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Home-Defense 12-Gauge Pumps: Ithaca, Remington, Mossberg

Our team said the Model 37 Defense Gun is a better self-protection option than the hard-kicking Remington 870 Tac-2 FS and Mossberg’s “sloppy” adjustable-stock 590A1.

Perhaps due to the "Obama-effect"—wherein the fear of future gun bans is driving sales—the home-defense/tactical class of self-defense shotguns is booming like never before. But we must recognize that other factors figure into the segment's sales rise as well, not the least of which is that a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun is an effective close-quarters weapon.

To wit: The M97 version of John Browning's Winchester 1897 shotgun was the original "trench-sweeper." Widely considered the first truly successful pump

Home-Defense 12-Gauge Pumps
This representative pattern at right was fired from the Ithaca M37 off-hand at 12 yards using Remington #12B0 Express 2¾-inch buckshot. The twelve pieces of 1275-fps buckshot produced 12 potentially lethal holes well-centered on the “chest” of our target. The large gaping hole in the lower right quadrant of the target is where the Remington’s wad blew through. It was easy to pick a winner in this match-up: the Ithaca Model 37 Defense (left) did it all for us, did it better, and did it at substantially lower cost than the other guns. The Ithaca’s well-fitted Pachmayr Decelerator pad did its job well, where the Remington failed and the Mossberg was marginal. The Ithaca was the only slide-action of the bunch that we could intuitively operate safety, slide, and trigger without breaking stockweld. It was easy to load, and its bottom ejection prohibits hulls from bouncing off of walls or doors.
shotgun, the M97 was fitted with a heat shield and the M1917 16-inch bayonet for combat duty. The highly effective use of the shotgun by United States forces in WWI had a dramatic effect…

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