No 870 20gauge Love??? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Colorado4Wheel
02-08-2011, 17:58
I am in the process of helping my parents train with a handgun for some home protection. After much talk about shotguns falling on deaf ears I finally convinced them to get a Shotgun as well. My original plan was to get a Remmington 870 in 20 gauge BUT then I read the below article. I don't understand why the 870 would be so loved in 12gauge and not in 20gauge (my plan for my parents). Any incite would be appreciated. I guess the Mossberg 500 Special Purpose would not be a horrible choice either.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/ammo_by_anonymous.htm

If you are new to shotgunning and considering getting one for self-defense I strongly urge you to buy the reliable and reasonably-priced "Mossberg 500 Special Purpose" 18.5" barrel 20 gauge pump shotgun (catalog #50451). This tried-and-true workhorse is the standard shotgun of the U.S. Armed Forces and costs a little over $200. You'll be much happier with the lighter-kicking 20 gauge than the 12 gauge version used by the military, and - most importantly - you'll shoot the 20 more accurately and rapidly.

For an in-depth look at the 20-versus-12 gauge issue I recommend all shotgun owners (and potential shotgun owners) read 'Stressfire II: Advanced Combat Shotgun' by Massad Ayoob. Perhaps I am beginning to sound like a broken record on the theme of Ayoob's books, but once you've read them you'll understand why I recommend them so highly (and repeatedly). Note: Ayoob dislikes the 20 gauge Remington 870 pump shotgun and recommends you choose the Mossberg 500 in 20 gauge for general self-defense and home-defense use. So do I.

WiskyT
02-08-2011, 18:17
I think the 12G with low recoil buck or slugs would be as light kicking as a 20G and more versitile.

aippi
02-08-2011, 18:36
And who decided this Massad guy is the last word in shotguns?

I preach and build the 870 20 ga tacticals. Mine are upgraded with the same parts as the 870 police and parkerzied like the police.

There is not a single thing anyone, not this massad guy or anyone on this blog that can discredit the 20ga 870 for HD or any kind of defense or for that matter can they discredit the 20ga as a hunting shotgun. They can give an opinion and that is all.

As for this -v that question of the Mossberg or 870. It comes down to what you like and what you beleive with serve the need. Me, 870 is it.

PlasticGuy
02-09-2011, 07:56
I love the 20 gauge combat shotgun concept, and in fact bought one for my wife. I went with a Mossberg 500, primarily because it mimicks the controls of my Vang Comp 590a1.

Whether it's "better" than a Remington 870 is certainly debatable, but I have found the controls of the 500/590 to be more ergonomic for me and that it is faster to load and unload with the unobstructed magazine access.

speedsix
02-09-2011, 13:18
I don't trust anyone that recommends a Moss 500 over a Rem 870. I have been shooting shotguns for over 20 years and I know from experience that the Rem 870 is better than the Moss 500. I have had several problems with Moss 500s including a plastic safety button breaking for no reason which disabled the shotgun, action bars twisting, breaking and binding, light primer strikes etc.

As for the 20ga vs 12 ga. I have had both Moss and Rem in both gauges. There is no advantage to a 20ga over a 12ga. Anything that a 20ga can do, the 12ga can do better. Period.

PlasticGuy
02-09-2011, 16:41
I don't trust anyone that recommends a Moss 500 over a Rem 870. I have been shooting shotguns for over 20 years and I know from experience that the Rem 870 is better than the Moss 500. I have had several problems with Moss 500s including a plastic safety button breaking for no reason which disabled the shotgun, action bars twisting, breaking and binding, light primer strikes etc.

As for the 20ga vs 12 ga. I have had both Moss and Rem in both gauges. There is no advantage to a 20ga over a 12ga. Anything that a 20ga can do, the 12ga can do better. Period.
To the first part, I have seen two 870's break action bars. I've never seen it on a mossberg. That's not to say your experience isn't valid and mine somehow is, but rather that it can happen to any pump action if used long and hard enough. The plastic safety is an issue, but it's also a very cheap and easy fix to replace it with a metal one. As far as not trusting anyone who likes Mossbergs more than Remingtons, I assume you're talking about the US Marine Corps.

And for the comment about how the 12 can do anything the 20 can do and more, I assume you consider weighing more and having more recoil to be good things.

G19aps
02-09-2011, 17:23
Stressfire II was published in 1992 and the 870 20 gauge comment was in reference to the older shell lifts allowing a shell to slip between the lifter and bolt.

