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Old October 15, 2007, 04:20 PM   #1
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New shotgun question

I'm looking to buy a new shotgun, and I was wondering if you guys could help me pick one out. I have some general requirements, but no real idea other than that.

I'd like it to be 12 gauge, 3" (No need for 3 1/2). I like a nice blue finish (no matte or parkerized), and I prefer wood stock as opposed to synthetic. This gun would be used primarily for home defense, but I'd like to be able to hunt w/ it from time to time (I suppose that info might pertain to barrel length). I'm more looking at a pump or auto (not a huge fan of the break-barrels), and I'm looking for one in the $500-$600 range. Reliability is a must. Thanks for your opinions/advice, take care!


p.s. I guess used is an option too, if it means I could get a noticeably better gun in that price range
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Old October 15, 2007, 05:03 PM   #2
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870 Wingmaster!
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Old October 15, 2007, 06:55 PM   #3
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Personally, in that price range I think you'll find a number of pump guns that will fit your needs. The pump I prefer, in 12 or 20ga is the Browning BPS with a 28" barrel. It ejects out of the bottom - so it's good for left and right handers - nice wood stocks - good reliable action.

I'd put the Browning BPS and the Remington 870 Wingmaster (not the express, etc) both on your list actually. I think you'll find the drop at the comb and at the heel different on both guns - and one will probably fit you better than the other. Remember your eye is the rear sight on a shotgun - so it's important they hit where you look. There is no such thing as one size fits all in shotguns - so it would really be better if you could fire a BPS and a Wingmaster - at a pattern board - and see which one hits with a 50/50 pattern on the spot you hold on. I like a 50 / 50 pattern for skeet, sporting clays and in the field. I like a little higher pattern for trap - like a 60/40 or even a 70/30 - but you probably won't be able to find a gun that will shoot that high in a "field gun" stock configuration. But a 50/50 pattern works well on all the games.

If neither the BPS or the Wingmaster fit you - look at the semi-autos Remington, Beretta and Benelli. They are more money - unless you find a good clean used one. I prefer the Benelli with the comfort tech system in it - but new that's a $ 1,400 gun. You might find a good used gas gun - Remington or Beretta out there - lots of them around / lots of them for sale. But have one of your buddies that really knows the gun - look it over. Some guys really abuse them /don't clean after they use them, etc so try and buy a gun, maybe at your own club, where you can try it and you know its been taken care of. Good luck and have fun with the search.
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Old October 15, 2007, 07:23 PM   #4
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remington 870 if ya like wood stocks, i own a benelli nova and its a great gun but for some reason its not offered in wood, i guess to keep the price down
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Old October 15, 2007, 08:51 PM   #5
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870 Wingmaster would be my first thought.

You might like an 1100 as well...they are nice looking shotguns. Always had a fancy for them, just never broke down and bought one.

Here are a few that are nice examples, good rich bluing and nice wood grain:

Nice guns really, my buddy has one, shoot great. The only thing is I think they only do 2 3/4", they might have a 3" model though...

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Old October 15, 2007, 09:56 PM   #6
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If you're looking for a pump, the Remington 870, the Mossberg 500, the Browning BPS, or the Benelli Nova will all be functional, dependable, and if you take care of them, they will outlast you by a long shot....

If you're looking for an autoloader, I prefer the Mossberg 930, you can pick up a combo with two barrels, 1 - 18.5" barrel for HD & 1 - 28" field barrel for clay games or hunting.

R & R Arms has this combo for $425.17

Bud's Gun Shop has it for $441.33 (delivered)

What ever gun you choose make sure it fits and "feels" good.

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Old October 15, 2007, 11:24 PM   #7
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Remington 870 Wingmaster. My dad has one from 1975 and it's beautiful.
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Old October 16, 2007, 07:24 AM   #8
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thanks for your replys so far guys, I really appreciate it!
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Old October 17, 2007, 10:03 AM   #9
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Stoeger M2000. For around $400.00 you can get a very reliable semiauto. It and the Mossberg 930 are among the best bargains on the market today. Both highly recommended by yours truly.
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Old October 17, 2007, 12:59 PM   #10
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Some thoughts...

This is just some thoughts you might want to consider. The pump idea is a good one, but it can take some time to get used to using one if you are not familiar with the action. An auto is easier to use, but can be less dependable if you don't keep it clean. Just like an automatic pistol, you have to establish it is dependable with some range time before trusting your life to it.

In your original post you said you want a gun with nice bluing and descent wood. That rules out the Benelli Nova pump (only synthetic) and the Stoeger 2000 (only matt barrels). I like the Browning BPS and the Wingmaster, but the one gun that I would recommend would be a Winchester super X2 (can be had for around $600, new) with a 26" barrel. Any shorter and it'll be hard to hunt with. Any longer and it'll be hard to use indoors for protection.

