Why To Choose A Remington 870 For Defense

One of my old weapon instructors used to refer to the pump action shotgun as an instrument of the Lord: it brings truth and understanding to the disbelievers.

That’s a good reason to keep on hand for home defense the pump action shotgun.

You do not have to be an expert marksman to shoot or hit your target; just point and pull the trigger. The sound of the pump action shotgun when chambering a round is like no other sound on Earth.

And from all the pump action shotguns, Remington 870 would be my first choice.

There Are 6 Reasons Why You Need a Pump Action Shotgun

  1. Power and Performance

The pump shotgun has more power than the average pistol. Throughout history shotguns have been the backup arm of police and sheriff departments in America.

The pump shotgun is a great equalizer in close defense of your home and protecting your family.

  1. Ease of Maintenance

You can clean and maintain a pump shotgun with both improvised or conventional cleaning supplies. A cleaning kit for bug out bags can be made in a small compact package that takes up very little room.

Also, improvised supplies can be used to clean and maintain other firearms.

  1. Price and Availability

Pump shotguns are cheaper and more available than most rifles. With a couple of hundred dollars in any Walmart , the average law a bidding person can buy a shotgun, (as long as you can pass the firearm background check). With the low prices of the pump action shotguns you can afford to buy more than one of them for your defense needs.

  1. Versatility of Ammunition

The pump action shotgun can fire either lethal or non lethal rounds. Non lethal rounds like bean bags or rubber projectiles can stop violent encounters without killing or causing serious bodily harm. When the Pump action shotgun is loaded with normal shot shells, it can be used to hunt game or be used as a defensive weapon.

  1. The Pump Action Shotguns Are Modular

Yes, the pump shotguns are modular. If you do not like the wooden furniture on the shotgun you can change it to synthetic parts.

The shotgun can be set up with a longer barrel for hunting. By changing to a shorter home defense length barrel (18”), the pump shotgun is now ready to better protect the family in close quarter fighting.

If you want a cruiser type shotgun with only a rear pistol grip, this can be done by replacing the rear stock with a pistol grip. There are also many kinds of accessories from slings, lasers, lights, and shell holders.

Click here to get your Green Beret’s Guide To Combat Shooting Mastery & Active Shooter Defense!

Remember to use the KISS Theory when deciding which accessories to put on your pump action shotguns.

  • Keep your shotgun in its original configuration.
  • Stay away from folding or collapsible stocks or unsightly muzzle attachments.
  • Try not to use heat shields. To some they look cool, but in reality they might shoot loose and jam the action.
  • If you wish to hunt with your shotgun, try adding a longer barrel (24” or 26”) and get a choke set for it.

If you want to keep extra ammunition handy, bandoleers are the best. Some people attach a magazine extension to increase the shotguns ammunition capacity above factor standards. Usually these magazine extensions are installed by unscrewing the tubular magazine end cap and screwing on the extension. This extension can increase the magazine capacity by up to 5 rounds depending on make, model, and barrel length of the shotgun.

Tactical lights that are mounted on the shotgun forearm are very important to make a correct identification of an individual or a group of individuals at night. This light allows hands free operation when needed to stop a criminal incident, or if lethal force is needed to defend one’s life.

  1. Protection of the Law

The pump action shotgun in most cities and states is considered to be a sporting arm, not an assault weapon. In some cities and states where handguns and large capacity magazines are banned, a pump action shotgun can be a lifesaver and a good weapon to own.

Video first seen on Gun Carrier

What Is a Shotgun Gauge?

Shotgun barrels are not chambered in calibers, but in gauges. A gauge is the number of pure lead balls it takes to roll down the barrel that is the same diameter as the internal diameter of the barrel to make a pound. This was an old English  Imperial measurement.

The most common chambering for shotguns are 10, 12, 16, 20, and .410. The .410 was based on the old .45 Colt round and is an American invention and not a true British gauge.

Choosing the Gauge for You

When choosing a shotgun gauge pick one that is suitable for your build and needs. Recoil must be considered as a determining factor along with availability of shotguns and ammunition. The 12 Gauge shotgun is the most bought shotgun gauge in the USA. For this reason12 Gauge ammunition is easier to find and buy than other gauges.

