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Old July 2, 2012, 02:50 PM   #1
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Buying first shotgun , Caveats aplenty

Hello all, I am in need of some advice regarding not only my first shotgun but first firearm. I have previously gone on several trips with my buddies to go skeet shooting and have enjoyed it despite my lack luster performance breaking those clays

Anyway I have decided to purchase my first gun and be one of the guys, but there's a twist, I'm looking for the most "non offensive" shogun I can get, let me explain. I currently live at home, and my family, my mother in particular dose not like guns at all. Despite shooting skeet at family functions in upstate NY, she is just not too hot on the idea of a gun in the house. Hell I wasn't allowed to have plastic toy guns as a kid.

However i have won her over sort to speak, and got the ok, but I still want to get something that.....I'm having a hard time coming up with a term...."visually PC" in the looks department, I.E no taticool.

So i was thinking of maybe a Stoeger coach gun or maybe the condor. I remember how I liked the SxS my one friend brought over, how light it was, thought about that after a session at the range with my friends mossberg 500 and JC Higgens. Not only do the look "PC but with the ability to break them down into several pieces I think would give my family a piece of mind.

Also, I'm really just planing on using this for skeet and don't really need quick access to a firearm or quick followup shots. Additionally, I don't want to spend too much, honestly we might go skeet shooting once a month, if that.

I know its a lot of information, but I would appreciate any input. Is Stoeger a good company or should I be looking at Mossberg's silverado line? Would I be at a sever disadvantage with a SxS as opposed to a O/U?

Thank you all in advance.
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Old July 2, 2012, 03:08 PM   #2
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Stoeger is not known for their quality ....but sometimes they're ok / sometimes they're not can't tell by looking at them.

A SXS in my view is a poor choice...sight plane is very different than a typical Over Under...and good SXS's or O/U's are not inexpensive to produce. Browning Citori's ( 28 or so different models ) and Beretta ...have long set the standard ...for durable O/U's at a fair price ...but these days that's at least $ 1,500 or so ....and out of a lot of new shooters budgets. But you have to ask yourself ...if Browning and Beretta set the standards / and that's what you see commanding the best prices used in a lot of is it that some of these companies are making O/U's for under $500...and it has to be in the cost of materials ( steel, quality, quality triggers, are barrels regulated, etc ...often discussed on here). Its not about fancy wood...its about the steel, quality of triggers, etc ..that makes the difference.

For casual Skeet shooting ....a decent pump gun / with screw in changeable chokes ...and a 28" barrel ....will get you by for a long time. Remington and Mossberg both make decent options...and Browning has a BPS Hunter model for around $ 550 - $ 600 new that is a very solid gun.

and its a gun that you'll probably keep long term ...even if you invest in other guns down the road / if you get more serious into clay target games. A pump gun is a disadvantage...when there are 2 targets in the air ....but it can be done. I have still have my good basic pump guns that I bought almost 40 yrs ago 12ga and 20ga...( both Browning BPS models).

There are some semi-autos on the market too ...under $1,000 ....from Beretta and Browning...again good solid guns../ like Brownigs Silver hunter series...

on a budget a good pump gun, 28" barrel, 12ga, changeable screw in chokes...Browning BPS, Rem 870's from low end to high end Wingmaster are good serviceable guns, Mossbergs basic pumps are ok as well....

I would stay away from any SXS's or O/U's until you decide if you want into this in a bigger way. Shop some of the used gun shops in your area...see what's holding its value ...and see what isn't'll become pretty obvious where guns from Stoeger ( and Huglu, Baikal, TriStar, etc stand ..after you've visited 3 or 4 shops).
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Old July 2, 2012, 04:12 PM   #3
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There's plenty of gently used blued steel/walnut Remington 870 Wingmaster pumps out there, under $400, that should do ya fine.

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Old July 2, 2012, 04:25 PM   #4
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Thanks, I know a mossberg 500 or a 870 are good choices, i was just thinking a SxS would be a lighter option, breaks down nice ect. I do know mossberg makes a field/security combo. I also wouldn't say I'm a serious skeet shooter, more like a fair weather shooter.


Unfortunately I'm from New Jersey, and around my are there isn't a used gun market, and i could only imagine the paperwork needed to complete a transaction.
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Old July 2, 2012, 07:31 PM   #5
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+1 on the BPS. I ended up with one as my first shotgun. Handled them before, like you, but never had one of my own. I'm the envy of all my buddies because follow up shots are so easy, very little muzzle rise and an amazingly smooth action. In other words a good beginner gun, no bad habits to compensate for. All the pumps I've seen, including my BPS, break down into basically the barrel and the action. That's how mine fits in the box it came in from the factory. I understand your battle, had to fight it myself when I was a kid. Maybe more range time with them would help. In my experience pulling triggers is a highly addictive action
Gaily bedight, A gallant knight In sunshine and in shadow, Had journeyed long, Singing a song, In search of El Dorado
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Old July 2, 2012, 10:50 PM   #6
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Urzu. You said you want to use this for skeet. Do not be embarassed if you confused skeet with trap or other clay shooting sports and I will not even attempt to describe the differences other than to say in skeet the targets generally cross in front of you and you shoot a lot of doubles, while in singles 16 yard trap there are no doubles and the birds generally are going away from you.

