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    Thread: Shotgun for camping/defense against wildlife?

    1. Member kenny301's Avatar
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      03-23-2012 12:50 PM #1
      I do a fair amount of camping in a remote area where there is plenty of wildlife including black bears. Normally I camp in the winter when they are all napping but the last few years we have been doing more trips in the spring and fall when the bears are nice and hungry.

      My Mosin isn't exactly the right tool for close quarters bear defense. So, I'd like to have a shotgun around camp.

      I really don't know a ton about shotguns but I'd like it to have a pistol grip, pump action, decent sights, some way to hold extra shells, the ability to mount a light, and hopefully under $400 not including the light. Sadly in Maryland you can't have a loaded gun in camp hence the need to keep spare shells somewhere with the shotgun. I might as well use this for home defense also so a shorter barrel would probably be best, right?

      Any suggestions on the shotgun as well as a light to hang off of it?

    2. Member Señor Peligro's Avatar
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      03-23-2012 01:02 PM #2
      Now go get your shinebox

    3. Member kenny301's Avatar
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      03-23-2012 01:16 PM #3
      Just to clarify a little bit, I'd like a shoulder stock with a pistol grip not just a pisol grip.

      I like the looks of that one though.
      Last edited by kenny301; 03-23-2012 at 01:22 PM.

    4. Member greyhare's Avatar
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      03-23-2012 01:43 PM #4
      http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...s_id/411536137

      This would work. Use the left menu on the linked site to see other possible options. Benelli, Mossberg, Remington, Winchester are reputable.

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      03-23-2012 03:32 PM #5
      Classic Arms is selling that same Mossberg cruiser for $269 which should give you enough money left over for a Knoxx or ATI adjustable stock w/ shell saddle and possibly a light. Or as others have mentioned, $400 is enough for a quality Mossberg 500, Remington 870 or Benelli Nova with a full butt-stock and pistol grip.

    6. Member kenny301's Avatar
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      03-23-2012 04:13 PM #6
      That sounds like a good option. I just wish that Mossberg sold more models with the ghost ring sights.

    7. Member Time for a GTI's Avatar
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      03-23-2012 04:53 PM #7



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    8. Member UKGTI's Avatar
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      03-23-2012 06:49 PM #8
      I know that you wanted to keep it under $400 but I just picked up a Benelli Supernova Tactical with Ghost Rings for $559 out the door. You described what I want mine for too.



      Last edited by UKGTI; 03-24-2012 at 01:33 AM.

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      03-28-2012 09:39 PM #9
      I'd recommend the remington 870. There is a good reason that it is the worlds most popular shotgun.
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    10. 03-29-2012 12:31 AM #10
      Go saiga or go home:-)
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    11. Member kenny301's Avatar
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      04-14-2012 07:59 PM #11
      I ended up going with a Mossberg 500 Persuader in 12ga with the 8 shot tube in blued finish with a bead sight. The gun shop had a 590 with the ghost ring sites, nine shot tube, etc etc but it was $580. I got the 500 for ~$370 out the door. the 500 cruiser above was a great deal but after transfer fees and shipping I wouldn't have saved anything. I can always sell the 500 and use the funds should I ever want to upgrade to the 590. However, I don't see myself needing to do that anytime soon.

      Now off to grab a light/mount and maybe a knoxx.

    12. 04-15-2012 12:44 PM #12
      The Mossberg 500 is an excellent shotgun. I got my dad one for Christmas last year with the pistol grip and just gave him an extra wood shoulder stock I had in my shop a few days ago. He loves it with the shoulder stock. The pistol grip was a bear on his wrist.

    13. Member GTI_2.0T's Avatar
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      04-15-2012 01:50 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by kenny301 View Post
      I ended up going with a Mossberg 500 Persuader in 12ga with the 8 shot tube in blued finish with a bead sight. The gun shop had a 590 with the ghost ring sites, nine shot tube, etc etc but it was $580. I got the 500 for ~$370 out the door. the 500 cruiser above was a great deal but after transfer fees and shipping I wouldn't have saved anything. I can always sell the 500 and use the funds should I ever want to upgrade to the 590. However, I don't see myself needing to do that anytime soon.