If you cannot handle the 12 Gauge recoil then go with a 20 Gauge shotgun. If you still have problems with the 20 Gauge recoil then try the .410.

I would not recommend the 10 Gauge because of the very heavy recoil, hard to find, and expensive ammunition. The 16 Gauge is also an almost obsolete gauge and the shot shells can be very expensive. This makes it mostly unsuitable for home defense and survival preparations.

The 12 Gauge shotgun is the over-all best gauge in modern shotguns. There are excellent supplies of different types of ammunition like bird shot (#1- #12), slugs (1oz), and buckshot (0,00, 000, and 0000).

In 20 Gauge ammunition there are bird shot (#1-#12), slugs (1/2 oz.), and buckshot (0,00, 000, and 0000), but smaller and lighter than the 12Gauge. In the .410 shotguns there are bird shot(#1-#12), buckshot (00, 000, and 0000), and .410 slugs (1/4 oz.).

Slugs can be sometimes very hard to find outside of shotgun only deer hunting states.

Which Type of Shotgun Is Best for You?

There are four types of shotguns: the single barrel, the double barrel, the semi-auto, and the pump action.

  1. The single barrel shotguns have only one barrel that must be loaded and unloaded manually by opening the breech. They do not have tube magazines.
  2. The double barrel shotguns have two barrels mounted side by side or over and under each other. To load and unload this shotgun the shooter must manually open and close the breech. Like the single barrel shotguns the double barrel shotguns do not have tube magazines.
  3.  The semi-auto shotguns have tube magazines which can hold from 2-8 rounds depending on how the shotgun is setup. After a round has been chambered and fired, the shotguns use either recoil or gas to operate the action and reload the the shotguns automatically. There are some semi-auto shotguns that use box magazines or drums. For this “crime” they have been mis-named assault weapons by the anti-gunners and are either out right banned or are strictly controlled by state or local laws.
  4. The pump action shotguns have a tube magazine that holds between 4- 8 rounds depending on how the shotgun is setup. After a round has been chambered and fired, the shooter must manually pull the forearm backwards to eject the spent shell and push the forearm forward to chamber the next round. A high quality pump action shotgun offers a distinct advantage over auto-loaders because their operation is more mechanically reliable. Under the worst conditions imaginable, the pump action shotguns are the best choice for home defense. They can be carried safely with a loaded magazine, an empty chamber, the safety on, and the hammer down.

I’d say that the best shotgun for the prepper is the 12 Gauge pump action shotgun. The pump action shotgun will cycle any load you feed it, including reduced recoil loads, light bird shot loads, and less than lethal ammunition.

The advantages of a shotguns are threefold.

  • There exists less danger of harming third parties through walls in the event of missing the perpetrator or by accidental discharges.
  • The potential for inflicting massive wound trauma to a criminal is maximized thus ending a violent confrontation quickly.
  • It is easier to hit the attacker with a shotgun than with a pistol.

Semi-auto shotguns are good and have less felt recoil, but you must take the following into consideration before buying one:

  • Semi-auto shotguns cost much more than pump action shotguns.
  • Some of the cheaper ones have quality and reliability issues.
  • Gas system parts can wear out faster and more frequently.
  • Some auto-loaders have feed preferences and will only feed certain loads reliably usually the full power loads.
  • Auto-loaders rely on either recoil or gas to operate the action.
  • Each has its advantages, but both require more preventative maintenance and cleaning for reliable functioning than do pump action shotguns.

Why to Choose a Remington 870

My personal choice for a pump action shotgun for survival and home defense is the Remington 870, which is an extremely high quality pump action shotgun.

The receivers are milled from a solid billet of steel for strength and durability. Twin action bars ensure a smooth, reliable non binding action.

There are many variations of this shotgun and all will serve you well. When it comes right down to it after you have researched all the brands of pump action shotguns that interest you, only you can decide which pump action shotgun appears best for you.

remington 870

Training and Ammunition

Now that you have your shotgun, it is time to shoot it and become familiar with it. Please read the owner’s manual and understand it. Clean the shotgun before shooting it. Finally if you have any questions about the shotgun call customer service and speak to one of the gunsmiths because they are the best source of the right and the correct information that you are looking for.

