazine tube. I believe the standard capacity for normal 870's and 500's are 4+1, although capacity also depends on what length shell you are using.

    I am pretty sure the only really difference between the youth models and full sized 20 gauge models is the stock. There isn't a lot of room to spare inside a Remington 870, or Mossberg 500 (the two main contenders for a pump action), so the receiver couldn't be made smaller, and 18.5" is the shortest legal length for a shotgun barrel.

    The drawback out to 100 yards isn't the barrel itself, but the sights. If you practice, you can hit targets at 100 yards with a bead sight and slugs, but a typical shotgun bead set up only has the front bead, with no rear sight. Since there isn't a rear sight, it is a bit more instinctive shooting. But, there are more expensive models with different sighting systems.
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    Member Array ak74's Avatar
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    The reason for wanting the 20 instead of the 12 is for the lighter weight really. 20's are lighter to begin with and when I add a side saddle, extended tube, fully loaded with shells, light, possibly new sights or a red dot will add more weight. Trying to keep it light and handy as possible. Also I read an article from Massad Ayoob where he talked about the merits of the 20 gauge. For a defense rifle it just doesn't seem like the 20 would be any less effective than the 12. Thanks for the advice!

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    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    IMO, the size/weight of the 20 is a lot easier to deal with, especially in smaller spaces like a home and/or if multiple people/SO will be using it. You can get buckshot, birdshot, small game, turkey, steel, and slugs easy enough at the major stores - or they can order it for you or find it online. While there's more options for a 12, how many of those options do the vast majority of people actually use? I wish I had bought the 20 instead of the 12 I have. Especially since it's your first, I'd go with an auto as you don't have to worry about short stroking it and recoil will be lighter.

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    RKM
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    Mossberg 500 or Remington 870. They're like the Glock 19 of the Shotgun world. Simple, available and reliable.

    As for 20 vs 12 gauge, I can't help you there. I have a 12 because it's the most common and is proven. But a 20 gauge will still ruin somebody's day and make them change their mind about trying to harm you. I just never gave a 20 gauge much thought.

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    Member Array ak74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nedrgr21 View Post
    IMO, the size/weight of the 20 is a lot easier to deal with, especially in smaller spaces like a home and/or if multiple people/SO will be using it. You can get buckshot, birdshot, small game, turkey, steel, and slugs easy enough at the major stores - or they can order it for you or find it online. While there's more options for a 12, how many of those options do the vast majority of people actually use? I wish I had bought the 20 instead of the 12 I have. Especially since it's your first, I'd go with an auto as you don't have to worry about short stroking it and recoil will be lighter.
    Yeah that is pretty much my thinking too. I think I'm set on a mossberg 20 gauge. Just need to find the right model now.

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    Distinguished Member Array Burns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RKM View Post
    Mossberg 500 or Remington 870. They're like the Glock 19 of the Shotgun world. Simple, available and reliable.
    ^This, heard nothing but good things from both of them.
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    Member Array ak74's Avatar
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    So I was looking around the net and 20 gauge maverick 88 can be had for under $200. That about $150 saving over the mossbergs from what I've seen. Only thing is they have a longer barrel then I want. Mossberg 18.5 barrels are going for around $80. So if I bought the maverick would the mossberg barrel and other accessories work for it? Are the mavericks as reliable as the mossbergs?

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    I really think later on you will wish you had the 12, so any savings will be gone with the loss you'll take.

    I would just do it right from the start and get a Remington 870 home defense type for about $350 out the door. It comes with the barrel length you want, extra capacity, and a limitless availability of accessories.

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    I only have 12 guage experience. However I have shot a maverick. Compared to the Mossberg I highly prefered the moss. The maverick had a narrow shoulder stock that hurt to shoot. It was a good gun, relia le and it resides under pops bed for hd. It was painful to shoot, but that coukd be remedied with a butt pad, different stock etc. In regards to your question regarding reliability I never had any issues with it, nor has the old man.

    If you do go the 12 guage route I have a mossberg 590 that I LOVE. 20 inch barrel so slightly longer but it holds 8 in the tube. If I need more than that I will be running instead of standing my ground vs the zombies.
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    Senior Member Array Sig35seven's Avatar
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    I don't see that your going to save that much weight going with a 20 gauge.


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    Senior Member Array darbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sig35seven View Post
    I don't see that your going to save that much weight going with a 20 gauge.


    I have a Mossberg 500. I want one of these!

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    You come here and ask what shotgun you should get but you aren't listening to all of the above posters. Get a Mossberg 500 or a Remington 870 in 12 gauge. This aint rocket science. Both of these guns have been around for about 40 or 50 years now and they are both great. The Mossberg and the Remington are PROVEN winners. Isn't your life worth the extra 80 bucks?
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    Distinguished Member Array AZJD1968's Avatar
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    I have this in 12 guage but also comes in 20.
    Pump Action Shotgun - Model 870 Express Synthetic 7 Round - Remington Shotguns





    I love mine. Good luck in your search

    PS. I paid $329.00 at my local gunshop.
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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    You come here and ask what shotgun you should get but you aren't listening to all of the above posters. Get a Mossberg 500 or a Remington 870 in 12 gauge. This aint rocket science. Both of these guns have been around for about 40 or 50 years now and they are both great. The Mossberg and the Remington are PROVEN winners. Isn't your life worth the extra 80 bucks?
    + however many that is. Get the Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 in 12 gauge and call it a day.
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