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Home Defense Shotgun Recommendation

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I am looking for a 12G or 20G shotgun strictly for home defense but there are slim pickings in Bergen County, NJ and neighboring NY counties. Since it will be hardly used, I don't have a must-have list but trying to stay under $400 or so. Most of the online stores are quite a distance so I called around the local places and found a few below. Any recommendations? Thanks!

Pardus PA -$390

ria mariva 103 18.5" 12G $299

legacy catadel 20" $429

ria vrpa 40 18.5" 12G $400

Dickenson Arms 12G 18.5" $899

Stevens 320 20G $350

Stevens 320 12G $?

Maverick 88 FDE $309
Maverick 88 w/ 8 shot $380

Charles Daly 601 $0

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I don’t have a recommendation on those, have no experience with what you have listed, read as many reviews as you can find on a particular shotgun you are looking at, YouTube is a great resource for reviews also, you can search for cleaning videos on YouTube also, you can find some good information on a gun from a cleaning video.  

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4 hours ago, sagosto said:

I am looking for a 12G or 20G shotgun strictly for home defense but there are slim pickings in Bergen County, NJ and neighboring NY counties. Since it will be hardly used, I don't have a must-have list but trying to stay under $400 or so. Most of the online stores are quite a distance so I called around the local places and found a few below. Any recommendations? Thanks!

Pardus PA -$390

ria mariva 103 18.5" 12G $299

legacy catadel 20" $429

ria vrpa 40 18.5" 12G $400

Dickenson Arms 12G 18.5" $899

Stevens 320 20G $350

Stevens 320 12G $?

Maverick 88 FDE $309
Maverick 88 w/ 8 shot $380

Charles Daly 601 $0

Maverick is mossberg as i recall, u cant go wrong if you can get it....

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In simple terms . . . Any short barrelled 12 or 20 gauge pump.  

Short barrel to maneuver around the house and pump to scare the shit out of them without firing a shot.

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Out of all the makes and models you listed I would either stick with the Maverick 88 or the Stevens 320. I got no experience with the Turkish guns. My buddy owns a Maverick 88 and I own a Stevens 320. The maverick is assembled in Texas with some parts made in Mexico while the Stevens 320 is made in China. The Maverick will be able to use Mossberg parts and accessories. The Stevens 320 is a clone of the Winchester 1300 but some parts like the buttstocks are not compatible. The Stevens isn’t as built as well as a Winchester but it has a decent action and in my limited use, works (more testing needs to be done, need a few more shotgun shells to run through it). My buddies Maverick 88 was his first gun, and has been reliable. 


It seems to me, all things considering with COVID, that these prices are pretty high with the retailers you priced checked with. The Stevens 320 security (12 gauge, 18.5 inch ghost ring sights barrel, pistol grip stock) I bought this year, I got for $315 out the door and that included NICS and NJ sales tax, without tax it was $279. I would suggest to look around, check out r/gundeals on Reddit, and the WTS section of the gun forum. 
 

In conclusion, go with the Maverick 88. If you go with a six shot model, you can always get a spare barrel for clay shooting or hunting and get accessories like lights, different furniture and side saddles and slings for the gun. Remember it’s always a good idea to have a way to carry an extra reload on the shotgun and a weapon mounted light to positively identify a threat. And remember, birdshot is for the birds, not bad guys.

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Price has probably doubled+ at this point, but a Benelli Nova used to be in that price range.

I have a Supernova which was under $500 out the door years ago, and I constantly get told how smooth that action is.  Mine is one of my favorite guns.

Only mentioning these because it is possible they are less popular than say a Remington 870 or Mossberg 500/590, meaning maybe slightly more available. 

 

Of your list, I owned a Stevens 320. Only gun I bought that I ever sold off.  It liked to eject live shells out the bottom sometimes as you racked the shotgun, usually if going too fast if I remember correctly. Sold it to a friend who knew it had issues and he has been happy with it.  It worked well most of the time, felt cheap because it was, and was overall a simple, basic shotgun.  If I hadn't had those issues, I still woulda suggested going for an 870 or 500/590 or Nova/Supernova over the Stevens, though for their price points, some woulda been used guns vs a new 320. Mine was like $230 years ago, and I would hate to see anyone spend much more than that for one.

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16 hours ago, sagosto said:

I am looking for a 12G or 20G shotgun strictly for home defense Any recommendations? Thanks!

