Guns Like firearms themselves, there's a wide variety of opinions on what's the best gun.


Old 01-06-2003, 07:04 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: BAstrop tx USA
Posts: 38
Default Shotgun

I started hunting this year and am interested in starting to bird hunt (dove, quail, ducks, geese, turkeys).

I have an old hand-me-down shotgun and would like to get a nice semi-auto. I do not have a lot of experience and would like any wisdom you care to share.

I work hard and can afford a pretty nice one (say a benelli) if the difference is worth the price, but if its not, I would rather buy a more reasonably priced gun (say an 11-87) and the spend the rest of the money on other things.

Also, for simplicity, I would prefer to have one gun that will work for the widest array of prey.

I am bigger than average so weight and recoil aren't as big a deal as maybe with someone smaller.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-06-2003, 09:15 PM
Giant Nontypical
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Location: PA
Posts: 9,085
Default RE: Shotgun

if you want the best of the best the benelli super black eagle(think thats the 3 1/2 incher...) is hard to beat..but than again i used my mossberg 500 my dad got me used for everything but quail u mentions plus pheasants..chuckars...squirrells..grouse..rabbits and probally more...sure i can only throw a 3 inch mag but ive never needed more...sure with the 3 1/2 incher yo ucan reach out a little farther but to me turkey hunting(where the extra range and 3 1/2 inchers are used most) i want the bird close as possible just for the thrill...theres nothin fun about poking one 65yds get him at 12 steps gobbling and strutting around then you get a good show...but thats me...i havent hear much on the 11-87s so i cant say..i know a bunch of guys the shoot SBEs and love them...ive shot a few and i like them..they shoot good and i hunted with a guy the took his out for a few diffrent game in some diffrent weather conditions and it always functioned...nice light guns...but they come with a nice price tag....its all on what you want..the guys i know shoot 1000s of rounds a year and a cheap gun just wont hold up..i mean ive shoot a few 1000 rds out of the 500 but i guess thats all luck? everyone tells me what junk they are when im hunting beside them and the miss and i have to back them up and bag the its all on what you want/need...theres alot of nice shotguns out go to the biggest gunshop around and ask him what he recomends and play with a few and see what you get a 3 1/2 inch mag with changable chokes your det for anything youd want...even big game....but you might not need a 3 1/2 incher..i duno much about goose and duck hunting maybe you need them..i always carry 3s and do ok...

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Old 01-06-2003, 10:31 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 33
Default RE: Shotgun

If price is no object and you want something your buddies will druel over, I can't argue with the Super Black Eagle from Benelli. My own personal choice would be the 11-87. Although I'm always trying to talk myself into a Browning, the Remington's just seem to shoulder better for me. If the Browning Gold Hunter fits you, its not a shabby choice to say the least. The Beretta 391 Urika is also a very nice shotgun--lighter and more slender than your typical semi-auto.

Handle each of these and then decide. As long as one of these guns fits you and feels good to shoulder and swing, I think you'll come up a winner.

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Old 01-06-2003, 11:31 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Gleason, TN
Posts: 1,327
Default RE: Shotgun

I use a mossberg 500 3" and have killed all kinds of birds, rabbits, and deer with it.

But for you, a remington 3 1/2" semi would probably feel better in your hand. It'll handle about anything. They are awsome bird guns.

"Hey ya'll, watch this"
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Old 01-06-2003, 11:50 PM
Boone & Crockett
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Posts: 10,679
Default RE: Shotgun

I have a 500 and a Win. 1300. They both function perfectly. The Win. has a rotating three lug bolt that securly locks the bolt in place. Just wondering though, why would anyone need a 3.5" shotgun shell. If my memory serves me correctly, they actually don't have any better range than the other two, just a heavier payload at about the same velocity. I could be wrong though.
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Old 01-07-2003, 01:46 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Oakland OR USA
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Default RE: Shotgun

BigBulls they aren't any faster ,but like you say have a bigger payload which will give them a tighter pattern . thus you could gain some range in theory if not in fact .You can handload 2 3/4 " shells that are faster than any 3 1/2" you can buy ,but a lot less shot so you don't increase your range that much .
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Old 01-07-2003, 01:21 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: OKC Ok. USA
Posts: 501
Default RE: Shotgun

ok ,bowtex ,now that everyone has touted "their " particular shotgun ,let get down to the nitty gritty.
In order to enjoy what ever shotgun you chose it must fit and feel good in your hands. This is the most important thing to consider when looking. You said the Benelli is within your price range so as that being the top end look at every other model then decide. Benelli and Beretta are probably the top two auto out there at the moment. The Beretta's have a nice feature as one is able to change cast and drop some on them with a shim that come with it. There's nothing wrong with Browning,Franchi or Remington (although the Remington might need a bit of tweeking before it is reliable) So again get what fits and feels good to you, that's more important than price.
Now as for as chambering , if you want to get a shotgun chambered in 3 1/2 go for it. I'd imagine guns built to handle a 3 1/2 has to be a bit stronger than a 3 or 2 3/4 chamber. That's only a guess and a gut feeling, but beyond that if you go with a 3 1/2 chamber shoot 2 3/4 or 3 inch thru it if you feel the need for the 3 inch. The money saved on ammo would be better spent on istruction and time shooting clay birds. IMHO 12ga. 3 1/2" is right up there with porting. Both are unnessasary and an added exspense. You'll hear the tales of 50 + yard shots etc , but believe me people that can consistently bring down the bird they are shooting at with one or two shots are few and far between. Besides even in an auto a 3 1/2 is by no means a pleasure to shot. I'd rather sit at the shooting bench with my 375 H&H than a 3 1/2.
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