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I have a 12 gauge 870 Express w/ 28" barrel. If I get a fully rifled, cantilever barrel, is it practical to use the gun without

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  • I have a 12 gauge 870 Express w/ 28" barrel. If I get a fully rifled, cantilever barrel, is it practical to use the gun without

    I have a 12 gauge 870 Express w/ 28" barrel. If I get a fully rifled, cantilever barrel, is it practical to use the gun without a scope attached (in case I just want to shoot without the scope from time to time)? Also, is a fully rifled barrel practical for home defense? I would prefer to leave 1 barrel on the gun, but would buy a short slug barrel as well if that is better for home defense than leaving the fully rifled barrel on the gun. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    For home defense, a scoped shotgun is of no use. I prefer buckshot for home defense and that will exit the muzzle with any of the barrels you are considering; and that is all that is required in short range self defense.

    I personally prefer deer hunting without a scope so that I can acquire a quick sight picture on moving deer. Within the limited range of a shotgun, I can aim just fine just using a bead. If I were you, I'd just use the barrel that is already on it. That does the job just fine without further investment although it is not quite the best choice for you. The slug barrel would be the best choice for your intended use because of the improved sights and shorter barrel for self defense.

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    • #3
      The Slug Barrel would be best all around, most Slug Bbl come with Front and rear sights, Add See-Through mounts and Add a Scope later.just sayen

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      • #4
        I'm with Dakota on this one.
        I prefer buck shot for home defense.
        I would prefer a slug for a one-on-one, hostage type situation.
        But then, in a home defense situation, we don't always get to pick and choose!
        Do we?
        In the highest percentage of "home defense" situations, any confrontation is going to be between three and twenty feet.
        Personally, a manageable handgun should be your first "home defense" choice. Even a simple .22LR.

        As for your shotgun question? Either barrel will work. I wouldn't inatall a scope unless you're contemplating a "dedicated" slugster.

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        • #5
          Since you are asking about the cantilever barrel, my thoughts are get a decent scope and practice. The advantage of a scope comes to play with rifled slug barrels more than the smooth because with a rifled barrel you just picked up maybe an extra 75 yards of accurate shooting (if the proper slugs and technique are applied). Do not fire bird/buckshot out of a rifled barrel, so no, it's not practical unless it's all you have. If you want to use a smooth slug barrel, no doubt you can find them used anywhere. That barrel or any bird barrel will be fine for home defence (shorter is easier to move around in tight quarters). I do not use 00 buck for home defense. #4 buckshot or a heavy waterfowl/turkey load gives you all you should need if God forbid a bad guy invades your home,it works without blowing through the bum and killing someone else.

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          • #6
            Since you are asking about the cantilever barrel, my thoughts are get a decent scope and practice. The advantage of a scope comes to play with rifled slug barrels more than the smooth because with a rifled barrel you just picked up maybe an extra 75 yards of accurate shooting (if the proper slugs and technique are applied). Do not fire bird/buckshot out of a rifled barrel, so no, it's not practical unless it's all you have. If you want to use a smooth slug barrel, no doubt you can find them used anywhere. That barrel or any bird barrel will be fine for home defence (shorter is easier to move around in tight quarters). I do not use 00 buck for home defense. #4 buckshot or a heavy waterfowl/turkey load gives you all you should need if God forbid a bad guy invades your home,it works without blowing through the bum and killing someone else.

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