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Old January 27, 2000, 04:02 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: November 27, 1999
Location: Vienna, VA
Posts: 7
I am looking for a shotgun that could be used for hunting, sporting clays, or home defense and is in the $400-$500 range. Any suggestions and can anyone recommend any sites that sell shotguns at reasonable prices? Thanks for your help.
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Old January 27, 2000, 05:58 AM   #2
Dave McC
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Join Date: October 13, 1999
Location: Columbia, Md, USA
Posts: 8,812
Unless you're quite experienced, I recommend you make your purchase at a gun shop with qualified personnel to help you make a choice. Nothing beats expertise.

And the various activities you want your shotgun for mean a compromise that will not be ideal for any of those, but will work for all.

My suggestion is.....

The Remington 870 Express is a lower cost but high quality pump, readily available and quite reliable.Their use by most LE organizations is a tribute to their durability and effectiveness. Options are available,a short bbl for HD/deer hunting and a longer one for clays/bird hunting would set you up for most everything,and still leave you money in the budget for ammo, range time and instruction,all of which are needed.

WARNING: Most aficianados end up with plenty of shotguns(G).Counting Daughter's 20 ga, there's 4 here at Casa McC and that's low for me...
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Old January 27, 2000, 08:39 AM   #3
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Location: west of a small town, CO
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Ditto on the 870 express. ~$200+ on sale. Comes in lots of configurations. You can swap out different bbls. Has screw-in chokes. Tough to beat for the price. If you're into nice shiney shotguns, this isn't the one for you as it's a yuck matt & the wood isn't premium walnut by any means. It's tough, totally functional & no-nonsense.
We got 3+
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Old January 27, 2000, 09:08 AM   #4
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Join Date: January 3, 2000
Location: Mills County, IA
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I'd have to agree with Dave on going to a gun shop for your first shotgun. That way you get to fondle and look at several, get the feel, and see how they fit you. If you've got $400-$500 to spend I'd suggest checking out the 870 Special Field. I bought one about 10 years ago and just love it. It has a 21" barrel, screw in chokes, and weighs only about 6lbs. Very easy to handle in tight quarters, you can pack it around all day, and with the screw in chokes you can adjust to a variety of situations. The straight stock takes a bit of getting used to, but since this is your first that shouldn't be much of a problem. I paid about $410 10 years ago, not sure what they get for them these days, but they sure are nice guns. You may have noticed that the one thing we all have in common is that we're recomending the Remington 870, there's a reason behind that.
Be safe, if it's the first gun in the house make sure all family members are aware of it's potential, and take proper precautions.

bullet placement is gun control
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Old January 27, 2000, 10:14 AM   #5
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Join Date: November 27, 1999
Location: Vienna, VA
Posts: 7
I did notice all of you recommending the Remington 870. I'm not new to firearms but I am new to shotguns. I have a Ruger .22, a SIG P220 in .45, and a SIG P239 in 357SIG but would like to add a shotgun for HD and try a little sporting clays with some buddies. I'm going to stop by a couple of local gun shops to check out several models and then search for a deal. Thanks to everyone for your input. It is appreciated.
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Old January 27, 2000, 11:26 AM   #6
Art Eatman
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Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,122
Spartan: No matter how expensive, there is one thing in common about all shotguns: How the stock fits you.

A test would be to imagine a target. Close your eyes and mount the gun to your shoulder. When you open your eyes, perfection would have you looking right down the barrel, with the line of sight of your eye close to the top of the barrel, and the front bead in line.

If the stock is too long, you'll be muzzle-down, and shoot low. Too short and it's muzzle-high, shooting over. Lengthening or shortening a stock is easy.

The term "cast-off" refers to the "bend" of the buttstock away from the shooter's cheek, away from the line of the bore. This allows the eye to be centered with the bore. It is in great part a function of the shape of the shooter's skull and "fat" of the cheek. It's a bit more difficult to deal with, but can be fixed, if necessary.

Essentially, the buttstock IS the rear sight.

So, get an 870 and some skeet loads and go find some experienced shooters. They'll point out any problems. A fix here and a fix there, plus some instruction, and you'll do fine!

Have fun, Art
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Old January 27, 2000, 02:05 PM   #7
Dave McC
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Join Date: October 13, 1999
Location: Columbia, Md, USA
Posts: 8,812
Art gives good advice as usual here. One thing about the 870 is that adjusting the stock for best shooting is relatively easy, except for extremes and cast off/on. Even there you can do something.

For hunting,HD,and clays you want the pattern to hit more or less POA. I like 2/3 of the pattern above the bead for rising birds and clays,and get my stocks to do that by using Alumimum foil....

Test shoot some patterns and see where the pellets are striking. Let's assume they're a little lower than you want but OK for windage(Left/right). So, loosen the big bolt under the recoil pad or butt plate until you have space between the stock and the reciever sufficient for the task at hand. Fold some foil until you've several thicknesses and scissor to fit the rear of the receiver, Since the weapon is shooting low, place the foil low at the bottom and tighten up the big bolt. Pattern the shotgun again and add or subtract layers until you're hitting just where you want to.Then add some foil for left/right as needed.Hope I explained that OK.

You can also raise or lower the pattern slightly by changing the size of the front bead. Smaller bead will raise the pattern, bigger will lower.
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