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    • #22485
      Goodsteel
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      I grew up on a Winchester 1897 trenchgun, and I still have it. Gotta say, that and the Ithaca 37 are a really tough act to follow.
      In my opinion, the Remington 870 and the Mossberg 500 can’t touch them.

      As far as a modern fighting pump shotgun, I suppose I would have to take the Mossberg. They just run faster than the Remington IMHO, and the slide release is located in a place you can access it without changing your grip.
      I have no experience with the Winchester.

      What are your thoughts on this?

    • #22523
      Artful
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      I’ve got a 870 but I grew up with 870’s – I used Ithaca, Mossberg and Winchester – to me they are all about the same speed.
      Thing about the Remington 870 – you can get more aftermarket parts for it than any other model it seems to me.

    • #22559
      Goodsteel
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      There is that. Kinda like the 700. The gun that lends itself best to accessorizing the crap out of wins. Every time.

    • #22568
      timspawn
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      If you are counting auto loaders, I think the M family of Benelli’s is hard to beat.

    • #22580
      Sgt. Mike
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      Like Art I lean towards the 870 But Goodsteel already knows that.
      BTW I mounted that see-all sight on the 870 need to sight that thing in one day, so far I like that sight

      I prefer it because of the Mechanics of the action bar with the dual Bars versus one action bar like many pumps.
      In the auto that Timspawn mentioned I have no experiance with the Bernelli’s but lean towards the 1100 series in the Remington

    • #22613
      Artful
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      I own an 1100 and don’t find that a combat shotgun – you can dress it up for the dance like one but it won’t do the lindy long.
      I had a friend that shot skeet and trap for a living – he had 3 of the 1100’s one to use, a backup and one to in for repair.
      I’d have to look at one of the AK family shotgun’s I think – they seem robust

    • #22645
      seaboltm
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      I am fond of the 870, but I like Mossberg 590’s also. I like the steel receiver of the 870. Nothing wrong with aluminum receivers I suppose.

    • #22646
      bnelson06
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      Give me the 870. I’ve shot the one I have going on 23yrs and it’s still going strong. It’s been to the bottom of the duck pond plenty of times and I didn’t treat it that well when I was a teenager yet it keeps on keepin on! I have other shotguns in the safe but if I want to hit the first time I always grab the old tattered 870.

    • #22684
      Daniel
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      I bought a Mossburg 590 from a fellow who needed money. Did not have a high opinion of the gun until I shot it. It might use a set of sights on it but other than that, it was ready to go out of the box; long magazine, hand guard and bayonet lug. How long will it last? As long as you live, I suppose. A fighting weapon is an expendable item, a piece to which one should not become terminally attached.

    • #22742
      VANN
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      I love 870’s and 1100’s but the 870 is dead in the water when the ejector breaks and the 1100 can have a few problems of its own so that leaves the Mossberg 500. However if I had to go back in time I wouldn’t feel bad carrying a model 12.

    • #22758
      Anonymous
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      I ran the shotgun phase of the old Soldier of Fortune 3 gun match for 23 years and got to see all of the them die at one time or another, from the 97 to the newest super shooters. My go to 12ga is the 1897 riot/trench, and I have most all the other brands on hand. they all have something to recommend/reject them . I dont like pistol grip stocks and all sorts of hang ons to snag stuff, Sight are a personal preference, If it helps you hit what you point at and isnt a snag potential, then go for it.

      I came to the conclusion that a large percentage of shooters consider the shotgun a secondary weapon and dont give it the needed practice to be able to run it when balks or gets shot dry. Manipulation is key. No little steel boxes to hold 20 or 40 rds of ammo, as we have been conditioned to accept as the hot ticket..

    • #22782
      Smoke4320
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      Summit management DP-12
      Double barrel 16 rd pump.
      Each pump gets you 2 trigger pulls right barrel then left pump start again
      2 mag tubes 2 barrels so its a straight feed

    • #22786
      nagantguy
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      When I post from my “smartphone I can’t see what I’m typing the page one of one and the search windows blocks my view any suggestions?

    • #22802
      nagantguy
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      Okay, think I got figured out………best fighting shotgun ..the one you have at hand when pure unadulterated righteous warrior violence is called for. In the Corps I did some time at an embassy and lots in nasty places, the win trench gun still did yomans service. The 870 I just did the “Wilson steal ” treatment to, without sending it to Wilson with the XS sights counter bored cylinder barrel, bed liner paint job on stock, over sized saftey and mag tube extension shows promise, runs good hits where you aim. My go to though is my mossberg 500, have 4 barrels for it now. I was the first gun I bought with my own money from running a trap line as a kid, 11 or 12. It’s been used as a boat paddle, broke ice out off a duck blind, taken deer pig, Turkey, quail, partridge, grouse, rabbit squirrels, fox, duck, geese, woodchuck skunks, broken clays. After 30 something years and some face lifts it’s had thousands of full power rounds down the tube and the only trouble I ever had was once the saftey broke, a little burr wouldn’t let you put it on safe without an harbor press! So with its riot barrel and some 00 or 000 buck I’d feel confident with this old familiar friend.

