The Mossberg 500 – 20 Gauge Shotgun… is it the Ultimate Prepper’s Shotgun?

by Thomas The Tinker

This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest


A product review ..  including the bonus features of…  Care and feeding…  Practical preppers logistical supportPractical preppers  employment…  and  this preppers  minor custom fit modifications of the sucker in the photo above.  In fact this is a ‘review’ of the 20 gauge shotgun in general .. that my ‘favorite’ is the one above is …. Secondary.  Submitted for your consideration and .. entertainment by … Thomas The Tinker

The Mossberg 500 – 20 gauge Mod. #54300(B) Shotgun.

First.. This is once again.. simply my opinion based on my empirical experience with this piece of ‘Iron’.. not another paltry attempt to sway .. your ..  point of view or get ya ta buy one of these… (well.. yahh.. you could do worse owning one)  I do like my toys and finding ways to make them work.. perform .. to my ‘potential’.     Second …. I’m not a gunsmith.     Third …. I have in my past earned my living with these ‘toys’.  This is not to say .. that what I say .. is the last word on what works.  It is simply mine.. my own.. my precious.. (opinion .. and shotguns).

As Base MP Co. Training NCO, I had access to a number of ‘Government’ models… (nearly all in an advanced state of worn out) and all the full brass cased buck shot I cared to take to the training range or pig hunting with the locals.  I still own a pre-war Ithica-37 surplus cruiser beasty.  The thing .. the one thing .. I learned about the old worn out Iron the Corps let me play with is that I could do nearly everything with them close in .. as I could with the issue M16.

Back on point .. and let me piss off a few folks.   I feel safe, yepper I do, in saying that most of us that haunt this site do not have the skills to employ the state of the art firearms we own… to their full design potential.  My late Father in Law willed a Winchester  Mod. 70 Camp Perry National Match “heavy bull gun” rifle with a Unertl  J 2” 20X scope that is a mechanical piece of Freaking ART .. frankly I ain’t got the stones to play with or take it out of the oak box.   That beast won him a medal or three at Camp Perry.  They scored 1000 yard Vs with a probe & glass and a Vernier.  I have his last winning target .. the scoring glass .. and his Glove too.  No… hell no… I don’t have the skills to use it to do what it ‘Can’ do,  but this an example of design potential vs. skills in the extreme and I have ‘Di-gressed’ way off.

What I’m saying is all of us have our failings… mine… I’m not a 19 year old grunt… and I too cannot use a lot of what I own to it’s design potential… but I sure as heck will push the gear to MY limits.  I know one’s “limits” and “potential” get closer together when you push yourself.

With the exception of 100 yard+ slug shooting, I believe nearly anyone that can ‘handle’ a shot gun can employ it to dang near the ‘guns’ design potential.  Practice till your knee deep in hulls .. and I betcha  nailing center mass with a slug at 3… hundred… feet .. is a do-er  too… ev .. ery time.

As I have posted here before … I have grown to favor a lighter gauge pump gun.  I favor a 20 gauge over the 12 gauge favorite.  I have also grown to favor a 9mm over the 40 cal .. or the revered 45 acp for the same reasons…  Control-ability.  My ‘conversion to the “Lite Side” came from training with the ‘20’ for years and years.  I found that the terminal results of delivering a 20 gauge load are no more worth arguing than getting me nickers in a knot about which drops a target ‘better’… a 9mm or the vaunted 45ACP.  Hitting a perp… dog… deer or hog with this number of pellets or that slug at ‘house hold’ ranges ain’t worth the ….. nit-picking

Below are two of my everyday run around “Irons”.  My #6 Iron is a standard Mossberg 500 ‘20’ with a few add ons.  The one below is the subject of this article my just overhauled Mossberg 500 Tac-tickle ‘20’ #9 Iron.  If you read my last review on the Enforce Tac light, you know I won’t “add on” anything that is not “captured” as in through bolted into or around the firearm.

#1. After market 5 way ‘pic-rail’ block with QD sling swivel.  On the top one I have drilled the heat shield (6-48 tpi) and moved the night sight to it.  An add on set of ghost ring sights would be easy to attach this way.   #2. Mossberg heat shield heated at both ends and formed to 20 gauge barrels.  Quenched to return some ‘heat treat’.  On the fore end is a 2” section of pic-rail, through bolted to the fore end, for the tac-light I reviewed earlier this month.  The ‘rail’ is beveled at both ends… no thumb jam that way.     #3. (4) four round shell caddy through bolted to frame.(any more and you would have to ‘shave’ the fore end. #4. 13 1/2 “ pull pistol grip with a limb saver recoil pad. On the bottom one .. my baby .. I’ll have a mag-pull QD inlaid sling swivel socket and a “Blue Force” sling… no shell caddy.. no single point slingy.. No m’as.. No m’anos. As a matter of fact.. I think I’m going to replace the pistol gripper with a standard (no spacer) Mag-pul stock.

Now I own all of these… and the “ATF Form 4 (5320.4) rev. 3/06” with the lil blue eagle stamp … for the one in the middle.


The bottom one in the photo below is a standard Mossberg 590A1 12ga. 9+1 41” long and it comes in at 7.25 lbs. unloaded.  The second is a standard Mossberg 590SBS/NFAR 12ga. 6+1.. It is.. shorter and comes in at (    )lbs. unloaded.. it will be 2” shorter when I take out the Mag-Pul stock spacers.  The skinny one at the top is my Baby…  The Mossy 500 #9 Iron 8+1 20ga. 39” long and coming in at 6lbs. unloaded.  Take note of size if you will.  Think doors, windows, cars, stairways and hallways and humping it around over you neck… or holding it up!  I use em all.  All in all, I favor the one on the top.

I favor a pump gun over every auto available, including the ones I’ve owned and the one I still own,  for well self-demonstrated reasons.  The average  .. (doesn’t train.. doesn’t practice much.. doesn’t practice at all..) auto shotgun owner cannot rely on their skills to ‘run’ any of the auto guns under ‘field’ stress or heavy use in training … as to combat or even simulated combat… No.  (YEowZaaa did I say I’d PO some folks or did I not!!! And if you’re an old ‘Grunt’ who’s run one…. You ain’t average)

I was young once with an under developed forebrain just like we all suffered with .. until our late 20s … some longer.  Set your ego aside and try a few days of simply running one under the simple stress of training with it .. or the ‘fun’ of running one under the stress of a ‘Three gun’ event.  You Tube that.  I favor a pump over any auto Why?  Cause, IMHO, any man made tool .. that is designed to operate independently of a humans brain .. and muscle memory .. and human will .. shall… is… gonna… fail to function… “Automatically”.  I favor keeping the ‘thought’ process short.. simple.  Having to process the step sheet for a semi-automated devise.. takes time.  Even if you know it by heart.

