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Field stock questions and advice request.


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I need a shotgun I can travel with. Needs to be legal in New York State + Canada (five round magazine tube) and California (no ”evil” features). Currently using a 90’s era Remington 870 as a travel gun to those areas and I want to upgrade to a semi-automatic.

My current M4’s all have the collapsible stock so I’m thinking about picking up a model with the fixed field stock and five round magazine tube. This would keep me in my comfort range with the same manual of arms and ability to set up a light and optic identical to my current M4’s.

I've never seen in person or been able to shoot the M4 with the field stock. Does anyone have one that can give me some input? Is the length of pull similar to a fully extended collapsible stock? Is it similarly comfortable?

I’m grateful for any advice or opinions.

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Pistol grip is okay in NY as long as it's never collapsible and limited to 5 rounds, and if you're 922r compliant then you can go to 7. My understanding of it here, anyhow.

What CAUS said; the Mesa Urbino sounds like a good fit for you. I had one and took it off because I wasn't fond of the quality or means of attachment. Since then I run a field stock with a limbsaver buttpad, and while not as much control for recoil as a PG then again an M4 has a bit less than other shotguns and a field stock just feels natural for me. I don't have any optics or rail, lights etc either I've stripped as much as I can off the gun and stippled the fore end and stock for better handle.


Edited by 03svt
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California gun laws for semi-auto shotguns: pistol grip is ok as long as you don't install a folding or telescoping stock. Here are the provisions: 

12276.1. (a) Notwithstanding Section 12276, "assault weapon" shall also mean any of the following:
(6) A semiautomatic shotgun that has both of the following:

  • (A) A folding or telescoping stock.
  • (B) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon, thumbhole stock, or vertical handgrip.
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Instead of purchasing a whole new m4, why not just buy and carry extra stocks with you and swap to whichever one works for the state you're in?  They're super easy to install in seconds and you don't even need tools.  Then all your accessories etc don't need to be touched.  If your current m4's have 7 rd mag tubes and you need 5 rd mag tubes, just change yours to the 5 rd and carry a 2 rd screw on extension with you.

So all you need to purchase:

1. Whichever stock you decide on (the field stock feels completely different than the collapsible stock)

2. 5 rd mag tube 

3. 2 rd extension.

The M4 was designed to be disassembled without tools for all the major parts so it's a good shotgun for this type of situation.

And you should probably doublecheck the laws but my understanding is that parts like the collapsible stock aren't illegal to own just illegal to be installed on the gun so wherever you go, you should be okay with having the parts.  They just shouldn't be on the gun.  But again I would doublecheck the rules.

I have the mesa tactical urbino stock and can send it to you if you want to try it out.

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On 12/13/2021 at 2:02 PM, DailyEDC said:

I have the mesa tactical urbino stock and can send it to you if you want to try it out.

@DailyEDC, That is probably the most generous offer I have ever received from from a relative stranger on the internet. Thank you!

I may revisit this later but as of now I’ve kinda resolved to keep the old 870 in service as my “nearly fifty state legal self-defense longarm”. I’d really like to upgrade to a short barrel (18” +/-) semi-auto but I’m not sure doing so would maintain the “old guy defending himself with a simple shotgun” image in some of the more liberal areas I might find myself traveling in. I can still run the 870 fairly well, but it’s not very easy in non-standard shooting positions.

I’ve seriously considered the base model Benelli M4 and Beretta 1301 but they still look a little too tactical for me given I could find myself in front of a New England / Canadian / California jury if I had to defend myself. It makes me sick that I have to consider a second best option to defend myself in some areas but I think times have changed and there are a lot of people in some areas that might be on a jury that would view tactical style firearms very negatively.

That being said, one of my M4’s is still very much my “go-to” in any state other than the above. ?

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