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Old February 23, 2011, 09:32 AM   #1
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Looking for 1 shotgun

Hi Everyone
I'm looking to buy just 1 shotgun (for a while anyway) to serve my needs. I really only plan to hunt duck and upland birds, there aren't too many rabbits around here. Oh and also use it for pest control (coyotes, skunks, foxes etc.)
From what I understand Rem 870 are good guns, but only the older ones. Would it not be worth it to buy a new one?
I want a shotgun that will last a life time, but also affordable enough.
Also, does anyone know anything about the maverick 88? Its a cheaper looking gun, but I'm on a tight budget. This will be my first shotgun too, so i'm not looking to spend $1000s.
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Old February 23, 2011, 10:06 AM   #2
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870 is just fine, stay away from the super mag 3 1/2" shell receiver, those are known to be the reason people have hissy fits because they cannot cycle the action hard enough.

I have a 870 and 500, would have to say I like the 500 better but its ONLY personal preference, its smoother and built better imo. Cant go wrong with either.
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Old February 23, 2011, 10:07 AM   #3
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Mossberg 500- $350-400
They come in all shapes, sizes, and modifications. Black or wood, with different length barrels and chokes.

Mossberg 590- $450-500
Mariner (stainless) or Black, it's your standard hi-capacity shotgun.

Benelli Nova- ~$400
Entry level Benelli shotgun. Nothing wrong with her. More tacti-cool look.

Winchester 1300 Defender- ~$400-500
Solid Shotgun. Good accuracy. Will work for food. Just like before, all shapes and flavors.

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ- Greek:"Come and take them..." Meaning: Here we peaceably stand as armed and free men, willing to defend that peace, and ready to make war upon anyone who threatens that freedom.
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Old February 23, 2011, 10:16 AM   #4
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For fowl and small game it's hard to beat an 870. Some say that Quality Control has slipped over the years, but the examples I've seen an used are good, dependable shotguns.

The Mossberg series of pumps also have a good reputation. The last Winchester pump I bought was purchased sometimes in the early '80s and is still doing yeoman service as a game-getter. At one time Winchester pumps were considered the smoothest of the pump shotguns. I don't have any complaints about mine at all.

For game-getting I'd get a ribbed barrel with screw-in chokes. For waterfowl, you'll be limited to three shots only, so an extended mag tube won't offer any benefit. I've shot plugged shotguns in the game fields my whole life. It's not a burden once you learn to count to three.

In the end, it boils down to personal preference. Go to a good shop and ask to handle all three. Pick the one that suits you best.

edit: Opps, I just realized that the OP lives in Canada. I'm not sure if the three shot rule applies there for waterfowl.
Dennis Dezendorf

Last edited by PawPaw; February 23, 2011 at 10:22 AM.
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Old February 23, 2011, 10:22 AM   #5
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As previously stated both the 500 and 870 are great shotguns. Also, you mentioned the 88. Those shotguns are almost exactly the same as a 500, except I believe the action slide has one bar instead of two.
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Old February 23, 2011, 10:41 AM   #6
Dave McC
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After handling over 20 newer 870 Expresses over the last couple years, I regard most of the stuff about lack of QC as blather and complaints by some rather inept folks.

Some chambers need a bit of polishing, all Expresses need the preservatives removed as per the manual and a few examples need to find owners who can run a pump.

One out of a thousand may need to go back to Remington for warranty work.

I wish my vehicles ran as well.

The Maverick and its parent 500 are good shotguns as well. I doubt they will hold up under heavy use as long as the 870, but unless you have a 1K round per month trap Jones the difference will be observed only by your grandkids a few decades from now.

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Old February 23, 2011, 10:54 AM   #7
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mossberg sells a pump shotgun pkg with 2 barrels. a longer one for bird hunting and a shorter one for defense, deer hunting etc. it's like getting 2 shotguns for the cost of one. it is well made, affordable and versatile and should last a lifetime. i've had mine for 30 years, my kids each bought one for themseleves as well as a first shotgun.
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Old February 23, 2011, 11:35 AM   #8
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what Dale said..... o wow a Dave sighting.
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Old February 23, 2011, 12:56 PM   #9
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Its hard to argue that a good pump shotgun is a poor investment ...

