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Old October 18, 2012, 11:18 AM   #1
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Noob shotgun? Any recommendations?

I've shot rifles and handguns before, but I've never really even handled a shotgun before, to that effect, what would any of y'all recommened for someone who would like to get into the shotgun world and at what gauge?

I was considering a Remington 870 or perhaps a Mossberg or something similar.

This will primarily be used in home defense and possibly, if I ever get around to it, perhaps clay shooting and general target practice.

Budget is around 6-7 benjamins max

Last edited by Kimio; October 18, 2012 at 01:40 PM.
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Old October 18, 2012, 11:54 AM   #2
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As a beginner gun i would reccomend a mossberg 500 pump for around 300. But if you want to spend 6 bills, then the mossberg 930 auto gets my vote
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Old October 18, 2012, 12:12 PM   #3
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Isn't the 930 geared more towards self-defense only, though? I've read some GREAT reviews about the 930 and then some not so great ones of late. What's the main differences between the 930 and 935, barrel length?

I just handled a new Remington 870, pretty nice. Curious what the differences are, though, between 870 and 887.
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Old October 18, 2012, 12:21 PM   #4
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If you like the 870, it comes in plenty of flavors. You can get the one with the nicer wood for that kind of money.

Also 12's probably the best for starting clay shooting. 20 is great for all of the above, but you get a few more pellets in the air and you'll break more clays. It's worth the extra kick for the morale boost.
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Old October 18, 2012, 01:16 PM   #5
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I like the 870, but there are several Mossberg models that will fit your needs, as well. (I'm not all that familiar with Mossberg models, so I'll decline to list a specific one.) Were I in your shoes, I'd be looking for a used shotgun. That way, I could save some of the budget for: (a) ammunition; and (b) modifications that met my specifications, rather than a pre-packaged deal.
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Old October 18, 2012, 01:21 PM   #6
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12ga pump is the most reasonably priced ....and with the variety of shells available today from 1 1/8 of shot 1 oz ...or even 7/8 oz they're the most versatile ...

Make sure you buy a gun that has screw in changeable choke tubes...again so its versatile...for clays, for live birds, for defense, etc....

Ideally the best barrel length for a "clays gun" in a pump or semi-auto is a 28" barrel ...and it may not be optimal for a "fighting shotgun" ...but its fine for general defense.

A gun with a 3" chamber is fine...( so it can shoot 2 3/4" or 3" shells ) again so you have flexibility.

Mossberg, Remington pump guns offer a good value ....
a better pump gun in my view is the Benelli Nova series...

A much better pump gun, in my view, is the Browning BPS Hunter model in a 12ga and 28" barrel...its a gun you'll have for a long time...they list new for $660 but you'll find them between $500 and $600 new in box. Its a really solid gun....smooth action, safety is on top of the tang -easy to reach even with gloves on...ejects out of the bottom ...stock is cast neutral so it doesn't favor a right handed shooter over a leftie...
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Old October 18, 2012, 04:15 PM   #7
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First time, you cannot really go wrong with either the Mossy 500 or Remmy 870. I have a Mossy 500 setup for HD and the 870 is my bird gun. Both are proven and very solid platforms. Also accessories are plentyful for both.

For your budget you could have two seperate shotties. Trying to use one for both HD and skeet will be difficult. I have been known to run my 18.5'' 500 at skeets before and it is kind of fun!
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Old October 19, 2012, 10:02 AM   #8
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Remington Wingmaster 12 guage with 26 to 28" and later get a 18" barrel.
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Old October 19, 2012, 10:10 AM   #9
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Get the standard Mossberg 500 and buy the 18" barrel for home defense. Best of both worlds...on the cheap.
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Old October 19, 2012, 11:16 AM   #10
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Isn't the 930 geared more towards self-defense only, though? I've read some GREAT reviews about the 930 and then some not so great ones of late. What's the main differences between the 930 and 935, barrel length?
The 930SPX is a defense/tactical gun. The 930 is a field gun, and a good option based on the OPs budget.

The 935, as I understand it, is the semi-auto counterpart of the Mossberg 835 pump, whereas the the 930 is the semi-auto counterpart to the 500 pump. This means the 935 has a 3.5" chamber and an overbored barrel. The 930 is more of an all-purpose gun while the 935 is more of a turkey or goose gun.
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Old October 19, 2012, 11:19 AM   #11
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For a home defense only shotgun you can find the pistol grip pump shotguns for very little money, if you look around. That being said, I have one and it stays in the safe and I use pistols for home defense.

Then I would look at something more fit to clays and hunting. I think in an auto loader or pump a 28" barrel is a good compromise for trap, skeet and hunting. 28" is a bit long for me on skeet unless it as an over and under, but it works. I see people do it but I do not think a pump as a place in skeet or doubles trap, over and unders and auto loaders work much better. I also see a few side by sides in trap and skeet, I would never use one but a few people like them.

If at some point you can have all the shotguns you want I would have a 26", 28" and 30" all in 12 gauge and maybe a 10 gauge for geese.

As far as a particular gun goes set a budget and pick what you like and, most importantly, fits you.
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Old October 22, 2012, 06:33 PM   #12
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I'm guessing you will have seen this store: Cheaper Than Dirt - plenty of price-range choice.

Here's also a good link for what to consider when buying a shotgun (new or second hand): Choosing a gun

Hope that helps.
Smashing Clays Shooting Forum
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Old October 22, 2012, 10:36 PM   #13
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+1 on the Browning BPS. I've handled all of my buddies Mossbergs and Remington's and they simply aren't in the same class. For just a little more you can get something that you will not feel the need to "step up" from you'll have an heirloom instead. In my area they can be had NIB for less than $500. I got an extraordinary bargain on mine at about $400 NIB. Go to your neighborhood gun store and see if they have used versions they will let you cycle few times, it will be illuminating. Just one more thing all of us who have used I agree that it simply points more naturally than all the others, but none of us can completely figure out why. It almost seems like you point it toward the clay bird and it magically disappears on its own. It's ergonomics are just that good, and exactly what you need for a first shotgun, I know from my own experience. I have multiple standing offers for that gun the moment I even think about getting rid of it
P.S. I ate PB&J for lunch for a solid month to compensate for going $100 over budget on the purchase, it was worth every sticky bite.
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