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Thread: Marine Shotguns

  1. #1
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    Default Marine Shotguns

    My go to “bear gun” is a Winchester 12ga, pump with a short (18”) barrel and a pistol grip instead of a regular stock. The idea is to keep it short and reasonably portable so it is easy to bring along on outings. I’ve been dragging this gun around for nearly 2 decades. The problem is corrosion resistance. It’s a blued barrel and has more than a few rust spots because it rains up here and the gun doesn’t always get the attention it should in wet environments.

    I’d like to replace it with a “marine defender” type shotgun. Short barrels, longer magazines, and corrosion resistant. The choices seem to be:


    Winchester Super X Marine Defender: Chrome barrel, aluminum alloy receiver.

    Mossberg 500 Mariner: Marinecote barrel, anodized aluminum receiver.

    Remingtion 870 Marine Magnum: Electroless nickel plated barrel and receiver.


    I’m not too particular about brands or looks. Price is a factor but not the primary one. I just want something that can deal with the weather with little care from me. Any opinions on which of these guns is most resistant to corrosion? I have a stainless 30-06 that is my main hunting rifle and I love the fact that it can be wet for a week without issues. They don’t seem to make stainless shotguns however.

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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    I've got a friend that has a mossberg mariner for sale in Soldotna right now. Like brand new. Sits beside her bed for home protection. $450 if you're interested.

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    My experience with "marine" type guns is mixed. Haven't used any of those, but I'll offer this insight: It's what's inside that counts. Doesn't matter if the barrel and receiver are "corrosion proof" if all the springs and working parts inside the action are plain steel. I'd look into that point on the three models, and pick the one that comes out best.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    What BrownBear said
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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    I have a 20+ year old Mariner 590 which has proven very reliable and low maintenance. It has done time submerged in SE streams on Steelhead fishing trips, served time on the boat in PWS, and is standing at the ready by the cabin door today for unwelcome visitors. The magazine has been fully loaded 24/7 for about 20 years, and the spring still has enough spring to get the job done. It's not impossible to wear through the Marinecote and get a spot of rust, but you need to work at it pretty darn hard (lay it against a vibrating boat hull and leave it there for a week or two). The Mariner is a good bang for your buck, IMHO. The receiver on mine is steel. Do they really use aluminum now?
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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I've had a marine 870 and a 590...liked them both. Also don't overlook the marine version of the Benelli Nova.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    It's what's inside that counts. Doesn't matter if the barrel and receiver are "corrosion proof" if all the springs and working parts inside the action are plain steel. I'd look into that point on the three models, and pick the one that comes out best.
    While I tend to agree with that, the gun I have has nothing special corrosion-wise on those components. Despite the history of the gun, these parts are fine and I have no worry that the gun will fire when asked to. I don't know why corrosion isn't a problem for these pieces on this gun. Maybe because the oil I put on doesn't get rubbed off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    The receiver on mine is steel. Do they really use aluminum now?
    Just regurgitating the marketing literature. The reason for posting is hopefully to get some thoughts from people with first hand experience.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by NRick View Post
    While I tend to agree with that, the gun I have has nothing special corrosion-wise on those components. Despite the history of the gun, these parts are fine and I have no worry that the gun will fire when asked to. I don't know why corrosion isn't a problem for these pieces on this gun. Maybe because the oil I put on doesn't get rubbed off.
    You're probably not leaving them in a skiff or boat. Guns that live on boats die from the inside out. The problem is that false sense of security you get from seeing an exterior that looks fine while the inside rots away. How often do guns actually get dismantled and all their interior parts cleaned and lubed? Not very often if they're beat-around "skiff" guns. If they're spending most of their life in a nice heated house, it's a whole nuther matter.

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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    If your current gun is in decent internal shape just take it and have it hydrocoated or ceracoted to make it look better and offer some protection. Heck if its a beat around gun just get some corrosion x or POR15 or Extendz and give it a coat of rust converter and call it good. Unless of course you really just want a new gun.
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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Yep aluminum receivers for a long time now the Francie AL 48 one of the older ones. Lots of O/U aluminum frames also with steel inserts in the firing pin area.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Yep aluminum receivers for a long time now the Francie AL 48 one of the older ones. Lots of O/U aluminum frames also with steel inserts in the firing pin area.
    Huh. Well, you made me go do a little research. Looks like the original 20" 9 round 590 Mariner is going for about twice what I paid for it... reckon I'll hang onto it.
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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    I have a 20+ year old Mariner 590 which has proven very reliable and low maintenance. It has done time submerged in SE streams on Steelhead fishing trips, served time on the boat in PWS, and is standing at the ready by the cabin door today for unwelcome visitors. The magazine has been fully loaded 24/7 for about 20 years, and the spring still has enough spring to get the job done. It's not impossible to wear through the Marinecote and get a spot of rust, but you need to work at it pretty darn hard (lay it against a vibrating boat hull and leave it there for a week or two). The Mariner is a good bang for your buck, IMHO. The receiver on mine is steel. Do they really use aluminum now?
    I got the same shotgun and have had it for about the same length of time give or take a year and my feelings about it seem to be the same as yours. I have to, shamefully, admit that my care of this gun has been very, very, substandard but the gun has never failed me in any way.


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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I purchased a mossberg 590 when we moved up here 18 years ago. I probably just got a bad one, it would fail to release a round from the magazine every 10 to 20 rounds. Needless to say that did not instill confidence in me and the gun was moved down the road.

    If you are considering replacing your 12 ga I'd give serious consideration to a ss 338 win mag. I've done enough testing with various 12 go loads to dispel the myth that the pattern will make up for lack of shot placement and still have sufficient terminal performance and I'll take a good 338 or larger over any slug load.
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