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View Full Version : What's your favorite semi-auto shotgun?



Kevin Geaslin
17th October 2008, 00:32
I'm interested in the Beretta Xtrema, a Mossberg 930 and a Benelli Nova. I've only fired pump-action and like their reliability, but have heard that semi-automatic shotguns are far superior.

It will be for home defense, and a female will be using this as well, so I'm looking at something with reduced recoil. I'd also like a large magazine tube and maybe some cool toys like a collapsable stock or maybe one of those nifty red dot sights. Any recommendations?

TonyU
17th October 2008, 01:45
I prefer the Benelli Super 90 which I have but for the price and reliability you can't go wrong with the Remington 1100.
I purchased a used one from a police department that were upgrading their shotguns and it shoots well.
You can also look into the Tactical version but that also brings the price up.
Also keep in mind that some semi-auto do not feed nor cycle low recoil loads very well. Why as I home defense I prefer my customized 870.
Instead of a collapsible stock look into the Knox stocks. They will help reduce recoil and have been getting good write ups lately.
Good luck.

Kevin Geaslin
17th October 2008, 03:44
I love the look of the Remington 870, a beautiful weapon.

Richard Scardina
23rd October 2008, 03:15
Remington 1100, Browning "Sweet 16", Saiga 12

George Kohler
23rd October 2008, 05:05
Semi-automatics are nice, but I'm partial to the Remington 870. It was one of the weapons I carried while in the Army. Even though, the first time I was assigned one, it was a modified version. It was also a hand-me-down from another unit, so it had been used quite a bit. But, I never had any problems with it.

The second time I was assigned one was several years later. The 870 I was carrying at that time was made back in the late 1960's and again I never had any problems.

I have one now at home. Not to mention, the pump action has a phychological factor when heard. :D I also prefer the speedloading with the pump.

Brian Owens
23rd October 2008, 11:15
...semi-automatic shotguns are far superior.

It depends. Which semiauto, and for what purpose.


It will be for home defense, and a female will be using this as well, so I'm looking at something with reduced recoil.

I recommend a Remington or Mossberg pump-action.

For home defense, the first round can be a light load of bird shot -- effective for defense at close range, but less likely to accidentally penetrate a wall than buck shot or a slug -- and further rounds can be something more potent in case needed.

StephenMWyatt
4th November 2008, 08:18
If you are buying it for hunting, then I'd suggest the Mossberg 935, because it is a good, tough, easy-to-use, all-purpose shotgun, that can handle some of the most powerful 12-gauge game and fowl loads on the market, because it is built on a 10-gauge frame. If you go this route, then get the synthetic stock with the weighted inserts, to reduce your felt recoil to almost .410-gauge levels.

If you are buying it for law enforcement, then I'd suggest the Mossberg 835, with the (special order only!) 18 1/12" barrel, because it handles more of the specialty rounds that are on the police market, such as the 3 1/2" graphite "door buster" (often, many doors take a second shot from even a 3" magnum shell, to bust the hinges off a door), the 3 1/2" rubber buck / ball (for crowd control), and the 3 1/2" sniper-friendly 1oz. sabot round (which is capable of 3" groups at 100 yards, even with a "cylinder" choke on the end of the barrel).

The reason why I suggested the 935 for hunting, and the 835 for LE use, is because - WHEN YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON YOUR GUN - you don't wan't a malfunctioning shell in your tube that has to be cleared by removing your shooting hand from the weapon, while you piddle with the action, and re-charge the weapon. If you're just turkey hunting, go with the auto.

IF you can get your hands on an old Franchi-Spas auto-pump, and have a gunsmith in your area who can widen the throat to accept a 3 1/2" shell, then the barrel on that gun can handle the increased pressures of the larger shell, and you'd then have 6, 3 1/2" shells in your shotgun. But, I digress.....

:)

Later,
Stephen W.

Kevin Geaslin
4th November 2008, 13:18
I came across a Franchi Law-12 at a local gunstore, which just feels very nice, but it's kind of banged-up looking and a bit pricey for a used shotgun. I'll keep an eye out at some of the local gunshows.

George Kohler
4th November 2008, 15:25
Kevin,

Since you are not in law enforcement (you don't need those special rounds) I would recommend the Remington 870. It is reliable and not very expensive (at least not right now) compared to other shotguns.

Brian Owens
4th November 2008, 17:19
...Also keep in mind that some semi-auto do not feed nor cycle low recoil loads very well. Why as I home defense I prefer my customized 870.


I love the look of the Remington 870, a beautiful weapon.


Semi-automatics are nice, but I'm partial to the Remington 870. ...the pump action has a phychological factor when heard.


...I recommend a Remington or Mossberg pump-action.


...I would recommend the Remington 870. It is reliable and not very expensive (at least not right now) compared to other shotguns.

Okay, George voted twice, but still...

Remington 870!

No, it's not a semi-automatic, but it's probably the best bet for your described use.

