Via Insty comes this link, and I have to say that I don’t really care about “what’s new” in shotguns, mostly because the shotgun circa 1935 (or earlier) was pretty much perfected, and what’s followed since has been tinkering.


I don’t own any shotguns at the moment (try to contain your gasps of astonishment), but I have to say that this little puppy caught my eye (link in pic):

…which retails for just over $300.

For a while now, I’ve been thinking about getting an inexpensive pump shotgun for those unwelcome midnight-guest occasions, and I’ve come to the following conclusions:

  • I’m unlikely to shoot that many rounds through a pump-action once I’m done familiarizing myself with it in terms of its trigger and working the action — I know how to work a pump gun
  • maybe once a year I’ll head out to TDSA for a little melon-blasting fun, just for practice
  • magic word for such occasions:  PAST (recoil pad)
  • ergo I don’t have to worry myself too much about recoil, so I can get a 12ga which is the bee’s knees cartridge for self-defense purposes

This is not true for a clay pigeon (sporting) shotgun, where I will be putting hundreds of rounds through it because fun.  This CZ Bobwhite has long been on my list:

…in that it fills all my sporting shotgun requirements (20ga, side-by-side, straight “English” stock, splinter fore-end, double trigger).  This list makes the CZ rather less affordable (~$950) but I don’t want to compromise.  And we all know how quickly this kind of shotgun’s price can spiral into silly money.

Anyway, I want to thank Insty for reawakening my urge to buy another gun — not that it takes much, mind you.


  1. I’ve owned a 12 ga. Mossberg Maverick 88 since the early 1990s for home defense. It was cheap ($200 in 1993), reliable, and kicks like a mule. In college we used to shoot clays with it, as it was cheap weekend entertainment. Currently it’s my bedroom gun with a bolt-on flash light and bandolier.

    Much later in life, when I started seriously shooting clays with my brother-in-law, and bird hunting with some friends, the Maverick’s kick became too much (and it’s look somewhat embarrassing) so I procured a 12 ga. Stoeger Competition O/U with a 30″ (yes, THIRTY-inch) barrel. It was inexpensive ($650 in 2017) but very effective (albeit heavy to carry). Shooting it is like butter, and I don’t really need hearing protection because when I shoot it seems like the barrel muzzle is in the next county.

    I also have a side-by-side SBS (think Mad Max) that I picked up somewhere along the way for way too much money. That’s the extent of my shotgunning and I have literally no desire to own any more.

  2. I believe shotguns are similar to golf clubs in that each has a specific use and purpose.

    I prefer the tang safety on the Mossberg pumps.


  3. About a year and a half ago, I had the same hankering, and ended up buying a Mossberg 590 Retrograde because it was pretty.

    And then I went and shot it in a Deliberately Stressful Environment, and I came to a conclusion: of all my other self defense guns are semi autos, my shotgun needed to be semi auto too. I ended up buying a Beretta 1301 Tactical. Whoops.

  4. Pump shotguns are such a great value for short money. With the SXP (or Mossberg, Remington etc) there’s always the option of buying a sporting length barrel as well – while not your ideal clays gun it would get you on the field for a pretty low initial investment

  5. Bought my Benelli Super 90 M-1 back in1990 and it has served me well ever since. I just recently found a light mount that accommodates an Inforce weapon light. Back around 2010 I was given an Ithaca M-37 (tootsie roll pump) because the barrel had a serious dent. A few years back, I actually found very nice 28″ vent rib barrel for it on Ebay. Need to get off my rear and go after some Texas doves with it.

    As to the SXP Defender, If there was an option to mount a 1917 bayonet like the old military 1200, I would be sorely tempted.

  6. I inherited my grandfather’s Stephens 211 double barrel as a teenager. I also have a early 60’s Remington 870 Wingmaster that has had a 18.5″ barrel and a birdshead grip swapped out that does duty as a self defense weapon. I have tried a few other shotguns over the years but I always go back to the double barrel.

  7. I always enjoy the moue of distaste I see on the faces of elite shotgun owners when I haul out my beat up police trade in Mossberg 500 folding stock riot gun for clays. 🙂

    They really give me that “Perhaps the gentleman would feel more comfortable with the loan of a tie and sportcoat” vibe that classy restaurant maitre d’s specialize in giving off.

