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Old January 2, 2013, 11:10 AM   #1
Diesel77
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Great New Year's Day Deal...

So after Christmas, I had a bunch of Dick's Sporting Goods gift cards and wanted to go pick up some pistol ammo. I went into one of the stores around my house and found literally bare shelves - all they had left for 9mm were 5 boxes of competition ammo at $40 each.

I was already thinking about picking up my first shotgun to get into some other shooting sports, so I look at their spotty racks and see some youth guns, some $1000+ guns, and maybe 6 adult guns that wouldn't break my budget. 4 of them were 18" barrel models.

So I pick a Mossberg Maverick 12 ga 28" barrel for about $200. My paperwork and the computer check takes about three minutes to clear. Then things come to a screeching halt. They can't find the box. They spend about 40 minutes looking for it and then a manager and the sales guy come up to me and ask if I still want the gun, or they can order me one, which will probably take about a month and a half...

I ask if there's anything important with the box, or if it's literally just a cardboard box. They tell me that it's literally just a box. So I ask them to throw me a bone since this is a slightly odd situation (you could tell that they were really spun up about this, I guess it's pretty big internal problem when a box walks away...). So they offer me a $14 case to have something to walk out of the store with the gun in something. I push for a $35 one I like and they accept.

So after my gift cards and a coupon (that said "no firearms" in the fine print, but they let me use anyway), I spent $15.26 on a brand new shotgun and case.



Happy New Year!
-D
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Old January 2, 2013, 01:34 PM   #2
Diesel77
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As a completely new shotgun shooter, I have a few questions:

1. Did I get the right gauge and barrel length for trap/skeet/clay?

2. What can I shoot through this barrel? Mossberg Maverick Model 88 12 ga, 28 inch (I'm assuming smooth bore), accu-choke? Can I shoot slugs? I've read a lot on it, and a lot of it seems conflicting.

3. Is it gonna hurt like hell to shoot this thing? What can I do to mitigate it?

4. Is there anything I need to do or buy right from the get-go like tools or supplies?

Thanks!
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Old January 3, 2013, 01:30 AM   #3
hogdogs
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Quote:
As a completely new shotgun shooter, I have a few questions:

1. Did I get the right gauge and barrel length for trap/skeet/clay?
It is an ideal gauge... Barrel length will be fine or at least suffice for a new field sport (clays) shooter... Ideal for the most part for real field bird hunting...

Quote:
2. What can I shoot through this barrel? Mossberg Maverick Model 88 12 ga, 28 inch (I'm assuming smooth bore), accu-choke? Can I shoot slugs? I've read a lot on it, and a lot of it seems conflicting.
It is a smooth bore barrel with (I think it should be) threaded muzzle for accu-choke tubes... Yes rifled slugs which are lowest cost compared to the sabot slugs which really need at least a rifled choke tube to get their benefits to show will be fine and are accurate and deadly on larger game like deer and bigger out to and beyond 100 yards but I try to stay under 65 with 80-85 being my comfortable max range...

Quote:

3. Is it gonna hurt like hell to shoot this thing? What can I do to mitigate it?
A 12 gauge has some oomph and this gun is rather light (slightly higher felt recoil) due to plastic stocks but weight can be added to the rear stock easily if you wish... Proper form like "in the shoulder pocket" pulled in firmly and a good "cheek weld" mitigate recoil best...

Quote:

4. Is there anything I need to do or buy right from the get-go like tools or supplies?
Cleaning supplies (plastic safe if you worry about the looks of your stocks and trigger group housing) and a boat load of practice ammo... Birdshot promo packs are cheapest to buy... buckshot if you will be using it and slugs to learn where your point of aim vs. point of impact are at for sure...

The gun does need a full field strip and cleaning... remember to remove the choke tube to clean the barrel and tube threads and reassemble with a lube ( I prefer old fashion "never seize" gray stuff)...

Here is the best video for the tear down reassembly tutorial...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKbWcPdTRBI

Can help more with next round of Q's...

