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Posted: 1/22/2017 4:26:12 PM EDT
Hi Folks,

I've promised for some time to post information about the durability of the various brands of shotguns on our range. We are a high-volume indoor range in Las Vegas and see things happen to guns that are not supposed to happen, regardless of them being "cheap" or high quality. The things we see continue to surprise us because when we think we've seen it all, something else happens. Also, parts breaking and weapons being taken off line is, in my opinion, not due to the lack of care that the staff provides. We keep records on each individual weapon to include when it was cleaned, any parts replaced, why parts were replaced and any noticeable wear to keep an eye on.

When we opened our range in October of 2012, we started off with my personal Mossberg 500's, Remington 870's, SPAS-12 and Benelli M4. The Mossberg (I can't recall which actual SKU) had a longer barrel and was a newer production shotgun. The Remington was an older police trade-in that I purchased as group. These were older guns that mostly steel parts (not the plastic or aluminum trigger housings), wood furniture and a parkerized finish. The Benelli M4 was my just recently acquired SBS and was factory new when put on the line. The SPAS-12 was purchased at our retail gun store as a trade-in from a customer. I didn't know anything about round count or how well it worked or didn't work. Since opening, we've expanded our line to the Saiga-12 (SBS), VEPR-12's (full-auto) and Chinese double-barrel coach guns.

I am not a "shotgun" guy per say as I never spent much time tinkering with them other than a basic cleaning. Some of my staff are really into shotguns and others are not but I did send them all off to factory armorer's class to make sure they are all on the same page. That being said, I've always left the maintenance, cleaning and repair to them.

When we initially opened the range, all the shotguns performed as expected. They were getting light to moderate use but as we grew bigger, the shotgun use increased faster than other weapons. I couldn't understand why so many people were interested in the shotguns but after being in business for a while and talking to customers, they want to feel that racking of the pump and hear the "ch-cha" that they've heard all their lives on TV, movies and video games. I've heard that noise for most of my life and it didn't click initially with me as I didn't realize how many people have never seen a real firearm up close and personal, never mind even touching one. I myself enjoy the Benelli M4 as it has, in my opinion, a much smoother action and less recoil. I would try to offer the Benelli to customers with a smaller stature or females to lessen the felt recoil but SO many still wanted to experience the feel of a pump-action shotgun.

I will have to more details as to what parts break in our Mossberg's and Remington's but it's fair to say that the "low budget" model of each lasts about the same amount of time on the range. One doesn't outshine the other and they all last about the 2-4 weeks on average before suffering from parts failure that takes the weapon off the line. Forgive me for lack of knowledge on the weapons but the "forks" that actuate the cycling are what break first and most often. The ejectors fail on both at about the same rate and we've actually had receivers split. Barrels have never failed though after a ring or two down the bore, the barrels are pulled from service. I have spoke with rep's from both Mossberg and Remington and I could tell they didn't believe me or implied that we don't how to maintain them. I don't blame them for their opinion and didn't take offense to it as I would probably say the same thing.

One thing that my armorers have said about the repairing of Mossberg's and Remington's, the Remington has a rivet that has to be drilled out re-installed in order to make it work properly. I "believe" the part was the ejector rail (??) on the Remington but if that's it, then it has to be drilled out re-riveted. We don't experience that issue with Mossberg's. When installing the forks on the Mossberg, it's not a just a simple install of the forks but they have to be "fitted" to the action to work properly. I don't know if that's due to receivers that stretched or become out of spec due to high round counts.

We are no longer repairing the Mossberg's or Remington's at this point after determining how much is spent on repairing them, ordering new parts and it's just not worth the cost of repairing when new shotguns can be purchased at a cheaper price. We used to demil the shotguns and destroy them but I convinced my wife to let the staff purchase them for $25 as "tinker" specials because the know how to fix them and they can do it on their own dime at their convenience.

As for the Benelli, that is the longest working shotgun in our inventory. It has been on the line since day one and after inspecting the records, it actually did suffer one parts breakage. The part that broke was the rear sight and not related to any shooting or over-use (staff member dropped it). It may not be used quite as often as the pump-action shotguns but it goes on the line daily and there are plenty of people who want to shoot it thanks to all the video games that it's featured in. We've used 00-buck, "light recoil" buck, birdshot and frangible buckshot and it eats anything that we give it and never fails to cycle. The Marine RSO's all have prior experience with Benelli M4 and really love it and the fact that it continues to work and work always leads them to boast about how well the Marine's choose their weapons.

