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HelterSkelter
December 22, 2010, 11:23 PM
so i am looking for a shotgun. i want to use it for hunting several different animals and well as skeet shooting. i would like a shotgun that could be used to hunt deer, ducks, and smaller animals like squirrels and other varmints. i figured i could buy a remington 870 express and with different types of shot be able to cover all the game types, but i am not very experienced with shotguns. what do you guys recommend?


EDIT

i see a lot of recommendations having to do quite a bit with the skeet shooting aspect. to be honest all i was talking about was shooting a single clay target in the air for fun, not competing or scoring, just blasting targets. i was pretty sure what i was doing was called skeet shooting but now that i see a lot of people mentioning multiple targets in the air i think it may have been something else.

zippy13
December 23, 2010, 12:49 AM
You're going to want more than just a variety of shot shells to accommodate your varied anticipated targets, think about getting a "combo" gun with several barrels. If you're at all serious about wanting to do a lot more that shoot holes in the sky at the Skeet range, then consider an auto-loader or O/U gun.

Before you make any decisions, may I urge you to get some trigger time at a Trap and Skeet club. Many clubs have loaner/rental guns available for newbies.

HelterSkelter
December 23, 2010, 12:53 AM
i've shot my uncle's shot guns many times and have gone to the range and shot a few. all of them pumps. why would you suggest an auto or over under?

zippy13
December 23, 2010, 01:13 AM
why would you suggest an auto or over under? Both are faster for shooting doubles than a pump gun, and most folks find they will help them shoot higher scores. Personally, I prefer an O/U; but, in your situation, an auto-loader represents a smaller initial investment and it will hold more ammo. Ammo capacity isn't important on the target range; but, it is for hunting and HD.

jimbob86
December 23, 2010, 02:01 AM
A remington 870 express with screw in choke tubes will make a good general purpose shotgun...... Doubles are not a problem with a pump gun if the shooter is proficient with it.

I have a Winchester 1200, a Mossberg 500 and have used an 870..... The Mossberg hasn't held up well ......

If I could change one thing about my shotguns, it would be to get a camoflage gun: Walnut and blued steel are pretty, and all, but they stick out like a sore thumb when you are camoed up hunting turkeys.

zippy13
December 23, 2010, 02:53 AM
Doubles are not a problem with a pump gun if the shooter is proficient with it.
I don't think the numerous shooters I've witnessed blow a decent score because of a pump gun problem would agree with you. Sure with experience, they'll get smoother; but, a pump is still a handicap shooting clay doubles. If HelterSkelter hadn't specifically mentioned Skeet shooting, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a pump. The specific model would depend a lot on his budget.

As far as a camo finish is concerned, a handsome walnut and blue steel gun can be gillied-up for the turkeys. Shooters fooled turkeys for a lot of years before factory camo finishes became available.

.300 Weatherby Mag
December 23, 2010, 03:26 AM
I've seen my dad shoot 25s with pumps on more than one occasion.. That said, he is a former competition shooter that shoots that good with anything.. Most people are not very proficient with a pump, and doubles with throw them for a loop.. An auto or o/u is a better option...

BigJimP
December 23, 2010, 12:49 PM
I think everyone needs a good pump gun ...but Zippy's right / it is a liability on a Skeet field where you have to shoot pairs / not that it can't be done ...but not the best option if you want to be serious about Skeet.

My pesonal choice on a good pump gun - is the Browning BPS Hunter model with a 28" barrel. I think its a good solid gun / and a good long term investment for around $ 500. Personally, I think its a step down in quality to go with the Rem 870's, especially the Express models, - or the Mossberg's , etc ...but they aren't terrible guns either.

If your budget allows you to get up around $1,000 - then a good semi-auto is a more versatile gun. Beretta 391's, Browning Silver series, Winchester SX3's ...maybe some of the Benelli's ....are available in the $ 900 - $ 1,250 price range....and they're all very good guns.

jimbob86
December 23, 2010, 01:34 PM
I think everyone needs a good pump gun ...but Zippy's right / it is a liability on a Skeet field where you have to shoot pairs / not that it can't be done ...but not the best option if you want to be serious about Skeet.



If you are going to be "serious" about skeet, get a "serious" dedicated skeet gun ..... I don't hunt deer with a shotgun, but I have heard of exatly 0 people that hunt deer with an over and under..... those I know who do (across the river in IA) use a rifled shotgun ..... easy enough to buy another barrel for an 870.

The OP asked about a general purpose shotgun ...... capable of hunting deer, ducks and small game, as well as shooting skeet. It doesn't get any more GP than a 12 guage pump gun.

