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Options in 3.5" 12 bores. HELP, so lost.

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by r3dn3ck, Dec 1, 2010.

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  1. r3dn3ck

    r3dn3ck member

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    I'm a very experienced shooter, mostly with single projectile guns. Most of my field shotguns are getting a little long in the tooth and were bought used anyway. I'm tired of the nagging little issues with them and I want to put them in for repair but, I have decided that I'd like to have a nice brand new field grade shotgun to wear out all by myself while those are in the shop. That's where y'all come in. I need help in the morass of stuff available to choose well.

    It has to be able to do it all. From casual trap shooting to upland game to ducks to turkey. I don't care about single-shot/auto/pump/SS/OU. I do care about recoil but not so much that I'd look first at an auto. If I could afford an auto that would be killer.

    I've been out of the buying guns game a long time and there's new stuff out all the time and even makers I've never heard of. I need a basic breakdown in of what's available as it corresponds to brand/model focused on the 200-500 dollar MSRP ranges. Anything above an MSRP of 500 is out of my current league (well, the wife will nut me anyway).

    Help me pick a decent shotgun. I'm looking for value in a field gun. Meaning price, quality and features in that order are the deciding factors. I require 3 1/2" chamber and 12ga. I figure at least there won't be a 12 bore load I couldn't stick in it. I think I'd like at least a 26" barrel but would gladly take some advice there too.

    General information is cool. I'm ok with doing more research but some points in the right directions from more experienced shotgunners will probably help.
     
  2. springfield30-06

    springfield30-06 Member

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    Two that immediately come to mind are the Remington 870 SuperMag and Mossberg 535. Both pump guns with 3.5in chambers.
     
  3. Andrew Wyatt

    Andrew Wyatt Member

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    Why do you require a 3.5" chamber?
     
  4. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    Probably so he can shoot 3.5" shells, despite personal opinions they are available and effective for goose and turkey as well as coyote.
    If he is buying a new gun why not cover the bases? If he gets a 3" he will never have the option.

    Op, I bought a Benelli SBE and personally find no need for another shotgun, I sold a sweet Browning Superlight Citori to fund the purchase. They can be found in good condition for $700 and up. My boys have the 835 Mossbergs in camo. I also have a short Nova for HD and coyote hunting. The pumps will kick plenty with the Mag loads but I've never been bothered by the auto, the weight difference is nothing for the extra chamber length.
     
  5. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    The Beretta A400 Xplor will handle everything from 2-3/4" 3/4 oz reloads to 3-1/2" shoulder breakers without modifications. Having their Kick-Off system reduces felt recoil by a huge amount. Designed as a field gun, my wife uses it for sporting clays.
     
  6. r3dn3ck

    r3dn3ck member

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    This is good. We're leaning up at those >$500 price points except for the pumps though. I found a member selling a long barrel Nova for cheap that I might pick up to make my life simple. Sure it's used but it's a benelli nova and I've owned one before. I liked it a lot. Too bay my dad liked it a lot more. Made me make a birthday present out of it for him.

    Anyway, has anyone dealt with the semi-auto offerings from Charles Daly in recent years? They're being made by Akkar in Turkey. Normally I'm kinda leary of arms manufactured in places like that. Price is right, features are right.

    I require 3.5" because I don't ever want to find a 12ga shotgun shell I can't use.
     
  7. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Member

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    The versamax is a nice one too (though a tad expensive as many or most good guns tend to be)
     
  8. r3dn3ck

    r3dn3ck member

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    Keep in mind this is to be a field gun. It needn't be a "fine" piece, just a dependable and reasonably durable shooter that can and will be banged around in the back of a pickup.
     
  9. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Why? you don't own a case?

    Never understood that mentality. If that is your method, then buy a cheap pump you don't care about
     
  10. r3dn3ck

    r3dn3ck member

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    it's a euphamism. It'll see pretty hard use in rough conditions so fine wood and mirror polish bluing are wasted on what I'm looking for. If it gets pulled out of the rack, it's gunna get wet or dirty or both. I'll be in alkali deserts and swamps. I don't actually literally bang my guns around in a pickup bed but if I do happen to run out of options, then I don't want to feel bad about it getting all scarred up.

    I have several fine shotguns. They're not field guns though. They're safe queens and trap guns and things I own only because they fill out a collection block. If I were to trip and scrape one down a rock I'd feel pretty bad about that.

    Clearer now?

    EDIT: This one will also be my loaner. When buddies come to me whining that they need a 3" or 3 1/2" for something they're doing but don't want to buy a gun just for a 1 time hunt, they'll beg this off me for a weekend and I don't want to be out >500 bucks when it gets all scuffed or even broken.
     
  11. juk

    juk Member

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    Benelli Super Nova. I've got a regular Nova and my friend has a Super Nova. They are both very durable and reliable guns. However, they are bulky and it takes a little practice to get used to sighting down the barrel. Ours have been through all kinds of junk, including complete submersion for hours, frozen actions, banged around a boat,...the list is almost endless. They are tanks. The Super has a better stock and the stock and receiver are not one piece like they are on the Nova.
     
