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A seafaring Turk: if you're worried about security on the bounding main, this new marine shotgun offers it for just a few pieces of eight.

We can assume that almost as soon as the first-hand cannon was made, guns were being carried on ships. The range advantage firearms held over bows and arrows and other hand-thrown weapons was almost certainly an eye-opener for early sailors.

By the time of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, small arms were a vital part of naval combat.

Though the Royal Navy won the battle, its commander, Adm. Horatio Nelson, was killed by a French musketeer firing from the tops of the Redoubtable.

That was the most famous rifle shot ever fired at sea until 2009, when Navy SEALs killed Somali pirates holding the captain of the MV Maersk Alabama.

Now, few of us will ever have to slug it out with Somali buccaneers, but a boat of any size can be an attractive target for criminals, especially in a remote location.

And a shotgun on board can be useful in perfectly pacific roles like firing flare cartridges or survival hunting.

The big problem with keeping a shotgun aboard is corrosion control. In the days of wooden ships and iron men, many parts were made of brass, Steel parts were japanned with a heavy enamel or even covered in leather to resist salt spray.

We are fortunate to have some much more effective rust-resistant protective measures today. Electroless nickel plating has been commonly used in the firearms trade for more than 30 years. As the name implies, it is an entirely chemical process that doesn't require electricity, as does traditional nickel plating.

This has the advantages of eliminating the power bill and evenly depositing the plating all over the workpiece.

Electroless nickel as used in the firearms industry usually has a satin or matte finish, often with a pewter cast rather than the mirror finish of traditional nickel.

It can be used on steel, aluminum and other metals, and with the proper surface preparation, even on plastics.

EPA regulations have made electrodeposited nickel plating very expensive, which has led many manufacturers to offer polished stainless as a more durable substitute for those who want a mirror finish.

Now, whether a silvery gun is advisable tactically can be debated, but a shiny finish is a hallmark of "marine" models.

The first one I recall was the Mossberg 500 Mariner, which was made 1995-2008, when it was cashiered in favor of the Model 590 Mariner, which remains in the line. A variety of other manufacturers and importers have offered them in similar format."

Now comes a 10-year-old. Turkish company, Pardus, with the PS Synthetic Marine. It's a high seas-ready pump gun imported in this country by longtime FAN advertiser. I.O., Inc.

When you see a European manufacturer making pump guns, it's for the American market. You'll occasionally see pumps in the hands of foreign police, but hunters outside this country want autoloaders or double guns.

So it's not particularly surprising that foreign makers avoid reinventing the wheel and, to one degree or another, copy the most successful pump gun of all, the Remington 870. With more than 11 million sold since 1950, it's hard to name a shotgun more thoroughly proven.

What overseas manufacturers don't tend to copy is the 870's steel receiver, which is laboriously machined from an 11-pound block of steel.

They use lighter and much easier to machine aluminum, which makes the gun lighter overall and, conveniently for a marine shotgun, more corrosion resistant.

Aluminum-receivered guns also have a different feel than steel, but 10 million Mossberg 500s and countless Berettas and Benellis have accustomed the American shooting man to them, to the point that even Remington is using aluminum.

Pardus doubles down on corrosion-resistance with au injection-molded trigger body, with integral trigger guard. Again, Mossberg has been doing this for some years, so it's by no means a new thing. There are a variety of small steel parts, but the trigger assembly is easily removed for lubrication and maintenance by driving out its pins.

Continuing the theme, the bolt body, barrel extension and bore are chrome-plated, while the action bars are electroless nickel. The chrome is whiter than the pewter electroless nickel, giving the PS a slightly piebald look.

The front sight is nickeled, which is great in semi-darkness, probably not so great at high noon off Eleuthera.

The receiver top surface has a dovetailed rail section on which you could mount a red dot or rimfire scope using tip-off mounts, but I would suggest keeping it light.

The internal bore diameter is .720", a bit tight by today's standards. External barrel diameter is .890", meaning the barrel walls are quite substantial at .085". This looks a bit odd, but I suppose if you had to whack a boarder on the skull, it would be more effective.

The barrel is 20 inches long. You can get shotguns with 18-inch barrels, but they don't balance well and muzzle blast is grim. A 20-inch tube is plenty short unless you want to go to an Any Other Weapon pistol-style configuration.

The stock and fore-end are quite stylishly molded in black. The fore-end is stepped about 7 inches back from the magazine cap, and deeply grooved for a solid grasp.

