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Im looking to buy a 12ga. I already have an old single shot, Western Auto 12ga, but its more of just a toy that I got from a friend for buying him dinner because he needed extra space.

My new 12ga will be used as a range toy (Id love to try shooting clays/skeets, never have), and as a defensive weapon for my house. The only "modern" 12ga that Ive fired any real amount of rounds out of is my friends Mossberg 500. Its nice and all, but he seems to have tons of problems with it not ejecting properly. Ive fired probably 30-40 rounds through it, and Ive never had a problem, who who knows.

Im quite interested in the Remington line. The 870 seems to be the standard all others are judged by. I would like a good aftermarket (options to change stock from regular sporting stock, to a tactical stock, to pistol grip, to whatever), reasonable capacity (5-6 shots in the tube would be great), and a 3" chamber. I shot a Mossberg with a 3.5" shell, and it was pretty cool, but for the range/self defense, Im not sure Id be willing to give up any of my other requirements to gain it. Is there anyway to get something like an 870 Tactical Express Magnum and get a tube extension? I feel like this would be the solution to the problem.

Or if anyone who is more experienced with shotguns has any other similarly value-minded suggestions (not trying to spend $1,000 on a shotgun) about what other sort of gun would fit the bill, Id love to hear about them.
 

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One of the 870 tactical models is threaded for choke tubes and comes with a top rail installed, 3" chamber, and extended magazine tube. You could then add your aftermarket pistol grip/stock of choice. With proper choke selection I have no trouble shooting clays or turkey hunting with mine and the most fiddling I have to do for it to be in HD mode again is a choke swap and load the right shells in it.

It also bears saying that typically the Mossberg 500 is a great choice as well and is up there with the 870 for availability of aftermarket products.
 

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For S.D. most go with 2 3/4" shells/ammo. In my book Rem 870s cant be beat. You can buy one new at walmart, the syn tac model
for under $400.00. Has extra capacity (8 rounds I think), and IMO rocks the house. I have one, and its GTG. Id skip the pistol grip, btw. A light is a good thing to add, though.

Another option, and its not a bad one, is to buy a used law enforcement model. There is extra work put in them at the factory, and generally, they are not shot much. Carried often, shot not much.

Of course Im talking about home defense/a fighting shotgun. If you want to do sporting clays, you would need an extra barrel.

A short barrel is generally desired for home defense/a fighting shotgun. So buying one made for sporting clays would leave you with a barrel that was longer than youd like for HD.

Hope that helps.
 

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Law enforcement has used the remington 870 since its introduction. The 870 is a superb defense platform . I personally use a Mossberg 500 in 20 ga. Either with the 18.5 inch barrel would have fantastic. Skip the pistol grip and go for a four position collapsible stock instead. A used 870 can be has for a minimal cost.
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For all round I really love the Browning BPS. We use it for home and skeet/ trap and have the 12. They are around $500-600 new if you look around. Also have a benelli novo in 20 that we use as well sometimes. It's an excellent shotgun.
 

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I have a Maverick 88 that i bought for under $200, and its made by mossberg, at first i was worried about quality bacause of the price i paid, but i love it. My only beef is it has a crossbolt safty not tang, but i can live with that
 

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...check your pawnshops for a Winchester 1200...used, they're $200-400...I've got two 12s and a 20...slickest pump I've ever had...bought my first in 72...I'm looking for another 20...
...I policed with an 870...the 1200 is far smoother and more fun to shoot for me...the 1300 can't compare...
 

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For all round I really love the Browning BPS. We use it for home and skeet/ trap and have the 12. They are around $500-600 new if you look around. Also have a benelli novo in 20 that we use as well sometimes. It's an excellent shotgun.
...had a BPS back in the late 70s for about a month...it is slick as a Swiss watch...just saw one yesterday used in my local pawnshop...didn't even ASK the price...
 

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I was issued the 870 it's a good reliable gun. I own the moss 500 it's also a reliable gun with two barrels for versatility around $300.
 