One of the best ways to sharpen your defensive and shooting skills is to shoot skeet and trap. These two shooting sports will help you learn how to lead the target and to follow through.

When training in different scenarios always use the exact ammunition that you will be using in a crisis situation. If you do not, the recoil may be less or much more than the practice ammunition. The point of impact could also be higher or lower than you are use to.

  • For training in houses or other buildings, I prefer to use reduced law enforcement 2 3/4 inch 0000 buckshot loads. These loads will do the job without too much over penetration of the target. If you do miss the target the buckshot will not rip through more than a sheet of sheet rock wall.
  • If you do not want to shoot buckshot or slugs in these buildings then use #4 shot shells (turkey loads, no pun intended). These will stop your target and have less over penetration than buck or slugs. For home defense use the 2 3/4 inch shells.
  • The 3 inch or the 3.5 inch have just to much recoil and make it harder for accurate follow up shots.

Video first seen on Iraq Veteran 8888

Training in the Outdoors

When training for outdoor scenarios, learn how to safely shoot slugs, buckshot, and shot shells. Know the pros and cons of each. Always train with safety in mind and always know what is behind your target. Finally, do not shoot until you have positively identified the target.

It is my opinion that the Remington 870 pump action shotguns are excellent survival and home defense shotguns. These shotguns have stood the test of time for over 50 years.

The 870 pump action shotguns set the standards that all other pump action shotguns rely on.

Remember that a personal defense weapon should be something you feel comfortable carrying at all times. Learn from the experts the secret of self-defense. Click the banner below to grab your guide!


This article has been written by Fred Tyrell for Survivopedia

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Written by

Fred Tyrrell is an Eagle Scout and retired police officer that loves to hunt, fish, hike, and camp with good friends and family. He is also a champion marksman (rifle, pistol, shotgun) and has direct experience with all of the major gun brands and their clones. Fred refers to himself as a "Southern gentleman" - the last of a dying way. He believes a man's word is his bond, and looks forward to teaching others what he has learned over the years. You can send Fred a message at editor [at] survivopedia.com.

Latest comments
  • Great article, Fred. 870’s are great. But, looking for a less expensive home defense(HD) shotgun(SG), I purchased an H&R Pardner 18.5″ HD SG last December, on clearance, for ~$150 out the door (and another $10 for my GREAT FFE). It is made by the Chinese partner of Remington; and about other than the barrel, most parts are interchangeable. I have tested 00 buck, #4 buck, slugs and #7 birdshot. I am soooo happy to have such a great HD gun. I also read good things about the Stevens HD SG made by (Winchester I believe).

    • I like this article. And I agree.on the whole.. with everything Fred wrote. A couple of points, though. For folks who are recoil-shy I disagree with going to 16 gauge or 20gauge. Consider going to the Aguila shot-shells. They are 3-1/2″ to 3-3/4″ long. And they throw a dram of shot that is about 3/4 that of a standard 2-3/4″ at the same muzzle velocity as standard. Anthe recoil is about the same as the 16 gauge.
      Here are a few reasons for my Preference.
      One: You can put a lot more rounds in the mg. In a 18″ barrel you can get 9-10 rounds..and one in the chamber. In a 26″ you might get 14-15 in the mag and one in the chamber. That is serious firepower.
      TWO: Aguila offer 3/4 ounce slugs that exits an 8″ barrel at almost 1200 fps. That is about 1000 fps muzzle energy. They also offer a duplex loading of #4 and #12 shot that is absolutely devastating. The recoil is about the same as a 16 gauge…
      Three: You can reload cut down shot shells to Aguila standards if you are a reloader.
      Four: You can use them without altering your gun. That means you can still buy up the hunting12 gauge shells at the end of the season sales for your preps..
      Yer Pal,

    • I’d be cautious of either “Chinese” or “off brands”. Another very good and popular shotgun (used by the U.S. military) is the “Mossberg 500 Series” of pump shotguns. Some things that shouldn’t be “cheap” with is something that you are betting your life on.

