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Old 04-27-2005, 06:40 AM   #1
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Best General Purpose Shotgun

All,

I've been doing some thinking on this subject as of late and I was wondering if anyone would be willing to share their opinions, so here's the question.

What is the best general purpose shotgun? Meaning, a shotgun that can do it all and do it well.

To my way of thinking it would have to be the Mossberg 500 series with the Remington a ridiculously close second.

The Mossberg has the best feed design of any pump action shotgun out there, which is a carry over from the Remington 31/ High Standard Flite King. It is well made, but looses major points for choosing plastic for the trigger housing (aluminum would be better). It's light weight and tends to fit most people fairly well.

Where it sets itself apart is in it's ability to change personalities. Smooth bore barrels of different lenghts, interchangable chokes, fully rifled cantilevered barrels and the final clincher, a .50 muzzleloader barrel.

The receiver is also drilled and tapped for a scope mount and factory barrels come already ported.

The 870 is a very close second in my book, but it's not as reliable as the Mossberg (ask the Marines)...But that's really splitting hairs because the 870 is an awesome shotgun. The 870 cannot be converted into a muzzleloader, and accessories, although much more plentiful, are about 20-30% more expensive.

Honestly, I could be just as happy with either one...So what's your take and why?

GunGeek
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Old 05-02-2005, 03:17 PM   #2
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I would go with the 870, as I own two anyway.

The 870 not as reliable as the Mossberg.... if you insist I will not argue.


By general purpose shotgun, I assume you mean a shotgun that can be used for everything. Find out when the last time a shooter won an ATA championship with a Mossberg, they have been won with 870's.
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Old 05-03-2005, 10:31 AM   #3
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No contesting that, the 870 as well as the 1100 are some of the winningest shotguns in competetion history. The 870 has a weak point in the reliability department. If you short stroke it, it will jam the next round against the shell riser and you're stuck unless you have tools.

Admittedly, that's an operator error, but other designs compensate for that. Honestly, I like the 870 more than I like the Mossberg. Although the Mossberg is technically better, the 870 just looks and feels like a higher quality shotgun. Where competetion sports are concerned, the 870 does balance and shoulder better and would be my choice there.

I'm thinking of the "if you only had one" scenario and to my way of thinking, the Mossberg has a very slight edge there. When you specialize, it could loose that edge.

I've had a number of 870's and they have always done right by me. I happen to have a Mossberg 500 right now and I have to admit that it's a very good shotgun.

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Old 05-17-2005, 01:44 PM   #4
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"Short stroking" is not a gun unreliability problem, it is an operator headspace problem. :D
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Old 06-20-2005, 05:49 PM   #5
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I own a Mossy 500 and have shot Rem 870s.

For a general purpose shotgun I'd say you couldn't go wrong with either.
One of them with two barrels, a ghost ring sighted short barrel and a ventribbed 26" will fill any shotgunning need you want.

Now...if you ask whats the best all purpose firearm, then it would be a Mossberg 500 because you can get a muzzle loading barrel for it, but since you asked what the best general purpose SHOTgun is, then I'd say it was a tie.
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Old 06-22-2005, 09:18 PM   #6
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Remington 870 all the way. I've owned both. The quality just doesn't compare. If you lay the two side by side, feel them and cycle the action, it's pretty obvious. Mossy's work, but the 870 is a higher class of gun.

HF
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Old 06-25-2005, 10:27 AM   #7
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Not trying to hi-jack, but why doesn't anyone ever recommend Winchesters?

At the last gun show I went to I fired a case of shells thru a 1300 Defender and a "Practical" and I loved them both- more importantly, I hit consistently with them both (I have never had a shotgun).

I also tried everyone's favorite 870 and was not pleased- lots of misses, balky, notchy pump (compared to the Win), and if you held the gun slanted when you cycled it, the shells didn't eject!

Obviosly, I'm leaning toward buying a Winchester, but I find next to nothing about them on the net- why, why, why?
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Old 07-03-2005, 08:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MVF
Obviosly, I'm leaning toward buying a Winchester, but I find next to nothing about them on the net- why, why, why?
At this time, I happen to own a Remington 870 Wingmaster that's about 25 years old. Doesn't have the flexitab system, started 15 years ago. Yet. One is incoming.

