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Old June 30, 2005, 08:35 PM   #1
Join Date: February 10, 2005
Posts: 84
870 newbie questions

I have a new 870 Express HD 18" 12 gauge, and I want to learn how to use it.

1) What kind of slugs work best in it (so I can use it on the rifle range @ 50)

2) "How" do I shoot it? Same as a rifle, cheek weld, etc and then just squeeze the trigger? I've never shot anything above a .22 ruger rifle and I don't want it to knock me over or bust my face in. Any advice? Besides finding some friends to show me...

3) Thoughts on keeping it loaded for HD. How long can the spring be compressed (and the shells) without changing them out? Would people load 6, keep chamber empty so you can "rack it" or load seven so you can just click off the safety? Anyone have the mossberg lok-box? I was thinking of keeping my revolver loaded in its box, then have key to get shotgun off wall. I have little ones so leaving it lying around or in closet on hooks is not an option!

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Old June 30, 2005, 09:00 PM   #2
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1) I have good luck with Foster type slugs.

2) Yep, same as a rifle. Suck it up tight to your shoulder!

3) Cruiser ready. Full tube empty chamber safety off. With kids in the house, I'd think about putting a sidesaddle on it and keeping the tube empty. You could load it pretty quickly and still have it pretty safe for the kids.

How old are the kids?
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Old June 30, 2005, 09:18 PM   #3
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I refer you here
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Old June 30, 2005, 11:49 PM   #4
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Learn to mount the shotgun to shoot. Your head is in position first and then you bring the gun to the head--always. With head down, gun goes out enough to clear clothing and then comes back in. You can't hit moving targets without properly mounting the shotgun. Do the same for shooting at stationary targets. Your cheek should be firmly on the stock. It's recommended that the thumb rests on the top of the stock rather than all the way around it to prevent it from hitting the nose--especially on shorter stocked guns.

Remember: Always bring the gun to the already positioned head.
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Old July 1, 2005, 03:34 AM   #5
Dave McC
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Besides the Slugs 101 thread, a couple things....

I strongly recommend NOT using slugs at first. They run heavy on kick and can tear a new one if your form is bad.

"Serious" shotgunning, that which has life or death results for humans uses heavy loads. Work up slowly, starting off with light loads of birdshot. In 12 gauge, the Winchester "Feather" loads are terrific for this. So are their Fiocchi 7/8 oz peers. Next, try 1 oz field loads and go up when these feel OK.

Read an old thread here on Proper Mounting Techniques. As mentioned, bring the weapon up to your head.

My HD 870 holds 6+1. It's kept loaded with 5, chamber empty, action locked shut, safety on. It's close to impossible for a small child or unknowing adult to make it fire. One of the cogniscienti can do so in an instant.

The mag spring on that is well into its third decade. Keeping it loaded one down from capacity's the trick.

Either Brenekke or Foster style slugs will work in your fine shotgun, but only testing will show which is best.

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Old July 1, 2005, 08:59 PM   #6
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I essentially agree with Dave, however I would point out the availability of low recoil slugs and buckshot (law enforcement ammo). Recoil is quite manageable in these loads--on par with 12 ga. skeet loads. Street results for this ammo show it loses nothing in the stopping power department. Win. LE Ranger slugs or buckshot, Federal LE 132-00, LE 132-000, or LE133-00 8 pellet, or LE 127RS slugs. Try Ammoman.

For practice, I've used the Win. reduced recoil and noise (feather) loads that I think Dave was referring to.
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Old July 1, 2005, 09:09 PM   #7
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Thanks to Dave McC: Mounting 101
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