PDA

View Full Version : First shotgun.


WangDance
April 1, 2011, 10:01 PM
What do you guys think of the h&r topper 12 gauge? Gonna be trying to get used to firing a shotgun. Found one used for $90.

lamarw
April 1, 2011, 10:48 PM
Better than some of us got stated with. It will provide you with the groundup basic of how to hunt birds. Quails willgive you the surprise and the rush even found later with pheasant. The straight on shot is the easises, but over time and repetitions you will get good at it.

Doves are a differet flying creature It will teach you to lead your birds and fire fast on ERATIC birds. You will have success but you will fire a lot of rounds. YOu have to give them respect. \

My favorite is quail and pheasant., Passing these task then you CAN move on to duck and QUESSE HUNTING.

idek
April 1, 2011, 11:03 PM
My first question to you would be, "what will you use the gun for?"

Since I don't know, I'll answer as best I can.

I have two H&R single shots in 20 gauge (a Pardner and a Topper). They are fun to shoot, and even if you don't get one as your first gun, I'd recommend getting one eventually just for the fun of it.

There are several types of Toppers. Current production models include:

Topper: most basic, no recoil pad, no interchangeable chokes, no vent rib, weighs 5-6 pounds*

Topper Deluxe: has recoil pad and interchangeable chokes, but no vent rib, weighs 6-3/4 pounds*

Topper Deluxe Classic: has recoil pad, interchangeable chokes, and vent rib, weighs 6 to 7 pounds*

*weights based on catalog listing

The basic Topper model with its feathery weight an lack of a recoil pad will rattle your teeth a bit. If that's what you're considering, I'd say an aftermarket recoil pad is almost a must (this will add $20-30 to the overall expense though).

Either of the higher end Topper models would probably be comfortable enough provided you aren't shooting many magnum shells or slugs. I personally can shoot better with a gun that has a vent rib versus one with a plain barrel, but that's just a matter of preference.

So, without actually knowing what you intend do do with the gun, I'll just go from my own experience and say the basic Topper model may be worth $90, the Topper Deluxe is very likely worth $90, and the Topper Deluxe Classic is definitely worth $90.

[edited to add] I concur with lamarw's comments about a single shot teaching good habits to a new shooter. I started with a pump shotgun, and I initially learned to shoot really fast but not very accurately. Going to a single shot later on forced me to be more conscious of what I was doing.

kozak6
April 2, 2011, 01:04 AM
It's an adequate shotgun.

As noted, the light weight means that it is probably going to kick fairly hard.

Does it have a fixed choke, or is it threaded for choke tubes? If it has a fixed full choke, it can be frustrating for aerial targets since the tight spread makes it harder to hit with.

WangDance
April 2, 2011, 08:42 AM
I've been interested in getting a small game license for fall, so I figured I might as well start to prepare myself now. Thanks for the info guys. I don't believe it has a choke ( sorry not super technical with guns yet), looks like the basic topper model.

idek
April 2, 2011, 12:40 PM
For the purpose of small game, I think the gun will do fine. Since you say you don't know a lot about choke at the moment, I'll try to explain the concept a little bit (sorry if you know this already).

Choke just refers to the tightening or constriction at the end of the barrel for the purpose of controlling the spread of the shot. The inside diameter of a 12 gauge barrel is somewhere around .729 inches, but at the end where the barrel is often choked, it may be anywhere from .729 to .660 inches (the general idea being that tight constriction yields tighter patterns).

Many guns made today have the ends of the barrel threaded so a person can screw in choke tubes of different constrictions for different purposes. In the older days, all shotguns would have a fixed choke (like the Topper does).

The most common choke constrictions are:

IC (improved cylinder): this typically has an inner diameter about .720 inches and provides the widest pattern of the three I'm mentioning

MOD (modified): has an inner diameter about .710 inches and is considered a good all-around selection for many types of shooting

FULL (full): has an inner diameter about .700 inches and generally has the tightest patterns of the three mentioned here.

There are many other chokes available, but those three are all most people would ever need to worry about (I generally only use IC or MOD)

I believe the basic Topper has a fixed MOD choke that should be suitable for rabbits, grouse, and pheasants.

10 Beers
April 2, 2011, 01:09 PM
Toppers are light guns, you're jumping in the deep end as far as recoil goes. The extra couple of pounds on a steel reciever pump makes a big difference plus you'll have a gun you wont outgrow and can buy accessories for. Single shots are not much good during zombie time.

