Looking to buy my first "DO IT ALL" shotgun

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by GuidoTorpedo, Dec 20, 2012.

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  1. GuidoTorpedo

    GuidoTorpedo Member

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    Hi everyone!

    I'm looking to purchase a shotgun. I want a jack of all trades shotgun and I'm looking for information on what I need to purchase to fill all my requirements and possible recommendations on what model to buy.

    Here's what I except my shotgun to do:

    Home defense
    Hunt deer
    Hunt turkey
    Hunt <insert other tasty animal here>
    Shotgun sports (trap, skeet, sporting clays)
    Scare off teenage boys (my 2nd child and first daughter is going to be born late January)
    Be inexpensive but reliable

    Knowing all this, what should I purchase to accomplish all my goals?

    Pump or Semi?

    Which gauge? 12, 16, 20?

    What barrel lengths should I look into? Lets say I want to get away with a minimal 2 barrels. A 18.5" for home and a 24"+ for everything else?

    Do I NEED to go up to 3.5" shells? Or will 3" work for stuff like turkey?

    What about chokes? Should I get all available for whatever hypothetical shotgun I get? Are there some that are more useful than others? Is it more of an art finding which choke works with certain loads (patterning)?

    How do I properly size myself to fit a shotgun?

    Any make/model recommendations? The Stoeger 2000 has caught my eye due to it's low price and Benelli DNA. Are these any good?

    Thanks!
     
  2. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    A 12 pump from Mossberg or Remington CAN do all of the above. The issue becomes how WELL they can do all of the above.

    A gun set up for HD makes a lousy target gun, for example. A jack-of-all-trades-gun is a decent compromise, as long as you do not expect the most optimum performance that certain guns dedicated to the particular use can provide.

    One of the two above mentioned pumps can typically be has for about $3-400 in a basic configuration
     
  3. soonerfan85

    soonerfan85 Member

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    I have no personal experience using the Stoeger, just know a guy at work that had one and didn't really care for it. That being said, just about any gun will have its detractors. Would really help to narrow down the search if we knew your budget. When talking about shotguns, buying inexpensive guns can run into a lot of money. What's handy for home defense usually makes for a poor field gun. Then you end up buying multiple guns for home, hunting and sport shooting. Nothing worse than spending money on a gun that won't do what you want/need it to do.

    I recently purchased a black Remington Vera Max with 26" barrel. Out the door price including tax at my LGS was $1,120. You can save about $80 dollars by purchasing online. I didn't because I needed it the next day and online sellers couldn't guarantee I'd have it next day. Remington is supposed to be coming out with a Versa Max Sportsman model early next year that is basically the same gun less all the various adjustments to the stock and without multiple chokes. Rumor on the street is real world price will be around $800, compared to the $1,000 for the current model in black. If the Versa Max interests you it may be worth waiting a couple of months to check it out.

    The Versa Max has had a couple of new model bugs that had to be worked out. Not many had problems, but for those that did for the most part Remington has taken care of them. My gun has a 15,000 series serial number so it's considered one of the earlier ones; however, I've had no problems to date.

    For me, the Versa Max is a do it all shotgun. It may not be be BEST for trap, sporting clays, ducks, turkey etc. but it does them all. In the short time I've owned it I've shot everything from 7/8th oz 2 3/4" #8s to 3 1/2 magnum turkey loads through it and everything cycled just like it should. Not something all semi auto shotguns will do reliably. The VM also has noticibly less recoil than most other semi autos. If your budget will allow, it's definately worth a look. Theres' a very good ongoing long term review over on shotgunworld website by TuJays that is very helpful for anyone considering the Versa Max.

    Good luck
     
  4. DNS

    DNS Member

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    One shotgun?

    I don't understand the concept.
    :D
     
  5. RaceM

    RaceM Member

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    Mossberg 500 or Remington 870 pump with extra barrel(s). No need to go all the way up to 3 1/2" shells. An 18.5 or 20" cylinder bore barrel for HD and a 24" or better for birds and clay. Both guns are inexpensive and proven designs. The Remington is smoother to operate and has a shorter length of pull on the stock, both would likely require an upgrade to the butt pad for more comfortable repeated shooting.
     
  6. klyph

    klyph Member

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    Saiga 12 with a poly choke is certainly the most versatile, do it all shotgun I can think of.
     
  7. beeb173

    beeb173 Member

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    that Linberta semi auto they sell on Bud's looks promising. i'd like to see a review though first.
     