Brent
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Old January 3, 2013, 10:46 AM   #4
Diesel77
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Brent,

Thank you for your comprehensive response, I really appreciate it. And thanks for your offer to answer my inevitable follow-up questions. Which are...

1. Do you recommend any particular ammo - both shot and slugs? I want to start with target shooting with shot, but since I mainly shoot at the NRA headquarters, I need to use slugs (they don't allow shot at the range).

2. In addition to learning proper technique (do you have any tips or resources on this, by the way?), what do you think is the best strategy for softening recoil? You mention weighing down the rear stock, how exactly should I do that? What about recoil pads for the gun? Or pads worn by the shooter? My only concern with adding pads is that my reach is just about at its limit - and I don't want to buy a shorter stock and install it...

Thanks again, much obliged,
D
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Old January 3, 2013, 11:26 AM   #5
hogdogs
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Quote:
1. Do you recommend any particular ammo - both shot and slugs? I want to start with target shooting with shot, but since I mainly shoot at the NRA headquarters, I need to use slugs (they don't allow shot at the range).
Not really any particular brand but do suggest you buy a few of each and see what seems to do best from your gun as it seems to matter to some folks... My guns seem to be as spartan and redneck as myself and do perform well enough as I don't often bench fire to find miniscule variations...

But being so new to shotguns, you really need to be aware of the very real risk of developing a nasty "flinch factor" which is to anticipate the recoil and pull or push the gun as you fire which never lends to utmost accuracy...

Lighter recoiling loads help prevent this to some degree... The weight of the payload being the same with identical shot charge will recoil the same in bird or buck shot and slugs so you are looking for slower fps, lower "dram equiv." and/or lighter payloads for softer hitting rounds... Hot loaded heavy payload recoil smarter... If you find a suitable field with safety down range, you can get a hand slinger for clays and a case of clays which can make a fun afternoon for you and a buddy...

Quote:
2. In addition to learning proper technique (do you have any tips or resources on this, by the way?), what do you think is the best strategy for softening recoil?
I was verbally told and physically shown how to hold a shotgun when I was 7-8 years old so how best to decribe it, I will defer to those with so much more experience in this but basicallyif you feel from shoulder inward, there is a nice soft spot I call the "pocket" that seems made for a gun stock to fit...
Pulling the gun firmly into this when firing keeps the gun from having any room to get moving to punch you there... Want to feel it hurt you, push it a half inch away and hold loosely when you fire a hot round... With a pump such as yours, if you do not want the action to open when you fire, you will need to push forward on the front hand though...

Cheek weld is to literally have your face already in firm contact with stock before you fire... this also helps create a uniform view for accurate, repeatable results down range...

Quote:
You mention weighing down the rear stock, how exactly should I do that?
There are many "official" methods that the more formally experienced than myself will know...

But your stock is super hollow so you can fill a shot shell hull with lead shot and wrap in enough cloth to fit snug of cut strips of roof flashing sheet lead to fit in there... This isn't ideal as you cannot balance the weight fore and aft but it will add weight... There are all sorts of specific weights these "pro shooters" buy to add to front etc...

Quote:
What about recoil pads for the gun? Or pads worn by the shooter? My only concern with adding pads is that my reach is just about at its limit - and I don't want to buy a shorter stock and install it...
You will find that the pad on your stock is marginal at recoil mitigation compared to other makes and models of pad which can easily spend north of $50.00 but really soak up the recoil while being dimensionally the same as the one on your gun...

For a nicer set of replacement stocks, Havlin sales gets "factory Blems and take offs" and sells them very reasonably...
http://havlinsales.com/default.htm

"Modern Shotgun Parts" is the button on left column where you find these... Just call him to ask what is currently in stock as he worries more about guns than websites...

Quote:
Thanks again, much obliged,
D
Anytime... Hope it helps... I am not formally gun smart just a redneck feller that graduated valley-dict-touring from the school of hard knocks...

Brent
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Old January 3, 2013, 01:46 PM   #6
Diesel77
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Thanks again, Brent.

