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I'm new to owning a shotgun, just bought a Mossberg 500 "Special Purpose Persuader" 12 ga 18.5" barrel shotgun for home defense.

I just joined the NRA and am looking into taking a shotgun intro course.

I have a couple of newbie questions, hope you bear with me.

1) Besides home defense, I'd like to use the gun for hunting or target practice. My understanding that the 18.5" barrel length is best suited for close range in tight spaces, like for home defense. What length barrel would I need for hunting and target practice?

2) Can I swap out the 18.5" barrel for a longer barrel, without having to buy a completely new gun? Do I need any other parts?

3) I bought rifled slugs for target practice at the NRA gun range. I plan to spend some time shooting at targets to get comfortable with the gun. Do I need a heat shield for the barrel? I've read 2 things on this forum: a) don't get the heat shield, it's just for looks, and it will scratch your barrel, and b) you'll want a heat shield if you're firing more than 3 shells in a succession. Just trying to get a consensus on this before I go to the gun range.

Thanks. I know nothing about guns as my questions probably reflect, but I'm looking forward to enjoying gun ownership.
 

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bigtuna said:
1) Besides home defense, I'd like to use the gun for hunting or target practice. My understanding that the 18.5" barrel length is best suited for close range in tight spaces, like for home defense. What length barrel would I need for hunting and target practice?
A barrel with a length of anywhere from from 24inches to 28inches will work for most shotgun sports/hunting. Mine happens to be 28 inches.

2) Can I swap out the 18.5" barrel for a longer barrel, without having to buy a completely new gun? Do I need any other parts?
Yes, you can swap out barrels easily. No, Extra parts are not required to attach a different barrel. Reffer to your owners manual for instructions.

3) I bought rifled slugs for target practice at the NRA gun range. I plan to spend some time shooting at targets to get comfortable with the gun. Do I need a heat shield for the barrel?
I am of the oppinion that a heat shield is just for looks.
Thanks. I know nothing about guns as my questions probably reflect, but I'm looking forward to enjoying gun ownership.
We all got to start somewhere.

Shoot safe and good luck with your new shotgun,
Sho†gun Minis†®,
 

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As far as the heatshield goes, i too think it is just for looks. Here is how you handle it: if you fire 3 or more shots, don't grab the barrel. (ask me how I know). By the way - For Sale, one heat shield, brand new! They do look kinda cool though.
 

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A buddy of mine had a 590 with the heat shield. He ended up losing one of the screws after he took it off. We saw no difference in anything. I like them better w/o, but he liked it on there. He did get a new screw (and then traded it for a mariner two days later). In my opinion, it is all in the look.

-Jamas
 

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I have a 24" rifle sight barrel and a 28" vent rib w/screw in chokes for my 500. If you buy a longer barrel i would recommend getting one with screw in choke tubes. Even though i'm not keen on ebay, you can get some good deals on moss barrels. And yes they are easy to change.

Cobray
 

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You choose a good gun to start out with shotguns. I have a standard 500 12 gauge with a 18.5" barrel and 28" barrel and you can swap out in about 20 seconds.

Congrats on your new shotgun. :)
 
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