View Full Version : Newbie to Shotguns/Rifles

October 10, 2012, 06:56 AM
I own three handguns, S&W 686P, Glock 27, and Ruger LC9. I have no experience whatsoever with a shotgun or rifle but was thinking of making one of these my next purchase. Not sure which features I need, don't need, etc., but would be using it just for some recreational shooting and home defense. I am not a hunter.

What are some good brands for the money? What are the more expensive brands? What features should I really consider when making this purchase? What are the tangible differences in a rifle and shotgun?

Any input you can offer would be much appreciated. Thanks so much!!

October 10, 2012, 07:07 AM
If you're not thinking of hunting or self-/home-defense, what makes you want a shogun or rifle? Not saying there's not a reason to have one or either, just curious.

I have a stoeger SXS coach gun in 12ga, and I like it because its got a good kick, short enough barrel for getting around my home for home defense, and works for my Cowboy Action Shooting competition. A new one can be had for $350-$450 on gunbroker.com.

I also have a Savage Axis (formerly called the Savage Edge) rifle in .308 WIN that can drive tacks at 400+ yards. It's good for medium and big game hunting or pricey plinking. One can be had for $275-$350 at any Walmart that sells firearms, or gunbroker.com.

Again, this is just a run-down of what I have and what you want depends on what you want it for...

October 10, 2012, 07:59 AM
Start with a 22 rimfire rifle, someone is always running a sale on one. Cheap to shoot, lets you develop and hone your shooting skills. Many times you can get a package deal rifle/scope together.

It's always nice to go to the range and shoot very small groups next to the guy that's shooting minute of pie plate at 100 yards. And of course the guy is usually shooting a loud-n-boomer-kick em hard magnum that he had no busness buying in the first place.

Something I did before hunting season was to practice with a air rifle, accurate beyond belief, can be shot at home if you have the space.

October 10, 2012, 08:18 AM
Good place to start would be a Mossberg 500 or Remington 870 12 gauge if you intend to use it for self-defense. You could also get a .410 Mossberg which does not have much recoil. 00 buckshot out of a .410 is very effective for home defense. No reason to spend any more $$$ for a first shotgun, both of these are inexpensive and well made. For a rifle, I would get a Ruger Mini 14 Ranch Rifle in .223. Very reliable, fantastic for home defense, and fun to shoot.

October 10, 2012, 08:40 AM
If you are thinking home defense a 12 gauge with an 18 inch barrel and 6+ capacity is highly recommended. It was my first gun and it is the gold standard of home defense. And, it costs les then most pistols.

You can also use it for skeet shooting, which is great practice for home defense.

If money is not too tight then get a semi-automatic Mossberg 930SPX, that's what I have now. At around $600 it is a great fun and HD gun.

October 10, 2012, 09:00 AM
+1 to Mossberg 930SPX

October 10, 2012, 12:47 PM
If you're not thinking of hunting or self-/home-defense, what makes you want a shogun or rifle?

a shogun would certainly make mince meat of any intruder :p

October 10, 2012, 01:10 PM

Mossberg 500 and Remington 870 in 12ga or 20ga would probably fit the bill.

I would handle both and see which I preferred as far as things such as my preference on safety location, which shoulders the best, etc.

IMO, both are usually equally reliable.


I'll throw this out for no other reason than it's what I prefer for HD cause it's light, compact, large capacity and very versatile. And a fun plinker with either 15 or 30rd mags.

30 cal. carbine.

October 10, 2012, 01:17 PM
Start with a 22 rimfire rifle...

October 10, 2012, 08:40 PM
Does the action jam easier on the semi-auto type shotgun versus a pump and shoot Mossberg type? To correct a previous poster, I said I do not hunt but would want a shotgun and/or rifle for home defense and recreational type shooting, just know every little about shotguns or rfiles and looking for a good way to get into that realm for my first one.

Appreciate the great input, definitely will be researching your suggestions and look forward to any other input you may be able to provide.

October 10, 2012, 08:49 PM
Just read review on that Mossber 930, looks very, very sweet!!

October 10, 2012, 11:01 PM
as far as a shotgun, the age old debate Mossberg vs. Remington will become a common past time. i prefer Mossberg others prefer Remington's there are very little differences but it will be like Ford Chevy debates ... but you will get used to it lol ...and maybe even enjoy it.

as far as rifle, that is a much wider category. i agree about the .22 for a starter rifle and once you get started with that you will understand what i say next.

ammunition is a very important issue when it comes to choosing which rifle to get.
i think about how much money i will spend in a year dicking off with my rifle as i do not hunt either. i chose to go with a sks (Russian) 7.62x39 two reasons (here comes another Ford Chevy debate ) 7.62 has a harder punch from a decent range up to 400 yards but mostly the price @.21 cents a round compared to the .223 which has a lesser more delayed kinetic energy at same range and a price of .43 cents per round.

other ammunition such as the 30-06 and .308 both closely equal to the 7.62 are priced much higher in price and the list goes on and on. choosing a rifle is a much more researchable issue than a shotgun and the pros and cons are endless.

