Personal Protection Shotgun
So, I have a rifle and a handgun - I decided a shotgun would be the next logical addition.
A shotgun is better for protection in the home than a handgun. The main decision is which type of shotgun should I buy? We always had a wide range of scatter guns around when I was growing up so I'm comfortable with all types. A short double barrel "coach gun" has a certain nostalgic appeal and would be a reasonable and reliable choice. I really like the idea of an automatic for rapid fire and they are just plain fun but short barreled "tactical" versions are expensive. The logical choice falls to the tried and true pump action.
Growing up we always had a couple Remington 870's around. I used 870's at the range and on boardings in the Coast Guard so I'm very confident in their use so that seemed a logical choice. I found an 18.5" barrel 870 for just under $400 but while I was looking I saw a Benelli Nova Tactical on sale for $319. I've never shot a Benelli but they have a very good reputation so I checked it out. It is significantly different from the Remington 870. The Benelli Nova has a composite one piece receiver and stock assembly and is very light weight. I've never seen a shotgun built like that before, it seems strange to me but it got great reviews so I decided to pick it up. With the state sales tax and background check fee it was about $380 out the door with a $50 mfg. rebate for a net cost of about $330.
As you can see it's pretty basic. It can take 2 3/4", 3" or 3.5" magnum shells but I will stick with 2 3/4" standard 12 gage shells.
The stock is a little short for me but nothing I can't live with. I will use #4 buck, 00 buck and 7/8 oz. slugs for personal/home protection. A round or two of #4 buck will clear a hallway pretty quickly without over penetrating, 00 buck will ensure any counter attack is suppressed quickly and the slugs will take care of any threat wearing body armor (Yes, bad guys have been known to wear body armor!) or an errant bear while hiking.
As usual I can't leave anything alone so I started making modifications immediatly to suit my taste. First was removal of the magazine tube plug. All shotguns are sold with a 3 round capacity, one in the chamber and two in the magazine tube, to comply with federal regulations for waterfowl hunting. Removing the plug increased the tube capacity from 2 to 4 rounds. Next up was a magazine tube extension to increase the capacity to 7 rounds of 2 3/4" shells in the tube. I followed that with a better recoil pad and a sling. These modifications added about $100 to the cost of the weapon but I feel they make it much more suitable for my use.
Here's version 2.0:
I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out and look forward to shooting it soon.
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