As for "ghillie-ing up" a blued gun...... camo-tape is a PITA to clean off, does bad things to blueing if left on, and extra junk hanging off the gun catches on brush in run-and-gun situations.

I've gotten turkeys with the blued guns, but they have been mostly "dumb as bricks" sex crazed gobblers in the early spring or "never been smart as a brick" jakes and jennies in the fall. Reasonably wary birds (Tom's with girlfriends or Boss hens in the fall) usually bust me if I have to move the gun much.

pabuckslayer08
December 23, 2010, 01:34 PM
If your a first time buyer and want to do it all with one gun just forget all semis or over unders or single shots. A T/C would be great except you want to do some skeet shooting. Id also stay away from the 870s, good gun but cheap. Id look at the Mossberg 500s. They are super fast to switch barrels on and many of them come with the extra barrel. They have a cantilever style rifled barrel then come with a smooth bore ribbed barrel. With this gun it will take 2 3/4" or 3" mags for turkey and deer hunting but the 2 3/4" are nice for small game as well as on the range. Mossberg gets my vote

pabuckslayer08
December 23, 2010, 01:36 PM
Also just get a blued gun, turkeys dont care and either do the ducks that you hunt. Dont worry about camo tape either. Also its up to you on 12 or 20 gauge. 20 ga slug guns are usually more accurate but 12 is nice for everything else

jimbob86
December 23, 2010, 01:46 PM
Id also stay away from the 870s, good gun but cheap.

Cheap as in inexpensive, or cheap as in chintzy? If it's chintzy, it is not a "good gun" ...... so you must have meant inexpensive...... a feature, not a bug, IMO.

I bought a Mossberg 500 over an 870 when I bought my first shotgun, based in part because the Mossberg was a little cheaper, and not as front-heavy- I like the way it pointed for me, mostly. It did not hold up well over time. I have been told that it was the heavy turkey loads that did it, and if I wanted a turkey gun i should have gone with their 835 model......

Id look at the Mossberg 500s.

Having a Mossberg 500 that does not work all the time anymore.... and an 870 that does...... I vote the other way.

pabuckslayer08
December 23, 2010, 02:49 PM
Cheap as inexpensive cheap, both guns have their chintzy features being they are cheaper pump guns. I have only ever had 1 870 and just didnt like it. The 2 500s I have both are used mostly for slugs and are both great. The only thing I hate about them is the plastic trigger guard.

seansean1444
December 23, 2010, 03:24 PM
get a rossi trifecta. its got a 20guage barrel a .243 barrel and a 22lr barrel

jimbob86
December 23, 2010, 04:40 PM
just get a blued gun, turkeys dont care

As I stated above..... that depends upon the turkeys involved.....

maierar
December 23, 2010, 04:58 PM
My most versatile shotgun is a Mossberg 500A. It can be set up as what photographers call a "system" (change the parts for various functions):
http://i1034.photobucket.com/albums/a421/maierar/CIMG0498.jpg

oneounceload
December 23, 2010, 06:54 PM
so i am looking for a shotgun. i want to use it for hunting several different animals and well as skeet shooting. i would like a shotgun that could be used to hunt deer, ducks, and smaller animals like squirrels and other varmints. i figured i could buy a remington 870 express and with different types of shot be able to cover all the game types, but i am not very experienced with shotguns. what do you guys recommend?

As in skeet, do you mean some easy backyard pasture clays, or the actual game called "Skeet"?

Any basic pump with a few barrels and chokes can do basically what you want to do; however, if the regulation game of skeet is involved, then Zippy's advice is correct as most folks can't shoot doubles worth a tinker's dam with a pump.....while several may CLAIM to be able to do so, I have yet to see one in the winner's circle.

Waterfowl will require steel or other no-tox shot, deer will need buck or slug, turkey large pellet loads, upland small to large pellet loads, and skeet will need small pellet loads.

