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100% Newbie

Old 01-17-2013, 07:24 PM
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Default 100% Newbie

How's it going everyone? I am extremely new to hunting. I got my hunting license over the summer and went dove hunting with a friend of mine who has always been really big into hunting and guns. I loved dove hunting. I really want to get into hunting; but honestly need help. My parents never hunted so I had no one to learn from when I was young. So, I would appreciate if you all could help me and pass down some of your knowledge.

First things first, I need to buy a shotgun. My friend highly recommends that I buy a new one and not a used one because by buying a used one I might be inheriting someone elseís problems. My question basically is what would be a shotgun for me to buy my first time? I will use it for basically small game and maybe deer. I want a 12 gauge semi-automatic. He suggested the Remington 1100 or 1187 or the Winchester X3. I would appreciate all feedback. I hope I didnít post this in the wrong section and get kicked out.
Well thank you everyone in advance.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:09 PM
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Welcome to the forum. Either one would be fine for small game or deer.
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:13 AM
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Welcome to the forum! You will find there are lots of good experiences and opinions shared on this website. Some of these folks have been around a loooong time. In fact, I could believe they were around to help Noah (think Ark) dock up his boat. From hunting style to gutting techniques to pre-hunt rituals, you can find it all here. Of course, some of us are closer to our opinions than others and, as such, in some cases causes more friction than is necessary; still all good!

Keep in mind as you navigate and use this site, the final call on any topic has to be up to you; hunting is not a proxy sport. You have to get involved! There is no education like experience. Spend that time in the field, even without a weapon. Understand your quarry, learn their habits and, above all, be safe!

Now to your questions. I have purchased new and used firearms and have only had one bad experience. But, that alone would not prevent me from considering used. Heck, in some cases there are guns out there whose owner never used them; brand new condition and cheaper. Just keep your eye sharp.

One shotgun to do it all? Hmm! They are out there, but you have to then consider replacing barrels or chokes or whatever. Thompson Center immediately comes to mind. I know times are tough for many folks, however, if you could pull it off a shotgun and a rifle it may suit your needs just a little better. Remingtons are nice, so are Mossbergs and so are others; try them all for fit. Of course, you buy one then another, then another, then get the picture. Most of us suffer from this weakness!

Just my one cent worth of opinion. Remember to post pictures!
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:40 AM
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Welcome,i not familiar with the Winchester but i have some experience with the Remington 1100. These guns can be a bit touchy when cycling rounds,especailly with lighter target loads. Regular maintaince is required with these guns after each use,IMO.

If i was to buy a semiauto shotgun i'd buy a Bennelli. Not the pretties gun out there but they standup to hard use and are easy to maintain.

Most important thing with a shotgun is fit...make sure it snaps up to your shoulder properly and the site plain is clear.My advise is to go to a good gun shop to buy this gun not a big box store.

Try this link and ask some questions there:

Last edited by jerry d; 01-18-2013 at 04:45 AM.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:39 AM
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For a multi-purpose shotgun it would be wise to look at which models have extra barrels available. Some models are easy to find, some are not.

You might want to get a rifled barrel later for deer hunting. You might want rifle type sights on a barrel, or a scope on it for deer hunting. You can always fire slugs out of a smooth bore barrel but the rifled barrels usually shoot better.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:06 AM
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welcome to the forum

i can not speak for any semi auto shotguns, but i have about 10 pump actions.

If money isn't a problem, go on and buy a nice semi. Just remember, as soon as you shoot there is another one in the chamber, so be sure to flip on that safety as soon as your done.

I can suggest a couple shotguns, ones that everyone knows and are known to best the toughest and best priced shotguns, the mossberg 500 and the remington 870.

You can find great deals on these anywhere. They usually include a rifled barrel for sabot slugs. A pump action in the hands of someone who shoots often will shoot almost as fast as a semi.

glad to see new hunters on the forum.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:15 AM
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1) Fit and comfort, including under recoil, is critical, ESPECIALLY FOR BEGINNERS. No matter how much you like a certain shotgun's specifications or reputation, if it doesn't fit you, handle well for you, or feel good for you under recoil, it is NOT good for you. Note the operative word for all of those statements are "FOR YOU". This is even more important for new shooters. Experienced shooters are more able to adapt to "less than ideal" weapons much better than new shooters.

2) You're considering $700-1000 shotguns as a newbie. Maybe money isn't a factor for you, but it is a big investment for a new guy. The worst thing that can happen: You buy a $950 Win SX3 today for $1100 (overspend a little because you but it at the wrong shop), then realize 6mos from now you're just not getting along with it and should have bought the SX3, resell the SX3 for $750, and end up buying a Rem 1100 for $1000. So now you've wasted 6mos and $350. I'm NEVER one to say a newbie should buy entry level stuff, but you dang sure better try these out before you spend $1000 on a shotgun that you might not know is right for you or not.

