View Full Version : Choosing first shotgun

February 6, 2002, 09:53 PM
Hello everybody,
This is my first time in tfl.
As said before, I´ve decided to buy my first shotgun, but don´t know much about them. I would really appreciate if you guys could give me some advice.
The intended use would be:
sports like clays, trap, skeet (informal)
hunting: wings, ducks, but at the same time would like if possible having something capable of shooting 00buck for deers.
I really like the appearence of an over-under, but I´m afraid they are out of the game because I cannot afford them, so I think a nib pump like a remington or mossberg would do the job and taking good care of it would shoot for many years. (what do you think?)
What length of barrel and kind of chokes should I have for the intended use?
Is it possible to change the chokes by myself (with the proper wrench) or do I have to take it to a gunsmith everytime I want to change them?

thanks in advance, all coments, suggestions and advice would be very welcome


February 6, 2002, 10:15 PM
concerning chokes,

most come with a removable one now and several others to switch out. it is very easy with the choke wrench.

as far as what shotgun to chose, that just depends on your budget. you can get one with all of the bells and whistles, or a simple pump gun. i would stick with any of the major brands and you will do fine.

look at several and see which one feels best in your hands. after you have narrowed it down to a few choices, come back and ask or do a search. tfl is very helpful and informative.

happy shooting and welcome to tfl.

Chuck Graber
February 6, 2002, 10:40 PM
One of the better values on the market for a while has been the Beretta 390 synthetic stock model sold at Wal-mart. The price is $530. This gun will handle all of the clay target games and since it has a synthetic stock, can be taken to the duck marsh without much worry.

Chuck Graber

February 7, 2002, 02:03 AM
I recommend getting a nice Remington 870, the express model NIB can be had for around $240. Standard it will come with the one choke (modified I believe)...it uses the rem choke system so swapping chokes is extremely easy.

This gun can do all the jobs you listed...its durable and reliable enough to last a long time. Parts and mods are readily available.

it'll make a great first shotgun.

Dave McC
February 7, 2002, 06:26 AM
The fact that the Remington 870 is not only one of the most durable and versatile firearms ever made and comes at a reasonable price is one of the best examples of free market technology ever.

There's other good shotguns, but a coupla hundred shekels gets you a universal shoulder arm.

Check the Archives, there's lots of info....

February 8, 2002, 12:57 AM
Hi everyone!
Many thanks for the answers and advice.
Will a 12ga. caliber be ok for my intended use?
Do you know of any links to a website where I can learn and understand more about the different types of chokes and its pros and cons regarding useful range and patterning? .


February 8, 2002, 01:03 AM
Sorry, but shooting my glock at IDPA is making me double-tap on everything outside the range :D

February 8, 2002, 02:40 AM
If you have money to spend, get a Benelli M1 Super 90. Get the barrel you length you want for anti-aircraft, and after you save up a few hundred more bucks, get an 18" rifle sighted barrel for house use.

Dave McC
February 8, 2002, 07:15 AM
Caravan, the Archives here hold all the info you need. This is one deep resource.

A 12 gauge is the most versatile gauge, due to ammo selection.

Very few good shotguns ever get worn out. Many shotguns get abused and/or neglected past the point of rescue.Take care of your shotguns and they will take care of you.

Maybe it's time to post a primer, There's lots of newbies out there....

February 8, 2002, 12:23 PM
Just a note if you really will be using it for waterfowl, most anyone would consider a 3" magnum to be the minimum unless you can buy the expensive high-tech ammo.

Remember if it will shoot 3" it will also shoot the 2 3/4"

They also make 3 1/2" capable shotguns I have one but it really isn't necessary. I would highly recommend that whatever you get, it will shoot magnums though.

February 15, 2002, 11:34 PM
.Hi guys!
Thank you very much for the answers and opinions.
I’ll start looking for a mossberg or Remington (pump action) with synthetic stock and forearm also chambered for magnum 3" shells and 28" barrel.
I consider it would be a good first shotgun.
Thanks again for the advice :)

February 16, 2002, 02:32 AM
I would stay away from the 3.5" guns. They are difficult to adapt to home defense guns. At least my SBE is, the 870s and 1100s and 1187s may be different.

As Henry Waxman, et al would say, "Who needs that kind of firepower?" I would stick to a 3" chamber, mainly shooting 2.75" shells out of it.

Of course, YMMV

Chuck Graber
February 16, 2002, 08:02 AM
Here is an article by Roland Leong, a fairly well known outdoors writer. (at least in some circles) http://www.shotgunreport.com/Articles/ShotgnHvn.html

Even if you don't follow his advise, read it and think about what he is saying. IMHO it is very good advise for the novice clay target shooter. I know that I could have shortened my learning curve if I had followed it.:D

Chuck Graber

February 17, 2002, 08:26 PM

One thing to remember, is that with a pump, and most auto's, you can not only change the choke tubes easily, you can also change the entire barrel. All my shotguns have more than one barrel. I like a short open cylinder choke barrel with rifle sights for defense or deer/hog hunting. I change to a 26 inch barrel with vent rib for bird hunting, and for ducks, a 30 inch. Tremendous versitility.

Of course, barrels are expensive. The last one I bought, a 26 inch Hastings for my Browning Magnum 12 was well over $300. A lot of folks, with justification, just buy a new shotgun instead of a barrel.