View Full Version : 1st shotgun... Questions and advice

October 11, 2002, 02:25 PM
I have never had a shotgun, but I would like to try deer (slug), turkey, and squirrel hunting. I do not have a full understanding of choke tubes and I now that I do not want a rifled barrel. I would like a 12 guage pump. As you can see I do not know what I want but I would like to talk my wife into getting me one for x-mas. I was hoping to gain some begining knowledge from the experience you all have and advice on what to look for in a shotgun and what models are recommended on a budget of under $300. I was also considering a scope-red dot or no more than 2X. not included in the initial cost. Please help while I continue to read the archives.


October 11, 2002, 08:18 PM
Phil, what I would look for in your shoes is a Rem 870 or Mossberg 500 combo kit, it will include a fully rifled barrel and a smoothbore barrel. The rifled barrel will have rifle sights on it and be plenty for the first year or two, then you can go with a scope if you feel it is necessary. With the rifle sights you will be good to 100 yards or so if you take the time to find a slug your shotgun likes. If your shots on deer are inside of about 60 yards a forster type slug in a smooth bore barrel will do fine. The smooth barrel will have one or a couple choke tubes with it. For turkeys you are going to need a turkey choke if you want to be able to shoot past about 30-35 yards, full choke with a good load is fine inside of 35 yards. Never shot squirrels with a shotgun so I cannot help much there.

If just a smooth bore barrel is what you really want you can buy a rifled choke tube and a turkey choke for it for less than $100 easily. I prefer the 870.

Andrew Wyatt
October 11, 2002, 08:20 PM
You really can't go wrong with the big four: Mossberg, Winchester, remington, or ithaca.

October 11, 2002, 08:42 PM
Welcome Phil,
Check this out.
There is a ton of good free info here on barrels & chokes.
For what it's worth, I own and enjoy shooting 870's with smooth-bore rifle-sited barrels.

October 11, 2002, 09:49 PM
I second the nomination for the 870 combo. This can be had for somewhere in the $300 - $350 range in my area and is a great starter SG for your intended purposes.

Good luck!

October 12, 2002, 12:04 PM
Walmart usaully has a sale on the 870 express combo every November or so for maybe $300-$350.

Dave McC
October 12, 2002, 02:20 PM
Short bbl with sights for deer and "Serious" use, a longer one with choke tubes for birds and fun.

Any of the Big 4 will do fine, focus more on acquiring skills and experience.Mine the Archives, they may be the BEST resource for shotgunnery in this universe.

And, you'll be no less of a man and mayhap a better gunner by taking some lessons from a decent, qualified instructor....

Leave the red dot off at first,keep it simple until you've got some way up the learning curve.

Like scopes, red dot sights are not the ticket for small fast flying/running things.

October 12, 2002, 08:50 PM
Another thing Phil,
If you are looking to keep it under 300.00, consider buying a used 870. They are plentiful and well within your budget.
I bought my last 870 for 155.00.
They are hard to wear-out and you can use the extra money for some more ammo with which to practice.
Just a thought,

October 16, 2002, 09:06 AM

HSMITH said it all. Go with the Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 combo kits. You can't go wrong with either one of them.


October 16, 2002, 11:04 AM
I was looking for a used Rem 870 or Moss 590 and surprisingly could not come up with 1 in my area with an 18" barrel (and there was just a gun show here).

but upon searching I found that Sports Authority has an 870 combo kit on sale right now for just over $300. 1 Complete gun and an extra barrel. Neither were 18" so I did not pay that much attention as to what they were, but if you have one near you it may be worth a look. Also Walmart had a couple of 870's in stock and on sale for around $240 I believe, but they to were of the longer barreled variety.

I think I will be getting this one within the week:
click here (http://www.davidsonsinc.com/consumers/subsites/inven_product.asp?dealer_id=473583&item=5077&instock=all&manufact_combo=Remington&mod_ser_combo=870&category_combo=2&model=870&g_type=Shotgun&act_type=&finish_type=None&calib_combo=12+gauge&sight_class_combo=None&price_range=%24200+to+%24300&left_handed=&youth=&Offset_rec=0&num_rec=50&item_num=)
870 express 18" barrel $264 - $15 cupon I found on their site somewhere for filling out a survey

October 17, 2002, 10:04 AM

Any local magazine store including Wal-Mart carry Shotgun News, get one and there's just about anything you'll need in it or go to: