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Old July 16, 2002, 01:07 PM   #1
Rockrivr1
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Join Date: June 6, 2002
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 90
1st Shotgun, many newbie questions

I'm looking to purchase my first shotgun and to be honest I know nothing about them. Figure though that there's a first time for everything.

I'm looking at a Benelli Nova 12 ga w/ an 18 1/2" bbl. It's the stock black w/ moonring sights. According to the add it takes
2 3/4, 3 and 3 1/2 inch shells. It comes with 3 chokes

I was also looking at a Winchester M120 12 ga w/ a 28" bbl and a modified chock only. It can accept 2 3/4 and 3 inch shells. It also has a rib barrel as well.

Ok, my many questions are:

1. I've heard the 18 1/2 inch barrel called a "Youth" gun. Is that because it's shorter length or because it's made for a kid?

2. What's the primary difference in the shell sizes? Which is the most commonly used and why?

3. Different chokes. I've seen that the chokes are used to provide a certain flight path for your shot. Is one type of choke better then the rest? I seem to see more "Full" chokes then others.

4. The Winchester has a longer barrel and assuming the same logic applies as my handguns, the longer barrel provides more accuracy. Is this correct? Also what is the use for the ribed barrel.

5. I've heard you have to convert a shotgun to accept slugs. Is this true and is it very involved or pretty simple?

I looking at shotguns for HD and target practice. I primarily have handguns and am looking to try something new. I know these are probably very basic (and probably stupid easy) questions, but I'm hoping to be a lot more informed after this post.

I appreciate the information and help.
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Old July 16, 2002, 02:48 PM   #2
jb26
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Join Date: October 5, 2000
Location: NE Illinois
Posts: 109
I just bought my first shotgun about a year ago and came here to get my education as well.

>1. I've heard the 18 1/2 inch barrel called a "Youth" gun. Is that because it's shorter length or because it's made for a kid?

Barrel length is dependant on use. Longer barrels mean longer sight radius so it is better(?) for clay target sports. If you are going to use it for HD or SD, then the shorter barrel with more open choke is better. 18.5" doesn't necessary mean youth. Youth usually designates smaller stock size for better length of pull etc.


>2. What's the primary difference in the shell sizes? Which is the most commonly used and why?

Bigger shells mean more power and distance and more pellets for a given size. 2 3/4 is usually enough for most situations.

>3. Different chokes. I've seen that the chokes are used to provide a certain flight path for your shot. Is one type of choke better then the rest? I seem to see more "Full" chokes then others.

Chokes will depend on what you are shooting and how far out. With slugs you want a fairly open choke. If you want a tighter pattern further out (non slug) then you want a tighter choke. Whatever you get, pattern the gun to see what it does.

>4. The Winchester has a longer barrel and assuming the same logic applies as my handguns, the longer barrel provides more accuracy. Is this correct? Also what is the use for the ribed barrel.


Yes longer barrel=longer sight radius>better accuracy. The ribbed barrel is for better sighting along the top of the barrel. The ribs(gaps) are so that when the barrel expands due to heat, the bar does not break off.

>5. I've heard you have to convert a shotgun to accept slugs. Is this true and is it very involved or pretty simple?


About the only conversion I can think of in most guns is that you would not want to shoot with a choke that is tighter than 'modified'.

Hope that helps

Joe
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Old July 16, 2002, 04:48 PM   #3
Melos
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Join Date: June 27, 2002
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 91
This is a wonderful place to get excellent advice by means of the Internet. But what you can learn here should, ideally, be supplemented by the following:

If possible, before you purchase:

(1) Find a mentor, and get to know him well enough that you are sure you can trust him in terms of both character (ethics – if he is a dealer) and competence (re shotguns).

(2) Practice firing borrowed or rented shotguns to see what fits and suits you best before you purchase one.

Take time to read the Shotgun Forum archives on this board.
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Old July 16, 2002, 04:51 PM   #4
Dave McC
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Join Date: October 13, 1999
Location: Columbia, Md, USA
Posts: 8,812
While neither the Nova nor the Winnie are my first choice, they're both very good shotguns. You cannot go wrong with them or the rest of the best, the Ithacas,Remingtons,or cough, cough,Mossbergs.

The Archives here have lots of info, a little research can save us lots of typing. A few things, though....

Youth gun means a shorter stock and bbl, and a little lighter.That Nova MAY be a YOuth model, but 18" bbls are more common on "Serious" shotguns.

Serious means Life/Death, referring to humans. All other shotgun usage is recreational.

W/o going into a long explanation, use 2 3/4" shells for familiarization and practice,they're all you need.Trust me on that.

Chokes are one factor in determining the size of pattern. They do not affect flight path in the slightest.

Long bbls are mostly recreational, for hunting and clay targets. The rib helps keep heat mirage out of the picture. Some folks use it to "Aim" with,but a shotgun is pointed except for "Serious" use and slug use.

Lots of rifle and handgun shooters have trouble with shotguns until they ken that it's a horse of a very different color. It IS an unmatched method for hitting close, small targets very fast.

Slugs require some small adjustments, and open chokes usually work best. Most bead sighted shotguns will work OK out to 50 yards or so with at least one brand of slug, but only range testing can tell which one.

HTH....
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