PDA

View Full Version : Thoughts on an entry-level 3-gun shotgun setup


trigger hippie
08-13-2012, 4:33 PM
I guess people hate those "which shotgun should I get?" threads, so here's a "Should I get this shotgun?" thread instead, ha ha. (Sorry.)

So it's dawning on me that I may never have an opportunity to use the long-range optics on my Noveske AR. F-class is a nice thought, but 3-gun and action competition is really striking my fancy lately. I'm thinking I might sell my long-range glass, worth about $1100 with the mount, and get a shotgun setup to complete my 3-gun armament. This will be my first shotgun. I'm not planning to reload shotshell; I already have too much reloading infrastructure for 45 and .556, so given ammo costs, I'm thinking it'll be used almost exclusively for competition and competition practice.

I'll take an NRA first steps or basic shotgun class at some point in addition to shotgun specific competition classes, so I won't be fatally stupid, I should hope.

As a first-thoughts setup, I'm thinking:

$717
Mossberg 590A1 9-shot with ghost ring (model 51668): I've heard some bad things about Remington QA lately, so I'm thinking I'll go with the other classic standby pump. The 9-shot capacity and collapsible stock are nice, both upgrades I'd want to add to a pump shotgun of any other brand that I'd consider. Ghost rings, I understand, are mostly appropriate for the "tactical" (sorry, the "t" word) type of shooting that I'm considering.
http://www.mossberg.com/images/products/590A1/51670.jpg

$79.95
Vang comp 6-round velcro side saddle: I hear the Vangs are well regarded, though I kind of wish I could carry more...
http://www.shop.vangcomp.net/images/DSAC3.jpg

$11.95
Maxpedition 6-shell carrier panel: Nothing I get from Maxpedition has sucked, and it'll fit right on my existing pistol belt
http://images2.opticsplanet.com/755-405-ffffff/opplanet-maxpedition-horizontal-shotgun-6-panel-black-1449b.jpg

And for the balance I'm thinking some Winchester White box from Cabela's at $57.99 a case on sale, and a case or two of slugs - not sure what brand. Figure another $200 - $300 for a tactical class.

I'm thinking I won't need a sling for 3-gun competition, nor for last-ditch home defense; it would be nice to put one of my rail mount flashlights on my shotgun, but not utterly necessary.

I'm not super-familiar with shotguns, so I don't know if I should add any additional barrels or chokes.

Nor am I familiar with modern shotshell carrying methods - I've seen some LEOs lately using those sliding metal shotshell carriers that I recognize from competition. Are these favored over the older panel-type shotshell carriers I linked?

I note also from reading that bandoliers seem to be frowned upon as both impractical and dorky, though it's not immediately obvious to me as a noob why.

Any thoughts on my entry-level setup?

SuperSet
08-13-2012, 4:43 PM
Hey man,
Since you're starting from scratch, you will want a semiauto for 3-gun unless you plan to compete in Heavy Metal Division, which requires a pump, .45 and iron sight .308. For other divisions, these are the shotguns to get, roughly in price order.

Mossberg 930 JM 22-24"
FN SLP Mk1 smooth bore 22"-24"
Remington Versamax Tactical 22"
Benelli M2 Field 21-22"

SuperSet
08-13-2012, 4:45 PM
To carry shells, you're going to want to use either the 4 or 6 shell caddies from California Competition Works or AP Customs 4x4. Largely, this means you're going to reload weakhand.
Another loading option is the Load 2 vest by Mark Otto or other load 2 options from Carbon Arms.

Bobby Hated
08-13-2012, 5:00 PM
i 2nd the advice regarding a semi-auto shotgun. definately a necessity.

and you definately dont want a ghost ring sight on the shotgun either. pistol grip is personal preference.

i also 2nd the advice as to getting shell caddies or a Load 2 vest.

forget about the side saddle shell carrier. it took me a year to realize you dont want more weight on the gun. carry the extra shells on your belt and save yourself the year it took me to get my head out of my *** to figure that out.

what area are you located in?

trigger hippie
08-13-2012, 5:21 PM
I'm located in Bay Area. I was seriously considering a Mossberg 930 JM but damn if it isn't nearing $1k at every place I go to, which is nearly my entire budget for shotgun at this point.