[Hmmm. I guess I've now voted twice, too.]

TonyU
4th November 2008, 17:35
Okay, George voted twice, but still...

Remington 870!

No, it's not a semi-automatic, but it's probably the best bet for your described use.

[Hmmm. I guess I've now voted twice, too.]

Me too! :)

Kevin Geaslin
4th November 2008, 21:41
lol sounds unanimous. there's something about the 870's forward grip that just looks awesome. I guess they're easy to customize, I see tons of them at gunshows with all kinds of sidesaddles, top and side folding stocks, chokes, etc.

I like the idea of being able to change ammunition without it automatically loading the next round for me. But I suppose I'd get in trouble for firing at a burglar with a round of dragon's breath or flechettes!

Desmond
5th November 2008, 11:14
Rem 870. Always went bang when I needed it to.

DDATFUS
5th November 2008, 20:28
But I suppose I'd get in trouble for firing at a burglar with a round of dragon's breath or flechettes!

That depends on whether or not you have a shovel and a big backyard.

Steve F
6th November 2008, 02:01
I think it's tough to beat the Rem 1100 for a gas operated 12 gauge.
If you're not married to auto, I'd agree with the 870 - reliable, affordable, and effective.

CEB
7th November 2008, 20:33
I have an 870. Well.... I have a bunch of shotguns.

The best pump gun of all time is the Winchester Model 12. But it has been out of production since 1963. It cost too must too money to produce such a fine shotgun.

Remington 1100 is nice. I like my 1100 better than Dad's Belgian Browning Auto-5. I don't know anything about Benelli or any of this new fancy stuff that is out there these days.

A gas auto will reduce recoil. Recoil pad will help also. Stock fit is real important. The guns needs to fit her.

Also gun weight will effect recoil. Bad part about that is the shooter is a woman. Lighter the gun the more it kick. Heavier the gun less it kicks. So it is a trade off between weight and recoil.

I don't buy into this business of using low base shells for self defense. OK if you are shooting quail or trap loads for shooting blue rock but it you what to stop somebody then you want to stop them.

Shogen
8th November 2008, 03:58
I like the Mossberg 500 series. They are affordable and reliable. I feel pump is better for home defense. There is nothing like the sound of a shotgun pumping. That sound alone is likely to send the intruder running.

Now, if a smaller woman is going to be using it, you might want to consider a 20 guage and modify the load.

David Pletsch
22nd November 2008, 08:34
Reliability equals survivability in combat. The 870 is a great weapon for home defense. My advice? stay away from the high priced autos, put ghost ring sights on an 870 with a side saddle and a sling. The only additional might be a surefire fore grip light. I have a juvenile stock on mine to bring it into a better CQB type alignment. If a small frame lady is going to be shooting it you can use lighter loads without the feeding problems you might experience in an auto. If your heart is set on an auto, the Benelli super 90 is good but be advised, one of our entry guys used one for a while and went back to the Remington 870 instead.
***Note***. spend at least three times as much on training as you do on the gun. Just my opinion.

Have fun!

Budoka 34
26th November 2008, 21:35
I have to echo Tony here. The 870 is and would be my first choice for a defensive shotgun.
I have only had one Autoloader that I trusted half as much as my 870s and that was a saiga 12).:D

I still don't think I'd carry it into harms way.

tgace
26th November 2008, 23:15
If the question is "what is the best SG choice" I would say the 870.

My opinion on "the favorite semi-auto" would be the 1100. For me its the best gun for the least cash. Yeah there are "better" if you want to pay for it, but IMO the "advantages" that "better" gives you are negligible. The 1100 works just fine. The same goes for all weapons IMO. Styer, Tikka, FN and other high end rifles are fine rifles and expensive. However your average shooter cant shoot a good domestic rifle like the Remington 700 to its highest capacity.

Juan Perez
27th November 2008, 00:17
Remington 870. It's simple, reliable and I've breached through quite a few doors with it with no issues. Excellent weapon!

George Kohler
28th November 2008, 17:58
I've breached through quite a few doors with it with no issues.

The first time I was assigned a 870 was for this very same purpose. I never had any problems with it, even though I never used it in actual combat. BTW, thanks for your service Juan. Glad you are back home.

SteyrAUG
17th June 2010, 05:30
I prefer the Benelli Super 90

That's the one.

Richard Scardina
17th June 2010, 13:10
I like the Mossberg 500 series. They are affordable and reliable. I feel pump is better for home defense. There is nothing like the sound of a shotgun pumping. That sound alone is likely to send the intruder running.

Now, if a smaller woman is going to be using it, you might want to consider a 20 guage and modify the load.

The Mossberg is a decent gun. It gets downplayed by many hunters in favor of the 870

I also like the Browning A5

Richard Scardina
17th June 2010, 13:27
On another note. The design for the pump and auto shotgun was first invented by John Browning. As well as most auto pistols today. Without John Browning's initial genius, much of the guns out there would have not copied firearm design aspects.