All of the H&Rs are good guns. I don't have any of their shotguns, but have 7 of their single shot rifles and have never had a problem with any of them. Shotgun is great for a HD gun. I would not hesitate to buy the Pardner. Don't know what your friend's price point is, but you might want to take a look at the Mossberg Maverick pump. You can buy it around here for under $200 most all the time.