I have been trying to find the right tactical shotgun set-up for quite a while now (as evidenced by my long rambling posting) and I could really use some help. Ideally, I would like a shotgun with ghost ring sights, a forend light, and a stock w/ integrated pistol grip. The ability to mount an optic like an Eotech down the road would be a bonus.
There are several potential candidates but none of them have "knocked the ball out of the park" in terms of meeting all of the things on my wish list (keeping in mind that extensive gunsmithing scares my wallet). I have considered the FN Tactical Police, Mossberg 500, Mossberg 590, and Remington 870.
The FN Tactical Police is intriguing but I haven't been able to locate a local dealer that has one in stock. Without seeing one first hand I am concerned that after ordering one I might hate the AR rifle sights on a shotgun and wish that it had standard ghost ring sights. Additionally, I kinda wonder about the felt recoil through that small CAR stock. It is still a contender though since it is the closest stock gun to what I am looking for (stock, SureFire compatibility, ported barrel, picatinny rail).... just looking for some feedback on those concerns.
The Knoxx SpecOps recoil reducing stock has renewed my interest in Remington's and Mossberg's.
I have owned a Remington 870 but I must have been one of the unlucky few that got a bad one because I had consistent issues with shells sliding back behind the feed ramp and getting stuck. I didn't particularly enjoying trying to pry out "live" shells everytime I went shooting. I got rid of it for a Benelli Nova and have been much happier. I know a lot of people own Remington 870's and love them but my experience means that it is at the bottom of the list unless someone can convince me otherwise.
Last but not least are the Mossbergs. I probably would have bought one of these months ago if I could get some clarification on the differences between the 500, 590, and 590 A1 models. Of particular concern is using a forend light (like SureFire) with the 590's. I have heard that the bayonet lug interferes with the operation of a SureFire unless you grind off the bayonet lug. Any truth to this? I also understand that the Mossberg receivers are drilled and tapped so that it is easy to add a picatinny rail for an Eotech if I choose to do so later. Additionally, Knox SpecOps stocks are available for the Mossberg's so they are a strong contender. I just need some feedback on the various Mossberg models.
My general assumption is that you are better off purchasing a shotgun with factory ghost ring sights. I have seen Wilson and MMC aftermarket sights but it seems that the cost involved with buying the sights and having the installed gets pretty costly. Thoughts on this assumption?
Last question (seriously) ... is it possible to have a picatinny rail on the receiver that does not interfere with the ghost ring sights?
Thanks for taking the time to read this and sharing your insight. This forum is a very valuable resource to people like me that are trying to get the best set-up in cost efficient manner.
Sorry to hear about your 870 woes. This is absolutely not the norm, and I think you might want to think about trying the 870 again. It is the premier foundation for some of the best Tactical Shotguns out there.
My suggestion is to keep it simple. 18" barrell, 2 shot mag extension, Ghost ring sights, and over size safety I think are all worth while considerations. A side saddle is also a nice touch.
If you want to really get with the program, have your barrel re-done by Hans Vang at Vang Comp Systems to tighten your pattern and reduce recoil. You would want to order the Vang Comp System and have the barrel proted. Costs around $275.
I just bought a "tactical" shotgun. I bought a Mossberg 500, the cheapest one (18.5", 5 round capacity, model 50411). The only things I changed were the stock and forend, the only thing i added was a butt stock shell carrier. No sidesaddle, no ghostring sights, no extra capacity magazine tubes.
The two most important things for a "combat" shotgun are illumination and ergonomics. I changed the forend from stock to a surefire integrated. They're the simplest, the best, and proven. A secondary (non-weapon mounted) light should also be carried. I changed the butt stock to a 12.5" reduced LOP houge stock. The standard stock is too long for most everybody.
No sidesaddle, they fail. No ghostrights sights, it's a shotgun not a rifle. Effective range of 00 buck is 25 yards, slug is 80 yards. If it's further than that, get a rifle. in fact, get a rifle anyhow. No extra capacity magazine tubes, they fail, they don't afford much of an advantage. If you're really going to fight with a shotgun, either one or two rounds will solve the problem, or you're going to be reloading often anyhow. Practice reloading!