I was in a local used gun - retail store yesterday .... and there are lots of very good pump shotguns on the used market out there. The Rem 870's are certainly priced competitively as new guns ...but don't overlook the used market out there / educate yourself ..on what to look for. The search for a new gun / is sometimes more fun than actually having it ...

The store I was in ...probably had 100 used shotguns / and at least 25 of them were pump guns...and that's probably typical to a well run used gun shop.

I respect Dave's opinion on the 870's ....but my personal pump gun of choice is the Browning BPS Hunter model / still relatively inexpensive at under $ 500 ...for a good long term option as a solid gun.
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Old February 23, 2011, 01:37 PM   #10
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Greetings Quadagon, an welcome aboard.

I don't want to get into a debate over which gun to select. Based on your requirements, and budget, you may be better served considering a gun with two barrels: one for the duck blind and a shorter one for upland game. You can get a very nice pump with an extra barrel for well under $1,000.

As my friend, BigJim, mentioned, there is no reason not to consider a used gun in good condition. In previous threads, I've opined that I'd prefer a nice used R-870 Wingmaster to a new R-870 Express.
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Old February 23, 2011, 01:54 PM   #11
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Zippy and I are of the same mind here ....

and in terms of overall quality of the guns ...the Rem 870 Wingmaster and the Browning BPS are in the same neighborhood of quality ( in my opinion ...).

I like the 870 Wingmaster as well just doesn't fit me as well as the BPS...

But you need to buy the gun that "Fits" you the best ...not what fits Zippy or me for that matter...( and what fits your budget ).
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Old February 23, 2011, 02:36 PM   #12
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but I'm on a tight budget
I'm looking into getting my first shotgun too. Have a look
at the Pardner Pump. It retails around $180 new
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Old February 23, 2011, 03:57 PM   #13
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I own both the Remington 870 Express mag and the Mossberg 500. I prefer the 870 over the 500. Now I will say that both of mine are older and from what people say the newer ones aren't as good. I went looking with a friend when he bought his first shotgun. I still think the 870s are built better and look nicer. He got the Express Super Mag (3.5 in chamber). I am guessing he will only shoot a couple 3.5 inch shells out of it before he decides it isn't worth the beating. The Express Mag is only chambered for 3 inch shells. I shot 3.5s out of my Browning Maxus and being a gas gun it takes a lot of the recoil out and the 3.5s still kick pretty good.

Get out to several shops and hold everything you can. See what feels/fits you the best.

Good luck
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Old February 23, 2011, 04:17 PM   #14
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My Benelli semi's are the guns I actually use the most, but if I could only have one gun, it would be an 870. For the most part the older guns were better finished, but the new ones function just fine.
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Old February 23, 2011, 07:39 PM   #15
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Thanks for the replies.
I'll definitely try out the 870s next time i'm in the store.
1 more thing though, I'm not too farmiliar with shotguns (don't own one yet) but can a regular shotgun (like the 870) shoot slugs out of the smooth bore or do I need a different barrel for that too?
Reason i'm asking is because there is a lot of bush around here that I could be hunting deer/coyotes/whatever in.

So would you recommend looking for a lightly used 870 or a new one?
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Old February 23, 2011, 07:54 PM   #16
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Yes, you can shoot slugs (or buck shot) from a conventional (smooth bore) shotgun barrel. Should you get seriously into shooting slugs, there are barrels designed for slugs with rifle-type open sights or scope mounts. Better performance can be obtained using a rifled slug barrel and the more expensive sabot-type slugs. (But, I don't know if these are allowed under Canadian gun laws.)
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Old February 23, 2011, 09:22 PM   #17
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Zippys right on, If you want a gun to do it all, check out a Mossberg 500 combo gun. 500 bucks gets you a smoothbore barrel and a rifled slug barrel. I have great accuracy from mine to 150 yards and it switchs out in 30 seconds and usually stays pretty well shot in through the changes.
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Old February 25, 2011, 03:57 AM   #18
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Go for the 500. You can get a lightly used Mossberg 500 for around $200 (at least in my area) and even a NiB wouldn't cost you an arm and a leg. A buddy of mine actually picked one up a couple of days ago after shooting mine. The 870 is by no means a slacker, but with recent complaints about the newer models I would stick with the old trusty stand-by 500. You can't argue with one of the top selling shot guns. And with all the after market parts and accessories out there, you can put money into when you can and eventually have a customized beauty that is all your own. Just my opinion.
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Old February 25, 2011, 04:34 AM   #19
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How about this one. Sent to you for less than $300.

