Another Shotgun Decision Thread... didn't want to hijack


September 22, 2006, 12:22 AM
there's been a few threads about this recently but i didn't want to hijack...

I'm looking for a shotgun that is good for HD and also good for deer.

i want a decent slug gun for the deer but the ability to swap out the stock and use buck shot for HD when not hunting.

Any good recommendations for somebody on a budget? or a decent gun i start with for Deer or HD w/ the option of adding another barrel?

Lastly, a lot of people have recommended "Remington 870" or "Mossberg 500" but i go to the websites and there are like 30 derivatives of each. Rem 870 for example:

(i.e. any specific Models would be much appreciated)

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September 22, 2006, 12:48 AM
well a 870 is the way to go in my opinion. i have a 20ga express with 2 barrels. one is the 20in rifled slug barrel, the other a 28in barrel with screw in chokes. the rifled slug barrel and good sabots will usually be more accurate than a smooth bore and rifled slugs but poor at holding groups with buckshot. the 28in barrel will hold great groups for buckshot but most prefer shorter 18-20in smooth bore barrels for home defence. out of all the models i think the synthetic 18 in 12ga should do you well. its a 18in smooth bore, fixed choke barrel with the capacity of 5 or 7 rounds. while not quite as accurate as a rifled barrel it will shoot good groups if you find the right slugs for it. rifled slugs are alot cheaper than sabots, the 20in barrel will be good for hd with buckshot, and its cheaper. if you planned on doing any bird, rabbit, or squirrel hunting i would say go with the combo model.

s&w 24
September 22, 2006, 01:55 AM
to put a point on it buy a 870 express 20 with rifle sights, have a gunsmith remove the "dimples" in the mag tube and slap on whatever you want for tacticoolness. I'm very happy with mine set up with a speed feed stock and a side saddle. I have an extra 26" barrel with a poly choke and a some point I'll get a rifled barrel with a cantiliver scope rail on it.

September 22, 2006, 01:04 PM
I have a Maverick 88 (Mossberg's value-priced shotgun line) that came with a 28" plain modified choke barrel. I use that barrel for my Woods-n-Waterfowl hunting time.

When in Bambi-getter and HomeLand Security mode, it wears the 18-1/2" cylinder bore barrel. Good for either buckshot or the plain "rifled" slugs..AKA "Foster" (Forster??) style slugs.

I don't have a rifled barrel, or a barrel with rifled choke tube, so I don't use the 'sabot slugs'. Just for grins, I tried a box on the sabot slugs. Lets just say that a handful of thrown rocks would have been more effective.

If when you said "swap out the stock", you meant change out the standard full-length stock for a pistol grip only, I don't really recommend that. I have tried the PGO, and it just didn't work for me, but Your Mileage Will Vary.

Mossberg does offer a combo package similar to the Remington package you linked, with both barrels.

Fred Fuller
September 22, 2006, 03:34 PM
Best deal for the budget challenged is a used 870. Good older model Express guns (made before the introduction of magazine tube dimples and plastic trigger plates) are apt to be least expensive. Pay attention to mechanical function and ignore exterior condition except as it serves as a marker for abuse and serious neglect- note the condition of the bore, and _if the seller will let you_, pull the trigger plate and inspect inside the receiver. Hint- take a wooden golf tee to punch the trigger plate pins with, and definitely get someone to thoroughly teach you how to fieldstrip and reassemble an 870 before you go taking apart someone else's gun. Used 870 Express guns in rough shape outside go pretty cheap around here, $75 to $125 has brought home perfectly functional 870 Express guns for people I know (only because they saw 'em before I did).

Most used shotguns are going to come with a 26- 28" vent rib barrel fitted for RemChokes. This barrel will serve better for small game hunting, wingshooting and clay games than HD or deer hunting. You'll want to look for an 18- 20" rifle sighted smoothbore barrel for that. Again pay attention to the condition of the bore. Also, make sure the extra barrel you buy has the magazine cap retaining system that matches your gun. If you buy an older Express, that will mean a setent spring and stud mounted in a hole in the barrel ring. Newer Express guns use the plastic magazine spring detent to keep the mag cap in place.

Shop around, if you have more time than money. And don't turn down a good buy an a used Wingmaster or law enforcement trade-in Police gun if you run across one.


September 22, 2006, 04:02 PM

I started off with a 500 combo of 28" Vent Rib and 24" cylinder bore with rifle (iron) sights. I have since added 24" VR barrel, a ported 28" VR barrel, a 24" rifled barrel with rifle (iron) sights and a 24" ported rifled barrel with the integral scope base (and scope). It gets used the most. Mostly trap and and as a venison/turkey procurer. The 9200 and Stoeger Condor are the skeet/Sporting clays guns, altough my 12yo daughter has taken a liking to it when it wears the 20ga barrels, so the 9200 is seeing more daylight these days. The ol' Iver-Johnson Hercules is my favorite pheasant gun.

The HD 500 has the 18.5" barrel and sits cruiser ready in the safe. It gets to come out about every 3-4 months and the service ammo used at the 25 yard range, then it gets to play some clay games with some light loads, a good cleaning, fresh service ammo installed and back into the safe.

Find what fits, then BA/UU/R and try to wear it out. Either the Remington or Mossberg combo's (whatever feels best to you) are a great choice. Good platforms to build on for any and all purposes, Game, games or HD.

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