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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have owned air guns only and have shot skeet with a friend at a gun club with his 12 gauge locally and have finally decided to buy me a new shotgun for Christmas. The age old question "Which gun should I buy? And what gauge?" I hope to shoot skeet at the gun club with my friend and not look like a total newbie. I am leaning towards the Remington 870 12 gauge but after much reading might be swayed towards a 20 gauge instead. Please help me decide.
Thanks
 

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Welcome to Shotgunworld!

Do you have a budget in mind? When you say 870 12 gauge, are you thinking the Express model or Wingmaster?

While some use pump shotguns for clay sports (especially trap), most now use either semi-automatics or over/unders.

Since you are just getting started, you could look for a used Remington 1100, 11-87, Beretta AL390, 391 or 3901 or a Browning Gold or Silver Hunter. Check them out and see which one feels good to you and fits. You can do searches to get a better idea of what fit means.
 

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If it's for skeet, a 20 gauge is all you need. If you're comfortable shucking a pumpgun, the 870 will do you just fine.

Should you ever go over to the dark side and want to shoot trap, you'll find there's an advantage to the 12 bore, unless you're on the bird really fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I know this may sound dumb but where should I go to buy a used gun? California is probably one of the strictest states for gun ownership. Going the used route sounds interesting.
 

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For used guns, go to a gunshop. There have to be several in your area. Ask questions, let them know the same thing you have here, and see the response you get. If you find one that takes time to help you and doesn't try to sell you what they have even if it's wrong.

Gunstores are like many other small businesses, some are great, some are crap. How you're treated is as good an initial barometer an anything.
 

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lukebbb said:
I know this may sound dumb but where should I go to buy a used gun? California is probably one of the strictest states for gun ownership. Going the used route sounds interesting.
lukebbb
California can be a major pain around gun ownership, but for a shotgun purchase it isn't too bad beyond the 10 day waiting period.

If you want a good place to go though you're in luck because San Jose has probably the biggest gun store still remaining in the Bay Area. Check out Reeds over on Alum Rock. It's a few blocks east of Hwy 680, I think the 3000 block.
Either way they have a very large selection of new guns, and since they do take trade ins they probably have a fair number of used guns.
Give them a try. They also have some knowledgeable people as well.
 

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perfectpitman said:
this is probably a dumb question but how do u tell if a used shot gun is still in good shape?
I think that comes with experiance. Find someone you can trust to help you.
 

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A first time purchaser should not try to buy a used gun.

Not when you can buy a brand new Maverick 88 Mossberg for $165, or a new Remington 870 Express for a hundred dollars more. You won't get cheated on price, and the gun should be perfect, and if it breaks there is a warranty.

The 12 gauge is the better deal, because you can buy "low recoil" shells to get started, and shoot three inch thumpers should you ever have the need to go shoot waterfowl. A three inch chambered 12 gauge is the most versatile shotgun sold. But, all in all, a 20 gauge pump shotgun is the cheapest to feed low recoil ammo, because the standard cheap promo loads are only 7/8 ounce 2 1/2 dram loads, and in a gun of reasonable weight, it won't kick. The 20 is more than adequate for shooting clay targets, and will kill any upland bird that ever flew, but it's not generally considered an ideal waterfowl gun. 20 gauge promotional shells are just as cheap as 12 gauge promotional shells, and only slightly less available.

Go buy yourself a brand new cheap pump shotgun. Whatever gauge you like. You'll like the 870 a lot, lot longer than you'll like the Maverick, but either of them will function and work just fine.
 

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i would not buy a used gun . if you dont know what to look for , and how to tell if its worn out then you could end up with some thing you wished you had not bought . the mavrick 88 is a great choice , as well as the 870 . my mavrick has proven to be a very very good gun . i have shot clays with mine a few times and it dose a great job , mostly hunt with it though .
 

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First, there's nothing wrong with being new to all of this, so forget about your apprehensions. Before buying anything, I would go to a range or two and ask the advice of some of the older and more experienced shooters. 99% of them really enjoy helping out new shooters and getting them off on the right foot. They will most likely show you some different guns and lets you shoot some different action types. That way you will get a better feel for what is going to work best for you. The gun you have in mind right now might be altogether different than what you'll want a few months from now after gaining a little experience and exposure.

That said, look at some of the gun auction sites just to get a feel for what 's available in the used market and to see what the prices are. The best places to buy used guns are from individual sellers at gun clubs as long as you know your prices. With a little reading and a little observation and a little brain picking of experienced shooters, your comfort level when making your purchase will be greatly enhanced.

Welcome to a great and lifelong fraternity....and good luck.
 

