View Full Version : Doesn't anyone use a shotgun for HUNTING?

September 21, 1999, 04:09 PM
I'm trying to get solid advice on a shotgun for hunting (fowl, occasional deer - have a hunt scheduled for Nov) and for shooting clays; mostly for clays, I truthfully expect. I searched this forum and can't find much. Seems everyone's just defending their homes against gangbangers, rogue ATF agents & home invasion robberies or something like that. I must live in a nicer neighborhood than most of you fellas!

I need a generalist's gun, not a dedicated turkey gun or one with a rifled slug barrel. Definitely not a "Defender" or "Persuader." But don't want a dedicated clays gun, either. I'll pick up a rifled slug barrel and/or x-full choke tube when the $$ is available.

I think I want to go with an autoloader for quick follow-up shots (clays, birds), but I don't have the budget for a Rem 11-87 or a Benelli. Or an over/under.

Is the Mossberg 9200 suitable for these uses? I can get one with a synthetic stock and 28" bbl w/ full, mod & improved chokes within my budget, and have some $$ left over for a mound of ammo. I also found a Rem 1100 within my price range (but significantly more than the Mossberg). My understanding is the 1100 takes only 2 ¾" OR 3" shells, but the Mossberg 9200 takes both/either. That, plus the price difference makes me lean towards the 9200.

If I go with a pump action, I'm thinking it'll be either the Rem 870 super mag or Mossberg 835.

Is barrel length really important? I hear that you want a 28" bbl for a bird/clays gun, but I'm not experienced enough to know if it's true. I like the feel of the shorter barrels. Any reason NOT to go with synthetic stocks, other than looks?

September 21, 1999, 04:56 PM

Personally my tastes run to pump guns for "all around" shotguns. Remington 870's and Mossberg 500's are both great guns in the respect that they can not only be used for home defense but also for hunting. For your purposes I think that a 28"/26" barrel would be fine. I personaly like shorter barrels and use (would you believe it) a 22" screw in choke vent ribbed barrel on my primary hunting shotgun (Rem 870 12 ga). I have used this barrel successfully on both small game/ducks and some clays/skeet. I read somewhere that after about 22-24" of bbl the powder is all burned up (consumed) and one does not gain many more FPS by using a longer bbl. As to auto loaders I just picked up a Browning Light Twelve in like new condition (Synthetic stock, 2.75" chambered, 26" bbl). I hope to go out tomorrow and shoot it at the Trap range. What does this have to do with anything you asked.....nothing....just thought I would brag about my new big boy toy ;-) You really can't go wrong with either the 1100 or the 9200. I've only owned 1100's in the past never a 9200, and have been very happy with the 1100's performance. As a matter of fact I was looking for an 1100 when I saw the Browning, and it was gotta have it at first sight. When you comented on the 1100 either/or taking 2.75 or 3" shells did you mean interchangeably? I personally have used only 2.75" shells in my previous 1100's but if an individual gun is chambered for both they should fire them equally as well even if you do mix them in a magazine tube full. I personaly would stay away from the "super mag" or 3.5" chambered 12ga guns. No real valid reason, just a personal preference. I believe that for the hunting that I do a 3" 12ga magnum shell will give me more than enough power. But if you gotta have the extra ooompppfffhhh then go for it. But I'm kinda recoil shy anyway and just don't enjoy getting my shoulder pushed around that much. (Sold my .338 Win Mag cause I nearly broke a collar bone....but that was my fault). Synthetic stocks are really a personal thing. Some people just can't live with 'em. I like them; don't warp, don't shrink, don't rot, well you get the idea. Hope these ramblings help somewhat. Welcome to the wonderfull world of shotgunning......oh yeah...before I forget.....clays can be addictive. Watch out, before you know it you might wind up addicted to the sport. I was *almost* a Trap addict....just never could break that 25th bird....oh so many 22's....23'and even 24's but never a perfect 25. Hmmmm.....wonder when the trap range closes tonight.



It's amazing what a large group of stupid people can accomplish.

Art Eatman
September 21, 1999, 07:20 PM
I've got no real argument with Rob, but I'd offer a bit of clarification on some points.

Barrel length, generally, has to do with the balance of the gun in shooting at moving targets. Traditionally, upland birds such as dove, woodcock or quail launch or fly faster than geese or duck when landing to decoys. So, the shorter 26" or 28" barrels swing faster for upland birds.

