Waterfowl shotgun


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ThePunisher'sArmory
August 21, 2009, 05:59 PM
Please as many comments as possible! I'm looking at several new shotgun options. First the old trusty remington 11-87 3.5" w/3 chokes and Max-4 camo. Second the Mossberg 930 3" w/3 chokes and mossy oak duck blind camo. Lastly the mossberg 935 3.5" magnum (will only shoot 3-3.5") w/3 standard tubes or 2 ported tubes and max-4 camo. Ive tried drawing the 11-87 and the 935 and the length of pull on the mossberg fits perfectly. My only concern is that ive heard some bad reports on mossbergs autoloaders. Any experience with these mossys? I own two of their pumps and am very pleased with them. Finaly thes guns will be used for duck and geese mainly, as i have a good dove/pheasant gun already. Please give me all the input you can. Thanks.

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ArmedBear
August 21, 2009, 06:08 PM
The 930 has been a good gun when I've seen the things.

I'd buy it over the 11-87. Then again, there's not much I wouldn't.

I'm a bit partial to the Wally World 390, but it's a 3" gun.:)

SDiver40
August 21, 2009, 06:09 PM
I cant speak for the rest of the guns BUT I did not like the 12ga. 11-87 auto that I had. Bought it new when they first came out. Beautiful gun but the shot lost most of it's power during the shell ejection. It didnt make any since but wouldnt go thru 1/2 in. plywood at 25 ft. My 20ga. went right thru it.

MCgunner
August 21, 2009, 06:20 PM
One, stick with the camo finish. The camo ain't really necessary for hunting, but it's very tough and corrosion resistant. I have in on my Mossy 500 and have been using that gun for 20 years in salt environs and it's still pretty clean. There will be wood and blued steel traditionalists here, but the marsh is no place for fine wood and blued steel. Function over looks and, besides, you just ain't a cool duck hunter without a camo shotgun. :D

The Mossberg shotguns will get the job done. I have shot one, a 930, but if I were to buy one, I'd get the 935. 2 3/4" High Velocity 1550 fps 3s work great on ducks, but 3.5 in. Ts are best in steel shot for geese. If you go with a 3" gun, you'll be shooting hevi shot and it's REAL expensive. BB steel works if they're decoying close enough, but that ain't always the case. Some days they just hang up there at 45 and 50 yards and piss you off. T will reach 'em up there, but in a 3" hull, the pattern suffers.

I don't think any of your choices are bad, myself, but I do prefer the mossberg as I shoot left handed and prefer the tang safety. It's a lot faster for me and more natural. That's my bias, though, YMMV. I do hunt with my Winchester auto sometime and put up with the crossbolt safety because the gun is such a sweet shooter. I was never that impressed with it on ducks until I started using the 1550 fps 3 shot stuff. It brings 'em down with that stuff. Up until 2 years ago, I left the Winchester home after dove season and went to the Mossberg for ducks. I still use it kind of sparingly since it's in nice shape, wood and deeply blued steel, no rust and only one little mark on the stock.

You'll get guys suggesting all manor of Beretta, Browning, Benelli, Franchi, and such, but ain't nothin' wrong with good ol' Mossberg and Remington IMHO. Like I say, I tend to the Mossberg for the ergos and may get one sooner or later. Last year, I bought an H&R 10 gauge for geese. It may just be a single shot, but it sure tosses a tight pattern of Ts way out there. :D The shells maybe be expensive at a buck a shot, but last I looked, hevi shot was running $3.50 a shot.

tango2echo
August 21, 2009, 06:31 PM
Look at the Stoeger S-2000 in Advantage Camo. 12ga 2 3/4-3" auto. Awesome gun. I duck hunt 60 or more days per year and shoot several cases of ammo. I now own three Stoegers. They have been flawless straight out of the box. I sold my SBE2 after shooting the first Stoeger for awhile. The Mossberg 935 is also a good gun. I owned one for awhile but traded it to a friend for a S&W K-22 NIB!!!

t2e

countertop
August 21, 2009, 06:47 PM
You'll get guys suggesting all manor of Beretta, Browning, Benelli, Franchi, and such, but ain't nothin' wrong with good ol' Mossberg and Remington IMHO.

