Letter Re: Advice on Shogun Selection–Do I Need a 3-1/2″ Chamber?

I am soon buying my first shotgun and wanted to know if you would recommend it. It is a Remington 870 Express Super Magnum which handles everything from light 2-3/4″ loads to heavy 3-1/2″ magnums interchangeably, in a ribbed 28″ barrel. I am looking at it for home defense. Best regards, – Greg

JWR Replies: The 3-1/2 inch chamber is only an issue here in the US when shooting at high-flying ducks and geese, using the now-mandatory steel shot. For home defense, a 3″ chamber, or even a 2-3/4″ chamber on the older guns is sufficient. Don’t pay extra for a gun with a 3-1/2″ chamber. Spend the difference on getting a spare 20″ barrel with slug sights. That is the barrel that you will want for home defense. OBTW, for the greatest versatility, try to get all barrels with “Rem-Choke” screw-in choke tubes.