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View Full Version : Help me choose my first shotgun!


Eskimo
December 10, 2008, 04:02 PM
I have never owned a shotgun before, and i've decided to get one.

I remember shooting some shotgun slugs when i was a lot younger, and it was great.. but i heard that slugs are banned now?

What are the different types of shotguns (i.e. single shot, bottom fed, etc), and what are the pros and cons?

What are the pros and cons of the different shotgun calibers?

One last question.. How is the kickback on the different calibers? I own a 30-06 and the kickback is nothing to me.

cookhj
December 10, 2008, 04:36 PM
I've never heard of slugs being illegal. Some places won't let you use them for hunting, maybe that's what you heard.

You can't go wrong with a mossberg 500 or a Remington 870. I prefer the mossberg because i'm left handed and the safety is ambidextrous.

You can pick up either one for fairly inexpensive.

Webleymkv
December 10, 2008, 04:42 PM
I remember shooting some shotgun slugs when i was a lot younger, and it was great.. but i heard that slugs are banned now?


No, slugs are still perfectly legal to my knowledge. In fact, many states require the use of slugs in order to hunt deer with a shotgun.

What are the different types of shotguns (i.e. single shot, bottom fed, etc), and what are the pros and cons?

What are the pros and cons of the different shotgun calibers?

One last question.. How is the kickback on the different calibers? I own a 30-06 and the kickback is nothing to me.

In order to make a good suggestion, we really need more specifics. What is your primary purpose for this shotgun (home defense, hunting, range toy, etc.) is a big one. What is your budget? Without those specifics, I'll try to answer your question as best I can.

There are four basic types of shotgun that are readily available: single-shot, double-barrel, pump-action, and semi-automatic (other types such as lever-actions are available but not all that common).

The single shot is typically the lightest and least expensive type. The action typically "breaks open" thusly allowing you to insert a shell into the chamber, close it, and fire. Some have external hammer that must be cocked to fire, and some do not. Opening the action again will typically either eject the spent shell or make it protrude enough for you to grasp and remove it. Because of their reduced weight, the single-shots are typically the hardest recoiling.

The double barrel works essentially the same as the single-shot, but you have two barrels and therefor two shots. Some double barrels with have a separate trigger for each barrel and some will have one trigger and a switch to determin which barrel fires first. The two basic types of double barrels are the side-by-side (SXS) or the over-and-under (O/U). These terms refer to the orientation of the barrels and are pretty self explanitory. The double barrel is usually the most expensive variety becuase they require the most labor to produce.

The pump-action shotgun is different still in that it holds multiple shells in a magazine (typically a tubular one but some use box or drum magazines) and working a pump ejects the spent shell, and chambers a new one. Most have a safety catch and internal hammer, but some such as the Model 1897 Winchester have an external hammer and no safety. This is the most common and typically second-least expensive type of shotgun

The semi-automatic, like the pump action, holds multiple shells in a magazine, but one does not have to manually cycle and eject the shells. These may be operated by either recoil or gas. These are typically the heaviest and second most expensive type of shotgun. Due to their weight and operation, these are also usually the lightest recoiling.

Shotguns are commonly available (going from smallest to largest) .410 Bore, .28 Gauge, 20 gauge, 16 gauge, 12 gauge, and 10 gauge. The .410 and 28 gauge are typically used for small game hunting such as rabbits, squirrels, and sometimes pheasants and quail. The 20, 16, and 12 gauges (12 is the most popular and 20 is second) are used as "all-around" shotguns and are typically used for small game, big game such as deer and even Black Bear, Home Defense, Police and Military applications, and even some waterfowl hunting. The 10 ga is the largest shotgun currently available and is only commonly used for Waterfowl and Turkey hunting although rifled slugs and buckshot are available from Federal.

Different gauges are also available in different lengths. Typically, the longer the shell, the more powerful it is. Here are commonly available lengths for various gauges.
.410 Bore- 2 1/2 or 3"
28 Gauge- 2 3/4" only
20 Gauge- 2 3/4, 3, or 3 1/2"
16 Gauge- 2 3/4" only
12 Gauge- 2 3/4, 3, or 3 1/2"
10 Gauge- 3 1/2" only

Most shotguns 20ga or larger will have quite a bit more recoil than your 30-06. A 2 3/4" 12ga or 3" 20ga is, in my experience, equivalent to a Marlin .45-70 with heavy loads. Recoil of a shotgun, however, is more of a slow shove than the sharp whack of many rifles.

For an all around shotgun, I would suggest a 12ga pump action made by Mossberg, Remington, or Winchester.

Eskimo
December 10, 2008, 05:03 PM
Thank you for the very informative reply, Weble. I will be using it for mostly plinking, as well as self-defense. I may hunt with it one day, but i have no plans to.

My budget is around 350 or less.

scorpion_tyr
December 10, 2008, 06:42 PM
What do you want the shotgun for? Id say go with a Remington 870 or Mossberg 500. Two very nice, reliable, and versital shotguns. Whatever you plan on doing with the shotgun with either of these you can easily change barrels, stocks, etc to meet your needs. Personally I like the Remington 870, but that's just me, there's nothing wrong with a Mossberg.

sloo50
December 10, 2008, 06:46 PM
Remington 870 has served me well for a long time



Wes

onthejon55
December 10, 2008, 07:46 PM
12 gauge is the best all around. Never leaves u lacking. Id go with something chambered for 3"-2 3/4". Pumps are the most reliable and arent that much slower that a semi but are alot cheaper. and finally the remington 870 is the go to gun for people world over.

true_pair
December 10, 2008, 08:11 PM
I bought a Mossberg 590 many years ago. Still have the gun. It was a combo deal and came with 18 and 28 inch barrels. Still have the gun. Still shoots great

New_Pollution1086
December 10, 2008, 08:25 PM
Once you pick a style, or even before go to the gun store and look and touch.

If you like Pumps (best option IMO) go take a look, I'm a Mossberg lover (acquitted). But have fired all three major brands. Remington, Winchester, Mossberg.

Typically the mossy will be the least expensive, unless you buy new.

I chose Mossberg due to the placement of slide release and saftey.

T

T-Ray
December 10, 2008, 10:48 PM
I'd go remington 870. if you get the express, you will have leftover money in your budget for another barrel and some chokes. I'd go 12ga 3"chamber.

Shotgun and rifle "kicks" are different to me. I actually enjoy the kick of a 12ga round, and with my .30-30, the kick is negligible. I don't think you'd mind or even have a care about the kick of a 12ga.

bob88144
December 10, 2008, 11:19 PM
my suggestion mossberg, pump action. i went with the 835; got it for a still at $100 so my choose was easy. 12 gauge is good for hunting but if your just wanting to plink or shoot skeet/clay pigeons go with a 20 gauge. you can allows by the 12 gauge later for hunting if you choose. 16 gauge is still available but they are getting expensive to buy and shot.