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Old February 16, 2013, 10:35 PM   #1
Wally21
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Looking to purchase a shotgun. Need Advice.

So I'm looking to purchase a shotgun for bird hunting and skeet shooting. Currently two shotguns have my attention. They are the 471 Silver hawk and 687 Silver Pigeon V.

Truth be told I am very new to the world of shotguns for I only own an AK-47 and Springfield XD-45. My friends use the Remington 870 but I'm looking for a SxS or an O/U. What would be some other shotguns y'all recommend? I really don't want to spend more than $5,000 with tax included. Also what are some difference between the two? And on another unrelated note what would be a good place to bird hunt in Texas? I live in the DFW area and the closest place I found was the Hawkeye Hunting Club out in East Texas.
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Old February 17, 2013, 04:25 AM   #2
Virginian-in-LA
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How refreshing. Someone not looking for a $3,000 gun for $250. Both of those are quite good guns. They are both Berettas, and they both have single selective triggers and ejectors. Either would work for Skeet, or dove, but you may want something lighter if you intend to do a lot of walking, like after quail in Texas. I would go for the Hawk, because I love SxSs and cannot abide O/Us, but I am definitely in the minority. Before dropping that much coin on a gun you really ought to try and shoot a few different guns and see what you like, and which ones fit you best, so you have some idea of the stock dimensions you will need. In order to be able to hit flying targets with a shotgun, you need a reasonably good fit. Your eye is the rear sight, so it needs to go to the right place quickly - you do not sight it like a rifle.
For targets you usually want a heavier gun to soak up some recoil, but for the field you might want something lighter. Take a run over to Cabelas if you haven't and look and handle a few of hit some gun shows.. Do not think the dudes behind the counter are experts, because 99% of the time they assuredly are not. Cabelas are currently importing the Dickinson SxSs, and they are an excellent deal in a field SxS right now.
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Old February 17, 2013, 11:56 AM   #3
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You're looking at 2 very different guns ...in terms of Fit / sight plane etc.../ but the drop at comb, drop at heel, length of pull - and how the grip area feels to you - will be very different on both guns.

Both Beretta and Browning will give you the most gun for your money...so stay within one of those mfg's lines of guns. If the Berettas fit you - then the Browning will not...or vice versa...because they have different feels and dimensions on their guns.

The SXS is just a different animal ...because your sight picture is different vs an O/U....not that it can't work / but most of us long ago went to O/U's because of the stacked barrel concept.
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Both Beretta and Browning have a lot of guns ...and I don't how you arrived at these 2 models / but I suggest you go look at a lot of guns in both mfg's lines ..and get some idea what is out there ....and then shoot as many guns as you can ...talk to guys at gunclubs, etc...
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Personally, my primary Skeet, Sporing Clays and upland bird gun ...is a Browning Citori XS Skeet with an adjustable comb and 30" barrels...its available in both 12 and 20ga....for around $ 3,200 new. I think its a gun that will "Fit" 99.9% of the shooters out there because it has an adjustable parallel comb...and to me, its one of the best long term and most versatile guns in that price range. In the 20ga version its about 7.5 lbs and the 12ga is about 8.25 lbs...and personally I like my "all around" gun to be right at 8.5 lbs.../ but you might like 7.5 ...or whatever...
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But before you buy - you need to spend a lot more time around some of these shotguns...your buddies are on the other extreme...with field grade 870 pumps .../ not that those don't work fine, if they fit .....but if you want a good solid pump gun then look at the Browning BPS Hunter model - a more solid and smoother gun than the 870's in my opinion.
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Old February 17, 2013, 12:05 PM   #4
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Definitely handle both before purchasing - IIRC, there's one or two doublegun dealers in the DFW area that I'm sure would accommodate you in the hope of securing a sale, and I know that there's a Beretta Gallery showroom @ 41 Highland Park Village, Dallas.

A part of your selection would entail what you prefer for weight & handling in a shotgun - completely different from the rifles you're used to.

IIRC, you should find the 471 to be somewhat heavier than the 687SP - which is the world's Gold Standard for stylish/svelte O/U shotguns (IOW, an excellent choice).


.

Last edited by PetahW; February 17, 2013 at 09:01 PM.
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Old February 17, 2013, 02:49 PM   #5
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If you decide on an O/U, be sure and handle the Berettas and the Brownings. They are both good guns, but the feel entirely different in my opinion.
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Old February 17, 2013, 10:08 PM   #6
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Petah do you recall the names of the dealers? I'd love to go up there and check them out. I'll most likely head up to the Beretta gallery next weekend though I was under the impression that they only had their premium level firearms. $100,000 for a shotgun is a bit out of my price range haha.

The Citori looks like a wise choice as well but I'm split on which one I should purchase. All three are aesthetically pleasing. I want something that not only will give me pride in ownership but last for generations as an heirloom.