I bought a metal magazine safety for the 500, stock is plastic. I didn't change it because the stock one seems fine right now. I also have a Wilson hi-viz follower and a Wolff spring. I haven't changed that yet either, stock seems fine. If that changes, I have the parts. I might change the spring and follower if I ever plan on storing it for a long time, but I shoot my guns. You know, for practice.
Save your money, skip the gizmos and buy more ammo for practice.
Forgot to add: Bought a Mossberg 500 because it was cheaper than any 870 and my wife is left handed (safety is on top of the mossberg receiver). Also, the 870 Express I handled felt poor to me. I grew up shooting an 1100 so that was a surprised.
Also: 500 receiver is drilled and tapped out of the box. 590 needs bayo lug grinded off to work with surefire forend.
Look at second from the top
See that shotgun, second from the top? Get one. I did. It's GREAT!
P.S. - I don't know what training you've had but is it possible you were short stroking your 870? Short stroking any pump gun can lead to the type of jam I think you were describing.
HK / Fabarms soon to be Sig Arms / Fabarms
Or email them direct from their web sight
Havent seen a better price for the FN anywhere even comes with the cmore sight
I agree that CDNN's prices are pretty great.
Have you used any of the Fabarms or FN shotguns? I'd be interested in hearing about your thoughts. The Fabarms seem pretty nice but I was a little concerned about parts availability since HK stopped importing them. However, that might not be an issue if Sig is going to pick up where HK left off. Can this be confirmed? The Fabarms have the accessory rail built into the forend for attaching a light in a cost effective manner (not sure why they are the only mfg to do this). Lastly, do you know of any compliance issues with making modifications (stocks, sights, etc.) to these shotguns since they are imported?
Your problem with the 870 was a common problem with the older 870.
This is an operator error. (Yes, it's YOUR fault).
What happens is, if you fail to FULLY insert the shell into the magazine, it could fail to be caught and held by the shell releases, and it could be pushed back out of the magazine into the receiver, jamming the gun.
Remington recognized this problem and came up with a "fix".
The 870's as made for at least the last 10 years or so, have a new "flex-tab" lifter assembly.
This flex-tab unit allows you to just open the gun by pulling a little harder on the fore end, if this mis-feed happens.
You can recognize a flex-tab equipped 870 by a long- "U" shaped cut in the shell lifter.
This positively cured the problem, and mis-fed shells in the receiver are no longer a problem.
If you want the BEST gun of all, buy a Remington Police Model. You can get them already set up pretty much like you want.
NO shotgun is as strong, durable, and high quality as the Police gun, and it has a 55 year reputation to prove it.
Please contact SIGARMS @ Tel. 603-772-2302
I own one of the carbon fiber fp6's and was looking for the extended mag tube this is the reply I got from HK
Please contact SIGARMS @ Tel. 603-772-2302
So I called em and their scheduled launch was any time after Sept probably after the 1st of the year
The guy was shocked to find out I knew cus they had only gotten a few shotguns in to date.
Give them a call
The shotguns I have fired that were HK and FN were great.
And of course the HK came with the traditional lifetime warranty as any HK would
The tri bore system in the barrel rocks
If unfamiliar it is designed to reduce recoil and improve pattern
Also the barrel is threaded on the outside so slugs can be used as well as chokes if you would like
I had a custom choke multi tube designed and produced for myself that uses 870 chokes for availability. Gota love it.
I sold my FN on the board to get the HK and it was well worth it in my opinion
The design behind the shotgun is rather simple. So if you were ever in a crunch it would not be hard at all to fabricate the needed part(s).
The receiver is steel not alum just another plus in my opinion
Also the forehand is setup to readily accept the HK UMP accessory rail and screws so there’s no need to keep replacing parts to improve it you can add on like an AR so to speak.
Don’t get me wrong the 870 is a great gun and the FN / Winchester 1300 is awesome as well
And the best bang for the buck is mossberg but if you want one thing you will spend just as much building a clone as it would cost to get it in the first place. Not to mention you will be much happier.
