Purchasing First Shotgun Advice


October 9, 2006, 12:15 AM
Looking for a quality .12 gauge pump shotgun at a low price. I intend to use it for home protection and added security/protection from large carnivores (ie- bears - using slugs) when camping. All shotguns can shoot buckshot or slugs, i figure a longer barrel is better for buck shot, but what is a good barrel length for shooting slugs? I figure the same rules apply...

Should I go with 3" or 3.5" shells?
Whats a good length? 26", 28", other?

I found this Browning BPS Hunter for $550
Receiver - Forged and machined steel
Barrel - Ventilated rib
Action - Bottom ejection, Dual steel action bars, Top-tang safety
Stock - Satin finish walnut

Any other suggestions? TIA

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October 9, 2006, 12:32 AM
Browning is a good solid gun. Made at Miroku in Japan they are definately quality guns. Especially for people who are left handed shooters like me.

If you arent a big duck/goose shooter who believes the 3.5 inch shell is the only way to go I wouldnt botherwith getting a3.5 inch chamber.

All around it's a great gun.

Dave McCracken
October 9, 2006, 09:47 AM
Good pumps are neither scarce nor expensive. Besides the great and ubiquitous Remington 870,there's the Mossberg 500, the recently discontined Winchester 1300 and the Phoenix like Ithaca 37. All of these are available for much less than the BPS. That one's good also.

Any of these will do what you want and last longer than any of us will.

See if you can try out these at the range before buying....

Black Knight
October 9, 2006, 10:24 AM
Check out the Remington 870. You should be able to get an Express model for about 300 or less. Two years ago I got my step-son an Express for less than 275. The Wingmaster will be about 300 more but a better looking shotgun. First shotgun, I would go for the Express. Remember the 870 is the shotgun that most police departments have used for decades. It is a great shotgun for home defense and hunting (birds and 4 legged animals).

October 9, 2006, 11:30 AM
Go with the BPS, in my opinion they are far better than current production 870s and any Mossberg or Winchester. They are a very solid gun compared to the others.

October 9, 2006, 12:04 PM
Check out some of the large sporting goods stores should be able to get Rem 870 Express for around $229 or less after thier curent rebate. I was Dick's sporting good last night and advertise in there circular was a Mossberg 500 for $189 after rebate.

stiletto raggio
October 9, 2006, 01:06 PM
Don't forget about the Benelli Nova. Light, durable, 3.5" chamber and, most conveniently, a shell stop located right in the forearm. Also, I like ht e FN series of pump guns, which are basically Winchester 1300s. Their iron sights are better than anything else available from a factory.

October 9, 2006, 02:52 PM
I'd go with the Remington Model 870.

October 9, 2006, 03:13 PM
If you don't smoke, don't start.

October 9, 2006, 03:38 PM
Not sure about your area---but the dealer around here is selling BPS's in the $400--$425 range------a new Wingmaster will set ya back $500-$600.

The all round best buy is the full camo Super-mag Express 870 at Walmart for $298----finished to a much higher degree than a standard Express.

October 9, 2006, 06:59 PM
Thanks guys, what is a good overall barrel length (26, 28, 28+) and barrel diameter (3" or 3.5")?

BIG THANKS and much RESPECT to all those taking the time to put their thoughts into my first purchase.

Dave McCracken
October 9, 2006, 09:46 PM
26-30", any will work. I like the long ones for clays, and my bird shooter wears a 26" barrel. It's a little quicker but needs more attention to keep the swing moving.

A 3" chamber will do, little need for 3.5"...

October 9, 2006, 09:51 PM
I would recomend a Mossberg 500. It can shoot slugs all day and still be used for shooting some clay. It is a great home defense shotgun. Only downside the special purpose does not have choke options. But it is still a great gun for the money. Can be had for around $239.99 new.


October 11, 2006, 11:11 PM
Thanks, the less money I could spend for a decent shotgun the better, I dont plan on using it as much. It just seems like the optimal weapon for HD.

October 11, 2006, 11:13 PM
Also what is the determining factor to be good for shooting slugs?

October 11, 2006, 11:34 PM
Maverick 88


Mossberg 500


Remington 870


October 14, 2006, 01:32 PM
Remington 870 Express is hard to beat.......

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