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Interesting Beginner Guns

2500 Views 7 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Jeff23
We get quite a number of inquiries in the New Shotgunner column asking what would be a good first gun to buy. Usually it's for multi-purpose home defense, clays, and hunting. Inevitably we counsel the questioner to look at Remys, Mossys or (gasp!) Winchesters. Sometimes there are extra requirements, such as the user being a woman or a young man. The question of whether the new owner will stay in the shotgun sports is always in play, and I for one believe that the gun he or she buys will have an effect on long-time interest in hunting or shooting. Trying to get a gun that's specifically designed for one thing to do a different thing is usually frustrating, though often not impossible.

I thought it might be helpful to shop around and come up with used shotguns that LOOK like they would make a decent first buy and save the new shooter some major dollars.

Please note: I don't know anything more about the gun than what the ad says; contact the seller if you're interested. Also, and this is important, I'm NOT saying this is the "best buy of the week" or any such thing. Jay Gentry is already running good deals on the main page, and I urge you to look at them. I'm just offering it as an example of what I think might turn out to be an ok used deal if everything checks out. I am doing this because so many people seem to think they have to buy new. There really are some great used guns out there, if you know what to look for. As time goes on, I want to write about that and also illustrate it. Hence, this little feature.

I hope you enjoy it, but remember: caveat emptor!

A used Remy 870 that will save you some $$ off a new one:
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I agree with you that a used gun is often a good choice,but I caution against the Gunsamerica idea for a new shooter. For starters,it seems Murphy steps in and all the guns you like are from out of state sellers[tack on FFL fees to your bargain].Second,most of those guys know guns,if your getting a lower price there's probably a reason for it.That reason is often difficult to detect by looking at a couple of pictures.Third, most of those guys know guns,but some of them will play dumb when you contact them for more information.I won't go into a lot of detail now,but I recently got one that was off face severely and had a badly cracked stock,after being assured that it was "safe" and "shootable".IMO a used gun is very often the way to go,kind of like buying a slightly used car,let someone else take the initial hit for driving it off the lot.But I would suggest browsing the local gunshops,prefferably with a friend who knows guns fairly well.It's a fair bet that almost every small shop has a few decent used 870's around.While some of these guys can be less than honest,most don't want a bad reputation circulating around the local hangouts.BTW,I also buy new guns from small local shops. I pay a little more,but if I have a problem they will generally bend over backwards to help me out.The larger chains usually have the better price,but any problems and you're on your own.I still look for and buy the more unusual over the net,but I research as well as possible,and still brace myself for potential differences of opinion as to condition.
Just My THoughts,
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Jim from Trafalgar--

Agreed completely! I was mostly just using gunsamerica for a picture to link to and an example :lol: Didn't mean to suggest anyone actually buy the 870 in question. I should have been more clear about that. Now that I look at it, I see how I could have given the wrong impression. The same applies to the online auctions. Thanks for the extra context! Also, a bargain is great, but I agree that the small local dealer deserves at least a good chunk of your business.

I have been reading through the post and corresponding replys about what is the "best gun to buy" and found them interesting. Being a newbie myself, I have been looking for some one to comment on what bore size (ie. 410, 20 16, 28 or 12 ga) would be good. Does anybody have any suggestions concerning what Ga. would be best?

Thanks for listening.
Hi there brjss--

First, welcome to shotgunworld! You've come to the right place. Here you'll get friendly and competent advice as well as plain old interesting shooting conversations.

To begin answering your question, I need a bit more information. Do you have any specialized purpose in mind for your shotgun? I.e clays games (trap, skeet, sporting clays), hunting? If it's clays we have many experts on it. If it's hunting, do you just want a general-purpose gun? A goose / waterfowling piece? Turkeys? deer? Home defense? All of the above--just want to buy a solid gun and begin learning?

Post back and let us know and we will make suggestions. I hope you'll consider registering and hanging out here a bit. You can learn alot and avoid some of the mistakes the rest of us have all made :lol:

All the Best,

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New To Skeet shooting and I own a old Side By Side 12 ***** with a mod and a full fixed choke needless to say not the perfect gun to shoot skeet. I would like to get a new gun and will most likly only shoot clay with it. I like the looks of the Reminton 332 O/U but I am totally clueless of what makes a good skeet gun . One thing I would like to be able to move to sproting clays to trap is their a gun that would excell at most of these?Any Ideas for the Ideal gun would be very very welcome
I suppose a gun with moderate length barrels and interchangeable chokes would work for both.Something in the 26-28" barrel length range. However, I generally think of a sporting clays gun as very light. While in my mind a good trap gun would be a little heavier to help with follow through. Something in betweenwould do for both but might not be the best choice for either.
Hi Guest--

Jim has given you some excellent advice, and I would second it. Just a suggestion: you might consider copying and pasting your question into the Trap / Skeet/ Sporting Clays Forum (it's right above "New Shotgunners" on the index page). Rick618, who moderates that forum, usually gets around to all the boards, but all the people who have a major interest in and experience of clay shooting might see your question there sooner.

You're right about a 12 ga sxs choked full and mod not being an optimal skeet gun.

Also, welcome to; it truly is the friendliest shooting forum on the net. I hope you'll also consider registering and staying around to enjoy some of this huge conversation we are all having.

Last, I have a selfish question for ya: what kind of gun is the old 12 ga side by side?

Bust them rocks!

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