View Full Version : First gun

June 2, 2008, 01:21 AM
This is my first post on this sight and I have a good feeling you guys can help.

My birthday is just a couple of weeks away and with the money I get I plan on buying my first shotgun. I plan on using the gun for the up coming turkey season as well as some skeet shooting every now and then. What gun do you guys recommend for these two?

June 2, 2008, 01:28 PM
For a 1st gun - if you want to shoot skeet ( which is a fast game ) I'd recommend a semi-auto. Lots of them on the market new and used - the gas operated guns ( Beretta 391, Browning Gold, Reminton 1100, etc ) the inertia operated guns Benelli. Price range new is $ 800 - $1500 / used $500 - $1,000 so there are lots of choices.

A good pump gun new - Browning BPS is around $ 600 - and also a good long term choice but its a little of a handicap on skeet until you really learn to cycle the pump gun without dropping it off your shoulder.

But either gun will work for field gunning, Trap, Skeet or Sporting Clays.

Stay away from the over unders for now.

June 2, 2008, 01:42 PM
but if you dont get that much $$ for you birthday, you cant go wrong with a mossberg 500.
some come with two barrels but the barrels are readily available aftermarket.
i have one with 18, 20 and 24" barrels.
the 18 inch is for the pistol grip set up.:)
welcome to TFL!

June 2, 2008, 01:51 PM
The Remington 1100 would suit you very well. The recoil on them is minimal - a plus if you want to shoot skeet or trap. New ones are resonalbly priced and you can probably find some good used ones at modest prices.

June 2, 2008, 01:51 PM

Home defense and hunting

June 2, 2008, 01:55 PM
The best overall barrel length on a pump or semi-auto is probably still a 28" barrel - or what is considered the "standard" length for most field guns. It will give you a better "sight plane" - and will fit your needs for a lot of things in terms of hunting or clays. Anything less than a 28" barrel will not make the gun as versatile in the field.

Down the road you can talk about specialized guns for Trap, Skeet, etc - and some of this depends on your arm length, upper body strength, etc - but many of us get into specialized shotguns with 32" or 34" barrels for Trap / 30" or 32" barrels have become very common on Sporting and Skeet fields - but there is time for that down the road.

A first gun needs to be versatile so you can use it for a lot of different things / it needs to be adjusted with pads, etc so it fits you properly - length of pull, drop at comb, cast on or off comb, etc. There is a lot involved in it once you pick a gun action type, a specific model, etc.

June 2, 2008, 01:57 PM
I'd want a 3 1/2" chamber for turkeys.

The ubiquitous 870 isn't a bad choice. Turkey loads are hot, and if you are recoil sensitive an auto with take a little of the punch out it those hot loads. A mercury shell will further tame the recoil in any multiple shot action.

June 2, 2008, 03:36 PM
I'd want a 3 1/2" chamber for turkeys.

The ubiquitous 870 isn't a bad choice. Turkey loads are hot, and if you are recoil sensitive an auto with take a little of the punch out it those hot loads. A mercury shell will further tame the recoil in any multiple shot action.
I can recognize the versatility of a 3-1/2" chambered 12ga, but to me, i would just go all out and get a 10 gauge if turkey was my main quarry.

FWIW - There are 2 ounce turkey loads made by Federal for use in 3" magnum-chambered 12 gauge shotguns that match the capability of 3-1/2" 12 gauge turkey & goose loads.

I suggested the Remington 870 because it is a handy, versatile shotgun that has specialized barrels readily available for reasonable prices, and is well-known for its durability, ruggedness and overall excellent value.
The same may be said of the Mossberg 500 combo deals.

ps - don't rule out the ubiquitous Maverick 88 :)

June 2, 2008, 04:06 PM

check this one out. you save enough to buy a skeet barrel!!
Ive bought from him before, no problem.

June 2, 2008, 04:10 PM
From the redneck prospective...
If you are a young person, you may still have some physical growth yet to come. This would mean that a custom fit would need adjusted later.
I like the fact that I never have shot a custom fit gun. I may have missed out on that sweet feeling that comes from shooting a "perfect" gun but I don't worry that anything I may pick up don't fit me.
As for which "First Gun", I suggest the venerable ol' Mossberg in either pump or auto loader. And both can be had at very good prices from many "BIG BOX" retailers.

