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Best Model for Flexibility


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I am about to purchase a shotgun for recreational use and I am trying to decide on the model with the most flexibility. I am looking to buy one shotgun and want one of the best around.


The primary purpose will be for recreational trap and skeet and target shooting. However I also want to have a shotgun that will serve well as a home defense weapon. I am looking at purchasing a high quality firearm and thats why I am wanting a Benelli. I prefer a pistol grip shotgun and have found benelli's to be the most comfortable. I am also looking for the most flexibility and options in a gun to serve the variety of purposes. Its possible in the future I might get into hunting with the shotgun so I am wanting to keep that flexibility if possible.


I am seriously considering the M1 tactical with the 18.5" barrel and the Ghost ring sights. I noticed that it appears the reciever is the same a the M1 field. Will this allow the rifled barrels to be installed or a longer 26" barrel?


Thanks for the advice in helping me to select the shotgun.

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XtremeDBF - what you're asking is that one gun excel at everything in an industry that produces and concentrates their efforts to individual situations ... this is why there are soo many different models available through the spectrum.


you need to do some research!!!


If the primary purpose of this gun is going to be shooting clays as you stated. Then looking at a pistol gripped gun with an 18" barrel with ghost ring sights is drug related!!


If you look into the shootiong sports you mentioned, 99.9% of the guns consist of automatics and O/U's dressed with 28" - 30" ported barrels (some wearing 32") riding on a design built specifically for this purpose. Emphasizing balance, feel, and comfort to aid in split second target accusition and prolonged shooting situations as the clay sports offer.


Now I'm no self-defense guru but, from what I do know and understand these guns are typically elongated bulky pistols carrying more crap on them than needed... my personal opinion of course!


Since I have a hard time understanding where any scatter gun used in the confines of a home with the usual room size under 8 yrds in any direction but, more along the lines of 6 yards or less needs any sort of sighting system ... and unless you're trained for moving through a house with a 10lb yard stick shouldered or have forseen yourself in the next action thriller, this will probably be a detriment rather than an advantage.


My opinion is stick with an automatic pistol for home defense... tried and true Glocks and 1911 models with a practical chambering that you can handle easily or Berettas 92/96 models - 9mm & 40 S&W respectively.


Think about what you're actually going to be doing with your shotgun ... you mention shooting sports to be your primary objective and reason for this purchase...so look at buying a sport model. Although any of them will serve the purpose besides a factory set-up SBE if your shooting sub 1oz. loads ... some are set up differently and may 'fit' you better.


You are going to have to be the judge of this. There isn't an auto that Benelli makes that won't fill the bill .. just some that will do it better .. the one's that fit.


for what it's worth .... Good Luck


[ 02-07-2004, 03:19 PM: Message edited by: birddog ]

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I'm not looking to "combine" shotguns. I am looking to see if the barrels for the m1 field, m1 slug will fit onto the M1 tactical so that if I decided to use the M1 Tactical for hunting I would have the flexibility by simply changing the barrel to the appropriate one for the need that day, without having to buy 3 shotguns. Again I prefer the feel of the pistol grip so I'm hoping to be able find a Benelli that with fit that.


Now for home defense. Numerous experts, and guns and ammo has done numerous testing for the ideal home defense weapon and time and time again they come back to the 12 gauge shotgun with a short barrel as the best choice. Why? Because one thing you have to consider is that behind the intruder is often a wall that either has a family member whom you are trying to protect, or in many cases a neighbor. The 12 gauge loaded with #7 1/2 or #8 shot creates an ideal weapon with the stopping power needed, and yet has a low amount of penetration through walls when compared to pistols. If a shot were to miss using a shotgun increases the safety for those you are tryign to protect. Now like most people that have a weapon for home defense, I certainly pray that I never have to use it. However I want to have something reliable and trustworthy.


I currently own an HK USP40 compact and have my CCWP. I also was a part of the tactical response team on the George Washington CVN 73 and we were a backup for the marines and received training on CQB and were armed with shotguns and 45's. Natually given the potential combat situation the loads we used were 00 Buckshot. Given that all walls were steel this was acceptable and we even trained how to shoot around corners to clear passageways by richocheting the shots off the steel walls. Naturally you cant do this at home, but numerous experts tend to agree that the 12 gauge with the 7 1/2 or #8 shot is still the best shoice.


Thanks for the feedback so far.

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im going to start sounding like a broken record but for home defence your best bet is a mossburg 500 w/ the short bbl and a pistol grip. if you want you can get differnt bbls and stocks all over the place for that gun but for a couple of reasons that gun (your home defence gun) has no other purpose than home defence. if your out shooting skeet with it itsnt home to defend your house. i tryed it for years and had little sucess with that plan (using one gun for many tasks) i would get 2 guns one for bustin clays and one for bustin creeps. in the long run your probley going to get another one anyway and if you do blast some one in your house the police are going to take it and take there time giving it back. i would be quite upset having to give up a 600-1000$ shotgun. also shooting skeet with tactical shot gun is quite hard. ive tried to do it and it is very hard to do. a tactical shot gun is not ment to move like a clay gun tactical guns are made for large stationary targets not small flying things.

just my 2cents good luck

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good point fezman ...


just another thing to be sceptical of ... I prefer to think things out on my own and what I've seen from Guns & Ammo's 'expert test groups' is sort of a joke.


most recently : take a look at page 30 in the Feburary issue and ask yourself what's wrong with this picture(s)...