I'd suggest a 9mm semi-auto handgun as primary HD weapon.  Shotgun as backup.

Shotguns, especially pump action, are poor choices for primary HD: Very easy to short stroke under high stress conditions, low capacity, slow to reload, heavy, difficult for female family members to use.

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14 minutes ago, JohnnyB said:

Get an Ar-15, mount a good light and get the proper ammo for HD and you will never regret it!

I was going to mention that but firing off a N.J. compliant AR with a pinned and welded muzzle brake indoors would likely cause permanent hearing damage. 

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1 hour ago, Bomber said:

AR........ would likely cause permanent hearing damage. 

And a shotgun or pistol wont? 

btw, you don't "need" a muzzle device to be NJ compliant.  There is always a crowned barrel or threaded barrel with a thread protector on it.

2 hours ago, Bomber said:

Very easy to short stroke under high stress conditions, low capacity, slow to reload,

Anything is easy to mess up under stress.  That's why we train, so we aren't thinking under stress, we are doing.  Unless one's home is being invaded by a small army, three rounds is the average number of shots fired.  Shotguns are also a force multiplier.  eight or nine pellets in one trigger pull.  It won't be pretty.  As far as capacity, 10rd ar mags offer little over a shotty.  Ar mag= 10 projectiles.  Shotty with eight low recoil 8 pellet in the tube = 64 projectiles.  You'd have to carry seven AR mags to equal that.

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1 hour ago, sagosto said:

Thank for the help. My head said any 12/20G would do for my purpose but I have/had a hard time swallowing the markups.

Forgot to mention 12ga pump shotgun recoil=brutal.

Another thing to consider for HD weapon; what if you just want to investigate some noise or whatever outside the house without revealing you're armed or the neighbors seeing you in the driveway with a shotgun.

Handgun can easily be tucked in a back pocket.   

 

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54 minutes ago, Bomber said:

recoil=brutal.

300 win mag recoil is brutal.  12 ga reduced recoil, naaaaaah.  20ga, even less.  I see women burn through a 250 round case shooting trap all day long.  It can't be THAT brutal.

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16 minutes ago, Scorpio64 said:

300 win mag recoil is brutal.  12 ga reduced recoil, naaaaaah.  20ga, even less.  I see women burn through a 250 round case shooting trap all day long.  It can't be THAT brutal.

Light 12 gauge loads do kick less than 300 win mag loads, but the difference isn't huge.  A 1 1/4 oz hunting load in a 2 3/4 inch shell kicks about the same as the .300 mag, and anything heavier in the shotgun kicks more than the .300--even a 3" 20 gauge load kicks more.   Not that anyone is recommending the .300 mag for home defense...

I think a big part of the perceived difference is that the shotgun is almost always shot from a standing position, while the rifles are often shot from a bench, prone, or kneeling position, where your body can't as easily absorb the recoil.

Rifle recoil table

Shotgun recoil table

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3 minutes ago, 10X said:

the shotgun is almost always shot from a standing position, while the rifles are often shot from a bench, prone, or kneeling position,

I will make a note of that, to never defend home from a bench rest, prone or kneeling. :D

btw, shotgun recoil is not the same as rifle recoil, which I am sure you are aware of.  We need to account for recoil velocity.  Shotgun powder burns at a much slower rate, giving more of a push, whereas a rifle is more like a punch.  I know guys, hefty guys, that shoot 300 win mag, and they take three shots max to sight in.  NOBODY is plowing through 200 rounds of 300 WM in a sitting.

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1 hour ago, Scorpio64 said:

300 win mag recoil is brutal.  12 ga reduced recoil, naaaaaah.  20ga, even less.  I see women burn through a 250 round case shooting trap all day long.  It can't be THAT brutal.

Transgender or real biological women. :hi:

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11 minutes ago, silverado427 said:

Transgender or real biological women. :hi:

There are a few women at my trap club, one of em is about  four foot twelve and a half inches and cant weigh more than a buck five.  Cute as a button too, but a little weird.  She shoots barefoot most of the time.  She can out shoot us all.

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On 3/3/2021 at 12:24 AM, sagosto said:

I am looking for a 12G or 20G shotgun strictly for home defense but there are slim pickings in Bergen County, NJ and neighboring NY counties. Since it will be hardly used, I don't have a must-have list but trying to stay under $400 or so. Most of the online stores are quite a distance so I called around the local places and found a few below. Any recommendations? Thanks!

