View Full Version : Just a few questions from a new-comer to the shotgun world

March 6, 2009, 08:51 PM
I have an opportunity to pick up either a 12 or a 20 gauge Benelli Nova Pump Shotgun. Both have under 300 rounds through them. I'll be paying roughly $250-$300 for one (The value of the item i'm trading). Should I do it, or hold out for something else? Also which is a better all around round? I don't hunt yet, and don't know what i'll use it for. But i've wanted a shot gun for a while and i really like Benelli...

What are some opinions on this specific model?
Would it be a good trade for the price?
And Is 12ga or 20ga a better all around cartridge for most likely home defense and backyard fun?

March 6, 2009, 08:54 PM
depends on what you're trading, but most definitely go for a .12. Nothing wrong with a .20 gauge but if you only have one shotgun it should be a 12 in my opinion. Benelli's are nice, can't really go wrong there. make sure the action is in working order and that the barrel is smoothe with no pitting. it's a decent trade for the price, pretty close to what a used nova goes for in my experiences.

March 6, 2009, 08:55 PM
IMO... The 12 is a better all around, multi-purpose, multi-function 'round than the 20. There's a better ammo selection as well if you need to pick some up quick at the "big box store".


March 6, 2009, 09:03 PM
Also, what's a good home defense cartridge? I know next to nothing about shotguns... We always hunted coyote from a distance lol, never needed a shotgun till we moved to the city.

March 6, 2009, 09:16 PM
It's a lot easier to find reduced 12-ga loads that duplicate 20-ga loads than it is to find heavy 20-ga loads that duplicate 12s.

The main advantage of a 20-ga gun is if you're going to hump it all day and you don't need the power of a 12-ga (like hunting upland birds), a 20-ga gun is typically a lighter load to tote. Get the 12-ga now, and eventually you may want a add a 20-ga to your collection.

March 6, 2009, 09:19 PM
Ok well that answer's that question. I also read the "Is 20ga useless" thread and that helped too. But what are some opinions on that specific model?

March 6, 2009, 09:26 PM
Check out the thread Nova or the 870? (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=340138&highlight=Benelli+Nova)

March 6, 2009, 09:35 PM
Yeah I just did, It's cool but it's making me think I should wait for a mossberg.

March 7, 2009, 03:12 AM
I know nothing of the benellis. I know just a tick more about the rems. I am a mossberg man but I must say that is not for the sophisticated fit and finish. If you want a fine draft horse to plow your field than the mossberg is not likely going to suit you. However, if a mule or ox is fine than the mossberg is a no brainer. They do tend to rattle (even with the rattle stopper) and they are obviously just a basic gun but mine has never made me worry it wouldn't perform any task I ask of it.

March 7, 2009, 10:17 AM
I would say go with the 12 gauge. Much more versitle. For HD loads look into the archives here for the many different disscusions about the subject. Personally I use #1 BK and 00 BK. Do your own research, go to the range with all the different shells you want to try out and see what gives you the best pattern at the ranges you're likely to use it at.

March 7, 2009, 12:54 PM
There are a lot of pump guns on the market - and to some extent its about what feels and looks good to you.

On the upper end, in my opinion is the Remington 870 Wingmaster and the Browning BPS. Personally I like the BPS - safety on top where its easy to reach, bottom ejection is a plus - and its cast neutral so lefties or right handed shooters can shoot the gun. But Wingmaster is a good gun as well.

870's come in a variety of flavors - from the lower end Express models - to their upper end - but nothing wrong with them. Benelli has the Nova and Super Nova - and I would equate them with the upper end of the 870's mechanically.

Mossberg, in my opinion, is at the lower to middle end of the 870's - but not a bad gun either. But last I knew they were making a few sub-models as well.

As you go up in price - you will see some options and better wood / maybe better steel - but hard to tell.

I would also stay with a 12ga ( more versatiliy on loads up or down ) and balistically, like Zipppy and others told you, you can make a 12ga perform just like a 20ga with 7/8 oz loads.

Personally, I would put the pump guns in this order, if I were to buy one today:

Browning BPS
Reminton Wingmaster
Benelli Nova or Super Nova
the rest of the 870's
the Mossberg

but that's just me...

March 7, 2009, 06:55 PM
Good to hear. I was also curious about my customization options. I'll have to check, but i believe the law in WA is that the barrel must be atleast 18" with a full stock, or a full 26" barrel with a pistol grip... My dad thinks i should leave it the way it is, but it's HUGE! I haven't found ANY replacement stocks, and i Don't know if having the barrel shortened is a good idea. Any thoughts?

March 7, 2009, 07:14 PM
Not sure of washington but the way the usually reads is 18 inch barrel and 26 overall... This may be where you are looking at it.

March 7, 2009, 10:01 PM
The 18" barrel is a federal law. I know a state can be more restrictive, I don't know of any that are, but I'm sure there's one or two. I don't hunt, so I don't know good barrel lengths for that, but 18" is pretty good for home defense. I'd say that if you're thinking about hunting to save up and get a shorter barrel for HD. If they're not available, or way too expensive then pick up a good used Remington 870 or Mossberg 500. Both of those guns have about a million accessories.

On a personal note: I would leave a full stock on there. If you go with a pistol grip I would advise to get the pistol grip and full stock combo. Some love a pistol grip. I find a full stock to be much better. I leave the pistol grips for my pistols.

March 7, 2009, 10:09 PM
Yeah I don't plan on hunting with it. It's just for HD and the occasional Clay Pigeon. I don't want a pistol grip, but i do want to have the barrel shortened (It's RIDICULOUSLY long) But it has that (Pardon my noob-ism) Weird rail all along the top, and I don't know if the smith can make that look normal... Not sure what i'm gonna do.

March 8, 2009, 09:16 AM
Yeah they can cut it off, drill and tap and reinstall the bead... They just make the cut so one of the lugs is still at the new end...
But IMHO it is far superior to buy the barrel you want and have a hunting barrel if you wish. Re-sale value drops very little on a shotgun "combo" complete with 2 as made barrels. But a gun with a cut barrel is not going to hold so well and many will not be interested at all.

March 8, 2009, 09:17 AM
You will want that long barrel when you see the scores wrote down for the shooters at the clay range;)

March 8, 2009, 05:39 PM
I'm primarily a clay shooter and bird hunter - but I don't own a shotgun with a barrel less than 28" - and most of my target guns are either 30" or 32". What you probably have is a 28" barrel - which is the most versatile barrel for clays or hunting. Don't just whack it off - do a little research first - or buy a short barrel if you want a "fighting gun".

A "fighting gun" is one thing - but there is no reason you can't use a pump gun with a 28" barrel for an occasional "defensive situation".

A short barrel shotgun is pretty obnoxious for guys standing next or near you on a clay target field ( Skeet, Trap, Sporting Clays, etc ) and you may not be welcome at a club - shooting anything less than a gun with a 26" barrel.