View Full Version : what is the best choice for a shotgun?

January 2, 2011, 06:47 PM
To start off with I already have a pump. It is a Mossberg 88 Maverick that I got for $50 bucks. There is nothing wrong with it I just don’t have confidence in it and it has a fixed modified choke.

I have the money to spend on a new shotgun but I if I can save money I'm all about it. I have had my eye on the SBE ll but I don’t want to spend so much money for a gun that I will be disappointed with. On that same token, I don’t want to spend half the price of the SBE ll only to not like it and spend the money on another shotgun.

As I stated earlier I have a pump already. I am very comfortable with using a pump but I think that since I have a pump already I should go with a semi automatic. If I go with a semi automatic should I go with gas or inertia driven?

I'm looking for a good all around gun. I want to be able to hunt duck, dove, turkey, geese, and maybe deer. If you feel that I should stay with a pump gun please let me know. I am taking everything into consideration

All the help is appreciated.

January 2, 2011, 06:58 PM
Assuming it is in good working order, there is absolutely no reason that Maverick 88 won't do just fine on all those animals provided you use the right choke and ammo for each one.

January 2, 2011, 07:34 PM
I have a 11-87, 1100, and have shot a Vinchi and SBII and trust me, the SBII is worth it. Also gas is the way I would go. Much softer shooting and all in all I just feel it is better. However you see I dont own one and its my buddies and I have a 1100 and 11-87 that are inertia but wouldnt trade for anything. Any of the 4 I mentioned are great

January 2, 2011, 07:39 PM
the SBII is worth it. Also gas is the way I would go

Except the Benelli is not a gas gun - it is inertia.

The Beretta 39X series in one of their variations would be a good gas gun to look at

January 2, 2011, 07:48 PM
I'll second 1 oz., the 39x series beretta is a nice choice, I think they handle way better than the 3.5" SBEII. And don't fall for the " they are cleaner than the gas guns" it doesn't really matter.

January 2, 2011, 08:05 PM
Here are some Shotgun's I would Get. The Mossberg 590 It can be a 12, 20, or .410 Guage (Your Choice). It is A Pump Action Shotgun, That Can hold 5-8 Shots Depending on The Gauge. Also A Remington 870. It comes in 12, 16, 20, 28, or .410. It is A Pump Action That Can hold 3-8 Rounds Depending on the Guage. Or A Mossberg 930 SPX. It is a Semi-Automatic Shotgun That is A 12 Guage. And Holds 7+1 In the Chamber. It Won 2009 Shotgun of The Year. Hope to Help.

January 2, 2011, 09:24 PM
Yea, your right. I even knew it want a gas gun. It is a different form of inertia that supposed to be softer right. Because I know when I went and talked to my local smith he mentioned something was different from the Benelli to the Remington line

January 2, 2011, 09:36 PM
The Benelli basically acts like a blowback pistol - it does not use gas bled from the fired round so it will have more felt recoil. Since it is usually lighter than the gas gun, it will also have more actual recoil.

FIT will be a more accurate as far as felt recoil goes, but if the two guns are stocked the same, the gas gun will be softer

January 2, 2011, 09:50 PM
Beretta is what I use and I HIGHLY recommend one, Fanchi would be a good second choice.

January 2, 2011, 10:01 PM
You can't go wrong with the SBE II

January 2, 2011, 10:06 PM
Browning Maxus - shoots fastest, less recoil, and reliable as a shotgun gets.

January 5, 2011, 10:23 PM
I cant believe no one has asked this yet but what is your budget for the gun?

There is such a wide price range that money is the limiting factor in how nice a gun you can get.

If you are looking for a moderately priced gun I would look at a Mossberg 500 or Remington 870. Both of those are pump-action, depending on where you live and how cold it gets semi autos can have issues on cold mornings.