Heh

I hunt ducks with a Browning BPS. I love it. And highly recommend it to anyone. I especially like that it drops the spent shells at my feet (and not in my hunting partners face).

But as he said - nothing wrong with a Mossbergy or a Remington. Heck, the Remington 870 is perfect (but for the throwing shells in someones face). My father in law hunts with a Mossberg (a 500 I think). His reasonining is that its a duck gun. Its getting dropped in the mud, its getting banged up, it might wind up in the bottom of a river and you have to dive after it. Why spend big bucks for cosmetics on something thats gonna get beat up. He's used his mossberg for years. It works well.

Which is all a long way of saying you will do well with anything (though I wouldn't recommend a semi auto - I like the pump because in freezing weather, sometimes its nice to be able to manually pump as opposed to having the intricate mechanisms freeze up)

DRYHUMOR
August 21, 2009, 07:03 PM
I bought a Browning Gold 10 Stalker 10 years ago. Shot ducks, geese, and deer with it, points good, recoil isn't bad. It's been a good one.

The best ammo selection is online (10 ga), as most stores stock 12 ga.

A buddy and I used to shoot ducks quite often, he had a BPS 10 ga, some days, he'd end up with a bloody nose from the recoil.

The gas gun treats ya better.

ArmedBear
August 21, 2009, 07:11 PM
There's nothing wrong with a Remington 870.

There are a few things not so right about the 11-87.

MCgunner
August 21, 2009, 08:04 PM
His reasonining is that its a duck gun. Its getting dropped in the mud, its getting banged up, it might wind up in the bottom of a river and you have to dive after it. Why spend big bucks for cosmetics on something thats gonna get beat up. He's used his mossberg for years. It works well.

Well, multiply that reasoning by 3 and you have my reasoning since I'm hunting in salt water. The mossberg has held up well over 20 years of use in salt marsh and on the bays. BPS is a fine shotgun, but a little rich for my blood.


Which is all a long way of saying you will do well with anything (though I wouldn't recommend a semi auto - I like the pump because in freezing weather, sometimes its nice to be able to manually pump as opposed to having the intricate mechanisms freeze up)

I can't recall using my neoprenes in about 3 seasons, let alone any freezing weather. LOL 32 degrees is a rare blue norther down here. The OP is in Illinois, so perhaps he needs to worry about that. I can't relate. LOL

I remember a hunt back about 1979, was 17 degrees, had to stomp a hole in the ice for the deeks. That was miserable. I didn't have any neoprene waders back then, feet went numb. Lucky I didn't get frost bite or something.

JWF III
August 21, 2009, 08:31 PM
Unless you'll be goose hunting a lot, I'd reccomend skipping the 3 1/2" guns. I have 2- 3 1/2s. One first year 835, and one Franchi 912. I rarely use 3 1/2"s, 3" will kill them just as dead. For steel shot, speed kills. And across the board, each manufacturer's 3" shells outperform their 3 1/2" shells.

If you have to have 3 1/2" chamber capacity, here are some observations I've made over the last 15 years of 3 1/2" guns...

One of my friends has a Rem. 11-87, 3 1/2" gun. His gun will not function with 3 1/4dr.-1 1/4oz., heavy dove loads. It took some of my handloads, ~3 1/2dr. and 1 3/8oz. of shot, to get his gun to function. Now all he buys is high brass.

Several friends own Benelli SBEs. Not a one of them can function with 1oz. or standard 1 1/8 oz. loads. They have to buy highbrass 1 1/8 oz loads to function reliably. When they were new, one would barely function (sometimes) with 1 1/4oz heavy dove loads. The other wouldn't even reliably function with those.

My Franchi will reliably function with a standard load and 7/8 oz of lead. I loaded some ultra-light 7/8oz shells for the high volume days, it's hit or miss with those. Sometimes they'll fully eject. Sometimes they won't. The Rem. and the SBEs won't come close to functioning with the variety of loads the Franchi will. (Just comparing my 912 to friend's 11-87 and SBEs, side-by-side comparison.) Yes you have the valve to switch. But it will function (just more stress on the action) in the light load position, with any load. If it's set-up for heavy loads, it won't function with anything lighter than 1 1/8oz.

If you want complete reliability (with all possible loads) out of a 3 1/2" gun, buy a pump. 835, Nova, 870, BPS. It really doesn't matter which one, it's all a matter of choice.

