Starter shotgun

Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by Jerry Daschofsky, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    I should start by saying I'm not new to shotguns. I did some tactical training with some in the late 80s and have used for home defense. When I still had my tactical shotgun I'd practice with it regularly. I also had an old Savage single shot slug gun I just sold off. We used them for awhile for deer when I went through my "sporting phase". I was young what can I say then. LOL. So know a little about using shotgun.

    BUT, I have friends who duck hunt. I realize there truly isn't a single guage that's multipurpose or a certain shotgun that is best for all situations. I'm of course going to practice with it and go to a range with traps to get the feel for how it handles. My question isn't training or where to hunt. So no need for debates on that please. What I'm asking is your opinions (and I know opinions are like assholes lol) and what to look for and what guage would be a great all around starter outfit? Mostly doing ducks, grouse, and maybe pheasant right now. I don't need expensive, around the $300 range. Just know there are makes and models to stay away from. Guage, pump or semi, brand and model, etc. I'm literally a newbie to bird hunting outside of going with an old friend a few times. Just figured if I'm going to do it I'm gonna start it out right. Figured if I progress can upgrade my shotgun and hand this one down to my son.

    So what words of wisdom do you have for me? Besides head for the hills and forget it. LOL
     
  2. wet line

    wet line New Member

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    Remington 870 pump in 12 guage. I would lean towards a 26 inch barrel with interchangeable choke tubes. Chambered for 3 inch shells is probably a good thing however I seldom use anything other than 2 3/4 inch shells which does the job.

    Except for pass shooting I strongly recommend an improved cylinder choke. I also suggest to just shoot steel shot and high velocity loads like 1 1/8th ounce loads for 2 3/4 inch shells. My prefferance is steel 3s for everthing other than geese. For geese I like either steel BB's or T shot and a modified choke tube.

    Steel for everything in that steel loads are considerably faster than lead loads by as much as 300 feet per second. That definately changes lead.

    Dave
     
  3. D3Smartie

    D3Smartie Active Member

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    dont have much to add to what wetline posted. an 870 is a great choice. make sure you get a gun that fits you though.
     
  4. Steve Call

    Steve Call Active Member

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    Definitely a 12 gauge. I'd recommend hitting Cabela's. They have a large selection of used shotguns, as well as many new ones. It'll give you an opportunity to look and get the feel of a lot of different guns. That'll allow you to narrow down the style (auto, pump, O/U), model, barrel length, etc. that feels good. Some guns will feel better than others. You'll be able to get much more gun for $300 buying used. Lot's a places to purchase good used shotguns.
     
  5. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks guys. Planned on used. Gives me a starting point. I've looked at Cabelas yesterday when I was discussing demos. Such a variety was wondering where to start.
     
  6. Dave Alberts

    Dave Alberts Active Member

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    Hi Jerry--
    The above is good advise...the 870 is a great gun...I use a Remington 11-87 SP (semi-auto, vs pump) for ducks and geese. The SP has a flat matte finish on both barrel and stock--not as "pretty" as the glossy 870, but doesn't flash in the sun. I totally agree with the 2 3/4" being adequate for most duck situations.

    As for good information, good deals, and best price, the WAC gunshows are hard to beat--lots of used guns to compare and knowledgeable vendors to talk to. You have to be a member to buy or sell, but that's easy... Let me know if you want more info.

    Dave
     
  7. Jim Ficklin

    Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

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    870 is a good choice (tho I no longer own one, but an 870 served me well when I did.). I'd definitely avoid fixed chokes & look for a model with interchangable choke tubes, no matter what you end-up with. For a "starter waterfowl gun," Mossbergs or the Benelli Nova would also be an acceptable option . . . lotta bang for the buck (no pun intended) & lots of hunters have harvested lots of birds with them.
     
  8. Guy Gregory

    Guy Gregory Active Member

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    I agree with the above, a pump shotgun is fool resistant and reliable. You should be able to get one that shoots 3" mags and 2 3/4 inch loads without any cost differential, absolutely get one with interchangable choke tubes, and get factory tubes to fit, IC, skeet, and modified. 3 to look at: Benelli Nova, Remington, and Winchester. All are fine, safe, good guns, get the one that fits.
     
  9. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

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    Here's my asshole, erm, I mean opinion. You haven't mentioned left handed so I'm thinking a BPS isn't needed. It's a bottom loader and is my first choice in a shotgun. The major reason is it's hefty, as opposed to heavy, and handles recoil fine for a pump. The other reasons is double arms in the forearm, and safety on the top of the receiver like all double shotguns.

    The next choice for me has been the Wingmaster. It's more gauge specific in it's receivers, but that only applies to sub-gauges. This means the 410 will not weigh 7 pounds.

    Other than these two the Benelli Nova is a good choice. It only comes in synthetic furniture.

    Which brings me to the options, synthetic stocks (even camo), variable chokes, and a good fit, you gotta put it up to your shoulder. You should see a nice flat rib looking back at you. A sling is a handy accessory for hauling it to the blind with all the other stuff one has.

    Lastly ammo, use Tungsten Matrix, Nice Shot, or Bismuth. In my book steel is useless in comparison, no where near the density or lethality. Practice with lead and kill with non-tox. 12 gauge is the most versatile gauge either factory or hand loads. It also throws the largest payloads. But don't think 3 1/2 inch magnums are needed for anything but the longest sky busting or just putting a good bruise in your shoulder and cheek.

    The last 3 suggestions are, fit, fit, and fit....
     
  10. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh shit guys. I prefer to shoot left handed though I am an ambidextrous shooter. Just for kill shots I prefer a lefty.
     
  11. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    And synthetic doesn't bug me. I'm one for practical. I'm worried more on functionality not looks.
     
  12. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

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    Jerry, it's the 870, hands down. The less expensive mag with the parkerized reciever is the gun. It's your all round boat pole, shotgun, tent pole, shovel, weiner roaster and hiking staff, all rolled into one tool! They're not fun to carry, but indestructible, and certainly can be passed down. I have one I've used for almost 30 years on waterfowl. Highly recommended, and they're not very expensive.
     
  13. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Weight isn't an issue for me. Have spots that I salmon fish where I can hit the sloughs and duck hunt. I'll be shopping for one after the first of the year. May have to look into the 870. Thanks everyone. I appreciate it! Plus would give me another event to show up to and cook (since I usually only do events I can participate in).
     
  14. wet line

    wet line New Member

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    Roper,

    Steel is very lethal especially in fast loads and that is really the key. When steel first came out the loads were of comparable velocities as lead and were lacking to say the least. Steel loads coming out at around 1400 feet per second plus drop birds, period! Velocity is the key, Energy = mass X velocity squared. Speed kills! I started out hunting with lead shot, for over 20 years, and it took a while to adust and adjust I did! Except in a few situations if we could bo back to lead I would stay with the high velocity steel for everything except big geese. I have many season since steel shot was the law with over 100 ducks harvested in a season. If anything was conclusive I have had fewer cripples using #3 shot out of an implroved cylinder than I ever had shooting lead out of a full choke. But then I am very aware of what is appropriate shooting distances. A shotgun has always been a 40 yd tool. Yes there are those times where birds were dropped at longer ranges but as in fishing some of the distances bragged about are just a bit over the top. The rule of thumb is if you cann't see the eye it is too far away!

    Dave
     
  15. Slipstream

    Slipstream Active Member

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    The 870 Wingmaster is/was manufactured in a left hand model. The 870 Express was introduced with a heavier barrel about the time steel shot became mandatory. It may also be available in a left hand version. You might be able to find a used one. Good luck. The 870 is a workhorse. SS