I had a 870 20 gauge that I wanted to use for home defense and hunting with separate barrels of course. The 3 available buckshot loads didn't pattern for crap with any choke so I ended up getting a 12 gauge 870. But the short barrel threw perfectly good home defense patterns and the recoil and weight of the gun was less than my 12 gauge 870. It would make a perfectly good home defense gun.

Goldstar225
02-09-2011, 17:57
I'm not about to "disrespect" a 20 gauge for home defense. As a youth I used a 20 gauge with #3 buck to deer hunt, I know what that load can do and no human hit with it will be a problem for long. A few years ago I got our department to authorize a petite officer who worked for me to qualify with/carry an 870 20 gauge. For those naysayers I point this out; the small frame 870 was eaiser for her to handle and she hit better with it. Our full sized 870 12 gauges did not fit her. By going to the 20 gauge she was far better armed than if she was limited to the duty sidearm. The 12 gauge is better and is my preferred fighting gun, but the 20 gauge will get the job done.

aippi
02-09-2011, 18:45
There was a reference to the shell carrier on the 20 ga 870. The term "older lifts" was used and the lack of the flex tab kit. Not sure where this came from but it is pure BS. Here is why.

the 870 20 ga does not use the flex tab shell carrier nor does it need it to clear an operator malfuction that would cause a shell to lodge between the carrier and the breech bolt. It does not need the flex tab due to the size of the 20 ga shells. You simply hit the disconect and rack it back to clear. So any comment by anyone about the lack of a flex tab on 20ga shotgun is comming from someone who has no knowledge of this weapon. Also, the 20 ga 870 does not have a ejector spring as the receiver is narrow enough one is not needed. So other then the ejector spring not being needed and the flex tab not being needed the 20ga 870 is just a scaled down version of the 12ga.

This thead is 20ga -v- 12ga and either the 870 or 500 in 20ga would make a good choise for the OP parents.

Colorado4Wheel
02-09-2011, 20:18
It's pretty much decided in my book. 20gauge 870. TO ME, it just feels like a better quality item. Not sure if it is but that perception and the comments from my best friend who is a very good gunsmith leads me to get a 870 for my parents.

byf43
02-09-2011, 20:58
A few years ago, I bought a Remington 870 Express Youth (20 ga.) for my youngest son to shoot.

It has a 21" choke-tube barrel and it is a dandy little scattergun!!!

There is only ONE drawback to this shotgun.
With the factory recoil pad, it HURTS him to shoot it.

If you leave the factory stock on this scattergun, I suggest to put either a Limbsaver pad or a Pachmayr Deaccelerator (sp??) pad on it, for your parents' shoulder's sake.

As for Mossberg, it is no secret that I have NO USE for their shotguns.
I used to own a 12 ga. "500" and it was a POS.
The disconnect developed a burr on it, and the shotgun would not stay locked into battery.
I sent it back to Mossberg twice, and still it developed that same burr and wouldn't stay locked.

I won a couple of Mossberg(s), a couple of years ago. A 12 ga "Crown Grade" Trophy 12 ga combo, and a .410 "500".
Neither has been taken out of their box. . . . . and they won't.

Remington 870 vs. Mossberg 500 is equal to Chevy vs. Ford vs. Mopar

speedsix
02-10-2011, 10:30
I guess I have no love for the 20ga because I always felt the recoil from a 20ga to more unpleasant than from a 12ga. I think the 20ga is kind of nasty to shoot. It has a sharper quicker kick than the 12ga which is more of a shove. The 20ga produces less power so recoil in total must be less but I don't find it any nicer to shoot a 20ga than a 12ga. Recoil is a non-issue to me.

Size and weight of the gun is also not a big issue. My wife has a 20ga Rem 870 Youth. I have shot it a lot at skeet and just messing around. It is much harder to hit a clay with a 20ga than with a 12ga. The 12ga simply throws more lead and has a better pattern in general.

Who doesn't like a slim and light weight shotgun? They handle better and are easier to carry and are faster. The lighter 20ga frame does make the recoil harsher so as you go down in weight, you come back up in recoil while still being stuck at the 20ga lower power range. If Remington made a 20ga sized 12ga, that would be great! All the advantages with none of the drawbacks.

If you are a woman or child, the 20ga is a option that you may have to take but if you can handle the 12ga, why not have the full power and greater hit potential? Why handicap yourself unless you have to out of need?

