Change barrel or change gun
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:54 PM   #1
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Default Change barrel or change gun

I have a Mossberg 835 with a long barrel. I do not hunt so my main reason for owning this gun is for a home defense weapon. It was a gift so I did not pick it out for this purpose. I am considering either getting a shorter barrel for it or trading it on 20 gauge with a short barrel.

The recoil on it is pretty stout but I can handle it but I would like for my wife to be comfortable shooting it too so I am leaning towards the 20.

Any sage advice from the shotgun gurus on here?

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Old 11-18-2010, 12:05 AM   #2
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I recently picked up a cheap Remington 870 Express 20 gauge pump that has a 28 inch barrel. I did some looking on Gunbroker and I found a new 18 1/2 inch parkerized barrel - with Rem-Choke - for $85. Now I have a dual use shotgun and I have about $250 tied up in the package. With careful load selection you can get a 20 gauge to shoot pretty "soft" if necessary...

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Old 11-18-2010, 04:00 AM   #3
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Have a decent gunsmith cut yours down and remove the forcing cone and you will find it kicks less.

My partner uses an 870 that Vang did the work on, and he had the barrel ported too. It is not too bright at night (the flash) and helps tame more recoil.

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Old 11-18-2010, 04:02 AM   #4
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Why not keep the 835 and find a used in good condition 20 ga? Look around for an NEF or H&R in 20, not the single shots, but the pumps. You can also find used Mossy 500A's in 20 ga for around $175 and short barrels are not very expensive if you go the way NGIB did. When looking for barrels, look for a shorter barrel for the 835 at the same time. With just a bit of leg work, you can have 2 shottys with not much invested. One for you and one for the Mrs.

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Old 11-18-2010, 11:32 AM   #5
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I have not shot it a lot. I have tried two types of shells for it. 3" magnum, which kick like a mule, and some "game" loads from Wal Mart. The game loads do not kick nearly as bad but I wonder how effective they would be for home defense.

The magnum loads seem like they would cut someone in half. After shooting about eight of them I had a bruise on my shoulder in the shape of the stock. Aside from the pain it was a lot of fun to shoot though. I shoot milk jugs and 2 liter bottles filled with water a lot of times when shooting my handguns and it was really fun to see what a magnum shell does to a milk jug from about twenty feet.

Any thoughts on shells I could use in it that would be effective for home defense but not dislocate my wife's shoulder?

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Old 11-18-2010, 02:23 PM   #6
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I think you can get reduced-recoil buckshot loads -- I'd look for that in anything between #4 and 00 buckshot for home defense loads with reduced kick.

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