Home Shotguns Shotguns-pump-20

Shotguns-pump-20

Choosing a 20-Gauge Pump: Remington Edges Mossberg

For home defense, the focus is usually on 12-gauge shotguns, but we recently tested two 20 gauges that for many-if not all-folks would be better choices because of their lighter weight and reduced recoil. Our test products this round were the Remington Model 870 Express Pump Synthetic 7-Round 3-Inch 20 Gauge No. 81100, $397; and the Mossberg 500 Persuader/Cruiser 3-Inch 20 Gauge 6-shot No. 50452, $388.Both guns were matte-black synthetic-stock pumps with 3-inch chambers, with 18- or 18.5-inch barrels and weights between 5.1 (Mossberg) and 6.5 pounds (Remington).Not to spoil the surprise, we liked both of these 20 gauges a lot, and we would buy either one of them. In particular, for those shooters who already own an Express or Persuader 12 gauge for hunting or other uses, wed recommend staying with your "house" brand and buy the 20 gauge youre already familiar with. The reason many shooters should prefer these 20s for home defense over a bigger 12 gauge is that theyre noticeably lighter than the 12s. In the September 2005 issue, we tested the Remington Model 870 Express Synthetic 12 Gauge Magnum No. 25077, $345, which weighed 7.25 pounds, and the Mossberg Persuader Model 590A1 12 Gauge Magnum No. 51411, $443, which weighed 6.9 pounds. The 20s we tested weigh three-quarters of a pound to nearly 2 pounds less, respectively, than their counterpart 12s, which make them better choices for women or teenagers who might want to shoot them, but they dont give up much in terms of hall-clearing power or capacity.To function-test these pump guns, we took a trip to the tactical range and fed them a diet of common 20-gauge loads. Our test rounds were Remingtons ShurShot Heavy Dove 20 Ga. R20HD-S 2.75-in. 2.5 Dr. Eq. 1 oz. No. 8s; Sellier & Bellot 20 Ga. Field Load 2.75-in. 2.75 Dr. Eq. 1 oz. No. 8s, and Remington Premier STS Steel Light Target Load 20 Ga. STS20LS7 2.75-in. 2.5 Dr. Eq. 7/8 oz. No. 7s. At the firing line, both guns functioned properly, and we recorded no failures to fire or stoppages of any sort, though we had some trouble loading the Mossberg, which we detail below. In terms of materials, the Mossberg had an aluminum-alloy receiver that really cut its weight, while the Remingtons was steel. Both had alloy trigger guards, and the safety button for the Remington was steel while the Mossbergs was plastic. We like the Remingtons use of a steel receiver and buttons and metal trigger guard.Both guns have only the most rudimentary sights, which is fine for how they will probably be used, with shotshells. At close quarters, either shotgun would be an effective self-defense choice. Firing at 10 yards, we shot coffee-saucer-size patterns. However, the Remington holds six in the magazine and the Mossberg five, and that extra round might be the tiebreaker for some owners, as it was for us.After the bang-bang section was complete, we moved on to other areas of function to separate them and call a winner. Heres what we found out:

20-Gauge Semis: Beretta Ekes Out Win in Competition Clash

There are two sides to the competitive shooting coin—one side is the challenge of being the best you can be and the other side is just being able to have a little fun. Picking the right shooting tool to handle both sides of this coin has become a lot easier with the availability of a good number of quality, fine-handling 20-gauge semiautomatics. These small gauge shotguns provide the shooter with a lighter, quicker target-busting tool that also carries the freight in the field during bird-hunting sessions.

For our field test, we selected three 20-gauge semiautomatics for a clay-crunching challenge that pitted a trio of Italian-made shotguns in a head to head to head battle. The three shotguns we collected from Dury's Gun Shop in San Antonio were the Benelli Super Sport, $1,700; the Benelli Cordoba, $1,500; and the Beretta AL 391 Urika, $1,350. All prices reflect Dury's asking price at the time of our test.

As noted, all of the shotguns are made in Italy and all of them have very similar dimensions, although both the Benelli shotguns featured synthetic stocks and forearms while the Beretta offered the more traditional satin-finished walnut stock and forearm. With all sporting 28-inch ported barrels to help reduce recoil and with little difference in weight and overall length, our test team placed increased emphasis on function and handling ability—and also factoring in the price tags as another ledger entry.