October 11, 2012, 08:04 AM
I'm not really a big shotgun guy, but for home defense there is no substitute. In the extremely unlikely event of a home invasion (worst case scenario) my pistols are there to give me time to get to my shotgun. You have to assume in the case of a home invasion that the intruders will also have pistols, so your pistol gives them a surprise, but it's an even fight at best. The shotgun changes the balance.

I've had the Mossberg 930SPX about two years now, and I've put about 500 rounds through it and never had a single failure. Along the way I bought a box of clays ($5) and discovered clay shooting. It grows on you, it's great practice and will boost your skills and confidence. And once you discover semi you'll never go back to pump.

October 12, 2012, 11:35 AM
Look forward to delving into the debate (Ford vs. Chevy) and seeing what it's all about. For the price, should I assume the Mossberg 930 is the "king" of home-defense shotguns if you will?

October 12, 2012, 11:41 AM
I have a Mossberg 930 SPX. Damn great gun. I also have an FNH pump shotgun and a Saiga 12 Tactical from Atlantic Firearms.

I trust the Mossberg since its never failed. It's accuracy and quickness rivals guns twice the money.

Dave McC
October 12, 2012, 04:03 PM

Nope, not even close.

Good shotgun, but it does little more than the more common 870 and 500.

And, consider this. Most defensive shotguns here and now are not all blinged out "Ultimate" shotguns.

They're whatever shotgun the owner has.

One of my myriad cousins now owns the Lupara I made from a Ranger (Stevens) SxS. He hunts rabbits with it and keeps it loaded in the house for HD.

Another cousin ( I have 9 first cousins, maybe 20 second) has the Model 11 I used to own, given to me by yet another cousin. He also hunts with his and keeps it loaded JIC. I do not know if he takes the plug out or not.

I know a wide spectrum of gun folks, and most have a house shotgun or several. Pumps and autos are common, but few are short barreled.

Good defensive shotguns are common. Good defensive shotgunners are not.

Be the exception.....

October 12, 2012, 04:08 PM
"Good shotgun, but it does little more than the more common 870 and 500"
If you completely discount a significantly faster rate of fire - yes it is similar to a pump action.

October 14, 2012, 06:28 AM
Talked to a neighbor yesterday, (Ford-Chevy time) owns a few shotguns, Beretta, Benelli, told me Mossbergs do not hold value as well as Remingtons. If you looked at it in that vein, which brands historically garner better resale value and which would be on the lower end of the spectrum?

Joe Chicago
October 14, 2012, 07:59 AM
Steelers, welcome to the forum. Anyone who is a Stillerz fan can't be all bad.

340 Weatherby
October 14, 2012, 04:02 PM
Steeler, what your looking for is the Mossberg 500 that comes with two barrels. One for field use and another short barrel w/ rifle sights to be used for home defense, They work well and have been for many years. The Remingtons used to be a far superior product, but the new owners of the Co.(Freedom group), have decided that quality control is not a necessary department any more. nothing handles much sweeter as a twenty-year-old Remington 870 pump, in good condition of course. The Mossberg combo sets go on sale quite often. Just watch the newspaper.

October 14, 2012, 04:48 PM
Appreciate that, Joe Chicago!! Got any good deep dish pizza recipes to share with me? Got a ceramic Primo Oval XL, always up to making a good pizza. :)

October 14, 2012, 04:51 PM
Hey, 340, appreciate the response. Why do you think the Remington used to be a far superior product, curious? Bear in mind I know nothing about neither. What about the Winchester 1200 I believe it is?

October 15, 2012, 06:18 AM
If the sole purpose is self defense...a 12 gauge with a pistol grip only would suit you just fine. Click...boom...its over!:cool:

October 15, 2012, 11:17 PM
There are endless choices for Good brands for rifles and shotguns.

Shotguns: Mossberg, Remington, Bennelli. Pick one in your budget and shoot away.

Rifles: You will have to be more specific in this case. There are multiple platforms to choose from like semi-auto, bolt-action, carbines, AR15's, AK's, piston, DI, etc etc.

If you are choosing between the 2, the shotgun is the more sensible choice. You can buy a brand new Mossberg 500 shotgun for $299. It will serve multiple uses of home defense, cheap shooting, and even hunting. 25rounds of birdshot is $6 at Walmart.