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I agree with most of what was said in here. If your going to commit to an investment like a gun you should definitly buy new. The only exception is if you have an experienced trusted friend. I was in your same position about 6 years ago. I didn't know anything about guns other than what I learned shooting skeet at a range a couple times. For my first gun I bout a Remington 870 express. Since then I have put thousands of rounds through it and I have never had one problem with it. I would definitly try and stick to solid names and stay away from anything thats on sale at big 5. Since my first purchase I have bought several other remington guns including an 11-87. I have never had any problems with any of them. The best advice I can give is that since your looking at a big investment you should buy a quality gun. Since I bought that first shotgun the value of it has almost doubled, so its a good investment.
 

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lukebbb said:
"Which gun should I buy? And what gauge?" I hope to shoot skeet at the gun club with my friend and not look like a total newbie.
I would not recommend a pump for a new shotgunner for skeet. A new shooter will most likely have issues with cycling the action on a pumpgun for the doubles.
I'd recommend a 20ga autoloader. This gun will not only serve you well as a beginning skeet shooter, but can take you all the way to the top of your game with ease.
Get a new one, or buy used from a trusted source. (Get one with choke tubes.)
Then, have fun!!
 

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vividchaos said:
For my first gun I bout a Remington 870 express. Since I bought that first shotgun the value of it has almost doubled, so its a good investment.
Really? Your 870 Express is worth today, as a used gun, twice what you paid for it new? :shock:

Has the street value of that gun, new, doubled in six years....? The Express must be highly favored in your area.
 

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Like all the good advice given already. I would sat try to buy new, Stay with a good name like Remington, Mossberg, Winchester. For skeet an auto will be nice for doubles. As far as *****, i would say 12GA. I think the shells will be more readily available. And more bbs will give you a bigger pattern. Also try to get one that takes 2 3/4 and 3'' hulls. Most likely you will have this shotgun a long time.
 

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No doubt a 12ga would be more versatile (waterfowl, trap, small game, chukar, prairie chicken, pheasant, etc.), but if this is going to be a "skeet gun", then a twenty would be more than adequate.
I've never seen a place that sells 12ga ammo NOT sell 20ga ammo as well. Might not have quite the selection in 20ga that they have in 12, but they'll have ammo.

PS Pattern size is determined by choke, not by the amount of shot in the payload. Pattern density is affected by payload and choke.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
After reading and thinking about this a whole bunch I took the plunge. I went to a very nice and informative gun shop called Reed's in San Jose about 15 minutes from my house and bought the Remington 870 Express 12 gauge. My only regret is not buying it a little sooner since the 10 day waiting period will make it so I have to pick up my new gun after Christmas. This was my Christmas present and was hoping to try it out during the Holidays at my parents' 80 acres. Oh well. I am really grateful for your kindness and counsel.
Luke
 

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lukebbb said:
After reading and thinking about this a whole bunch I took the plunge. I went to a very nice and informative gun shop called Reed's in San Jose about 15 minutes from my house and bought the Remington 870 Express 12 gauge. My only regret is not buying it a little sooner since the 10 day waiting period will make it so I have to pick up my new gun after Christmas. This was my Christmas present and was hoping to try it out during the Holidays at my parents' 80 acres. Oh well. I am really grateful for your kindness and counsel.
Luke
Luke

Good for you and congratulations on your new shotgun.
I buy most everything for hunting shooting or reloading on the web but Reeds is a great place to go if you need it today.

Don't feel too bad about the "post Christmas" Christmas present. The 10 day waiting period will pass eventually.
I'm in the same boat. I went down to my FFL transfer guy today and did the paper work for my new Browning 525 Field Gd. VI that he received this afternoon. I bought it from a store in Colorado almost a week ago, but FFL's won't start the waiting period/paper work until they have the gun. I pick mine up on the 29th (it's a Saturday and I can hit the range right after picking it up). At least we'll have them before next year. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
musket36 said:
lukebbb said:
After reading and thinking about this a whole bunch I took the plunge. I went to a very nice and informative gun shop called Reed's in San Jose about 15 minutes from my house and bought the Remington 870 Express 12 gauge. My only regret is not buying it a little sooner since the 10 day waiting period will make it so I have to pick up my new gun after Christmas. This was my Christmas present and was hoping to try it out during the Holidays at my parents' 80 acres. Oh well. I am really grateful for your kindness and counsel.
Luke
Luke

Good for you and congratulations on your new shotgun.
I buy most everything for hunting shooting or reloading on the web but Reeds is a great place to go if you need it today.

Don't feel too bad about the "post Christmas" Christmas present. The 10 day waiting period will pass eventually.
I'm in the same boat. I went down to my FFL transfer guy today and did the paper work for my new Browning 525 Field Gd. VI that he received this afternoon. I bought it from a store in Colorado almost a week ago, but FFL's won't start the waiting period/paper work until they have the gun. I pick mine up on the 29th (it's a Saturday and I can hit the range right after picking it up). At least we'll have them before next year. :D
So now that I have my Remington on the way, where do I buy shotgun shells for cheap? How about clays? Any pointers on a good clay thrower that I can take out to my parents property and stake it into the ground?
 
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