From what I've read it's necessary that the shotgun feels like an extension to my body. Performance wise is there really any major differences between a SxS and O/U other than the sight plane? Also what are these choke tubes that I keep reading about? Are they really THAT necessary to purchase? Thank you for y'alls input. I really appreciate it.
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Old February 18, 2013, 07:02 AM   #7
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Choke tubes are removable choke "tubes" that screw into the muzzle end of the barrel to control constriction. Most new guns come with them these days, and they can be retrofitted as well. They increase flexibility. A gun usually comes with a set and don't shoot without them in the gun, because the remaining barrel wall is quite thin and easily damaged, and the threads will get gunked up with powder residue or plastic.
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally21

Petah do you recall the names of the dealers? I'd love to go up there and check them out.
IIRC:

Willoughby McCabe & Co, 3409 Rosedale, Dallas
(by appointment only) tel: 469-759-6146

AFAIK, most new O/U have choke tubes as standard, while most (not all) SxS have fixed choked as standard.


.
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Old February 18, 2013, 07:47 PM   #9
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Which use is predominant, skeet or birds?

For mostly birds with your price point, the AyA deserves a serious look. If skeet is the main use with some birds, a Beretta O/U will do the trick.
Personally, I prefer a SxS with double triggers for birds and the O/U for targets.

Get the gun that fits you the best or, even better, get a gun fitted to YOU
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Old February 19, 2013, 09:57 PM   #10
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Virginian thank you for clearing that up for me. And thank you Petah for the info. I'll have to call them when time permits.

Given from what I found out from the hunting seasons here in Texas for birds is around 3-4 months. So it'll mostly be used for skeet shooting. I keep hearing about AyA but I have no idea where to find one to look at to consider purchasing. Now how much would getting a shotgun fitted to me cost? If I were to purchase a Beretta, would this be a service they offer?
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Old February 20, 2013, 06:50 AM   #11
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Having a gun fitted is not all that expensive BUT, before it is really worthwhile you need to have a consistent gun mount. Best way to do that is to shoot a lot. The human brain can adjust to a lot of things, including less than perfect gun fit. Your eye will send a sight picture to the brain, and the brain learns what sight picture results in a hit. That's how Tom Knapp can hit a duck flying shooting behind his back no less.
I have owned a lot of shotguns. I bought an adjustable stock quite a few years ago on a whim, and when I got thru adjusting I was so close to standard factory dimensions I decided maybe I was so ingrained it was a waste. When I look at a gun, I mount it while focusing hard on an object, and then try to quickly look and see where the gun is actually pointed. As long as I am close I have no big issues. This may not work for everyone, and it is not perfect. The drawback to having a gun fitted is that if you later decide to sell it you need to find your twin to sell it to, or take a hit on the value. So you need to make sure that is a gun you really intend to keep first.
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Old February 20, 2013, 03:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Having a gun fitted is not all that expensive BUT, before it is really worthwhile you need to have a consistent gun mount. Best way to do that is to shoot a lot.
Except, if the mount is incorrect to start with, practicing and ingraining a bad habit is harder to unlearn. Better to learn proper form and mount before shooting a lot - as in get a lesson or three from a reputable coach
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Old February 20, 2013, 03:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Having a gun fitted is not all that expensive BUT, before it is really worthwhile you need to have a consistent gun mount. Best way to do that is to shoot a lot.
Except, if the mount is incorrect to start with, practicing and ingraining a bad habit is harder to unlearn. Better to learn proper form and mount before shooting a lot - as in get a lesson or three from a reputable coach. Then get the stock fitted, and THEN go shoot a lot - practicing your mount and proper form with a gun that fits.
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Old February 20, 2013, 03:41 PM   #14
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or buy a gun with some built in adjustability:

a. some guns have shims between the reciever and stock that you can adjust or change....

b. some guns - like Benelli's have options with their Comfort Tech system - with comb inserts that can be changed to raise the comb ...and they have different snap in recoil pads that increase or decrease the length of pull / while the additional pads are about $ 90 each..../ that system -- along with the shims ....on some Benelli models - not all models....make it pretty adjustable...

c. buy a gun with a parallel adjustable comb ....so the comb is parallel with the rib ....and then you can adjust it up or down - to change the point of impact up or down...or left and right for cast../ and fine tune your fit ...guns like the Browning Citori XS Skeet with the adjustable comb or the Beretta DT-10 ....

parallel combs mean your point of impact won't change if you shoot in a T shirt in the summer ....and a heavy coat and vest in winter .../ parallel comb guns will fit 99.9% of shooters in my opinion.
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custom stock work ...custom stock fitters.../ are typically done when you have a custom stock made ( average cost about $ 2,000 )....