I've got a Winchester 1300 Defender as well. Winchester says it was produced in 1985 IIRC.

The Defender is nice enough, but I've already replaced an ejector. When the ejector broke, it didn't "fail", as only one side of the twin "slats" broke. It still ejected. Scratched the heck out of the inside of the aluminum receiver, that's a fact.

Taking both apart, side by side, it's easy to see that the Remington is a better design. I prefer it. No M16 type bolt / carrier set-up, so cleaning is easier as well.

As a side note, I think so little (that's sarchasm) of the Winchester that it maintains a loaded tube, and is a semi-permanent resident of my truck, with the longer range conflict resolution device.

The Remington stays at home, unless it's time to play, in which case it goes with me.

The Winchester comes to my shoulder faster (I believe due to the aluminum receiver), but the lack of "flat" on top of the receiver makes it slightly more difficult for me to sight / hit with snapshooting.

In general (PARTICULARLY with rifles), I prefer Winchester to Remington. In this case though, I gotta side with the Remington for best shotgun between the two.

Does that help?
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Old 07-06-2005, 04:03 PM   #9
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870 is the way to go! ive had mine for 2 years and its used and it has never jammed on me dirty clean...wet/dry it shoots every time!
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Old 07-07-2005, 03:46 AM   #10
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I had a Winchester for a while (forgot which model; maybe a model 12?). It had one failing which caused me to sell it. We have to carry our shotguns in a "cruiser safe" configuration: Magazine loaded, gun un-cocked, safety on. The Winchester wouldn't go on safe unless the gun was cocked. I got a 590 and have loved it ever since. The 870's are nice, but the safety is in the wrong place. If Remington would make an 870 with the safety like a 590, now there would be the perfect shotgun for me.
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Old 07-07-2005, 04:14 PM   #11
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i do like the 590 safety do they make any of them for remington 870's?
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Old 08-06-2005, 06:52 PM   #12
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I hate to derail the train, but I wouldn't go with any of the guns mentioned as an "all purpose shotgun". I would go with a double, something on the order of a Ruger Red Label, Beretta Silver-something, or maybe one of the imported side by sides.

I assumed by "general purpose" or "all purpose", you may also want to hunt or shoot sporting clays (try that with a pump...fuggetaboutit).

If by general purpose, you meant combat and defensive uses, then by all means, go for a pump...

bluedsteel
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Old 08-07-2005, 06:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedsteel
I assumed by "general purpose" or "all purpose", you may also want to hunt or shoot sporting clays (try that with a pump...fuggetaboutit).

Did my first attempt at sporting clays yesterday, and surpised most everyone, myself included. This is the same 870 riot gun I did the night time tactical shoot with a couple weeks ago.

The simultaneous rabbit and looping quail both bit the dust in duplicate. I loved the "wow"s and "way to go"s. Hit well over half I know, estimated three quarters.

Odd thing: there were duplicates fired basically straight towards the shooters, and most had problems. I don't understand how one can miss when shooting a clay basically 5 feet in front of the muzzle (GRIN). Note though, that the folks in the stations on either side don't much care for catching pieces of clay LOL!

Why people don't do these events with riot guns (except for me) I have no idea. If I didn't know better, I'd say my carbine shooting has taken a short-term back seat to this type shooting. It's sheer enjoyment and entertainment. I fear, however, it may be addictive.

I don't hunt birds, and never have, but I can't see where this shotgun would put me at a disadvantage once the magazine was suitably plugged. If I can take down 24 / 25 on the trap course with it........

I might add that I shot three rounds of sporting clays yesterday, two with my 870 riotgun and Wolf 7 1/2 cheap shot (but it's really pretty good ammo!). One round was shot with a Beretta Synergy (high dollar over / under) and handloads just for this.

Care to guess what I did best with? HA!