Your answers have really helped to bring me up to speed. Now all I need to do is get some practice in... I just didn't want to go off half cocked, so to speak, and kick my own a$$ at the range.

I'm going to try to buy some soft, cheap loads to start with and change my stock recoil pad with a better one - I'm sure I can handle that job.

And as for being the valedictorian of the school of hard knocks, I've found that many graduates of that institution have more smarts than what's in most libraries...

-D
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Old January 3, 2013, 06:19 PM   #7
dalecooper51
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Congrats on the gun and a great deal.
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Old January 4, 2013, 12:21 AM   #8
Diesel77
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Thanks, dalecooper51.

Brent, Dale, and anyone else who wants to provide this newbie with their opinions on my notes:

So my familiarization with my gun continues... I took off the recoil pad and boy is it hollow in there... I'm definitely going to fill it up - well, my crafty wife will probably make a snug little pouch of shot and sand or something to put in there.

I'm probably going to replace the existing pad with a limbsaver - seems to get a lot of good reviews.

I also removed the choke tube for the first time just using my fingers since I didn't get a tool/wrench with my gun. I actually have a 5 Kroner coin that seems to fit perfectly, but I used my fingers to remove and then replace the choke tube. How tight do I need to screw it back in?

Also, the choke tube seems to be barely smaller than the barrel - does it actually do anything?

Cheers,
D
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Old January 4, 2013, 12:43 AM   #9
hogdogs
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Most agree the choke wrench is for removal... and finger tight is all you need to tighten it... Personally, I use a coin to make sure I bottom it out but not to torque it down much...

You should have Mod (modified) or I.C. (improved cylinder) if I remember the Mossberg/maverick factory offering correctly... Either is just a bit of constriction... We talk in "thousandths" not hundredths or tenths... so it will not seem much as these are the less constriction than most...
Here is one chart but I suggest you research as many as possible as they differ and some charts are better than others but at this hour, this is my contribution...



Brent
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Old January 4, 2013, 12:47 AM   #10
hogdogs
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And better yet... read this little diddy by Briley, the leader in after market threading of once "fixed" muzzles...
http://www.briley.com/understandings...nbybriley.aspx

They also make the tubes to shoot smaller shot shells or centerfire rifle cartridges from shotgun barrels...

GREAT OUTFIT to buy your additional choke tubes from if you ain't a total cheap skate like me who buys the cheapest "accu-choke" tubes I can find

Brent
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Old January 4, 2013, 12:54 AM   #11
CurlyQ.Howard
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IMHO, fill that hole with a mercury recoil reducer. Check for them on the Internet. Also, I tighten in my chokes.
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Old January 4, 2013, 09:32 AM   #12
Diesel77
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Thanks for the choke information, Brent. I didn't realize how thin the margins are... I have whatever comes standard on the 28" field barrel of the Maverick 88 - all it says is "accu choke". I'm guessing it's a "modified" choke tube?

Interesting about the mercury recoil reducers, Curly... I think I'm going to try the limbsaver and my homemade weighting first...

Exactly how much weight should I be trying to add to the hollow stock?
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Old January 4, 2013, 03:33 PM   #13
CurlyQ.Howard
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Physics states that the more weight you add the less kick you'll experience, so go to it, but naturally there is a practical limit. That's why I mentioned the mercury recoil reducer as it works to reduce recoil far more than the weight that it will add. Good luck on your efforts.
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Old January 7, 2013, 09:43 AM   #14
Diesel77
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So I've stuffed the rear stock with the shot from 25 shells of 7 1/2 birdshot, 12 gauge, all wrapped in a ziplock bag and cotton fabric...

I've also ordered a limbsaver to replace the recoil pad that came with the gun...

Finally, I'm trying to get some low recoil slugs (again, I have to shoot slugs at the NRA range)...

And of course, I'm trying to learn good technique.

Is there anything else I should do to ensure that my early days of shotgun shooting go smoothly and I don't develop any issues from the gun kicking my a$$?

Thanks again for all the free education, gents!
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