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I am brand new to this forum and I'm looking for advice.  The last shotgun I shot was in the last 70's with my dad and uncle shooting skeet with a single shot 20 ga. What recommendations are out there for a purchase of a shot gun for home defense?  I think I've boiled it down to a short barrel with max shell capacity allowed by law in NJ.  I've looked at semi-auto and pumps.  Most shops I've visited have recommended my first be a pump action 12 ga.  Do I want a shoulder stock only, a piston grip only, or a combo shoulder stock and pistol grip?  I really like the Stevens 320 and also the Winchester SXP Defender.  Any and all thoughts welcome.  Thanks

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16 minutes ago, fishnut said:

Mossberg 500 or 590 some like remington 870s but personally I like the tang safety of the mossberg better. 

TY

16 minutes ago, Bklynracer said:

Lots know more then me, but my bet will be most will say Pump all day for HD

Mossberg 500

Remington 870

TY

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Benelli Nova or Supernova - fewer options for upgrades, but the important parts I cared about are (were?) out there.  Most people who have handled my Supernova have been impressed with how smooth the action is.  I love mine, one of my favorite guns.

A Remington 870 or Mossberg 500/590 are always good choices, too.

I owned a Stevens 320 but it had an issue where it would sometimes like to spit a 2nd shell out as you were racking it, which caused jams or a live shell to drop out of the gun.  I don't think it likes being racked fast.  Mine mighta been one of 10000 that was bad, but I wasn't particularly happy about it nonetheless and I haven't looked at another Stevens.

 

 

As for stock options, I would avoid a pistol grip only (like a handgun) for a first shotgun.  I'd go either traditional rifle stock style or pistol grip with a stock, whichever works better for you.  I personally prefer the pistol grip with a stock for a tactical shotgun.

 

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1 hour ago, fishnut said:

Mossberg 500 or 590 some like remington 870s but personally I like the tang safety of the mossberg better. 

This is good advice.  I've found that a pistol grip makes it hard to manipulate the safety and slide release on a pump shotgun, and they are illegal on semi autos in NJ, so I would suggest a tradtional shoulder stock.  

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39 minutes ago, gleninjersey said:

Come to a njgunforums clay shoot.  You'll be able to try lots of different shotguns.

This is a very good idea, bring a few boxes of clays and 12g shells and you will be able to shoot a large variety of shotguns to get an idea what you like and what works best for you. 

 

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4 hours ago, kc10dave said:

I  Most shops I've visited have recommended my first be a pump action 12 ga.   I really like the Stevens 320 and also the Winchester SXP Defender.  Any and all thoughts welcome.  Thanks

 

Pump action shotgun would not be my choice for a primary HD weapon.

That role goes to a modern semi-auto 9mm handgun. Back up would be an AR rifle.

Watch the Kyle Rittenhouse videos and imagine yourself in his place on the ground trying to rack a pump action shotgun.

If you absolutely must have a shotgun at least get a semi-auto that you can take to the range and not get beat up by the punishing recoil of a 12 ga. pump action.

 

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A pump action 12 GA is not "punishing".  It depends on what the shooter is willing to endure.   I know a 4-10, 85 lb woman who will shoot 100 rds of OO buck, have a bruised shoulder, and will say "it is what it is", and fluff it all off.

Use low recoil 00 Buck for two reasons.  First, it gives you less recoil.  Second, I have found low recoil to pattern tighter.  Full power 00 will tend to doughnut past 15 yds.  You can hold dead on and at 25 yds with full power miss your target.  Using low recoil, you'll hit your target with 3-5 pellets or more.

If you use low recoil at close ranges, even 8 pellet, your target will swear it was hit with 9 pellets of full power.

I have a Chinese 320.  Only fired a few hundred rounds but it has worked 100%.  Not as smooth as an 870 but it works fine.

Shotguns tear up paper targets quick.  I only use them for patterning.  For practice I start out with 4-5 rds of low recoil 00.  I use gallon jugs from water, milk, detergent.  I continue my practice with skeet or low powerloads.  Finish up with 4-5 rds of 00.  Compare your accuracy.  Repeat if needed.