Am I “Harping” here…  compounding complexity is neither sexy or safe .. TacTiCool yes.

Pump gun:  Pull trigger…. Click .. your empty .. or .. you short stroked it and left a spent shell in the tube.  Stroke it again as hard as you should have the first time and pull .. boom .. all good .. click .. not so.  You are still empty or lack short term memory regarding the short stroke you performed a second ago.  Training mitigates these lil failings .. operator errors.  Combat loading drills!! .. Beat it, Stroke it, like a TOOL cause it is one.   When you bust it buy another one.  If you own one of such quality and fine finish that you’d not want to drop in the mud or gravel….. you own a distraction …. Not … a TOOL.  A Mossberg 500 12 or 20 is running NEW for $188.oo at the Central Ave. Wal-Mart … right … Now.  Monday March 22, 2016, 1:48 p.m.  Remys….. Alil more!

Auto gun:  Pull trigger.. click .. your empty.  Or ‘It’ failed to feed, ramp-jammed, loaded two behind the gate cause ya brushed the lil button on the port side.   Or It failed to eject a low base spent shell.   Or it fouled in the port and now you have one behind the gate cause you are using Wal-Mart low base birdshot and it won’t cycle and don’t have the ‘GAS’ to fully cycle it.   Or you have a shell caddy with 6 to 8 rounds hanging on the side along with may haps a clamp on tac-light …. Err .. other  tac-ti- cool stuff and your auto’s inertia recoil system won’t “Inert” and fully cycle.   Or ya didn’t push the reload far enough up the tube to keep it from popping right-back-out-behind the gate.  If you are an auto fan and ya haven’t made all of these booboos…. Ya autta ‘create em & practice em and the requisite Oh S—T clearance drill…. While, of course,  practicing your moves to cover thang.  Cynical fella am I not!

Spoiler AlertI own an auto… only ONE now.  They are fun to shoot .. in any event that mandates a score card, timer… or rules… ergo a game .     Ok… so now ya got most a my reasons for running a pump gun.

Ok, Care and Feeding:     Care!  Clean the thing when you are in the mood.  Pull the fore end stock now and again and scrape the crud off of the shell tube then lub it with what you’ve learned works best.  This does help the slide… slide.  Me…. My opinion again …. Every time you strip down a good fire arm to a basket of parts you shorten the rated life span of same.   Ya can’t turn it in and get a new one issued… can ya?   Own one that will operate under duress.. and dirty (Gawd how I wish Glock would market a shotgun).    If you are into the prepper gun smith thing and wanna stock parts.. goody!  I keep my spares in the form of spare complete weapons.

‘Feed’ it what .. you .. have proven it will ‘Eat’.  Pumps will eat anything, including those cute lil ‘minis’, so “feeding” is more along the line of knowing what manufacturer and what ‘load’ your Iron likes to eat.  Take 100 quality or crappy Irons (shotguns) and you will have perhaps half a hundred different  patterns with the same shot…  or more, probably more.   This goes for slugs as well.  At household ranges this may not matter to nearly .. everyone.   Me, it matters.

At the ranges (in yards) I train to,  20 gauge #3 buckshot gives ‘me’…  Opinion Alert .. the pattern I can work with and the punch.  My BIL 1 favors ‘Turkey loads’ my DD favors plane ol birdshot. (BIL & SIL both run a 20 Mossy, DD runs a 20gauge 870)   My idea of ‘lite shot’ is HiVel plated lead BB.   Slugs… I spent the time and ca$h to find one that performs to my skill set in all of my Irons.. 20 gauge Berneke  K.O.Slugs.  12 gauge as well….. yeah…. remember I still own and love my 12s (did I spelk burneke write?)

Here is where da ‘Guns & Ammo’ crowd dumps all the online & factory stats about this and that load…. Or how many dozen they fired off to support their stats… Do Your Own Homework fellow ‘Packers’.   It is expensive.. but is so much more fun learning your baby’s favorite foods.

Applications:  Each to our own.  I will be ‘confident’ taking my above pictured 20 gauge pump along for sentry duty etc.  House work.  Yard work.  Crowds.  I am ‘confident’ running my above or below  pictured 20 gauge with slugs to 125 yards.. further is a ‘Hail Mary’ for me for now, how… ever.. I am bound and determined to learn center mass shots on an IDPS profile at 150 yards this season.  Yepper.. I am.. (I was gonna say 200 yards… I had ta beat on my ego there.)

I’m 6’3”.  Getting through a door or window or out of a vehicle with a full length M590A1 beast … is beastly.. but fun to watch.  Its why I went to the hassle and time to get a Mossy 590 SBS 12 ga.   Its why I’m going to do it again to retro-fit the ‘20’ 8+1 to a shorter package.  Now Remember my fellow Packers …. I said I love my toys and pushing myself to get the skill and potential numbers tighter.

IMHO…. The 20 gauge shot waffen will fit any of us, children, elders, gringos and gringettes, big ol hairy guys and the new “PEW Professionals”.  I watch yearly as the number of trainees fielding 20s has climbed from, my BIL the first, 1 in 30 .. to I’ll bet 1 in 5 this July.  Even my favorite SMsSgt-Armorer, range manager and Instructor fields what he has built for himself .. A Remington 870, ghost ringed, ported, throated, restocked and coated … 20 gauge.  4 of the 6 of us doing ‘Shotgun’ this year will be running 20s.

Ok.. ya’ve figured I like my ‘20s’.  Ya’ve figured out my bias.  Ya’ve patiently read this far.. ThanKYou. 

I look forward to the discussion.  If any of you care to join in the fun at “Gun Camp”  it’ll have to be next season as this season….. filled out over a month ago.  The pictures on the site are over a decade old… I’ll try to get some fresh ones this July.  Ok… chime in… no flaming… no trolling.. be of good spirit and have fun kicking this around the coffee pot.. and do remember.. as to spekl chech and grammar and scholarly “Prose” … As evident! I don’t do those.