  • Almost everything that Fred says is true, however, the way that it is put together is misleading. I agree that the 870 is be best of the breed. I have several of them. (I have never owned an Express but currently have three Wingmasters.) Where I disagree is the comment that it is easy to hit with a shotgun. With my 18″ cylinder bore Police model, I have a 12″ spread at 10 yards with #4 buck. Thirty feet is a long way in the average house. It is hardly an “alley sweeper.” And you don’t want a wide spread because you are turning loose a bunch of bullets roughly equivalent to a .25 Auto. You are responsible for where each of them wind up. Yes, there are non-lethal loads but I would never recommend them for home defense. In law enforcement, there is almost always somebody backing you up with a lethal arm. In home defense, you are probably are the backup. And if you are shooting bean bags, you are abandoning any “spread” advantage you might have had. Plus, you might be tempted to shoot a “non lethal” round when you shouldn’t shoot at all. Those “non-lethal” round can kill someone if you hit them in the right/wrong place or from close range. In terms of penetration, you have to read almost to the end of the article to get recommendations of ammo that doesn’t penetrate many interior walls. If you drop in a slug, you will learn a whole lot about penetration! Skeet and trap shooting are fun and good training for hunting, however, they have very little to do with self defense except to help familiarize someone with the gun. One significant disadvantage of a pump is the danger of “short stroking.” Unless one is practiced with the gun, it is a real possibility. If the “thunk-thunk” sounds strange, check to see if the carrier put a new shell in the chamber. The other disadvantage is weight– not the weight of the gun which you don’t want too light because of recoil– but the weight of the ammo. It’s fine it you are operating from home or from a vehicle. If you are on foot, carrying a couple hundred rounds is a real load (pun intended). Yes, I like the pump shotgun but it is like everything else, you don’t get something for nothing. It calls for a whole lot more training than comes in the box (or in an internet article.)

    • East of Austin, You said yourself you get a “SPREAD” of 12 inches of buckshot at ten yards. That means you can “MISS” your target by 11 inches if you are off the center of your target, either high, low, left or right and still hit your target with a full one inch of buckshot! I’d say that makes it maybe not easy, but easier.

  • if you can only have one gun, a 12 gauge pump is absolutely the way to go. no cheap- shot at Remington, but I believe that the Mossberg offers much more value for the dollar: use the extra money on shells and practice more often. so: my recommendation (for what it’s worth) Mossberg model 500 with shot barrel and magazine extension. for practice, birdshot is OK (and you’ll need some if TSHF), but for anti- personnel work, go with #4 copper plated buckshot.

    another thought: the idea that you can just point it in the general direction of what you want to hit and blast away only works in the movies: like any other projectile weapon, you have to aim at what you want to destroy. be sure you’re familiar with your pattern, and keep your shots inside the limit.

    • Yeah, don’t forget, wasn’t it just last year that the ‘goons’ tried to ban tactical shotguns as well? But i’m sorry to disagree with you about ‘if you could own only one gun a shotgun is the absolute way to go. Maybe, and that’s a huge caveat, for an expert 3 gun competitive shooter after he got tired of being a top sporting clays shooter…

      But not for most everybody else. The biggest weakness in shitguns besides the ones mentioned herein, are the range and capacity limitations.

    • Its not possible to extend the mag tube on the 500. You need to change out the whole tube and replace the barrel with one that has the attaching point further down the barrel. They used to sell them in a defense model with extra capacity and would not be worth buying a hunting model and modifying it. If you like buying accessories get a Harley Davidson. The more crap you add to a firearm the more things you have to go wrong. Keep it simple keep it reliable.

  • I would have some hearing protection hanging off of it , firing a shotgun indoors will leave you deaf for a week and cause permanent damage , all guns are loud don’t get me wrong but a shotgun no matter what load are good at hurting everyone around it including the bad guy . I also agree an 870 is the best choice if a shotgun is what your going with .

  • With the way the feds are going we will only be able to buy beanbag shells for our shotguns before long. Since their justification for outlawing 5.56 is that they can kill a policeman.

  • “Hammer down?” Good article though.

