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Please help, total newb here (which gun, etc)

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Please help, total newb here (which gun, etc)

Old 09-23-2012, 07:01 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2
Default Please help, total newb here (which gun, etc)

Hey guys, great to see such a forum exists! My step-father was a big hunter but unfortunately before I got a chance to learn the ropes he passed away.

I don't really have anyone to be a mentor, but do have a friend who says he might go hunting with me sometime who has some experience.

I've run across some major questions when it comes to what equipment to get and so on. Let me begin by saying I have absolutely nothing, I'll have to get anything and everything I'll need to begin hunting.

I'm looking to begin hunting with bird/turkey/waterfowl/etc. Once I get comfortable with that, I'd like to eventually go on to bigger game such as hogs and deer. I also am on a shoestring budget (who isn't these days).

My first question is which gun do you think I should get first? I've been considering different guns for different reasons, and don't want to be unrealistic, I know eventually I'll probably need more than one gun.

What I'd like to do though is begin with the most versatile gun possible. This would keep me from feeling restricted in the type of game I go for by the gun. That would also help me get a feel for what type of game I enjoy hunting most and possibly then get a gun more specific to that.

I'd also prefer to get a gun I could possibly use as home defense as well, but that is not a major priority. The home defense thing is just a "just in case" kind of thing, what I'm really getting the gun for is hunting.

So far here's my thoughts:

Shotgun is very attractive for its price point and versatility. I've been particularly interested in getting this Mossberg 500 combo:

My idea was to get this combo then use the smooth bore home defense barrel for both home defense and firing slugs. I wanted to get a scope, then have a pretty good effective range since barrel length does not effect range according to what I've read (again, I'm totally new so I could be way wrong!)

When I spoke with my buddy about this, he said that if I got a shotgun, I wouldn't want to shoot a deer with a slug because it'd cause too much damage and possibly effect how much meat I can get from it. He also mentioned that people are particular about their rifles because there are a lot of things that can wrong, whereas with a shotgun I'd have a better chance of having someone allow me to borrow their shotgun so he thought I might do better getting a rifle.

We looked at a gun like this at Academy:

It seemed pretty decent. I don't really care about how fancy or whatever so long as it's going to be dependable and will survive through my inevitable newb mistakes I'll be making. I was just concerned, because I know for sure I could not use this gun for bird hunting, and it would really restrict its usefulness and in effect restrict me. I realize he said I might be able to get people to let me borrow their shotguns but honestly I just don't think it'll be as easy as he thinks. Also, I'd like to do a lot of practice at the range etc and I know it'd really be a hassle to get a gun to borrow each time.

Another point to make is the price. If I weren't getting a combo shotgun, I could get the mossberg maverick 88 for way cheaper than either of the guns listed, so I do consider the shotgun route the cheaper of the two though the particular one linked is listed at a higher price (if I get a rifle, I'll likely end up getting a secondary pistol or something for home defense making it the more expensive option).

Any recommendations or ideas? Perhaps there's a gun I haven't even listed (or even a bow! lol) that you would recommend. Please do let me know your opinions, I really appreciate it
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:12 AM
Typical Buck
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Location: North Central Illinois
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If I were to have only one gun, it would be a 12 guage shotgun -- by far the most versatile gun you can own. You can hunt everything from dove and squirrel with light birdshot up to deer (and probably beyond) with a slug. I wouldn't worry that much about meat damage. People have been hunting deer with slugs for decades (I live in Illinois, we can only use slug guns). Just practice, know your effective range, and only take shots that you are reasonably sure will not hit the rear quarters (a good idea with any gun, by the way). They are also ideal for waterfowl, pheasants, and turkeys. On the Mossberg, I might skip the home defense barrel, buy one with a 26 inch barrel instead of a 28 (kind of a compromise since this is an all-purpose gun), and save the money for a rifled barrel for sabot slugs if you plan on doing a lot of deer hunting (much better performance) or for a rifle of some sort -- depending on what you are interested in.
Good Luck.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:28 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Winnemucca NV
Posts: 58

That mossberg 500 is a decent gun especialy in a combo pack like that - you have the right idea when it comes to shooting slugs with the Smoothe barrel.

Ya may also check out a Remington 870 - Best Pump action shot gun IMO you can get for the price im sure many will agree.

