View Full Version : Semi-auto or pump suggestions

March 13, 2006, 10:22 AM
I've recently taken up squirrel hunting and have a few spots where shotgun only hunting is permitted. I currently have a Winchester Model 120 12 gauge and a Stevens Model 77F 20 gauge. I'm thinking about picking up another shotgun, one I could use for squirrel, and maybe later on duck hunting (looking to get into that). My debate, semi-auto or pump, and how long do you gents think I should keep the barrel, 12 or 20 gauge? I was thinking 26", as my 120 has a 28" barrel and it can be heavy lugging it around all day.

I would like to keep this purchase under $300, I'm not trying to go cheap, but I'm still in school.

Look forward to hearing your suggestions, and if anyone has links to good deals on them please pass them on.

March 13, 2006, 01:20 PM
870's are the best if you ask me, because there is an extensive aftermarket, and you can get them fixed anywhere. Used or if you don't mind, at Wallmart, you can do even better than 300 bucks.

March 13, 2006, 02:19 PM
Mossberg 835 Ulti-Mag. You can probably find one for about $300. Great for fowel. If you purchase new in the box, it should come with multiple chokes and the 26" ported barrel.

Death from Afar
March 13, 2006, 03:14 PM
For bird Shooting- autos. Or an over an under. I am reasonably quick with a pump, but I do think that very quick second shot is needed.

March 13, 2006, 04:18 PM
Thoughts on 12 vs. 20 gauge?? Obviously a 20 gauge is enough for squirrel, but would it be enough for duck or maybe geese?

Like I said I'm leaning towards a 26" in barrel, any significant range difference between the 26" & 28" barrel??

In looking at prices, I think I'm likely to get a better looking, newer gun if I stay with the pump, at least within my price range.

Opinions on 870 vs. Mossberg 500?

March 13, 2006, 04:23 PM
Those are both good choices. The one thing I will say is that the mossberg has the release where it's 'supposed' to be.

March 13, 2006, 08:45 PM
I Would Go With The Remington 870 Or Mossberg 500. Both In That Price Range And Good Reliable Guns.

March 15, 2006, 09:18 PM
It really depends on your pocket book and your tolerance for pain. The 870 is a virtually indestructable shotgun. Very reasonably priced. But, if you are going to take up duck hunting, a weekend of hard shooting the heavy waterfowl loads will turn your shoulder black and blue. An automatic shotgun is higher priced and usually a bit heavier than a pump. It will have considerably less recoil than the pump. I shoot a Beretta Extrema at ducks. It has a lower recoil than my 870 wingmaster 20 guage. But it is heavier and bulkier than my 870 express 12 guage. Making for a longer day if I am hunting in the woods.

Definitely, go with 12 guage if you plan to duck hunt. Because water fowl loads must be a larger shot, the 12 guage will put more shot in the shot string and give you more success. Personnally I am afraid of the 835 Mossburg due to jamming problems I have seen in the field.

March 29, 2006, 10:52 PM
Duckcallinfool: "Personnally I am afraid of the 835 Mossburg due to jamming problems I have seen in the field"

with the pump? what have you seen?

March 30, 2006, 09:26 PM
I personnally have been in the blind with 3 different 835's that failed to extract the 3 1/2" shells. Leaving my hunting buddies to go find a nice sturdy stick to shove down the barrel while the rest of us continued our hunt.

Just what I've seen. I am sure others have had good luck with theirs.

March 31, 2006, 12:13 AM
I'd go for the 870 express (possibly in super mag). Pump is the only action for duck imo, and you can break ice with your 870, use it for a paddle, and still shoot it. Will survive just about anything. Barrel all boils down to the shooter.

April 2, 2006, 08:28 PM
The only time I have seen a noticeable difference is with a 3 1/2" shell, and I highly doubt that's what you'll want to shoot. IMHO.
Kind Regards,

April 2, 2006, 08:29 PM
Two other things I don't like about the 835.

1-The ported barrel is deafening to the hunter sitting beside you in a duck blind. I had to wear earplugs on a duck hunt one time because of it. The other thing I don't like about the Mossberg's is the thumb safety.

2-I know people who shoot them love this feature but, there is something about being able to disengage your safety while your trigger finger is on the trigger doesn't sit well with me. Especially while hunting. That extra half-second will not cause you to miss your bird.

April 3, 2006, 12:31 PM
your safety is your finger, which should be connected to your brain, as well as keeping your muzzle in a safe direction. i haven't duck hunted with my 835 but when i went for upland last the safety was off as soon as the dog was onto something. i can't speak to the loudness of the porting though, as i've not been next to one when it went off. one can argue the benefit of the overbored barrel with waterfowl loads. i can't not recommend the 835 though, it's served me well and still makes it to the field more than some nicer guns i've gotten.

in the semi realm, winchester SX2's are probably getting less expensive with the SX3 around now. another great gun, good for waterfowl if it's magnum chambered. i can attest to its reliability in cycling the smallest to largest loads - i've never gotten it soaked in freezing weather or anything, but i've heard people say it'll keep rocking. worth looking into if you like that route.