My dad just bought a Browning A-5 turkey stalker with a 24" bbl. I've got almost the same gun with the 26" bbl. I have an itch for a shorter bbl shotgun.
I was looking at the 1187P, this seems like the ticket. How reliable is the remington automatic action? I've had no problems with my Browning, and would actually prefer a browning, but they don't make a shotgun with a 20" bbl.
Primary uses would be for home defense, and grouse hunting.. Any suggestions would be great..
Remington had some function problems with these guns for several years. Supposedly they have been solved by enlarging the gas ports, but I do not know this for sure.If you can find one that works well, they are much nicer on the shoulder than the Benelli / Beretta guns.
The A5 Browning can easily be cut down to shorter bbl. length and still work fine. It is, head and shoulders, a better gun than anything else on the market so long as you take it completely apart and clean it occasionaly and keep good springs in it. The A5's are so well designed that they will continue to work without letting you know you have a problem. I have seen them work with broken bolts, etc. and never bobble. Parts, however are damned expensive.
Even though you will remove the choke by cutting down a standard barrel, the newer "reduced" buckshot loads pattern extremely well in cylinder bore 870's...I see no reason why they will not work in an A5 provided they produce enough recoil to function reliably.
I keep an 11/87P (20" IC barrel) as a house gun, and have found it to be very reliable. Bear in mind that the 11/87P was designed primarily for use with buck and slugs (strengthened springs, reduced-dia. gas ports), and so will not cycle with lower-pressure loads. Unfortunately, this includes almost all the "reduced-recoil" 00 and slugs on the market. On the up-side, the 11/87's gas action goes pretty easy on the shoulder with full-power fodder.
For plinking, I use Remington's "Express Long Range" (high brass) game loads. Wolf, PMC and S&B 00 buck have all done well, as have Remington "Slugger" and equivalent Win or Fed slugs, and Brenneke Rottweilers.