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Savage/Stevens 320 shotguns for home defense - UPDATE: purchase made (not those) Login/Join 
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And advantages/disadvantages of full pistol grips over standard, and rifle sights (I can't tell from the pictures whether open or peep) over a plain front bead. This shotgun, if used "for real" at all, would most likely be used at 12-15 feet (the width of a room), but longer ranges, say 100 feet (across the street), are possible. I do also have an AR rifle.

12-gauge, full pistol grip, rifle sights, heat shield

12-gauge, pistol grip, front bead

12-gauge, standard grip, rifle sights

12-gauge, standard grip, front bead

20-gauge, full pistol grip, rifle sights 20-gauge seems a little unusual for this kind of shotgun. But a 20 ought to be effective at close range, and there would be less recoil, so it isn't off the table.

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Posts: 25140 | Location: Johnson City/Elizabethton, TN | Registered: April 28, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My coworker has the one from the 2nd link.

Recoil is stout compared to my Browning BPS.

Surprisingly, he did pretty well on clays with it, from a manual hand tosser & on a local sporting clays course.




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Posts: 10016 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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#4 is all you need.
 
Posts: 6358 | Registered: August 25, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Pistol grip a snag in close quarters seems unnecessary. Shotgun fired in a room sounds like permanent hearing damage. Not sure of any benefit over a 9mm with a can on the front.


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Posts: 916 | Registered: June 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Personally, I prefer a standard stock sans-pistol grip on a shotgun, but YMMV. Pistol grips hurt. They do have some value add for weapons retention and tactical loading, but I can load just fine with a standard stock, and the pistol grip creates some storing/mounting issues as well. Like Texas Bob, I like #4, or maybe #3 if you plan to use it for deer hunting or anything long range.

I've shot 20 gauges, and didn't find the recoil to be significantly less than the 12...at least not enough to make a difference in shootability. IMO the larger amount of shot and wider range of ammo availability makes the 12 a better choice. I'd at least try guns in both before making that decision, as YMMV.

I didn't know anything about the Stevens 320, so I did a little research. Looks like a Winchester 1300 clone. It's made in China, and has an alloy receiver. I personally prefer steel, but alloy isn't the end of the world so long as it's done right...Mossburg uses aluminium alloy for the 500 receiver, and those are good guns.

There have been a ton of these import shotguns hitting the market lately. My LGS is flooded with Turkish made Benelli copies, both pumps and semis. The price point is attractive, but the quality is unproven.

I took a shotgun armorer class last year. The guy who put it on didn't work for any of the manufacturers, so his opinion was independent, and he wasn't afraid to share it. We covered the 870, Mossburg 500, and Benelli actions, and briefly touched on the 1100/1187. He told us that he had a student bring a Chinese 870 clone to class at one point, and the gun was worn out after just a few hundred rounds. According to him the heat treating on the receiver and action bars was improper, resulting in extreme premature wear. The gun basically beat itself to death, was worn well out of spec, and was unsalvageable.

My son was looking for a shotgun earlier this year, and we opted to get him a used 870 that needed a little work (needed a new trigger and safety because some fudd had monkeyed with them). For $250 plus about $20 worth of parts, I feel like he ended up with a better gun that he would have with one of the new imports.
 
Posts: 5032 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It's made in China …

I thought those prices seemed awfully low. Really, my first choice was the Mossberg 590 even though it would cost more, but I can't find any locally right now. Fortunately, I'm not in a hurry.
 
Posts: 25140 | Location: Johnson City/Elizabethton, TN | Registered: April 28, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had a 320 for awhile. They're decent shotguns, I never had any issues.
I've never liked pistol grips on a shotgun, I just couldn't find any advantage to them.
The biggest issue I have with practically all the fixed stock self defense shotguns sold is the length of pull.
A shotgun for the home needs to be one that's fast to deploy and maneuverable in tight quarters. But for some reason they're all sold with the exact same stock as the gun intended for hunting. That length of pull makes the gun too long to be maneuverable and too slow to shoulder.
They're are shorter aftermarket stocks but they're practically all made for 870's and 500's.
I have a Winchester Defender. Same rotary bolt that the Savage has but the quality was a little better and the stock was shorter.
I'd go with option 4, its all you need.


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Posts: 3099 | Location: TX | Registered: October 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by egregore:
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It's made in China …

I thought those prices seemed awfully low. Really, my first choice was the Mossberg 590 even though it would cost more, but I can't find any locally right now. Fortunately, I'm not in a hurry.


I bought the 590 about a month ago and I'm very pleased.
Ran a box of #00 buckshot through it and it performed well.


I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I'm not.
 
Posts: 2907 | Location: The armpit of Ohio | Registered: August 18, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I didn't realize the Savage was Chinese either. On that count alone I'd hold out for the Mossberg, they're good guns.

As to your options, for HD you don't need fancy sights, the standard bead works fine. You do need to practice with it a bit (AND do some patterning to find out what load you want to use), but that's true for any gun.

Pistol grip is a personal thing, some people like them and others don't. Try both if you can manage it before you decide. Maybe friends can help you out there.

I'd stick with the 12ga. More (and more potent) ammo options, and add-ons (side saddle, etc., if you're interested) are generally easier to find for 12ga guns. Mossberg and Remington tend to have more aftermarket goodies available for them than other brands do.
 
Posts: 6455 | Location: Portland, OR | Registered: February 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I went to a gun show today and found a Mossberg 590, so I snagged it, along with some Nobel Sport Italia 00 buckshot. Smile Unusually for 2¾" 12-gauge, it has 12 pellets. That with 1290 claimed fps sounds pretty stout.

I was briefly tempted by a Seecamp .32 that the same vendor also had. It won't really do anything that a LCP won't, and ammo (requires 60 or 65-grain hollowpoints) is hard to find for it, but I have always admired them. They also had a .380 version, but that strikes me as being very unpleasant, even painful, to shoot. Maybe some other time.
 
Posts: 25140 | Location: Johnson City/Elizabethton, TN | Registered: April 28, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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