The Saiga-12 has always been particular to which ammo we fed it. I've tried to tune it the best I could by making sure the gas port holes were correctly aligned and opened up for the additional gas needed to cycle it with a 10" barrel. We added all the usual aftermarket gas pistons, springs and receiver "tuning" to get it function with other ammo but it will only cycle with higher q 00-buckshot.

Since putting the VEPR-12's on the line, they have run flawlessly. We did a post sample (full-auto) conversion on four of them for a demonstration for an agency that decided not to purchase them after it was all said and done (I believe budget issues came into play). Other than the conversion, we did no modifications or "tuning" to the shotguns whatsoever and they continue to and run. They are used daily and I have the RSO's give free time on if for guests with birthdays and bachelor/bachelorette parties so it does get considerable use every day.

The poor SPAS-12 is hated by ALL the staff. I did state that I don't know anything about it's previous history but it is not a reliable shotgun in our experience. The counter girls have to verify that it's in service, the armorers have to look at it and the RSO's have to apologize when it doesn't cycle properly. We have two of them available and they both function about the same when it comes to reliability. The other issue we have is parts availability. I don't know the part that breaks but only one person makes the part (it seems like something that he casts out of resin) and it can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months (or longer) to receive it. We don't try very hard to push it but there are die-hard movie and video game fans that MUST shoot it to complete their lives

Lastly, the Chinese-made old Western reproduction shotguns. They are not of the highest quality but they are cheap enough to purchase to cannibalize from in order to make others working again. The springs that close the actions usually fail first followed closely by the wood stocks and hand guards cracking. The wood is very lightweight and soft. It dents easy and the stain/varnish don't last long either. We use them as SBS's for the customers who want to get the feel of a small double-barrel shotgun that the "cowboys used the Old West".

That sums up in minor detail about the function of shotguns on our range. I will get better details and pictures with questions you provide and try to update this post as often as possible. One thing that I can say about the Mossberg and Remington pumps is that the older police trade-in's (all steel parts) lasted the longest BY FAR of any of the other pump shotguns. We still have two that were going to be sold off but my staff knew they were mine and made sure they got put in the vault in my office so nobody would purchase them. I will have one of the armorers punch the rivets, replace all the worn parts and reparkerize them so I can eventually bring them back home and rescue them from the range.

V/R
Ron

Please note, as I've stated in other threads, I type faster than my brain works What I hear as I type may not be actually what appears so if you seen grammar typos, please understand why you may see edits. I'll read this post ten times and I read it the way it still sounds in my head and still not catch the errors
Link Posted: 1/22/2017 4:34:54 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/22/2017 6:13:59 PM EDT
Your comment on the SPAS-12 lines right up with everything I've ever read about them.
A couple times I nearly bought one, glad I didn't.
Link Posted: 1/22/2017 8:10:14 PM EDT
MAN! You are the best! Seriously, thank you for this thread. It makes me a little sad knowing that the shotgun that runs for days costs close to 2k though. One day maybe... As for the Mossbergs vs Remingtons, I guess this really does help settle the argument that they're pretty much equal. When you say the forks, are you talking about the action bars connected to the forend? Also, maybe I missed it, but do the police trade ins and higher end Remington and Mossbergs hold up any better?
Link Posted: 1/22/2017 8:15:49 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By pops1085:
MAN! You are the best! Seriously, thank you for this thread. It makes me a little sad knowing that the shotgun that runs for days costs close to 2k though. One day maybe... As for the Mossbergs vs Remingtons, I guess this really does help settle the argument that they're pretty much equal. When you say the forks, are you talking about the action bars connected to the forend? Also, maybe I missed it, but do the police trade ins and higher end Remington and Mossbergs hold up any better?
View Quote


The police trade-in Remington's were definitely older-made models. You could tell they had seen some use as the parkerizing had a VERY FAINT patina-like shine. When we received them, they had the white rack numbers painted on the stocks and the first thing I noticed is that that everything on it was steel (with the exception of the wood forend and stock) and no plastic.

I will get more details on the longevity of the two different models this week.