BarkeyVA
April 2, 2011, 01:40 PM
Another low cost entry shotgun is a bolt action such as the Mossberg Model 190 that comes with a factory installed recoil pad and an adjustable choke (similar to a Poly Choke). The choke constriction can be changed by simply rotating the end the choke.

These guns typically hold 3 shells, one in the chamber and two in a clip-type magazine. They are also heavier than the single shot guns so felt recoil will be less. I have seen used ones for around $100.

10 Beers
April 2, 2011, 02:26 PM
I've seen 'em too, 30 years ago. I bought one in the 80s for a hundred bucks just cause I thought it was cool looking. People talk about chopping the barrels (most were REAL long) for riot gun duty but most of those shotguns were built as high altitude goose/anti-aircraft guns. When I was young I'd buy guns I could afford instead of guns I really wanted but trust me, you're better off buying a few good guns than a bunch of cheap guns. I'd much rather have ten good guns than twenty crappy guns. When you sell or trade them in, and you will, you'll be lucky to get 2/3 of what you paid. That's just false economy. If you only got $100 to spend wait untill you only have $200 to spend and find a nice used pump. ;)

idek
April 2, 2011, 03:10 PM
Toppers are light guns, you're jumping in the deep end as far as recoil goes. The extra couple of pounds on a steel reciever pump makes a big difference plus you'll have a gun you wont outgrow and can buy accessories for. Single shots are not much good during zombie time.
I agree that recoil can be sketchy with these guns, but I don't necessarily think everyone "outgrows" single shots. True, many people want something with more capacity, but there are also people who've used pumps and semi-autos who still appreciate a single shot for casual hunting. As stated in an earlier post, I started with a pump, but now prefer a single shot for most of my hunting.

As for accessories, I can appreciate that. I've got a Mossberg 500 decked out with aftermarket parts, and I like tinkering with my Ruger 10/22, but most guns out there can't be accessorized much, and most people don't really care. I'm not saying this to be argumentative but rather to clarify to the original poster (whose level of gun knowledge I don't know) that a single shot CAN be satisfying for a lifetime and extra accessories may not really be an important factor.

To the original poster: I don't think $90 for the Topper is a bad deal, but it's not great either, and even if you let this one go, you could very likely find the same model gun for about the same price down the road. Or, if you preferred, you could look for a similar deal on a 20-gauge model, which could mean less recoil, since factory 20-gauge shells are generally less potent than 12-gauge shells. Also, it might be worth a little extra money to get one of the less basic Topper models, or, as others have suggested, you might look into a pump gun of some type.

10 Beers
April 2, 2011, 03:20 PM
Very valid points there idek but there's only two kinds of single shot owners, people who can't afford repeaters and people like you who don't need 'em.:D

idek
April 2, 2011, 03:56 PM
Very valid points there idek but there's only two kinds of single shot owners, people who can't afford repeaters and people like you who don't need 'em.
You're probably right, but in my own case, I think I'd have been better off getting the single shot first and getting repeaters second. In my opinion, single shots encourage better shooting discipline. I learned the spray and pray technique first. When I started shooting a single shot, I had to learn to hit things with one shot that I used to take 3 or 4 shots at.

My suggestion for first TWO shotguns on a budget: 1) 20-gauge single shot to learn shot selection, promote accurate shooting, and serve as an easy-carrying upland gun 2) 12-gauge pump, which can cover deer/turkey/waterfowl/hog/black bear hunting plus zombie defense

Since WangDance listed small game for his intended purpose, I think a single shot could be adequate. I used to live near St. Paul myself, and most of the grouse, woodcock, and rabbits I saw in MN didn't give me more than one shot even if I had 5 available. And the faster handling of a single shot is nice for those speedy critters that quickly appear and disappear in wooded terrain.

oneounceload
April 2, 2011, 05:10 PM
You're probably right, but in my own case, I think I'd have been better off getting the single shot first and getting repeaters second. In my opinion, single shots encourage better shooting discipline. I learned the spray and pray technique first. When I started shooting a single shot, I had to learn to hit things with one shot that I used to take 3 or 4 shots at.

