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I am shopping for a general use shotgun. Mostly for home defense, but also for handgun-shotgun competition. I want something longer than an 18 inch barrel, but shorter than a 28. I've seen some rifled slug guns with a 24 inch barrel and rifle sights. This seems like a good compromise. I probably won't be hunting with it, but the situation might arise.
Are there any disadvantages to these guns?

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Get an 870 with a 21" turkey barrel. Its got screw in chokes and rifle sights, barrel length is 21". Thats what I did with mine and I can shoot anything in it I want.
 

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Mossberg makes some turkey guns too, I think with 22" barrels -- plus it's easy to get interchangeable barrels. Check for deals where you get a pair of barrels. There is a set down at a local shop where you get three different barrels: rifled and two with chokes -- a short turkey and a long field.
 

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You can always buy a hunting barrel at a later date.
 

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A rifled barrel will shoot buckshot and bird shot very poorly. A rifled barrel has no choke and the rifling will spin the shot column making it open up into a doughnut shaped pattern.

Given that the OP is going to be using it primarily for home defense and pistol-shotgun competition I would suggest finding a smooth bore gun with the barrel length you want. You can get smooth bore guns with or without rifle style sights. You can even get rifle style sights that mount to the ventilated rib of a traditional smooth bore shotgun barrel.


This is my competition shotgun, Remington 1100 with a 26 inch barrel. Williams Firesights that are clamped onto the ventilated rib. I can easily hit 5x7in plates at 50yard with it using Remington reduced recoil sluggers.

I think you will find that your pistol-shotgun competitions will require the use of foster style slugs (sometime called rifled slugs). Most 2-gun and 3-gun competitions do not allow the use of sabot slugs (used exclusively in rifled barrels) thus the rifling will have minimal use for the OP since foster slugs do not benefit greatly from being spun.

For home defense a smooth bore will give you more options. At home defense ranges a smooth bore will do just fine with foster slugs and will perform better if you choose buckshot for home defense.

Rambling
mcb
 

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Barrels are interchangeable, so just get one of the combo sets that gives you two different types of barrels, or buy the second barrel later. 18" cylinder choke smoothbore for HD use, and whatever you want for the other purpose. They do make some pretty crazy slugs for smoothbore shotguns though that can do better than 2" groups at 100yards, or something like that. Not cheap though.

BTW even an 18" barrel with the standard stock seemed a bit long for me for HD use and navigating around stairways. After I shortened it up an inch with the Knoxx Spec Ops stock (which is adjustable) it felt far more agile and good for HD use.
 

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Barrels are interchangeable, so just get one of the combo sets that gives you two different types of barrels, or buy the second barrel later. 18" cylinder choke smoothbore for HD use, and whatever you want for the other purpose. They do make some pretty crazy slugs for smoothbore shotguns though that can do better than 2" groups at 100yards, or something like that. Not cheap though.

BTW even an 18" barrel with the standard stock seemed a bit long for me for HD use and navigating around stairways. After I shortened it up an inch with the Knoxx Spec Ops stock (which is adjustable) it felt far more agile and good for HD use.
Smoothbore slugs that group under 2" at 100 yards? Show me the way, I think you meant for rifled barrels.

The Remington turkey barrels offer all that your looking for, rifle sights, 21" long and the ability to use cylinder bore chokes, all the way to super full turkey chokes, and if you want, you can put in a rifled choke for more accuracy with slugs at 100 yards.
 

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Well, since I doubt you're allowed to use slugs at your local competitions, and they're a bit unwieldy for home defense, why do you want a slug gun? Just get a smooth bore barrel around 22-26" and call it a day. If you ever want to shoot slugs, go buy a rifled barrel, or get slugs for smooth bores. You CAN shoot slugs out of them, after all.
 

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Either get rifle sights (I prefer ghost rings) or a Vent Rib barrel (I prefer with the fiber optic turkey sights on top) those are the best IMO, the turkey sights are the fastest, and the ghosts are second but a little more accurate.

Go buy a mossberg 500, with a 20" barrel with 7+1 tube underneath. It will do everything fine.

I've seen slugs unrifled that are good to 100 yards to 3.5 " but that was with a 28" barrel on a Remington 1100.
 

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What MCB said, only without the pink stock. consider the Mossberg 500, 590, or 835 with a 24 inch smooth barrel, or Remington 870.
Its actually red but the sparkling clear coat makes it look a little pink under the flash of the camera. Doesn't matter though that "pink" Rem 1100 helped me win an eight stage multi-gun match in western PA this year. I won Limited and my score would have put me third in Open.

If you think that is ugly check out my backup shotgun.



Browning BPS 3.5 inch Stalker, 26 inch barrel. It will hold 9+1 2.75in, 8+1 3in and 7+1 3.5in. Load 8 2.25oz Turkey loads in there and you have added over a pound of lead to the gun. :D

rambling
mcb
 

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Smoothbore slugs that group under 2" at 100 yards? Show me the way, I think you meant for rifled barrels.
You know, I think you're right. Forget what I said about groupings like that with a smoothbore. It was some crazy new slug from Remington I think. A few dollars per shot. Had some sort of ballistic tip on it, but other than that I can't remember anything about it.
 
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