V/R
Ron
Link Posted: 1/22/2017 8:48:01 PM EDT
Thank you for starting this shotgun thread that I have been eagerly waiting for since you mentioned it in one of your other threads. By chance do you have any of the Benelli pump shotguns on your range?

Oh, I have to say now you have made me put a Benelli M4 on my list of guns that I don't need but will probably end up buying.
Link Posted: 1/22/2017 8:55:32 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By FiremanFrank:
Oh, I have to say now you have made me put a Benelli M4 on my list of guns that I don't need but will probably end up buying.
View Quote


You could say that again... Yeah, can't wait too hear some of the numbers. Otherwise F it, I might have to look into Benelli's pump guns!
Link Posted: 1/22/2017 9:52:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2017 9:53:16 PM EDT by jefflebowski]
Hope you get some Beretta 1301s in, supposedly they're the new hotness in the shotgun world. Also, thank you for this thread and all of the rest.
Link Posted: 1/22/2017 10:55:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/23/2017 11:04:42 PM EDT by lt760831]
Do you guys plan on getting Hawk 982s for the range? I only got a sample size of one but after putting 1000rds through it in a week I am very impressed with it. I'd love to see how they hold up at your range.

Everything about it is heavy duty, even the OEM buttstock and forend, no junk MIM parts like Remington 870s. The only issue I had was the rear sight loosening up, fixed that with Loctite. Even then, it outperformed the multiple garbage Freedom Group 870s I saw other students use in a shotgun course a few years back.
Link Posted: 1/22/2017 11:21:54 PM EDT
I enjoy reading these high round count stories from Battlefield. Been there twice and will always go back whenever I'm in Vegas.
Link Posted: 1/22/2017 11:26:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2017 11:27:52 PM EDT by EVR]
Doc: Any Ithaca 37's? If so, how do they hold up?

What are some estimates of round counts before breakage of the shotguns?
Link Posted: 1/22/2017 11:26:35 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/22/2017 11:30:15 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/23/2017 1:20:41 AM EDT
Thanks for this Ron. Super informative.

I'm looking forward to giving one of those VEPR-12s a spin the next time I come in.
Link Posted: 1/23/2017 4:18:07 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Aimless:
How many rounds per week or month or whatever? Curious as to how many rounds before they break and is it buckshot, bird? Not sure if I am surprised or not at the 500s and 870 s breaking that quickly
View Quote


I will get our monthly round count when I get to the office tomorrow. We only use buckshot now and had to use birdshot a few times when we they sent the wrong shells.

V/R
Ron
Link Posted: 1/23/2017 4:48:42 AM EDT
Could you go into more details on the split receivers? Both the 500 and 870?
Link Posted: 1/23/2017 6:21:08 AM EDT
Thanks for posting this information Ron!
Link Posted: 1/23/2017 9:04:14 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/23/2017 10:17:58 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HendersonDefense:


I will get our monthly round count when I get to the office tomorrow. We only use buckshot now and had to use birdshot a few times when we they sent the wrong shells.

V/R
Ron
View Quote

I know you buy your ammo in 'bulk' but isn't birdshot a lot cheaper than buck, especially for pump guns?
Link Posted: 1/23/2017 10:58:10 AM EDT
Interesting....
Link Posted: 1/23/2017 11:10:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/23/2017 11:11:26 AM EDT by EVR]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HendersonDefense:


I will get our monthly round count when I get to the office tomorrow. We only use buckshot now and had to use birdshot a few times when we they sent the wrong shells.

V/R
Ron
View Quote


Any Ithacas? I didn't see any when I was in the vault, but I gotta admit, I was sort of fixated on some of the other stuff!
Link Posted: 1/23/2017 1:53:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/23/2017 2:00:08 PM EDT by John_Wayne777]
Link Posted: 1/23/2017 3:42:35 PM EDT
Thank you for the information Ron. Looking forward to hearing the round count.
Link Posted: 1/23/2017 5:51:47 PM EDT
I'm surprised that you didn't highlight the repairability of the Mossberg over the Remmy. The magazine tube, ejector, shell stops, shell interupter are all easily replaceable on the Mossberg, and staked, riveted, or brazed in the Remington.
Link Posted: 1/23/2017 10:24:45 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By eddiein1984:
I'm surprised that you didn't highlight the repairability of the Mossberg over the Remmy. The magazine tube, ejector, shell stops, shell interupter are all easily replaceable on the Mossberg, and staked, riveted, or brazed in the Remington.
View Quote


Mossbergs are so cheap that it's cheaper to replace the gun anyway.

