Sunday, October 7, 2012

I'll have a number four shotgun combo...

There was a comment on the last post about using a shotgun for deer hunting here in Ohio as opposed to some folks out west who need a center-fire rifle to cover long distances or up-state in the east where a thirty-thirty, lever-action rifle does the trick.

There are so many hunting situations, laws, and variations around that what some folks think is the best solution might just depend upon where you're from or maybe where you're at.  A good ol' pump action shotgun offers the shooter and hunter a lot of versatility and reliability... plus here in Ohio, a shotgun is a necessity during gun season for deer hunting.

As a long-time shooter and hunter, plus as an NRA, CCW, and 4H Shooting Sports instructor, I am often asked about my opinion regarding what kind or type or brand or model of firearm someone should get.  My first two questions usually are "What do you want to do with it?" and "How much do you want to spend?".  When it comes to shotguns and limited budgets, it's hard to beat a pump-action shotgun from companies like Mossberg and Remington with the all the variations and accessories that are available from the factory and third-party vendors.

Now I'm not about to argue brands here as everyone has an opinion, but due to our prepping nature, the gals and I have standardized on the Mossberg 500 series here and if you're selecting a brand... it's very hard to beat the "big two" for variations, parts, barrels, and accessory availability.

Slap on a longer barrel with interchangeable chokes like this twenty-eight-inch vent-rib barrel from Mossberg and you're all set for just about any kind of winged-critter hunting including ducks, turkey, quail, pheasant, and crows depending on your screw-in choke selection.  You can also head out for some trap, skeet, five-stand, sporting clays and bust some clays too.

For big critter hunting like white-tail deer, shotgun slugs are required here in Ohio.  While there are several rifled and smooth-bore/cylinder-bore options available for the Mossy, I like the twenty-four-inch rifled barrel with cantilever scope mount.  The 3x-9x Bushnell scope came with the barrel right from Mossberg and since the scope mount is directly attached to the barrel, you can switch out barrels and keep your zero dead-on.

If huntin' two-legged varmints who have kicked down the door of your house is a concern, you might just want to mount up a short, cylinder-bore barrel like this eighteen-inch barrel from Mossberg.  Now you've turned your pump-action shotgun into a short, maneuverable home and self-defense firearm that can blast out one-once slugs, double-aught or number four buckshot... and even less-than-lethal options are available.

So if you're looking for a versatile firearm with many uses and your budget is a bit short of what the political candidates are spending these days...  consider your options, but as for me... I'll have a number four shotgun combo...


  1. Great advice Dann. We have two 870s at home. One wears an 18 inch barrel and is configured for home defense. I keep that one in the closet. The other has an interchangeable choke 28 inch barrel for waterfowl and upland. It resides in the gun safe. I've never had the need for a dedicated slug barrel but after looking at yours I might change my mind. There are some interesting possibilities, including one with rifle sights. A dedicated slug gun? I'm definitely going to skull that one over a bit. If the One is re-elected it might be a good option to have available if 'sniper rifles' are ever banned.

    1. @Six... with the rifled slug barrel and the Winchester Gold Partition sabot slugs I previously mentioned, I've been able to hold three-shot groups... using a pair of "cross-sticks" for gun support...between three and five inch groups at a hundred yards which is fine for deer... and two-legged varmints...

      Dann in Ohio

  2. Thanks for the pics Dan. Its funny the little things that are different in other parts of the country; I don’t think that I have ever seen a Mossberg 500 with wooden furniture either. You make an excellent point in you post and it is exactly why the first gun that I ever bought shortly after my 18h birthday was a Mossberg 500. I knew I wanted a shotgun for the versatility of both home defense and various types of hunting. And I quickly narrowed it down to the 500 or the Remington 870, again for their versatility. Also the availability of parts and accessories and their introductory price tag. I eventually decided on the Mossberg because of the cost. I felt like I was paying for the name Remington and the quality would be the same. Both made in America. Then I found a Mossberg on sale that came with both a 18 inch cylinder choke barrel and a 28 inch vent rib barrel with interchangeable chokes and I went for it. One of the best decisions I have ever made.

  3. Coming from a place where you could shoot pretty much everything including a Howizter for Bambi the Indiana no rifle thing took a bit getting used to. Pistol loads are OK, but it doesn't make for the best distance.