I am a fan of Mosserg and like the idea for a home defense gun to have the ability to use all three 12g shell choices. Anyone make aftermarket parts to convert a 835 into a tactical home defense gun (without breaking the bank)?
What are you trying to do? Mag extension? Shorter barrel seems obvious... Pistol grip stock? Lights, shell saddle, accessories, etc?
I'm down to one shotgun now. It's an 835 with the 24" overbore barrel, so slugs are a no-no. I would like to pick up a shorter barrel that's not overbore so I can shoot slugs out of it, but it's not a deal breaker. Aside from barrel I don't care to change anything, not even mag extension.
As for shells, I'm specifically intrigued in the Winchester PDX1 ammo. It's a std 2 3/4" shell that holds one hollow point slug and three 00 Buck pellets. It looks like a great defensive round. But 00 Buck (or #1 Buck if I could find it) will do. High brass is preferable, and so is low recoil. So I'm using 15 pellet Remington 3" shells and winchester low recoil 2 3/4" shells.
I'm getting a bit low on ammo now and should get some more, but I can't find a good enough selection to pattern test a few different kinds. I'm hoping this silliness ends here in another few months...
I gave up on the PDX1 load for now. I stopped by Cabelas and the two choices were Remington Express 00 buck, and Hornady Critical Defense 00 buck, 8-pellet @ 1600fps. It uses a special wad that stays with the shot for a short time after it leaves the barrel. It's supposed to really tighten up the spread and keep a pretty consistent pattern. I'm curious to see what it does in my 24" UltiMag barrel.
EDIT: Oh yeah. This shell is just a tad shorter...enough that a sixth shell fits in my five round tube.
Today over lunch break I got a chance to fire several different shells through my 835 with the Ulti-Mag barrel I have on it. Including some of the Hornady Critical Defense shells I just picked up. Pics and write-up to follow soon.
Very interesting findings...the experience was good enough that I intend to stick with the current barrel and use 00 buck for HD purposes.
EDIT: Posting pics...
P.S. Crud, I just noticed that the Remington 2.75" isn't marked. It's 5 of 7, image 1597. The shot was at 10 yards.
So in the above post are several pictures of my targets from earlier today. The shots are taken standing, modified Weaver stance. No other support, and I had my Modified choke in. I keep two; the Mod and the X-tra Full for turkey or waterfowl.
I wasn't going for accuracy, but did try to keep the double bead in the black, save for the one target with two shots in it. First shot POA was in the black, then a second shot aimed at the "No. 4" below.
On the Hornady; Initially I was pretty pleased with the pattern, but it would seem somewhere between 36-50 feet the pattern really opens up. So much so I could barely keep it on paper at 25 yards. It is adequate for in the house defense. I definitely would not feel comfortable taking a shot past 15 yards, but the good news is I probably never will have to. Probably.
- One thing I would like to find is more gelatin tests. Since they are claiming 1600FPS, it would be nice to know if that offers any advantages.
- Recoil was pretty mild. About like a cheap target load.
- I was surprised to get a flyer at 12 yard mark. The pattern also seems to have become a bit goofy here. The wads aren't consistent, some of the pellets might be knuckle-balling a bit? I'm thinking the "smart" cup might not fly nice with an over-bored barrel.
I also decided to dig through my scrub shells and clean out some old stuff.
- Remington Express 2.75" 9-pellet. I saw some of this too at Cabelas. I think I'm going back for more of this. I was very happy with how consistent the pattern looked.
- Remington Magnum 3" 15-pellet. Recoil is not too bad. I didn't like how low it shot. If I run across more of this I'll be buying a box or ten and do a little more testing than just one shot.
- Winchester Super-X Mag 3", 15-pellet. I don't know what I was thinking. This was the first shell I threw in the pipe and let rip. Kicks like a Missouri mule on the 4th of July. I still have five more of these in the basement. They might stay there. I like how filled in the pattern was, but I didn't like how spread out it was for only ten yards.
Conclusion. Hornady is good enough for now but a little too expensive for how it performs. I'm going looking for more Remington in 2.75" and 3". The 2.75" shells can be had for under a buck a round. I paid $40 for 30 of the Hornady shells.
I do think I'll keep this barrel, and instead focus on taming the recoil. If I can get it configured to use the 3" Rem Mag shells and allow for a follow up shot, this thing is bad joo-joo medicine on anyone looking to break in during the middle of the night.
A little trick I learned a long time ago, I have done this for years with no ill affect but anyone trying this does so at their own risk. Works with the cheap Remington, Federal and Winchester 2 3/4 inch 00 buck shells. Open the crimp enough to take out one pellet and re crimp. They will pattern much tighter, tighter then the premium Federal loads with the flight control wads using an IC choke tube.
Your patterns are not bad. With shotguns there are just so many variables. What works well in one may or may not work in another, even when set up exactly the same. I think you are doing right by patterning your shotgun and seeing what works best for you. I know how expensive it can get. Also the abuse your shoulder takes if working off a bench.
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