Shotguns-pump-12

All-Round Shotguns: Browning, Remington, and Winchester

The adage of "Beware of the one who uses a single gun" can be applied to quite a few firearm fanciers who favor an all-around shotgun to fulfill their various needs in the home and field. Since the legendary Winchester Model 12 pump-action shotgun dominated the market in days of old, slide-actions have been a favorite shooting tool of those who might touch off a couple of boxes of ammunition a year as well as to many wingshots and target busters who buy their shells by the pallet. Pump-action shotguns have a well-earned reputation of performing in all kinds of conditions and shooting situations where reliability is not an option, it is a necessity.Shooters who use their one gun for all types of service are normally proficient in putting their firearm to good use. Being familiar with the way the multi-use shotgun handles and performs is a big plus in filling a game bag or defending the homestead.The fact that pumps, particularly those that can be found in the used-gun racks of sporting goods stores across the country, carry price tags in the low to moderate range is another factor adding to their popularity. Picking up a good shooting tool for under $500 is a satisfying accomplishment in most hunting and shooting circles.Our trip to the used-gun rack resulted in the selection of three popular makes and models of pump-action shotguns for testing on the patterning range and in the field. We were looking for models that were all capable of performing multiple service, such as self-defense firearms in a home; good-patterning short-range shotguns for turkeys; and adequate performance on clay targets or even wingshooting situations such as in the dove field.We selected a Browning BPS Stalker Composite No. 012212305 3-inch 12 Gauge with a price tag of $500, a Remington Model 870 Express Super Magnum Synthetic No. 25102 3.5-inch 12 Gauge, $300; and a Winchester Model 1300 Turkey Win-Cam with a price tag of $400. All of the shotguns were in good to very good condition and showed little sign of wear and no indication of abuse by their former owners. Buyers of used firearms are advised to always be cautious in their purchase, as no one wants to pay good money to be stuck with someone elses problems.As experienced slide-action shooters are aware, pumps are not known for the fine balance and handling ability of high-end shotguns like the over-and-unders or semi-automatics used by top-gun clay-target competitors. However, they work well as dependable field guns where the shooter is attempting to fill a game bag in rough-and-tumble conditions. Pump-actions tend to be more of a workhorse than a racehorse, and that is why a lot of everyday shooters and hunters are willing to part with a few dollars to put them into their shooting tool collection.To check out the shotguns in a variety of shooting situations, we selected the following test ammunition:For clay targets, we used Winchester Super X 2.75-inch Game Loads with 1 ounce of No. 7.5 shot and an average muzzle velocity of 1290 fps. For turkey targets, we tried out Federal Premium Mag-Shok 3-inch loads with 2 ounces of No. 4 shot and an average muzzle velocity of 1300 fps. For home defense, we fired both Remington Express Buckshot 2.75-inch loads with 12 pellets of 00 buckshot and an average muzzle velocity of 1325 fps and Winchester Super X 2.75-inch loads with 1-ounce rifled hollow-point slugs and an average muzzle velocity of 1600 fps.Since the Remington was the only one of the trio that would handle 3.5-inch ammunition, we limited our testing to the 2.75- and 3-inch shells. If handling the largest 12-gauge shells is important to you, then scale the 870s grade up as you deem appropriate.The results of our trip to the patterning range were all acceptable, although we noted that the Winchester really seemed to shine with the turkey loads and produced an exceptional number of kill shots on the Shoot-N-C Turkey Silhouette Targets. Details of how each shotgun performed on the range and in the field follow:

All-Round Shotguns: Browning, Remington, and Winchester

The adage of "Beware of the one who uses a single gun" can be applied to quite a few firearm fanciers who favor an all-around shotgun to fulfill their various needs in the home and field. Since the legendary Winchester Model 12 pump-action shotgun dominated the market in days of old, slide-actions have been a favorite shooting tool of those who might touch off a couple of boxes of ammunition a year as well as to many wingshots and target busters who buy their shells by the pallet. Pump-action shotguns have a well-earned reputation of performing in all kinds of conditions and shooting situations where reliability is not an option, it is a necessity.Shooters who use their one gun for all types of service are normally proficient in putting their firearm to good use. Being familiar with the way the multi-use shotgun handles and performs is a big plus in filling a game bag or defending the homestead.The fact that pumps, particularly those that can be found in the used-gun racks of sporting goods stores across the country, carry price tags in the low to moderate range is another factor adding to their popularity. Picking up a good shooting tool for under $500 is a satisfying accomplishment in most hunting and shooting circles.Our trip to the used-gun rack resulted in the selection of three popular makes and models of pump-action shotguns for testing on the patterning range and in the field. We were looking for models that were all capable of performing multiple service, such as self-defense firearms in a home; good-patterning short-range shotguns for turkeys; and adequate performance on clay targets or even wingshooting situations such as in the dove field.We selected a Browning BPS Stalker Composite No. 012212305 3-inch 12 Gauge with a price tag of $500, a Remington Model 870 Express Super Magnum Synthetic No. 25102 3.5-inch 12 Gauge, $300; and a Winchester Model 1300 Turkey Win-Cam with a price tag of $400. All of the shotguns were in good to very good condition and showed little sign of wear and no indication of abuse by their former owners. Buyers of used firearms are advised to always be cautious in their purchase, as no one wants to pay good money to be stuck with someone elses problems.As experienced slide-action shooters are aware, pumps are not known for the fine balance and handling ability of high-end shotguns like the over-and-unders or semi-automatics used by top-gun clay-target competitors. However, they work well as dependable field guns where the shooter is attempting to fill a game bag in rough-and-tumble conditions. Pump-actions tend to be more of a workhorse than a racehorse, and that is why a lot of everyday shooters and hunters are willing to part with a few dollars to put them into their shooting tool collection.To check out the shotguns in a variety of shooting situations, we selected the following test ammunition:For clay targets, we used Winchester Super X 2.75-inch Game Loads with 1 ounce of No. 7.5 shot and an average muzzle velocity of 1290 fps. For turkey targets, we tried out Federal Premium Mag-Shok 3-inch loads with 2 ounces of No. 4 shot and an average muzzle velocity of 1300 fps. For home defense, we fired both Remington Express Buckshot 2.75-inch loads with 12 pellets of 00 buckshot and an average muzzle velocity of 1325 fps and Winchester Super X 2.75-inch loads with 1-ounce rifled hollow-point slugs and an average muzzle velocity of 1600 fps.Since the Remington was the only one of the trio that would handle 3.5-inch ammunition, we limited our testing to the 2.75- and 3-inch shells. If handling the largest 12-gauge shells is important to you, then scale the 870s grade up as you deem appropriate.The results of our trip to the patterning range were all acceptable, although we noted that the Winchester really seemed to shine with the turkey loads and produced an exceptional number of kill shots on the Shoot-N-C Turkey Silhouette Targets. Details of how each shotgun performed on the range and in the field follow:

SuperMag Battle: Remington NitroMag vs. Benelli SuperNova

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 1988, the last "new" production shotshell cartridge of any note was introduced by Federal Cartridge Company: the 31/2-inch 12 gauge. It was the Mossberg 835 slide-action that helped launch it, and it was the proliferation of the long shell that sealed the demise of the 10-gauge shotgun, as you can actually get more performance out of a 12-gauge 31/2-inch load, chambering it in a shotgun that is less bulky, more versatile, and less costly to shoot than a comparable 10-gauge gun. Thats not quite obsolete, but Federal Cartridge currently lists only five 10-gauge loads, while the company offers more than 75 different 12-gauge shotshells. Whether a 31/2-inch 12 gauge makes a lot of sense today is another matter. The preconceived notion is that a 31/2-inch shell is automatically a Roman candle-but that is far from the truth. The 23/4-inch "baby magnum" lead shotshell has always had a 11/2-oz. payload. Typical steel 31/2-inch shells are 13/8-oz. to 11/2-oz. payloads: no heavier than many older 23/4-inch lead loads, much less 3-inch 12-gauge shells.But even though standard-length shells and the guns that shoot them can certainly get the job done, we cannot deny the appeal of shotguns that will shoot 31/2-inch shells, in part because they will shoot nearly any 12-gauge shotshell out there. Here, we look at two of the latest and supposedly greatest of the long-chambered slide-action twelves, the Benelli SuperNova No. 20115 MAX-4 HD Camo 12 Gauge Pump, $599; and the new-for-2009 Remington M887 NitroMag No. 82500 12 Gauge, $399. We should note that Benelli offers a matte black version of the SuperNova at $499 and that Remington offers the camo version of the M887 at $532 MSRP, but the differences were so significant that finish and price were secondary issues.