Length of barrel has little to do with the muzzle velocity of the shot charge, from 22" on out. Again, generalizing--the differences are small, okay?

Probably the most important point of any shotgun is the fit of the buttstock. The fit determines the alignment of the line of the bore with your eye. If the stock is a bit too long, you shoot low. If a bit short, you shoot high. Clothing affects this. So, when goose-hunting in very cold weather, the stock should be shorter than your hot/warm weather dove gun.

So, when you buy a shotgun of whatever type, consider what you will most likely be shooting, and the weather probabilities that season.

Probably the best shotgun for the money is the Remington 870 pump gun. I've seen any number of them, with ventilated rib, for under $300 in good-used condition. And I mean nearly-new...(Not knocking any other gun...)

After some 25 years, I can hit better on dove and quail with my old Model 12, 12-gauge. Full choke, 30" barrel. It was built in the days of paper cartridges, before plastic wads, and it patterns about 12" at 30 yards...I have a Beretta auto in 12-gauge, with the screw-in chokes; it shoots great; I just don't feel as "secure" with it. Maybe in another 10-15 years? But it's pretty...

"Life is a learning curve"

:), Art

September 21, 1999, 11:03 PM
Your'e absolutely right, this forum needs to talk about more than which gun is best for home defense.

My suggestion is to go with the 1100. It is a great gun that will work well as a clays gun or for hunting. Try to get a 28" barrel with screw chokes, a good overall length that works well for most of the uses you envision. I wouldn't worry too much about 3" magnum shells, learn to shoot well with 2 3/4 shells, they worked OK for many years before 3" magnum shells came along. Buy a couple of cases of shells and practice, good shooting beats magnum shells anyday. Good Luck

Geoff Ross

Damn!...I need more practice!

September 22, 1999, 09:28 AM
Good points made by all. One thing I forgot that certainly needs mentioning. No matter what type of shotgun you purchase.......always remember to wear sunscreen. (Well actually that's a line from a song). What I want to say is always get one with screw in chokes. I'm not even sure that there are many guns out there without them nowadays. Screw in chokes provide you with the option to hunt the most variety of game over different ranges, that a fixed choke gun just can't do. I'd say for an all around shotgun they are a MUST HAVE. I own IMP CYL, MOD and SUPER FULL screw in chokes, these have worked very well for me, one day I may even break down and get a std FULL choke. The practice idea is good too, FWIW Wal-Marts is selling cases of 12ga Dove shells size 6-8 for the whoping sum of $29.95. Cases of Blue Rocks (Clay pidgeons) for $3.95. So you can see that even if on a severly restricted budget like me(read the Wife won't give me any more money) practice with your scattergun can be fairly inexpensive.



It's amazing what a large group of stupid people can accomplish.

September 22, 1999, 03:09 PM
I have the Mossberg 835 with a 28" 3.5 chambered, vented and ported barrel. With screw in chokes, this is a good "all around" shotgun. I've been very happy with my purchase. Even with 3.5 magnums, the recoil is not that bad. ;) Soon, I plan on buying a slug barrel for it.


Is LIFE not worth defending! RKBA!!!

September 22, 1999, 07:59 PM
One thing to keep in mind: the 1100 is finicky about her cartridge length. The standard 1100 will not accept 3" loads, and the 3" mag 1100 will not function reliably with 2 3/4" loads. This is the reason Remington developed the 11-87, which functions realiably with all reasonable loadings. Personally, my shotgun for hunting changed from an 1100 to an 870 two years ago. The 870 can shoot both length of shells, and with a scoped Hastings fully rifled barrel and a Hastings match trigger, my 870 gives 2" groups at 100 yards. That's one ragged hole! I use the 1100 for clays and birds, again with a Hastings Wadlock barrel, 26". Both guns wear matching Speedfeed monte carlo-style synthetic stocks. They may not be beautiful, but they perform.

September 23, 1999, 07:31 AM
If you are going to be shooting skeet you
will need a double barrel shotgun for pairs
if you use a bump you will be at a disadvan
tage. If you will be shooting trap all you
need is a pump. A 870 is a very good shotgun to start with for trap. Decide what type of
clay shooting you want to do before you buy
a shotgun.

September 23, 1999, 10:59 AM
Trapper, are you saying that one can't shoot skeet (pairs) with a semi auto/pump. And that you *must* have a double in order to accomplish this feat. Because I've seen both happen. While I can't do it with a pump gun (wish I could) others have. I would think that a semi is just about as good on pairs in Skeet as a double is.