However, I would recommedn that you think about just buying two different guns, or one gun with multiple barrels. If you want as pump, get a Remington Wingmaster and an extra barrel. One barrel could be 28" (to me that's perfect for hunting) and one could be 18-24" or so. Swap them out as you see fit.

Try out the Stoeger and the Benelli if you don't mind having synthetic or parkerized or matt hardware. Both are good guns. I presently own a Benelli Nova with a 28" barrel and it's a good gun. However, extra barrels are expensive. A Mossberg 500 is also a good option. Extra barrels for the Mossberg run right at $125 each, which is CHEAP!!!

In an absolute, best of all worlds situation, you could get a nice blued automatic for hunting, and a sunthetic pump for around the house. The black synthetic and matt steel does not reflect light and would make it harder for a BG to pick you out in the dark. If you hunt ducks or hunt in bad weather, then synthetic is best for that purpose too.

I am a big fan of the Winchester Super X2. Definately look at these before making a decision.

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Old October 18, 2007, 08:30 PM   #11
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you basically spelled it out yourself. you want a Remington 870 Wingmaster.
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Old October 18, 2007, 08:51 PM   #12
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I would go with either a Mossberg 500 or a Remington 870 wingmaster. Both are pump guns and will out last you. I would try maybe an Remington 1100 or a Winchester super x2 for auto's.

I prefer the Mossberg 500 myself.
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Old October 19, 2007, 01:38 AM   #13
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1st 870 wing master. Mine is older than I am (33) and still runs flawlessly. Was an orginal model that is and can only be chambered in 2 3/4".

2) Browning BPS

Stay away from Stoeger. I had a bad experince and will never recomend one.
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Old October 19, 2007, 03:55 PM   #14
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well, I appreciate all your advice, but I ended up getting a Winchester 1300 pump, more or less b/c it was there and it was a decent price. Does anyone have any positive or negative comments about this gun? Thanks!!
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Old October 19, 2007, 05:17 PM   #15
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The 1300 is not my first choice, but it's a darn good shotgun.

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Old October 19, 2007, 06:14 PM   #16
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I have a 1300 defender 8 round that I have had since 1992 and its been a
great little shotgun.
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Old October 21, 2007, 01:17 AM   #17
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I bought a Mossberg 500 Field/Security combo earlier this year. It came with an 18.5" cyl. bore and 28" multi-choke barrels. They are also available with slug barrels. The receiver is drilled and tapped if you want to add a scope mount. I think it's one of the best values on a shotgun around. However, for $600 you can buy a Remington or a Mossberg and still have enough money to buy a couple of extra barrels of your choosing.
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Old October 21, 2007, 10:59 AM   #18
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You should be able to get some variety (maybe not a wingmaster) of 870 or Mossberg 500 plus a different barrel in the $600 range. Both are great scatterguns.
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Old October 21, 2007, 11:06 AM   #19
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Remington 870
Winchester 1300
Mossberg 500 or 835

In that order... My opnion.. start with the Remingotn 870.. you can't go wrong with an 870.
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Old October 23, 2007, 09:59 AM   #20
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I bought my first shotgun with matte-synthetic finish on the advice of an "expert" friend-salesman. I wanted wood and shiny blueing like the rest of my guns, but what the heck-I gave a Stoeger 2000 a try. Within a week it grew on me to the point that my other shotguns are lonely in the cabinet and my 2000 goes with me most times I leave the yard! There are different types of beauty in guns. This one screams "Use Me"!
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Old October 23, 2007, 02:18 PM   #21
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My 870 was my dad's and is much older than I am. Its never failed to function properly. Its going hunting with me this weekend. It is 35+ years old.
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Old October 24, 2007, 02:57 AM   #22
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buyers remorse (maybe)

I have another 3 wks or so to trade up if I feel like it. they had a few Wingmasters there for about a hundred more bucks. would it be worth the extra money, or should I just stick with the Winny?
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Old October 24, 2007, 08:35 AM   #23
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I like the BPS. But the 1300 is an equally fine piece.
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Old October 25, 2007, 02:11 AM   #24
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I traded up to an 870 Wingmaster. It costs more, but I've found if I buy the best I can afford up front, I don't lose money later on by pawning it. Anyone else have this problem??
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Old November 19, 2007, 01:08 PM   #25
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Not sure about the whole "pawn" thing - I can't bear to give up any of my guns - but I can say thumbs up to the Winchester 1300. I bought mine back in '94 - wood stocks, matte finish, rifled slug tube, impr. cyl. tube from factory. Have added extra-tight turkey tube since then. I have no complaints with it. It has hit everything I've aimed at. It has even proved to be a darn-fine clay-breaker. I thought recoil might be really bad, since it's a pretty light gun - but even full size slugs were no bother. I'm sorry they quit making them. I was hoping to pick up a Hastings rifled barrel for it, but they don't make them any more. It's getting harder and harder to find accessories for it. I suspect gun mfg's are taking lessons from Microsoft.
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