I also saw a Mossberg 930 go down in a particularly ungainly fashion during a class I took - it would cycle the first shot fine, but had FTF's on subsequent shells - a firing pin malfunction, we were speculating?

On the other hand the Benelli M3 that a really, really nice guy at the class lent me to shoot with was like... butter, I can't even describe it. It was like shooting my Noveske AR in terms of trigger feel and recoil, except with MUCH MORE SPECTACULAR results :)

I've heard some people mention a particular configuration of Remington 1100 - turkey? I think? - as a budget entry level alternative.

trigger hippie
08-13-2012, 5:24 PM
For shell carriers, you guys mean something like this from Cal Comp Works, right?

http://www.demooner.com/uploads/images_products/25.jpg

Interestingly enough, I think this is the type (if not the exact model) of the shell carriers that I've seen (really high-speed) LEO's wear.

I wonder at getting a used model - out of the entry-level semi-autos listed, which does this august body think would be the best buy in used condition?

SuperSet
08-13-2012, 5:31 PM
Any of the models listed above in used condition would work just fine. $1K for the JM 930 is way overpriced. Riflegear sells these for under $650.
And yes, those are the caddies for weakhand reloading. Where do you think those high speed LEOs learned about those caddies? 3-gun! :)

CK_32
08-13-2012, 5:35 PM
AA-12 :D

trigger hippie
08-13-2012, 5:39 PM
Hmm. Other than the garish color scheme, any thoughts on the Patrick Flanigan?

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/images/79800.jpg

It seems to be less popular (and thus presumably more available) than the Miculek. I can't believe the mag tube is legal in CA :) I think this would put me in Open, though.

Range Rat
08-13-2012, 5:43 PM
keep looking on gun genie. I picked op a JM Pro for 570 something. after tax,dros and shipping it was just under 700. PSA had pretty good prices as well. They sell out quick but can be found.

mikajo39
08-13-2012, 5:46 PM
The 590A1 is an excellent shotgun but I'd go with a semi-auto to be competitive in 3-gun. Like Superset said 1k is way too much for a 930. Search around a bit more, check out bud's gunshop. However the 930s are excellent semi-autos. I'd probably hop on the 930 bandwagon :D

SuperSet
08-13-2012, 6:59 PM
Hmm. Other than the garish color scheme, any thoughts on the Patrick Flanigan?

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/images/79800.jpg

It seems to be less popular (and thus presumably more available) than the Miculek. I can't believe the mag tube is legal in CA :) I think this would put me in Open, though.

Magazine capacity is generally not restricted in Tactical or Limited Division. However, you generally start with 8+1 and then after the buzzer, you can load as many as you want.
An Open division shotgun generally has a red dot sight and you can use magazine fed rounds.
I haven't shot the Flanigan but if you're buying from scratch, I'd only recommend the ones listed. Shotguns are very finicky when it comes to the demands of 3-gun so those are the ones people are using after experimenting with the others.

trigger hippie
08-13-2012, 7:58 PM
Hmmm. So after consideration by the forum it seems the ideal set up is:

Mossberg 930 JM with AccuSet choke tubes (22" or 24", whenever available), target price $650, figure $750ish after tax/DROS(?). I'm liking the vent rib on that - those were nice aiming features on the shotguns I handled.
http://www.mossberg.com/images/Mossberg_Guns/930/New/85118.jpg

California Competition Works Tac 6 carrier $27.50 - figure I shouldn't need more than 8+1 in shotgun, plus six in carrier, for a stage; I have a dump pouch as well. Or would it be unreasonable to get 2, perhaps?
http://www.demooner.com/uploads/images_products/news1.gif

Skipping a sling for the time being (though I could see a lot of good reasons for having one)... abandoning the bandolier idea as impractically mall ninja... using my existing pistol belt... I think this gets me off the ground.

