Which cheap/beginner pump shotgun?

This is a discussion on Which cheap/beginner pump shotgun? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; So I've been looking at good but cheap shotguns a little bit recently. The three that seem the best quality/value for the $$ right now ...

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Thread: Which cheap/beginner pump shotgun?

  1. #1
    Member Array TexasPatriot's Avatar
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    Which cheap/beginner pump shotgun?

    So I've been looking at good but cheap shotguns a little bit recently. The three that seem the best quality/value for the $$ right now are the Remington 870, Mossberg 500 and Winchester 1300. I mainly want it for skeet shooting and bird hunting (though I haven't been able to go bird hunting yet). It might be used a little for home defense, but it's probably not practical in my current situation.

    I'd like an interchangeable choke tube, but it looks like all three shotguns I mentioned have this (as do almost all modern shotguns). The Rem. 870s I've seen have a plastic stock, whereas most of the Mossberg 500s have a wood stock. I am not looking for some kind of tricked out "tactical/LE" shotgun. I've shot a Western Field 20ga. with a 28" barrel and full choke that's probably over 30 years old and like it a lot (made by Mossberg and fairly similar to the 500).

    So, if you like one of the 3 over the others, or one type of stock over another, let me know what you like and why, please. And if you have a really good reason, you can tell me why you think I should get something other than one of the 3 mentioned.

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
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    Take a look at the new(?) NEF brand. Haven't shot one (can't reccommend one)but they look good and quite a bit under the price of a 870. But let me add that you really can't go wrong with the 3 that you mentioned above. At this time I own two Moss500's and owned another prior to buying my 11-87. Loved 'em all.

    You should be able to pick up a used 870 for under $200 and a Moss500 for $130-$150 or so. Also the aftermarket parts for these weapons are numerious.

    A choice of the three,I would buy a 870 Express,synthetic stock. Also would suggest that you go with a short bbl. 24" being the absolute longest. 20-22" would be better(but unavailable IIRC).

    Good luck and let us know what you end up with.--------
    Last edited by RSSZ; July 20th, 2006 at 06:51 PM.

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    Member Array DOTL's Avatar
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    1300

    A friend of mine, whose wife just bought a Benelli (recoil operated) was remarking on how fast it shoots...good for sporting clays and how it differs with the 1300 Auto, which is a gas operated system and is kind of slow. You might have a little trouble with dove hunting, though duck and geese would be OK. Had a Mossberg 500, but never hunted with it. I use an old Rem Model 11 to hunt Pheasant with, but they're easy (though it is also a recoil operated, and very fast).

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    Senior Member Array hsuCowboy98's Avatar
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    I would stay away from the mossberg 500. Ive been asked to work on several of them, and a common problem has been the trigger assembly...which is entirely plastic, and non-serviceable. Either the 1300 or the 870 are great choices though. Depends on what you intend to do with it.

    Synthetics are good for guns that will see alot of use in wet or more harsh conditions. Wood is fine for general use, and looks beter. Thats just a personal call for you to make.
    Fear No Evil.

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    Member Array MoMike's Avatar
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    It shouldn't be to hard to find a Remington 870 Express with a wood stock. Considering all the accessories you can get for the 870 would make it my choice. (As a matter of fact, it WAS my choice!)

    The Mossberg 500 is a nice gun, but has some plastic in a few places where I don't care for it. The Winchester 1300? Well, Winchester is gone now. Plus, I never did care for Winchesters bolt system.

    The Remington will do anything you could ever ask it to do.
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    VIP Member Array artz's Avatar
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    The model 1300 is FAST ! It was advertised as a speed pump. I kick myself for letting mine go. It has a short stroke on the pump which means you can get down to business.
    I have to full storke my Ithaca or she'll hang up. Its a pisser to miss a bird and get ragged on by tha fella's because of it.

    Heres some reading..... http://www.winchesterguns.com/prodin...tail.asp?ID=72

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    Member Array TexasPatriot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RSSZ
    Also would suggest that you go with a short bbl. 24" being the absolute longest. 20-22" would be better(but unavailable IIRC).
    Why such a short barrel? I know they're good for home defense purposes, but is there another benefit to them that I'm missing?

