Speaking of looking for a home defense shotgun I too am having difficulties on what I should get. You see, for the past few years it has become sort of a tradition for my parents to get me something firearm related for Christmas as a gift. This year, I had expressed interest in a home defense/recreational shotgun that I could use. I have tried out numerous different platforms but I just received word that my parents are on a set limit in price. The maximum they are willing to pay is $500. This doesn't seem too bad at first, but I'm cross dominant and shoot all of my rifles left handed and the shotgun that fit me the best was an Ithaca Model 37 Defense Trenchgun that I found at Cabela's for $649 NIB. With that being well over the asking price of what my parents are willing to pay I have since tried out other platforms and narrowed them down, but I can't decide which one to go with. Perhaps some insight from you guys will be useful in helping me make a choice. Here are the choices that I am currently at a crossroads with:
Remington 870 Express Tactical #81198
I really like the Remington 870 in that it feels like a natural pointer for me and the fact that it has a plethora of aftermarket parts for it to allow for the maximum in customization. However, there are two things that are holding me back on wanting to choose this shotgun. For starters, from everything I have read (from multiple forums, review sites, and the like) the newest line of Express model shotguns are suffering from QC issues and at times require a little more tinkering out of the box to get it up to snuff. Normally I wouldn't have a problem with this if it was a rifle or pistol, but this would be my first shotgun I would own and I don't feel comfortable having to do a Kel-Tec inspired fluff and buff to get what should be a trusted brand and model up to snuff.
The second thing that is holding me back is the placement of the safety and slide release. Considering that I shoot left handed it is difficult for me to operate both controls with one hand. Granted the Ithaca 37 that I love is similar in design, but the crossbolt safety is extended out and the slide release is on top of the front of trigger guard rather than ahead of the trigger guard. As such, it is much easier for me to manipulate the controls with one hand with the Ithaca 37 over the Remington 870. Gratned I could simplfy this issue with some time and training, but I just don't like how cumbersome it feels at times.
Mossberg 590A1 #51517
I really love the weight and balance of the Mossberg 590A1, and absolutely enjoy the fact that the controls are lefty friendly. However, there are a couple of things just like with the Remington 870 that are holding me back on it. For starters, I hate the pointability with Mossberg shotguns in general. I don't know if it is the length of pull or what, but it just bothers me for some reason. The only model that I feel comfortable with is the 590A1 due to the ghost ring sights, but the shotgun still feels long and cumbersome to me at times (even with a shorter stock). The second issue is that I don't like that I have fewer aftermarket options to go with compared to the Remington 870.
Granted, Mossbergs have plenty of aftermarket parts, but they just don't seem as impressive to me compared to the support that the 870 gets. I guess you could say I just like to have more options. Not only that, but if I went out on a limb a got a pistol grip stock, despite not being a huge fan of them, the placement of the safety could make the functionality in control an issue. I also don't like the fact that the 590A1 requires a few extra steps to disassemble for cleaning, but I consider it a non-issue considering that I have other firearms that can be just as much (if not more so) a pain in the butt to break down and clean.
Weatherby PA-459 Digital TR
I liked the feel for this shotgun overall, even though I'm not a huge fan of pistol grip stocks, but there are a few things that bothered me about it as well. Mainly, the stock itself was a bit too rubbery with it's surface and being that it is a shotgun from Turkey and fairly new to the market in the States, the options to modify the shotgun are pretty much non existant should I choose to do so.
I would also like to point out that all the various foreign made shotguns that I tried including Tristar, Escort, Steven, etc suffer pretty much for the same issues as the Weatherby. I am not going to add Benelli to the list because even though I like the Nova/Super Nova series I do not like the fact that it's mostly polymer and that I have to change out several parts just to keep the thing 922R compliant should I choose to modify the shotgun.
Overall, I really want the Ithaca, but that seems to be a no go for me. As such, it seems I'm pretty much dead set with the two main choices that I listed above (along with the Weatherby). Any advice on the matter would be greatly appreciated. ^_^
"Surpress all compassion and you bear a weapon far greater than any held in the hand." - The Psychology of the Assassin