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Economy Pump 12 Gauges: Maverick 88 Vs. H&R Pardner

These two popular shotguns won’t break the bank, and both covered the basics. Our team clearly preferred one over the other, but your preferences may be different.

The pump action is a very popular shotgun type, mainly for its ease of operation and its ruggedness. While a self-loader may be a bit faster in trained hands, the point is debatable. Expensive autoloaders are reliable, but in the end a dirty or well-used pump is always more reliable than a dirty autoloader. We recently tested two affordable pumps—the Mossberg Maverick is a cut-down version of the Mossberg 500,

When you consider the scant difference in price between these two shotguns, the differences in performance and handling cannot be ignored. Fit and finish of both shotguns was adequate. The Maverick’s blue finish was very nice. The Pardner’s was adequate and business like. The Mossberg featured an additional sighting bead, but the Pardner was drilled and tapped for a hunting scope. The trigger action of the Pardner was lighter by a margin. The recoil pad of the Pardner seemed to limit recoil and was the better looking of the two, our testers said. The Pardner’s safety was easier and faster to manipulate, we thought. The Pardner does not use a plastic trigger housing like the Maverick. Even if you pay $30 more, as Gun Tests did, the Pardner remains the recommended buy. Our team shot the guns using 2.75-inch Winchester Super Target lead shotshells and a Winchester Xpert Game/Target steel load.
and the H&R Pardner is a basic copy of the Remington 870 design beneath the humpback receiver. Our raters are familiar with the Mossberg 500 shotgun and the Remington 870, but we had to cast aside any preconceived notions of…

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