If I remember correctly, their so called 'expert test group' is shooting .22 cal rifles at water filled milk jugs on top of cinder blocks....!?!? This is something my 12yr old nephew knows not to do.


last night I was enjoying a few beers with my neighbor who is an ex-marine and ex-law enforcement and threw the question at him.. shotgun or side arm for home/self defense? He replied, "...side arm with-out a doubt." Suprisingly I got the same answer from my father a while back who's an ex-military pilot. Both stated the same things - ease of use and speed.


anywho ... take care and good luck in your quest.

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let me take a pot shot here and just add my 2 cents


to have a gun that can multi roll is hard but not impossible, the TRICK is to actually know what you want to do with it


now all the reccomendations listed above are great ones however i do disagree with 1 thing, i will never choose a pistol over a shotgun in home defense..for 1 simple reason, in a pistol you pull the trigger you have 1 bullet a big percentage of all people in the world *even trained professionals* are going to be addled by the intrusion thus making there aim and accuracy lacking. however with a shotgun loaded with OO or OOO buck, you have some where in the neighborhood of 20-40 30'ish cal bullets in the GENERAL area ..which means you aim in the direction of the offender with greater chances of getting a hit to them



let me state now I wish upon no one the life changing even of having to shoot at someone in self defense, its something that is very hard to dealwith even with proper training and help



now back on the subject let me offer this thought, its a costly one but its possible, the Benelli M1 Practical is a 26" barreled 8+1 *actually 9+1* mag tube with a picaniny rail for a sight or scope WITH ghost ring sights, and a ported barrel which includes all 5 chokes ... now for skeet shooting IMHO this should be more than a fair weapon for skeet and target shooting due to the variety of chokes it comes with, including the porting on the barrel, lenght of the barrel to help with hitting your targets,


also this gun comes "combat ready" per se because it does have the M1 Tactical reciever with the ghost ring sights that you as talking about PLUS you have more rounds to shoot before you reload AND it comes with a speed loading system .. and for the last option *stock on the gun* is a 3" bird cage muzzel break that is targeted for ISPC shooters ..now in my own experience i have NO idea what its use is to me it adds recoil to the weapon, however i will state that i have not patterened my rifle and done a compare and contrast with and with out the bird cage, so maybe it has something to do with the pattern effect at X range, i honestly don't know



lastly you were stating you liked the pistol grip stock, well it just so happens that my Practical has a pistol grip stock on it that i bought the same da i bought the gun, the gunsmith/dealer at the store put it on for me to save me the time, having said that all that i've shot the gun is with the pistol grip, its incredibly comforatable and very controlable even in shooting slugs *which to me kick the worse than anything else save the 3.5" mags"



with my gun and its lay out i can shoot high brass #6 shot Estate/winchester/federal ammo with 1 hand and generally hit my target *which is usually some form of cardboard box about 1.5ft square...given this isn't go in any means while trying to shoot skeet but is very good for home defense...on a last note from the wepaon i will warn that the length of the pracical is very long, and until you get use to it, it WILL be very ackward but with time paitence and practice you'll be able to to move it through out a house smooth as silk



again just my 2 cents



Further more i would like to say i wish to not offend anyone that uses a pistol as home defense, I will admit that I kept a H&K MK23 .45 Auto for such the case. but when time came that i had to use it, i learned alot, thankfully i only fired 3 rounds none of which made contact to the intruders. however none of the rounds made contact with even the general area of where i was aiming either. after that i refocused my thoughts to a shotgun, i'm sure there are many men and women out there who can handle the situatiosn much better than i did, and a pistol is great for there useage, but for someone new to shooting and to guns, i cannot honestly reccomend it personally



Good day to all and God bless





Lupinus Nobilitas


[ 02-10-2004, 01:31 PM: Message edited by: Wulf ]


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Edited by Wulf
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Wulf - sorry that you had to go through the situation you did .. not easy I can Imagine!..and at this point can only Imagine ..


What I failed to say before that I was hesitant to do for feeling long winded already (and opening a can of worms), was that a person should enroll in a self defense training course when they make the decision to chose a firearm to aid in their personal defense whether it be concealed carry or home defense. This may sound like a follow-up now to wulfs misfortunate situation he endured but, is somethingthat should be considered when making this decision. Personally, I have yet to do this and should take my own advice first of all but, given my locale and living situation with three overly protective Drathars in the house I have felt less of a need to do so.


to simply trail off into a tangent was not my intentions. .. .. sorry fellas.


I'll step out of this one and keep my opinions a bit closer to what I know .. bird hunting and a little of something else ..

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No worries at all friend, we all live and learn, and if we try hard enough we may just save someone a bump on the head that we endured earlier



thats the tricky thing about someone wanting advice or an opnion on something or such, you get it, from everyone that wishes to reply at that, some like me and you try to put our own experiences into the fray other's just recite what they know from books ect ..but what counts is the fact that we do want to offer our opnion and blessied be to God we live in a country were we can still express them


some day maybe you and me can get together for some hunting i'll bring the shells you bring the how too..what ya say?





Lupinus Nobilitas


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