If you want to go even less on a shotgun to budget in a rifle as well check out a Mossberg Model 88 nearly identical (from what i can tell) to the 500 but more inexpensive.

My buddy aslo just started hunting this year as birds are coming up first he went out and bought a Pardner pump shotgun from walmart 205 out the door (heavy gun but decent to start) a 15 dollar bird vest and a cleaning kit from winchestor for 10 bucks...

We are going grouse hunting tomorrow :P thats all it took to get him in the filed for birds. (Aside from ammo).

Good luck and welcome to the Life.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:26 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Hey guys, I couldn't thank you enough for your responses!

I'm sorry it took so long to respond, I was checking for responses and after a couple of days forgot about my post. Glad I checked back.

At any rate, I had considered the Mossberg 88 option. From the research I've done it seems the Mossberg 88 is identical, but the parts are crafted out of different materials in some cases and made in Mexico (I could be wrong, I'm no expert).

The issue I had with that option would be the price after getting the barrel. In my searching, it looked like a barrel costs almost as much as a Mossberg 88. This would mean the combo would cost less than buying a barrel and a Mossberg 88 with another barrel. Then I'd also have the lesser model, but honestly that doesn't bother me much just a thought.

Is a rifled slug barrel important to get? What are the advantages of using a rifled slug barrel verses just firing a slug out of a smooth bore barrel? From what I understand, sabot rounds can only be fired from a rifled barrel, is that right?

Thanks again!
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:28 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 111

I own the Mossberg Maverick 88. I have had it for 6 years now and for $169.00 you can't beat it. On a bench rest, using Rifled slugs I can hit within a 24" circle at 100 yards with NO scope.
Make no mistake. I use my 270 Cal Rifle for hunting Deer. But my Shotgun is what Iwould use if I didn't have my 270. On a shoestring budget, I would go to Walmart and buy the 88. I have never had a problem with mine and have about 300 rounds through it. I also use to to shoot Clays for fun. It come with two choke tubes.

Yes. Your right. A sabot slug can only be used in a rifled barrel. The 88 has a smooth bore barrel and uses Rifled Slugs. The slugs have rifleing on them thus making them spin throug the barrel making them more accurate. The rifled barrel would make your shots a little more accurate compared to the smooth bore tipical shotgun
Over all I like my Rifle better than my shotgun but I don't bird hunt.

Last edited by daleintampa; 10-04-2012 at 02:41 AM.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:10 PM
Typical Buck
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Location: North Central Illinois
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The primary advantages of sabots and rifled barrels are accuracy and range. In my opinion, the differences are significant.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:48 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 5

You can pick up a very nice rifle with a lot of history. The Mosin Nagant. The M91/30 is a great piece. Shoots the 7.62 x 54 (available as surplus rounds). The iron sights (may read archins(russian yards) or yards) but equals about 1.4miles. LOL. Most need drilled and tapped to add a sight rail though.

The Mosin Nagant can be found at most sporting good stores from $80 to $200. The main differences will be the barrel type and the round size. The octagon barrel is best but doesn't really matter.

The rounds are 20 for 8bucks.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:28 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,926
Default Everybody is a newbie at something

Even someone older and experienced. I get what I can use, and take care of it so it lasts. There may be better things on the market, but if they work they serve the purpose.

I buy what I need, can use, and can afford at the time. And it's amazing things less expensive, turned out good enough.

At present I'm set on rifles. But since I haven't gotten one in a few years, it's still a "newbie" experience for me looking for a possible replacement, if needed.

Years ago there was no You Tube. Found myself looking at a particular item I never used, and got an idea how it works. Even an oldster can use newbie things.
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:32 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 5,130

Pumpgun ~ 870 or 500, varied ammo & chokes for the game you want to hunt.

Also a "good" pair of waterproof boots.................you are ready to hunt
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:28 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Rockingham NC
Posts: 203

As already mentioned, 12 guage shotgun would be your best bet in my opinion. That was my first gun and I've hunted squirrel, dove ,rabbit,and deer. Just use the right ammo and know that your the limits. Now if you are going to hunt deer in fields and want to shoot futher distances, then you will have to get a rifle. And know where the vitals are on a deer. Myself, I only shoot at deer that are 40 to 50 yards max.
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