There's a seven-slotted accessory rail at the front for mounting white lights or lasers. A hand stop at its rear keeps you from sweeping your light off when returning the fore-end after firing.

The buttstock is attractively contoured and sports molded-in checkering at 18 lines per inch. Something a bit coarser might have been preferred for sea duty, but it looks great, even the curious patch of checkering oil the bottom of the grip cap.

The ventilated recoil pad is swept forward about 2 inches down from the heel in the manner of certain Benelli and Browning products. It's retained by a single Philips screw at the toe of the stock. If you want to store survival items in the butt or possibly fill it with some spray foam to kill the hollow sound it issues when "struck, the pad is easy to remove.

There's a sling swivel for 3/4" slings at the butt and another on the magazine cap.

The trigger guard has a rakish profile and incorporates a triangular safety button behind the trigger. The instruction pamphlet does not indicate if it is reversible.

I patterned the PS with results shown in the accompanying tables, and function-fired it with a bag of ammo dating from the 1980s, including some very high-brassed Dan Arms No. 6s.

Operation was very tight for the first few shots, even once some lubrication was added. Two of the first three shots failed to fire, and I suspect that was because the rounds weren't fully seated. Repeated cycling loosened things up thereafter, but if you're thinking of using the PS for defense, my advice would be several boxes of break-in ammo.

I don't usually include multiple pattern tables, but the Federal Personal Defense buckshot I chose patterned so tightly at 25 yards that I thought the results uninformative and moved out to 50.

This load uses Federal's waterfowl-centric Flite Control wad, which is a very heavy piece with petals at the rear that retard the wad in flight, shuttlecock fashion, to separate it from the shot charge.

The resulting patterns are very tight, with the bonus that the wad itself often hits the target. That's good if you want all the energy going into the target, less good if you are counting on pattern spread to cover up aiming errors.

At home interior distances, you're essentially shooting a very powerful rifle with this ammo".

With the Pardus weighing just 6.2 pounds, 1 expected recoil to be grim with powerful ammo, but the swoopy recoil pad seemed effective. You do want to be careful not to rest the index finger of the support hand against the accessory rail; it will give you a rap.

At $259 retail, the PS is a very inexpensive choice for seagoing protection. Those who disdain Turkish shotguns should have a look back to the 1950s, when American makers like Hi-Standard or Noble made inexpensive pumps that dominated the low end of the market.

My only caveat would be that you should subject the PS to a break-in period of at least 100 rounds before "Counting on it to repel boarders.

Caption: The Pardus PS Marine is a very inexpensive pump shotgun intended for use afloat. Extensive electroless nickel and chrome plating protect it in wet conditions.

Caption: The trigger guard has a swoopy shape and a distinctive triangular safety button. It's injection-molded, so you'll have no fear of corrosion from salt water.

Caption: The magazine follower is orange, making it easy to ensure that the four-round magazine is empty. The trigger body is injection-molded for corrosion resistance.

Caption: There's a dovetailed rail on top of the receiver. You could mount an optic using tip-off rings, but you'd be well advised to keep its weight light.

Caption: The front sight bead is electroless nickel plated like the rest of the barrel. It'll be easy to see in low light, but will tend to disappear in sunlight.

Caption: The fore-end is stepped and deeply grooved for a secure grasp in any weather. The accessory rail has a hand stop at the rear to protect the fingers.

Caption: The buttstock is hollow and the ventilated rubber recoil pad is swept forward in a style favored by some much better-known members of the shotgun industry.

Caption: The pistol grip is nicely shaped and well checkered at 18 lines per inch. Some might prefer a rougher stippled grip for grabbing it with wet hands at sea.

Caption: PARDUS PS MARINE Cylinder Bore

Caption: PARDUS PS MARINE Cylinder Bore

Caption: The PS has 3/4" sling swivels on the magazine cap and on the buttstock. There's an accessory rail at the front of the fore-end for mounting lights or lasers.

Manufacturer:        Pardus Ltd., Istanbul, Turkey

Importer:            I.O. Incorporated 2144
                     Franklin Drive NE Palm Bay,
                     FL 32905

Type:                Pump shotgun

Gauge:               12, 3-inch

Weight:              6.2 pounds

Overall Length:      41 inches

Barrel Length:       20 inches

Length of Pull:      14 1/2 inches

Drop at Heel:        2 1/2 inches

Drop at Comb:        1 1/2 inches

Magazine Capacity:   4

Trigger Pull:        7 pounds

Price:               $259
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Author:Hunnicutt, Robert W.
Publication:Firearms News
Date:May 1, 2017
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