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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,
I am new here. Thought I would join and maybe learn some new stuff. I am interested in buying a shotgun. I am 16, and have always loved the outdoors. This will be my first "real" gun, (I have Air guns and Paintball guns). My dad is not a big hunter, which is why I have not got into this until now. I plan to use the gun for a variety of things, so I would like a very versitile gun. I plan on shooting trap on up to white tail. So here is my problem. I do not have the money to go off and buy a $500 gun. My dad suggested a used gun. I will have to look around and get some prices. But since I want this gun for many things, what would be the best choice? I am leaning towards a 20 gauge since I have read that they would be best for a beginner. But there are millions of choices. So I thought I would get some of your opinions on which gun would be best. As I said before, I would like a versitle 20 gauge. Have any ideas?
Thanks!
Chris D.
 

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Hi!

Let me be first to wecome you here! A great place to learn about all things shotgun!

Well, it's my opinion that the shotgun action best suited to what you want to do is probably a pump. They tend to be very rugged, reliable, and can be inexpensive. Plus, they can be found for sale in any gunshop. In your price range, under $500, you can get any number of good brand pumps by Remington, Mossberg , Winchester, Benelli, or a fair number of other brands that will serve as well. These can be had used very cheaply, or still under that $500 mark new. If you elect to buy used, please take someone with you who has a good knowladge of shotguns. That way you can protect yourself from buying someone else's lemon.

A 20ga is a good choice for a first gun. It will do most anything you will need it to do. From rabbits to upland birds to ducks over decoys to deer. The only time it might be not enough would be hunting geese unless they are very, very close.

In the end though, buy the type of shotgun YOU like. If you do, you will always shoot it better!!

Dale
 

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I say get a 12 gauge 870 pump.

Great gun and you can use reduced recoil loads. Plus I think a lot of 20 gauges kick a lot more than the 12s. The 12 gauge remington 870 has the most after market parts for it also.
 

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I completely agree with Clayshooter, the 870 Express is a fine gun and easy to customize if you want. You can find a used one for about $150 and then do a bunch with it. I'd also look at 12 gauge in 26" barrel. 12 gauge cause it's easy to find ammo and accessories for and 26" barrel to lighten the gun a little. If you want low recoil in 12 gauge just buy 1oz loads. I've got a lot of shotguns but still get out my old 870 a bunch every season just cause it's a great gun and fun to shoot.

Welcome to the board and hope to see you around for a long time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to everyone who replied. I will have to check out the 870's. I have read a lot of good things about them. I have looked around and found that they run around $332.00 for a new one. Does that sound about right? As for buying a used one, I do not really know to many people who know a lot about guns. I do not want to get suckered into buying a piece of crap. What are some things to look for?
Thanks Again,
Chris D.
 

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I thought it would be closer to $250 for a new in box 12 gauge express. You can buy lightly used online at Gunbroker for $150.

I bet Jay (Shotgunworld) knows where you can get an 870 for Express Magnum pretty cheap.
 

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Hi Chris--

Welcome to Shotgunworld :) You're getting some great advice from everyone here. In Connecticut, where everything is extra-expensive, a new 870 express 12 ga, 3" magnum can be had for about $290 plus tax by going to Wally-Mart. I hasten to add that I've bought my 870's from local guys anyway, just to support the small dealer--this is something you might want to think about, even at this stage. The choice is all yours, of course. JLP is right; you can find a good used 870 for under $200 even here. Same on Gunbroker.com or Gunsamerica.

My own experience is that, if you go to a dealer who has been in business at the same location for a good amount of time, especially if you are buying a used gun as common and inherently dependable as the 870, you can usually trust that dealer to be honest with you. Some will, of course, charge a bit more for that honesty :) So you could comparison shop around a bit by trying to visit two or three used dealers. You don't mention whether you are already shooting clays, but if so and you're in a club ask one of the more experienced people to go with you.