With $100 budgeted for ammo that could leave $200 for unforeseen accessories or custom work. I understand folks do something involving welding the lifter gate (the lever thingy on the inside-bottom of receiver I'm assuming) and widening the shell-entry hole, whatever that's called. Is this the type of thing, however, where you should just shoot the crap out of it first, then decide what you want on it? I also wonder if I couldn't make an attempt to hillbilly engineer it myself with a welder buddy and a dremel tool.

SuperSet
08-13-2012, 8:23 PM
Sounds good, man. For caddies, you'll want around 24 shells total on your body as that'll handle most stages. Take a look at the Load 2 method too using the Otto Vest. I know 3GunFunShooter has one so check out the next match at Sac Valley and try it before you go all in for the caddies. I practiced weakhand for years and never mastered it. The Load 2 method works out best for me. See if anyone at Richmond Rod Gun Club has one.

prc77
08-13-2012, 8:49 PM
I have only seen one shooter at Richmond with the load 2 vest. Every one else weakhand loading from the belt. AP Customs 4x4's, CCW's look for the ones with the upgraded retention springs, much smoother.
Richmond is having a shotgun match on Sep 30th. The Calif. Action Shotgun Challenge. Meet the requirments to shoot the match and fill out the app. and have some fun. Great prize table too.

trigger hippie
08-14-2012, 1:50 AM
This might give the traditionalists on the board conniption fits, but I kind of wonder what would happen if I showed up to a multi-gun practice or match toting one of these:

http://www.riflegear.com/p-1300-akdal-mka-1919-12ga-semi-auto-shotgun-black.aspx

At $750 out the box and oddly, available, it's looking pretty attractive. Folks are calling it a "Saiga-killer". Buy three additional five-round mags (for a total of four), duct-tape them together two by two and I think I might have an interesting of of the box solution: 20 rds of up to 4 different types of ammo I can swap between as fast as I can work a bullet button with a Gpik finger tool.

I wonder how slug transitions might work with an AR-style shotgun. Drop the mag, shoot or simply eject the last buckshot round in the chamber, insert slugs, rack bolt?

The idea of being able to swap my Eotech from rifle to shotgun is also very attractive, along with the Tromix and Firebird accessories that appear to be coming on the market.

Only problem I can see is that this puts me in tactical by default, I think. Also, ironically, this would make my shotgun look more like a traditional AR than, well, my AR.

prc77
08-14-2012, 5:08 AM
that will put you in OPEN

Sicarius
08-14-2012, 3:18 PM
Pumps are a lot of fun but Semi does give you an edge in competition. For the 6-700ish price range, the 930 is the way to go. You probably do not want ghost rings. The ideal setup is a semi with a 21-22 inch barrel vent rib with a fiber optic. The ghost rings are great for slugs but slightly hinder the rest. As far as an extension tube, Daves metal works or Nordic make good tubes. You want to be in the limited/tactical class so you can put 8 in the tube and 1 in the chamber. That doesn't mean that you can't get a longer tube but you can start with only 8 in the tube. For the stock, keep the straight stock and there really isn't a need for a sling. Also get an extended bolt handle.
My setup is a Benelli M1s90 18.5 inch with ghost rings. Not the ideal IPSC shotgun but I bought this waaaay before I considered shooting IPSC. Just working with what I have without dropping a lot of money... yet... The ghost rings get in the way a tad but I am use to looking down rifle sights and with my nearsighted right eye, it helps for me. I added a Modified extended choke to add a little extra barrel. Seems to help. Daves Metalwork 9 round tube(filled to 8 then after the buzzer I load the last one for a total of 10 in the gun). I have California competition works carriers but am slowly swapping them out to the 4x4 carriers. I have a decently large hand and I find that 4 round carriers are the way to go, the 6 round is a handful in itself and then you have to try to load them into the gate without fumbling them.
Mag fed shotguns are neat but as stated, put you in the open class. With all honesty, with the bullet button rules here, the tube feds are still outrunning the mag fed ones...
Kevin

Sicarius
08-14-2012, 3:25 PM
If you are still hurting for a pump, I would seriously look into an 870 over a 590 if you are right handed. Having both, I will go to my 870p over my 590 a1 any day of the week. Just feels so much more solid. Also had issues with the 590 autoengaging the safety when you rack the slide normally... Fixed that but still...
Kevin

trigger hippie
08-14-2012, 3:46 PM
A lot of very helpful replies here. You shotgun guys are awesome and helpful despite hearing the same questions over and over. Total opposite of the long-range shooting guys who can be kind of... anyway...