20 gauge isn't a slouch...
Proud member of the NRA and Texas State Rifle Association. Registered and active voter.
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Old February 25, 2011, 06:09 PM   #20
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My first vote is Wingmaster.

If that costs too much - try an 870 combo package.

If that's too much - get a 28" 870 with a winchoke set.

Don't buy a new one - they're cheap, these days.

Older is better.
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Old February 25, 2011, 07:55 PM   #21
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I had a Mossberg 500, sold it to a buddy and bought a Beretta Extrema 2 but I regret letting it go. I really liked my 500 and I feel like I should have both shotguns around (never have too many really).

A couple of buddys of mine have 870 "express" guns, not superb but they seem to work. Personally I'd take the Mossberg, but opinions are like A***oles, everyone has one.
I love the smell of fresh shotgun in the morning.
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Old February 25, 2011, 09:12 PM   #22
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Mossberg, Mossberg, Mossberg!

I bought an 870 riot because everybody says how great they are. I have mossbergs too and have after handling the Remington decided that the mossberg is hands down the better value! I would buy the two barrel combo available in camoflage and you are good to go. Big 5 in the states has had them for about $350 with two barrels and mossberg is cheaper to buy extra barrels. rc
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Old February 25, 2011, 11:33 PM   #23
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Maverick 88 vs Mossberg 500

The Maverick 88 is a clone of the 500. Both have duel slide bars on the pump ( some of the old 88's had a single slide bar). The only difference between the two is the location of the safety. The 88's safety is a push button located on the trigger guard whereas the 500's is a slide lever/button located on top of stock behind the bolt mechanism. IMO the location of the 500's safety is in a more natural position and will work for either a right or left handed person. The 88's safety would appear to be very tough for a lefty to use. Both will shoot 2 3/4" and 3" shells. Also any accessory for the 500 will interchange with the 88.

I have owned an 88 for a couple of years and just replaced it with a Mossberg 535( 3 1/2" chamber ). Grandson out grew his youth 20 ga. and took over the 88. Have been very happy with both guns.

Where I live WalMart sells the Maverick for about $ 190.00 and the 500 for around $ 230.00. Neither are a fancy gun but I have never noticed a difference in the taste of the meat between one killed by a Mossey or a high dollar gun. The Maverick comes with either a 1 or 2 year warranty( can't remember which ) and the 500 has a 10 year warranty. Can't go wrong with either.
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Old February 26, 2011, 12:46 AM   #24
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Where you are, up here, matters. Got your PAL?
New and used prices vary from place to place. Here in Ontario, a new Rem 870 Express combo(one 26" smoothbore w. Remchokes and a 20" rifled barrel) runs around $520Cdn. A Mossberg 500 3-in-1 combo(one 24" ported, 1 28" ported and 1 24" rifled barrel) runs around $493.75Cdn. A used Rem 870 Express runs around $300Cdn. Maverick's(made by Mossberg) run about $225Cdn. New.
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"...for less than $300..." USD and it'd cost more than double that to get it in.
"...WalMart sells..." No firearms at all in most Wally World's, up here.
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Old February 26, 2011, 02:40 AM   #25
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I bought my remington 870 express super magnum 3.5'' in late 90's. It has been my go to shotgun for turkey hunting, deer hunting, quail hunting, dove hunting, and the occasional turkey shoot. It has never failed to put meat on the table. I have never had a problem with any 12ga. length shell and with the right choke it will get the job done as good as any shotgun on the market today. I believe I bought it in 98 and paid $ 320 or so then.
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