  8. I used my Mossberg 500 for Skeet while I was on the Squadron Skeet Team in the 80’s. I bought a barrel specifically for skeet (28″ modified choke)

    It’s what I had, and while perhaps an semi-auto or O/U would have helped on doubles, I found that I got very proficient in working the slide quickly without jamming anything up. It certainly increased my confidence in the gun if needed for serious social purposes.

    I also shot an occasional round with the riot barrel just for S&Gs. Not too great at stations 4,5,or 6, but it was absolute murder on clay birds at stations 1,7 and 8.

  9. I bought a FN SLP a couple of years ago (for under $1K and when you could find them), and quickly added it to the list of guns I’ll never sell. I was intent on proving the “8 rounds in under a second” until I fired 8 rounds. I don’t know if it was under a second, but it was definitely under 2. My shoulder was sore for a week.

    I did pick up the Mossberg 590s when it first came out and having been trying to get another one since. I can highly recommend both guns.

    I had a late 70’s Ugartechea Model 30 20 gauge (Spanish maker) that I picked up new when stationed in Rota, Spain for about $375 bucks. Solid shooting boxlock with dead on POI. Bought a Fausti Stefani about 15 years ago when I still hunted and broke it in on a dove hunt; better looking that the Uggy, but no great improvement on dropping birds. Quit hunting in 2020 and sold all my SXS’s that year. The last hunting shotgun I own is the Ithaca 37 pump in 20 gauge I bought with my date at a pawn shop in 1970. Still tight as a tick, but nothing satisfies like a SxS.

  10. I went shooting skeet with the boy, who brought the 870 I gave him. The one I used to hit 15-20 in skeet in my younger days. I myself had my 1100. A thing of beauty.

    So I traded off and found that my destroyed and repaired rotator cuff on the left jammed me hard dealing with a pump. Fk I’ve neglected PT on it.

    I think I hit maybe 5. Stunk up the place bad.

    So Yeah…I’d do a side-by-side tomorrow.

    Screw it. I’m old. Gimme free stuff.

  11. As far as shotguns for defensive use, I’ve concluded that slide action types are not the best selection. Having seen too many pro’s shortstroke them during 3 gun matches, I’d rather rely on a Beretta auto type. Seen the same problem in hunting, and in police videos, fumbling the action. Yeah, it’s cheaper. Not the best reasoning, I think.

  12. About that PARTICULAR shotgun … do it! I’ve owned about 4 defensive shotguns over the years, including fully tricked-out versions with all sorts of gimcracks and gewgaws on them, until, like you, I began to appreciate simple functionality and began to eschew the add-ones. Then I got one of these for my brother during the summer of mostly peaceful protests (he lives in Chicongo).

    It is hands down the best defensive shotgun I’ve ever handled, and I would have ordered one for myself if I had not already had two in the gun safes. It’s not the cheapest, but it is very attractively priced, indeed. For a pump, I’m not sure you can find a better gun. The rotary bolt is genius, the chrome-lined chamber and bore, while probably not needed, is functional, I like it. In short, you can get a cheaper shotgun, and you MAY be able to find a better pump shotgun, but you cannot get a better defensive shotgun for less money. It can be hard to get me to get all weak kneed over a firearm these days, if it’s not a high-end, low-production 1911, but this gun comes close. I’m still trying to convince myself I need one.

    Now, on shotguns in general, all this talk about recoil is poppycock. Google “Rob Haught push pull technique” and watch a couple videos. A famous gun writer I knew taught that to my son and me years ago, and I watched my then 10-year-old son who was maybe 100 pounds soaking wet put about 100 00-Buck rounds through a Mossberg 500, and was grinning like a Cheshire Cat the whole time. Thank me later. And don’t any of you complain about “recoil” in a 12 gauge after you learn that technique. If it still bothers you, find another hobby. And no, I don’t know why it works, I haven’t figured out the physics of it. But work, it does.

    Federal Premium LE Low Recoil 00-Buck is the stuff, but I think the Power-Shock version is a little less spendy, IIRC. I still have about 200 rounds of the LE stuff for social work. It’s hard to think a shell that has been around this long can be improved upon, but Federal’s Flite-Control wad is truly innovative, and with the buffered shot, it is probably the best defensive round you can buy, although, I’ll admit in this role, any ammo will do.

    Winchester SXP, just do it. You won’t regret it. And it’s such fun, you may find yourself shooting more often just for funsies. I wouldn’t be surprised.


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