June 3, 2008, 11:37 AM
Respectfully HotDogs .... for a young shooter, all the more reason to make sure the gun fits the shooter so they develop good habits. As they grow, get stronger, etc you make minor adjustments in the stock to accomodate them. Fitting a shotgun isn't about "customizing" in the sense of making it a "fancy" gun - its about making the point of impact the same as where you are looking.

Fitting a shotgun isn't expensive either - and it isn't done just on expensive guns - it is often accomplished by putting a stick on pad on the comb to adjust the height , changing the recoil pad to adjust length of pull - etc.

When I grew up in the 50's noone in my family knew anything about shotgun fit - and honestly I've owned a bunch of shotguns I just couldn't shoot very well before I finally started to figure out "fit" about 15 years ago. I used to adjust my "shooting clothing" to get the right setup - to adjust the length of pull especially - and at some point that just got ridiculous. I used to think the "Monte Carlo" stocks were just for the guys that had too much money and no sense - until I really understood the adjustabilty issues and the paralell comb issues.

We had a new shooter at my club last week - we were helping shoot skeet for 1st time - very eager/but having a heck of a time. We quickly realized the length of pull on his gun was way too short for him - and as he mounted the gun sometimes he was forward a couple inches, sometimes back a couple of inches. Since the comb had quite a bit of drop on it - every time he moved forward or back the point of impact on the gun was probably changing + - 18" at least at the kill range. He can make the gun work for him - if he mounts the comb in exactly the right spot every time - but what he really needs is a $ 20 stick on pad to level out his comb / put a different recoil pad on the butt to extend length of pull about 1/2" and it'll be just fine. I expect his scores to go from an inconsisten 10 - 15 to a solid 20 in a week or so. Then he can really work on getting up to a 22 or 23 average within a month or so as he figures out his hold points, smooths out his swing, works on his follow thru, works on shifiting his eyes before he moves the gun on a 2nd bird, move with the lower body and keep his shoulders paralell .......all the little things most of us experienced shotgunners finally learned ... None of this will make his gun a "fancy" gun - but it will make it a gun that fits him and he can certainly have more consistency with on a Skeet, Trap or Sporting clays field - or out hunting quail or pheasant. It's all good. HotDogs - I hope your shotgun fits you perfectly / and you're one of those guys that can't remember the last time they missed a pheasant inside of 40 yards or whatever - but at least take your shotgun to a pattern board and see what the point of impact is / give this stuff a try - you might find out you've made some adjustment in your mount or something to make the gun hit where you want - but with a small change in a pad or something - it might get better ....and you won't have to make that adjustment and maybe turn those "off days" we all have into once a year instead of once a month or so. Nobody's more of a red neck than I am ......but I do like nice shotguns.....especially if they fit properly. Take care.

June 3, 2008, 12:17 PM
BigJim, I HIGHLY doubt my gus fit "proper". I do have my share of misses but I get to lay blame on the cheap azz mossberg with HD barrel;). For the year round ringneck doves, I am at 90+/-% hits. These ain't typical field hunts. These are step out back see one in the yard and if he lights at all before the shot he is not up to speed yet. I do not shoot competitively. Last time I tried that, it was for beers... I ain't seen a beautiful pheasant in 27 years:( Man they were fun. I used dad's hand me down .410 bolt gun and more than once I got 2 shots off at him. I know that gun did not fit as it was a full size Mossberg and I was a super small 12 year old.
I know you are right about the benefits of proper fit but I just had to adapt so long I wouldn't know what to do with a FINE SPORTING shotgun. :D

June 3, 2008, 01:42 PM
If it works - and it sounds like it does - it doesn't matter HogDogs. Take care.

June 5, 2008, 08:17 AM
A top quality first gun that won't break the bank is the Benelli Supernova. You can get them for between $400 and $500 new and they come with the parts necessary to customize the length of pull and drop at comb right out of the box. They're simple to field strip using no tools other than the magazine cap. And they're chambered for 3 1/2" shells. The recoil reducing stock helps out quite a bit, too.

I picked mine up for less than I could get a new 870 wingmaster. The features and overall fit and quality of the Benelli justified the slight extra expense over the Mossbergs and 870 Express, to me. I'm very happy with my Supernova and use it for clays and other target shooting and hunting.

The best answer is to visit your local gun shops and shoulder all of the guns in your price range. See which one feels right to you because you're the one who's going to be shooting it. Any way you go, have fun and safe shooting!

