This is not my test. I found it on the net and though some would like to read it.
Here is very extensive test review done on the Remington Express and the NEF Pardner pump shotgun. This a good read for anyone thinking of buying a NEF Pardner 870 copy shotgun. It will clear up in untruths about the 870 copies made in china. Keep in mind, that NEF and H&R are now owned by Marlin. This is a major US firearms manufacture putting out Chinese made Remington 870 copy shotguns. I believe Marlin still owns NEF & H&R. If I am wrong I am sure I will be called on it. Let's hear what you think about this test and Marlin selling Chinese made Remington 870 copy shotguns.
NEF now has come out with the Protector Home Defense Tactical 870 Express Copy.
Here is the link and the actual test article. It is very long.
Okay, A buddy and myself purchased a couple of 12 gauge, 3 inch chambered, black synthetic stocked, 28 inch barrel with screw in choke pump shotguns by NEF or New England Firearms. These pumpers are a cheap china knock off of the Remington 870 Express shotgun that we have come to know and love as an inexpensive and reliable work horse of a gun.
NEF has been importing the Pardner pump from China and these guns are cheap...I don't mean cheap as in garbage, I mean an inexpensive and reliable alternative to the Remington 870 Express. Before you go all half cocked and bent out of shape about how I can state that this cheap china import is as good as the Remington 870 please be patient and read along.
First, Let me touch upon the economics of the NEF Pardner pump, Wally World plans on selling the PP brand new for $144.98 plus tax. We found the Pardner pump at Dicks sporting goods for $139.99 less $10.00 for an advertised special and another $10.00 gift certificate for use on other items. This made the purchase price $129.99 plus tax and the gift certificate let me buy a box of turkey loads and a box of Remington 2 3/4 OO buckshot. I made my purchase at Dicks, My buddy(an even cheaper screw than me) took advantage of Gander Mountains gun sales policy which states they will not only beat any advertised gun price by the difference but will then double it up to $50.00. In other words my cheap screw buddy got his Pardner pump 12ga. for $109.99 plus tax! If someone is on a budget this is a very good bang for the buck.
Now let me tell you about the shotgun and the visual and functional differences between the Pardner Pump and the Remington Express. Right away the main differences between the two guns are that the Pardner pump has a longer Magazine tube than the Remington 870 express allowing two more 2 3/4" shells to be placed/used in the Pardner Pump vs. the 870 Express. The next biggest difference between the guns is the screw in choke system used. The PP uses either Winchoke, Mossberg chokes or the Browning Invector choke system(not the Invector+ chokes) while the 870 express obviously uses Rem chokes.
The PP has a truly effective recoil pad that beats the 870 express recoil pad and many others hands down. I was very impressed when shooting heavy loads and slugs.
The PP has a dark blued/black finish over an unpolished steel receiver and barrel, not the best quality but I have seen much worse on other much higher priced guns and to be honest it has a better finish than the 870 Express.
The PP weighs 6.51 pounds empty.
The synthetic stocks forend and pistol grip stock has molded in checkering that provides good grip in very sloppy weather. Important to me in all shooting conditions. ( Note> we have not tested the PP yet in freezing snowy weather<)
To prevent barrels from being interchanged between the Remington 870 express and the NEF PP the notches in the barrel that plug into the receiver are different lengths and the barrel ring that fits over the magazine tube and is then locked down by the end cap is placed differently. WE HAVE FOUND A SIMPLE SOLUTION TO MAKE BARREL INTERCHANGE POSSIBLE. However I will not say what this entails online over the internet but rest assured it does work, is safe and is fairly simple to accomplish.
All other parts between guns are a direct Ripoff of the 870 Express. While all the parts in the PP are a direct ripoff from the 870 that does not mean they will make a direct interchange without some fitting...but it can be done because the parts are so close in tolerance with each other. We know this because we have done it. From the entire trigger group to the screw threads on the end cap of the magazine tube(I make mention of the end cap because so many people want to add a sling easily for combat or field use) The Bolt measurements between the two guns make it much to difficult for simple fitting but other than that these guns are like twins. I think that future parts availability is important when making a gun purchase thats why I have some reservations about the NEF PP, we just do not know how long it will be around, While NEF has been around for many years that still does not mean parts for the PP will be. We also know that Remington parts are easily obtained and will be for many moons to come. This makes the Remington hard to beat.
