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Hello all,

I'm brand new to the forums and wanted to get some advice regarding my potential purchase of an 870 Wingmaster. After shooting a friend's 12 ga. 870 I'm considering buying one myself. The gun handled great and I was comfortable with the various 12 ga. shot that we ran through it (however, I'm not sure that 12 ga. is necassary for shooting clays). I'm a rifle/pistol shooter but am fairly unfamiliar with shotguns and what to consider when buying.

I'll be shooting trap, skeet, sporting clays, etc, but not hunting. I'd like info on: barrell length, recommended gauge/chambering, steel v. lead shot ability with various chokes, and year/price data (and any other relevant information I might not have requested).

I know these questions are vague and general but I'm basically just starting my research and want expert opinions.

Thanks in advance,
 

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Go to the Remington website and do some research on clay games and appropriate equipment:

www.remington.com

The 870 Wingmaster is a fine field gun with a 55 year production history. Over 8 million have been made so far. It is very reliable, parts are inexpensive and widely available, and countless accessories are offered through the aftermarket. New Wingmasters come with 3 choke tubes (IC, M, F). This will be a great start for clay games. Use M for 16 yard trap, and IC for everything else. If you'd like to add other choke constrictions later (skeet, improved skeet, etc.) replacement Rem-Chokes are widely available for under $20.

New Wingmasters are available for $450-$500. Older Wingmasters are less likely to have changable chokes, but are plentiful in the $200-$250 range.

I own a 870W that I purchased new in July 2005 (12 ga., 28"). I added a Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad and had the length of pull increased to 14.5". I enjoy using it for casual clay target use. However, its light weight and low comb make it less than ideal for serious trap shooting - although I have run 25 straight at 16 yard trap with it several times. (I own target grade guns for more "serious" outings.)

Good choice - good luck!
 

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If you are going to be shooting targets only, you will be better served with a Remington 1100 or 11-87 in the same gauge as the 870 that you liked so much.

The Remington 1100 and 11-87 share the same stock and receiver dimensions as the 870, so they will fit you just as well.

With the exception of trap, all clay sports feature some target presentations that include two birds in the air simultaneously. That's where a semi automatic shotgun (what the 1100 and 11-87 are) will shine over any pump gun. With practice, one can cycle a pump quickly enough to diminish the difference, but all else being equal, it will always be easier to hit double with a semi auto or double barrel shotgun than it is with a pump.

The only meaningful difference between the 1100 and the 11-87 is that the current 1100 is only set up to shoot 2 3/4" ammo and the 11-87 has a pressure relief valve that allows it to work with 2 3/4" and 3" (3 1/2" in case of the 11-87 Super Mag) ammo. 2 3/4" loads are all that are necessary in clay sports, so my final recommendation is find an 1100 Sporting 12 a couple of flats of 1 ounce target loads, a shooting instructor, and have fun.

If you come from a rifle/pistol background, you will NEED an instructor to unlearn all the stuff you learned about focusing on the front sight and squeezing the trigger to a surprise break. He will also show you the other aspects of wingshooting technique faster and more easily than you ever could by yourself.

If you are going to shoot targets exclusively, you need not concern yourself with steel shot. That is unless you decide to shoot regularly at one of the very few clubs that either have decided to allow only steel shot to be PC, or have been forced to do so because of shot fall over wetlands.
 
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