View Full Version : Sport and home shotgun advice

November 3, 2001, 10:57 AM
I'd like to make a shotgun my next purchase. I'm thinking of learning to shoot skeet but also thinking of something good for the home. Just want to buy 1 shotgun for now. Is an O/U a good first choice, pump, etc. Any particular recommendations on brands? Looking for something under$6-700.

November 3, 2001, 11:35 AM
I would go with the Remington 870 Express combo, 1 20" barrel with an improved cylinder for HD and deer hunting, and 1 28" barrel for birds, skeet and other such sports, the 28" comes with the modified choke but can be easily changed out with other chokes.
The shotgun should be under $400.00.

You can also get the 870 upgrade kit which comes with 2 chokes IC and Full and a choke tube speed wrench also a 1 oz. bottle of Rem oil. I got the uprade kit at Wal-Mart for $30.00.

All things said you will have a gun that will out live you..

Just ask Dave he's got 870's that are older than me :D

Dave McC
November 3, 2001, 12:23 PM
There's lots of good choices, but perhaps an 870 combo would provide maximum versatility and longevity.

As SFS said, I've 870s that have been in use since the 50s.

The archives here have tons of input, a search should give you a plethora of info.

November 3, 2001, 03:31 PM
Thanx people:
Forgot to add something, I'm about 5'5". I find some of the pump shotguns to be a little big for me. Do the 870's you mention have a shorter stock or a shorter length of travel for the pump action? :(

November 3, 2001, 07:56 PM
I know that any good gunsmith should be able to cut the stock to whats comfortable to you.
I know that is what a friend of mine has done to his 870.

Good Luck

Al Thompson
November 4, 2001, 07:17 AM
The 870 20 GA youth model ($244 at WalMart) is a personal favorite. Short stock, Rem chokes, excellent design, good price, wide selection of ammo - probably my next shotgun. A little light for clay games, but as long as you pay attention to follow through, you'll bust'em.

Having cleaned a few deer shot with 20 Ga buckshot, I'm pretty impressed with the effects.


Dave McC
November 4, 2001, 08:30 AM
That Youth Express 20ga might be close to perfect with its shorter stock and slightly lighter weight for you,Tman.

The 20 ga Rottweil Brenneke load may be one of the best close range deer stoppers ever made. And the little 870Y makes a great HD weapon, handling like an M-1 carbine but with more moxie. Recoil is not mild, there's no free rides in this area.

I'd use the one I got for the kids on deer, except my old eyes do not work all that well with open sights.


December 31, 2001, 03:15 AM
(doing a search for the Brenneke slugs & ran across this thread ... )

Nonetheless, the Rem Express 870Y(outh) 20 ga is a beaut, & especially for those a bit shorter of stature.

The Wife, at 5' even, shoots this very well (does need a bit of wing-shootin' pratice, but ... ) as is/stock & I, at 5'17" ;) merely had to shim the stock-to-receiver junction downwards to allow POA & align the rib. (different shooters = we each have our own & outfitted with a "box o' chokes" for variety)

That shimming BTW, if curious, took about 10 minutes & some shims (matchbook covers could work forever) = I'm set.

A dandy mostly "go anywhere" shotgun. Haven't yet played enough to wring out all its tricks, but for upland-type game & home defense = pretty tough to beat.

Not necessarily a "goose-gun," but that wasn't the question, was it. ;)

At (last check) ~$235, it'll fit the budget. Comes with (IIRC) a modified screw-in tube, & for another ~$12-15 per choke, you'll have a "do anything within reason" for skeet, upland, decoyed (& some pass-shootin') ducks (& close-in geese) + your HD gun. Check out the quality slugs (& after doing a familiarity w/a bit of variety) & it'll do (at the least) deer.

Wonderin' why I ever bought a 12 .... ;)

Dave McC
December 31, 2001, 08:35 AM
People buy 12s,Labgrade,from habit, because their buddy has one,because of ammo availability, because they want to shoot trap, because a 10 is pretty heavy, etc.

90% of the varied shooting I do in any given year could be handled by a 20 ga just as well. Turkey, waterfowl and trap are the exceptions.

Slug shooting for deer? A 20 ga Brenneke, as I've said before, does an outstanding job.

HD? A compact, fast handling pump gun moving a 60 caliber semi solid mass of lead at 1200 FPS is a good stopper.I doubt anyone shot with one at close range can tell the difference between a 20 and a 12, nor could the coroner.

Quail? The classic Southern quail getter is a 20.

Pheasant? A 3" load of 6s through a Modified chokes did the job for Pop, time after time. That's if he needed a backup shot for the IC/7 1/2 load he favored for first up.

Squirrels and rabbits? Of course.

December 31, 2001, 08:40 PM
We are in agreement, Dave.

90%+ of my shotgun hunting could be done with a 20

January 1, 2002, 02:15 PM
Turkey, waterfowl and trap are the exceptions.

do u really believe a 20 gauge handicaps u in trap? if ur a good swing shooter and have a good load n the right choke/load combanation it'll bust em as well or better than someones 12-i found some nice Federal High Game loads with 1 oz in a 2 3/4 shell going 1165 fps and with 8 hard shot-destroys clays like u wouldnt belive with MOD out of my 870.. i really dont think trap is really that hard to bust with a 12 than 20-if u have it on a really wide choke and am hoping to hit that thing by chance without skill.. maybe a 12 is better for those purposes.....more shot in the pattern

Dave McC
January 1, 2002, 03:02 PM
Joe, my 12 gauge trap 870 has 38 POC, practically extra full. All the gamers who shoot trap use 12s because 10s aren't allowed, and there more to it than more payload. BTW, I use a one oz reload.

All else equal,the 12 will produce better patterns at any range than a 20, shooting the same amount of shot. A shorter shot column means less pellets deforming in the funnels, ie, the forcing cone and choke.

Another advantage is there are so many more load combinations possible in 12 gauge and so much more loading info that it's much more likely than someone can find the optimum combination for HIS/HER mission and shotgun. Don't believe me? Strap down an AA27AA trapshooter, pump him/her full of truth serum and ask if they spent long and arduous hours researching and testing before picking a certain load and using a certain choke with it.

Finally, a 12 gauge loaded down is much more effective than a 20 loaded up from the versatility viewpoint. Son's 3/4 oz trainer loads duplicate 28 gauge loads, certainly possible with a 20, but that little NEF can be used also not only with 3" barnburner loads by the recoil tolerant and/or masochistic,but the 1 1/4 oz heavy field loads that I like for ringnecks.

And Joe, with 200/200 rounds not that uncommon nowadays, while a decent job can be done in trap with a 20, the guys that spend thousands of stuff that might by them a a bird will be using 12s.

For fun, a 20's fun, effective and handy, So are 12s, with small advantages in efficiency....

Gary H
January 1, 2002, 05:07 PM
If for home defense you mean locking yourself in the bedroom then go for a 26", or 28" 870. My wife loves her 20 ga. If you intend to venture out and clear your home, either get a handgun, or keep your barrel to 18". I have an 18" 870 that is fully tricked out for H.D., but not nearly as good for clays as a Walmart 870 with longer barrel. My O/Us swing better than the 870, but I want more rounds ready to go for H.D. BTW. the Russian Baikals are nice O/U for the money. I have an unused 20 gauge. It was intended for my wife (verrry small), but she couldn't break it. So, it sits in the safe, but not because it was bad.