A To Z Gun

Dear Technoid,

I recently saw the benelli Nova shotgun. I am looking for a shotgun that is for home protection, and will also serve me if I want to shoot some clays, is this a gun I should consider?


Dear Z,

Home protection and clays? That’s like asking for a car that you can use for the family vacation and then race at Indianapolis when you get home. It can be done, but the compromises will make it less than ideal.

On a clays gun, you will want a long barrel. On a home defence gun, you should have the shortest one the law allows so that the gun can be maneuvered in tighter spaces typical of a house interior. The two are pretty far apart.

I strongly suggest that you either get a proper home defense gun (any 18-1/2″ barreled pump) or get a proper clays gun (an auto with at least 28″ for sporting clays). You can play sporting clays with a pump, but it isn’t ideal. For trap or skeet, it doesn’t matter.

I see a lot of the Benelli Novas around. The price is right and they look swoopy to some people. Looks and forend design aside, they work well. My only problem with the guns is that the one piece receiver/stock makes it impossible to adjust the stock fit with home-made shims the way you can on all the other pump guns. In any shotgun endeavor, fit is critical. Getting a gun like the Nova is like going to a clothing store that only carries one size. It’s great for 10% of the customers, adequate for another 10% and impossible for 80%. If you’re one of the first 10%, you’re fine.

Personally, I really like the Remington 870 Wingmaster when it comes to pumps. Extra barrels are dirt cheap. Get an 18-1/2″ home defense cylinder bore barrel and a 28″ Light Contour barrel for your clays. That would be a workable combination and wouldn’t break the bank.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)

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1 Response to A To Z Gun

  1. Rem870 says:

    Don’t know about Nova byt my Benelli Supernova came with set of shims. It is very good shotgun but not as reliable as Remington 870. I am competitive shooter and use my shotguns a lot. For example, I didn’t need to change a single spring or part in Rem 870 trigger group for about 8 years. But I have already replaced 3 hammer springs, hammer spring cap, and both shell latches in trigger group of the Benelli Supernova. I ended up buying a new trigger group (eur150) because the old one had too many problems. But again, I shoot a lot, about 10,000 rounds a year.


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