H&R Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun Review
Part 1 - Introduction, Specifications and Summary
January 8, 2013

H&R Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun Review

The other day I was reading a firearms magazines and one of their readers asked a question similar to "why don't you review some affordable firearms".  Their basic complaint was that reviewers seem to review firearms and then act like dropping $700+ is no big deal.  Another way to put it is that reviewers tend to review firearms that many people just cannot afford in today's economy.  Honestly, I thought that person had a good point and I started wondering how many times I have been guilty of doing the same thing.  His comments planted a seed in my mind for me to find some more value minded firearms to review.

A week or so later I was in Wal-Mart and as I made my normal rounds through the sporting goods department, I noticed that there was a pump shotgun on display for a bargain price of $179.  The shotgun was the H&R Pardner Pump Protector.  Immediately I thought this would make a great "value minded" pump shotgun to review.  As I studied and considered all the firearms being sold at Wal-Mart, it became clear that there was something significant with the consumer's desire for home defense and tactical firearms.  Over the years I have seen many Ruger Mini 14 rifles and Mossberg Combo shotguns behind the Wal-Mart gun counter, but what I'm seeing today represents a whole new level of "black" firearms at Wal-Mart and I feel certain Wal-Mart  has done their marketing research to know market trends.  I never thought I would see the day when you could buy AR style rifles and tactical shotguns at Wal-Mart, but that day has arrived and Wal-Mart will likely be my inspiration for a few other reviews in the near future.

 

After studying the shotgun through their fancy rotating gun display case, I had the clerk let me take a close look at the Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun and my initial impression was that this shotgun would be a great shotgun for those on a tight budget who wanted a good home defense shotgun.  The shotgun comes in 12 gauge, will accept 5 rounds in the magazine and has an 18.5" barrel.  I was also surprised to see that the receiver comes drilled and tapped to mount a rail if desired for some type of optical sight in the future.  When you consider these basic features and a price of $179, as long as the Pardner proves to be reliable, this really would be a great shotgun to have on hand.  The next day I contacted H&R and requested one for review.

During my reviews I like to compare my results to the manufacturer's claims where possible, so the following text in colored italics was taken directly from the H&R  website on 12/1/12 and gives an Overview, Key Features, and Specifications for the Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun.  The , and are my way to keep up with details that I have covered in this review with either photos, commentary or both.

Overview

  • A Pardner for every hunting and shooting occasion. We’re proud to offer one of the finest values in repeating shotguns, and even prouder of the fact that generations of hunters and shooters are putting our Pardner Pump® shotgun to the test every day with drop-dead results.
  • We set the standard with our 12-gauge lineup and incorporated all our superior quality and diverse offerings into completely scaled-down 20-gauge models built on our smooth, dependable action.

Key Features

  • Our home-defense model rigged with an 18 ½" cylinder bore barrel for quick maneuvering in tight quarters.
  • Offered in a plain black synthetic stock.
  • It has a grooved fore-end with sling swivel studs installed.
  • Comes in 12 gauge with a 2 ¾" and 3" chamber.

Specifications

  • Model: Pardner® Pump Protector
  • Gauge: 12 Gauge (NP1-P18)
  • Stock: Black synthetic with grooved fore-end and ventilated recoil pad and swivel studs
  • Barrel: 18 1/2" 
  • Chamber: Up to 3" 
  • Magazine Capacity: 5
  • Sights: Bead front ; drilled and tapped for scope base
  • Choke: N/A no removable choke possible, but the muzzle barrel diameter is that of a cylinder bore choke
  • Length: 37 5/8"  review shotgun measured 38.6" from the tip of the barrel to the back of the buttstock
  • Length of Pull: 14 1/4" review shotgun measured 13.6" from center of buttpad to front of trigger
  • Drop at Comb: 1-1/2"  review shotgun measured 1.65"
  • Drop at Heel: 2-1/2"  review shotgun measured 2.77"
  • Weight: 7-1/2 lbs. review shotgun weighed in at 7.76 pounds empty
  • Owner's Manual: Download Owner's Manual
  • MSRP:  Not listed at the H&R website.  Wal-Mart Price December 2012 is $179.