It's amazing what a large group of stupid people can accomplish.

September 24, 1999, 08:00 AM
Rob, what I am saying is that you can shot doubles with a pump but you will be at a
disadvantage compared to someone that has a
O/U or a auto. When I started skeet and trap
shooting I started with a bolt, thats all I
could afford at the time. Then I bought a
870 express that was fine for trap but not
all that great for doubles. By the time you
load the second shell in the barrel your
second clay is further out and harder to
hit compared to a shotgun that already has
a shell in the second barrel or a auto that loads a shell in a fraction of a second.
The slide mecanism on a pump is not as fast as the other two. Dont get me wrong pumps are great but depending on the use.

September 24, 1999, 06:19 PM

My personal favorite sporting shotgun is the Beretta A390 gas operated semi auto. After shooting Remington 1100s, Remington 870s, Winchester 101 O/Us, & a SKB O/U, I find that I shoot noticeably better with the Beretta. The only other gun that comes close is my old Browning Auto 5. The Beretta is soft shooting because of the gas action, the gas system is extremely reliable and relatively easy to clean (easier to clean than the Remington 1100 or 11-87) and very durable. The receiver is anodized aluminum (very corrosion resistant), the matte blue finish on the barrel is fairly rust resistant, and the barrel is chrome lined (very rust resistant and very easy to clean). Check out www.shotgunreport.com (http://www.shotgunreport.com) for excellent info on sporting shotguns.


Art Eatman
September 27, 1999, 09:50 PM
Now that you have all this wisdome firmly commited to memory, here's the next stage of being happy with your shotty-gun: Patterning.

Find yourself a roll or at least 20' or 30' length of some sort of blank paper some 30" to 36" wide. Cut it into 36" lengths. Paint a little aiming point in the middle. Either make a frame to hold it or tape it to a barbed-wire (bob-war) fence.

Back off to around 25 or 30 yards. Shoot. You may be lucky and find that the pattern is evenly distributed across the paper, with most of the little holes within a circle of, oh, 24" or 30" depending on the choke.

Or, to your horror, you may have blank spots with no shot holes at all; maybe six or eight inches across! Doves, quail and claybirds fly right on through! Yuck! :(

Nobody on this earth can tell you exactly why one brand or load will do fine, nor why an equal-quality brand or load will not. This does not mean you can't find 17,237 opinions about it... :)

I state posilutely absotively that this is one of the more important things you must do in order to have success with your pet. But, once you have gone to the bother, you will know what to buy and what not to buy before you go hunting skeets or traps or doves.



October 1, 1999, 07:45 PM
Now that you have way too much info..here I go. You want one shotgun w/add-on to come. You're out on the ultra-cool clay guns..me too. I do believe that the shotgun is one of the more specialized-do it all guns I've ever heard talked about. You really have to not care to use only one. I own..well..I own 1 that I use for general hunting/shooting..Its got ugly, black palstic stocks so I won't worry or care about abusing it. It's a pump because it will shoot no matter how badly it's treated by me, dirty shells or the weather. It has 3 barrels- 1 for poke shooting..26". 1 for longer shooting 30". 1 for deer/turkey-22" w/scope and 3" of rifle choke. You must realize these barrels are my specialization..length has little to do with the pattern or speed now-a-days. Steel shot needs things, doves/sporting clays need things, deer and turkey require things. I could'nt be happier with this ugly-"does little for my imagination" shotgun. While everyone else is paying $7 a box for sabots and rifled barrels..I'm using the same barrel to kill turkeys, defense, and with a simple screw-in rifled choke..send 1 ounce of very, soft lead into deer at 75 yrds all day for 1.95 a box..but I still hate my Rem 870.

October 1, 1999, 08:01 PM
the way i went (i prefer pump guns) as a mossberg 500 with a six shot tube and an 28in bbl for my clay shooting bird hunting and if nessacery i have an 18.5 bbl for my walkes in the woods rodents snakes ect. and as an house gun when ever i go hunting clay shooting what ever i just grab the long bbl ot of the cabinent and go


October 2, 1999, 01:45 PM
Always loved my Mossberg 500's...nothing else moves like a good shotgun.

Art Eatman
October 2, 1999, 09:50 PM
Now, Spectre, there are these creatures called "women". A notable number of them, in one or two steps, can show you more moves than an all-pro NFL wide receiver!

Dennis, these young guys are worse off than we've thought!

:), Art