Monday, December 6, 2010

Defense Shotgun on the Cheap

Cheaper Than Dirt has an almost unbelievable deal on a defense shotgun, the Ultra 87 by Century International Arms.  I don't know how long they will last, but for now they are selling for $145.77. Item 70782.

At this price, there is good and bad, of course.

The good:
Based on Remington 870 design, with improved safety on tang like Mossberg.
Is drilled and tapper for weaver rail, which is included.
Has sights mounted to barrel, including a fiber optic front sight.
Comes with sling swivels mounted.
Black synthetic furniture and 19" barrel.  Others have reported that barrel is chrome-lined.
Inexpensive, including no credit card surcharge by CTD and $7.99 shipping (same amount for two shotguns).

The bad:
Made in China.
Some Century products have not been well-crafted.  Some owners have reported the front sight to come loose.
Apparently these shotguns do not have a durable finish and some owners have reported rust problems.
Future parts availability may not be there.
No guaranteed compatibility of parts with Remington or even similar Chinese shotguns.

It appears that Century has been marketing this shotgun in one form or another for several years.  From my own internet search, the owners' reviews have been mixed.  About 75% seem to be happy with the shotgun, despite its shortcomings.  Some others have said that the shotgun is poorly made.

If this turns out to be a serviceable shotgun, it may be a good, inexpensive home defense or truck gun, especially considering the included swivels, sights, and rail.  I think it would be handy to have as a "handout" defense gun for friends and relatives who show up unarmed when SHTF. 

I bought one for myself and will report back on it when it arrives at my FFL dealer. 

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