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Just get the cheapest 870 with synthetic wood and get a Mossberg 18" barrel. You can use it for hunting with the barrel that comes with it and the shorter barrel for home defense. Swaps in and out in less than 30 seconds.
I was a bit confused by that, thanks for clarifying! I knew Mossberg could easily swap barrels, but I didn't know if the 870 could. Let alone buying a Mossberg barrel for an 870. I don't know anything about shotguns yet... Time for research^ This.
I got a nice Wingmaster used and ordered an 18" (technically 18.5") barrel for it. It takes longer to wipe my greasy fingerprints off the barrel than it does to swap it.
In case it sounds confusing, Mossberg makes barrels for the Remington shotguns. It'll run you $100 or less, just make sure you get the right finish to match your receiver (blued vs. parkerized). You wouldn't want a criminal to not take you seriously because your hardware doesn't match.
a competent smith should be able to fix easy enoughOnly issue I have had with my 870 is the shell latch has worn to the point that it no longer releases the shell to load into the chamber when I pump it, effectively removing the pump action aspect. Accurate as all hell, and loads of fun to shoot, as is obvious by the amount of wear that shell retention leaf has on it.
Mines a .410 though, haven't shot a 12 or anything(same shotgun I first went hunting with, lots of sentimental value)
Looked around for a bit and was able to track down a 28" barrel from the late 90's that looked brand new from someone on a different forum. Got the barrel, 2 chokes and a wrench for $50 shipped. Guy sold his 870 a while ago and had the extra barrel floating around and just wanted it gone
how do I convince the wife she has seen this one before?
just make sure you get the right finish to match your receiver (blued vs. parkerized). You wouldn't want a criminal to not take you seriously because your hardware doesn't match.
I've got a mismatched 870 that serves double duty at home and in the field. Can't speak for the criminals but the turkeys don't seem to mind.
Wingmasters have the nice wood.