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Old June 5, 2010, 09:23 AM   #1
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shopping for new shotgun

ok, i've been saving my cabelas points for a while and am looking to purchase a new shotgun. i'm looking for something to shoot some skeet and take in the woods. but, i'm far from a pro at either activity. like to shoot skeet w/ buddies and do a little small game hunting. let me tell you my specs and you tell me your suggestions.
[*]price: 1200 max[*]12 ga[*]auto loader[*]traditional style: high gloss walnut, blued bbl[*]versatile 2 3/4 aqnd 3"

i prefer remington, but most of the 1100s are geared toward pigeons. the g3 is nice, but i want a solid wood stock. i like the 1100 sporting - any thoughts? also like the browning silver lightning. if i buy one geared more toward pigeons, thats ok - but i definitely want to be able cycle 2 3/4 and 3" with no problems. i can always use my rem 870 wing master 16 for sm game hunting.

i appreciate your feedback.
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Old June 5, 2010, 01:28 PM   #2
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Check out the Beretta 3901 Statesman, it is blued with walnut stocks...2 3/4 or 3". I believe Bud's has them for $823.00 shipped.

Remington's fit me well, and I've been looking for a 2 3/4" Sporting or Sporting Clays model, and have seen plenty of lightly used 1187 Premiers for around $500-550.
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Old June 5, 2010, 02:02 PM   #3
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Greetings cmo630, and welcome aboard

For a Skeet auto-loader, Beretta captured Remington's dominance of the market several years ago. At one time the autos you saw on the Skeet fields were R-1100's now the Berettas are the competitors' choice. Beretta's success is do to a gas system that is a generation newer than the 1100's. I'm an 1100 owner, but for a new gun I'd look at a Beretta.

Unfortunately, a new Beretta (non-3901) is beyond your budget and they don't meet your requirement for a high gloss walnut stock. Your specs generally describe a target gun and target guns are typically tailored for light loads of the 2-3/4 inch variety. A target shooter doesn't want the extra weight and the slower speed of a 3" action. Not many high gloss stocks and shiny blue finishes are found on field guns these days, most hunters want matte and camo.

Before the requirements for non-toxic shot, most folks were happy in the woods with a 2-3/4" chamber. It was the extra capacity need to accommodate steel shot that made the 3" chambers popular and now almost a requirement for a field gun. I was in a big box sporting goods store earlier in the year and they didn't have any 2-3/4" turkey loads. The noob at the counter wasn't unaware that old guns and new target guns generally don't have 3" chambers.

If you've been following this forum for a while, you'll have seen reports that auto guns advertised as shooting various length of 12-ga shells don't function well with light 2-3/4" loads. If you're going to be shooting Skeet, there's a chance that you'll want to try out the lighter loads. Make sure your gun will handle them. If you want to shoot 2-3/4 and 3" shells indiscriminately, think about getting an O/U.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, based on your specs, you'll probably be happier with a 2-3/4" chamber in an R-1100 Sporting for Skeet and upland shooting and a different 3" gun for bigger birds and game.

Good luck!
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Old June 7, 2010, 01:26 PM   #4
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Welcome - and a +1 on Zippys sage remarks ....

But the Browning Silver series guns look like they will fit your criteria. I saw a Browning Silve Hunter model, 12ga, 3" chamber in 28" and 30" barrel priced new for just under $ 900 ...yesterday in Sportsman's Warehouse / Wholesale Sports and I would think Cabelas would be about the same price on that gun.

I think it might make a good entry level gun for you to shoot some Skeet and do some hunting with.
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Old June 7, 2010, 02:20 PM   #5
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One thing I would add is to go your local gun club and borrow several types to try out. Find which one fits the best- cosmetics can always be upgraded later - and go from there. Shooting very light loads for skeet can give some semis a run for their money as far as working the action goes, and heavy loads just beat you up after a while. I have seen folks now downloading 12 gauge to 28 gauge levels using 3/4oz of shot, but they shoot O/U's.

Determine your main priority and go from there.
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Old June 7, 2010, 02:28 PM   #6
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When you shop for a new gun / you have some experience - but remember "Fit" is the absolute most important thing. You need to know which stock dimensions fit you / so the gun will hit where you look. Not all guns are the same / so the drop at comb, drop at heel, length of pull, etc are all really big deals --- and way more important than who makes the gun.

There are an awful lot of used guns out there too. The club I was at yesterday had at least 15 guns for sale on their bulletin board ( and that's common).
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Old June 7, 2010, 03:40 PM   #7
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new shotgun

Well it looks like you have the autos covered. Allow me to suggest a very cool O/U by Marlin, an LC Smith. 28", good for skeet and hunting normally slightly over a thousand at Bud's, here's a new one at GB $795.00 to start and a buy now of $895. Beautiful looking gun.
"And some like two guns. But one's all you need if you can use it..."
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Old June 8, 2010, 09:43 AM   #8
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Thanks for the input. I'm going to look into a few of the others y'all mentioned and spend lots of time handling to find the right fit.
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