Sagasto! 

I work at a huge gun shop in NJ. We sell a ton of the Turkish shotguns without hearing any complaints. I would avoid the Stevens 320. My dad has one that is a jam-o-matic. I have seen several come back in for "this don't work" looksees and some sent back for warranty work.

Stay with the Mossberg/Maverick line. Made in the US and very reliable with tons of aftermarket support. I own 3 500s and have owned 88s in the past. I prefer the 500 with its tang safety.

I know Bergen county to my shop in LEHT is a drive, but yesterday at closing we had a new 18.5" Mav 88 for $299 and a very nice 20" 590 Mossy for $450. Lemme know. 

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I'm going to agree that you can't go wrong with a Mossberg.  I have no experience with the Maverick line, but I hear they are fine.  I hear the Remington's are good as well, but I've stuck with Mossbergs, thinking that when I pick up a shotgun in an emergency, I don't want to be trying to figure out where the safety is located. 

I currently have more Mossbergs than I really need.  If you like, I could go through them to see if i have one I could part with.  PM me if you're interested.

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https://www.gunbroker.com/item/893863067

I would be bidding on this if I needed something. I actually already have one. Light years better than any shotgun listed here. 

Remmy 870 police. Don't be fooled by used ones, the older models or fantastic and much better then what has been produced in the last decade. Mine is over 50 years old, with updated magpul furniture. 

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8 minutes ago, JackDaWack said:

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/893863067

I would be bidding on this if I needed something. I actually already have one. 

Remmy 870 police. Don't be fooled by used ones, the older models or fantastic and much better then what has been produced in the last decade. 

That one in the pic on gunbroker looks like a newer one.  Cheap crate wood.  Nothing like the 870's of the past.

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4 hours ago, JackDaWack said:

I think it's was made in 98, using the S in the serial number. 

Its way older than 98 with the Wingmaster rollmark and no Police markings

 

5 hours ago, Tunaman said:

That one in the pic on gunbroker looks like a newer one.  Cheap crate wood.  Nothing like the 870's of the past.

Rem Police 870's models did not have fancy grade stocks. 

That one has a lot of hard miles on it and will probably sell for a riduculous price.

I'm still kicking myself for selling a mint in the box Police 870 a year before the panic hit. I would have got double what it sold for.

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13 minutes ago, Bomber said:

Its way older than 98 with the Wingmaster rollmark and no Police markings

 

Rem Police 870's models did not have fancy grade stocks. 

That one has a lot of hard miles on it and will probably sell for a riduculous price.

I'm still kicking myself for selling a mint in the box Police 870 a year before the panic hit. I would have got double what it sold for.

I've had issues trying to figure out their dating system before. Mine is from 67. If I followed their dating system like mine, it's from 1981.

S 04 month 81 year xxv

All I know is, my 67 wingmaster is butter smooth and I would take it over anything new off the shelf today. Paid 300 for it. 

I wouldnt hesitate to buy that one listed, and have it cerakoted or something. 

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33 minutes ago, JackDaWack said:

I've had issues trying to figure out their dating system before. Mine is from 67. If I followed their dating system like mine, it's from 1981.

1981 sounds about right.

Mine was a 1994 and had a Police Magnum rollmark and no Wingmaster logo.

Beautiful bad ass looking shotgun but the short police forearm stock was awkward, plus it was heavy and kicked hard even with target loads. 

I still have my Remington 1100 20ga purchased new at Walmart, I'm never selling that..

 

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5 hours ago, Tunaman said:

What you want is one from the 70's or 80's

Mine is a 93 I think.  Was made just prior to the penny pinching phase at Remmy.  By today's standards, the stock is excellent, They hadn't gone to laminated ( fancy name for plywood) stocks, back then they were cutting costs by using unnamed  "hardwood", probably birch based on the fine grain.  Hunted on some cold cold days with it and never had a problem.

 

4 hours ago, Bomber said:

it was heavy and kicked hard even with target loads. 

My 870 is tame compared to my first shotty, an old Stevens 311A SxS.  A lot of recoil issues have to do with stock geometry.  When I dolled up the 870 with Magpul furniture, it definitely changed the felt recoil.

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