If you shoot 20-30 rds a week the 320 should do.  If you shoot 200-300 a week get an 870.

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16 hours ago, Malice4you said:

A Remington 870 or Mossberg 500/590 are always good choices, too.

^This. @kc10dave These 2 are pretty much the standard.  Disclosure:  I have the Model 870 Express Tactical.

Here is some background info to read up on.

I agree with @GRIZ, low recoil 00 buckshot is the way to go.  Very manageable.

I think you definitely want a stock, the pistol grip will not allow you to aim as precisely and all of the recoil will need to be managed in hand versus against your shoulder.

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"Best" inexpensive, all-around/do-anything shotgun:

Maverick 88 Combo.  Basically it's a no-frills Mossberg 500 made in Texas; many parts,especially barrels, interchange with the mossy 500.  Biggest difference is location of the safety (trigger guard vs tang on the 500).  With this you can hunt almost anything, shoot trap/skeet/sporting clays, and have it ready to repel boarders.

 "Detailed Description:   A Winning Combo for Hunting and Home Defense at an Affordable Price Point
Reliability and versatility at and affordable price, the Mossberg Maverick 88 Field and Security Combo gives you peace of mind and a sporting gun in the same package. The Mav88 is the perfect choice for a personal home defense shotgun with light weight compact maneuverability. It's also ideal in the field with a quick swing on target. This combo is chambered to handle 3" 12 gauge shells with an 18.5" home defense barrel and a 28" field barrel. The receiver design features positive steel to steel bolt lock-up, dual extractors and an anti-jam elevator. Combine this with dual action bars for smooth operation and flawless performance. Get the Maverick 88 Combo and have the best of both worlds with a pump shotgun that's ready for anything! "

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/878488986

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On 9/8/2020 at 8:52 PM, kc10dave said:

I am brand new to this forum and I'm looking for advice.  The last shotgun I shot was in the last 70's with my dad and uncle shooting skeet with a single shot 20 ga. What recommendations are out there for a purchase of a shot gun for home defense?  I think I've boiled it down to a short barrel with max shell capacity allowed by law in NJ.  I've looked at semi-auto and pumps.  Most shops I've visited have recommended my first be a pump action 12 ga.  Do I want a shoulder stock only, a piston grip only, or a combo shoulder stock and pistol grip?  I really like the Stevens 320 and also the Winchester SXP Defender.  Any and all thoughts welcome.  Thanks

The Winchester is a nice gun very over looked. I would suggest get a regular hunter version of any pump gun and then buy  home defense barrel 

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I’m rather pleased with my inexpensive CZ712 Utility. 20” barrel semi auto, gas operated. I’ve been told it’s based on a Benelli, or it is a clone of the Benelli, but I don’t know that for certain. 
What I do know that it has been very reliable. I’ll be taking it to Stafford Forge WMA 9/26 for a clays shoot, if you want to shoot it. 
It was $500. 

I bought it as a ‘truck gun’ for the ranch, but I’ve shot clays with it, and plan to use it as an all purpose shotgun. 
 

My only ‘issue’ with it is lack of aftermarket accessories. 

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I like the Mossberg safety location.  An Ithaca Model 37 is a sweet gun, too, with its bottom feed.  

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1 hour ago, silverado427 said:

Mossberg maverick 88 on the top.

 Mossberg 500 on the bottom.

Twin brothers different mothers :hi:

fullsizeoutput_2a7.jpeg

I like the set up on the Mav 88.  Can get 88 new but have to buy combo at a premium.  Sweet pair!

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24 minutes ago, silverado427 said:

Both of these shotguns were X mas presents from my wife. 

I would drop dead with a heart attack if my wife ever gave me a gun!  The closest I ever came to that was a $50 gift card for Cabelas!

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22 hours ago, JohnnyB said:

I would drop dead with a heart attack if my wife ever gave me a gun!  The closest I ever came to that was a $50 gift card for Cabelas!

The 500 was the first gifted .  two years later I got a gift card for  Dicks sporting goods. 

So naturally I had a shotgun in mind . I ran across the maverick 88 for sale at $ 179.00 + nics. I was very happy.

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