Do not forget to actually take your shotgun to the range regularly.
Do not forget to find a range that will let you put your hunting/SD loads on paper at 15 yards, so that you can see the pattern. You will likely be shocked at how it's not what you expected.
Do not expect that the sound of a pump gun being cycled will prove a magic talisman that will ward off evil juju.
Do not expect to make any changes to a shotgun without some unexpected and unanticipated second-order effect (which may be either positive or negative).
Do not forget to take your new shotgun home and clean it thoroughly of the shipping preservative (including the chamber and bore). Failure to do this may result in your shotgun not shooting particular ammo types well.
Do not forget to get a shotgun that fits YOU, regardless of what your friends recommend. Since shotguns are pointed, they must fit your body so that they shoot where ya look. Holding a shotgun awkwardly in the store for ten seconds will not tell you how it fits you; you need to (at a minimum) mount it to your shoulder repeatedly to verify buttstock placement, cheekweld, and bead placement/rib alignment.
Do not shoot shotshells through a rifled barrel unless you like donut-shaped patterns. Shotshells are for smoothbore barrels.
Do not shoot steel shot through any barrel that does not use removeable choke tubes unless your gunsmith tells you in advance that it's OK.
Do not forget to verify that both the barrel and the receiver/action are rated for the shotshell that you're fixing to use, before you use them. Because barrels can be swapped on many types of shotguns, it's not inconceivable to find a 3" barrel on a 2 3/4" receiver, or an older 2 9/16" barrel kicking around.
-A conclusion is not a destination, it's simply a convenient place to stop thinking.-
-Reading a thing doesn't automatically make it so; repeating it doesn't necessarily make it any truer.-
-Every Texan should be a member of the Texas State Rifle Association.
Last edited by rbernie; June 11, 2012 at 08:54 AM.