A few easy, obvious things to look for in a used gun: 1) exterior condition--if the gun is beaten-up looking outside, it may still be great inside, but in your situation, I'd look for a reasonably ok exterior. Keep in mind that 870 express models do have a wood finish that dings fairly easily. The metal should look ok too--no rust pitting 2) Ask the dealer to show you how to take the gun down (remove the barrel) and look down the bore. It should be reasonably clean and shiny. Again, no dings or rust pitting, given what you are doing. Also look into the action--the parts should be clean and lightly oiled. 3) put the gun back together and cycle the action. The pump and action should work fairly smoothly. If the 870 in question was very little used, it may have a tight action until you shoot it a bit. 4) throw the gun up to your shoulder (pointed in a safe direction) and see how it feels. Shotgun fit is important--down the road it will become more important--but for now you ought to feel reasonably comfortable when you bring the shotgun up.

Be sure to take a gun safety course. We all need them! Safety first 8)

Come back and let us know how it goes. As Dalee said, there are other good entry-level pumps out there. My own experience is mainly with 870's--I've owned several and had very little trouble with any of them.

Best,

Jeff23
 

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Hello, Chris!

My son and I just started hunting last year. A local gunsmith recommended Remington 870s to start us out. They run around $250 here in TN. It's a very versatile gun and you could even get a combo with a slug barrel (for deer) for less than $500, I believe. We've used the guns on deer (regular barrel shooting rifled slugs) and snow geese so far as well as some hand thrown clays.

I think you'd be OK with either an 870 or a Mossy 500. There are probably other good "starter" guns. Spend a little time browsing the message boards on this site and you'll find all the information you should need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, thanks to everyone. I will go out this weekend and see what I can find. Just want to compliment on the forum. Answers seem to come quickly and very informative people here! I know thats not always easy to accomplish in a forum.
Thanks Again,
Chris D. :D
 
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I am no shotgun guru, but I was raised that a single shot, weather it be a rifle or a shotgun is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. It teaches you to make one shot count. Many beginners (especially .22 rifle shooters) go off like Rambo thinking they are going to hit SOMETHING if they launch enough lead at it. I would rather shoot once and have a clean kill. Just a thought, but best of luck whatever you decide......btw a single shot will leave you more money for shells and gas for hunting than running out to buy a pump or autoloader
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sorry its been a while since a have been on here. I have been really busy with school. I am still looking for a gun although not in a big rush. My friend is letting me borrow his Remy 870 (12g) for deer season.
Jim, I am still looking so if you could hook me up that would be AWSOME! I live in Greenwood, so not too far from you. If you would like to email me, it's [email protected] (dont ask its, my moms...haha)
Thanks,
Chris D.
 

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I have been reading on this forum for a while and see quite often that a lot of people who are beginners like myself seem to think that a 20 gauge is the best thing for beginners. I just want to know why. I also see most of the moderators saying to just go for the 12.
 

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Alastair--

My reason for suggesting that most beginners start with a 12 is that with light loads they don't kick hard (they often weigh about a pound more than a 20). More lead in the shell=a more forgiving load as far as clean kills go. Also, they're more versatile as far as loads, extra barrels, add-on accessories, etc. Ammo is cheap too and easy to find no matter where you are. If I could own only one gun, it would be a 12ga shotgun. You can step up the load and tighten the choke for turkeys and geese or step down the loading and open the choke for quail and grouse. With a rifled barrel, a scope, and sabots, you can take deer-sized game out beyond 100 yards. Add-on tactical barrels are cheap and effective for home defense. Most people can handle a 12, unless they are very elderly, frail, disabled, or extremely young. Of course, most people can handle a 20, too, but the 12 is just more applicable in more situations.

I started on a single-shot .410. It was a terrible choice, but in those days we all started with them. I still have my .410 and like it for sentimental reasons--I use it to kill woodchucks in my garden and sometimes for squirrels. Single-shots tend to be light and thus hard-kicking, so I like a pump for a beginner (you can always load one shell at a time) or a gas-operated autoloader.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So you think I would be better off just getting a 12g? Well that makes things easier, there are a lot more nice used 12g then there are 20's.
Chris
 
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