My father is of the STAHL family. Stahl steel is a huge global metals company and even makes gun barrels for Glock and others of note, my dad is a no nonsense metallurgist and is wise to all manufacturing processes. Dad was kind enough to test and compare each metal part including the screws and springs between the Remington and the NEF China Knockoff. My dads testing wrecked two guns! He literally cut two guns to pieces in his testing and used all forms of advanced analysis to compare the Remington 870 express and the NEF Pardner Pump shotguns metal properties...I did not really mind him chopping up the NEF but both my buddy and I got a little sick when we found out that a new 870 would have to sacrificed.
In short my dad found that both the Remington and NEF metals used for the purpose intended were acceptable. My dad did add some caveats of note. He said that in some ways the NEF PP had superior metal parts/fit and finish when compared to the Remington 870 Express. He said the metal used in the receiver was considered better quality in the NEF but countered by saying the barrel steel used in the Remington 870 was of better quality. He also stated that these differences were so small that in the end game it did not matter one iota.
Just think about it, my buddy and I sacrificed two guns just to hear my dad the expert tell us both guns are to close in steel quality to make any difference LOL.
Our testing in the field since May 2005 shows some major shooting differences in these guns. The two guns were not destroyed by my dad until after thousands of shells were cycled and continue to be cycled through one remaining NEF PP.
Both my buddy and I know that you can go to many different gun shops and pick up the same model gun, test what the trigger feels like, look at the fit and finish and find an unbelievable amount of quality differences between the same models on any given day! This tells me Quality control must be awfully lax at times. We found that in some instances that we could pick up the more expensive $700.00 Remington 870 Wingmaster that has a nice finish and pumps the action smoothly but the trigger pulls roughness and creep along with sideplay was disgusting! yet four guns over to the right on the gun rack we could pick up the workhorse $259.00 Remington 870 express and found the trigger pull to be far superior than the better finished higher end model Wingmaster and at the same time cycle smoothly. We also found the same thing when making the comparisons from 870 Express to 870 Express, one guns fit and finish would be great, the next one horrible. One guns barrel would be very good visually the next barrel would show rings from left over tool marks, have a really rough chamber and fit to the receiver would be sloppy. This made it difficult to find an "average" 870 Express to compare to the average NEF Pardner Pump. So we made the decision to go to a gun shop we never went to before and purchase the first 870 Express we picked up off the rack. The 870 we bought turned out to be in the just OK fit and finnish department with quite frankly a very poor bluing job over the unpolished metal barrel and receiver. The inner barrel bore looked okay but showed a few machine ring marks(just because a shotgun barrel has ring marks does not mean it will not pattern well). The trigger had some creep and measured 7.2 lbs of pull to make the hammer fall. The action was stiff when cycling but we figured a few thousands shells through her would fix that problem. It did and the 870 shot Okay patterns, not great but good enough for a field gun. The 870's point of aim was about 2" high and right at 20 yards and a full 5" right and 4 "low at 40 yards with our baseline Remington STS target loads. The five inches right at 40 yards is unacceptable and was fixed to shoot point on at 40yards.
The NEF Pardner Pump shotguns we checked at many stores were very much the same in fit and finish from gun to gun and so was the trigger, the only differences we have seen are what the barrel bores looks like. The two PP's we purchased both had nice shiny smooth bores with very good chambers. We did however find some PP's that had rough chambers with the same machine ring marks that the Remington's showed. The triggers of both guns had some creep but not as much as the 870 and they both fired with a measured 6.1 and 6.3lbs respectively. All of the NEF PP's we checked have very stiff actions when cycled and in my opinion require tuning. The owners manual says the NEF PP comes with a modified choke...thats false, every Pardner pump choke we measured at every store was a true full choke and our guns patterned like full choke.