William Lee
January 6, 2011, 12:45 PM
I'm someone who never saw the utility of a semi automatic shotgun for hunting. For target shooting it makes sense as a method for limiting recoil, and in a tactical situation it may be preferable for its speed of fast fire. However, I doubt that the average citizen will need to deploy that kind of firepower--seems like a limited niche for a type of SWAT team or special forces role, but as I recall most American SWAT teams actually use Remington 870s. Practice and you will be able to work the pump gun as quickly as you're likely to ever need to. Semis can also jam, which is the main reason I do not favor them. Of course, someone will say that the shooter can short-stroke a pump, but that is something that you have to practice to avoid, and with a little muzzle time, should not be an issue, even under stress, once the muscle memory sinks in. Really, you just throw it back and forth as hard and fast as you can, not changing direction until you meet the resistance of the receiver.
For target shooting, I currently use a pump gun, and have done quite well with it. To be fair, this is only because I cannot afford a passable over-under, which is next on my to-buy list. This brings me to my point. If you have a moderate to good budge of 600-1000 dollars, I would recommend an o/u. However, to really get a good shotgun, you have to think about several components of the o/u platform to make the ideal choice. Trigger selection is one aspect I didn't think would be so hard. I've been looking up and down for an o/u with a double trigger--or one for each barrel--instead of a selective or inertia trigger. Then there are things like barrel length/interchangeable barrels and choke tubes that you might also look at, as different models in different conditions will come with a variety of these accessories that you may want to have. Then there's the price. Every time I see one that has the stuff I want, the price is over $1000, although if I were less lazy/trusted the internet more, I would just buy one from gunbroker. C/Z makes one that I'd like to try out, as does Stoeger, but the Stoeger does not have the double trigger to my knowledge.
So I'll throw in support for an o/u, because I think the pump and semi platform are essentially the same in terms of what you can and cannot do efficiently with. As the pump/semi debate goes, I also forgot to mention earlier that pump guns are easier for me to switch slugs into than semis are, and I've never had my pump gun jam, whereas my friend's Rem 1100 has jammed on me twice on the trap field, and I needed both hands to correct the malfunction. To be fair to the gun, we use the Walmart target ammo, but the experience was still disheartening, as I've never had Walmart ammo jam my pump, even after 600+ rounds through it in a day. Once in a while with that cheap stuff you get a failure to fire sue to primer setting errors, but chamber the same shell again and it will go off.
As for the o/u platform, it shoots two shells faster than a semi. Of course you have to reload after every two shots, but this is not really a serious sd gun we're talking about here--although it would definitely be handy in a pinch, no doubt about that. If you do use it for HD/SD, you'll have to be careful if you store it with rounds chambered, on my pump I just have the slide locked with the safety off on an empty chamber. slidelock release and pump and it's ready without having to remember to use the safety. My biggest regretted misses have come from forgetting to disengage the safety and I'd hate to have that problem at 2AM in my own apartment. Of course, when you're hunting, the safety should always be on, but for SD, I prefer not to have to worry about it just in case I forget to take it off.
So yea, get the o/u, or don't. It's your money.

January 6, 2011, 12:48 PM
his brings me to my point. If you have a moderate to good budge of 600-1000 dollars, I would recommend an o/u.

Unfortunately, for a decent O/U that will last and is built well, that amount is no longer a good budget - three times that amount gets you into the starting realm of the respected names like Beretta, Browning, SKB.

Any more, 1-1.5K is the range for a semi...........

January 6, 2011, 12:57 PM
Since you're considering the Benelli SBE-II - we can assume that $ 1,500 -
$ 1,750 is in your ballpark.

I like the Benelli's a lot ...and the inertia system, with the comfort tech system in the synthetic stocks makes it shoot reasonably softly - similar to a gas gun in my opinion. The big thing on the Benelli inertia system - is it shoots way cleaner than most any gas gun. The SBE-II is a very good gun. The
3 1/2" chamber is a little overkill for many things / and a 3" chamber on a gun is enough for my needs, even for waterfowling.

There are other inertia guns out there - like Stoeger - but they seem to have a lot more issues than the Benelli brand. Personally, I have 2 Benelli's - both Super Sport models, one 12ga and one 20ga ....for about 5 yrs and they've been excellent guns. Its almost impossible to be sure - but I don't believe the parts in all inertia guns are created equal / or that some of the less expensive options - like Stoeger - get as much attention to detail on assembly, or in the parts, as Benelli does. But the Beretta corp - owns Benelli, Stoeger, Franchi, etc ... yet they operate as seperate divisions.

But today's gas guns have improved as well - Browning Silver series, Beretta 391 series, Winchester SX series ....are all good guns.

You can shoot any clay target game or hunt with a pump gun - if it "Fits" you - so it hits where you look. But in general, a good semi-auto is quicker for most shooters as you execute a shot on a 2nd target.

I don't know that you can make a bad choice in a gun - although prices will vary from $ 800 - to about $ 2,500 on semi-autos from Benelli, Beretta, Browning and Winchester.

But picking a shotgun is about "Fit" - so it hits where you look. Some guns have adjustments, many don't ...and you can't tell that by holding it in a store. You need to go to a pattern board and shoot it / and you need to know what stock dimensions will "Fit" you - for length of pull, drop at comb and drop at heel. What "fits" me, may not fit you .. Before you buy, if possible, see if you can shoot a few of the guns you're interested in at your local range --- maybe your buddies have some of them - you can test ... It may save you from making a big mistake..

