View Full Version : Learning

November 12, 2001, 10:58 AM
My wife just got me a Moss 500. I am new to shotungs. I would like to learn all there is to know about them.

Could I please have some guidance on how to do so.

Thank you,

Dave McC
November 12, 2001, 12:21 PM
Welcome to the BB and to shotgunning, Michael. Use the search function to check the archives. There's a wealth of good info in there on all the aspects of shotgunning fun and the serious side as well.

I strongly recommend a lesson or two from a qualified instructor for starters. Your learning curve will be much better if you start off w/o bad habits. Good luck...

November 12, 2001, 01:28 PM
What Dave sez. But, Dave, you didn't tell the young man where.

Gunsite is excellent if Jack is still teaching. Call ahead.
Check YFA's site and see if Louis is going to be near you. If not, drive to where he is.
Ayoob puts on an excellent shotgun class and focuses heavily on retention and transitions.
The last time I was at TR (May 2001) I met a man who had been there 22 times and had taken every class at least once. He told me that the Shotgun class was his favorite. I signed up for the April 2002 (the only one for `02).

Look for two handsome Hoosiers, KS Freeman and his confederate MP Freeman, on the line. See you there.

November 12, 2001, 01:40 PM
What is gunsite and how do I find them in Metro Detroit?

I am very green when it comes to shotguns.

Also, I mainly wanted it for home defense. I don't myself as a hunter.

What fun things do you guys suggest I can use my shotgun for?


Dave McC
November 12, 2001, 01:48 PM
Gunsite,LFI, Thunder Rance, etc, is a bit past what a rank newbie needs to start, KS.

And "Handsome Hoosiers" is oxymoronic(G)...

Michael, somepalce near your home is a trap, skeet or sporting clays range. All of those games are loads of fun, and teach handling and firing very well. There should be entry level instruction there.

Back when I instructed for the state, I found that nobody shot the shotgun well that did not do so recreationally. It takes practice, but that's good news. Busting some clays moving at diverse angles and speeds is way more fun than video games.

Once past the first few times, you can look into a "Serious" course, more along the lines of HD and practical shooting.

November 12, 2001, 03:33 PM
Dave, I disagree. No better place for a neophyte. To illustrate: one of Clint Smith's fav stories was told to him by Mike Venturino, the gun scribe. Mikey V. said that he had been handling firearms all his life, but never realized how dangerous his friends were with firearms after he took a class at TR.

No better way to hardwire good handling skills than formal instruction. No better places to be instructed.

Each to his own, but gun games can be scary. Trap and skeet especially (it depends on who you shoot with); I don't believe I have been covered more, not even Cowboy, than a skeet range. The "I've been doing this all my life" attitude is rampant and very scary (at least to me) and I can only yell so much especially at all those SAS, SEAL, SF, RLI vets at my club.

CMike, you may have to leave Wayne County to seek knowledge--"I've been doing this all my life". Some instructors travel (check local listings).

BTW, Dave, Handsome Hoosier is not an oxymoron. Just look at David Letterman!

November 12, 2001, 03:56 PM
Go here http://www.shotgunsports.com/talkgrou.htm
and read for a few days. ;) Then, go here http://www.shotgunreport.com/ and read for the balance of the week. Then follow all the other advice you get . . . :p

November 12, 2001, 04:07 PM
You guys are a great resource.

Thank you,

I have a question. What is the difference between a slug and a shell?


November 12, 2001, 07:33 PM
Thank you Erick.

What are the benefits of using a slug rather than a shot and vice versa?


November 12, 2001, 09:09 PM
slugs are a singular-so its only got one shot-thier used for things like deer-(in hunting purposes)-out to around 75 yards max-but shot on the other hand can be used for geese-rabbits-upland game-squirrel and other small game-coyotes fox etc etc.-they have multiple shot-possibly hundreds- so for something flying its a much easier-and the legal way-the slug also causes more recoil

Dave McC
November 12, 2001, 10:19 PM
KS, the geezers I shoot trap with are safernheck. Some others aren't.

You have a good point,but few of us are ready as novices to make the sort of committment the name schools require for best results. Heck, I've not been there myself, tho the reasons have been economic rather than philosophical. Various Govt agencies paid for good basic instruction for me and I figured out the rest. Your tax dollars at work(G)...

A good case can be made for an NRA course on practical shotguns, not as good as time with Clint or the Colonel,Louis, et al, but a lot cheaper. Kind of intermediate instruction. Maybe I oughta set one up...

November 13, 2001, 11:37 AM
When I go skeet or clay shoot should I be using a slug or a shot?

November 13, 2001, 11:52 AM
Go to Walmart (did I just say that?) and get a box of the Federal Multi Purpose shot shells. They are less than 16.00 / box of 100 shells. The last time I was there, they had Winchester's version for a buck less.
These are perfect for beginners (like me) for clay "hunting".
The recoil is relatively light.
The best advice that you are going to get here is, practice, practice, practice. It is true.
Practice your mount (gun empty - check twice) whenever you pass your gun. The key is handling the SG as much as possible.
Good luck and post your progress.

