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HerrJaegermeister
July 20, 2002, 09:32 PM
I'm looking to put a new barrel on my 870 Wingmaster. Does Hastings still make shotgun barrels for bird hunting? Where can I order one on the internet?

I have a 1980s 870 Wingmaster magnum. I pulled the glossy wood and bought some black plastic stocks. It shaved some weight off the gun.

I have a fully rifled Hastings Paradox with a cantilever with a scope on it. With Federal Barnes Expanders, it is a deadly deer gun.

I have a modified choked 30-inch barrel that is original. I'd like to go to a 26 inch with choke tubes for faster pheasant hunting. I'd like to use an improved cylinder in the early season and then use a modified or improved modified in the late season here in northwest Iowa and over in northeast Nebraska.

Please help.

I'd like to switch to an O/U but they are expensive. I'm saving for a Red Label all weather once my wedding is paid for (7/27/2002).

HSMITH
July 20, 2002, 10:03 PM
Hastings still makes barrels for birds, in fact their "wadlock" barrel is legendary with hardcore waterfowlers. It has a straight rifling that is supposed to deliver better patterns. About the best price you will find is from Cabela's. They have internet shopping. I would be VERY surprised if you beat their price on Hastings barrels. The Hastings chokes are very high quality as well.

Hope this helps.

Dave McC
July 21, 2002, 08:26 AM
Hastings makes good stuff. A coupla things...

A 26" bbl with choke tubes is an excellent choice for pheasants, assuming proper load and choke. But so is a Modified in a fixed choke. The key to adjusting the pattern in a fixed choke gun is adjusting the load. Soft 7 1/2s or 6s for early season, premium loads in 4,5 or 6 shot for later. Please pattern a few of each.

And since weight seems an issue, a 26" tubechoked bbl will weigh and swing like the present bbl. All else equal, a tubed bbl will be a bit more nose heavy than a fixed choke. this may/may not be a prob for you.

FYI, I consider an 870 with tubes running from Cylinder to Full an excellent Ringneck whacker with the right loads. My old wild bird load was 1 1/4 oz of hard 6s, the old Remington Long Range Duck load at the time.

Zutz, who regarded not all excess as wretched, used an 1100 with 1 1/2 oz short mags, 4 shot out of a Skeet choke.

HTH....
And congrats on the wedding....

Plinker22
July 21, 2002, 01:42 PM
I've had a 26" Hastings on my 870
for years, good barrel .
Got it from Cabelas I think.

Mannlicher
July 21, 2002, 05:29 PM
I have had great success using my 26 inch vent rib, choked WadLock II barrel from hastings. I got it from Cabela's.

Buying this barrel turned my fine old Browning A-5 mag 12 from a wall hanger to a shooting shotgun once more. The 32 inch full choke barrel on the old Browning was not suitable for steel shot. The Hastings barrel loves the stuff.

The Hastings barrels are made in France by Verney-Carron. The blueing on the barrel even matches the finish on my Belgium Browning.

HerrJaegermeister
July 21, 2002, 10:08 PM
Thanks for the feedback. I'll pick up the 26 inch Hastings Wadlock II barrel in a few weeks. I'd like to have the option of chokes: open in the early season and tighter when there is snow and longer flushes.

My load is a Federal Premium No. 5 or 6 shot, 2 and 3/4 inch hot load. I get them at Scheels or Cabelas back home in Minnesota.

It is nice to be able to hunt pheasants, deer and waterfowl with one American classic pump shotgun.

Another question, my soon-to-be wife is about 5 foot 3 inches tall. I'm considering getting her a youth model 20 gauge 870. Is that the best option. She works out and is quite athletic so she should be able to handle it, but since she is shorter, is a youth model the way to go?

Here is a photo of my Field Bred English Springer Spaniel named Fletcher. He is 3 years old and was fantastic the last two years. I expect great things from him this year.

Dave McC
July 22, 2002, 05:10 AM
Nice pup, Herr. Good luck with him....

As to shotguns for wives,IMO ti's best to let her pick it out. Married 25 years, trust me on this(G).

The YE 870 in 20 gauge is an excellent piece for the vertically challenged, "Yutes" and pixies. But, felt recoil can be at least as much as that felt with a 12 gauge. The slightly lighter weight and smaller butt offset the extra energy. Avoid the 1 oz loads, use low velocity 7/8 oz loads, and it will go easier. Note I didn't say easy.

Also, a good fitter will make her introduction to shotguns a lot more pleasant.

I strongly recommend her getting lessons from a qualified instructor, rather than you. Most hunters and target shooters are not good at conveying what they know to newbies.

And, be willing to accept the fact that she possibly can outshoot you in a few years' time.

HTH...