Suggest a simple (cheap) home defense shotgun.

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Nov 23, 2009
Suffolk County, NY
I have a handgun (job related), but like the idea of a shotgun for home defense. Can you guys point me in the right direction for one? Nothing fancy, no lights or lasrers or extended ammo.. just something functional and inexpensive. American made is preferred. Thank you!
Yeah not sure if the judge is what you want, for home protection but you can shoot .45LC with it too! Something about cycling the pump on a shotgun gets everyone's attention. Kind of a universal language...
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Go to any pawn shop and buy a used Mossberg 500 or a Remington 870. Get it in 12ga. and with as short a barrel as possible (no shorter than 18", of course). You want a cosmetically ugly one that hasn't seen much action. If you pay more than $150, you're doing it wrong. (At least down here, NYC is probably different) Long barrels can be made short with a hacksaw and a bit of sandpaper. When you cut, remember that length is measured from the face of a closed bolt. Leave an extra .5 inch. Measure 5 times, cut once.
I don't think you can make a bad decision between the Remington and the Mossberg. I prefer the 870, but it's just a personal preference. If you live in Middle Village, theres a decent chance you share interior walls with you neighbors. If so, pay attention to what shot you select. You don't need 00 buck for effective home defense use. #4 would be plenty effective at typical HD ranges. It's true that even #6 birdshot can penetrate drywall, but I feel there's at least a little greater margin for error with #4 than 00 or slugs.
I have my mossberg 410 shotgun for home defense. She is like 70yrs and still works good. Why not a 22? Quick easy cheap and reliable. Smaller but of imagine it would get the job done. smile
It's true that a 20ga would probably be sufficient and would work better for smaller users, but the 12ga is a more versatile round. It might be better to keep reduced recoil rounds in the 12, both for smaller users and decreased chances of over-penetration of walls. Generally, on the used markets 12s are more plentiful and therefore less expensive. Again, this is my experience in this area. Yours may be different. Edit: Something else to consider: Using the reduced recoil rounds gets you the ballistics of a 20 with the pellet count of a twelve.
The Mossberg-made Maverick is available locally for less than $200 brand new in an ideal "house gun" configuration: blue steel 18.5" cylinder-bore barrel & regular length magazine tube(total capacity 5 + 1 with 2 3/4" shells), black synthetic stock. It's very similar to the Mossberg 500, but has the safety button on the trigger guard(front, like the old Winchester pumps) instead of the top rear of the receiver like the Mossberg. For a new gun, the Maverick is time tested & excellent value for the $$. I believe it's assembled in Mexico from USA-made parts. For some more $$ you can get the Mossberg or the Remington 870 Express mentioned above. The Remington also has the safety button on the trigger guard, but on the rear. For used, it depends what you can find, but the Remington 870 would be at or near the top of my list. I've owned a 20 ga 870 since my 12th Christmas- and that was a very long time ago!
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