My NEF Pardner Pump now has 8000 Remington STS light target loads through her. It has 400 Remington Premier 3" magnum Turkey loads through her. It has 100 Remington Slugger HV rifled slugs through her(with an improved cylinder Choke size). It has 100 Remington express 2 3/4" OO buckshot shells through her. It has 1700 Remington heavy pheasant loads through her. It has 50 Remington Hevi Shot HV waterfowl shells through her(Dam those Hevi Shot loads are expensive) These Hevi Shot Loads should work great soon when Goose season opens! The Pardner pump also has 2000 rounds of DIANA 2 3/4" heavy target loads through her. It also has many different types of Winchester shot shell ammunition fired through her as well by folks who have borrowed the gun, but the numbers of shells and loads were not logged like the Remington Ammo and DIANA shells were. We have not fired one round of any type of handload. My self and my shooting buddy have used nothing but the Pardner Pump since the beginning of May 2005, we have fired it in pounding rain storms and in dusty dry dirty conditions, it was always cleaned and lubed after each shooting session. As of Sept. 10th 2005 the Pardner Pump has a documented 12,350 shotshells run through it with no failures to operate or feed(except a few feeding problems caused by operator errors from short shucking LOL) We plan on putting the Pardner Pump through a very harsh fall and winter hunting regime. Fall turkey season first, followed by duck,goose and upland game. It will also be used for Hunting Whitetails this fall.
The Pardner Pump patterns a very well defined, effective dense area with all chokes and shot shell load combinations. We really could not find any fault with the patterns the Pardner pump put on paper at the standard ranges with both lead and steel shot(observe proper choke use when shooting steel shot) I wish we could have found an acceptable way of testing shot string quality but this proved difficult, instead shooting experience from many shooters and barrel design gave us at least some kind of baseline for shot string length and quality with many different ammunition loads. We also tried to place a long cardboard target behind a pickup truck moving at 35 MPH (what a comedy of errors that was) But after a while we got it right. All indications show a shot string average of around 4.4 feet at 40 yards.(not bad at all) However good pattern density and shot string do not tell the whole story when it comes to good shotgunning and the Pardner Pump lacked in some key areas. One area the Pardner Pump fell down on the job was point of impact. When aiming at a specific spot the point of impact was way low and left at 20 yards and only got worse at 40 yards. At 40 yards my NEF PP's point of impact was a full 8 inches left of aim point. Since the stock is synthetic instead of wood, custom fitting for better point of impact using standard shotgun fitting methods is out of the question and you can only do so much movement of the front bead site. We ended up bending the barrel slightly by supporting the barrel ends up off a table a few inches and using a screw C clamp to make a slight bend along the middle of the barrel. After a little trial and error This barrel bending method worked GREAT! Now the point of aim is dead nuts on target with no visible marks on the barrel or the barrels raised rib. My shootings buddies Pardner Pump shot low and left also but not anywhere near as severe, his gun patterned very well and when he placed a low profile adjustable HI VIS magnetic front site on his barrel point of impact was just fine. Reports from local gunsmiths and other owners say they have not had this point of impact problem. After this barrel fix, the gun has no faults. The barrel design of the Pardner Pump includes a long forcing cone for reduced recoil and less shot deformation, its my opinion that after spending countless hours counting pellet hits on paper with all kinds of Remington shotshells that this gun patterns as good as my custom Perazzi shotgun barrels.
The Pardner Pump swings and balances nicely to target, I am partial and biased to the 28" long barrel because it gives good pointability for long precise shots along with enough swing speed to pick up fast moving close breaking birds. This is a personal thing but for an inexpensive mass produced field gun the Pardner Pump fits me fairly well. I will not get into what makes a good fitting shotgun but many people seem to be able to adjust very well to the gun. I have to say this Pardner Pump Shotgun has been one reliable shotgun, I pull the trigger and it goes bang every time with no problems. We are going to build a home defense shotgun with the PP when NEF makes other barrels available late this fall or early next year according to an NEF person I spoke with a few weeks ago on the phone.
Just to be clear...I hate any company that steals another companies design or theft of intellectual property, and have serious problems with NEF importing and selling these shotguns because they are a very close duplicate of the Remington 870. I am guessing that Remington's patent protection is all but gone for the 870 and that is why NEF can get away with selling such a close copy. But at the same time this Pardner Pump is one hell of a good deal. To me its a throw it in the truck I don't give a **** about it any weather shotgun that works reliable all the time. What more could you ask for in a gun for around $130.00.