  • I learned back in February of 1977, right after I was finished with my “probation” time as a rookie police officer, that “racking” the slide on any pump shotgun isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Had two suspects at gunpoint, waiting for my backup to arrive, had to pump a round into the chamber on one of the suspect’s as he reached into his waistband. His partner froze like a statue, the “reacher” pulled out his empty hand s-l-o-w-ly, than instantly went into a Felony Factor 15 all out sprint to flee. We caught several blocks later of course. I did learn that “some” folks aren’t impressed by the shotgun at all. And no, it doesn’t strike “fear” into the hearts of thugs. In my experience, most parolees and experienced thugs(who’ve no yet been accorded parolee status), bet that most homeowners WON’T pull the trigger on them.
    All that being said, Fred’s article is outstanding and well written. Great simple explanations for the Noobs as well. Keep him around, he does a good job. Thanks.

  • I’m buying a Mossberg 500 that comes with a 18.5 & a 28 inch barrel the only draw back is it comes with a plastic stock and forearm excuse me a synthetic stock though the pump action is not as smooth as a 870 for the price I simply can’t turn away from the purchase any owners care to share they info on this weapon.

    • If I were to get a Mossberg for defense, it would be the 590. That’s the one the military adopted. Mossberg’s one advantage over the 870 is the ambidextrous location of the safety.

    • The Mossberg is a great gun.I Have both my first shotgun was Mossberg 500 with a Poly choke. Killed my first deer with it 32 years ago and she is still going strong.You can not bet it for the money.I have Remington’s and Browning’s now But I still have ole reliable. She has been pumped so much there is place’s on each side of the recevier were it has wore into the metal.

  • I’ve owned a Rem 870 for along time and it is a nice shotgun. A few years ago I bought an IAC “Hawk 982″ tactical. (18.5” barrel, Improved cylinder, 5rds+ 1 in the tube, ghost ring sight) It is a Chinese clone of the 870, but made completely out of steel. It is a bit heavier, but I think it is much more durable. It takes all Rem 870 parts for the most part and breaks down just like the 870. If you want a decent shotgun for home defense at about one-half the price…this would be a good way to go. I’ve had it it about 4-5 years now, with no problems of any kind. Once the action smoothed out with some use…it’s hard to tell the difference.

  • The main disagreement I have with this article is; A shotgun is not that good a choice for a bugout bag. They are fairly heavy compared to an AR type rifle, and the ammo is much heavier than most rifle ammunition. You will not be able to go as far or as fast with a very heavy load, as you may need to (You are bugging out, after all).
    A shotgun is great for an emergency gun in your car, truck, boat, or airplane – excellent for hunting (with a good selection of ammo types) and can also fire some flares to signal with.

  • Being a shot gun instructor at a local youth camp I have the honor to work with around a hundred novice and beginning shot gunners every year. I maintain a fleet of 870’s and 500’s not a lot of difference in performance with beginners with the exception that only about 1 out of every ten students are able to reassemble the 870 after field stripping it anyone that has done this knows there is a couple little tricks to getting the carrier back into position. even with somebody that knows how its done helping them. The Mossberg is much easier to maintain and reassemble, yes it is clunky, rough and rattily but the loose tolerances make it almost infailable even when never cleaned. The safety being located on the back of the receiver can be a problem if you need a pistol grip but I don’t see any reason to have a pistol grip other that to impress your friends. A self defense firearm should be tucked away where no one can access it but you anyway. The 870 has one more flaw that I have noticed, its that the furniture on the fore grip tends to come loose no matter how tight you crank the spanner nut down after every 2 or 3 hundred rounds. It takes a special wrench to tighten and I ordered one but still had to locktight them all, synthetic and wood ones alike we have several of both styles.
    I have to agree with the other fellow on the subject of .410 being an alternative defense round unless you are using slugs and carful aim. they are not powerful enough to go up against an armed adversary. Then the gun shops are trying to push these various .410 revolvers which I have tested a bit with many loads claiming to be built just for these clunky POS boat anchors. The trouble seems to be that any shotgun load whether designed for these things or not simply cannot achieve lethal velocity’s going down a 3″ or 5″ barrel. I’m sure that those of you that have wasted your money on one of these scary named devices will want to argue, But there is no need I blew some dough on one to. Just go out in your yard and shoot it at a piece of 1/2″ plywood and from a distance of 10′ then take a look at how many of the projectiles bounced off the wood and can be found laying on the ground in front of it. Don’t bet your life on the novelty of a scary sounding name.