  12. 6x6pinz

    6x6pinz Member

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    Not really a Benelli fan but I have and use a Nova as a back up shotgun for duck/geese. It has been impressing me more and more as I use it. The only problem I have had is the reach to the pump, seems long to me. The pad on my hand will inadvertently push the mag stop button causing a failure to feed when my hand is holding the forend where it is comfortable to me. I use a Baikal/Remington Spartan as my main gun for duck and geese. These both have taken a ton of "punishment" both getting to the hunting spots and at the hunting spots. We don't have the luxury of being in a state where we can set up heated/dry blinds and salt cedar when wet is really tough on gun finishes (no more ruger red label in the field for me:()
     
  13. tactikel

    tactikel Member

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    Be sure to check out the Mossberg 835. It is a true 3.5" receiver and really is best shooting steel shot at geese and Hevi-shot-13 at turkeys. of course any other 12 ga shell will feed fine. I found one on Gunsamerica, camo, turkey barrel 24" and waterfowl barrel 28", all chokes, NIB for $ 349.95. Is it a quail gun? no, but for pheasant to geese it is hard to beat.
     
  14. r3dn3ck

    r3dn3ck member

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    Well, the Nova deal fell through. California sucks to live in. Nobody wants to play with you.

    I'm probably going to end up with the mossberg or the remington since they're in the price range I need NIB. I've always liked the ergonomics and the tang safety of mossy's anyway. I'm a little sad about not getting the nova.

    Any thoughts about reliability with 2 3/4 and 3" shells in either the reminton or the mossy? I'd like to be able to reliably use those. Can't imagine why they'd be problematic but need to check anyway.

    Thanks guys. You've been terribly helpful so far.
     
  15. Jerry68

    Jerry68 Member

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    I have an 870 Super Mag, and it cycles 3" and 2 3/4" shells without a hiccup.
     
  16. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    My SX2 was totally reliable with all loads, synthetic stock and 26" barrel with choke tubes. I sold it in excellent condition for $625. I saw them advertized 2 weeks ago in a Cabela's flier for an in-store special $599. almost 300 off retail and one heck of a good do-all 12g if you think you need 3.5". I don't waterfowl hunt anymore and if I do I will shoot 3" hevi-shot.
     
  17. Dookie

    Dookie Member

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    I would recommend the Rem 870, Moss 835, or the Moss 535. All are good and tough shotguns that are known for reliability. The biggest difference is the 835 is a tank. It will shoot and cycle anything but with the larger diameter barrel it weighs more. Because it has a ported barrel and is heavy they have little recoil. You can also find them used in good shape for under $250, I got mine in excellent condition for $165.

    I would recommend the Rem as a field gun first as it weighs less and is easier to carry. I have no experience with the 535.
     
  18. Roughneck08

    Roughneck08 Member

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    I previously owned an 835 ulti-mag. Shooting even 3" magnums were horrible. The cheek wield was not fitting to me. I am not recoil sensetive by any means but boy it was a pain. My remington 870 is much more easier to shoot.
     
  19. Dookie

    Dookie Member

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    That is why I usually recommend testing out firearms before purchase. Two different people with the same gun and two totally different results.
     
  20. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    I am a Remington lover, and dislike bottom feeding, but I had three Browning BPSs in 10 gauge and never a hiccup. I think they also make a 3-1/2" 12 also. Hardly ideal Mountain Quail gun, but a very well made pump gun. My buddy has been killing ducks with one for 20 years plus with no worries.
     
  21. 45crittergitter

    45crittergitter Member

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    My personal experience is with the Benelli SBE, which has worked flawlessly for me since I got it very shortly after its introduction.
     
  22. r3dn3ck

    r3dn3ck member

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    Went shopping yesterday. The only actual option on the local shelves is a remington 887. That fit me very nicely except for the almost monte-carlo style cheek piece on the stock. I'd have to replace that butt stock. The polymer frame is nice and it's a big gun for being as light as it is. Standard 870 ergonomics were ok. The 399 price point was pretty nice.

    Thoughts? I'm deciding to tell the wife to ignore Christmas for me this year and wait a bit till there's more scatterguns on the shelves but the polymer framed 887 has me thinking.

    I guess the deal breaker there is the cheek weld. I can imagine a bloody hamburgered cheek after a 3.5" shell from it.
     
  23. 32 Magnum

    32 Magnum Member

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    WITHIN the price range specified by the OP - the best, most cost effective choice is the Mossberg 535. Basic models can be had RETAIL for less than $400. I've had a preowned 535 for 2.5 years - use it for trap shooting - and have over 6000 rounds through it without any problems. I've fired 5 3.5" OO buck rounds and 5 3.5" 1.25oz slugs through it, just for the joy - both put a push on your shoulder - would raise a welt if not held right or if used excessively. I'm of the opinion that the 3.5" buckshot round (18 OO pellets) would be a real crowd pleaser.
     
  24. WVMountainBoy

    WVMountainBoy Member

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    I'm going to throw my hat in with the 870 Supermag. Its probably one of the most utilitarian weapons out there. In synthetic stocks, its an all weather hunter. Removable chokes and a pump so it meets your "do it all" needs. Will cycle pigeon to turkey loads or take a big slug to drop a deer.
     
  25. Sergeant Sabre

    Sergeant Sabre Member

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    If I remember correctly, the 887 has a lot of really bad reviews.
     
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