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 Post subject: Help picking out a used 16 or 20 gauge shotgun for Dad
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:53 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:32 am
Posts: 20
Location: New York
Hope everyone is doing well !

Just recently joined this very fine community and I am enjoying so many of the forum categories.

Wanted to gather thoughts around the best shotgun for my dad to buy for casual clay shooting. My brother in law just signed up for our very first lesson and we will be learning about our first shotguns and trap shooting as well. We have 12 gauge pump shotguns (I have a 1973 Ithaca Model 37 and he has a Mossberg 500).

My dad is going to be 69 at the end of this year and he has never owned a gun. He is retired now and he is a very talented woodworker. He is one of those guys who can do anything and in addition to woodworking he has a 3D printer, a CNC machine and loves a good project. He has also been interested in doing metal work. Based on that I wanted to ask your advice on a good pump shotgun that my dad can buy used. He can repair, refinish and custom fit the stock and he can do the same for the receiver, barrel, etc.

He is not going to be entering any competitive trap shooting tournaments or anything so I don’t think he needs a 12 gauge - I was thinking that maybe a 16 or 20 gauge would be more comfortable for him to shoot.

Are there any shotgun models produced during a certain range of years that you would say are high quality, can be purchased for $100 - $300 due to their condition being well worn but still completely functional that my dad can work to restore ? Also thought it would be good to find a model that still has a lot of parts available should he need to upgrade certain elements of the gun (I.e. springs).

Thanks for your thoughts !

Joe



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1973 Ithaca Model 37, 12 Gauge, Old Blue


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 Post subject: Re: Help picking out a used 16 or 20 gauge shotgun for Dad
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:00 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:52 pm
Posts: 615
Location: Michigan
I don't know what you will find in the price range but, Ithaca Model 37, Remington 870, Remington Model 31, Winchester Model 12, would be my picks. The Remington Model 31 would be well worth your dads talents, that is one smooth operating pump gun.


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 Post subject: Re: Help picking out a used 16 or 20 gauge shotgun for Dad
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:17 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:10 am
Posts: 608
Location: Charlotte, NC
Joe, first, get a 12 gauge. Ammo is readily available at a decent price and a 12 gauge is a heavier gun than a 20 and will be softer shooting, particularly for trap. I'd look for a Winchester Model 12 trap...but won't be in that price range. Will probably need to spend $500-750 or so. One of the best guns made in its day. If you're going to shoot trap...or any other target game...get a decent basic gun. I simply do not know of what you can get in your price range, even for a fixer-upper.


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 Post subject: Re: Help picking out a used 16 or 20 gauge shotgun for Dad
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:58 pm 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:58 pm
Posts: 1015
If you watch gunbroker for long enough you can get lucky and possibly find a rough model 12 in that price range. It will likely not have a vent rib and will likely need some woodwork but if your father is as talented as you say it’s doable.


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 Post subject: Re: Help picking out a used 16 or 20 gauge shotgun for Dad
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:23 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:43 pm
Posts: 71
I would suggest a Remington Model 31. As good or better than a Winchester Model 12 and can be found at lower prices than the Model 12. Anything you find in your price range will be extremely rough and would probably need to be re-blued, which takes a lot of skill and experience to do right.


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 Post subject: Re: Help picking out a used 16 or 20 gauge shotgun for Dad
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:46 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:11 am
Posts: 4433
Location: Western Tampa, FL
I think you have been provided excellent advice by others. I would only add that unless you plan on reloading, you should steer clear of the 16 gauge which tends to be hard to find ammo for and at a reasonable price.

There are many really worthwhile candidates floating around Gun Broker and Guns International for someone with your father's talents. Maybe put an ad into this website in the Want To Buy forum. Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Help picking out a used 16 or 20 gauge shotgun for Dad
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:28 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:58 pm
Posts: 1015
Coopdog wrote:
I would suggest a Remington Model 31. As good or better than a Winchester Model 12 and can be found at lower prices than the Model 12. Anything you find in your price range will be extremely rough and would probably need to be re-blued, which takes a lot of skill and experience to do right.


I too love the model 31. And it would potentially be more cost effective, but to say it is better than a model 12 might be a stretch, in my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Help picking out a used 16 or 20 gauge shotgun for Dad
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:24 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 11:25 pm
Posts: 2383
Location: Attica, Mi
The model 31 or 12 are great guns, but will cost out of your range and parts are harder to find than a newer gun. I'd go with a 870. A new " express " may be what you want. It's the same as a 'wingmaster" but not as nice bluing or wood. Use 1oz loads, or Winchester has a 1 or 7/8oz load, not sure, but it's advertised as low recoil. That and a nice recoil pad wouldn't add much if one isn't on it. Good luck.

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 Post subject: Re: Help picking out a used 16 or 20 gauge shotgun for Dad
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:45 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:45 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Oswego, ks
As much as I love my 16ga guns I will recommend that you get him a 20ga gun like an 870 or a Browning. A 20ga will break trap targets fine and a lot of people shoot 20ga guns in the 12ga event at skeet tournaments.
20ga ammo is much easier to get and less expensive than 16ga. I reload my ammo so that I will have what I need and to save money since I am usually the only person at the gun club shooting a 16ga, especially at registered shoots of any kind here in the Midwest
The ISSF skeet and trap shooters are restricted to 24grams of shot which is less than 7/8oz so a regular 20ga load will work fine. I enjoy shooting the 3/4oz loads in my 28ga for a real blast and have shot well at trap with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Help picking out a used 16 or 20 gauge shotgun for Dad
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:01 pm 
Crown Grade
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:20 pm
Posts: 4526
Location: somewhere east of the I-95 corridor, until you get to connecticut. but you can bank on vanzant, mo..
try an older vintage win model 50 in 20ga. very little kick.
be careful to limit yourself to 300.00. you get what you pay for.

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 Post subject: Re: Help picking out a used 16 or 20 gauge shotgun for Dad
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:30 pm 
*Proud to be a*
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Location: Silicon Valley
Ditto the comments on a 12ga -- a plethora of ammo available at reasonable cost, including ammo that is basically loaded down to 20ga specs. 16ga ammo is pricey, so I'd absolutely stay away from that unless you plan on reloading.

That out of the way, really hard to beat any of the pumps mentioned. My own personal bent is toward an 870 simply due to spare parts availability AND ease of cycling -- the others aren't necessarily difficult to obtain parts for or operate, but IMHO the 870 is easiest on both fronts. Finally, if you can find him an older "Wingmaster" 870, they were generally very nicely finished guns and a pleasure to own and shoot.

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Jack
NSCA #617422

When the mind is right, the body will find a way...


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 Post subject: Re: Help picking out a used 16 or 20 gauge shotgun for Dad
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:33 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:38 pm
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Location: Northwest Pa.
What a great thing you are doing for your dad. {hs#

Love him forever.

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Terry



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 Post subject: Re: Help picking out a used 16 or 20 gauge shotgun for Dad
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:58 am 
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Location: Sag Harbor, New York
+ 1 for a 20 gauge for a new shooter. With 3" chambers you can use the gun for just about anything and 20 gauge shells can be had at bargain prices as pointed out. I love my 16s, but I too would recommend staying away from that as a first and maybe only shotgun.

Bob



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