I have an old-school Remington 870 Police Magnum that I've kept for HD for quite a few years. It's actually the first firearm I ever purchased. It's a plain jane blued 18" barrel with bead sight, factory +2 mag extension and walnut furniture. It's like new. I shot a few rounds of skeet with it to get used to it, then relegated it to an HD role once I migrated to a Beretta 3901 for skeet. I do practice with it now and then to keep up my skills, but I get concerned about being rusty with it's manual of arms during a social situation.
So I have a choice. Do I upgrade my 870 with a light (e.g. Surefire DSF-870), Magpul stock, better sights, side saddle and VangComp safety... or do I get rid of it all together and go with a new modern semi-auto like the Beretta 1301 or Benelli M2 (the 11029 model specifically). I figure I can get a good selling price for it since these a pretty rare these days.
I'd first like your feedback on which direction you'd recommend I choose in my situation. And secondly, what are the best ways of setting up the Beretta 1301 and Benelli M2 for HD (light, side saddle, etc)? What are the common ways of setting them up?
I do like the much lighter weight of the Beretta/Benelli. I'd consider that a maneuverability advantage over the heavier 870, especially since my wife may need to use it. I've even considered doing with only a +1 mag extension on the 870 to save weight at the end of the barrel. I've never held a 1301. Also, since all my other firearms are semi-auto it does make sense to go that route. Of course, it's an old-school Remington 870 Police Magnum that cannot be replaced. It was built right.
So... I appreciate any help you can provide. Thanks for your time.
|The Unknown |
I know the new ones (semis) are supposed to be uber reliable, but I never have a question if my 870 will cycle the action.
Probably too many cop shows growing up, but I still have a soft spot for the old-school pump guns.
I have two M2s, fine guns no doubt.
I would still have to vote just sprucing up(if desired) your perfectly good 870. Those older 870s are fine, smooth guns.
I also think a flashlight gets used much more around the house than a firearm. For that reason I'm not high on the need for a weapon mounted light. Yes, a few flashlights around is nice, I'm not against it if the next guy wants a mounted light.
BTW, get Rover off his doggy bed, he should be the 1st line with home defense.
As far as the manual of arms; I've used an 870 for so long that I don't even think about cycling the action. it just seems to happen.
|Bone 4 Tuna|
Send it off to your favorite customizer - Wilson, Nighthawk, Robar, et al.
I really like Wilson's Track Lock sights.
It's hard to challenge the reliability of a quality pump with any and all ammunition.
An unarmed man can only flee from evil and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it. - Col Jeff Cooper
NRA Life Member
Long Live the Super Thirty-Eight
Keying in on that. Having my wife shoot a 12 and a 20 gauge 870. Absolutely no way a 12 gauge is good choice for her, she's 5', 120lbs. Firmly believe any HD weapon should be sized to the smallest person who potentially will use it. She's also shot my neighbors Benelli M1 Super 90 12 gauge, LOP way too long for her, no way she can properly shoulder it.
Bought a older 20 gauge 870 Wingmaster, very smooth action. The older 20 gauges where built on 12 gauge frames. Any 12 gauge stock, extension tube...will fit on it. Put a Magpul stock set on it with the shortest LOP and a one round extension. I cut the non-rib barrel to 18 1/2" added a XS Big dot front sight.
I also considered a Benelli M2 Youth 20 Gauge and adding a Nordic 4rd mag extension. Cut the barrel to match the mag extension length....
They don't grow on trees any more. Leave it as-is, sell it if you want or keep it, and pick up the semi-auto you seem to want.
I would look at doing the Wilson Combat Remington Steal package. And use the Knoxx Spec Ops Stock. It tamed the recoil on mine and it has a shorter LOP. The work they do on the 870 makes it hard to believe it started out as an 870. I like mine so much I had been looking for another used 870 to do the Rem Steal package with the Armor Tuff coating on it as well for a hunting setup.
Me, too, since the early seventies.
And I got all excited and shortshucked my 870 during a bowling pin match last month.
The funny thing: I got it cleared and knocked my last pin off the table before my opponent could clear his shortshucked pumpgun.
Haven t had that problem with the M2.
“If someone isn’t a républicain (referencing the French Revolution that deposed King Louis XVI) at age 20 one must doubt their generosity, but if after age 30 they still are, one must doubt their sanity.” --- Anselm Batbie
I see more short stroked pump shotguns than I see jammed M2s.
It's probably impossible to replicate the stress of a home defense scenario, but competition does add some adrenaline to the equation and people trying to go fast sometimes will short stroke their shotgun.