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    870 is hard to beat .. so is a winchester 1300 i have 1 of both

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array artz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasPatriot
    Why such a short barrel? I know they're good for home defense purposes, but is there another benefit to them that I'm missing?
    well...if your quail hunting, the short barrel gives you a quicker swing and faster sight acqusition.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array WJP9's Avatar
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    I have an old (pre 1967) Mossy 500 that I picked up used. put new stocks on it and it shoots like a dream....great multi-purpose home defense/sport gun. Shotties don't need to be pretty---just need to "get-er-done".
    -Bill

    "Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it."

  12. #11
    Distinguished Member Array SixBravo's Avatar
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    I too share a similar issue. I'm interested to hear about the problems with the Moss 500 trigger assembly. That sucks. I have been getting closer and closer to a choice about these guns, but I was interested in the aftermarket parts that are available for these guns.

    I wanted to inquire about the quality of parts, specifically a front handle on the pump and possibly a folding stock, etc. Anyone have any experience with either the 1300's or 870's aftermarkets? The gun will be primarily used for home defense.

  13. #12
    Member Array Tros's Avatar
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    Remington 870, by far, imo.
    Beretta 92FS

  14. #13
    Member Array homersimpson's Avatar
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    I don't know jack about the 1300 but,

    One thing I do like about the Mossberg over the Rem. is the positioning of the safety and slide release. I've never changed barrels on a Rem, but it takes about a minute to change from 28" to 18 1/2" or anything in between on a Mossy to fit your needs. To me it just feels more natural, but I guess it would depend on what you are used to. I do like the magazine extension tubes available for the rem though. And my friends 870 seemed to weigh less.

    If it were a perfect world, I would have a rem. 870 with the safety on top and the release behind the trigger guard. Or a Mossy with a metal trigger assembly. But I haven't found anything like that in my price range.

    Here is a link to some more info on the 500 vs the 870 that sold me on the 500.

    http://members.tripod.com/~jth8260/870.html
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  15. #14
    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
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    TexPat, I Mentioned the shorter bbl for several reasons that are important to me.

    Firstly there was no mention of high flying ducks or geese. For this(only) I would reccommend a long bbl for sighting only. I don't want to carry or swing and stop,or push through brush for a shot,any more bbl than is needed to do the job.

    The shot pattern that a shotgun is capeable of(from cyl bore to extra full/ turkey) is not dictated by length of bbl. Only by the last 2, or so,inches of bbl.(choke) My 18.5" Benelli will shoot just as tight as a 30" Marlin Goose Gun.

    Velocity:::> I have heard/read that with the internal ballistics of a shotgun,which is quite a bit different than a centerfire rifle,the max length bbl needed to accquire maximun velocity of shot,is 19". This,probably due to the types of powder used and the chamber pressures produced. It's nothing for a centerfire rifle to produce 50-60K pounds per sq. inch.of chamber pressure. A shotgun is high at 12 or 13K. (I have not tested this theory for myself, with a chrono or a pressure guage.)

    Pointability/Swingability:::> For the professional trap/skeet/sporting clay shooter I understand why they need a longer bbl. Follow through, and all that. But for the bird hunter or adverage joe that wants a shotgun for SD or HD the shorter bbls (IMO) work the best. For me a 20" auto,with the Benelli action would be ideal.

    For home defense or self defense the Benelli's action is perfect. They are very reliable and the cycle rate is very fast. Just the simple act of stroking a pump brings the shooter off target. With a auto the recoil is the only thing that brings you off target. Also,try pumping a action from the prone position. Or standing with one hand or arm unuseable.

    I would suggest to anyone that is in the market for a shotgun for any purpose to give a look at them all. Do some reading on the different actions on the market. Be aware that there is more of a choice than just pump and gas. How long of a bbl do you really need?? Sights for your intended purpose?? Chokes?? Color?? Pistol grip ?? Mag Cap ?? --------
    Last edited by RSSZ; July 21st, 2006 at 07:58 AM.

  16. #15
    Member Array Fargo's Avatar
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    I would look around for a used Winchester model 120, which was an earlier version of the 1300. They are smooth, unbelievably fast, and have the slide release where God intended it. You can pick one up for around $150 in excellent condition and they are a steal at that price. They usually come with a 28 in. vent ribbed barrel, but there are shorter barrels available, most with rifle sights. They will also accept the standard 1300 and 1200 series barrels. Mine has been in the family for three generations without a hiccup. Smooth, fast, reliable, and a great deal to boot. Cosmetically, they are virtually identical to the 1300, except for the stock. The only real difference is that a few internal parts are different as Winchester figured out cheaper ways to do the same thing.

    All the best,


    Joe

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