Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Firearms Advice For Beginners

Choosing a shotgun?

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InquiringMind:
Once again, thanks for all the good info. Figured I'd write a brief follow-up.

Based on what I read on this forum, elsewhere online, and input from friends, I decided to consider only 12ga. It seems to offer the most versatility, and you can use lighter loads if recoil is a problem. I didn't hear anything actually bad about either the Mossberg 500 or the Remington 870, so I figured it would be a matter of personal preference at that point. So yesterday we went to Cabela's to check them out. That place was hoppin' and their inventory was a bit low, so they didn't have any plain Jane varieties of either. Instead, we got to handle the Mossberg 535 ATS Field/Deer Combo and the Remington 870 Express Super Magnum with laminate stock. Both felt good. There's nothing quite as satisfying as the sound and feel of pumping a shotgun. My fiancé made an indecent joke about that, and maybe there's a grain a truth to it. Don't know, but thought you might get a kick out of it, too.

At any rate, we both preferred the Mossberg for a few reasons. As many have pointed out, the placement of the release and the safety are in much more ergonomic locations. You don't even need to change your hand position to use those controls. Also, the solid hardwood stock had better fit, finish, and feel than the Remington's laminate. Whether or not it will matter much in use, my fiancé prefer's the two-bead sight on the Mossberg compared to the 1-bead on the Remington. And I know this goes against my initial set of 'requirements', but one of the deal breakers was the deer/field combo. The Mossberg 535 accepts up to 3 1/2" shells and it comes with two barrels: a smooth bore for shot and a rifled bore for slugs. And with all the deals and coupons I lined up, it came in at under $350 new. At a price like that, the 'versatility' requirement wins out.

Once I get it out to the range a few times I'll close the loop to let you know how it works out.

Carl:
Just remember...you don't wait till you are face to face with the 'bump in the night' to jack the slide and load the shotgun,the only ones who do that and live are because of bad scripting and worse acting.

DrJohn:
Also understand that a pump gun is not the best for sporting clays...  Better a semi or over under.

SwitchThrottle:
Go to a store where they dont freak when you shoulder one.  Look down the barrel.  Line up the beads on a target (spot on the wall or something not a person).  Thats your sight picture.  Now, lower it. Close your eyes. Shoulder it with your eyes closed.  Now open your eyes.  Without moving your head, are the beads lined up and on target?  If you have to move your head to get the sight picture, repeat with a different shotgun.  When you find one that shoulders naturally and you like the balance and controls, thats your gun.

For me it was the Benelli and Mossbergs, with the Mossberg winning out in the controls aspect.  My 835 does everything I could ever want.  7.5lbs with the LPA trigger and 24" ported barrel. 

If you are recoil shy, and want a 12ga, get a ported barrel, and get a limbsaver pad.  For a little more reduction, load a bunch of shot into the buttstock.

InquiringMind:

--- Quote from: Carl on September 01, 2014, 02:53:32 PM ---Just remember...you don't wait till you are face to face with the 'bump in the night' to jack the slide and load the shotgun,the only ones who do that and live are because of bad scripting and worse acting.

--- End quote ---

Don't worry, Carl, I've got a 9mm, pepper spray, and a SureFire for that.



--- Quote from: DrJohn on September 01, 2014, 03:11:55 PM ---Also understand that a pump gun is not the best for sporting clays...  Better a semi or over under.

--- End quote ---

Since I'm looking for a 'Jack of all trades' shotgun, it seemed a pump would have the broadest use. If I get really into sporting clays, that may warrant another purchase in the future.



--- Quote from: SwitchThrottle on September 01, 2014, 04:07:00 PM ---Go to a store where they dont freak when you shoulder one.  Look down the barrel.  Line up the beads on a target (spot on the wall or something not a person).  Thats your sight picture.  Now, lower it. Close your eyes. Shoulder it with your eyes closed.  Now open your eyes.  Without moving your head, are the beads lined up and on target?  If you have to move your head to get the sight picture, repeat with a different shotgun.  When you find one that shoulders naturally and you like the balance and controls, thats your gun.
--- End quote ---

We didn't do exactly that, but we both found the Mossberg to be a very natural fit. I'm excited to get out there and shoot!

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