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  • Boomsticks on a Budget

    Let's face it, we can't all afford a $500+ pump shotgun, I know I couldn't even afford $300+ with my meager wages. Even if you can afford the more pricey ones, sometimes it's nice to have a reliable, cheap "beater"shotgun that you don't have to worry about scratching up or slogging through the mud with. In this installment we're going to explore the world of low-cost (under $250) pump shotguns that won't break the bank and almost anyone can afford.

    Recently I was in the market for a 12ga pump shotgun, under $250, i did some research, checked out some different options, the following is what I came up with.

    H&R/NEF Pardner Pump Synthetic

    video by: http://neverenuffammo.blogspot.com/

    This is the shotgun I ended up buying at a local Walmart for $159.

    The Pardner is basically a Remington 870 clone, made in China by Norinco. The Norinco/Interstate Arms version of this shotgun is called the Hawk 982. Now before you scoff at the idea of buying a Chinese made shotgun, check this out: H&R is owned by Remington! (Mine actually shipped from Remington Arms in Memphis, TN.) Anything that fits the 870 will fit the Pardner, except choke tubes and barrels. The Pardner uses Winchester/Browning/Mossberg type chokes, and an 870 barrel will not fit due to the location of the barrel ring. 870 Magazine extensions will fit with a simple modification. My first impression of this gun is that it's solid and built well. When I shook it, it didn't rattle. The slide is mounted on double bars, and works pretty smooth after a short break in period. It shoots like you expect a 12ga to shoot. It's a strait forward, bare bones, rugged shotgun, well worth the small price in my opinion. One problem is the lack of replacement barrels, H&R does not sell the barrels, you have to send them your gun so they can fit the barrel on it.

    Model Pardner Pump-Synthetic
    Ammo 12 Gauge, 20 Gauge
    Stock Black synthetic with grooved fore-end and ventilated recoil pad.
    Barrel 28"
    Chamber Up to 3"
    Magazine 5 + 1 (3-shot plug furnished)
    Sights Bead front; drilled and tapped for scope base.
    Choke Screw-in Modified
    Length 48-1/8" (12 Ga.), 46-1/8" (20 Ga.)
    Weight 7-1/2 lbs.
    MSRP: $233 (I paid $159)

    Also available from H&R is the Home Defense version called the Pardner Pump Protector.

    Model Pardner Pump Protector
    Ammo 12 Gauge
    Stock Black synthetic with grooved fore-end and ventilated recoil pad and swivel studs.
    Barrel 18 1/2"
    Chamber Up to 3"
    Magazine 5+1
    Sights Bead front; drilled and tapped for scope base.
    Choke N/A
    Length 37 5/8"
    Weight 7-1/2 lbs.
    MSRP: $250 (I saw it at a local sporting goods store for $187)

    Interstate Arms 982 Hawk Defender

    This shotgun is the same as the Pardner Protector but offers Ghost Ring style sights.
    MSRP: $250 (Bud's Gunshop has them for $185) http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...ducts_id/91401

    Mossberg Maverick 88

    Video by: millerusaf

    The Maverick 88 is a more affordable, bare bones version of the venerable Mossberg 500 series shotgun. Most accessories that fit the Mossberg 500, will fit the 88. The same Walmart I bought my Pardner at also had one of these, but only in 20ga, if they would've had it in 12ga, I probably would've bought it instead. Made in the USA.

    The 88 All Purpose model features a 12 gauge, 3" chamber, 6-shot capacity, interchangeable 28" non-ported ventilated rib barrel and an interchangeable Accu-Choke™ tube system with one "Modified" tube. A rugged black synthetic stock and forearm, blued metal finish, front and mid-point sights are also included. MSRP: $233 (I saw it for $177)

    88™ 6-Shot Security model features a 3" chamber, 18½" Cylinder Bore fixed choke and a non-ported barrel. A rugged black synthetic stock and forearm, blued metal finish and a brass front sight bead are also included. MSRP: $226 (actual price should be below $200)

    88™ 8-Shot Security model features a 3" chamber, 20" Cylinder Bore fixed choke and a non-ported barrel. A rugged black synthetic stock and forearm, blued metal finish and a brass front sight bead are also included.MSRP: $233 (actual price should be below $200)

    * Maverick® 88™ barrels are compatible with Mossberg® 500® model barrels within gauge and capacity.
    * All Maverick® models include a cross-bolt safety in front of the trigger for speed and convenience.
    * All Maverick® 88™ choke tubes are fully interchangeable with Mossberg® Accu-Choke™ tubes.
    * 88™ model barrels are equipped with 3" chambers and handle factory 2¾" and 3" loads.
    * All Maverick barrels and choke tubes are capable of firing lead, steel or other non-toxic loads.
    * All models feature a blued metal finish and durable black synthetic stock and forearm.
    * All models feature dual extractors and twin action slide bars for positive, non-binding extraction and ejection.
    * Free Cablelock included with each model.
    * All Maverick® models include a One-Year Limited Warranty.

    Escort Aimguard

    Another 870 clone.The Escort Aimguard shotgun is designed specifically for home defense. It has an 18-inch ,fixed cylinder bore barrel, five shot magazine tube, polymer stock, fiber-optic front sight, and sling swivel studs. Accessory pistol grip comes in its box at no additional cost Manufactured in Turkey by the Hatsan Arms Co., Imported by Legacy.
    Gauge 12 GA
    Barrel Length 20"
    Capacity 5 + 1
    Chamber Up to 3"
    Length 48 1/2"
    Weight 6.9 lbs
    Stock Polymer
    Finish Black
    MSRP : $250 (Bud's Gunshop has them for $227.) http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...ducts_id/84111

    EAA/USSG SAR 12 Pump

    The EAA/USSG SAR Pump Action Shotgun has Dual Action Bars, Machined Solid Steel Barrel Extension, Cross Trigger Block Safety, Machined Solid Steel Locking Block, Machined Solid Steel Locking Bolt, Machined Aircraft Aluminum Receiver, Machined Solid Steel Drilled And Honed Barrel, Polymer Stock and Fore-end and fits Benelli style choke tubes. Made in Turkey, imported by EAA/US Sporting Goods.
    Action Pump
    Gauge 12 GA
    Barrel Length 28" (Also available in an 18")
    Capacity 4 + 1
    Chamber Up to 3"
    Length 48.13"
    Weight 6.13
    Finish Black
    MSRP $234 (Bud's Gunshop has them for $202.) http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...ducts_id/68483

    Savage/Stevens 350 Pump Security

    Video by: www.galleryofguns.com

    The Stevens 350 is a clone of the Ithaca 37 pump shotgun, it has a cylinder bore choke, front bead sight, and instead of side ejection, it ejects empty's from the bottom of the gun. It features a black synthetic stock with sling swivels, and a carbon steel barrel with matte black finish. Also available with Ghost Ring sights, but costs slightly more. Choate http://www.riflestock.com/ makes stocks for the Ithaca Model 37 that will fit the 350. Made in China.
    Action Pump
    Gauge 12 GA
    Barrel length 18.25"
    Capacity 5+1
    Chamber Up to 3"
    Length 38.25"
    Weight 7.6 lbs
    Stock Black polymer
    MSRP $264 (Actual price should be $200 or less)

    Well, these are all I could find while doing my research. Remember, just because a shotgun is cheap, it doesn't mean it isn't good quality and reliable. As long as it goes bang when you pull the trigger, that's all you need, no bells, no whistles. (You can add those later if you want.) I don't feel one bit of shame for owning cheap guns, quite the opposite, I'm pretty darn proud for not buying a more expensive gun when basic is all I need. If you look in the right places you can support your "gun habit" and pay the bills too.
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