Xoxo  from the East side of the Pecos  Thomas T. Tinker 


Prizes For This Round (Ends April 12, 2016) In Our Non-Fiction Writing Contest Include…

  1. First place winner will receive –   A gift certificate for $150 off of  rifle ammo at Lucky Gunner, an Urban Survival Kit a $109 value courtesy of  TEOTWAWKI supplies, a WonderMix Deluxe Kitchen Mixer a $299 value courtesy of Kodiak Health and a LifeStraw Mission Filter a $109 value courtesy of EarthEasy, and a 4″ Heavy Duty WaterBoy Well Bucket a $106 value and a WaterBoy Tripod Kit courtesy of Well WaterBoy Products for a total prize value of over $867.
  2. Second Place Winner will receive – 30 Day Food Storage All-in-One Pail a $119 value courtesy of Augason and Berkey Light with 2 (9″) Berkey Earth Elements a $157 value courtesy of LPC Survival, for a total prize value of $276.
  3. Third place winner will receive –  International MRE Meals Supply a $72.00 value, a LifeStraw Portable Water Filter a $19 value, Yoder’s Fully Cooked Canned Bacon a $15 value all courtesy of CampingSurvival and one copy of each of my books “The Prepper’s Primer” and a copy of “The Prepared Prepper’s Cookbook“ for a total prize value of $137.


  1. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    I own two 870s Wingmasters as well as a pair of Express which I prefer over the Mossberg 500. I do have a pair of Mossbergs, a Monkey Ward Revelation and a Camper. Only the Camper and an Express are 20s, the others all 12.

    I do agree that the 20 does most of what the 12 can do, its just the 12 has more choices of loads, especially in buck shot and slugs. I like the 20s smaller size, especially for carrying about. One of the Expresses is a Youth model, shorter stock and shorter 21″ Rem-choke barrel. That is a GREAT carrying gun, but does recoil more because of that. You don’t get anything for free when dealing with lighter guns.

    I agree with most of your post above. Autos ARE more finicky, my brother has some 1100s that only function with mid – high pressure rounds. Dove loads will consistently jam them. Pumps worth with all types of loads – I told him but he didn’t listen.

    Thanks for the post.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      j.r. … I’m repeating myself … Something as ‘personal’ as a ‘defensive/offensive’ fire arm must fit like a fine pair of shoes. If they (It) don’t… they end up in the back of the closet and yer… unhappy. I’m just a ‘Mossy’ fan cause they ‘Fit’ me. My last Rem. 12 gauge I gave to my SIL not 2 weeks ago. (A Rem. 870 SP Police Magnum) It is the best working Iron I have owned but like the shoes…. it didn’t fit me.

      • j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

        Total agreement with you sir. If you aren’t comfortable with it, then you need to change it. One thing I do wish the Remington had that the Mossberg does is the tang safety. Much easier to use imo.

    • Hildegard says:

      MD is right. Few of us can use any speed advantage the auto offers anyway.

      I think the current world record for hitting hand-thrown clay birds (8) was made with a pump gun (disconnector probably disabled).

      I prefer the 12 because of the relative ease of finding ammo, but I doubt any of us would be willing to stand in front of somebody wielding a 20.

  2. Michael says:

    I’ll keep this short, I own a Benelli M2 with an extended tube, 8 +1. I do take issue with pumps being the shotgun to have. I have owned this shotgun for three years now and have never had one problem with it. Before purchasing it though I did a lot of research on the type of shotgun to purchase. I settled on the M2 after much though and after watching hundreds of three gun competitions and consulting with all my local experts, lol, I decided that the semi auto taboo as it were on shotguns was just a myth. In the same realm as revolver vs. semi auto hand gun. Another thing I wanted to take into account was my wife’s lack of mechanical aptitude, I wanted her to be able to point and shoot, with no thought as to mechanical operation of the weapon, except pulling the trigger. I think 9 shots would be enough to do the job. Not saying pumps are bad. Any way, my two cents, and a cross section of my reasoning. BTW my semi autos are 1911’s, thousands of rounds and not one jam ever.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      The owner and operator of TDI has a favorite… its a Benelli with no frills. He runs it like an extension of his arm… like a pocket revolver. He… is not average anything. You… don’t sound average either. I understand the “Mythical” beliefs. I just never accepted the “Myths”… either side of them.

      If you are ever in the So. Eastern Mich. area…. try a ‘3 gun’ at the Detroit Gun Club!

      Run that Benelli like a cheap chain saw. Beat it and a push yourself… and good luck Sir. BTW… The finest auto pistol I owned was a ‘Bobbed’, De-horned, Coco-bolo, Kimber CDP II.

  3. Charles says:

    Mossberg 500AG with vent rib and select-a-choke in 12 gauge, 3 inch magnum. It’s the only way to fly! I’ve used it for over 30 years with ZERO failures. 5+1 with the plug out, and I’m a surgeon with it too!

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Charles: I applaud your success Sir and offer no offence. Here is an offer. Sign up for Shotgun training next year at TDI. Bring your MossyAG vented rib select-a choke and 325 rounds of 12 gauge ‘Mag’ and 25 rounds of 12 gauge slugs. Make both days without a failure, yours or your gun, and I will hand you your fees in ca$h. Let this posting be my bond on the offer.

      As to “surgeon”… All slugs in the ZERO ring at All stages … and I shall dub thee “Dr. ShotWaffen PHD” and buy ya a TDI T-shirt. Hell…. I’ll make the same offer to the Pack in general.

      • Thomas The Tinker says:

        Charley… Truly Sir. No Offense .. fence…? I have seen some of the Ninja from the Tokyo Police Prefecture do a cold 3 perp drill with a Bennelli at 9/10ths. Stunning thing to see. I wanna see a 100%er done. I don’t care who does it… I juswannaBthere. Hope its you and that’s the truth.

  4. Ray Jones says:

    back in the day when i was young and dumb and all there was was pumpkin balls to shoot at the white tails all my deer hunting was done with a 20 most always a bolt gun kuz they were cheap and had long barrels….best shot with a home made slug gun was about a 185 yards….all small game was done with a 12 now that we have modern ammo i dont even give the 20 a second look i prefere the 12 and its ammo is on every shelf in every store that sells ammo unlike the 20….

    • Axelsteve says:

      Good article!
      I can see the value of the 20 guage shotgun. The 12 is a good gun though why beat yourself up training with a 12. My step grandma hunted deer with a slugged 20. She had spinal conditions so a 12 was out. As far as Mossy ,ford ,chevy,dodge no need to argue get what ya like.

  5. JP in MT says:

    I had a Mossberg. Good gun, very rugged and strong, and I prefer where the safety is. My issue, at the time, was getting youth stocks to fit. Along with effective recoil pads.