      Now off to grab a light/mount and maybe a knoxx.

      That's an incredibly high price for a 590. I picked up a 20" eight round (they don't make a nine round tube) with grs for $450 locally at Dicks.

      500 is a great shotgun though too - I have one as well. You might reconsider the Knoxx stock though, (or at least find one to try before buying). The pistol grip with full stock configuration isn't always optimal for the 500/590. It can be difficult for some to manipulate the slide release and the top mounted safety - it requires altering your strong hand grip. I have a Mesa Tactical setup on my 590 with a MIAD and a MOE stock - with the smallest backstrap, I'm able to just hit the release and I've got pretty big hands.

      This is an MOE grip with the beaver tail milled off that I had laying around, but it's fairly comparable:

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      04-15-2012 03:34 PM #14
      Here's a defense shotgun:




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      04-15-2012 08:07 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by GTI_2.0T View Post
      That's an incredibly high price for a 590. I picked up a 20" eight round (they don't make a nine round tube) with grs for $450 locally at Dicks.

      500 is a great shotgun though too - I have one as well. You might reconsider the Knoxx stock though, (or at least find one to try before buying). The pistol grip with full stock configuration isn't always optimal for the 500/590. It can be difficult for some to manipulate the slide release and the top mounted safety - it requires altering your strong hand grip. I have a Mesa Tactical setup on my 590 with a MIAD and a MOE stock - with the smallest backstrap, I'm able to just hit the release and I've got pretty big hands.

      This is an MOE grip with the beaver tail milled off that I had laying around, but it's fairly comparable:
      Correct, it was the 8+1 configuration. I believe that it was the model with the metal trigger guard (at least at a glance) and it had the speedfeed stock. After I saw the price tag I didn't even bother to take it off the wall. A friend of mine picked up a 590 just like the one in the store, but with the plastic trigger guard, for $420 at a gun show.

      My friend with the 590 has a knoxx and the first thing he mentioned was difficulty getting to the slide release with pistol grip stocks. I'll probably mess around with his a little and see how comfortable I am with it. I don't have big hands.

      Quote Originally Posted by spockcat View Post
      Here's a defense shotgun:

      Thats pretty bad ass.

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      04-27-2012 09:59 AM #16
      Shotguns are way cool, I get it.

      However, the easiest thing to do is avoid black bears, not shoot them. Black bears are all around the NC mountains, particularly near the AT. If you've got a couple people with you, put your food and smellable stuff like toothpaste and deodorant into one backpack and tie it up in a tree outside of your campsite. Done and done.

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      04-27-2012 10:06 AM #17

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      04-27-2012 04:06 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by msrothwell View Post
      Shotguns are way cool, I get it.

      However, the easiest thing to do is avoid black bears, not shoot them. Black bears are all around the NC mountains, particularly near the AT. If you've got a couple people with you, put your food and smellable stuff like toothpaste and deodorant into one backpack and tie it up in a tree outside of your campsite. Done and done.
      Every black bear I've seen was already running away by the time I had seen it. Mother and cubs are the only ones that can be dangerous and even then, they choose to avoid people. Anything that would work on deer, will work on black bears.
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    19. Member kenny301's Avatar
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      04-28-2012 12:13 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by msrothwell View Post
      Shotguns are way cool, I get it.

      However, the easiest thing to do is avoid black bears, not shoot them. Black bears are all around the NC mountains, particularly near the AT. If you've got a couple people with you, put your food and smellable stuff like toothpaste and deodorant into one backpack and tie it up in a tree outside of your campsite. Done and done.
      Quote Originally Posted by Egilbe View Post
      Every black bear I've seen was already running away by the time I had seen it. Mother and cubs are the only ones that can be dangerous and even then, they choose to avoid people. Anything that would work on deer, will work on black bears.
      I am with you guys on that. We got back from the trip a week ago and didn't have ANY animals come through the site, which is strange for that area. If a bear came close to the site the last resort would be opening fire on it.