    • #22803
      JPHolla
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      I’m with Artful. I love my Saiga 12. I understand some of the later ones (mine’s an ’02, I think) were not put together right, but the ones that are (or are fixed) are hard to beat. A shotgun is the perfect application for the Kalashnikov gas engine. I also have a .410 that’s just dandy. I kinda wish I had a Vepr 12 too, now that they are out.

    • #22837
      bear67
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      My favorite right now is the loaded one behind whatever door in the house I am close to when I really need one. That said, I grew up on 870 Wingmasters and have hunted upland birds, ducks, squirrels and more with them. When I coached 4*H shotgun sports they were our trap choice for new shooters. I have my father’s old 32″ full plain barrel model from the first year of production. Not much bluing left and the stock looks like boy scouts worked on it with hatchets, but it is dependable and old enough to have earned it’s keep. I don’t mean that I have turned it out to pasture as I shot some commorants with it yesterday (we have federal permit to take them of of our private fishing lake). The 1910 version of the 97 I guess is my first choice of a fighting shotgun as it was a police/riot model with longer mag tube. I have a High Standard Riot, Mossy 500 rigged with short barrel and long tube, Did I forget to say that the Ithica 37 is ok too. I need to find a short barrel or plain one to cut off as my 37 has a nice 28″ VR on it now. This is like asking just one girl to dance when there are lots of them lined up along the wall–so many to choose from and only a little time.

      Heck, this is just fun thinking on the possibilities.

    • #22842
      rockrat
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      I would lean toward the Winchester M12. I can remember Granddad, on a rise of a covey of quail, just holding back the trigger and pumping the forend. Three quick shots, three dead birds

    • #22876
      Bullwolf
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      I also grew up with a Winchester 1897. It was my first Shotgun as well, and it left quite an impression on me. (and I still have it) I really miss external hammers, and take down barrels. When I say impression, I don’t mean the one that the pump slide could leave on the back of your right hand if you weren’t careful either. Recoil from the 1897 was also more unpleasant than I remember, I think I must have been tougher back then. Today it would definitely wear a rubber sissy pad on the butt.

      Been awfully partial to Winchester shotguns ever since, although have had other brands as well over the years. The Mossberg 500 series went down the road, it just didn’t feel right to me, always pointed and shot to a different point of aim than the Winchesters. I bet I would have had a hard time breaking one though. There’s nothing wrong with an 870 either, I never really warmed up to the 870 design or internals either, even though I’ve fired and tinkered around with a few. Since I don’t like or trust the gas operated shotguns all that much, that kinda leaves out the semi’s for me.

      Almost always had a single shot break open 12 gauge around on the farm. While quite handy, it was more of a tool than a fighting shotgun.

      I wouldn’t feel under gunned by any means with my venerable old Over and Under and a bag full of shells, unless I was attacked by a pack of wild dogs or something. I doubt there’s any other shotgun that points, swings, or fit’s me quite as well… Or that I’ve shot nearly as much as an over and under. If I was ever attacked by a bunch of angry clay pigeons, the Over and Under would definitely get the nod. Sadly, an Over and Under shotgun doesn’t really qualify as a combat shotgun due to reloading speed limitations. Everything’s a bit of a compromise.

      Best is a somewhat relative term. For me it’s more like what I’m the most familiar and comfortable with.

      Due to the familiarity aspect I’d probably pick a Winchester Ranger, with a nice comfy padded sling with an assortment of loads from buck to slugs on the butt, belt, or side saddle. It’s a bit lighter in weight, which would be nice if I had to never put it down, though a little bit lacking in the magazine tube capacity department.

      Failing that, if I really had to load for bear…I’d pick the discontinued Winchester Defender as the best fighting shotgun choice for me. I get a warm fuzzy feeling, having a pump shotgun with a fully topped up magazine tube.

      – Bullwolf

    • #22900
      gwpercle
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      I’ve always been partial to the Ithaca model 37 . Like the way it handles and fits me , and prefer the bottom ejection….I have to shoot left handed now since loss of sight in right eye.
      It’s the easiest for us left shooters to deal with.
      Gary

    • #22902
      Anonymous
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      For myself I would prefer an auto. The Browning A5, Beretta 390 or a Benelli. All 3 are 100% reliable with good ammo.