    My Remingtons use the Limbsaver pads as standard equipment. I have an 870 youth and an 1100 youth (DW’s). As a benefit they also came with a matte black metal finish, removable chokes, and a camo finished stock! Remington chokes are readily available here, others not so much.

  6. PrepperDoc says:

    Great article. I have a mossberg and the rifled barrel. Best I can do with slugs is about 4″ dia. circle at 100 yards. What are you getting with that B. slug?

    • Axelsteve says:

      My neice has a mossy 12g. She is 5 ft 2 or 3 and she has a 2 barrel set . The hunting barrel and the get off my lawn 18 inch tube. She has it tact out and she loves it.I think that it would be a funner way to play frisbee golf then just frisbees.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      PrepperDoc: I work at snap shooting my slugs on a sheet of 81/2 X 11 copy paper at every ‘range’ I attempt. If you are doing 4″ at 100 yards….. YowwwwwZaaa Doc! I shoot 3 round strings and feel Lucky.. lucky.. luck.. E to make 2 out of 3.

  7. TexasScout says:

    Something you might care to watch :

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Saw this one some time ago. Good training tip in this. New shoes.. new gun.. break em in.. Worn out shoes.. busted gun.. fix em or get another………

  8. PatrickM says:

    Good article Thomas!!!

    About 8 years ago I spotted an 870 w/ rifle sights in a fun shop. Older Police trade in, nice greenish parkerizing job from Wilson Tactical. It’ll put slugs into paper plate at 100 yds every day.

    As much as I like my 30-30 cowboy assault rifles, it is my shotgun that I grab when I need to grab one. From racoons to cougar and blackbear, it’ll handle anything on the farm.

    Cardboard silouettes and trap loads are good and inexpensive for drills to develop the muscle memory of loading and shooting under any condition. Of course I drill with 00 and slugs as well.

    Not as stout as I was when I wore green and packed an M-60, but I get a “9 round burst” when pulling the trigger on double ought. It is my everything gun.

    I like the way you’ve set up your Mossbergs! Especially that one in the middle ;).

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      🙂 the one in the middle is my NFA shorty. .. in 12 gauge. Great Lakes Guns in Rossford is fabing a custom heat shield for it as no stock shield will fit the short barrel. The short Mag-Pul stock makes it very tight on the shoulder and easy to handle. I’m working on a personal drop out style with it. I’m gonna try it out this July in the Live fire houses and the ‘Wall’ at TDI.

  9. I have often wondered why manufacturers do not push 20 gauge more, especially for self-defense applications and especially for use by women. I have several 12 gauge because they are cheap and readily available on the used market (I buy old shotguns with a long hunting barrel for $150 and then cut the barrel down), but a 20 gauge suits my wife much better and (truth be told) is more comfortable for me to shoot.
    As I am left handed, I prefer the Mossberg ambidextrous safety. However, I have also encountered a limitation with the Mossberg concerning the lift arm: various ammo manufacturers make a “short” (2 1/4″) 12 gauge shell that simulates 20 gauge recoil in a 12 gauge shotgun (Herters calls them “mini-buckshot”). However, the short shells are able to fall through the open space of the Mossberg lift arm and dangle in place, jamming the gun (I have done it). I have an old Smith and Wesson 12 gauge pump with a solid lift arm that eliminates this problem; I believe the Remington design also uses the solid lift arm, making 12/20 gauge performance versatility available from a 12 gauge shotgun (although I still prefer the light weight of a true 20 gauge shotgun).

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      RickS: I’d say 10 years ago nobody marketed a 20ga. tac gun. Times change don’t they. I gave my SIL my remy 870 SP, 20. Not everyone markets a 20 Tac-gun….. yet! I ran 3 boxes of ’12ga.’ minis last season. Lift arms…. I donno… I know they fed better when I’d turn the port up when running it. Duh… go figure. I don’t feed mine minis anymore.

      • Thomas The Tinker says:

        SISter in Law as apposed to SONinlaw who got the 12.

      • I agree about the possibility of getting 20 gauge tac versions (Mossberg makes a 20 gauge version of their 500 tac version), but you would be hard pressed to find one in your local Cabelas/Gander Mountain/Bass Pro (although they have plenty of 12 gauge tac guns): it usually has to be special ordered. I am just surprised the 20 gauge versions are not hyped as better suited for many women (there is a major interest among women in self defense handguns but little promotion of the much more effective shotgun for use in home defense). The alternative (and it is a good alternative) would be the 20 gauge youth guns: they typically have a small (4 round) magazine, but many have the advantage of adjustable stock length. I managed to get a used 20 gauge youth 500 for my wife with a 22″ barrel, but it cost considerably more than a typical used 500 12 gauge. I haven’t decided yet whether to cut down the vent-rib barrel (a little more difficult than the plain round barrel) or keep it intact as a potential grandchild hunting barrel and just buy an 18.5″ barrel for use in the home defense configuration.

  10. Enzo Pamrona says:

    You are talking about something I have been thinking about for the last couple of years, switching to 20 gauge.

    I am now 70. I spent several years, when much younger, on the streets dragging an 870 out of ridiculously complex carriers and also training new recruits with them. I was young(er) and much more macho and “ate” recoil like candy. Now, not so much. Old injuries give me trouble with both shoulders, not to mention other body parts. I dread taking the shotguns out for practice (a 500a and a 590a).

    Why have I not run out and swapped the Mossies for 20s? A large stockpile of ammo in 12 gauge (I am ready for the zombie apocalypse, after all). Selling ammo online is a challenge as shipping kills most deals. I think I would make a 2-for-1 trade if it included an ammo swap.


    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Crappolla Enzo …….. if your Toledo, Ohio area…….. DEAL! 20 gauge is only 5 lbs. lite on the recoil but if you put on a limb-saver cuff….. I’d make that a 10+ lb. drop easy.

  11. I also have a beneli m2 that has only jammed once in at least 2000 rounds. Slugs,turkey loads and cheap low brass loads. One of each in the seven shot mag. Good to go no jams miss fires,anything. Now the time it jammed. O was duck hunting the south branch of the little wolf. The river took my paddle so I used Nellie to paddle. Water froze the tube and wouldn’t let the tube spring releast. It shoots so fast that all eight caseings are in the air when you finish pulling the trigger. Fast cycling…. I own pumps also. Just not as comfy as the m2.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Comfy shoes…. Comfy Nellie. I guess my major issue with an auto is the “Man made” jamwichs. Ammo related booboos can be remedied with the right fodder right! Jamwichs…. ehhh that just takes “Man Training”.