From some Internet research it seems like there's more reports of people having issues with Mossberg 930s and Remington 1100s and 11-87s than with Benellis and FN SLPs. I've learned the "buy once cry once" lesson the hard way with AR parts as well.

Increasingly I'm leaning towards trying to snipe a listing for a gently used or cheap out-of-state Benelli M1/M2 or SLP Mk 1 at a target price of $900 used, $1000 new. 8 + 1 + 1 with a shell on the lifter sounds like a great way to start a shotgun stage now that I understand what it actually means, and it seems the Benellis and the FN are the best semi-autos for this because they have wider receivers.

I almost traded for a used M1 Super 90 at about $1000 in cash and parts; I wonder now if I should go back to that deal.

It would pretty much eat up the entire shotgun budget, but I don't mind going slow and shooting 100 - 250 rounds of shotgun a month practicing and attending shotgun classes for a few months before I ramp up to crazy multi-gun levels of use intensity. Would be my first foreign gun, too.

Damn I hate looking at Gunbroker though. Hope I can find someone on Calguns.

prc77
08-14-2012, 7:22 PM
Come out to Richmond Sep 8th. We will be having a shotgun stage set up as a warm-up for the match on the 30th. There, you will see a nice cross section of shotgun's and gear, and some evil crap you will see at the match.
Bring out a couple box' of shotshells, you are more than welcome to try out my SLP if you'd like. I'm sure there will be a 930, M2 and a Browning Gold you could try too;)

TempleKnight
08-14-2012, 7:35 PM
Come out to Richmond Sep 8th. We will be having a shotgun stage set up as a warm-up for the match on the 30th. There, you will see a nice cross section of shotgun's and gear, and some evil crap you will see at the match.
Bring out a couple box' of shotshells, you are more than welcome to try out my SLP if you'd like. I'm sure there will be a 930, M2 and a Browning Gold you could try too;)

Richmond guys are great. I wish I had tried a few before I got my first 3Gun shotgun. I'm now very partial to Benelli M2s. Add a Nordic tube and send your trigger group to C-Rums for his lifter mod and you are GTG.

The weak hand reload takes practice. I suggest getting good dummy shells, check out Brownells.
http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=31872/Product/SHOTGUN-DUMMIES

PRC77; I'll be doing the Richmond shotgun match with the Otto load-two.

prc77
08-14-2012, 7:41 PM
Richmond guys are great. I wish I had tried a few before I got my first 3Gun shotgun. I'm now very partial to Benelli M2s. Add a Nordic tube and send your trigger group to C-Rums for his lifter mod and you are GTG.

The weak hand reload takes practice. I suggest getting good dummy shells, check out Brownells.
http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=31872/Product/SHOTGUN-DUMMIES

PRC77; I'll be doing the Richmond shotgun match with the Otto load-two.

TK
How is it going with the load2 system, Vince just ordered a bunch of new steel for the match. Its gunna be fun for sure

trigger hippie
08-14-2012, 7:50 PM
Come out to Richmond Sep 8th. We will be having a shotgun stage set up as a warm-up for the match on the 30th. There, you will see a nice cross section of shotgun's and gear, and some evil crap you will see at the match.
Bring out a couple box' of shotshells, you are more than welcome to try out my SLP if you'd like. I'm sure there will be a 930, M2 and a Browning Gold you could try too;)

I am so there. Look for the long haired hippie with a big dumb grin on his face.

TempleKnight
08-14-2012, 8:19 PM
TK
How is it going with the load2 system, Vince just ordered a bunch of new steel for the match. Its gunna be fun for sure

Load2 works for me. It takes constant practice for me to weak-hand 8 shells in 7seconds. I can do 8 in 5/6 seconds easy with the load2. It's also easier for me to reload while moving.

Can't wait for the shotgun challenge.

