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Old October 1, 2012, 04:09 PM   #1
Join Date: March 1, 2008
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New to bird hunting looking at a few shotguns

Hey guys, I appreciate responses. Jus moved to Tx and have gotten and interest in bird hunting. I went a few weeks ago with a borrowed winchester. Anyway this sparked an interest.

I was at Academy looking at a few 12gs: Benelli nova and the Remington 887 nitro mag. Wondering what people think about these two and if there are others I should look at. The sales guy said that the Remington had some problems but couldnt elaborate.

Also I think I would like to try my hand at sport shooting like clays or something. Is a pump the best all around option for entry level stuff. The videos I have seen show most with an auto or over under. Im not wanting to break the bank until I have some experience and know I like it. videos I have seen show most with an auto or over under.
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Old October 1, 2012, 04:45 PM   #2
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I would avoid the 887. Lots of problems.

If you want to hunt, a pump is fine. If you see yourself getting into the clay games, you will do better with a semi auto. A pump can work. It is just more difficult for a beginner.
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Old October 1, 2012, 04:54 PM   #3
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What would be a good semiauto to look at? I might look around for a good used one to keep the cost down
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Old October 1, 2012, 04:58 PM   #4
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I'm a Beretta and Browning guy myself. I've owned some Remingtons and had very good luck with them also. {not the 887}

I would be inclined to look at a semi auto. {new or used} There are a lot of good used auto loaders out there for reasonable prices.
Remington 1100, 11-87
Beretta 390, 3901, 391
Browning Gold or Silver
Winchester SX
I would also shy away from inexpensive O\U's.

Pumps can be ok for hunting, but are less desirable for clay shooting. Can you use one, sure. Shooting single targets, they'll work fine, doubles can be tough. Again can you use one for doubles, sure.

Good luck, get out and shoot.
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Old October 1, 2012, 05:11 PM   #5
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Only my opinion.....but the best pump gun on the market, for the money, in my the Browning BPS Hunter model a 12ga with a 28" barrel ...listing for around $ 650 ....but selling new in my area for around $550 or so ....

Many of us ...into the clay target games...Trap, Skeet or Sporting Clays into it with pump guns to start with. A pump gun - does make your 2nd shell a little slower...but not so much slower that its a terrible idea / while it may not be optimum for competition can certainly shoot a pump gun for any and all the clay target games.

Even though I've invested in a number of shotguns for competition...for lots of reasons....I still have the pair of BPS Hunter models..I purchased in the late 1970' in 12ga and one in a 20ga...and I killed many thousands of clays ...and shot lots of upland and waterfowl with that gun - and they've been thru 2 boys learning how to shoot ...and now a bunch of grandkids as well...and still going strong after ...500,000 shells or more at least thru the 12ga model ...
There are other guns out there ...that won't break the bank...where most of your "target grade Browning or Beretta O/U's will be $ 3,000 plus " ...and they are very good pedestrian level guns ..not fancy guns ...but more than a lot of budgets can if you wanted to look at another gun, I'd put the Browning Silver hunter ...semi-auto on your short list as well. Again its a solid gun / that will last for many frills...but sells new for around $ 900 or so my area.

Browning - Winchester are the same company these days ...( and both are under FN ) so the Browning and Winchester shotgun offerings will often look identical.

Nothing wrong with the Rem 870's ....but to get to the same level of quality as the BPS Hunter'll need to look at the 870 Wingmaster in my view. But I think the BPS is a better gun ....cast neutral (doesn't favor left of right hand shooters ), ejects out of the bottom, the safety is on top of the tang - makes shooting with gloves a lot easier, Browning Invector Plus screw in changeable chokes are well made, good durable gun !

Beretta makes a lot of guns - in semi-autos you'll find at least 25 models ..and nothing wrong with them either.
Remingtons technology on semi-autos is pretty old ...the Rem 1100's and 11-87's ...but might be worth a look if you find one. Some of the older guns - if you find a good one may be a great buy.
Benelli is a good company -- a subsidiary of Beretta...and making very good guns. Nova and Super Nova are their pump guns ...a gun like their Super Sport in a semi-auto is their "clays" gun ...but most of the Benelli semi-autos are going to get up into the $ 1,500 - $ 2,000 price levels pretty quickly ...and they are "Inertia operated" vs "gas operated" - so they give you a little more recoil ...but Benelli has a "comfort tech" system in some of their pump and semi-auto models that helps a lot ..but adds to price too...
Get a gun with changeable screw in chokes....probably a good pump gun to start with ....then spend a season or so ...and figure out if you want to get into this in a bigger way. Most any gun that has a 3" chamber should be enough gun my opinion a gun with a 3 1/2" chamber might be needed for waterfowl ...but there are a lot of magnum hunting shells made in 3" these days as well...but make sure the gun you pick has a 3" chamber ( so you can shoot 2 3/4" or 3" shells ). Many "target guns" will only be available in 2 3/4" chambers...
and no matter what ...make sure you have fun with the process...and welcome to our side of the gun hobby ....
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Old October 1, 2012, 05:11 PM   #6
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What would be a good semiauto to look at?

I picked up a Browning Maxus last year and was very pleased with it during last years duck season. Light, dependable (zero malfunctions the entire season), and low recoil.
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Old October 1, 2012, 05:19 PM   #7
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You didn't specify which birds you'd be hunting, but if you're talking about upland bird, be aware that one gun probably won't be ideal for your hunting needs and clay target needs.

Lighter guns are nice for upland hunting when you're doing more walking than shooting. On the other hand, more weight is often preferred for clay targets.

In pumps, I'd choose a Remington 870 over the 887. Good or bad, the Benelli Nova is noticeably heavier than the 870.

As for semi-autos, I'd give the Mossberg 930 a good look if I wanted to keep costs a little lower. A lot of people consider them very good values.
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Old October 1, 2012, 05:38 PM   #8
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Big Jim has a lot of good info. My favorite semi is Benelli. But, everyone is different. There are quite a few good semi autos available.
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Old October 2, 2012, 01:30 AM   #9
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Another vote for the Benelli. I've got a 870, 1100, and Nova. All three are very different but I keep getting drawn back to the Nova. Now if only I could find me a Vinci for a decent price.
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Old October 2, 2012, 09:47 AM   #10
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The 887 is Remington's entry in the ugly gun competition and was a valiant first effort. I wouldn't have one, and I am a Remington guy.
Almost any new name brand semi auto is going to work. What you need to do is find the one that feels best to you.
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Old October 2, 2012, 01:55 PM   #11
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My picks for entry level Upland repeaters would be the Ithaca 37, Mossberg 500,and of course, Remington's 870.

For entry level clay guns, the 870. Both the Mossberg and Ithaca, while sturdy enough run light enough that recoil is exascerbated. The Ithaca's bottom feed design is a tad slower on the range also.

However, hit the range and talk to people. A well spoken, polite rookie will get lots of advice and can try out a variety of shotguns. After that, you'll have a better idea of what you like.
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Old October 2, 2012, 02:40 PM   #12
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20 gauge - Remington 1100 LT-20! Superfast subsequent shots for small crossers. Do everything gun and soft to shoot...
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