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Yesterday we ran a few suggestions of rifles 18 to 20-year-olds might consider buying now that their gun rights are under attack in various states. But the proposed age limits don’t just apply to rifles, they would prevent these adults — Americans who can vote and serve in the military – from buying shotguns, too. Good times.

So as a service to our younger readers who have reached the age of majority, but can’t yet legally bend an elbow at the local bar, here are five scatterguns you might want to consider spending your money on before your representatives decide you’re not yet worthy of exercising all of your civil rights as a citizen.

Remington 870

Every home should have a reliable, versatile pump gun. You can use it from everything from home defense to busting clays to downing ducks and bagging turkeys. The venerable 870 — which you can still buy for about $350 for the base model — has been gracing Americans’ gun safes for almost 70 years and has just about as many customization and aftermarket options available for it as an AR-15.

Stoeger M3500

Pump guns are great, but especially if you plan on spending time in duck blinds or hunting upland birds, the speed and reduced recoil of a semi-auto shotgun are big advantages. Stoeger’s M3500 is about the least expensive inertia-driven shotgun you can buy which means lighter weight and easier cleaning, all for about $600.

Winchester SX4

If recoil management is your number one consideration, a gas-powered semi-auto is the way to go. A gas gun will reduce recoil even more than an inertia-driven auto-loader, keeping you more comfortable over a long day of shooting high brass loads at geese and other waterfowl. Winchester’s SX4 is an affordable, reliable semi-automatic that will leave enough in your wallet to let you stock up on ammo.

Beretta A300

If you have a few extra Benjamins to spend and love the look of wood and steel the Beretta A300 is a great way to get a classic, design that will serve you well on the skeet field or trudging across the fields of South Dakota in pursuit of pheasant. And you can bring one home for well under a grand.

Mossberg 500 FLEX

If you want one scattergun to do it all, it’s hard to beat the ultra-configurable Mossberg 500 FLEX. You can start out with a basic pump gun and then customize it — without tools — adding and swapping out stocks, fore ends, pistol grips, barrels and more. That means you can easily convert your tactical home defense gun into a slug-slinging, deer killing machine if that’s what floats your boat.


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  1. I personally recommend that Beretta A300. Never had a malf. Granted, I mostly shot it one at a time, and only did slugs or target ammo, but I’ve also shot it for ~500 rounds (four shots at a time) without cleaning it. Also, it’s not only under $1K, it’s like $650 when on sale. Great gun.

    And that’s coming from a guy who doesn’t even like shotguns.

  2. I’ve had an 870 and I have a stoeger 3000. My 870 was OK but lacked quality compared to the old models, that’s the price point effect, and it did fail to feed a few times.

    The stoeger is super reliable but the recoil is more than my Beretta a400. I got a benelli m90 for 525 used and that’s an awesome SHTF shotgun, up to 8 round magazine capability.

  3. How about a Mossberg Shockwave? Yeah, I know that they kick like an old mule and you can’t hit anything with one but they look very cool. Mine lives under my bed and actually does okay at household distances with a laser sight.

    • Yeah, “they kick like a mule and you can’t hit anything, but they look cool.”

      Sounds like a perfect recommendation. WTF?

    • Aguila Mini Shells with a Topsol Mini Clip. The Shockwave holds 8 in the tube. Very tame but packs a nice punch and plenty accurate out to 10 yards. Your wife will thank you.

    • the shockwave is way overpriced for what you get… get a simple mossy 500 security, and a bullpup unlimited conversion.. now THAT is worth having under the bed.. if you want to go cheap, they have a conversion for a maverick 88.. I have the rem 870 conversion.

  4. Midland Arms. They’re coming out with .22, .223, and .357 barrels later this year, so you’ll have a shotgun and a rifle all in one. Yes, they’re only single shots, but 1 shot is better than 0 shots.

    Could also keep an eye out for Rossi single shot matched pairs, but those are getting tough to find. Last ditch for single shots is the Thompson Center. Yes, expensive, but quality is second to none.

    I would just go with the Midland because for $140, you can’t go wrong.

    After that, a Maverick 88 with the 8 shot tube and the Mossberg Shockwave. You don’t need more than two or three shotguns.

  5. Yeah. Get your 870’s before Remington goes out of business! (Joking. Joking) The 870 was actually the first gun I had ever bought. I bought it when I was 18 as an all round gun that would be decent for home defense and hunting deer, rabbit, turkey. That way I could get the most use for the least amount of money. Though I never did get around to learning how to hunt, since nobody in my family is a hunter. =(

  6. They’re marching on the left.. and they’re marching to the right.., with a shotgun singing the song,…then I get on my hands and pray. we won’t get fooled again, RF’s got songs in my head lol

  7. 1.Saig- oh wait those are banned
    2.Vep- oh wait those are banned
    3.Benelli Supernova
    4.Browning BPS or Ithaca 37
    5.pre-Cerberus Remington 870 Wingmaster, or post-Cerberus Remington 870 depending on who ends up buying that department

      • Not a huge shotty-guy, but bang for buck from the pump – yes, semis – not so much, although you did pick out a couple of the more affordable ones. My suggestion, at least if they intend to hunt upland fowl, buy one pump or semi and one double. Who needs 5 shotguns anyway… or did you mean they should buy one of these?

        • Yea, I got that, I’m just a sarcastic SOB.

          The real issue for the 18 year old should be to make sure that whatever you DON’T spend you money on will still be available when you’re 21, since you right to purchase at 18 is being threatened now. So if there’s one thing you need it’s probably an AR, or at least an AR lower. (And I’m not even an AR fan.)

  8. I gotta question the Mossberg Flex. I looked at one at my LGS when they came out.

    It seems pretty flimsy how the stock or grip fits on.

    Don’t know that I would trust it. Acutually, I know I wouldn’t trust it.

    To each his own.

  9. Another overlooked pump gun is the Winchester SuperX pump or SXP. Great gun and easy for most anyone to use. It also has some nice out the door pricing and rebates are on now.
    Weatherby has some good pump guns also, worth a look.

  10. I would recommend a Mossberg 500 over a Rem 870 if only for the superior ergonomics and control locations. I absolutely hate the safety location on the 870.

    Remington’s quality has been spotty for years, and a shotgun from a company that just filed for bankruptcy wouldn’t be my first choice.

  11. Best gun for 18-21 year olds? The one they can steal from their friends house. Or buy on the street for cash. Or get from a strawman purchase. Its ridiculous to think this particular group of people will go disarmed by merely changing the age requirements. Do any 18-21 year olds ever drink alcohol?

    Ask the 18-21 year old “youths” in Chicago or East LA if this law will impact them one bit. This is why Trump is so horribly tone deaf on this stupid issue.

  12. This sparks a thought; why doesn’t TTAG have a comparo between the various brands and declare their choice?
    Bring in an 870, a Mossy 500, a Winny SXP, Browning BPS and other pump guns for a heads up eval? Add in the Stevens 320, the Hawk 981 or the H&R Pardner, along with the Weatherby and other oft seen guns. All the competitors should be evenly equipped, maybe synthetic stocked and similar barrel lengths. not a trap gun from “A” and a turkey gun from “B”, but all of one variation.

    I’ll bring the popcorn, this would be great. Let the writers get together and see which guns come out on top, in stock form.

  13. My first shotgun was the Rem 870. Then I went to the Stoeger SXS. I love them both. Finally acquired an 1100 WIngmaster, used. Boy that thing feels good in the hand. I don’t think I need another. But, I may go for an O/U just to round out the family.


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