For a while now I have wanted to do a 20 gauge project to explore the concept of using a 20 gauge shotgun as a home defense tool. I am finally getting around to it, and hitting a couple other birds with the same stone. This will be both a 20 gauge build, a budget gun build, and a gun that has the same manual of arms as a Remington 870.
The gun I chose for this project is the H&R Pardner Pump, model # NP1-2S1. It is a 21” barreled 20ga with a youth stock, vent rib and bead sighted gun that will accept chokes. The cost was a few bucks under $200. I think normally they run closer to $150, but prices are a up a bit in the current madness.
First impression is that this is a cheap gun. Fingers crossed it can handle the abuse I plan to throw at it. Out of the box the gun is set up with a magazine tube restriction of only two rounds. There is a plastic rod in the magazine tube that prevents it from loading anymore shells. This is fairly typical of non-tactical shotguns, and easy to fix. Removing the magazine tube retaining cap gets us access to the magazine retaining plug. Push down and rotate 90 degrees. Out comes the plug, and we have access to the magazine tube spring and the plastic rod restricting our capacity.
One of the reasons I chose this gun specifically is that it comes setup to accept chokes and includes a modified choke tube. One of the issues with 20 gauge is that it has not benefited from the technology developed for 12 gauge shot shells. Especially in terms of “self defense” loads. Choke tubes, while not a complete solution, it at least gets me something over a cylinder bore shotgun of the same gauge.
The other reason is length. While 21” is a bit longer barrel than I prefer, it is still acceptable. It isn’t so long that using it in an interior space would be that much more difficult than my 18.5” gun. Although, an 18.5” 20ga that will take chokes would be pretty baller. Just not sure one exist.
On top of all that, this is a youth stocked gun. Most “adult” sized shotguns have a length of pull (distance between butt of stock and face of trigger), of 14” or a bit more. This gun has a LOP of 13”. This just happens to be my preferred LOP. Some people like it another half inch shorter, but this is close enough for what it is.
The H&R is often referred to as a “clone” of the Remington 870. it does have some parts compatibility with the 870, and a manual of arms that is the same, but there are enough differences that some things just don’t quite work, like barrels. Remington 870 barrels will not fit on H&R guns, unfortunately.
The ejector is also different. The H&R uses a riveted leaf spring. this is closer to what Winchester uses, minus the rivet.
The trigger group definitely has a Remington feel to it. The safety and bolt release work just like an 870 does. The bolt is also very Remington. Using the same basic setup, including an extractor on just one side of the bolt.
As with many things that come from China, the H&R seems like a bit of an amalgamation of all the different shotgun manufacturers. Controls work like Remington, but has some design characteristics from some other manufacturers.
Stay tuned for the updates. I hope to give this gun a decent workout, and over time try a few different upgrades. It should be a fun time. If there is anything specific you would like to see, please leave a comment, and I will do what I can. Also, if you want to donate a pile of 20ga, I promise to shoot it all through this gun.