  12. For 9 years in the Air Force, my weapons of choice were a S&W Mod 15 and an 870 Remington. When I got out and became a police officer I carried a mod 19 and an 870 for the next 10 years. I then went back to work as a defense contractor for the Dept of the Navy and carried several different weapons for the next 23 years, but my choice was still my revolver and an 870. Today, I am retired, but still carry a mod 60 every day and own two 870’s (20 and 12). If the balloon goes up, I will still be carrying an 870. Every payday, I buy an additional fifteen pack of buckshot to tuck away for the future. I love the 20 ga, but the 12 ga will always be easier to find ammo for. I know it is hard for anyone who has not carried a shotgun into harms way to understand, but in almost all situations I feel just as safe and well equipped as a person with an AR.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      JAS: Simpatico! I prep… so I figure stocking enough 20 ga. mixed loads for what I hope to last a few years is a good idea… that leaves me with these other ’12s’…. 4 of em… gotta feed em too. So I stock enough to feed them well.

      Worst case scenario …. empty shelves and no restock……. EOTW crappolla….. Covered.

  13. It is so nice to find a forum of ideas where no one is attacking another and the point of the responses is our personal choices that is granted by our beloved Constitution and Bill of
    Rights. That said for my part I went with the Bennelli M4 with extended rails and a mepro tru dot with extended tube. Though my Remington worked great on the streets as I age the M4 for me fits so much better. It truly sucks getting older and therefore what was so easy to handle in your twenties becomes more of a challenge in your sixties and seventies. Go to carry weapon has and will always for me be the venerable 1911a1, and when I carry it I silently thank Browning for his contribution to the safety of my family. I like so many others who have lived through so many bad changes in our country see the potential of deadly fighting on our streets. To me the shotgun no matter what configuration is one hell of an equalizer when confronted with the modern day zombies. Working the road there were numerous times that the racking of the 870 created a mental image with the perp that caused some to loose bowel control. Don’t get me wrong these two items are just the tip of the ice berg as to what can be brought into play, however next to my bed is the M4 and on the night stand is the nighthawk grp, been there for years and I sleep well knowing they are within arms reach.

  14. Maybe this guy can write his next article using standard english.

    • Jeff,

      I know right the worst bunch of gibberish that I’ve ever tried to read. I don’t know why M.D. would even publish this crap, when it’s so much gibberish that it’s impossible to read or follow…

      • Encourager says:

        To both Jeff and MIKE – watch it. We do not tolerate trolls on this site. If you can’t say something nice, shut up. And go somewhere else. Of course we have disagreements here but we members of the Wolf Pack try to keep our comments polite even while we correct one another. Gonna keep my eye on you two and I am sure I am not alone. Heads up M.D., looks like our peaceful time without trolls is over.

        • I agree with you, Encourager.

          Guys, if you dislike unpaid non-professional writing so much that you have to attack it for style rather than critique its content, please go elsewhere.

          If you prefer professional writing, Nietzsche is always good for a chuckle.

          “You desire to LIVE “according to Nature”? Oh, you noble Stoics, what fraud of words! Imagine to yourselves a being like Nature, boundlessly extravagant, boundlessly indifferent, without purpose or consideration, without pity or justice, at once fruitful and barren and uncertain: imagine to yourselves INDIFFERENCE as a power—how COULD you live in accordance with such indifference? To live—is not that just endeavouring to be otherwise than this Nature? Is not living valuing, preferring, being unjust, being limited, endeavouring to be different? And granted that your imperative, “living according to Nature,” means actually the same as “living according to life”—how could you do DIFFERENTLY? Why should you make a principle out of what you yourselves are, and must be? In reality, however, it is quite otherwise with you: while you pretend to read with rapture the canon of your law in Nature, you want something quite the contrary, you extraordinary stage-players and self-deluders! In your pride you wish to dictate your morals and ideals to Nature, to Nature herself, and to incorporate them therein; you insist that it shall be Nature “according to the Stoa,” and would like everything to be made after your own image, as a vast, eternal glorification and generalism of Stoicism! With all your love for truth, you have forced yourselves so long, so persistently, and with such hypnotic rigidity to see Nature FALSELY, that is to say, Stoically, that you are no longer able to see it otherwise—and to crown all, some unfathomable superciliousness gives you the Bedlamite hope that BECAUSE you are able to tyrannize over yourselves—Stoicism is self-tyranny—Nature will also allow herself to be tyrannized over: is not the Stoic a PART of Nature?… But this is an old and everlasting story: what happened in old times with the Stoics still happens today, as soon as ever a philosophy begins to believe in itself. It always creates the world in its own image; it cannot do otherwise; philosophy is this tyrannical impulse itself, the most spiritual Will to Power, the will to “creation of the world,” the will to the causa prima.”
          ― Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

          Hmmmm…..TTT: perhaps you might write Part II in this vein?

          • JP in MT says:


            My 1st thought when I see comments like this is – “Did I miss your submission?”

            • Hi JP: I think one has to read ol’ Friedrich with tongue in cheek.

              Remember: Submission is Freedom.

          • Thomas The Tinker says:

            Ah Crisis.. The horror that another may not gain perspective.. as you would have it ‘seen’ through your eyes. Forgive me Penrod for I remember not which of our holy ‘Germanics’ wrote this.. Kiergegaard – Heidegger – Kant – or even Fred himself. Ah what to say…. I am in Crisis!

            I find myself in “.. a condition of tension, as a disproportion between what we .. want to value (our opinion or own exhibited skills) and how the world appears to operate ( in the opinion of others). When we find out that the world does not possess the objective value or meaning (opinion.. understanding)that we .. want it to have or have long since .. believed it to have, we find ourselves in a crisis.”

            Part II……… I think not Sir…. I’ll just sit here and swill another Heineken with Heidegger’s ghost… and serf the thoughts of others.

            I …. submit!

        • Right is RIGHT-wrong is WRONG says:

          Thank you Encourager in your response to Jeff and Mike. I think Jeff and Mike missed the most important issue concerning Mr. Tinker’s 20 ga. article. I can only speak for myself when reading Mr. Tinker’s 20 ga. article and the constructive replies from people who also have (on the JOB) shotgun training which I do not have. My feelings your feelings and any bodies hurt feelings don’ mean diddly if the info in Mr. Tinker’s article can be used in a SHTF senario to stay alive. As a senior combat veteran I need all the shotgun information I can get because I am being forced to get back into guns all because my country today is not the country that I grew up in along time ago. Thank you MD for this article and in particular all the shared on the job real use shotgun experience.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Jeffy.. Mikey.. Golly! There ‘Are’ trolls under nearly every bridge. Did either of you ‘get’ that?