If your wife may be doing the shooting, consider a lightweight AR15. Superior HD weapon to the shotgun, much lighter and easier for a woman to manipulate.
Keep the barrel profile lightweight, preferably pencil contour for a light HD weapon.
|That rug really tied |
the room together.
It's very hard to use a handheld flashlight with a pump shotgun. Not impossible, but pretty hard. I've trained extensively in this arena, enough to say that every single weapon a person uses for home defense should absolutely have a weapon mounted light on it.
Nothing precludes you from also having a handheld light on the nightstand for administrative tasks, but a proper weapon mounted light will never be misplaced and will always be there for you. In a home defense situation you might find that you really really needed a light, but didn't have one. Better to have and not need, than need and not have.
You don't HAVE to use a weapon mounted light, but it's a very nice thing to have. Mandatory in my house, and importance drilled into the head of anyone I train.
Often times a very small man can cast a very large shadow
Another vote for "Clean up the 870." I am admittedly biased, but it's bias born of 30 years of playing with 870s.
Here's my personal shotgun:
...which is set up to "mirror" my work shotgun, the same thing in 14". Wilson +2 (+1 in the work gun) and a recent upgrade to a DSF-870 Surefire light, XS big dot front bead, Vickers sling, 6-round side saddle.
User-induced stoppages (short-stroking, mostly) are almost always curable with minimal training. You can't baby these guns, period. Work 'em like you're mad at them.
I've trained hundreds of LE trainees on these, including a good number of small-statured young women. With smaller shooters (think Ms. Offgrid, above) we've gone to short Hogue stocks. With REALLY small shooters, a Knoxx stock usually can collapse far enough to work. Add reduced-recoil buckshot to the mix and it's manageable by most anyone, again, with minimal training.
(That's a short stock on mine, even though I don't need it for ergonomics.)
With bubbatime on lights: you can work without them, but life's a lot easier with them. You can be perfectly functional with a forend-mounted light (think Magoul forend with a reasonably solid LED light mounted) for significantly less than the cost of a Surefire DSF or similar.
T here's a place for both, an 870 does not need much. Buy the M2 and keep the 870 stock or maybe just add better sights or stock.
Let me know if you replace the wood, I have been looking for a wood police set for my 870
First gun. Keep it as is.
Glock Certified Armorer
NRA Certified Firearms Instructor
Leave the 870 as is. Then buy a Benelli SuperNova Tactical.
I love mine.
End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
Keep the 870.
Look for a Benelli 121 M1.
It's a shame that youth is wasted on the young --- Mark Twain
Anyone who is not a liberal by age 20 has no heart; anyone who is not a conservative by age 40 has no brain---Winston Churchill
I just thought this was interesting.
Even pump guns can malfunction:
The Remington Wingmaster and Police 870s are quite simply the best pumps built. They share this distinction with the Winchester M12 and 97, only problem is the M12s are simply too valuable to use for defense if they are in really good condition and the 97s tend to be really stiff acting for the first century or so.
If you have a good 870P or Wingmaster, make the most of it. It is easy to spend what you paid for the weapon in "improvements", but if carefully selected and properly done you will wind up with a timeless workhorse, with no gas taps, recoil springs, or such to worry about. Yeah you can short stroke one, but that just means you did not train properly or enough. Once a year, using low recoil buck/slugs and trying to break the gun by racking it too hard will do the trick.
I'm and old school LEO who originally trained and packed an 1897. I do have a couple of semis, but for serious social discourse reach for my pump gun-I know it is going to do its part if I do mine. And I still work in a field where the smell of powder is not all that infrequent.
I'm not really a shotgun guy but I picked up a takedown 1897 and fell in love. You can grab one on GB for cheap (175-250 range) if you look around and they have some very nice features. Mine is over 100 so its broken in I guess. An additional bonus is for travel, we stayed in a cabin a week ago and I broke it down and kept it in a backpack. It was nice having 7 rounds of emergency bear medicine ready to go with a quarter turn and twist of a mag tube. Home isnt always at home so its something to think about. You cant take down any of those other shotguns listed in the same way. I vote for an 1897 Winchester. If that doesnt do it I'd vote for a magfed rifle.
|Good, bad, I'm the |
guy with the gun
If you can afford it, buy a Benelli M2 Tactical. That is what replaced my Remington 870P Max as the house shotgun. I lucked out and found a NIB one on gunbroker for $960 shipped. I added a Dave's Metalworks extended mag tube, a Taran Tactical jumbo head safety and stainless shell carrier to mine. It shoots like a dream and feeds any ammo I put into it.
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