June 5, 2008, 05:21 PM
The Remington 870 Pump shotgun gets my vote. They are made in alot of different barrel lengths, finishes, and capacities. I own an 18" 6+1 shot. It works GREAT for shooting clays. I can shot two of my own hand thrown clays with it so far, no problem. It takes 2 3/4" and 3" shells. It's not exactly set up for hunting. But if I put on the proper choke and spent some time with it. And got a fairly close shot. I'm sure it would be fine.

But what ever variation you get, I think the Remington 870 is going to be the best shotgun for your money. It looks and feels great too!

I dont know much about hunting. but if your looking to be serious about your turkey hunting, a longer barrel and 3, 1/2" magnum capable gun might be your best bet. I still dont see anything wrong with 3" shells though. If you get a good shot, the bird is dead. You could hunt turkey with a .22 if your really wanted (provided thats leagal) :D

As far as shooting clays goes, any shotgun will do fine, it just takes practice and some getting used to. I saw a guy once with a combat Benelli semi auto with pistol grip and combat sights, he was busting more clays than the "serious sportsmen" over under guys. It was funny, the gave him crap at first for using that gun for clays. But when he started beating their scores, they just stopped talking.

June 5, 2008, 08:00 PM
The Turkey killing-est man I ever knew used low brass #6s and a single barrel 12 gauge with full choke for 50 years.I will not say the most legal,but I do believe the man killed thousands of turkeys.He hunted Gobblers year round.He claimed to have rung ones neck that attacked him by fling in on top of him.He had scratches,a rung necked Turkey and not a single shot hole in that Turkey.We plucked it to see.He got a laugh out of getting us to pluck that Turkey.Only death stopped him.I know this as he was my uncle.I did not and do not approve.

I had a Spanish double,Winchester 13 wild turkey Federation,A Browning A-500G and a 3 1/2" single barrel all in 12 gauge.All killed Turkeys the same.I liked my 20 gauge pump and double the best for sit down shooting.All seemed to kill the same.Dead is dead.

I would defiantly try if possible to shoot any gun sitting down with my back against a tree with it before I bought one to do it with.I would use the shells I would use and shoot at all the angles that a Turkey could be shot at including flying.You can and will be surprised by Turkeys and guns.alfred

Teppo Sensei
June 20, 2008, 05:01 PM
if price was an issue i would get a Maverick88 12ga for under $200
its a mossberg 500 with the safety in a better location IMO
500 has an alumminum receiver but the bolt locks to barrel like a 870

i bought an remington 870 mag from K mart for $200 10 years ago
but they are a little over $300 today

whatever you get it should be a 12ga shells are much cheaper
turkey you dont need more than a single shot or pump
for doubles in skeet you would want semi or double barrel
you can shoot skeet with a pump but it takes more skill

cant really go wrong with a remington mossberg or winchester
many barrels and mag extensions at reasonable prices
beretta and benelli are very expensive
3in shells for turkey 2 ¾ in shells for skeet
3 ½in shell has a lower velocity but more shot weight and recoil then 3in
winchester Super-X ammo
12 gauge 3 ½in shells 00 buckshot 18 pellets Velocity fps @ 3 ft. 1200
12 gauge 3 inch shells 00 buckshot 15 pellets Velocity fps @ 3 ft. 1210
12 gauge 2¾ inch shells 00 buckshot 9 pellets Velocity fps @ 3 ft. 1325
stoeger makes good doubles O/U for the price about $500
my choice would an 1187 remington 12ga $623.99
gas operated semi are more reliable and has lower recoil than a blowback

June 20, 2008, 09:21 PM

I saw the 870 express today at Academy for $279.00. For a really solid no nonsense shotgun that will likely outlast you and your grandchildren, that is quite a bargain. Even if you move on to that "Boomaster 2000" twice barrel engraved $10,000.00 work of art, the 870 will still quietly sit behind the bedroom door ready to save your butt in a home defense situation..

It's a good thing.

July 3, 2008, 08:47 PM
When you talk about turkey shooting and skeet shooting you are really
looking at two entirely different kind of shooting. If I may offer a thought,
take a good look at a skeet grade remington 870 or the remington100.
What you end up with is a very nice shotgun with little recoil with a
26 or 28 inch barrel. When you have made that decision start looking
at gun shows, different gun shops, shooting ranges, etc., and look to buy
a spare barrel in either a 30 or 32" barrel for your turkey shooting. I
think you may be surprised how inexpensively you can buy the second
barrel. good luck!

July 4, 2008, 11:34 PM
Rem. 870