Trunk Monkey: Shotgun Edition

By Alton P. Chiu

Having a compact, inexpensive and adaptable long gun in the vehicle to supplement a CCW handgun can be beneficial for fending off predators attacking live stock or fighting in the zombie apocalypse. This article investigates the ubiquitous pump shotguns for such roles.

In the American West, pioneers would carry either a rifle or shotgun in a horse scabbard in addition to a pistol on their persons for hunting or defense. Rural citizens today still have the same requirements although their steeds now feed on petrol instead of fodder.

In the urban setting given the civil unrests in recent memory, citizens may wish to supplement their CCW handguns in the same way that police officers supplement their service handguns with patrol shotguns and carbines. To fill this role, the author set out looking for an inexpensive firearm not only because vehicular theft is an all-too-common occurrence, but because not everyone wishes to spend top dollar on a contingency item. As it had been for centuries, the shotgun fits this requirement well.

The Shotgun

The author was able to acquire a surplus Remington 870 Police Magnum for the modest sum of $250 including shipping and FFL fees.

Many classics such as the Ithaca 37, the Winchester Model 12 and the Mossberg 500 have languished on gun store shelves for reasonable prices.

It is worth mentioning that the Police model of the 870 has some differences from the Express model. The Police model features a longer magazine spring, heavier sear spring and heavier carrier spring. The trigger housing of the Police model is made of metal instead of plastic, and its extractor is machined metal instead of the metal-injection-molding of the Express. In addition, the Police model utilizes a ball detent on the barrel to lock the magazine cap whereas the Express locks against a serrated magazine spring retainer. Lastly, the Police model will accept a magazine extension without modification. The reader should weigh these differences when purchasing an 870.

The hard synthetic stock on the author’s 870 measures about 13.5 inches length of pull (LOP, measured from the recoil pad to the trigger)...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N3 (April 2017)
and was posted online on February 17, 2017


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