This review is broken down into multiple parts with this page providing links to each part along with an overall summary of the specifications, pros and cons, and my final "bottom line" comments.  Make sure you take time to checkout the other parts of the review because they contain many photos and lots of commentary.  Also, there is an extreme amount of detail in those parts which is not covered on this page.

As you read these Pros and Cons below, keep in mind that it is hard to keep my particular preferences from creeping in the equation.  Therefore, it is important that you take the time to look at the other parts of this review so you can decide yourself on items which may be more of a personal preference.

Pros:

  • Value.  At a price of $179, this shotgun is hard to beat for someone on a budget.
  • After studying the Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun, the thought that keeps coming to my mind is that this shotgun seems to be built like a tank (in a good way).  When you consider the steel barrel and receiver, aluminum trigger guard and extra thick stock, it has the potential to be able to handle a rugged environment .
  • The shotgun will accept Remington 870 aftermarket accessories such as stocks and forearms.  Be warned that the forearms may require a little lubrication and sanding to get a fit that would let you easily remove the forearm again if needed (see Part 5, around Figure 86).
  • Disassembly was very simple on the Pardner Pump Shotgun, which is typical of most pump shotguns.  If you are familiar with a Remington 870, then you will be an instant pro disassembling this shotgun.
  • I tried to cycle the action as fast as possible and each time the rounds chambered without issue.

Pro/Con/Comment (you decide)?:

  • The trigger pull on the Pardner was similar to that of my 870, but it did have a rougher feel.  I wouldn't say the trigger pull was bad, but I also wouldn't say it was good.  It is about what I would expect from a value based shotgun.
  • At an empty weight of 7.75 pounds, this shotgun is not a featherweight, but when you consider it as a home defense shotgun, I don't see extended carry situations being a real issue.
  • H&R should revisit some of the specifications for this shotgun and update their website as required.

Cons:

  • The barrel on the review shotgun had a slight left bow.  For the intended distance of this home protection shotgun (well under 25 yards), I decided to continue the review using the same barrel so that I would have some data on how real this bow may shift the point of impact (POI).  My range tests show that the shift in POI was less than 4" at 25 yards and less than 2" at 7 yards when using slugs. My conclusion was that the bow in the barrel didn't shift the point of impact too much and the shotgun would still be suitable for inside home defense.  If you are at the store purchasing any firearm, always take a close look at the firearm for barrel straightness and barrel/receiver alignment.  If it doesn't look good, ask the clerk to bring another one out for you to inspect.  This issue can be avoided with a close look before you buy.

 

Bottom Line:

If it were not for the bow in the barrel on the review shotgun, I would be completely satisfied with H&R Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun, especially when you consider it is possible to get one for under $200.  When you couple the performance and value along with potential Remington 870 aftermarket accessories, the shotgun should have some real appeal towards a budget shopper in today's economy.  Since the Pardner Pump is an imported shotgun, you will need to stay 922(r) compliant if you decide to add a magazine extension tube for extra capacity.  If you are on a tight budget and looking for a good home defense pump shotgun, take a close look at the H&R Pardner Pump Protector the next time you are at your local gun store.  As always, take a close look at any firearm before you buy to minimize the potential that something may be wrong with it before you get it home.

2/20/13 Update:  I sent the shotgun back to H&R for them to inspect and correct.  Less than three weeks later, the shotgun was delivered back to me and the overall alignment of the barrel seemed to be much better.  They determined that there was "barrel to receiver misalignment" and did something to correct the issue.  Is the barrel still bent?  Yes.  Does it now look to be in a live-able condition?  Yes.  Again, inspect any firearm closely before you buy it.


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