Are the Remingtons in question the Express models or the higher end guns? Any 590s in the mix? I expected nothing less than failure from the 500s and 870 Expresses.
Link Posted: 1/23/2017 10:32:40 PM EDT
Very interesting to hear about the high rates of rentals for shotguns. Not something I would have imagined.
Link Posted: 1/23/2017 10:48:35 PM EDT
Not that I needed another reason to appreciate my Benelli M4, but thanks for giving me another reason to appreciate my Benelli M4.

Link Posted: 1/23/2017 11:16:59 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MisterPX:
Very interesting to hear about the high rates of rentals for shotguns. Not something I would have imagined.
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Link Posted: 1/23/2017 11:20:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/25/2017 7:53:46 AM EDT by ScottyPotty]
I just picked up an older 870 police magnum, maybe it was worth the extra money over the express.
Link Posted: 1/23/2017 11:31:03 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ScottyPotty:
I just picked up an 870 police magnum, maybe it was worth the extra money over the express.
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It certainly is, the Express is crap. However, Remington QC as a whole has been spotty.
Link Posted: 1/24/2017 12:58:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/25/2017 12:45:41 AM EDT by Frost7]
Zero surprise on the Benelli M4. It is to the shotgun what the Mk 23 is to the pistol. Overbuilt and you practically can't kill it, especially if it's halfway decently maintained.
Link Posted: 1/25/2017 1:13:06 AM EDT
Thanks, Ron, for all the time you spend sharing your great information.

Any experience with Benelli M1 Super 90?
Link Posted: 1/25/2017 8:31:52 AM EDT
Thanks for the great info . Can you please do a report on your handguns ?
Link Posted: 1/25/2017 8:33:28 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By XM21Nick:
Thanks for the great info . Can you please do a report on your handguns ?
View Quote

Never mind . Just found it .
Link Posted: 1/25/2017 11:04:00 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By XM21Nick:

Never mind . Just found it .
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By XM21Nick:
Originally Posted By XM21Nick:
Thanks for the great info . Can you please do a report on your handguns ?

Never mind . Just found it .
Got a link?
Link Posted: 1/25/2017 11:42:16 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ScottyPotty:
Got a link?
View Quote
Linky thing
Link Posted: 1/25/2017 4:14:21 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By vellnueve:


Mossbergs are so cheap that it's cheaper to replace the gun anyway.

Are the Remingtons in question the Express models or the higher end guns? Any 590s in the mix? I expected nothing less than failure from the 500s and 870 Expresses.
View Quote


$300 is cheaper than $5 and 5 minutes? Must have been home schooled.
Link Posted: 1/25/2017 6:35:04 PM EDT
So how long do the Chinese Double Shotguns you mentioned last before breakage?

It is interesting to hear about these high use guns - thanks for sharing.
Link Posted: 1/25/2017 7:22:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/25/2017 7:27:52 PM EDT by vellnueve]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By eddiein1984:


$300 is cheaper than $5 and 5 minutes? Must have been home schooled.
View Quote


Yes, I completed my doctorate and my first residency at home.

If they're seeing these guns fail in a myriad of ways and know that additional parts breakage is likely, why keep repairing them? Better to devote the armorer's time to rewelding AKs, HKs, and their higher end guns. A $200 Mossberg isn't worth the effort to repeatedly repair especially since they're not as high volume as the MGs

he stated as much in his post.
Link Posted: 1/26/2017 4:49:46 AM EDT
Bump...





.
Link Posted: 1/26/2017 7:50:40 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SecretSquirell:
Linky thing
View Quote
another awesome thread.  Thanks for the linky.

Great stuff OP, thanks for sharing! 
Link Posted: 1/26/2017 8:52:17 AM EDT
@HendersonDefense

Do you offer semiauto Mossberg's (930 SPX in particular)......and if do, how do they hold up?
Link Posted: 1/26/2017 12:54:35 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By M4:
@HendersonDefense

Do you offer semiauto Mossberg's (930 SPX in particular)......and if do, how do they hold up?
View Quote


When we first opened, I had to put my Mossberg 930, Mossberg 590, the trade-in Remington Police 870's and another 870 that SUCH a nice gun . They all eventually died off but not so fast because we didn't have the volume of use like we've had for the last three years.