      MD…. why .. would .. you publish this non-academic drivel of mine…. ah… ‘have’.. you published this non-academic drivel of mine???

  15. Beano McReano says:

    You just found out why they make all kinds of weapons, sizes, bullets and what have you.

    Glad you found your niche. But he LA Swat team tested out a lot of calibers and like you (in finding truth) found out the .45 beat them all! For controllability , lethality and accuracy.

    But they are in a different niche than you are and I’m glad you BOTH found what you are looking for.

    I, myself like the 9mm for one reason. Perfect for packs of dogs and other wild animals that will proliferate when the SHTF. You can carry more and shoot more and it’s perfect for that.

    God Bless America!

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Beano McReano: The best Glock I own is a totally tricked out Mod. 21 ala 45 acp. Find and you’ll know what can be done to a Tupperware 45. I gave the Kimber to my SIL too. I, myself…. favor the 9mm overall.

  16. Encourager says:

    My husband and I bought a Mossberg 500 with extra rifle barrel for our anniversary two years ago. I love it. It doesn’t land me on my behind when I pull the trigger nor hurt my worn-out shoulder. Dh needs his shoulder surgically replaced, yet he can shoot this one with little pain. I highly recommend the Mossberg 500 to anyone over the age of 50. Or under the age of 50…

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Encourager…. I know your in the area…… Wanna go ‘heat em up’ lemme know. I’ll buy lunch in Wauseon!

    • Good to hear. I’m an old babe now with two bad shoulders. Been debating over Rem 870 (maybe youth size even tho I’m tall) and Mossy 500 in 20 ga.

  17. Tonquin says:

    I have had only 410 and 12 ga all my life, cant really afford anything else. Now that I am older and like a better home defense shotgun a 20 sounds like the way to go, better for me and the wife would shoot it. the Mossburge also fits my limited budget Thanks for a great article.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      De Nada. Controllability at any age trumps picking the wrong tool cause it is deemed the ‘Standard’.

      I returned to the Central Ave., Toledo, Ohio. Wal Mart this last Saturday….. Mossy 500s are still $188.oo.

      This week end I will pick up another 20 or 12 in the $150.ooish range. Crop the barrel and add a heat shield with the bead on the top. If its a 12, I’ll “Mag-Pul” it… a 20 and I’ll put a youth stock on it… oil lite-ly and put it in the safe for spare parts or ‘gifting’.

      • Thomas The Tinker says:

        Maumee Valley Gun Collectors Assoc., Lucas Co. Fair Grounds. Maumee, Ohio. Sat. 8>4, Sun. 8>3.

        • Chuck Findlay says:

          Don’t tell me that, I will want to go buy things there.

          Saving up for some more solar panels, I don’t need to be tempted to run down the trail to Maumee.

          Last time I was there I was looking for a Ruger 9 mm / 357 Mag Single Action convertible revolver and could not find one.

          I also noticed the guy in the back right corner that sold hard cast bullets was not there.

  18. JP in MT says:

    TTT and others:

    If you can find some of these slugs, grab them:

    I have some in both 12 & 20. Great stuff!

  19. THANK YOU!
    Not until the age of 52, in 2008, did I purchase my first gun. A Mossberg 12ga. My first time at a range nearly made me turn and leave without firing a shot. EVERYONE had some type of “high-end” semi something. I just sucked it up and went straight to the rail. Now, it has to be said, I suffered from some form of condition, which, when simply holding a gun, would cause an instant migraine type headache. That day I fired my first gun. I sucked. But, I went back. Why? Practice. Each and every time, next to, and between, some form of scoped AR. Or bolt action with a scope. With practice I was placing six out seven slugs at 50 yds within two inches of each other, center. On one occasion, a guy next to me asked why wasn’t using sandbags for support, or using a scope? My reply was that I didn’t expect an adversary to allow me time to use bags. And if I can’t hit a target at 50 yds, then I had better be standing behind someone who can. Another time the guy next to me was so bad at using his AR with a scope, he was hitting my target.
    Soon I began to realize a difference. In my approach to shooting my 12 ga, I cannot pick it up unless I am in the right MINDSET. In other words, the purpose of shooting a gun is to KILL. Not to high five another guy because I put some holes in paper with an expensive weapon. I have to have a deeper purpose. Defense. DEFINITE DEFENSE. And if I can NOW hit center, 2inches apart, at 75 yds, I don’t care what anybody has to say. THAT SLUG IS GOING TO KILL.
    It’s simple. It works, for me. And quite honestly, no other gun speaks volumes like the pumping of a shotgun.
    Would I LIKE to hit something at 300 yds? Hell yeah. But in a real time situation, that 300 yds is distance between them and me. Best if it can be used to put MORE distance between us.
    Until reading your article, I admit to having moments when I thought getting a “better” gun was good idea. Probably a bolt action. But I’ve pushed myself to get in the MINDSET. Pick up that 12ga, shoulder, pump, aim and fire. No scope. No supports. If I can’t hit it, then I had best be gone.
    It fits me. And I’m getting good at it. Very good at it. No offense to those who take their high end guns SERIOUSLY.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Sir: You demonstrate a pretty close mind set with those folks I have trained with over the last couple of decades. I kinda sense you understand the relationship between the terminal results of this skill set and the collateral drive and affirmation this skill set can infuse in a person. The “… If I can master the will to prevail .. to destroy another beating heart… this horrible skill… then I can re-direct this will and drive toward anything else I care to undertake..” Justthinkinoutloud.

    • J from Mt says:

      This is either a joke, government plant, or a person who probably shouldn’t be playing with guns without ADULT supervision.

    • Jim, THAT’S the attitude.

      • Hmm, maybe I should have included “if defense is the goal.”

        • DEFENSE.ONLY.
          Killing is a serious action. “Playing” with guns is the act of a fool. I have seen videos of people who blast the hell out of a tree and anything else nearby, and then laugh at how much power they have, playing with their toy. THAT IS A DANGEROUS MINDSET.
          When I’m at the range, I see people who take shooting seriously, but they appear more to be focused on ‘managing’ the weapon. Yes, its a skill to be learned. Yet in the context of the article, it is the perspective of what works for you. If a real situation arose wherein I had to take defensive action, I don’t want to have to think about what is where on my weapon. I know, I know. Those who practice probably don’t. YET, in a real situation, a 12 ga or 20 ga is a pick up and go. Bolt actions are the same basically. However, as I said, the distance between me and whomever may be more advantageous to putting more distance between us before having to resort to shooting. It isn’t about ME and what I can do with my gun, it’s about protecting my family and myself. So defense is the operative word.

