Yup, the big one-oh-oh I feel so old...
Anyway, bought myself a new gun today. Its a mossberg 590. 8+1 shots of 12 gauge shot. It has the bayonet mount and heat shield so it should look sufficiently mean. Well if trouble happens I'll be ready. Until then I'll be praying it doesn't happen.
I was originally looking at Winchester 1300 defenders and Remington 870 HDs. The 1300 is really nice, but its sales numbers are fairly low. If you already own one, it is a problem if you want to get aftermarket parts. If you want to buy one then good luck finding someplace local with them in stock. Walmart carries the sporting models, but they do not carry the defense models. I wanted a defense gun.
The 870 is also quite nice but it has the disadvantage of being an older generation design. The 590 and 1300 have aluminum receivers. The 870 is all steel which should allow it to last longer, but makes it heavier and more expensive for what you get. Remington just doesn't offer the features the other companies do at the same price point. My Mossberg is roughly competitive with the 7 round (6+1 in the chamber) HD, but its superior in many regards. The remington needs a new forend, sling swivels, and a new mag extension just to get in the ballpark.
I also like the mossies controls better. Everybody mentions the ambidextrous safety on the back of the mossies receiver. Great position for it and a big plus. What they don't mention is that the mossberg has the bolt release back by the trigger guard instead of in front of it. That means I can press it without having to move my hand. Bigger plus.