Not true if the single shot doesn't fit and is so light the recoil beats the tar out of you......FIT is crucial with any shotgun, and in the case of a light single shot, even more so

idek
April 2, 2011, 06:22 PM
Not true if the single shot doesn't fit and is so light the recoil beats the tar out of you......FIT is crucial with any shotgun, and in the case of a light single shot, even more so
Agreed. Recoil is the reason I think a 20-gauge single shot is often a better idea than a 12-gauge single shot. As for fit, my Topper Deluxe Classic actually fits me quite well--much better than any pump I know of in the same price range. Admittedly, my Pardner doesn't fit as well. As you say, fit is important regardless of gun type, but there are good and bad fitting repeaters just as there are good and bad fitting single shots.

Also, my Topper Deluxe Classic weighs 7.2 pounds, which is surprisingly heavy for a 20 gauge single shot, and its recoil with 7/8 or 1 oz loads is very tolerable. In fact, 3" shells aren't all that uncomfortable either. I realize that this is more the exception than the rule, however.

Creek Henry
April 3, 2011, 10:28 AM
For a first shotgun, I like single or double barrels. They are EASY to use and easy to solve problems on. Semis are difficult to use in the field and, if they jam or need to be taken down, are complex for the non-gun enthusiast.

For example:

Shooting a double: open, put in shells, pulls trigger(s), open breech, remove shells repeat.

Semi: Turn gun over, thumb in shells, turn gun back over, close breech or work action,

All of the actions on the semi are more complex. THere are 10x more opportunities to fumble a semi in the field.

microman
April 3, 2011, 11:48 AM
What do you guys think of the h&r topper 12 gauge?

Mine kicked like a mule :D

10 Beers
April 3, 2011, 12:03 PM
I'm starting to want a Topper.:eek:

WangDance
April 3, 2011, 01:11 PM
haha, after usng my friends 12 gauge pump, im thinking i might save a little bit more. I still like the idea and look of the topper, but i think i should probably think it over a little more.

microman
April 3, 2011, 01:19 PM
haha, after usng my friends 12 gauge pump, im thinking i might save a little bit more. I still like the idea and look of the topper, but i think i should probably think it over a little more

You will probably want a pump or auto shotgun later. Might be better
to save up a little more.

The Pardner Pump is just about a hundred more? If you get in the mood
to customize it thats an option. Not much more you can do with a single
shot.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_zZxvX9SLOWY/ShnovokE9kI/AAAAAAAAAWk/YLr7c5SOXj8/s320/pardnerPUMP.jpg

TheKlawMan
April 3, 2011, 01:31 PM
There is nothing wrong with a used pump and you should be able to find something for $125 to $200.

WangDance
April 4, 2011, 11:13 AM
Think im gonna take a look at another gun shop and a sporting goods store near me, for some used pumps this friday. Thanks for all the help.

oneounceload
April 4, 2011, 12:29 PM
More likely, half this forum is older and wiser and knows the reality of the situation, especially from a long-term perspective...............;)

WangDance
April 4, 2011, 12:30 PM
yes, recoil didnt seem to bother me too much at the range with my friends 12 gauge. Hurts a little, but lifting weights for the past year or so has seemed to help in that regard.

idek
April 4, 2011, 02:45 PM
Pain from recoil is only one consideration. There may be macho men who will claim recoil doesn't bother them, but they may still be flinching when they pull the trigger. That doesn't help accuracy much.

Also, the person who shoots 3 times during a hunting outing has a very different experience than the person who shoots 300 at a trap club.

10 Beers
April 4, 2011, 04:41 PM
Also, the person who shoots 3 times during a hunting outing has a very different experience than the person who shoots 300 at a trap club.

Yes, 00 Buck kicks more and deer can't fly. :D

WangDance
April 4, 2011, 05:33 PM
good point, i was shooting bird shot.

Dave McC
April 5, 2011, 03:34 PM
Idek, lifting will help with control and fatigue, but better is good form,fit and a premium pad like Pachmyer,Limbsaver or KickEez for comfort and dealing with kick.

Heavier guns and lighter loads also figure in.

idek
April 6, 2011, 03:37 PM
Idek, lifting will help with control and fatigue, but better is good form,fit and a premium pad like Pachmyer,Limbsaver or KickEez for comfort and dealing with kick.

Heavier guns and lighter loads also figure in.

I think you might be combining comments from different people here. I didn't say anything about lifting weights, and I'm all in favor of good fit, reasonable gun weight for a given payload, and quality recoil pads. Maybe you meant to address the OP.

Dave McC
April 6, 2011, 10:07 PM
Could be, I'm getting old......

WangDance
April 9, 2011, 08:40 AM
Ended up getting a used mossberg 500ab 28 inch barrel modified choke. It's in great condition for being only $119. Thanks for the advice fellas.