    • Right is RIGHT-wrong is WRONG says:

      More power to you Jim and I applaud your thinking before a defensive response to protecting your family. From my experience guns are killing machines to be used accordingly in a killing environment where from my experience in uncontrolled looting where the national guard was called out after Jean and Frances huricanes in south Florida. Remember Jim looting starts 3-5 days after a disaster and if left unattended will form hunter killer teams (naturally) with a spontaneous leader taking over which happened after Katrina when the looters started raping women in a hospital in New Orleans all because 25 to 25% of New Orleans police ran off for good. Contractors (or if you prefer mercenaries) were sent in to stop the raping. I ran into one of the contractors a few years ago and he still had not adjusted to shooting a man up close and personal as opposed to firefights in South America where he only saw his handy work at a distance. It is luxery to think defense a head of time Jim and I say go for it. On the other hand defense or offense will not matter in a SHTF real world scenario because staying alive for your family will be the only thing that matters. I guarantee you Jim if you have never been there(combat, man made and natural desaters that are all life threatening) you will do things you have been telling your self for years that you would never do particularly when protecting your family. Reguardless Jim I say train-train-train and then practice-practice-practice and if your lucky (as I was) when it hits your training will kick in and your family will be safe.

  20. West of the Big Chicken says:

    I bought the wife a Remington 20 ga auto, she took it when we divorced.
    I miss the gun more than her.
    Okay to laugh, I did!!!!

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      I saw an add in the local paper.

      “Looking for a woman with a boat for a long term relationship. Please send a picture of the boat.”

  21. J from Mt says:

    Everyone has the love of their life when it comes to guns, I choose to use tactical equipment for tactical applications why move around inside a house or around your property with guns 10′ long when you can carry 13rounds of 3″ nito mags while looking through a nice NVG capable eotech holographic sight in a nice compact 26″ of 12ga deliciousness. I’ve beat the hell out of the thing haven’t cleaned it in 3500 rounds and it still goes boom every time I want it to. It was so much fun I had to have a second one just because, Kel-tec KSG

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      J…. you seem to have found “Your Shoes”.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      (Haven’t cleaned it in 3500 rounds and it still goes boom every time.)

      My friend (a gun shop owner) has a Ruger 22 semi auto (Actually everyone I know has at least one of them) that he did not clean for 10+years and it still worked every time. That gun got shot every week.

      I finally took it apart one day and cleaned it for him.

      Use to have people bring their Ruger 22 semi autos in all the time because they could not get it to go back together. We did it in front of them in 5 seconds and they were amazed as they spent 30-min or more and could not do it.

      • J from Mt says:

        Can’t put 10+ yrs of butt whoopin on a gun that’s only been on the market for 5yrs at most.

        • Chuck Findlay says:

          Sorry you are wrong! The Ruger 22 semi auto has been out since 1949, being upgraded upon occasion, Mark I, Mark II (The Mark II we have) , Mark III.

          I bought my Mark II Ruger in 1979 or 1980, it was my first (of too many?) guns.

          All are basically the same gun and work great.

          • Chuck Findlay,

            They are good .22 pistols and I’ve owned a bunch of them over the years, but I prefer the Browning Buckmark. But it’s just a matter of personal preference – to me the Browning in a better looking, has a better feel to it and fits my hands better…

            • Chuck Findlay says:

              MD I had a Buckmark till the divorce.

              I also had a Colt Woodsman (made in 1954) that only had 2 mags ever fired through it. I sold it for $1,150.00 a few years ago and bought solar panels. It looked like the day it came out of the factory. It had the box, all instructions and site tool. I got it off the original owner (he was 94 when I bought it from him, he never fired it) and kept it for years as an investment and the solar panels are nice to have.

              I don’t know that I ever have owned a bad gun, all of them worked as they were meant to work. Not all of them were or are expensive, but they all worked.

              My Ruger 22 is a beater gun that I use to hunt squirrels with. It’s a 10-inch barrel gun with a 2 to 7 power rifle scope on it. Interestingly CB Caps in it make less noise then my springer air rifle. A fact I have used in the back yard to quietly dispatch a few critters that got into the garbage cans.

              Almost all the scopes I have on handguns are rifle scopes, not handgun scopes. The only exception is the 45-70 barrel on the Contender, it kicks way too much for a handgun to have it 3-inches from your eye. Got a Red Dot on it.

              Rifle scopes on a handgun gives you a very stable shooting platform, much better then a handgun scope.

              I would say the Contender is my favorite handgun as I’m mostly a target shooter / hunter and it offers very good accuracy. I seem to gravitate to long-barreled handguns.

              I have a 9.5 inch 32 mag, a 12-inch Dan Wesson 357 Mag, the Ruger 22 in 10-inch and lots of 14-inch barrels for the Contender.

              Have lots of other short barrel handguns (what are thought of as combat guns (for lack of a better word) but I like the target guns the most.

            • JP in MT says:

              And it’s easier to take apart and clean!

          • J from Mt says:

            You should read a little closer not talking about your Ruger 22, talking about the KSG, the KSG is also a shotgun which kinda goes with the story about a mossberg shotgun. Kel-Tec brought the KSG to market a little less then 5yrs ago.

  22. tommy2rs says:

    More and more I find myself taking the old beatup singleshot Sears 20 gauge with me on woods walks. It’s lighter than even the 30-30. The Super-X, the SxS and the rattly 835 are safe queens these days, probably destined to be traded off. Well maybe not the SxS. But I still keep the model 97 police on the wall mount beside the head board. It’s already proven itself twice so it’s the go to, even though I’m growing to hate that steel butt plate. But you never know when you might need to bust a skull with it.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      You mean after you bust a thumb? or cause ya busted a thumb? (ack… I’ve done that. Low balled it to a ‘Red Horse’ Lt. heading out for his tour in So. Korea.) Refinished…. classy Iron Sir!

    • j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

      Yes sir, when I’m just woods bumming, a single shot shotgun makes for a very lightweight carry gun. I have a pair of .410s (bought very inexpensive because of the ammo price!) and a 20 gauge. Have a 12 gauge single H&R but that is pretty brutal in recoil, at least for me.

  23. OK, like M.D. , I have an opinion. Opinions are like noses every body has one. I have always belonged to the “bigger the better club”. You know 12 ga vs 410, 45 cal vs 25 acp, ect ect. I found M. D.’s article entertaining and informative.

