View Full Version : First shotgun help

October 15, 2007, 10:59 PM
First, I'd like to say that I did a search before posting, but couldn't find all the answers to my question. Sorry if they've been answered before and I missed them.

I have been wanting to get into shooting sports for awhile, but haven't really had the opportunity until just recently.

The guns:
I have had my eye on getting a new Franchi Renaissance Classic for awhile. I like the feel of it while holding it, shouldering it and swinging it and also the recoil reduction things it has.
The place I would get it from is selling it for right around $1,300

Recently I found a used Franchi Alcione Titanium for just over $1,000.
I also like the feel of this, though it seems a little heavier.
It seems to be in good condition and I like the idea of being able to buy a second set of barrels for it if I decide I want to.

My third choice is a Remington 870 express (would probably get the synthetic version). I like the feel, the price and it would be nice to have something I wouldn't feel like I'd have to baby if I went hunting in a field or forest with it and dropped it.

I don't really care what people think of me, if I end up using a pump gun around people with expensive over/unders or semi-autos.

Right now, both the Franchi guns are out of my price range.
I could probably come up with enough money for either of them by the end of the year or by the end of January.

The use:
I'm mainly going to be doing clay sports (trap, skeet and maybe sporting clays), but I may end up doing some small bird hunting (not big into goose or duck hunting).

I originally wanted to get a 20 gauge, mainly because of less recoil and I didn't think I needed anything larger, but I read a few things about 12 gauge being the standard for competitive trap and skeet shooting.

Besides for the fact that the shells have less shot, is there any other thing that would put me at a disadvantage competing against a 12 gauge?

One last question, is it pronounced "Frahn-key" or "Frahn-Chee"? I've always wondered...

Much thanks to anyone who can help!

Dave McC
October 16, 2007, 08:49 AM
I often shoot with the Geezer Squad, a group of 50+ guys. Most of their shotguns are high dollar doubles while I used various 870s. Sometimes I outshot them and caused much hilarity thereby. I've been shooting a Beretta O/U mostly this last year, and score about what I do with the pumps. BTW, I started shooting pumps when Ike was Prez.

A coupla things...

First, there's no such thing as an all purpose shotgun. An 870 comes close, and with two barrels can serve many purposes. But, what works for trap doesn't do well as a Quail gun, what serves best as a HD tool does not easily do well on SC targets.

Second, The O/Us you mention are good shotguns. However, everyone needs a good pumpgun, just because they can do so many things well when set up correctly.

IMO, you should get an 870, set it up to fit you and go shooting. When you have a couple thousand rounds through it, you'll have a better idea of what you need vs what you want now.

870s do not wear out in one lifetime. A used WM will cost less than a week's pay and can be used nigh forever. Every shotgunner should have at least one.
It will feed, defend and provide your family with fun for decades.

Once the bases are covered, get any recreational shotgun you want.

October 16, 2007, 10:37 AM
If you're going to be doing primarily clay sports take a look at the Remington 1100 classic trap gun (or other version of the same). With the choke tubes you can use it for any clay sport you'd like. It has a very light recoil and is not too expensive.

I'd get it in a 12 ga. although a 20 will work, but could definitely put you at a disadvantage on the trap field vs. 12 ga shooters.

chris in va
October 16, 2007, 11:52 PM
Heck, get a Saiga 12 and raise a few eyebrows!:p


October 17, 2007, 06:21 AM
Since you say that this is you first shotgun I take it you didn't get a .410 for your 10th birthday and is too late to correct that mistake. :) Until you know for sure that you are going to really get into it go get either a 870 or an 1100 and never worry about what anyone else says about them. Heck go get a used one, I think they are impossible to wear out and good for almost any situation. After you put a few thousand round through it you will have a better idea of what you want and can make an intelligent decision. Too many people spend too much money on what they heard or read on the Internet about some gun. Be sure that it is a 12 ga, 20's are for wimps and wimmen. ;) If you can't handle the recoil of a 12ga 1100 you need to stick with a .22.:D

October 17, 2007, 06:31 AM
An 870 is never a bad choice. A used one should retain most of it's value and can go toward a swap latter if the double is the route you decide to go.

October 21, 2007, 03:01 AM
IMO if you want an 870, you want a Wingmaster. The Express is the Dodge of the 870 line, the Wingmaster is the Cadillac.

October 21, 2007, 08:47 AM
Thanks for all the helpful advice!

I decided that I'm going to try and get a good deal on an 870 during the after-thanksgiving day sales (normally the cheaper firearms are on sale then).
I'm probably going to get the 870 express synthetic, cause I'm probably going to use it in the field and I'd be overly protective of the wood.

If I end up getting more into clay shooting, I'll prolly save up and get a "better" over under in the 2000 price range or so with interchangeable barrels.

October 21, 2007, 09:28 AM
I must say...those Franchi's are NICE. I "discovered" them for myself at a recent gun show. Yeah, the wingmaster will do ya fine, but I am all about a nice over & under shotgun...and I am a not out of my 30's yet! I am saving up for the Renaissance, which at $1200, should not take ages.

October 21, 2007, 09:31 AM
I'm probably going to use it in the field and I'd be overly protective of the wood.

I kinda doubt you'd be too concerned once you see the birch stock. It's functional, and better looking than black plastic IMO, and also cheaper if I am remembering correctly but that's about all the positives I can think of. Sometime you can find a walnut set on flea-bay, but even then it doesn't look quite right on the matte finished metal. I'm not knocking the excellent gun. It is purposeful in it's design, and I've never been afraid to ding it up. I can't say the same for my rifles (the dingin' it up part).

I like the rest of you plan, but you are reaching the upper limits of everyday shotties with a 2k goal. You might find all you want for much cheaper if you are not too concerned about the snobs. The 870 might do all you need, but I'll admit the doubles swing soooo nice. I'm partial to the Browning SxS.

October 21, 2007, 06:28 PM
I'm even nervous about dinging up my old, not in the best shape k98 from 1938.
I think it's just an OCD, haha...

October 23, 2007, 09:46 AM
Just a note on wood-stocked 870s. . . That wood is much more durable than you might think! Mine has been through all kinds of miserable conditions for 33 years and still looks and works great! I wouldn't advise leaving it submerged in water for hours, but rain and a couple slough dunkings have not affected mine at all. The only marks on it are from handling, and I consider those character additions, not damage. But, I also have a synthetic stocked gun and like that, too. Remember, you can purchase ANY part you can imagine for an 870!

October 23, 2007, 09:54 AM
870's also tend to multiply in your safe. :)

It's sooooo hard to only own one once you own one.

October 23, 2007, 10:12 AM
For a great economical pump gun, you can't go wrong with a Maverick 88