January 6, 2011, 07:56 PM
Thank you everyone for your help. My budet is $1500. BigJimp, that is good advice. They are all good guns but if it does not "fit" I'm not gonna be happy. With that said, I'm going to go to my local gun shop and play with some tomorrow.

January 7, 2011, 09:13 PM
If you haven't made your choice yet....go ahead and check out the Browning Maxus. If you are willing to spend up to $1500 you are good. They might still have the deal on also that if you buy $100 worth of shells at the time you buy the gun they will send you a check for the $100. I have taken mine to the range to shoot target loads (8s). I have had it out shooting doves and I have had it out shooting ducks with 3 inch 2s. The recoil is real light. It also comes with shims and extensions for the stock for fit.

January 8, 2011, 03:02 PM
If I was going to spend $1,500 and was not sure what to get, I would look for a used Beretta 390 or 3901 for $500 or less and then get a decent used O/U with the other $1,000. That way you will have a pump, semi-auto, and double gun. I would recommend a Browning or Beretta O/U (I prefer Berettas, and resale value is good on both these brands), but there are other good ones out there.

I know there are people out there who love them, but I am unimpressed with SBEs. They work fine, but I don't understand why they cost so much. I bought a used Beretta FP1201 field grade gun - same Inertia Recoil system as the Benellis, for $350. Works well & is very light, but I prefer a double when upland hunting.

January 8, 2011, 03:28 PM
Or get a 11-87 wood stocked gun for 650 and then buy a CZ over under. For the price of the CZs they are tough to beat. You will then have a very fine reliable gun for turkeys, upland game, waterfowl etc and have a very accurate fun to shoot clay gun

January 8, 2011, 03:34 PM
Since you mentioned Geese, I suspect you'll want 3-1/2" capability. The new Browning Maxus may fit your requirements. It functions well with standard 2-3/4", 3" mag, or 3-1/2" maxi-mag loads, and is available in several configurations for around $1,300. Check it out.

January 11, 2011, 09:51 AM
My personal opinion is that the new Browning shotgun doesn't have enough time under its belt to deserve your money.

It is pretty new and doesn't offer anything the well established Italian brands have offered for many years. The Italian brands have an excellent record of reliability on the range and in the field. I also don't see a kick-off shock absorber on the Browning offering which puts it even further behind the Italian guns.

January 11, 2011, 02:09 PM
@HK guns

Interested to know it you own any of the "Italian guns". I own a Browning Maxus and it is a great gun. When I was looking I held and shouldered a lot of guns before buying one. I would have liked to shoot a few more before buying but I doubt it would have changed my mind. I wasn't going to buy something that didn't feel right or shoulder right on me, and wouldn't have shot several anyway cause I didn't like the feel. Overall the weight, feel and shouldering of the Maxus was great. Now that I have a bunch of rounds through it...dove hunting, skeet field, and duck hunting I can still say I love that gun.

January 11, 2011, 05:23 PM
Early in the post someone said the owned Rem 1100 and 11-87 but didn't own a gas gun. Since I own an 1100 and was pretty sure it was gas operated, I did some checking. Chuck Hawks review of the 1100
http://www.chuckhawks.com/rem_1100.htm In the first line he states it is a gas operated shotgun.

I also own a Franchi AL 48 in 20 guage. I dearly love that gun for close, quick shooting. It is a recoil operated gun but in 20 guage the recoil is reasonable. My Rem 1100 is 12 guage and the recoil in that gun is about the same as my recoil operated 20 guage.

Just my 2 cents.

Neither of these guns will set you back $1500.

January 11, 2011, 06:13 PM
I'm someone who never saw the utility of a semi automatic shotgun for hunting.

You've never been to a big dove shoot have you?

January 11, 2011, 06:57 PM
cowboy mo, on down I fixed my mistake. Still cant beat the 11-87 for a hunting gun. Not near as pricey as the others

January 11, 2011, 07:21 PM
@HK guns

Interested to know it you own any of the "Italian guns". I own a Browning Maxus and it is a great gun. When I was looking I held and shouldered a lot of guns before buying one. I would have liked to shoot a few more before buying but I doubt it would have changed my mind. I wasn't going to buy something that didn't feel right or shoulder right on me, and wouldn't have shot several anyway cause I didn't like the feel. Overall the weight, feel and shouldering of the Maxus was great. Now that I have a bunch of rounds through it...dove hunting, skeet field, and duck hunting I can still say I love that gun.


