H&R Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun Review
Part 6 - Range Test
January 8, 2013

H&R Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun Review

For range testing the H&R Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun, I chose to do this in two sessions.  The first session was to evaluate the significance of the barrel bow and the second was to shoot a variety of types of ammunition to see how the shotgun performed and to show some groups using different loads at different distances.

 


Session 1

For this shooting session I wanted to evaluate the significance of the barrel having a slight bow to the left.  Since I received this shotgun directly from H&R for review, I never had a chance to take a close look at the shotgun before it was transferred to me.  Having owned and reviewed a few shotguns over the years, I'm pretty observant when it comes to noticing the alignment of the receiver and barrel.  If I were purchasing from a local store, the bow (or bend) in the barrel of this shotgun is something I would have recognized immediately in the store.  The photo below is my attempt to show the bow in the barrel.  I have placed lines on each side of the barrel that touch the outside receiver-end and muzzle-end of the barrel.  You can see that there is a larger gap on the bottom (left side of barrel) than the top between the barrel and the line at a location about half way down the barrel.

Figure 1

Figure 2 - Zoomed In At Mid Span
 

To evaluate the POI shift, I grabbed a few boxes of Winchester Super-X 12 Gauge 2.75" Rifled Hollow Point Slugs and headed to my local range Hi Caliber Firearms.  I proceeded to hang a Caldwell Orange Peel 12" Bullseye Target and sent the target 25 yards down range.  The target below is the first one that I shot and is a good example of my results shooting slugs through the Pardner Pump Protector at 25 yards.  The center of the group below is about 2.5" left and 3" high (less than 4 " from point of aim).  This 3-shot group shown measured 1.1", which was my best group during this range session.  My other groups at this distance were less than 2.5" and I feel are an acceptable accuracy for a smooth bore home defense style shotgun, especially when you consider I was shooting using only the bead sight.  If you were to add a rail and optic on the receiver, I feel that you could achieve an even greater accuracy.  Also, adding some other type of sight would allow you to zero out any shift in the POI.  I shot another group at 7 yards and the group center was only about 2" in the same direction from the point of aim.  My conclusion was that the bow in the barrel didn't shift the point of impact too much and the shotgun would still be effective for inside home defense.

Figure 1
H&R Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun Review


Session 2

I conducted my next shooting session at my outdoor range in Alabama.  The photos below show my setup used while shooting paper targets to show shot patterns.   I used a variety of Federal, Hornady and Winchester ammunition.

Figure 2
H&R Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun Review

Figure 3
H&R Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun Review

For demonstrating shot patterns, I selected two distances (7 yards and 21 yards) which gives you a good idea of potential patterns at distances that would represent inside and outside of a house for home defense shooting.  Since I had already established that there was a shift in the point of impact due to the barrel bend, I have marked each target with the "Point of Aim".  For the 7 yard distance, the point of aim was always the center of the target.

These first two targets show the Federal 7.5 Shot and at 7 yards you get about a 12" pattern spread.

 Figure 4                                                                Figure 5
Federal 12 ga 2 3/4" 7.5 Shot
7 Yards                                                                21 Yards
H&R Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun Review  H&R Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun Review

The Hornady Varmint Express #4 Buckshot clusters in a fairly tight group at 7 yards and then spreads out to about 11" in diameter at 21 yards.

Figure 6                                                                Figure 7
Hornady Varmint Express 12 ga 2 3/4" #4 Buckshot
7 Yards                                                                21 Yards
H&R Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun Review   H&R Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun Review

The Hornady Critical Defense 00 Buckshot clusters in a fairly tight group at 7 yards also and then seemed to have a higher point of impact even with me using a shifted point of aim on the target.  The 21 yard target shows 6 of the 8 shot holes and it seems to have held a fairly tight pattern just like I have seen with other shotguns.  Since shooting shot shells has a certain amount of randomness with shot pattern centers, based on this target, I feel looking into getting the barrel bend corrected is functionally prudent.

Figure 8                                                                Figure 8
Hornady Critical Defense 12 ga 2 3/4" 00 Buckshot
7 Yards                                                                21 Yards
H&R Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun Review   H&R Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun Review

The Hornady Zombie Max 00 Z-Shot also clusters in a fairly tight group at 7 yards also and seemed to have similar results to other 00 Buckshot at 21 yards.  I actually shot two targets shown at 21 yards with a center and shifted point of aim.  Clearly a shifted point of aim is preferred with this barrel based on number of shot holes through the target.

Figure 10                                                                Figure 11
Hornady Zombie Max 12 ga 2 3/4" 00 Z-Shot
7 Yards                                                                21 Yards
H&R Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun Review   H&R Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun Review

Figure 12
Hornady Zombie Max 12 ga 2 3/4" 00 Z-Shot
21 Yards
H&R Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun Review

Last I shot some Winchester PDX1 rounds and was impressed with the 7 yard pattern of slug and three 00 Buckshot.  After making two shots at 21 yards, I only got one of the 00 Buckshot to impact the target.

Figure 13                                                              Figure 14
Winchester PDX1 12 Defender 12 ga 2 3/4" 1 oz Rifled Slug & 3 Plated 00 Buck Pellets
7 Yards                                                                21 Yards
H&R Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun Review   H&R Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun Review

After gathering some paper target data, I took the time to cycle various rounds through the shotgun while shooting at my steel torso target.  The H&R Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun cycled everything I put through it just like a pump shotgun should do.  I tried to cycle the action as fast as possible and each time the rounds chambered without issue.

 

Thoughts

If it were not for the bow in the barrel, I would be extremely pleased with the range test results considering the low cost of the H&R Pardner Pump Protector Shotgun.  Knowing that a good pre-buy inspection would prevent you from walking out of the store with this type of issue, I am pleased with how the shotgun performed.  Regardless of what people think, you should always take the time to shoulder and aim a shotgun.  At 7 yards, the spread of various buckshot loads is less than the size of your fist and without aiming, you risk potentially missing your threat.

For more detailed photos and commentary, make sure you check out the other parts of this review and feel free to leave comments on my Reader's Comments page.  The following links are provided to help you see other parts of this review. 


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