If you buy a pump, the first time you touch off a 3 1/2" turkey load (2 1/4oz of lead shot), you'll be asking yourself, "Why did I spend the extra money on a 3 1/2" gun:banghead::banghead::banghead:?" Steel's not so bad, but you'll know when you fire one in lead.:eek:

Happy hunting (gun and fowl)

Wyman

countertop
August 21, 2009, 09:48 PM
McGunner

I spent $350 on my BPS new about 10 years ago at Galyans. I've gotten more than my money out of it. yeah, it was slightly more than a 870, but it wasn't that much more.

As far as freezing, I fell through some ice last winter (innauguration day - instead of going in to see his swearing in, I decided to do some Potomac River waterfowling) and it kept me from going under the river, and helped me climb out of the river.

Of course, it was a solid block of ice once I got out. Banged it against a tree to knock some of the ice off, then grabbed the pump and smashed the butt on another tree and got a shell loaded. Pulled the trigger and she was good to go!

That wouldn't have been possible with an auto loader

MCgunner
August 21, 2009, 10:16 PM
I priced a BPS at over 600 bucks last year. They've gone up AND you got a deal. ;)


Unless you'll be goose hunting a lot, I'd reccomend skipping the 3 1/2" guns. I have 2- 3 1/2s. One first year 835, and one Franchi 912. I rarely use 3 1/2"s, 3" will kill them just as dead. For steel shot, speed kills. And across the board, each manufacturer's 3" shells outperform their 3 1/2" shells.

To a point, but those high flying geese take a tight pattern of Ts. The ten will reach out 60 yards. No BB, no matter the velocity, can do that. BB gives up by 40 yards. Best you can hope for is a lucky hit on the head or maybe break a wing after that. Too, those fast steel loads get speed by less shot weight which means thin patterns at longish ranges.

You simply cannot get enough T shot in a 3" hull to pattern. A 3.5" twelve has almost the capacity of a 3.5" 10. Your only option in a 3" hull for high flying geese is hevi shot. When tungsten was affordable, I could get Federal tungsten/iron for 13.50 a box of 10. I had no interest in a 3.5" gun at that point. Then, the metals market went nuts and all tungsten loads went up to 40 dollars a box. That's when i bought the 10. Hevi shot is down in the 25-30 dollar range per box of 10 last I looked, still not down where I'll buy it again. I'd rather get a box of 25 T shot 10 gauge 3.5" for 25 bucks. Bonus, the 10 patterns simply incredibly on a 40 yard target. I am getting 95 percent into a 30" circle. Past about 60 yards, the pattern runs a bit thin, but that's good 'nuf. If they're further than 50 I will usually let 'em fly anyway. Rarely turn 'em on a day where they won't come down, but you never know, and calling is part of the game, too. :D

I think anyone that hunts a lot of geese needs a 3.5" 12 or a 10 gauge. It's just a LOT better deal chunkin' T shot.

MCgunner
August 21, 2009, 10:29 PM
Of course, it was a solid block of ice once I got out. Banged it against a tree to knock some of the ice off, then grabbed the pump and smashed the butt on another tree and got a shell loaded. Pulled the trigger and she was good to go!

That wouldn't have been possible with an auto loader


AKs are pretty reliable in arctic conditions. I say it would depend on the gun. Maybe there IS a use for a Saiga? LOL! Ain't something I worry about, though. I've seen ice form on water twice in 56 years down here. Pay back is the humid 100 degree days in August. I'm praying for a cold front. LOL

ArmedBear
August 21, 2009, 11:06 PM
The BPS Stalker MSRP is $559.

Cheapest price around here for a polished blue and walnut one, on Gallery of Guns, is $465.

627PCFan
August 22, 2009, 08:42 AM
Just throwing it out there: you can find a Benelli Nova for @ or around the price of a 870 or 500 if you shop

MCgunner
August 22, 2009, 09:25 AM
The nova's a nice gun and very corrosion resistant.

dakotasin
August 22, 2009, 09:38 AM
for waterfowl, i really think a double or pump is the way to go, and do believe the 3.5" 870 is top of the class for waterfowl.

MCgunner
August 22, 2009, 10:25 AM
Well, he says he's got 835s and I'd rather have an 835 any day to an 870. The OP is asking about autos.