Sporting clays and skeet (yeah, even doubles, although I'm not that good at doubles) with a pump: learn to do things right as far as working the action in recoil, and you're cool. I'm just about as fast with the pump as I am an auto or an over-under. No joke.
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Old 08-12-2005, 01:00 PM   #14
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I own 3. A Mossberg 500, Rem. 870, and Win. 1200. The mossy and Rem are just about equal, and the Win is nicer to look at, and a tad heavier . Its really a toss up , I like them all.
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Old 09-14-2005, 03:14 PM   #15
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1300

i think the model 1300 is the best all around shotgun.
like everthing that is made on a asembly line there will be some guns that dont work right
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Old 09-14-2005, 04:04 PM   #16
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by bluedsteel:
I assumed by "general purpose" or "all purpose", you may also want to hunt or shoot sporting clays (try that with a pump...fuggetaboutit).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I have to 870's and I love them both. One is a conflict resolution device and the other is strictly for hunting/sporting. I've shot sporting clays with my 870 numerous times and no problem. If you have enough practice with a pump, it can do just as good as a side by side or over/under. It's all with the shooter.
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Old 07-15-2006, 07:38 PM   #17
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I bought a used mossberg 500 the pursader today with the 18.5 barrel smooth bore and a heat shield already installed. The store had it with a choate folding stock but I had them swap it out for a factory synthetic stock. I'm planning on buying a rifled barrel with ironsights from ebay or somewhere to shoot slugs for hunting. I picked the mossberg because the military did, although almost every police dept. I've ever heard of which uses a shotgun uses an 870. My father has an 870 express combo and if you look at it funny rust will form on it. Being aluminum the mossberg is somewhat more resistant than the 870 to rusting although the barrel is lightly blued and it seems like it'll rust easy.
The mossberg I got was apparently never fired because it looks brand new!
I detail stripped it today and found that the magazine tube doesn't come apart. I guess it threads directly into the reciever, I'm not too happy about that because I'd like to run a mop with clp through it to prevent rust should the gun get wet. I like the mossberg and the feeding system seems better on my gun than the 870 my father has although I cannot remember his not working well. The mossberg would wear out before the 870 because the reciever is aluminum and the remington is steel.
Now I've just gotta find some shells for it so I can have some fun at my range.
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Old 07-18-2006, 03:19 AM   #18
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Gotta go with the 870.....with the Ithaca 37 in 2nd.

Owned a Win 1200 years ago.....traded it up to an 870 Wingmaster. Couldn't hit anything with the Winnie due to fit problems. Even though I had no mechanical problems with it, I still wouldn't recommend it. They had some quality control problems with them for a while.....I've seen them returned with peeled ribs and rear sights on the deer barrels not staying put.

Owned several mossys also......they are also gone. I hate the way they take-down. You pull the trigger group and half the guts seem to fall out of the frame. Don't really like the safety switch either.

As for military adoption of the 590...Don't forget that price is also a factor for military contracts....Remember one of Murphy's Laws of Combat is "your weapon was produced by the lowest bidder".
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Old 08-01-2006, 05:06 AM   #19
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I'm going to be the divergent opinion and say the Rem 1100 is my top choice for an only shotgun. Since my major use is trap, and clays are a good challenge, and that heavily influences my vote, but it will do most anything I ask of it, and do it well. Unless allowed to get very dirty, it is more reliable in my hands and WAY faster than any pump I have ever used, and the reduced recoil puts it back on target faster for doubles. If it were to be needed for defense use, especially in someone else's hands, it is way easier to learn than a pump, and far less likely to jam than a pump is to be short-stroked. I suspect a lot of people would agree if they were to run through an IPSC shotgun match as a novice or intermediate level -- it will be a lot faster on the splits. I might not choose it for military service (but I wouldn't personally choose an AR-type for use in the sand, dirt, and mud either), but for my use, this is the way to go.

-- cw
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Old 10-13-2006, 05:12 PM   #20
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In my experience, which is 24-plus years of use in salt water, jungle, and desert environments (Have four in the Marines and twenty in the Coast Guard) the M870 Remington wins hands down: the Coast Guard tried the Mossbergs but due to many reasons (frequency of repairs and reliability among them) got rid of them a decade or so ago. Remington built the Coast Guard the M870 "Special Police", which if I recall right, (someone assist me if in the know) has a Choate speed-feed plastic/nylon stock, ghost ring iron sights with tritium inserts, an Aimpoint type sight, and the barrel is paradox-rifled at the muzzle and only 13" long (I think). The only real repairs we performed on the Remingtons were the stamped shell latches had a habit of coming unstaked and now and then an action bar would break. I also like the Winchester Model 12 and the Ithaca 37 (own both) and someday, I will get another M870.
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