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Hello Everyone,

I plan on buying a shotgun next month. While I'm not unfamiliar with handguns or rifles, I'm a complete newbie when it comes to shotguns so I'm looking for some advice.

I want to get a shotgun primarily for home defense. However, when I told a friend at work that I was going to get a shotgun, he invited me to go deer hunting with him this season. I've never been hunting before, but would love to try it out.

Now, being primarily for home defense, I would really prefer that my shotgun have an 18" barrel. My friend insists that I buy a gun with a 20" deer barrel with rifle sights. I know it's only 2", but if you saw how small my apartment is, you'd understand why I want my barrel to be as short as possible.

My question is this: Is an 18" open choke barrel with a bead sight good for hunting deer in a wooded area?

While on the subject of shopping for a shotgun, any advice on what to look for? My friend insists on a Remington 870 with a 28"/20" barrel combo for $337. I am considering a Maverick 88 with a 28" barrel that I saw for $160. I could buy an 18" barrel for it and still be under $250. I would also have a longer barrel as my friend wants to give me an introduction to small game hunting and perhaps turkey in the spring.

Any experience with the Maverick? How durable is it with years of shooting (perhaps it's not worth it's low price in the long run)? Is it hard on the shoulder when shooting 2 3/4" slugs and buckshot?

I'm not set in a decision. I haven't held the Maverick, so, who knows, I might put it to my shoulder and feel it's not for me. Any favorite suggestions? Keep in mind that I'd like to keep it below $300 and would definately consider buying used.

Thanks a lot for your time reading this long post and for your consideration :D
 

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You can get a good used or new Mossberg or Remington 870 for under $300 on the gun auction web pages, in Wally Mart (if you are inclined to deal with them), or possibly in your local used gun store--look around a bit. Shotguns (except doubles) are somewhat safer used buys than handguns or rifles--at least in my experience. There's a relatively inexpensive (about $80 when I bought one) 18.5" cylinder tactical barrel for the Remington 870 12 ga. --the barrel is made and sold by Mossberg! I was surprised to find that out! See Mossberg's web page--no doubt they have one for their own guns, too (not sure though--never owned a Mossy). I have a 12-ga 870 mounted with this barrel waiting for any midnight visitors, and good luck to the bastards if I beat 'em to the draw! If you got your used gun with a deer barrel (plenty of em around,) you could buy the tactical barrel when you have the money. If you're set on hunting with the 18.5" barrel, check your local game laws carefully. Also try shooting slugs with it at the range. Many on this forum shoot rifled slugs or sabots accurately at what I think are incredibly long ranges, and they can advise you on the virtues of fully-rifled slug barrels, scope sights, etc. However, every deer I've ever taken, with the exception of my yearly trip to Maine, when I use a rifle, has been shot with a regular old smoothbore barrel with an IC choke tube in it. If you go that route, there are rifled screw-in choke tubes that really do help. I personally wouldn't bother with the Maverick. Good luck!
 

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No problem--you'll find one you like, and you can drop them in the mud and not worry, except for a cleaning. Seriously, ask in the general forum, and someone who shoots special sabots out of a fully-rifled barrel (how that remains a "shotgun" has always been a bit over my head, but I digress) will tell you how you can shoot an apple off a buck's head at 200 yards with a Remington model 2300 new-fangled super sabot. Or whatever. Of course, they won't tell you how to get the apple balanced on its head in the first place, but that's Shotgunworld for you. :lol:

Jeff23
 
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