You can use a pump gun to shoot doubles, but it makes the game much more difficult.

If you really want to shoot skeet and don't wish to spend what a decent double barrel gun runs, look into some of the Beretta semis.

Hey, there is nothing wrong with getting a used gun. Especially if you are a fair weather shooter and don't really know what you want at this point.
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Old July 3, 2012, 09:49 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Urzu
Unfortunately I'm from New Jersey, and around my are there isn't a used gun market, and i could only imagine the paperwork needed to complete a transaction.
I feel for ya - I left Jersey in '61, just before I enlisted, and have only gone back every once-in-a-while to visit family or take my Green-eyed Monster to A.C.

The "good old days". . .

The way the highway system is today, If I was still a NJ resident, I'd move to PA & commute to work, even in NYC - just to get shut of the gun laws.

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Old July 4, 2012, 08:22 AM   #8
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You can't go wrong with a solid pump. My mom was the same way. I bought my first out of the house but my brother didn't. Buy a hard plastic case and always have the shotgun in. Heck even throw a lock on it if you are not worried about home defense. I understand avoiding "tacticool " but there is no getting around it, a gun is a gun, will always look menacing. Mom wont like it either way so cater to her, to make her happy get the case and a lock. Then enjoy the heck out of it when you start busting them clays!

Edit: I shoot a benelli supernova. Love it, get a pump. The side by side looks cool but nothing is as practical as a pump. Heck an NEF pardener will break clays for $180
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Old July 4, 2012, 03:11 PM   #9
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First Shotgun

I am new to the forum so hello to all.

The Remington 870 is a good shotgun for a first. Remember that a simi auto or a pump has a longer receiver than a SXS or OU. Shorter barrels work better for skeet and longer ones for trap. The 870 is easy to add barrels to plus they are simple to disassemble and clean. You can have the best to both worlds with a 26" choke tube for hunting and skeet and a 28" for trap and sporting clays.

Good Luck,

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Old July 5, 2012, 02:18 AM   #10
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I don't want to repeat everyone about a pump action but I would like to add that if a quick follow up shot is important to you, a used Remington 1100 would do you pretty good too.
I can't spel.
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Old July 5, 2012, 02:49 AM   #11
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Old July 5, 2012, 09:23 AM   #12
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A Mossberg 930 is a fantastic deal. Semi auto will be faster shooting and lighter recoil.
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Old July 7, 2012, 02:06 PM   #13
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Target guns are better heavy; field guns are better light - a light SxS would be a great handicap in trying to shoot trap, skeet, or sporting clays; a nice semi will work better for pairs in the air compared to a pump
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Old July 8, 2012, 03:09 AM   #14
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Shooting skeet or trap with a coach gun can make a really nasty bruise.
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Old July 14, 2012, 03:29 PM   #15
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Mossberg 500 they make a version that comes with a security barrel and field barrel that way later down the line if you want it for home defense you can swap for the shorter barrel.
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Old July 15, 2012, 11:26 AM   #16
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Just me, still for skeet, and then perhaps some bird hunting (doves in particular) and small game hunting...yeah, you can even deer hunt with it.

Shoot some semi-auto shotguns for gun fit first, with someone that knows how to read a student for fit.
Suggestions that come to mind:

Remington 1100 Field grade, in either 12 or 20 bore.
Beretta 390/391

Gun fit is important! Still with proper instructions on how to shoot, and then having the gun professionally fitted to you, one is good to go.

My thoughts run to 20 ga for new shooters, especially for skeet. This will also give you the option to shoot in both 12 and 20 ga events.

Wood-n-blue, good looking, and "its only a skeet gun mom and dad".

Use Enough Gun
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Old July 15, 2012, 01:40 PM   #17
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+3 on the BPS. I picked up a pre owned one several years ago from Jaqua's. $400. 12g, engraved receiver, 30" barrel if I recall, and killer nice walnut. What a nice pump-- nice action, loose, ejects and loads out the bottom. If I'm not mistaken Invector, not Invector Plus chokes (I could be wrong). For a first shotgun you couldn't go wrong. I doubt you would ever sell it.

Just my .02 David
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Old July 15, 2012, 04:56 PM   #18
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I am not a semi-auto guy but for skeet, for the money, yes, an O/U or a Mossberg 930 (a very affordable Gun-of-the-Year) of wood and blued steel -- no black plastic and stainless steel -- would probably be ideal. And a trigger lock.

Oh, and, take an NRA Basic Shotgun class!
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