Dave McC
November 13, 2001, 02:41 PM
Michael, slugs are for deer, hogs, and limited "Serious" use. Not for HD, but if the action moves outside the longer range more/less demands a slug.

For the clay games, the usual ammo is #7 1/2 shot or smaller, 8s or 9s. Tip, the larger the number shot size, the smaller each pellet is.

I suggest going to your public library and looking under Dewey Decimal system #799 for basic stuff about shotguns. It'll save us some typing time.


November 14, 2001, 09:39 AM

i forgot to mention that I have the Mossberg Persuader. Does anyone have any insight on this particular model?

Thank you,

Dave R
November 14, 2001, 01:09 PM
Cmichael, not familiar with the Persuader. Is it a short barrel (18"?)

Anyway, to answer an earlier question a different way...

Slugs essentially turn your shotgun into a rifle. When you shoot a slug, you are shooting a single projectile, like a rifle does.

There are two kinds of slugs: rifled slugs (aka Brenneke's) and saboted slugs. You can shoot rifled slugs in your smoothbore barrel (no rifling). If you want to shoot saboted slugs, you'll need to get a new rifled barrel. It takes seconds to install a new barrel.

If you want to shoot slugs well, you really need better sights than the dot on the end of the barrel. However, that may work in an emergency. The only way to know is to shoot some slugs and see where they hit, with respect to where you aim.

Slugs are NOT for shooting birds or clay pigeons or squirrels or any of the things shotguns are traditionally used for.

BTW, we might as well clue you in on how to select shotgun shells. There are many kinds. Two items to be aware of are shot size (the size of the "bbs" in the shot shell) and powder charge.

Shot size is usually 8, 7.5, 6, 4, 2, 0, 00, etc. Bigger numbers means smaller bb's. Counter-intuitive.

Powder charge is usually stated in "drams" or "drams equiv" bigger number means more powder means more power and more recoil.

For shooting trap, skeet, sporting clays or any of the other "shotgun games" you will generally want smaller shot size (7.5 or 8) and smaller powder charge (2.5 drams or so?) No need beating up your shoulder. Smaller shot (bbs) means more of them in the shell, and denser patterns (more bb's per sq. in. of the circular pattern the shot makes).

Same is true for hunting small birds (dove, quail).

These are also excellent choices for home defense at distances under 10 yards or so. from 10 yards to 25 yards, you would want buckshot (0, 00 or 000).

For ranges beyond 25 yards, you are back to slugs and shooting rifle-style.

For shooting bigger birds (partridge, pheasant), you want bigger shot (size 6 or so).

I hope this is not confusing...

November 14, 2001, 02:20 PM
I appreciate all the valuable advice I am getting.

My persuader is 20" five +1, 12 gauge.

I have been reading archives. There seems to be a consensus that the persuader is excellent for home defense which is what I want it for. My question is what makes it good for home defense?

Also, can I still use it for skeet and clay shooting?

Thank you very much :cool:


Dave McC
November 14, 2001, 02:31 PM
Michael, here's what makes a good HD shotgun, and your Mossy qualifies....



Ease of operation, IOW, user friendly. This would include stuff like stock fit, a trigger of less than 5 or 6 lbs, and a forearm that one can hang on to. Add a good pad to reduce the kick if not so equipped.

Capacity of at least two shots.

Sights that you can use in low light, whether that's a plain bead, a bead enhanced with bright paint, a fiber optic bead, tritium sights that glow in the dark, or rifle style sights, either open or peep style.

That's it. No fancy stuff, no fuzzy dice nor fender skirts, just a simple and effective tool.

The best accessory you can get after the above is ammo.Once the basics are learned, one just grinds out some targets, then some more and so on.


November 14, 2001, 04:55 PM
You gun most likely will not be used for shooting clays. The barrell is to short and does not have adjustable chokes. You can always get an additional barrell for hunting and clay and keep the short one for home defense. You really need to shoot the gun to get familiar. That is the key. Taking lessons will also really help. What type of instruction depends on what you want to do. if you want home defense skill then concentrat on tactical classes. if you want to shoot clays then get instruction for that. Becoming familiar witht eh weapon is abig key. The more you shoot, the more amiliar you will become. Have fun!



Dave R
November 14, 2001, 04:59 PM
CMichael, you bet you can use your Persuader for skeet and clay shooting.

Most fun I have with a shotgun is with one of those $5 red plastic throwers and a box full of clays and a partner who knows how to throw.

I have been known to shoot (informal) clays with an 18" Winchester model 1300HD, which has a barrel shorter than yours.

The only thing a longer barrel does for you is smooth out your swing, and give your shot a slightly higher muzzle velocity. I think a shorty is fine for hunting upland game, like dove. Be sure and check local hunting regs before you do, though, to make sure there are no restrictions on magazine capacity.

If you hunt ducks/geese, your magazine can hold no more than 2, and you must use non-lead shot. You can put a plug in your magazine to make it legal, if you ever want to use it to hunt ducks/geese.