Jubz
08-14-2012, 9:27 PM
Richmond guys are great. I wish I had tried a few before I got my first 3Gun shotgun. I'm now very partial to Benelli M2s. Add a Nordic tube and send your trigger group to C-Rums for his lifter mod and you are GTG. <snip>

+1 on the Benelli M2 in a 21" barrel for 3Gun, along with the above mods.

Sicarius
08-15-2012, 8:19 AM
I am personally partial to benelli's too but there are plenty of other great shotguns out there too. The 930 is hard to beat for the price. There are some that have reported issues with it but overall, it is generally accepted as a a good shotgun and when you factor in the price.... Simply unbeatable. The internet is full of complaining, some great praise and the majority is silent satisfaction. If it works as intended, most won't post a review... The 1100 is a proven design and there is a ton of aftermarket support for it. The 1100s seem to favor strong hand reloads where as the benelli favors weak hand. Seeing that this won't be a safe queen, if you find a used one for a great price, you may want to jump on it. With all the aftermarket parts for it, I would have no fear of buying a used one with the intent of replacing a few parts anyways. For extention tubes, I have a nordic on my 870 and a Daves metal works on my benelli. I actually like the daves better. For one, it came with a follower and the nordic didn't. The daves tube is steel and the Nordic is AL. I feel the steel is a bit stronger and you will be banging the magazine tube into barriers and such. Don't get me wrong, the nordic is a very nice piece but factoring in the price of the tube itself and the lack of a follower, being made of AL and I am always worried of cross threading it... I say Daves is the better buy. Also don't forget to get a clamp for the extension tube. As said, you will be banging it around and nothing worse than tweaking your mag tube or putting stress on the threads of the gun... If you do get a benelli, I suggest a HK branded M1(preban). You have the option of ghost loading which is a small perk but for reloading, I never use the bolt release anymore. If I run the gun dry, I grab 4 shells and stuff the first one into the chamber and press down on the lift gate. This automatically releases the carrier and chambers the round then proceed to load the remaining 3 into the tube. There is a utube vid on it.
Also consider 922r requirements for imported shotguns. For the benelli, there are two conficting reports from the ATF on the web to comply with the federal ruling. One stating that you need to replace 2 parts(US made mag tube and follower would be easy) and the other stating a need for a third part... which leaves you US made stock(all of which I have seen are pistol grip which is not ideal for this sort of competition), surefire forend not sure what else is out there... Another reason to find a preban.
Kevin

trigger hippie
08-15-2012, 9:52 AM
Wow. 922R makes bullet buttons look frickin' straightforward.

That pre-ban Benelli M1S90 is looking better and better.

Sicarius
08-15-2012, 11:48 AM
It's not too big of a deal honestly. Again, this only applies to imported shotguns and rifles that are being converted from a "sporting" configuration to an "AW" configuration...
Kevin

MXRider
08-15-2012, 11:49 AM
Come out to Richmond Sep 8th. We will be having a shotgun stage set up as a warm-up for the match on the 30th.

Do we need to attend the 3 gun safety orientation class before being able to participate in this event, or the match on the 30th? Very interested in coming to both of them. I will be using a 930SPX.

Thanks

trigger hippie
08-15-2012, 11:53 AM
Do we need to attend the 3 gun safety orientation class before being able to participate in this event, or the match on the 30th? Very interested in coming to both of them. I will be using a 930SPX.

Thanks

Check the thread with the requirements on the Competition forum:

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=479581

In short:

In order to participate in either the multigun practice, or in any of the long gun matches sponsored by the RRGC, you must meet one of the following criteria: (No exceptions)

RRGC Multi-Gun Match - Competitor Qualification Requirements

1. USPSA membership with a VALID CLASSIFICATION in one or more pistol divisions. (Not JUST a member. You must have shot 6 matches and be classified).
2. Demonstrated multi-gun competition experience. This means you must show that you have previously competed in a USPSA or IMG rules based multi-gun match, and completed the match without being disqualified. (Match results with your printed name, or a letter from a match official must be presented).
3. Completion of the RRGC SAFE HANDGUN COMPETITOR CLASS, with an additional multi-gun safety orientation at the monthly RRGC multi-gun practice stage.
4. Completion of the RRGC SAFE MULTIGUNNER CLASS, and at least one Saturday multigun practice.

