Cheap, Light Ugly Shotgun

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Louis
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Cheap, Light Ugly Shotgun

#1 Post by Louis » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:15 pm

I'm looking for a shotgun to carry on a potential trip through the Yukon Territory this coming summer. My handgun wouldn't be welcome there so I'm thinking of a short pump 12 GA in case anything large and furry wants to hurt us. I saw some really lo low cost pump shotguns, like H&R, Stevens and Dickerson. Any thoughts on those? An Ithaca Featherlight would be nice but might not be cheap and ugly enough for a beat around gun. I'm leaning toward either a Rem. 870 or Mossberg 500, since it sounds like both of those have easily changeable barrels so the same gun could be used for trap shooting and bird hunting. I was surprised to see that Canada allows shorter shotgun barrels than the US.

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Re: Cheap, Light Ugly Shotgun

#2 Post by senorgrand » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:19 pm

500's are a bit lighter than 870s b/c of the alloy receiver. The safety placment is better IMHO.
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Re: Cheap, Light Ugly Shotgun

#3 Post by Marlene » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:43 pm

It doesn't have the flexibility for other kinds of shooting, but for big furry things, I'd go another way.

Find yourself a Marlin lever gun in 45-70 or 444 Marlin. There are short handy models available. Pick one up used, take it on the trip, and sell it after the trip if you like. If there's no major damage to the gun, you'll break even or come close to it. Spend the money on a shotgun after the trip. Ithaca 37s can be had reasonably used. They're my favorite pump by far.
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Re: Cheap, Light Ugly Shotgun

#4 Post by Bisbee » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:02 pm

I have owned the H&R Pardner and know the Chinese 870 knockoffs are reliable but very heavy. Seems like they're made from recycled tank parts. Much heavier than the actual Remington 870 which I currently own. I also agree the Mossberg 500 is lighter and possibly easier to carry.
If shooting from the hip you may consider just a pistol grip to save on size. But I would probably opt for an actual butt-stock for real shoot-ability. I agree you should stick with 12ga even if you find a used 20ga for a good price.
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Re: Cheap, Light Ugly Shotgun

#5 Post by polymath » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:38 pm

What about the Mossberg 590 Shockwave? Doesn't get a lot smaller than that for a shotgun, and they're pretty inexpensive (under 4400). I don't know if it would be legal in Canada, though.

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Re: Cheap, Light Ugly Shotgun

#6 Post by Bisbee » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:11 pm

I've never shot one but they certainly look sexy, like a Las Vegas stripper... Looks like trouble.

They are apparently legal in Canada based on my google-fu.
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Re: Cheap, Light Ugly Shotgun

#7 Post by Marlene » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:05 pm

If it’s gotta be a shotgun and not a rifle, an auto rather than a pump would be a good idea. I sure would hate to short stroke the slide on the second shot when a grizzly or a wolverine is still coming for me.
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Re: Cheap, Light Ugly Shotgun

#8 Post by TrueTexan » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:22 pm

I have the Shockwave and my 500 is at my sons house. I would not want to shoot the Shockwave with ammo that would stop a big brown bear more than once. My 500 also has the pistol grip but it also has a folding stock that makes it more compact.i think that would be a better choice.
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Re: Cheap, Light Ugly Shotgun

#9 Post by Louis » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:35 pm

Thanks, folks! Great suggestions all. The Mossberg 500 sounds like the best all around choice at this point. I would tend towards the conventional shoulder stock over the pistol grip, but like TrueTexan mentioned I believe the 500 is available with both stock and pistol grip. The pistol grip (no buttstock) would probably be much handier for carrying on a hiking trip but would be somewhat inferior if you actually had to shoot it in earnest.

Marlene, the lever gun is certainly food for thought. I've looked at some of the short Marlin types. They make a takedown version in Anchorage called a "Copilot". Really compact handy rig but definitely would not meet the "cheap" requirement. If I found the right deal on a 45/70 Marlin I can't say I wouldn't jump on it. I love lever action rifles. I'd have a whole room full of them if I had the means! Right now I just have a Savage 99 and a Winchester 92.

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