    • Cman, I used to write for a couple gun magazines a couple decades back and have tested and fired just about anything worth shooting at one point or another in my misspent life encompassing over a half A CENTURY of shooting in any and all circumstances from big game hunting in Africa to the ‘Soldier of Fortune’ competitions to the 3 gun shoots to precision sniping. All while pursuing military and LEO careers where i did further real time ‘testing’ and instructing of most small arms under actual combat conditions.

      So I, like you, have a modicum of some ‘reality’ experience with firearms and simply don’t agree with a lot of intransigent opinions’ out there. And of course because of the flawed human nature of most of us, we don’t like people whose opinions differ from our preconceived notions, erroneous, or not. I personally don’t care anymore what amateurs think because it’s much more important to keep people on an anti-bullshit diet so they don’t die from morbid brain obesity. So, all i can do is politely apologize for busting out their fantasy wet dreams and then hoping they eventually ‘get real’ so they don’t get themselves, and more importantly other ‘friendlys’ in their perimeter too badly hurt if a real bad situation occurred.

      I was telling people exactly the same thing you observed with shotguns for years. In, fact, I do have a nice expertly tricked tactical 870 Express Magnum for clients to try out just so i can demonstrate why they don’t need or want one when certain other tactical firearms will be much, much, much better all things and situations considered.

      Older 870’s also have a problem with the sear/spring/trip I recall, but there’s an upgrade part exchange you can get.

      870’s were first issued a lot to big city PD’s because Remington gave them a bulk price break they couldn’t refuse. And thus the mass proliferation eventually in all police departments across the country and the trickle down civilian appreciation and use. If they were good enough for police, they would be great for citizens. But nothing is ever as it seems.

      A CPD issued 870 was the 3rd or 4th shitgun i got proficient with back in the young days and I never did like the action, but then i never did like pumps anyway. They never could completely rise to the occasion of a hot tactical situation or dynamic gun fight if you were using one, instead of something else, for some unknown reason?

      Most beat patrol police never even wanted to take their shotguns out of the station armory room and carry them in the patrol cars because they’d likely never use them so the watch commander used to get pissed and Order us to take them, or else, LOL! “We didn’t pay all that *#@%-damn money on these things for you to leave them at the station!” Those of us working heavy crime task forces in hot parts of the city wound up backing our revolvers and 1911’s up by carrying sawed of M1 .30 caliber carbines, w/30 round mags, which caught on enough in general LE to later become a factory model from ‘Universal’, i think, called ‘The Enforcer’.

      The only pump shitgun’s action i ever liked was the one i carried sometimes in very dense jungles on ‘point’ where there was a high likelihood that if you made ‘contact’ with the enemy, it would be a situation where you’d come around a turn in a trail and ‘whoops’ instant CQB! The Ithaca we used, which was pretty fast, had the additional advantage where the sear would trip every time you racked the slide back as long as you held the trigger back. I don’t know if they did that naturally or if the armorers tricked them out but a good shooter could make it sound like a semi-auto with some practice, and since confrontations like these almost never allowed proper target acquistion opportunities, the fire mode was ‘spray and pray’ from the hip, until the mag was empty, and then quickly fall back to your squad, drop a frag behind you if you could on the way, and go from there, which is one of the few valid situational uses of a shit gun, IMHO.

      Did you ever use a Winchester 1300/1400 series platform CMAN? If so, out of the top 3 most common pumps, the 870, M-500, and the 1300 defender, which one do you like, or dislike, the most?

      Maybe if i get time I’ll straighten this all out for people and reveal the dirty little secrets about pimp, oops, i mean pump shitguns. Although if you watch that feller closely in the video here, you’ll easily see the main, but critical disadvantages of a pump shitgun in a general SHTF scenario.

      Truth be told, a pump shotgun would be the Last weapon any seriously experienced operators would choose to use even if they are highly trained with it. Which most average preppers are NOT. And I agree.

      So what State is your ‘Youth Camp’ in? My BOL is not too far from one and every once in a while i can hear in the distance what sounds like an Iraqi War firefight lasting most of the day, even when ammo was almost a buck a round, lol!