The latter prerequisites are mandatory, and there will be no exceptions. (This includes LEO's or military). The rules are there for safety's sake...and safety is the name of the game.

It does occur to me that there are many, many opportunities for me, as a newb, to be stunningly unsafe in the action shotgun sport. For all the immense respect I have for the danger that my rifle represents, that respect is multiplied eight-fold for the potentially devastating AD/ND that a shotgun could have. I really like these rules.

iidx
08-15-2012, 1:02 PM
I've gone to a couple of the multi gun practices shooting my bone stock 5+1 Mossberg 500 (and loading from a pouch). It's not the pump that gets me, it's the 5+1.

I think if I had to do it over again, I would have went straight for the 24" 930 JM. I'll probably keep shooting with the pump until next year.

For the $717 you listed for that 590A1, I'd get the 930 JM instead.

trigger hippie
09-01-2012, 6:27 PM
Thread necromancy/update: Went ahead and made a trade for a Mossberg 930 JM, 22" barrel (8+1).

The gun shop fellas at the shop where I PPT'd it were crowding around and checking it out : ) The chromed bolt and trigger job were big hits. Adjustable stock (shims) and 3 chokes just sealed the deal.

I went ahead and got a quick-detach Condor single-point sling and a GG&G sling adapter for keeping the shotgun around the house; I'm a big believer in slings in general. I don't know that I'll use it in competition, but that's fine.

Got one box of 1300 FPS #8 1 1/8 oz. Another case (250 rd) of Winchester 3 dram #8 1 1/8 box on the way (free shipping deal from Cabela's going!).

I'm not sure, but I sense that this might last me... oh, I don't know, maybe one shooting session, considering how much sheer and utter violent fun this incredibly dangerous thing seems to produce :) It's really a pity the economics of shotgun shell reloading don't work out better.

I think I'm going to wait and check out people's loading caddies/vests/doodads on 9/8 at the Richmond shotgun practice session before I get anything myself.

Early on, this thing from Carbon Arms for $100 is looking good:

http://www.carbonarms.us/images/products/216.jpg

It seems to support the "hold two longitudinally in your hand and jam them in with your thumb" method (I guess that's TwINs or TWINS or however it's capitalized?) as well as the quad load. Sucks that it's $100.

I'm thinking it could be possible to match or exceed that, however, using two attached-together or modified sixers from CCW for $24:

http://www.demooner.com/uploads/images_products/25.jpg

In addition I'm thinking at the least this "oh snap my shotgun is empty!" 2-shell carrier for $15 would come in handy:

http://3gungear.corecommerce.com/images/products/510.jpg

A velcro pad on the side of the shotgun with seven from 3gungear for $24 completes the package:

http://3gungear.corecommerce.com/images/products/495.jpg

So total count would be:

8+1 in tube
7 on left side of shotgun
2 on right bolt hold-open 2 pack
12 in shell caddy

So, 21 rounds on body. Figure a dump pouch I already have with a few extra in it... that should do it, I think.

Interestingly, MOLLE straps seem to be the right size to hold a shotgun shell. Has anyone else tried and dismissed this idea, I wonder?

Thanks all for the advice -

SuperSet
09-01-2012, 6:34 PM
I'd still recommend the Mark Otto Load 2 vest as it's cheaper than the Carbon Arms stuff. That 2-pack slide lock is good to have too. And I wouldnt do the side saddle.

trigger hippie
09-01-2012, 6:42 PM
Is the Otto vest this thing?

http://www.triangleshootingsports.com/images/otto/vests.jpg

trigger hippie
09-01-2012, 6:42 PM
Is the Otto vest this thing?

http://www.triangleshootingsports.com/images/otto/vests.jpg

It seems so... it also seems to get confused with this thing:

http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/pqqbzS-cBK8/mqdefault.jpg

which looks a lot more interesting but seems like it's unobtainium unless presumably you email the man himself?

SuperSet
09-01-2012, 6:49 PM
The bottom one. And yes, you email him and he'll make you one. It can hold 24 shells for $150 or so. You can't beat that.