I'm looking to outfit myself with a pump shotgun for use here in NYC in case of "emergencies." Due to tactical and legal considerations, it seems the way to go.
Magazine size for rifles and shotguns limited to FIVE STINKING ROUNDS!
Semi-auto anything is highly restricted - no "evil features" allowed at all on semis, and some seemingly conforming semis banned by name! Sure I could get a Garand with 5-rounders but I don't want to fire off .30-06 rounds in a neighborhood if I can help it.
Short ranges inside the house (30' max)
Short lines of sight outside the house (150' max)
Given the mag capacity, maximum damage per shot is desired
Should be handy to wield
Based on this, I'm looking for something like a Remington 870 with 18" barrel and a Knoxx Spec-ops stock, and a surefire light. Perhaps a Knoxx sidewinder with the 6 round mags blocked to 5 rounds, and an eotech to top the whole thing off. The sidewinder would reguire a mossberg instead of the Remington, and I'm not crazy about $50 each for magazines...
I'd take a GOOD look at the Remington Express Synthetic with an 18" barrel.
Remington used to sell this as the "Home Defense" but now sells it as simply an Express.
The stock is synthetic, the magazine holds 4 rounds, and you can add a ONE SHOT extension from Wilson's for a total magazine capacity of 5 rounds, plus one in the chamber.
Best of all, the barrel is Cylinder Bore, that is no choke at all, which is good for true short range home defense guns.
A good "rule of thumb" on shotguns is, the shot spreads at "about" One inch per yard distance from the muzzle.
In other words at 6 yards (18 feet) you have about a 6-7 inch pattern.
That's not much, and is why you have to actually do more than just point the barrel in vaguely the general direction of the target like in the movies.
In a true HD shotgun, you don't necessarily WANT a tight patterning gun.
The MOST handy to wield shotgun of them all is the STANDARD no frills and no "Hollywood" accessories or add-ons basic shotgun with a standard stock.
What makes the shotgun SO devastating at close range is SPEED. The speed at which you can get the gun on target and get hits.
Anything that you add to the gun slows you down due to bulk and weight.
ANYTHING you add on requires a "real world" cost-benefit analysis. In other words, if you add something, it's going to slow the gun down.
What EXACTLY is the "real world" benefit of the addition, and does that benefit out weight the reduction in speed?
Wanna add an electronic sight?
What's the real world benefit?
It it worth the reduction in speed? There's GOING to be a reduction speed, because NO electronic sight is as fast as "pointing" a shotgun.
Is it worth the reduction in reliability of defense?
Remember, the more complicated you make something, the less reliable it is.
Electronic sights are nice on "range toys and Hollywood" guns, but tend to fail JUST as your front door comes down.
You have to decide WHAT you want.
Do you want a totally reliable life-saving defense gun, or do you really want a range toy to play with?
If you want a life-preserver, the KISS principle holds...Keep It Simple, Stupid.
Want a range toy to play with and impress the guys at the range? Accessorize away, just don't trust your life to it.
For maximum damage, you don't have to worry about it.
The shotgun is the most effective and deadly firearm in the world at short range, and you have NO need of "trick ammo" or Magnum, Blow Down the Barn Door loads.
Many people are going to the new Reduced Recoil ammo. This reduces recoil by either cutting the powder charge, or reducing the number of buckshot by a pellet.
This stuff is just as effective at shotgun ranges, but gives you less of a pounding, AND speeds up your follow-up shots.
Remember, in shotguns Speed Kills... the bad guys.
What NOT to use is the standard Internet-recommended 3" or even 2 3/4" Magnum loads, the bird shot loads, or the slugs.
Stick with standard or reduced recoil loads of #4 buckshot through #00 buckshot.
Remember, NOTHING says "Stop that, leave us alone" like a load of buckshot.
Bottom line: My recommendation is, buy a Remington 870.
If you can afford it, buy a Police model just for the better fit, finish, and quality. If not, buy a Remington 870 Express with the 18" cylinder bore barrel.