      • My favorite pump although buy all means not modern, would be the Ithaca’s older brother the model 12. The 1200 would be the modern equivalent. I believe the 1300 is imported and sold under the now sudoname Winchester. No longer the hand fitted masterpieces they once were. My favorite 12 pipe out off all that I own is and old 11-48 Remington semi which contrary to the article will feed anything you can give it Hi or low without modification. The floating barrel design is unmatched in a semi it absorbs the hot ones with ease but still cycles without flaw with the lightest dove load. Besides points like a laser, natural extension of the human body. I would prefer to train using semis but I don’t purchase the firearms they are bought mostly with donations and the 870’s and 500’s are always on sale. One benefit is I do really get to test the firearms sometimes feeding 1500 rounds a day through 5 shotguns teaching the essentials of hitting a moving target. It is a lot of fun and there has been times that I will get buried up to the knees with hulls. If I was to chose a shotgun for a beginner to protect themselves with it would be a double barrel 12 gauge always reliable very few moving parts you don’t need any special training to figure out if it is loaded or not, very easy to store unloaded and load quickly and silently. The racking noise of a pump gives an assailant a target. very easy to maintain.
        In the case of someone that is a little more proficient I can always recommend a full size caliber rifle in .308 or .30-06″ easy to obtain ammo and if you would like it for duel purpose or reliability, a bolt action. No need to whine about the outlawing of special armor piercing ammo most full power .30 Cals will go through any armor and out the other side. Gene Stoner did not design his masterpiece around a .22 cal. varmint round for a reason. The AR-10 was modified buy the powers that be for reasons that I’m not going to get into. Now the AR-15 is marketed to the same robots that make their dinner decisions based on television commercials, in other words mass marketing. Is there a reason that most of the NATO country’s went with the L1-A1 or that are own Special forces use AKs M14s and L1A-A1s? Have you ever seen a bad review of a firearm in American rifleman magazine? No, they only review the one that advertise on there pages. It is all marketing to the “brain dead”.
        anyway now I am ranting, and if you are hearing the 12gu music in the hills of PA it was us. CMA

  • The 870s are nice shotguns, but they do have one weakness! If the ejector breaks you are finished! Meaning you have nothing more than a wood and iron club! It takes a gunsmith to fix it! With the Mossberg 500 series of shotguns you just unscrew the old ejector and pop it out, then screw a new one in and you are ready to roll again.

  • I have a MOSBURG 500 and I think it is even cheaper than the 870. There is also a tactical kit for around $20–30 that fits on quickly. I like the MOSSBURG QUALITY AND ECONOMIC PRICES A LOT!!

  • Yes … hands down … the 870 Rem. is the most sought aftet 12 ga. available today for in home defense for that format. Been useing and recommending them since mid ’70’s. Welcome … I’ve been waiting on you guys for awhile. Now tell them the cheapest and most effective round to use in home … the one that minimizes most if not all collateral damage (meaning family members or friendlies).

  • The very best home protection weapon is a shotgun for sure. Your sound asleep and woken you don’t need to aim just point in the general direction and pull the trigger. Very good and true information.

    • Not quite, MJ, I’ve never “pointed in the general direction and pulled the trigger” and HIT the target I was aiming at. “General” direction is movie-mythology at best.
      Ah, the fond memories of the Ithaca ump 12 gauge while on patrol. Simply a stellar performer! Smooth, worked fast and well. Personally, I like the Mossberg, Win.1200 and the Rem.870 models, have at least one of each.
      Shotguns are excellent for those who “have” bug-out. Most thugs will not want to engage someone with a pump shotgun they are toting. here is a great deal of cultural “prepper mythology” out there regarding bugging out, urban survival, and dealing with civil unrest. Having personally been involved in the 1992 Rodney King Spring Festival, (while not a civil war) I never felt undergunned with my pump shotgun, I was carrying. Never felt undergunned with my personally owned AR-15 I had in me of the more tougher areas either. There is NO perfect long gun for protection. Fight with what you have, and don’t worry.

  • HI There ,
    Great article on the Remington model 870 , btw; waiting and looking forward to reading material offer ..