    My “tricked out” 870 with an 18 inch Rem chock barrel have given me only fair patterns with store bought 00 buck shot till I tried wax slug 00 shot. Problem solved. Same with store bought slugs and I have tried every brand I could get my hands on. I solved my slug problem with hand cast 1 oz slugs over Herco in AA cases. These gave me 5 shot groups at 100 yards close to the bulls eye.

    The point being like M.D. said you have to find the load that your gun likes, be it 22lr or 45-70. So I’m gonna give the Mossberg 500 20 ga a try. One point I differ with M.D. is his comment about cleaning. It’s like my Daddy said,: ” If you take care of your equipment, it will take care of you.” Just saying.

    Like M.D. I’m from east of the Pecos, but I LIVE on the west side.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Jimbo: I was born on the West side… moved East back in the 90s. I hear you on your Dad’s comment. Mine and my
      Grand Ma gave me the same advise. I’d say my comment on cleaning comes from the constant dis/re-assembly of my units 45s, M14s and riot guns. Stripped and cleaned no less than once a week. They all rattled like dice in a soup can. They all worked….. but all the edges had shine and …. aw heck… Marines… gotta …. clean. To me… i’d be like wire brushing your dog once a day…. No shedding…. no hair…. mad dog.

  24. I believe weapons are like golf clubs. Each one has a specific use. My HR 12 has 3 barrels for different purposes. 26″,28″ and an 18 1/2″. It has a name, I call it Lucille. B.B Kings guitar lol get it. To me it fits like a glove. But for more firepower there is the saiga 12. 10,12 and 20 rnd. mags firing from an AK type action is hard to deny. Through it in the mud pick it up and shoot. Low maintenance high reliability. It all depends on the situation. I too wish Glock would make a shotgun. Good post.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Think of it! A bull-pup like keltechy even a straight line tube feed 12….. or 20! 30 inchs max.. rails… with simple three dot sights co-witnessed to the groove… ‘Rail- Caddies’… off-set red dot… limb saver… Mossy safety and action release.. and a sling that was made for it!

      • JP in MT says:

        May problem with the Kel Tec pump is that same as my 45-70. I have a 16.5″ barrel and a 12.5″ stock. Makes the gun real handy. Then I put an 8 round cuff on it, loaded 5 rounds in the gun, and put 4 more on the sling. Took a handy gun size wise and made it weigh a ton. Same with the Kel Tec. Handy until you put 14 rounds of 12 gauge in it. Now it needs wheels.

        For those that do have one, have you tried the mini 12’s in it? I think it would then hold something like 20 rounds. Great for home defense, indoors especially. If it will feed reliably.

        • Thomas The Tinker says:

          JP…. question… how does the loading gate work on the keltec? I know the Mossy will ‘drop’ a mini now and again unless you turn the gun to the left a little when stroking it.???

          • JP in MT says:


            I don’t know, but the local shop has one and when I remember I am going to take a couple of boxes and we will see how it works (shot of firing them).

      • But magazine fed? It also has a door breeching muzzle break and is R922 compliant. The HR is an old one not Chinese.

  25. Tomas, my favorite shotgun was a Win 97, 12 Ga. It worked like a charm (except firing pins would brake from too much dry firing). It finally gave up the ghost about five years back so I treated myself to a Mossberg 930 SPX (2sd Gen) which I love. I’m much older and wiser now I have opted to port the barrel and changed the stock with shorter Mesa Tactical Urbino. I have noticed a lot of wear on some parts (1,100+ rds) so I swapped them out for the OR3GUN field grade parts. It all works great even with light loads and all the way up to the Heavy Breneke Slugs. If I could just figure out how to install a XS Big Dot on the LSA front sight I’d be in hog heaven.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Paul C … I had a big dot epoxied over a brass bead on the Remy PM I gave my SonIL….. I own a 930spx….. I’m gonna find out! May not be an Xs…. but lots o folks make good systems.

      • My 930 SPX sights are from LPA which I realized after I hit the go button on my last post. For those interested the LPA sights are the BAR11W Ghost Ring on the rear and on the front a SG4 Weld-on sight that uses the M1F Fiber Optic.
        XS Sight makes an Express Tritium for the 930 which is on the Moassberg 5 shot 930 SPX. I’ll be looking to see if I can get a set.

  26. david holcomb says:

    This is a question, not a comment and I apologize if it has already been covered. Do you run the Berneke slugs through a smooth or rifled barrel? Thanks in advance

  27. Hi TTT, good article. Thanks.

    One aspect of professional level gear, guns and otherwise, which I have very rarely seen addressed, is that some of it is totally inappropriate for amateurs.

    I don’t mean we are wasting money by buying more potential performance than our skill level can use, but seriously downgrading our performance by using gear intended for highly practiced users.

    No one would reasonably suggest that a Formula One race car is appropriate for Mom to run errands, buy groceries, or ferry the kids around, nor would a NASCAR race car work much better. Imagine the consequences of putting either of those into the hands of a 16 driver: Not merely expensive waste of potential, but exponentially increased danger.

    I think that is where the argument for a semi-auto comes in: It may not be quite as reliable in the hands of someone very well practiced as a pump, but the reduced recoil and lack of needing to rack the slide may well make up for that in that person’s hands.

    In the hands of someone who does not spend a lot of time and money shooting, needing to rack the slide reliably may in real life, for them, reduce the reliability of the pump to well below that of a semi.

    I use a semi-auto 20 gauge for a simple reason: It was my first shotgun, I have put many cases of ammo through it, and given that, I am more afraid of screwing up under pressure with a pump than I am of the semi malfunctioning.

    I’m not knocking the choice of a pump: If one practices enough, they likely are more reliable, and they are certainly cheaper. However, given now 50 years of shooting a semi-auto, I just don’t trust myself to use a pump under life or death pressure.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Penrod… are you on the Mainland and are you available next July (2017)?????? I would like to share some time and coffee and sweat over this small issue! It could be fun as well.

  28. Great article-No I do not advocate a 20 except it is great for ladies uncomfortable with a 12ga. In the first place if you reload you can
    lighten the 12ga punch to comfortable levels. If you live in the mountain northwest where bears and cougar are a potential family threat-the 12ga remains a better gun. I pack the seemingly indestructible 870 R. Finally-no problem with a 20ga under many situations-avoid a 16ga. Ammo hard to find.

  29. Richard says:

    Where did you get the 5 way ‘pic-rail’ block with QD sling swivel? I’ve looked and can’t find one for the model 54300