Well, he says he owns 2 Mossberg pumps, I just kind of assumed they were 835s, or one of 'em, cause he's asking about 3.5" autos.

ThePunisher'sArmory
August 22, 2009, 06:19 PM
Mcgunner they are blued 500s one 20ga and one 12ga like them both alot. I never really considered using a pump for fowl simply because i like the quickness of staying on target for follow up shots with an auto, im too jerky with a pump. But i may consider a pump due to less moving parts in freezing conditions. thanks for all the posts they are helpful and i am now leaning toward the mossy. I have a guy who owes me a favor. I shouldnt brag but he has an FFL and is selling me a gun at his cost plus tax. Im leaning toward the 935 with ported chokes, he quoted me $565.00 and that is a steal. my only concern is it cycling 3" winchester steel cause thats about all i can afford now days. As for the nova i found it to be rather bulky but i did consider it.

mbt2001
August 22, 2009, 06:28 PM
I would get a nice 12" pump and then put the Duraguard finish on it. The thing is going to get wet and muddy and if you buy an expensive gun you will just want to cry all the time...

Also, get a shorter barrel. It doesn't make a difference to have a 21" or 22" barrel and it is a LOT handier when actually duck hunting.

JWF III
August 22, 2009, 08:36 PM
Also, get a shorter barrel. It doesn't make a difference to have a 21" or 22" barrel and it is a LOT handier when actually duck hunting.

May be handier, but most wingshooters favor a 26"-28" barrel for the added smoothness in their swing and follow thru. Target shooters favor even longer barrels for the same reason, but they don't have to get into places a hunter does.

To a point, but those high flying geese take a tight pattern of Ts. The ten will reach out 60 yards. No BB, no matter the velocity, can do that. BB gives up by 40 yards. Best you can hope for is a lucky hit on the head or maybe break a wing after that. Too, those fast steel loads get speed by less shot weight which means thin patterns at longish ranges.



Just to clarify a little bit, in case you misread what I originally posted, most of what you posted reitterated what I said in the first line...
Unless you'll be goose hunting a lot, I'd reccomend skipping the 3 1/2" guns.

IMO, T shot is the only reason to buy 3 1/2" shells.

My point referring to velocity...
12ga 1 1/4oz #2 steel shot at 1500 fps is typically better than
12ga 1 3/8oz #2 steel shot at 1300 fps.

Comparing apples to apples (same shot sizes) the higher velocity will usually be better. This is assuming that the gun patterns each load equally as well. When using the smaller, duck sized, steel shot, if the pattern is getting to thin, the birds are too far out anyway. 1/8, or even 1/4 of an ounce will make very little difference in pattern density. But it can make a huge difference in velocity, and thus downrange velocity and energy.

My Franchi will still throw a killing pattern at 40 yards, with #2 shot and a cylinder choke.

Wyman

bryskee
August 22, 2009, 09:11 PM
I got the moss 935. camo. No complaints so far and I've had it a bit.

MCgunner
August 22, 2009, 10:16 PM
IMO, T shot is the only reason to buy 3 1/2" shells.

Well, then, my bad, we agree. :D Guess I read you wrong, ain't the first time. Sorry. I do think the OP mentioned geese, though, have to go back and check.

I shoot the 1550 fps 3 shot out of 2 3/4" and it knocks down ducks quite well. Yeah, I'm sold on the high speed stuff if you're stuck with a marginal payload otherwise. My son-in-law wants to go on a goose hunt with my buddy and I this season and all he's got is a 12 gauge 3" gun, Winchester 1300 in his case. I'm advising him to get some of the 1500+ fps BB loads. Should get him a few more yards if it's a bad day. He's a little broke to be buying hevi shot. Hopefully we'll hit a good day like one day last season, 50 yard ceiling, no wind, T shirt weather was like shooting really HUGE doves. :D they were coming down as good as I've ever had 'em, 20 -30 yard shots the rule, not the exception. At that range, a 20 gauge will do. T shot was shooting completely through the birds. LOL!

Main reason I scaled up to 10 is I've had a lot of those frustrating days when they wouldn't come down in blue bird weather with no fog or wind or anything to get 'em down. I went many a year without a 3.5" gun, but I eventually moved up. That 10 is a single purpose gun, though, unless I ever get to turkey hunt again.

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