Add a one shot extension, but only if you MUST. It's VERY unlikely you'll need more than 4 or 5 rounds of buckshot to solve any possible problems.
Forget the electronic sights, they have no really valid place on a true home defense gun.
If you have problems with recoil, and think you need a shock absorbing stock, save your money and keep the gun simple by buying a Remington R3 recoil pad and reduced recoil buckshot.
Most users of the R3 report the gun feels like it's shooting Dove & Quail light loads, and the factory says it cuts felt recoil by as much as 30%.
The reduced recoil ammo can cut actual recoil by 40%.
Buy a SIMPLE gun, buy LOTS of ammo and practice. That's more important than all the accessories and gimmicks in the world.
the above should suit your needs quite well
I'm not in the city, but not far from it either. I have a totally basic 870 express, 18" cylinder bore barrel, synthetic stock with extended mag tube. I started with a folding Butler Creek plastic stock, but swapped it out for the standard Remington synthetic before I even took it to the range. There's no restriction on capacity where I am, except for fowl hunting, and I've seen guys limit the capacity of their (Mossberg) shotguns with a wooden dowel behind the follower - I don't know if that's enough (legally) for the city.
At the range, I've had no problem getting on-target quickly and effectively with standard front bead sights at various distances with both 00 and #4 buckshot, and follow-up shots are fine. Patterning is really important to do at distances typical in and around your home (I measured my floorplan and set up at the range accordingly). It's a shotgun... it's going to kick... but with some range time and good form it's not unmanageable, even in a factory standard configuration.
I found training with snap-caps in my home to be very useful, both for finding the best places to shoot from in each room (even an 18" barrel can make it awkward to turn around with furniture in the way) and for getting familiar with the weapon. Buy some snap-caps (I got plastic ones) and train with loading, unloading, purposefully jamming and clearing with eyes open or closed and as fast as practical or as quietly as possible.
For accessories, I've thought about a surefire forend, but it's lower on my list of priorities. I have a sling, but not attached to the gun when it's in the house, I also have an elastic shell carrier on the buttstock, but that's more for a grab-and-go situation than basic HD. Good luck - it's a great gun!
You sound like you've given it a lot of thought. Thanks for the advice. Any reason why the standard stock would be quicker to point? On the rifles I've used with pistol grips, they seem much handier than the "standard" grip.
Is the NYC limit for 5 rounds in the magazine or 5 rounds total, including the chamber?
I'd buy one too, except the Mini-14 is banned specifically by name in the city.
For rifle needs I was looking at the weird pump-action 5.56 carbine that remington makes, that takes AR15 mags. You can get those in 5-round, and I can stash some big ones at friends' houses out of the city for range use. That or go ahead and get the Garand, and make sure I hit the target.
Mag. The law specifically bans "shotgun or rifle ammunition feeding devices with a capacity greater than 5 rounds" or somesuch, so 5+1 is ok.
The mini14 falls afoul of their definition of assault weapon:
On the plus side, the new FS2000 "might" be legal.
Hmm. I may have to take a trip to the fun store and wave some around. I did do some skeet when I was younger with a 20GA auto with a standard stock, did pretty well for a newb. Birdshot makes much more of a cloud of hits than buck does though. One of the reasons I like the idea of the eotech sight is you don't have to have your eye in exactly the right place like you do with a bead, since you will sort of automatically get it in place to be able to view the reticle.
"MINI-14/5F manufactured by Ruger" is just the model that has the Ruger factory side folding stock.
Hmmmm.... that is interesting. I wonder if they might get you by saying "oh no, with that slash we meant the regular mini-14 or the 5f version!" as they do ban the M1A which is for all intents and purposes the same thing as a mini-14 but shoots .308.
I don't see any down side to an 870, Benelli or Winchester pump slug gun. They are handy and powerful in a PC package. ARs get all the cool points but up close and AR aint much compared to a 12 gauge launching 9-12 projectiles simultaneously. I would stay away from detachable mags because when they are dry you have to change them or have more loaded to change. When you have a plain jane tube you just keep topping it off as you go so you never run dry.