I stand behind my statement that anything a 20ga can do, a 12ga can do better. With the exception of women, kids, and very small or weak sickly men.

speedsix
02-10-2011, 10:49
I didn't mean to sound like I was knocking the 20ga. The 20ga is still very powerful and a formidable weapon at close range. It is far more powerful than even the most powerful .44mag so it is not in anyway underpowered. Even the 20ga will probably be the most powerful gun in someone's collection. A 12ga is insanely powerful and is often the most powerful gun people own or shoot. It is the big boy in terms of power. Very few rifles even approach the power of a 12ga. No handgun that I know of even comes close. Shotguns are powerhouses.

As for the Mossberg vs. Remington debate, that is closed in my opinion. 20+ years of 1st hand experience tells me the winner is hands down the Rem 870.

I have owned other shotguns as well, my first pump was an Ithaca 37 feather-lite. Great gun but not as durable as an 870. I wore it out shooting it. I would buy clays and shells by the case and do nothing else but shot shotguns. Eventually every part on that Ithaca was worn or loose. I got tired of messing with it and having to repair it so I sold it for $80. Wish I had it back as it was the shotgun that I really learned on.

I have had Winchesters, Savage, Stevens, Ithacas, Mossbergs etc. The Winchester 1300 is a good gun and probably better than the Mossberg but I never shot it all that much for some reason and sold it. The semi-auto Winchester I had was a jam-o-matic. Every Savage or Stevens shotgun I have owned has been junk. I won't even buy them anymore at any price.

Point is, I didn't just get into shotguns yesterday. I have been around the block on this subject and have at least a dozen shotguns under my belt. I have not owned them all but out of the ones I have owned, the Rem 870 stands head and shoulders above the others in terms of reliability and build quality. I don't have to worry if my 870 is going to work or break. It will work. The Mossberg will break. I have seen it too many times.

Austinite
02-10-2011, 10:59
I had the same 870 12g vs. 870 20g quandry. I went with the 20g after already having the 870 12g tactical. I even lost a few bucks on the swap.

My reasoning? The 870 12g swings like cinder block. It's big, bulky, and heavy. The 20g moves so much easier. Recoil differences were not a factor in my decision. They kick about the same IMO. The size difference in the two 870 actions really is significant. As far as effectiveness, I have complete confidance in #3 buck at cross-the-room differences.

I agree that the 12g can do anything the 20g can do ballistically. It just isn't as swift in the hands.

PlasticGuy
02-10-2011, 11:16
...I don't have to worry if my 870 is going to work or break. It will work. The Mossberg will break. I have seen it too many times.
I've been a combat shotgun instructor for quite a while now. I haven't been into trap shooting like you have, but I've seen a lot of buckshot and slugs sent downrange. I have seen no difference in durability between the Remington 870 and the Mossberg 500. I truly believe it is a Ford/Chevy debate. We may just have to agree to disagree on this point though.

The kicker is that the Mossberg 590a1 has proven tougher than both the 500 and the 870 in my experience. The US Marine Corps agrees, and those guys can find a way to break ball bearings if you give them half a chance. Just to muddy the waters... :supergrin:

aippi
02-10-2011, 12:58
Sorry to add to this -v- that but Yes, the 500 and 590 are good weapons. Just want to state since the my Corps was brought up as some kind of example for the 590 that in my Remington factory armorers course there were Jarheads certifying on the 870. So yes, the Corps uses 870's. has for 50 years and always will. Most Military Special Units use them and the 870 MCS is being used by them all.

Mossberg got the mass shotgun contract and Remington never entered a model of any kind. All that inter-net mess about Mossberg beating Remington for the Military contract or even the Military choosing Mossberg over Remington is not true. It came down to what most government contracts do.... Lowest Bidder.... and Remington did not even enter a bid as they were not going to offer their weapon at that price, period.

Also note the OP posted in that he has decided on the model so the thread is over in my opinion.