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You can't go wrong with a Rem 870 or Mossberg! I had a Mossberg that easily had 3,000+ shells through it with problems that I recall. Like Snub 44 said a Winchester 1200 was one of the smoothest fastest pumps out there along with Ithaca 37. One advantage with the Ithaca was the bottom eject. I have a Winchester 1200 in 20 ga (w/ 2 barrels) that I have shot sporting clays with and currently use for HD. BTW, I smoked some friends at sporting clays who were shooting fancy O/U Berettas.
 

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My new 12ga will be used as a range toy (Id love to try shooting clays/skeets, never have), and as a defensive weapon for my house.
Rem 870 and Mossberg 500 are the base line of pump guns. I wouldn't say they're the standard. Cheap Mfg.s want to be 870s and 500s. Something is wrong with your friend's 500, and he needs to take or send it in, because that shotgun will cycle tens of thousands of rounds with never a hick up. The Benelli Nova or Super Nova (3.5") is a step above those two. All are fine entry level shotguns.

I would tell you to go with an automatic (Rem 1187) if you want to shoot skeet and sporting clays. Not many people use pumps anymore. You can certainly do it, but it's much easier with an automatic, and your scores will start higher and improve faster. I think a novice will enjoy it more with an automatic.

I would also ditch the tactical tommy stuff. A pistol grip is fine for home defense or shooting at targets on the ground, but the standard stock it comes with is ideal for sighting down the barrel and swinging, and a pistol grip is not anywhere near as good IMO. I had the armorers in the military switch the M3 Super 90 I carried back to a standard synthetic stock because my accuracy was night and day between two. The pistol grip really threw me off.

Either an auto or a pump is fine for home defense, and you don't need all the other stuff. A light you can detach for shooting clays is all I would do to it.

I'm a solid 20 in skeet or trap, and about between 75-85 for sporting clays (on an average course). That's not anywhere near a competition level shooter, but very good for someone who only has time to go a few times a year.
 

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You can't go wrong with a Rem 870 or Mossberg! I had a Mossberg that easily had 3,000+ shells through it with problems that I recall. Like Snub 44 said a Winchester 1200 was one of the smoothest fastest pumps out there along with Ithaca 37. One advantage with the Ithaca was the bottom eject. I have a Winchester 1200 in 20 ga (w/ 2 barrels) that I have shot sporting clays with and currently use for HD. BTW, I smoked some friends at sporting clays who were shooting fancy O/U Berettas.
I whole heartedly agree, both the 870 and Mossy 500 are great scatterguns that will keep going. If you are looking for one to take to the range and fire extensively I would likely look at a 20 ga. You can put out about 75% of the lead that a 12 ga can with just 50% of the recoil. That will save you a lot of shoulder wear & tear. Defensively the 20 ga is a great house gun, better than most think. Loaded with #3 Buck it will get the job done with some certainty. Plus due to the lower recoil you will be surprised at how fast you can shuck a pump 20 ga.
 

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If you are going with a pump gun, here is my opinion. I vehemently hate everything mossberg. Rem 870 and browning bps would be my top pics. They are bomb proof reliable. I tend to favor the bps over the 870 (I own both). I like the top tang safety of the browning and the bottom loading and ejection. The only fault I can find with an 870 for hd is if you lay it over to the right and shuck it you may load your next round on the floor. Think things have gone horribly wrong and you are shooting from cover, around or under something. Chances are this will never happen to anyone reading this and you will be fine with the 870 though. LOL. 870 does have a big one up on the bps with the amount of aftermarket parts for them.
 

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Man Pig. I have Mossbergs older than me and have never had a single problem with them, ever. The 500s on every Navy ship seem like they're from WWII, rattley and lose as all heck, and utterly reliable. What bad experiences have you had with them?
 

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Man Pig. I have Mossbergs older than me and have never had a single problem with them, ever. The 500s on every Navy ship seem like they're from WWII, rattley and lose as all heck, and utterly reliable. What bad experiences have you had with them?
I don't recall ever seeing one of their pumps fail, that's a plus. I just can't stand how rattely and rough their action is. I also don't like the fact that they use plastic parts where rem. and browning use metal. Many of them I have messed with don't hold as good of patterns with factory chokes as other brands. I guess there is really nothing bad wrong with them, I just really dislike them. LOL
 

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I have been looking also, but my wife has a hard time using the pump. Any semi-auto suggestions?
 
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