SuperMag Battle: Remington NitroMag vs. Benelli SuperNova

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 1988, the last "new" production shotshell cartridge of any note was introduced by Federal Cartridge Company: the 31/2-inch 12 gauge. It was the Mossberg 835 slide-action that helped launch it, and it was the proliferation of the long shell that sealed the demise of the 10-gauge shotgun, as you can actually get more performance out of a 12-gauge 31/2-inch load, chambering it in a shotgun that is less bulky, more versatile, and less costly to shoot than a comparable 10-gauge gun. Thats not quite obsolete, but Federal Cartridge currently lists only five 10-gauge loads, while the company offers more than 75 different 12-gauge shotshells. Whether a 31/2-inch 12 gauge makes a lot of sense today is another matter. The preconceived notion is that a 31/2-inch shell is automatically a Roman candle-but that is far from the truth. The 23/4-inch "baby magnum" lead shotshell has always had a 11/2-oz. payload. Typical steel 31/2-inch shells are 13/8-oz. to 11/2-oz. payloads: no heavier than many older 23/4-inch lead loads, much less 3-inch 12-gauge shells.But even though standard-length shells and the guns that shoot them can certainly get the job done, we cannot deny the appeal of shotguns that will shoot 31/2-inch shells, in part because they will shoot nearly any 12-gauge shotshell out there. Here, we look at two of the latest and supposedly greatest of the long-chambered slide-action twelves, the Benelli SuperNova No. 20115 MAX-4 HD Camo 12 Gauge Pump, $599; and the new-for-2009 Remington M887 NitroMag No. 82500 12 Gauge, $399. We should note that Benelli offers a matte black version of the SuperNova at $499 and that Remington offers the camo version of the M887 at $532 MSRP, but the differences were so significant that finish and price were secondary issues.

Turkey 12s: Browning BPS Pump Vs. Remingtons 11-87 Auto

Turkey hunting in most areas of the country is a sport that is heavy on stalking, concealment and calling to bring the big toms into effective scattergun range. All of that work can be for nothing if the shooting tool brought into play does not produce a killing pattern with the first shot or cannot provide a rapid, effective follow-up shot.Testing a semiautomatic against a pump-action provided us with an interesting opportunity to see if there was a difference in ability to take a quick follow-up shot on a wounded turkey. In our timed tests with two targets attempted with two quick shots, we found there was virtually no difference in the follow-up shooting sequence. However, as noted in the individual reviews of each shotgun, we did find a difference in patterning performance.As preliminary requirements for our turkey gun test, both shotguns had to be decked out in camouflage; both had to handle 3-inch shells; and both barrels had to accept screw-in chokes-a handy accessory for helping produce the best killing shot at normal turkey-hunting ranges.We found a good match on the used gun rack at Durys Gun Shop in San Antonio, www.durysguns.com, with an older model Remington 11-87 semiautomatic and a fairly new version of the Browning BPS pump-action. Both shotguns also featured 26-inch barrels, which seem to be favored by turkey hunters who, in some situations, have to deal with close-quarter shooting conditions.Another appreciated feature on both shotguns was sling attachments that permitted the installation of a carrying strap. Being able to carry the shotguns-heavier than typical scatterguns used for field work-with a sling over a shoulder would be a welcome benefit for a turkey hunter taking a long hike to an ambush site for big toms.For the patterning tests, our ammunition included Remington Nitro Turkey 3-inch loads with 1 7/8 ounces of No. 4 lead shot and an average muzzle velocity of 1,210 fps; and Federal Premium Mag-Shok 3-inch loads with 2 ounces of No. 4 copper-plated shot and an average muzzle velocity of 1,300 fps. We also spent some familiarization time with the two shotguns at a five-stand course shooting Remington Premier STS Light Target 2.75-inch loads with 1 1/8 ounces of No. 8 shot and an average muzzle velocity of 1,145 fps. The patterning and handling performance are covered in the individual reviews of each shotgun.Heres our test report:

Turkey 12s: Browning BPS Pump Vs. Remingtons 11-87 Auto

Turkey hunting in most areas of the country is a sport that is heavy on stalking, concealment and calling to bring the big toms into effective scattergun range. All of that work can be for nothing if the shooting tool brought into play does not produce a killing pattern with the first shot or cannot provide a rapid, effective follow-up shot.Testing a semiautomatic against a pump-action provided us with an interesting opportunity to see if there was a difference in ability to take a quick follow-up shot on a wounded turkey. In our timed tests with two targets attempted with two quick shots, we found there was virtually no difference in the follow-up shooting sequence. However, as noted in the individual reviews of each shotgun, we did find a difference in patterning performance.As preliminary requirements for our turkey gun test, both shotguns had to be decked out in camouflage; both had to handle 3-inch shells; and both barrels had to accept screw-in chokes-a handy accessory for helping produce the best killing shot at normal turkey-hunting ranges.We found a good match on the used gun rack at Durys Gun Shop in San Antonio, www.durysguns.com, with an older model Remington 11-87 semiautomatic and a fairly new version of the Browning BPS pump-action. Both shotguns also featured 26-inch barrels, which seem to be favored by turkey hunters who, in some situations, have to deal with close-quarter shooting conditions.Another appreciated feature on both shotguns was sling attachments that permitted the installation of a carrying strap. Being able to carry the shotguns-heavier than typical scatterguns used for field work-with a sling over a shoulder would be a welcome benefit for a turkey hunter taking a long hike to an ambush site for big toms.For the patterning tests, our ammunition included Remington Nitro Turkey 3-inch loads with 1 7/8 ounces of No. 4 lead shot and an average muzzle velocity of 1,210 fps; and Federal Premium Mag-Shok 3-inch loads with 2 ounces of No. 4 copper-plated shot and an average muzzle velocity of 1,300 fps. We also spent some familiarization time with the two shotguns at a five-stand course shooting Remington Premier STS Light Target 2.75-inch loads with 1 1/8 ounces of No. 8 shot and an average muzzle velocity of 1,145 fps. The patterning and handling performance are covered in the individual reviews of each shotgun.Heres our test report:

12 Gauges: 870 SPS Rates an A+ Over Benelli, Mossberg Guns

Most of us with at least a little gray at the temples and a background in hunting retain in memory at least one "Long Tom" shotgun that was reputed to reduce a gallon can to window screen at 60 yards. Most had at least a 32-inch, fixed-choke barrel - some longer - and were typically described by someone with a tendency toward embellishment. True, in the dark ages of barrel manufacturing, an occasional super-tight tube did fall into public hands - and was capable of impressively tight patterns. They were pretty rare, however, hence the "Long Tom" legends.But today there are shotguns and powerful, dense space-age shotshell loads out there that can, in the right hands, consistently kill waterfowl or turkeys at 60 yards and farther.Though there are those hunters who see hammering a strutting gobbler at the length of a hockey rink as a travesty against the sport, virtually everyone nevertheless wants to have that ability.

Self-Defense Shotguns: FNs Police Handily Beats Armscor

We search the marketplace to find the best values for our readers, and in looking around, we came across CDNN Sports based in Abilene, Texas. CDNN is a gun distributor that specializes in closeouts. The public can order non-gun items directly from them, but you will need to get your local gun dealer to receive and transfer the firearms for you (usually for a $25 to $50 fee).

We logged on to CDNN's website, , and downloaded a sizable PDF catalog. In the CDNN catalog, we found three similar 12-gauge pumps listed, but one of them (a Hawk) was sold out and would not be re-stocked, so we purchased the two models that were left. The first was an an Armscor 6+1 12-gauge pump No. M30R6, $120; and the second gun was an FN Police Shotgun 12 gauge pump No. 17674 that came with an extra stock for $270.

We asked a four-person test team to run through these guns and to see if these pumps could stand up to the rigors of a Gun Tests evaluation. All in, we fired about 300 rounds of shotshells and slugs through each gun, some of them on the range but most in magazine-clearing speed shooting, the better to stress the operator and product and find out any flaws in the gun's performance. Here's what we found:

Choosing A 12-Gauge Shotgun: Three Pump-Gun Winners

Though it was close, we narrowly preferred the Winchester 1300 Defender over the Remington 870 Express Magnum and Mossberg 590A1 Persuader slide actions.

Shotguns, Slugs, Buckshot: Whats Right for Effective Self-Defense?

We test several loads in an affordable pump gun and learn when enough power is enough and when a lot of power is too much.

12-Gauge Home-Defense Shotguns: Benelli Nova Tactical Pump and the Mossberg Model 500 Pump

Despite the creative depictions released by Hollywood movie producers, most Old West sheriffs facing down outlaws would rely on a shotgun to give them a gunfight advantage.

At close range, a shotgun is simply the most effective weapon that anyone can put in their hands to defend themselves or their home. Point and shoot, rather than being concerned with maintaining a proper sight picture, gives a shotgun and its easily controlled pattern of shot a clear edge.

Toss in the fact that most shotgun loads, other than slugs, will do their self-preservation damage without passing through walls, and it is easy to see why many security officials recommend shotguns as the best home-defense firearm.

Remaining near the top of the list of recommended shotguns are pump-action firearms. As some experts relate: "The sound of a round being chambered in a pump action shotgun is one of the most chilling sounds you will ever hear.'' Even a homeowner with just a little experience on the range can be deadly with a shotgun fired across a room.

A load of bird shot produces a disabling or lethal pattern 12 to 15 inches in diameter at the typical distance of 20 feet or less, providing the home defender with a much wider range of error than with the single slug of a pistol or rifle.

Affordable 12-Gauge Pumps: How Much Is Beauty, Slickness Worth?

Wingshooters are often torn in making a choice when they go shopping for a "field gun." Our definition of such a creature is a working shotgun, one which will suffer the ignominies of hard use banging around in a canoe, leaning up against barbed wire, or getting dropped in the dirt. The tension in the decision comes from the desire to buy a gun that works and which shoots well—those two qualities are musts—but also the desire to get the most for your money.

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