Colorado4Wheel
02-19-2011, 16:18
I just have to say, They got the 20 inch Remmington Youth model. Very basic, from Walmart for $270. We finally made it to the range today for the first time. To understand what I am about to say you have to understand that they have been wanting to buy a handgun forever. Not only that be every POS, hard to shoot one they could come up with. Finally they had a S&W 5906 (or some such thing) given to them. They kept saying "It's fine". I talked them into the 870 20 gauge. At the range today my Mom couldn't even pull the trigger 50% of the time on the S&W. At 5 yds once she got the hang of it she could hit a USPSA target fine but she never resolved the trigger issue and could not consistently even pull the trigger. Pulled the 870 out of the box, Let her learn how to point it and opperate it, dry fire it a couple times, loaded it. Shot it 5 times and knocked down 5 8" plates in a row on the plate rack. They never missed, It was easy. They were very happy with the 870 and gave the S&W back to my uncle at the end of the day. Amazingly enough I gave my G34 to my mom as well. She promptly went 6/6 on the plate rack with it as well. It was the only gun she could shoot properly. She was great with it.

Just thought you guys might like to know how it went.

WiskyT
02-19-2011, 17:06
I just have to say, They got the 20 inch Remmington Youth model. Very basic, from Walmart for $270. We finally made it to the range today for the first time. To understand what I am about to say you have to understand that they have been wanting to buy a handgun forever. Not only that be every POS, hard to shoot one they could come up with. Finally they had a S&W 5906 (or some such thing) given to them. They kept saying "It's fine". I talked them into the 870 20 gauge. At the range today my Mom couldn't even pull the trigger 50% of the time on the S&W. At 5 yds once she got the hang of it she could hit a USPSA target fine but she never resolved the trigger issue and could not consistently even pull the trigger. Pulled the 870 out of the box, Let her learn how to point it and opperate it, dry fire it a couple times, loaded it. Shot it 5 times and knocked down 5 8" plates in a row on the plate rack. They never missed, It was easy. They were very happy with the 870 and gave the S&W back to my uncle at the end of the day. Amazingly enough I gave my G34 to my mom as well. She promptly went 6/6 on the plate rack with it as well. It was the only gun she could shoot properly. She was great with it.

Just thought you guys might like to know how it went.

I'm not surprised by any of that post. I've taken a few people who either never shot, or almost never shot to the range and they all have shot better with Glocks than even their own handguns. I was going to suggest your parents try one of your Glock 9mm's.

aippi
02-19-2011, 17:16
I tear up at happy endings. You go Mom, 870 all the way.

K.Kiser
02-19-2011, 17:38
My Father bought me an 870 20 ga. Wingmaster for my 8th birthday, that was 26 years ago and many blasting sessions and hunts under it's belt... It has basically performed every task that I wouldv'e asked any of my my other shotguns and 870 12 gauges to do.. Within reasonable shotgun distances, I pull the trigger and the results are the same as my 12's with the exception of circumstance where a heavy buckshot is required I would imagine... For home defense, the is no man on this planet or any drug he can ingest that will allow him to overcome a load of #3 buck to the chest at any home distances... Mine is a 28" gun for hunting, but the weight and slightly reduced length that were necessary when I was 8 y.o. are still features that make it "fall to the hand" nicely now that I'm 34... They are just nice, handy, slick shooting shotguns that offer a real purpose in the field or home...

LilWolfess
02-19-2011, 17:58
I am extremely pleased with my Remington 870 20ga. I fitted a limbsaver on it, and that made a world of difference! I use it more than I would use a 12 gauge just for the sake that it's lighter and handles so well for me. It comes along in the car pretty well with the youth stock on it too!

badge315
02-19-2011, 18:34
A few years ago, I bought a Remington 870 Express Youth (20 ga.) for my youngest son to shoot.

It has a 21" choke-tube barrel and it is a dandy little scattergun!!!

^+1

I purchased one for my daughter when she was in her teens; when she grew up and moved out, I set it up as an HD gun for her with a Wilson magazine extension and a Sidesaddle.

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o263/badge315/Guns%20-%20Shooting/Stacis870a.jpg

ssgrock3
02-23-2011, 18:55
a youth 870 with #4 buckshot is a dandy little gun.

aippi
02-23-2011, 19:35
I think one of the gigs on the 20 870 is lack of accessories. Yes, Mesa makes a 4 and 6 shot shell holder but you would have to knotch the forend as no one makes a tactical forend for it. Well, that is history. I will not go in to it but anyone with a clue will figure it out. You can now even get an 870 20ga with a Surefire forend, Mesa shell holders and even 18,5" barrel with Trituim bead sight and Rem Choke. Or simply install a Speed feed LE forend or any other 12 ga forend. It's out there for those that want to search. The Tactical 20 ga has arrived.