Yes, as a matter of fact I own the following Italian shotguns at this point in time, with no plans of selling any.

Beretta 391 Urika 3" 12
Beretta 391 Xtrema2 3.5" 12 Camo w/KO
Franchi AL48 28GA

-I have used the first two on my list at the range extensively for Trap, Skeet & 5 stand. Both have shot 7/8 oz reloads without a single jam or mis-feed.

-I have hunted Duck, Goose, Turkey, Quail, Pheasant and Dove, shooting normal field loads up to 3.5" 2.125oz Goose and Turkey loads.

I had one issue with my X2 while in the field, it was acting like a single shot. I couldn't believe it as it was the first malf I'd ever had with this gun.

Upon closer inspection, I had failed to re-assemble 100% correctly after my last cleaning. A 30 second re-assembly and it was running perfectly again. My fault, not the guns fault.

Brownings are great guns, if it fits you and you shoot it well, that is what counts. I prefer to let a shotgun season a bit and given the perfect reliability of my Beretta's it would be extremely difficult to pull me away from them.

January 11, 2011, 07:22 PM
I'm someone who never saw the utility of a semi automatic shotgun for hunting.
You've never been to a big dove shoot have you?

I'm betting he's never duck hunted in Canerda either.

William Lee
January 11, 2011, 07:34 PM
I've never been to a big dove hunt or shot ducks in Canerda, but I've been told that CO law prohibits hunting with more than a 2-shot magazine capacity. With that in mind, I don't see the utility of the semi, as I can bring down three birds with three shots of my pump. Again, it's just me. My friend loves his semi, and I try not to bother him too much about it...

January 11, 2011, 09:02 PM
I looked at the 11-87. I am a good size guy, spent 8 years in the Army humping a ruck around and going on patrols in Kosovo and Iraq in full gear. I just couldn't bring myself to wanting to carry an 11-87 around in the field all day. The weight difference between the Maxus and the 11-87 is noticable when holding them (one in each hand).

January 12, 2011, 06:58 PM
Thanks again for your help. With your help and some research I have narrowed my choice down to the sbe2 and the xtrema2. I picked up the others (Browning, Winchester, and Remington) but the sbe2 felt the best. The only other shotgun that I have not picked up yet is the extrema2. I don’t want to rule it out until I at least pick it up. I have also heard good reviews on the extrema2. So, while I'm waiting to pick up the extrema2 what do you guys think about the sbe2 and the extrema2?

January 12, 2011, 07:25 PM
"Picking it up" is one thing, shooting it is another. You would best be served by going to a gun club and renting/borrowing all of those you are considering and seeing how well each fits and shoots for you.

Buy the gun that fits and that YOU shoot the best

January 12, 2011, 07:31 PM
Believe me as lessons are learn. Save another $50+ and buy a Real Mosberg or Remingto 870.

January 12, 2011, 07:31 PM
dupe post

Mike Armstrong
January 13, 2011, 12:14 PM
I'd find an excellent used Ithaca Model 37, or buy a new one with a 26" VR barrel and a slug barrel. Even new, that should cost you 'way less than the alternatives you suggest, and they are classic, excellent guns.

Spend the excess, if any, on shells and shooting practice and gas and all the extras that you need to have to maximize the experience.

February 6, 2011, 04:10 PM
I finally decided on the Benelli Super Vinci... Max 4. WOW!!! What a gun! (And price). They were selling the super Vinci for the same Price as the SBE2. IMO it is balanced perfectly. I love the break down procedure and cleaning it is amazingly easy. I got to shoot it the other day and I shot 1 1/8 load all day. It was a dream to shoot. At the end of the day I shot 3.5" shells. You can definitely tell the difference. I personal can’t tell you that the Vinci had less recoil than a gas operated shotgun because no one had one there for me to compare it with. I did shoot the SBE2 with 3.5" and I can say that I thought that the recoil was less with the super Vinci. The SBE also had more of a downward push and the Vinci was more lateral. Overall I am extremely impressed and if they weren’t so expensive I would by another. Thank you everyone for your help.

February 7, 2011, 12:43 AM
Maybe pick up an older Benelli M1... THough it won't shoot 3 1/2" loads , it will shoot up to 3" with no problems and shoots like a dream.... I have actually owned both the M1 and the new M2 Benelli shotguns and they are awsome shooters... Almost industructable and they actually shoot when the temps get below freezing, unlike some of gas operated type shotguns...

.300 Weatherby Mag
February 7, 2011, 12:47 AM
If you want a quality over and under.. Be prepared to spend around $1800-$2000.. The Browning Citori and Beretta 686 White Oynx are good choices.