Our test ammunition for the trio included Estate Super Sport Competition Target 2.75-inch, 2.5-dram-equivalent shells in No. 7 1/2 shot (muzzle velocity 1200 fps); and Winchester AA Super Sport Sporting Clays 2.75-inch, 2.5-dram-equivalent shells in No. 7 1/2 shot (muzzle velocity 1300 fps). We patterned each of the shotguns with both types of ammunition, using Improved Cylinder chokes when firing at paper set up 25 yards downrange.

The Beretta produced the best pattern, a 50-50 spread with half of the hits above the center and half below. Patterns were 60-40 (more hits below the center than above the center) with both of the Benelli shotguns. The Super Sport was also patterned slightly to the left. While all the patterns were acceptable for both clays and birds, the Beretta scored the first victory in our testing with its paper punching performance.

Here are the rest of our test results:

20-Gauge Semis: Beretta Ekes Out Win in Competition Clash

There are two sides to the competitive shooting coin—one side is the challenge of being the best you can be and the other side is just being able to have a little fun. Picking the right shooting tool to handle both sides of this coin has become a lot easier with the availability of a good number of quality, fine-handling 20-gauge semiautomatics. These small gauge shotguns provide the shooter with a lighter, quicker target-busting tool that also carries the freight in the field during bird-hunting sessions.

For our field test, we selected three 20-gauge semiautomatics for a clay-crunching challenge that pitted a trio of Italian-made shotguns in a head to head to head battle. The three shotguns we collected from Dury's Gun Shop in San Antonio were the Benelli Super Sport, $1,700; the Benelli Cordoba, $1,500; and the Beretta AL 391 Urika, $1,350. All prices reflect Dury's asking price at the time of our test.

As noted, all of the shotguns are made in Italy and all of them have very similar dimensions, although both the Benelli shotguns featured synthetic stocks and forearms while the Beretta offered the more traditional satin-finished walnut stock and forearm. With all sporting 28-inch ported barrels to help reduce recoil and with little difference in weight and overall length, our test team placed increased emphasis on function and handling ability—and also factoring in the price tags as another ledger entry.

Our test ammunition for the trio included Estate Super Sport Competition Target 2.75-inch, 2.5-dram-equivalent shells in No. 7 1/2 shot (muzzle velocity 1200 fps); and Winchester AA Super Sport Sporting Clays 2.75-inch, 2.5-dram-equivalent shells in No. 7 1/2 shot (muzzle velocity 1300 fps). We patterned each of the shotguns with both types of ammunition, using Improved Cylinder chokes when firing at paper set up 25 yards downrange.

The Beretta produced the best pattern, a 50-50 spread with half of the hits above the center and half below. Patterns were 60-40 (more hits below the center than above the center) with both of the Benelli shotguns. The Super Sport was also patterned slightly to the left. While all the patterns were acceptable for both clays and birds, the Beretta scored the first victory in our testing with its paper punching performance.

Here are the rest of our test results:

20-Gauge Youth Shotguns: Are They Effective For Self Defense?

We wanted to know if these smaller, lighter guns were suitable for home protection. Tested: Winchester's Ranger Compact, Remington's 870 Youth Express, and the Mossberg Bantam.

Remington 870 Express Tops Other 20 Gauge Combo Shotguns

The 12-gauge shotgun is overwhelmingly popular with American shooters, but the 20-gauge shotgun is also an effective hunting tool when it is used properly. Although we have tested several standard shotguns in this gauge, this is our first evaluation involving 20-gauge slugs.

Ammunition of this kind is available with a rifled or a sabot slug that weighs either 5/8-ounce (275 grains) or 3/4-ounce (328 grains). The lighter slugs are loaded to a muzzle velocity of around 1,450 feet per second for a muzzle energy of 1,285 foot pounds. The heavier slugs are good for around 1,600 feet per second and 1,866 foot pounds. In contrast, a 12-gauge 1-ounce slug with a velocity of 1,600 feet per second...

Magnum Pump-Gun Matchup: Benelli, Mossberg Go At It

Wanted: A simple, all-purpose pump shotgun for hunting upland game and waterfowl. Must be low-maintenance, tough, attractive, handy, inexpensive, and reliable. Serious inquiries only, please

Cut The Fat, Not The Meat

At this magazine, we do something that a lot of other magazines and websites do — recommend firearms that our readers might like to...