There are comb pads that you can adhesively stick on an angled comb gun...to raise the comb for adjustability ...( pads are about $ 35 )...and you can change the recoil pad, put in spacers, put on an adjustable plate ...to change the length of pull, change the cast, etc...as well.... ( $ 150 - $200 usually )....
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Shooting a gun that doesn't "Fit" gets really frustrating....and I wouldn't recommend it ....but sometimes young shooters grow so much / some guys put weight on in their faces, etc....that you need some adjustability ....and if you can't afford a parallel comb gun ....then do the best you can with shims, etc..../ but "custom fitting" a stock ...is more for shooters that are into high level competition ...that can afford the $2,000 to get it done......so at this point, I would not suggest you go down that path....
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Some retailers understand the "Fit" concept.....but 99% of them don't .../ so don't expect the typical dealer to help you much .../ unless you're into using some really high end dealers, on high end guns - like DuPont, Pacific Sporting....

http://www.pacificsportingarms.com/

http://www.halkguns.com/

and most of us cannot afford that level of custom service....

Last edited by BigJimP; February 20, 2013 at 03:48 PM.
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Old February 20, 2013, 03:45 PM   #15
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True to the adjustability, Jim, but ONLY if you know what you need and how to determine that - most folks, especially new shooters, have NO idea about that or why they are missing high house 1, let alone low 6.......
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Old February 20, 2013, 03:49 PM   #16
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I agree..../ but then all the more reason to buy a parallel comb gun with some built in adjustability ....

http://www.browning.com/products/cat...id=013&tid=066

Its one reason why I think the Citori XS Skeet with the adjustable comb ...is such a good gun for the money ....
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Old February 20, 2013, 04:40 PM   #17
Ed K
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I realize your serious but I can't resist
Why not check with the great shotgun GURU Joe (blowhard) Biden he's real loose with shotgun advise lately and you would have a government endorsed gun from a very wise man
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Old February 21, 2013, 08:46 PM   #18
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Beretta

Check out Beretta's website, they make excellent O/U shotguns. They also make good semi automatics if you change your mind about what kind you want.
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Old February 22, 2013, 06:58 AM   #19
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Did anyone here actually begin shooting with a coach? I'm not talking a friend that knew how to shoot, etc. I went to an Orvis class after I had been shooting 30 years, and I picked up a few itty bitty hints on things, but I totally could not get into the coach's idea of proper foot/body placement. For a skinny 5'5" guy shooting high incomers it was probably perfecto, but for a 6'2" 225 pound waterfowler it didn't get it. I look more like George Digweed shooting now, as long as you don't look downrange to see if the target broke or not.
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Old February 22, 2013, 07:46 AM   #20
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To the OP go by here http://elmfork.com/ and introduce yourself and let then know you are new to shotgun shooting and they can get you started out correctly. They also have guns to rent both O/U's and semi's and offer lessons.



"Did anyone here actually begin shooting with a coach? I'm not talking a friend that knew how to shoot, etc. I went to an Orvis class after I had been shooting 30 years,"

From the way the OP was worded he's completely new to shotgunning and there's a big difference between "shooting for 30 years" and just getting started. To shorten the learning curve and getting shown proper form/stance/gun mount and help in learning to read targets. I would recommend getting some lessons.


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Last edited by hopper810; February 22, 2013 at 12:49 PM.
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Old February 22, 2013, 12:04 PM   #21
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Yes, I had a coach when I was shooting at the collegiate level...( more than a few years ago now )...

and after a couple of years ( 15 yrs ago now )....when I was first shooting registered sporting clays targets...I hired a coach to work with me on and off...and he did some video taping, etc...that helped me clean up some old bad habits ( elbow positions, lifting a heel on my follow thru that was causing me not to keep my shoulders level, etc...) .....and it would have taken me a really long time, to figure that stuff out on my own....
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Old February 23, 2013, 08:06 AM   #22
Virginian-in-LA
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Oh, I didn't mean to imply getting a coach was bad, just that few people who are now pretty good shots started out that way. If you have the resources and it's available in a locale and timetable that suits you, go for it. But I do contend it is not a necessity.
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Old February 23, 2013, 09:56 AM   #23
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I didn't think you meant it bad or not....just answering what I did....

I don't know if its necessary or not ....but most of us, to reach our potential, will need some help from someone that can step back and look at our technique. I have a buddy that's as good as any coach I've ever had ...in helping me with little stuff...just on my squad.
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Old February 25, 2013, 11:05 PM   #24
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I appreciate everyone's advice. Though I just found out from my Recruiter today I'm scheduled to go to MEPS Friday for my Physical and contract signing if I pass the medical evaluations. I'm looking at a ship date of sometime in May for BCT. So I'm putting off purchasing a shotgun until I'm finished with BCT and AIT. After all that's completed I'll feel comfortable in purchasing a shotgun. Hopefully I'll get some training with a shotgun in AIT since I believe my Recruiter is trying to reserve an 11B(Infantry) slot for me.

I look forward to letting y'all know what shotgun I decide to purchase when it's all said and done.
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Old February 26, 2013, 10:47 AM   #25
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BT, DT - NTS . .......... Have a good time. . .


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