Starter shotgun


September 14, 2008, 06:46 PM
I went to the nearest department store and it had a mossberg maverick 88 for $199.99 and a Remington 870 express for $249.99. Could someone help me out by telling me the pros and cons of each and which one would make a good starter shotgun?

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deputy tom
September 14, 2008, 07:13 PM
Hold both in your hands,shoulder them and the one that feels best to you is the one to buy.Take it home,clean and lube it,then get to the range and try to wear it out.tom.

September 14, 2008, 08:32 PM
thats exactly what i would do. but if i came down to which gun do you think is better, i'm personally a remington pump guy (the mossy autos are better IMO) but its really ford vs. chevy.

September 14, 2008, 08:42 PM
There is a reason that some manufacturers only make aftermarket parts and accessories for the Rem 870, it IS the most popular shotgun of all times.

I handled both and decided the 870 felt more substantial and better engineered for the long haul.

Now I have a birds/trap 870 and a pure hunting 870 with Mossy Oak furniture and a deer barrel.

September 15, 2008, 12:16 AM
My preference is Mossbergs. I've owned both, and they are both going to outlast you. I have a 10yo Maverick 88 with over 3000 rounds thru it. But either one is completely acceptable. They are both very reliable and very durable. None of mine have ever caused me an issue. Pick what you like.

September 15, 2008, 12:24 AM
For a starter shotgun I recommend, personally, a pump action 12 ga and either the Remington 870 or Mossberg 500. Either of those platforms can be made into ANY style of shotgun be it tacti-cool, hunting, sport (clay), home defense or whatever you can come up with and in any look you want. There quite literally thousands of aftermarket products for both and they are stupid easy to maintain. Best of all you can get either usually under $300 NIB. Do yourself a favor and wikipedia mossberg 500 and/or remington 870 and you will see what I am talking about. These two shotguns will fill any role you could come up with and work way past you're pushing up daisies.


evan price
September 15, 2008, 12:40 AM
The Mossberg Maverick 88 is the budget model assembled in Texas with some import parts. It has a cross-bolt safety at the trigger guard. Buttstocks interchange with the M500/590 Mossberg shotguns, as will a few other parts. They are decent guns, and you get 99% of a M500 at 75% of the price.
The 870 is the generic small-block-chevy of shotguns. Everybody has one. They are good enough.
The Mossberg M500 and M590 are the small-block-Ford of shotguns. Lots of them out there, not as much cheap hop-up stuff. The M500 (Unlike the Maverick 88) has a tang safety on the receiver back. I don't like tang safeties. It's a personal thing. Try it, see if you like it.

Don't forget the Winchester 1200/1300 type shotguns, they are also good solid performers. Cross bolt safety, and the Speedpump is one of the fastest actions to work out there.

Then you get into all the rest.

September 15, 2008, 02:58 PM
On either gun, you can adjust stock camber and drop with shims. Oot of the box fit isn't THAT important. Mossberg even has shims to adjust the stock.

September 18, 2008, 10:18 AM
I agree with what has already been said: Handle both and go with the one that fits you the best. You won't go wrong with either one. I prefer the Mossberg's tang safety since I shoot mostly left handed but sometimes right handed while hunting.

September 18, 2008, 12:09 PM
Personally I like the 870 better, but it's what I've learned on.

The biggest piece of advice that I can give you, that I wish somebody had given me is . . . . find a friend, a family member, or a coworker who knows shotguns go with you to used gun/ pawn shops and try to find a 870 wingmaster in decent shape that's a couple/ few decades old.

I spent $300 on my first shotgun and bought an 870 express supermag. I thought it was cool that I could shoot 3 1/2's (which 3 years later I still have never done) and figured that new would be better than used. Well once I learned a little about these guns and I was able to hold and operate a wingmaster somebody let me use at a club I couldn't believe how much better the wingmaster felt and how much smoother it was.
So I started shopping around at pawn shops and ended up picking up a 1966 wingmaster in good shape for $200. Now the only time my express stupidmag gets used is when I loan it to friends or family who want to shoot with me.

For $200-$250 you can find a shotgun which imho better in every way IF you're willing to do a little work to find it.

Good luck whatever you decide to do.


September 18, 2008, 12:25 PM
What do you want to start doing with it?:)

Shotguns have 4 major configurations I can think of:

Wingshooting/clay shooting
Turkey hunting
Deer hunting (for legal reasons in some states)

Now an 870 can be set up for all of the above with a few barrels. I believe the Maverick takes Mossberg barrels, so it can also.

It's something to consider, though. Sometimes you can find a good package deal on a Mossberg or Remington with 2 barrels, if you want it for more than one of the above.

September 18, 2008, 12:58 PM
I was faced with the same question a while back. I tried the Mossberg, Benelli, and Remington. I ended up with a 20ga. 870 with the youth stock. I'm not small by any means but the smaller youth-stock handled quicker and put me on target quicker than the full size stock.

+1 for the 870

September 19, 2008, 04:28 PM
I am a 870 fan, have been for almost 40 years. I highly recomend them over mossbergs but if thats what makes you happy go for it.

September 19, 2008, 04:54 PM
Oh boy, I cannot agree with Eric-WA more....

I collect, when my meager budget allows, old Wingmasters. In my opinion they are the best that can be had. One of my favorites is a 1955 gun I got in 98 percent for $200. I collect police models but nothing says I cannot change barrels and hunt with them if I had the inclination.

Mossbergs are good shotguns also but I would buy a Mossberg new.

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