my latest shotgun - H&R 12 ga. pump
Yes I bought a Chinese shotgun for cheap from Wally World. $179 out the door. It's a near identical clone to the 870 and the company is in fact owned by the same people who own Remington. But we all know that. On to the good stuff.
My mistake was taking the gun apart as far as the 870 will go. It is a BAD idea to take the action bars out of the receiver with these shotguns. I've done it many, many times with my 870 with no problems. I've done it with my other Hawk Industries shotgun (yes I now have two). It was never easy to get back in to the Pardner Pump as my other Hawk Industries shotgun is known. But I have always managed to get it together without too much trouble.
Not so with my new one. It took me 2 days to get it back together. I always want to take every gun apart as far as I can when I first buy it to inspect for stuff that shouldn't be inside or stuff not in the right place or whatever. What I found on this shotgun was that the action bars were bent somewhat and getting them to go back in those slots required not only bending them back to the correct position but also eventually applying a little gun grease to the point where the slide into the slots. I know it's not a good idea to ever put lube inside a shotgun receiver. But if I wanted this one to ever go back together it was required. I had a talk with my gunsmith about it. He said my only problem might be that it could get hard in really cold weather. So I'll use another shotgun if it gets cold.
The main reason I wanted another Hawk shotgun was I wanted a long barrel version to go with my 18.5" model that is used for HD. I wanted a varmint gun that would reach out a little farther and smack whatever around pretty good. I live in a sparsely populated neighborhood but there are some people around here and there. So I prefer using a shotgun to dispatch cat food stealing possums, the out of place timber rattler, the rabid fox, etc.. So I bought a shotgun with a 28" barrel. I actually have a 28" barrel for my 870 but I like leaving it setup to shoot buckshot for HD. I keep slugs in the Pardner Pump for the local bear population (should it ever come to that - they can be pretty aggressive at times).
The thing about Hawk shotguns is they don't sell extra barrels for them anyway unless you send the shotgun back to the factory to have a barrel "fitted" to the gun. That makes me wonder about QC but I've had nothing but good luck from my Pardner so it must not be too bad.
So how does the new H&R work? It started out cycling a little rough but the more I cycle it the smoother it gets. It's actually getting pretty smooth now. I expect it to be very smooth within a month depending on how often I shoot it.
Also the bead is lined up very well with where the spread pattern hits. You never know about any bead whether it will line up right or not at least not on cheaper shotguns (under $500). The shells were sticking pretty bad at first but I knew to expect such things on a shotgun that really hasn't had the hands on attention a Remington gets. Once I knock the burrs down things should be much better. In fact I waited a while to write this review because I wanted to wait and see if it got smoother and less sticky. And it already has by a big amount.
So once again I'm very happy with my H&R purchase. I wish I could swap barrels at will but I can do that with my 870 so I'll just buy any barrels I want for that shotgun. I've been thinking about a rifled barrel. It will go on the 870.
The finish is a little different on this shotgun compared to my Pardner. It's not Parkerized. It's not bead blasted either. I don't know what it is. We'll see how it holds up. My Pardner has held up very well and I've had it several years.
Would I buy another Hawk Industries shotgun? You bet. They are the best deal going on a good shotgun. I like Mossbergs but they seem to be made more cheaply than the Hawk shotguns. I'm not saying they will have problems. From all accounts they don't. I just like the Hawk shotguns better and they cost less. I did have a Mossberg 20 ga. but I gave it to my daughter for her HD. My dad gave it to me for the same reason when I was first moving out on my own and now I've passed it forward. Hopefully she can pass it to her kid someday (if she ever has one).
So if anyone is thinking about buying one of those Wally World specials I'm here to tell you they work well. Just don't take the action bars out. The manual says not too but what do they know. :) More than me apparently. But that's ok. I got the chance to straighten out those bars so it should work smoother in the long run.
Re: my latest shotgun - H&R 12 ga. pump
I was looking at one as well and based on your review I may look a little harder at it. I have always had 870's but it seems like when ever cash was tight that was what I sold first. $179- I may have to keep the H&R.
Re: my latest shotgun - H&R 12 ga. pump
They are good shotguns. In some ways they are better than the 870 Express. But overall I'd have to take an 870 if money wasn't an object. But that's not the case for most of us.
Just check them good when you get one. It's probably best to buy somewhere else besides Walmart because they give you zero support. But they had one and no one else did locally. I could have paid another $35 for a FFL transfer but that would have sort of defeated the whole purpose of buying that shotgun. Luckily I was able to straighten the action bars out well. It should work just fine for a very long time.
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