  8. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Never saw one win an Olympic medal, and unless you have a two shot magazine, it will illegal for a lot of hunting scenarios
     
  9. Jlr2267

    Jlr2267 Member

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    Mossberg 500 12 GA with 18" and 28" barrels will cost you about $330 new. 18" for HD, 28" for hunting small game (or slugs for deer) and birds (although a 24" might be better for turkey). Comes with 3 chokes: full, IC, mod. You can also buy rifled slug barrels with scope rail to expand the range if needed.

    Mossberg Maverick in the same setup is maybe $50 less, just as effective, but has a safety on the trigger guard instead of tang-mounted (if that matters to you).

    A similar setup in Rem 870 would be just as good (some say better), but cost a little more (around $400). The 870 also has a trigger guard mounted safety.

    Personally, I would not use a semi-auto for HD. If I could have only 1 gun, one of these would be it.
     
  10. throdgrain

    throdgrain Member

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    Another alternative would be the Benelli Supernova. I am a big 870 fan to be honest, but I bought a Supernova as well a few months back, and it does have some nice touches.

    If you want two barrels it will probably rule it out, as they are very expensive, but personally I've never seen the 20" barrel thing as an absolute necessity, a 26" barrel it seems to me is a proper "jack of all trades" length.
     
  11. brnmw

    brnmw Member

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    Remington 870 or Benelli "Super Nova", both pump action best "All round...can do it all."
     
  12. BigJimP

    BigJimP Member

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    The Stoeger doesn't share Benelli DNA, in my opinion, Stoeger is more like a bastard stepchild...( I am not convinced Stoeger uses the same or even similar quality of parts you'll find in the Benelli - nor is it fitted or machined to the same tolerances)....but I can't prove it either...and while I hear it said in gun shops...they're the same as Benelli ...you have to consider the source ( most shops know little to nothing about shotguns except what they have and what it costs.

    The best all around barrel length for hunting and clays is a 28" in a 12ga ...in most any pump or semi-auto. They're also fine for defense...you don't need a Tactical or Fighting shotgun for Defense.

    Best long term pump gun, in my opinion, is a Browning BPS Hunter model ...it'll do everything you need for it to do, for many generations. Benelli Nova is another pump gun that I think is a very good gun.

    If you want to look at an affordable semi-auto look at the Browning silver series....Silver Hunter is a nice gun as well.../ or look at some of the Beretta offerings as a comparison.

    A gun chambered in 3" is fine...stay with the 12ga....and yes, you should buy a gun that has changeable screw in chokes...so its versatile. A lot of the less expensive "tactical shotguns" have a fixed open cyclinder choke - and do not have screw in chokes.
     
  13. BigJimP

    BigJimP Member

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    A couple of other thoughts...

    24" isn't optimal for clays of any kind...a shorter barrel like this ...and the short sight plane that it gives you ...doesn't handle the best to allow you to make a smooth follow-thru on a shot. That's why I suggested a 28" barrel.../ when you go to short barrels 24" or even a 26" most of us tend to "slap" at targets vs making a shot with a smooth follow thru. On a shotgun - pulling the trigger is not the end of the shot ...you have to follow thru ....
    Personally, I favor a 30" barrel - for a good all around shotgun - especially if its on the lighter side ( say below 8.5 lbs )...and many pumps are under 8.5 lbs....

    As far as what chokes should you buy for the gun ...I have 5 for every shotgun I've ever bought ...a Cyclinder, an Improved Cyclinder, a Modified, an Improved Modified and a Full. I would shoot Skeet with an Imp Cyclinder or Cyclinder.....I would shoot Trap and Sporting Clays with a Modified most of the time ( maybe an Imp Cyc or an Imp Mod once in a while)...and the Full isn't used that much anymore - but it will work for Turkey or really long shots on a sporting clays field beyond 50 yds...when the target setter is being mean....

    Personally on my all around clays guns...I favor 30" barrels...../ and on my Trap specific guns I favor 32" barrels and a gun up around 10 lbs..../ every lb of weight in the gun you add or take off ...will decrease or increase recoil about 15 - 20% ....so if you don't like to carry an 8.5 lb gun in the field - and go with a 7.5 lb gun it'll just give you more recoil. The 10 lb gun for Trap...helps with reducing recoil - and it helps smooth out your swing - because Trap has less left to right barrel movement than Skeet or Sporting Clays. For an all around gun for Skeet, Sporting Clays - I like that 8.5 lb gun ...its more nimble for hard left to rights ..and its still light enough for me to carry in the field for upland birds.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012
  14. klyph

    klyph Member

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    I apologize, I had no idea the op was in contention for the Olympics. If so, congratulations! Also: http://www.saiga-12.com/proddetail.asp?prod=AGP-S12-MAG-2RD
     
  15. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    He said a do-all gun including clay games. Saigas don't do clay games well especially with a drum mag, whether or not the Olympics is in his future. And they do not do migratory bird hunting well either, but they are cool for just blasting away at nothing in particular
     
  16. klyph

    klyph Member

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    Having used my saiga with a 20 round drum for thousands of rounds of clay sports, I respectfully disagree. The poly choke (cylinder through extra full in less than a second), detachable magazine (capacity from 2-30 rounds), stone cold reliable gas piston operation, and ergonomic arrangements from rifle stock to anything made for the AK, plus a huge aftermarket all add up to "most versatile" which is what OP is after. Trap and skeet specific guns are some of the least versatile shotguns on the market.
     