I honestly couldn't tell you how well it did or didn't last because it's been that long. The only reason we didn't put one back on the line is because other than the Benelli M4 that customers recognize, they want pump shotguns.

V/R
Ron
Link Posted: 1/26/2017 1:19:16 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HendersonDefense:


When we first opened, I had to put my Mossberg 930, Mossberg 590, the trade-in Remington Police 870's and another 870 that SUCH a nice gun . They all eventually died off but not so fast because we didn't have the volume of use like we've had for the last three years.

I honestly couldn't tell you how well it did or didn't last because it's been that long. The only reason we didn't put one back on the line is because other than the Benelli M4 that customers recognize, they want pump shotguns.

V/R
Ron
View Quote


No Browning A5's, Ithaca 37's or Winchester 97's or 12's?
Link Posted: 1/26/2017 1:54:44 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By EVR:


No Browning A5's, Ithaca 37's or Winchester 97's or 12's?
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You've gotta remember what kind of business they're in. It's not to test these guns, just give people (mainly non-gun nuts like us) a chance to shoot guns they see on TV and movies. The oddball but still much loved guns like the A5's and whatnot aren't really what people are dying to see. These high round count reports are just an awesome byproduct of their business. (And a bit of a way to promote BFLV, which totally worked by the way)
Link Posted: 1/26/2017 4:25:02 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HendersonDefense:

When we first opened, I had to put my Mossberg 930, Mossberg 590, the trade-in Remington Police 870's and another 870 that SUCH a nice gun . They all eventually died off but not so fast because we didn't have the volume of use like we've had for the last three years.
View Quote


Out of curiosity, how did the 590 do versus the lower end 500s?
Link Posted: 1/26/2017 5:48:17 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By pops1085:


You've gotta remember what kind of business they're in. It's not to test these guns, just give people (mainly non-gun nuts like us) a chance to shoot guns they see on TV and movies. The oddball but still much loved guns like the A5's and whatnot aren't really what people are dying to see. These high round count reports are just an awesome byproduct of their business. (And a bit of a way to promote BFLV, which totally worked by the way)
View Quote


You've got to remember that they have a staggering number of guns most people have never heard of.

I've been there, shot a bunch of their guns and toured the vault.

I would have no reason to doubt they might have a Trench Gun floating around that has seen more rounds thru it than the words you have typed on arfcom!
Link Posted: 1/26/2017 6:46:54 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/26/2017 6:55:04 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By EVR:


You've got to remember that they have a staggering number of guns most people have never heard of.

I've been there, shot a bunch of their guns and toured the vault.

I would have no reason to doubt they might have a Trench Gun floating around that has seen more rounds thru it than the words you have typed on arfcom!
View Quote
I didn't see you mentioned the 1897 Winchester in there. I could see that one with the recent Battelfield 1 game. Wouldn't expect the Ithaca 37 or A5. Could be though. It's like the other people asking in the handgun section if they have any XDs or M&Ps. Probably not since they aren't Military issue or prominitely featured in some sort of popular media.
Link Posted: 1/26/2017 11:53:28 PM EDT
Any chance you can give a IAC Hawk 982 a good shake down?

I'm willing to chip in to see it happen.


http://www.iacshotguns.com/982pump.html

They sell for around $175 shipped on the retail market, I'm guessing $120 for you directly from IAC if they don't volunteer to send you one. This platform with a 14" barrel is apparently pretty popular in Canada.
Link Posted: 1/27/2017 7:35:03 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By pops1085:


You've gotta remember what kind of business they're in. It's not to test these guns, just give people (mainly non-gun nuts like us) a chance to shoot guns they see on TV and movies. The oddball but still much loved guns like the A5's and whatnot aren't really what people are dying to see. These high round count reports are just an awesome byproduct of their business. (And a bit of a way to promote BFLV, which totally worked by the way)
View Quote


Back in the 80s and 90s it seems like the Ithaca 37 was the ONLY shotgun in the movies in the hands of police.
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