    • #22933
      Goodsteel
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      I respectfully disagree, but to each their own.
      Bear in mind, being a gunsmith, I see the worst of everything. In the last month, I’ve staked in a new ejector in a Remington 870, ordered new parts for an 1100 that ate itself, new extractors left and right for a Mossberg 590, etc etc etc.
      Winchester model 12s and Ithaka 37s come in for rebluing. 97s have yet to be logged in for any reason.

    • #23004
      Anonymous
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      "I respectfully disagree, but to each their own. " No problem Goodsteel that’s what makes horse races.
      I would not include 1100’s, 1187’s or any other auto’s other than what I mentioned. I have shot skeet and sporting clays regularly since 1970 and have seen what works reliably and what doesn’t. The A5’s owned the skeet fields up to the 60’s and mine purchased in 1966 has over 90K rds through it. I had to replace the firing pin about 5 yrs ago. Forearm has cracked and been repaired but it functioned. The Beretta Auto’s are widespread in the sporting clays competitions at the highest levels where reliability is a must. The Benelli’s are used extensively in the South American dove fields where shooters fire many cases of ammo per day. When talking a combat weapon, the ability to move from target to target without having to manipulate a pump to me seems a definite positive. I certainly would not feel deficient in any way with a pump in a serious social situation but, given a choice would opt for the auto.

    • #23005
      Goodsteel
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      OK, I have to admit, if you’re talking about the old recoil operated A5, that was a heck of a shotgun. Also, the very first guns I took into the shop was a couple of Beretta Extrema II’s that were failing to function due to crud. Once clean, I quickly came to the conclusion that they were a very well built shotgun.
      My biggest gripe with the semi-autos is that when/if there is ever a problem, they can be devilish hard to clear and get back in the action, and they seem to be more sensitive to crud than a pump.
      When they are working, they work better. When they are breaking, they break worser. LOL!

    • #23219
      Frank Dombek
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      I don’t know anything about shotguns. But I will eventually own a DP-12

    • #23294
      dverna
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      Fecmech, two things to consider. First, no gun is 100% reliable. Normally, the simpler the design, the more reliable. Second, the reliability of a gun used for target work may not translate to combat conditions with mud, dirt, and ammo that can get cruddy from being in a pocket, pouch, or belt.

      As to the question, I do not know. I have a number of shotguns. I ended up with three Mossy’s that are only for defensive use and the only reason is that when I decided to buy a home defense gun I got a great deal on a Mossy. It ran well and added two others when I found good deals. Seemed a good idea to stick with one brand for when the SHTF

      I used to shoot over 15,000 rounds a year on the Trap fields. EVERY gun will puke. I have a K80 and still carry a spare receiver. It is an absolutely stupid amount of money tied up in shooting clay birds. BTW, the yearly spring changes cost almost as much as a used Mossberg 500. But I trust my life to guns that are only a few hundred dollars.
      Go figure. LOL

    • #23327
      Harter
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      I’m going to opt toward the Ithaca. I own it’s sister/cousin/offspring (?) .
      In upwards of 15k rounds the BPS has failed me just 3 x.
      Once in a 35 degrees snowstorm hunting ducks best guess is water in the bbl . A Federal high brass premium locked it up tight as a drum . 15 minutes and a dowl found in the truck had the stuck case clear .
      The 2nd was a wet shell that blooper and rolled steel shot back in to the action breaking a hammer spring rod …….dead I the water .I did make a new temporary rod until the correct part came in.

      The forestock has broken 3x . With out pins I can’t make it stay . I may have to break down and buy 1 ……

    • #23334
      Doc44
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      Like many others here I am fond of the guns I grew up with and have used for decades. I vote Mossberg 500. Although I am fond of 1897 Win and would like to try out a Kel-Tec pump for defense

    • #23356
      Menner
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      Grew up shooting 870’s and 1100’s in the gun locker is Winchesters ,Mossberg, Charles Daley, Franchi, H&R, Browning maybe others but I would have to get up and look (aint going to happen) Have shot most of the others and I have never been able to hit flying stuff any better with high dollar shotguns than I can with my 1100. there are 870’s with 20 in smooth bore deer barrels on them behind bedroom doors and I have been shooting Rems so long I don’t even have to think about safety or slide release it just happens .Remember in a High stress situation you will go with what you know so for me it would be the 870.
      If I am headed out hunting the only time I don’t reach for the 1100 is Quail or Rabbit that 20ga Franchi sure is lighter than that 1100 lol
      Tony

    • #23375
      lar45
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      I’ve got a Stainless Mossberg 500 with 20″ bbl and 8shot mag tube that I bought to be my fishing gun when I went to Alaska many years ago. It’s probably the most reliable one I’ve got out of the bunch.

    • #23379
      Goodsteel
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      Of course, there’s this also just FF to 15:50:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bOVOqccmw0
      ​

    • #23381
      ZmanWakeForest
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      You guys are going to make me break the S&W Semi out of the safe for pics!!!!!:D

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