Chokes will range from IC to F for your applications

zippy13
December 23, 2010, 07:24 PM
maierar, thanks for the pic. The photographers might call it a "system" gun; but, I think most folks here would call it a three barrel combo. If you wanted to update it a little, you could get a barrel with screw-in chokes or an adjustable stock.

maierar
December 23, 2010, 07:49 PM
The long barrel in the front of the pic has a factory installed "C-Lect" choke which works like a polychoke. It does screw out. The Limbsaver added about 1/2 inch to the LOP and the vinyl pad on the comb adds 1/16 inch and is velcroed on so I can add a pad or two under it for another 1/16 inch each. That gets me pretty close to an adjustable stock for very little money. Anyway, its working well for me.
As I understand it, multi-barrel sets are usually used to change gauge (one barrel in 12, another in 20), whereas this stays 12 gauge, but serves 3 (or more) functions: 28 inch choked field or sporting, 18 1/2 inch small game or hd, and a rifled scoped barrel for sabot slugs.

zippy13
December 23, 2010, 08:14 PM
As I understand it, multi-barrel sets are usually used to change gauge (one barrel in 12, another in 20), whereas this stays 12 gauge, but serves 3 (or more) functions: 28 inch choked field or sporting, 18 1/2 inch small game or hd, and a rifled scoped barrel for sabot slugs.
Nagatory, tube sets change gauges. Most multi barrel combos, are just like yours: several barrels of the same gauge but for different purposes. Yes, there are target over/under guns that have barrel sets in several gauges -- typically 4-sets for 12, 20, 28-gauge and .410-bore Skeet competition.

jimbob86
December 23, 2010, 08:16 PM
turkey (require) large pellet loads,

I have found that large pellet loads are not dense enough at 40 yards. More pellets are better, even though they are smaller. The idea is to hit them in the head or neck--- it does not take a lot to fatally damage the brain or spine. Even large pellets to the body won't stop a turkey- the feathers make pretty good body armor vs. shot: When I first started, I used some #2 heavy field loads and and a full choke .............. I hit one hen 5 times and knocked out of the air twice in mile long chase, and still lost her...... I use #6 game loads now, and and extra-full turkey choke. I just aim for the top of the neck now, with much better results.

Charles Ellis
December 23, 2010, 08:47 PM
A Remington 870 is a very rugged shotgun that can do everything that you want to do.I would recomend that you try to buy a Wingmaster version rather than an Express.Good used Wingmaster's can be bought for a reasonable price if you are patient and willing to look around for a while.It won't be perfect for any of the things that you mentioned,but it will do all of them adequately.

pabuckslayer08
December 23, 2010, 09:20 PM
I know I said about the 500a but someone mentioned the wingmaster 870. It is a good 870 and one of the best, like he said. Much better than the express 870, however im not sure if the wingmaster has interchangable barrels

zippy13
December 24, 2010, 10:12 AM
Yes, pabuckslayer08, 870 Wingmasters do have interchangeable barrels.

zippy13
December 24, 2010, 10:47 AM
HelterSkelter,

Thanks for your OP edit clarification about your intended "Skeet" shooting (or lack thereof). For your updated intended uses, a typical "combo" gun will serve you well. They may not be standard catalog items, but are packaged by the manufactures to meet retailers' regional market requirements.

In areas where deer are harvested with shotguns, a typical combo might be a pump gun with a standard 28-inch all-purpose barrel and a second, shorter, barrel with rifle-type sights specifically for deer. In another region, where deer are taken with rifles, a combo gun might be marketed with the extra barrel being specifically for home defense (called by some a "riot gun" barrel). If you keep your eye on the market, you may find pump combos seasonally available in your area at deeply discounted prices.

If your budget doesn't support a combo right now, then you can get a pump gun with an all-purpose barrel and add a deer barrel in the future. Shotgun barrels are pretty sturdy items and there's an active e-market in used ones. Some shooters are unaware that Mossberg makes barrels to fit the Remington 870.

pabuckslayer08
December 24, 2010, 11:54 AM
Thanks zippy, since he did clarify that the wingmaster interchanges thats another good choice, much better than a express 870. The sps 870s are also good 870s. Still the 500Cs from Mossberg are tough to beat.

zippy13
December 24, 2010, 12:41 PM
If I had to choose between the M-500 and the R-870, I'd opt for the 870 because of the location of the safety. Others would choose the M-500 for exactly the same reason. :D

pabuckslayer08
December 24, 2010, 01:03 PM
That is another big thing, some prefer the safe on top of the receiver and others dont, I actually do prefer the remington safetys on their guns. Nearly all my guns are remingtons beside for maybe 5 and 3 are mossbergs 1 browning, and a Ithica an Remington does have the best safety imo.

HelterSkelter
December 24, 2010, 03:44 PM
@ zippy

do you know anywhere that would sell a package with all the barrels you mentioned already included or will i have to hunt them down individually?

zippy13
December 24, 2010, 04:02 PM
What ever LGSs and big box stores that sell firearms in your area. My local WalMart doesn't sell guns, but I understand the ones that do offer combos. Keep an eye open for their sale ads.