LMK if I can help I will post a few links in a few
Sorry Im away from home right now so no pics
Thanks for the great info. The HK UMP rail that you mentioned, is that readily available today and able to be mounted to the Fabarm forends (pump or semi)? I will call SigArms on Monday to ask about availability of parts, etc.
Do you know of any compliance issues with adding mag tube extensions, rails, or even muzzle breaks to the Fabarm shotguns?
Ok.. If you want red dot, ghost ring sights are not an option. AR's use an elevated sight system. Ghost rings are near bore axis.
If you need an ambidexterious long arm.. Mossberg is your best bet.
New Remmington's have fixed the "stacked shell" problem. ::cough:: (Mossy's never had it)
Now before I'm accused of Remmy bashing.....
Any Remmington that does not say "express" is a terrific shotgun. "Express" seems to say "close enough.. send it"
These are not my words. look in the shotgun threads and you just might draw the same conclusion.
Remmingtons out sell Mossbergs 2 to 1.
Yes. if you want a Surefire fore-end you will have to grind off the bayo lug.
There are ways around this, not as slick as a Surefire, but you can still "FIX BAYONET!"
Ok.. Ive rambled enough.
Not off hand as the FP series are all pump FP = Fabarm Pump
Cdnn has different models to choose from here
Just download their catalog for the prices but this is what they currently have on hand
As you can see there is a fair variety to choose from
Listen to warren-hpf. You can put a whole lot of crap on a gun that will do nothing but add weight and complexity to the ensemble. I have experimented with all sorts of attachments and arrangements. I have been going through my shotguns lately and am removing most of it. I'm going to call that "de-crap-erizing".
First of all, the gun needs to be 100% reliable 100% of the time. Period.
Second, the gun must fit you. If it doesn't, it will be miserable.
Third, illumination is a good thing for a self defense shotgun. It works best if the illuminating device is attached firmly to the shotgun.
If you get to putting a lot of crap on your gun, you can decrease its reliability. I've had mixed results with magazine extensions, and it is just one more darned thing you have to take off to clean the gun properly. Mossberg makes a factory 8-shot 500. The 590's come in 9-shots. The Winchester Defender also comes in an 8-shot, but it has an 18" barrel, not a 20" like the Mossbergs. The FN is a Winchester copy, but they cost more. Everybody seems to like side saddles, but I'm yanking them off my guns soon. That is just one more thing that has to be taken of so I clean my gun properly and thoroughly. It is very important to clean your guns properly and thoroughly if you want them 100% reliable 100% of the time.
The gun has got to fit you, and do so comfortably. I like pistolgrip buttstocks, but not everybody does. If it makes the gun more comfortable, then get one. I saw several references to porting. Don't be fooled, porting DOES NOT reduce felt recoil. Porting is supposed to reduce muzzle climb, that is all. Depending on the type of porting, it can INCREASE felt recoil by keeping the muzzle down and putting all of the recoil into your shoulder. Be careful. You can spend $100 - $250 on a Knoxx stock, or you can get a LimbSaver recoil pad by Sims Vibration Labratory for $20 - $30. I have never tried the Knoxx, but I have tried the LimbSaver. The LS pads reduce felt recoil by at least 50%. Every shotgun I own will have one soon.
Lights, that's up to you. I have a hard time justifying a light that costs as much or more than the gun it's mounted on that uses $10 worth of batteries that only last for one hour. I have been experimenting with the Luxeon LED lights and really like them. They give good illumination to 50 yards and they run for 30 hours on $2 worth of batteries. LED bulbs (actually, there is no such thing, but,) are supposed to last forever. I have not killed one yet. The point is, the light should be 100% reliable if you are counting on it. Those high intensity, battery sucking bulbs burn out quickly.
warren-hpf, I have a 17 year Mossberg Mariner. It has been shot a lot. It has seen some abuse. The original safety is still on the gun, still works, zero issues. fyi
I've been screwing around with LED flashlights as well, so far one of the best I've found has been the Gerber LX3.0's. They're not very expensive (~$40) and run on 3 AA batteries. You deal with the alkaline battery falloff with them (they run for about 50 hours continuous... 4-5 hours of that is at peak life, then a declining amount of light thru the rest) rather than the more gradual falloff you get from lithiums, but I'll take a bit longer peak brightness and cheaper/more common batteries any day.