  17. Deer_Freak

    Deer_Freak Member.

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    I own 2 Mossberg 500's. I have turned the 12 ga into dedicated slug gun. When I first got the 500A it came with a 28" accuchoke barrel and a 24" rifled slug barrel. You can buy a combo with the 28" field barrel and the rifled barrel for around $360. Then you can pick up a 18.5" security barrel for around $100 new.

    I put a 4x fixed power scope on my 500A. The rifled barrel is very accurate. I sight it in at 60 yards. It will hit a 1 1/2" square every time at 60 yards with just plain old rifled slugs. Sabots don't really do a lot for accuracy. But they do increase the range a good deal. Shooting a sabot it will easily hit a paper plate at 150 yards.
     
  18. QuietEarp

    QuietEarp Member

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    I agree with Jlr2267's first suggestion of the Mossberg 500 12 ga with the extra barrel. I got one a few years ago and I love it. It rarely sees the 18.5" barrel. I am trying to like my Remington 1100 20 ga as much as I like the Mossberg, but on informal clays I am much better with the Mossberg.
    The price was good and I have no regrets with the purchase.
     
  19. klyph

    klyph Member

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    The mossberg 500 and Remington 870 are near impossible to beat at their price point.
     
  20. GuidoTorpedo

    GuidoTorpedo Member

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    Thanks for all the advice guys!

    Just two more questions:

    Why is semi auto bad for HD?

    How do I fit a shotgun to my build? I'm 6'4" 205 lbs if that makes any difference.
     
  21. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Really? What ATA, NNSA, or NSCA club allowed that? Most clubs don't even allow it for practice, let alone registered........

    A semi isn't bad for HD; most folks here think the only shotgun worth owning is a pump; there is nothing a semi can or cannot do that a pump is better or worse at.

    For fit, go to a gun club - the trap and skeet kind - explain your newness and what you are trying to do. There is usually someone who can always help someone get close to a fit that works. LOP about 14.5-15.5, depending on build, and arm and facial design should be a good starting point
     
  22. SEE IT LIKE A NATIVE

    SEE IT LIKE A NATIVE Member

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    I was thinking the same thing as the OP ! I purchased a mossberg 500 with 28" barrel with multiple choke inserts at Wallmart for 250.00 then ordered an 18 " cylinder barrel for 80.00 plus shipping . With the plug out of the magazine it holds 6 rounds of 2 3/4 inch shells .
     
  23. Deer_Freak

    Deer_Freak Member.

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    The 500 fits me well. I am 6" 4" and weigh 250. There is nothing wrong with a semi auto. They are expensive and spare barrels cost a lot more. For a man that wants one gun to do it all cost must be an issue.
     
  24. Jlr2267

    Jlr2267 Member

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    Nothing wrong with a semi, just not my first choice, based on my own experiences. I have had many more mechanical issues w/semi-auto. Could be operator error, but for me the pump has been more reliable.
     
  25. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Gas operated semiauto, your pick of brands.

    28" screw choke barrel and an assortment of tubes will handle hunting and clay pigeons.

    An adjustable comb or a velcro sticky stock pad will be a big help going from skeet to trap.

    22" slug barrel for home defense. (A gas gun needs a little more length than a pump for "dwell time" past the gas port.

    Note: Using the same gun for both sport and home defense calls for religiously cleaning after each outing for fun. I don't know that I am that conscientious. Maybe you are. Or more trusting of a dirty gun.

    Gas vs pump vs ou.

    OU only has two shots, ample for sports, not many to repel boarders. Good ones are expensive.
    Pump is cheap and sturdy, takes a lot of skill for doubles on the skeet and SC fields.
    Auto is soft kicking but must be kept clean. Some sources say you are less likely to have a malfunction with a good auto than you are to get excited and short-shuck a pump.
    Note that most PD patrol car riot guns are pumps exposed to dirt and rough handling, but SWAT uses autos that can be kept clean and cased until needed.
     
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