    20. Member VDubby18's Avatar
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      04-28-2012 01:59 PM #20
      Another vote for Mossberg 500.


      Give me a 500 over an 870 any day... and yes I own an 870 Wingmaster now, and have owned them in the past.

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      04-28-2012 02:44 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by VDubby18 View Post
      Another vote for Mossberg 500.


      Give me a 500 over an 870 any day... and yes I own an 870 Wingmaster now, and have owned them in the past.

      I am of the mindset that either is good and I prefer the 870.

      But why no 870 for you?

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      04-28-2012 05:05 PM #22
      Quality has been slipping on the 870s in recent years from my understanding. With the exception of the pricey Wingmaster, for a middle of the road all purpose shotgun I'd personally go 500 over an 870 Express any day of the week....or better yet, a 590A1. That's what I'd get. They just keep running and running and running.
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    23. Member VDubby18's Avatar
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      04-29-2012 03:07 AM #23
      What he said. ^^ 870 quality has been going down. My Wingmaster is old... like made the second year the 870 was made old. Still runs like a top though.


      I also heavily prefer the lift style loader that Mossberg uses. I currently own shotguns by Browning, Remington, Winchester, Benelli, and Mossberg. Give me the Mossberg lift instead of the normal spring loaded trap door style loader any day and every day.... although I have much nicer shotguns than my 500 too.

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      04-29-2012 09:54 AM #24
      Also, I prefer the tang safety.
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      05-03-2012 05:13 AM #25
      Wouldn't a shotgun just piss a bear off? Isn't that why most bush pilots carry 500 mags?
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    26. Member kenny301's Avatar
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      05-03-2012 08:08 AM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by stupakjim View Post
      Wouldn't a shotgun just piss a bear off? Isn't that why most bush pilots carry 500 mags?
      Bush pilots deal with grizzlies, kodiaks, and polars. I only have to worry about black bears which are about half the size.

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      05-03-2012 10:33 AM #27
      What size shell and load? 3 inch mag? Buck or slug?
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    28. Member kenny301's Avatar
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      05-03-2012 10:45 AM #28
      The mossberg I have is chambered for 2 3/4" and 3". When I went camping I had 00 buck in 2 3/4" shells with me because that is all the wally world on the way out had in stock. Next time I'll probably have two 3" slugs and 3" 00 Buck in the side saddle. Chances are I'll never need it though.

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      05-03-2012 12:42 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by stupakjim View Post
      Wouldn't a shotgun just piss a bear off? Isn't that why most bush pilots carry 500 mags?
      They likely carry the .500 because it is more compact than a shot gun or rifle.

      The .500 has a lot of punch but not as much as a 3" slug or big game rifle.

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      05-03-2012 01:45 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by kenny301 View Post
      I am with you guys on that. We got back from the trip a week ago and didn't have ANY animals come through the site, which is strange for that area. If a bear came close to the site the last resort would be opening fire on it.
      I honestly wouldn't bother worrying about black bear, there are a whole myriad of other options before you would need to even consider deploying a firearm. False charges are also not uncommon and when you get down to how black bear tend to defend themselves it becomes more likely that you'll be shooting at a target running away from you. Bear spray works, you can do a lot with a can of it and being "big" and loud.
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      05-03-2012 04:57 PM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by stupakjim View Post
      What size shell and load? 3 inch mag? Buck or slug?


      I have a buddy who use to be a bush pilot up in Alaska.

      He personally carried a S&W 500 because it could easily fit in his bag. But he also has told me that a lot of people carry 12 gauges for bears. Two slugs followed by 00 buck is what the normal is for shotguns up there (with the standard 3 shell limit that you face most places).

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