There's a tactical model available as well that adds an on/off switch rather than just a twist bottom... it's a little more expensive.
http://www.basegear.com/ This is the cheapest reliable place I've found them so far... ordered two of the LX models, one for myself and one for a friend as a gift.
FN Herstal Police Shotgun (Standard)
Reciever = Aluminum, drilled and tapped.
Magazine = 5+1 or 7+1 available, both have a metal follower (unfortunately not high-visibility).
Action = 1300 Winchester.
Barrel = ~18", Improved Cylinder and Modified chokes included.
Sights = Rifle sights.
FN Herstal With Some Goodies
SureFire compatible, rail compatible, reliable, decent modification options.
Speedfeed, Knoxx, SureFire, TacStar, Choate, and more... They all have accessories to add to the FN/1300 models.
The only downside I can think of given your wants: Ghost rings would be a custom setup.
I figured I'd answer one of your questions for my first post on the boards...
The variants with the extended magazine tubes use different barrels, as the barrel is held in place by attaching to the end of the magazine tube. These eight shot models are referred to as Model 590. The Model 590A1 is a heavy-duty 500 with a steel receiver, rather than the aluminum alloy receiver found on the other 500 models, plus a steel trigger group (vs. plastic for the standard models) and a thicker walled barrel. The 590A1 is available in six and eight shot models, with standard and Bantam length stocks.
I just got off the phone with SigArms....turns out they are NOT going to be importing Fabarms shotguns after all. Sounds like there was not enough interest from their distributors to justify bringing in a whole new product line. It will be interesting to see if anybody else picks them up and how long it would take to get parts (like an extension tube).
Damn shame then. The tube is not at all hard to have fabricated if you really need one I just wanted one that has the same carbon fiber finish.
They need to remove them from their product line on their websight then.
Im sure someone will pick em up, just a matter of $
You should see how simple the parts breakdown is. Anyone with a good machine shop can build replacement parts all day. There are very very few small parts inside.
Your probably stuck doing what everyone does though, buy one, shoot it, mod it, sell it
Buy a different one, shoot it, mod it ,sell it
Buy a different one, shoot it, mod it ,sell it
Buy a SPAS 12 shoot it love it sell it cause its so damn expensive and a picky eater
Buy a saiga shoot it, love it, never find the mags, sell it or maybe put it in the safe
Buy a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . etc
Until you find what suits your needs best.
BTW HK still honors their lifetime warranty regardless.
Where did you get that shotgun? I'm looking all over the place and the only place I can find it is at Davidson's. Is that a Davidson's exclusive?
Cool. Thanks for the link. I had found a source, actually The Gun Source shortly after that post. I also found another source that might be a few $$ cheaper than The Gun Source.
I rant and rave about my Winchesters, but when I comparatively shot my Winchester Defender against my Remington 870, I liked my Remington better. Granted, both guns have been customized, are far from being stock, and have very great differences. I used to fuss about the extra weight of the Remington, but it didn't jar my body while shooting slugs like the Winchester did. I am getting another pistolgrip buttstock to put on the Winchester so I can do a more equal comparison.
Needless to say, I am giving all the Remington models a serious look. The Tac model is just about darned-near perfect. It has a factory extension, a pistolgrip buttstock, a good recoil absorbing buttpad, and to top it, my favorite color- OD! The only problem is the barrel is 20" when it should be 18". It has all the accessories that I would put on it installed at the factory. The total package price is good considering this.
Now, where's Mike the mod? Yes, Mike, I'm looking to buy another 870. I thought you would laugh when you see this. Since I'm eating crow, should I use salt & pepper, or just a good sauce ?!