3) You don't have a well defined use/purpose for the shotgun. The 12ga in and of itself is very versatile, but purpose built shotguns can be incredibly specialized. For most general purpose wing shooting, the only difference between one specialty and other will be barrel length and choke (geese vs dove). Barrel length is non-critical for a "general hunter", and chokes are removable/replaceable. BUT, if you're throwing in turkey, deer, coyotes, etc, you're kinda changing the game. What makes a good 12ga deer slugger are NOT the same things that make a good 12ga goose gun. A master of ONE THING isn't usually even "good" at everything else, and as they say, "a master of all is a master of none". A 26" 12ga with removable chokes can hunt anything on the planet, but it doesn't necessarily make "the ideal shotgun" for anything more than upland game. By nature, you are very likely going to use the shotgun A LOT for one thing, and use it a LITTLE for a lot of other things. You should pick a model that is close to ideal for that ONE thing, but capable of the others. Just something to consider...

4) Semiautomatics are finicky. The 3 you have listed aren't particularly bad at handling diverse loads, but in my personal experience, the Benelli's and Beretta's do better. Ultimately, no semiauto shotgun exists that can readily swap between 2 3/4" light dove loads up to 3.5" mag turkey loads from one shot to the next. If the shotgun is properly tuned for the heavy stuff, it may not properly cycle light loads. If it's properly tuned for the light loads, it might recoil considerably more than it should with heavy loads, and it will likely wear out the action much more quickly than it should. Ultimately, I prefer to have my shotguns tuned either specifically for the task I'll be using it for, or somewhere in the middle, where I can always play. Sure, maybe 3" shells are too much for blue-rock or dove, but my gun will cycle them. Sure, maybe I'd do better with 3.5" rounds on long range turkeys or geese, but they might beat up my action (and my shoulder). So I'll just stick with mid-range 3" loads across the board.

5) When you're buying a "do-all shotgun", modularity and aftermarket options availability are worth a lot. Before I bought more shotguns to specialize each of them individually, I had 3 barrels, 2 stocks, and 3 sets of sights for my Benelli Supernova (pump action, not a semiauto). I could customize the shotgun to be the IDEAL set up (ideal for me at least) for deer (20" rifled slug barrel, pistol grip stock, 2-7x scope), turkeys and coyotes (18.5" smooth barrel, pistol grip stock, red-dot sight), and wing shooting (26" smooth barrel, straight stock, vent rib and bead). I could change out in a matter of hours-including re-sighting. Sure, I had about $1200 into one shotgun, but it WAS cheaper than having 3 different shotguns from $500 to $700 each (optics price difference).

So ultimately, the decision is up to you. You need to get out and try some of these different shotguns at a range and see which feels best for you, and which you shoot the best. Then decide a little better what you might use the shotgun the most for, decide what ELSE you might occasionally use it for, and select your specific model accordingly.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:00 PM
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Now about your questions in the world of semiauto shotguns like said befor Bennelli is king, BUT as a new guy I dont know if youve ever tried to disassembal a Bennelli for maintnece but I can tell you its no easy task and many New people have issues with them for that reason. Spending 700-1000 dollers for a new shotgun, isnt the direction I would be advising. You dont need to invest that deep to kill, and as a new hunter times are not cheep I see that choice only limiting your ability to customize. Buying the top of the line gun dosnt make you a better shooter, with skill and practice a great shooter with a Remington 870 will out preform a average shooter with 1000's of dollers invested in a gun that outshoots them. Plus with all the money you save you can buy all the chokes and barrels and still have some money in your pocket. Now that you have extra mula to spend join the NRA and your local conservation organizations get out meet people and get hunting!

Good Luck
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:15 PM
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If you're not looking to spend a ton of money on a semi-auto, my Weatherby SA-08 has been a great performer for me. Some people will say otherwise, but after the initial cleaning and a quick shot of oil, it has been flawless.

They generally go for under 500 dollars new.

Also, there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying a used gun. Check around at pawn shops too... sometimes people just get hard up for money and dump a like new gun for some quick cash. Just make sure you dicker with the guy behind the counter, don't pay the sticker price.

Last edited by Psylocide; 01-18-2013 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:50 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Being fairly new to the game, I would not spend a lot on my first shotgun, I would get a "beater". You can usually get a good used Savage pump for under $200. It will kill anything that the $1,000 gun will and that leaves money for a decent rifle. If you plan to go duck hunting, then get a newer shotgun that will shoot steel shot without ruining the barrel. I think a pump will serve you well until you get used to firearms. Starting with an automatic is like starting to drive with a Corvette, too much to learn at one time. If you can find a good Remington 870 for a reasonable price they are about as good as you can get in a pump. I was raised poor and I do not like to take an expensive gun to the woods, I am afraid that I will scratch it. My nice shotgun stays in the rack and I hunt with a Savage 67H, it cost me $150 in great shape. Hunting does not have to be an expensive sport, it is more about the hunt. I would get a 12 gauge, if it kicks too much, put a Limbsaver on it and all will be well.
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