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Hello hunters! Total newbie here!

Old 11-16-2011, 12:00 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 4
Default So I've narrowed down my shotgun choices...

... I was first looking at Rossi USA matched pairs and sets, and spent some time looking for recommendations and reviews of long guns for deer hunting.

I then narrowed it down to this choice, from Mossberg. I've read repeatedly from hunters that Mossberg makes outstanding long guns.

I like this product because:

1. it's pump, not break nor open action... easier
2. it's a combo as well... two barrels, one gun
3. it's at a decent price for a brand-new weapon ($343 from an online vendor I've used before); quality firearms last a LIFETIME if properly cared for and I'm good at taking care of my guns
4. it's from Mossberg... a solid manufacturer
5. it's a rifled shotgun barrel, which would improve my accuracy and especially so since I'm new to hunting.

Capacity: 4+1, 43.5" long fully rifled and 47.5" long vent rib. Weight: 7.5lbs.
Drop: 1.5" @comb & 2.125" @ heel. Finish: blue.

Anyone have this gun? Anyone use it or anything similar from Mossberg or other manufacturers? Buy or skip?

EDIT: would this weapon also be a good choice if I wanted to use it for home defense or is this strictly/mostly for hunting?

Last edited by Shotgunny; 11-16-2011 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:09 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 608

Welcome to the forum. Here are some things to consider.

How does the Mossberg fit your natural point of aim? Don't be in a hurry to buy a gun now. First, you need to practice, practice and practice so I would say the season for this year is out - practice for next season. Have you found a place to hunt? What types of firearms are allowed in the areas you plan on hunting (regulations may vary according to areas within a county or township in some states). There may be some good used guns for sale from private individuals before taxes are do in April. There may also be some good firearm deals during the Black Friday shopping after Thanksgiving.

If you do not have any long guns, I suggest getting a rifle in .22 Long Rifle (Long Rifle and not Magnum) so you can practice, practice, practice and work on your form. The ammo for .22LR is by far the least expensive cartridge you can buy at this time. Never dryfire a firearm for a rimfire cartridge. You can dryfire some centerfire firearms without causing damage to the firearm. If you dryfire, make sure their is no ammo in the area, chamber, and magazine(s); nobody will walk in front of you; and the muzzle is pointed at on object that has potential to stop the projectile if there is a ND. If you set the firearm down, check it again to make sure there is absolutely no ammo when you pick it back up. Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.

Mossberg makes some decent shotguns. Does your area allow the use of slugs in shotguns? The rifled barrel of a shotgun is made for shooting slugs. If you are planning on using a scope or any type of optics with a rifled barrel, I suggest getting one with a cantilever scope/optics rail attached the rifled slug barrel. Yes, many Mossbergs are tapped for scope bases on the receiver, but having the cantilever mount on the barrel has the potential for more accuracy - if you remove the rifled barrel there may be some change to the POI (point of impact). You mentioned the 4+1 capacity. Check to make sure your area does not limit shotguns to 2+1. If there is a 2+1 limit, the magazine plug will need to be used. A new shotgun should come with this plug. I believe they may already be installed on Mossberg shotguns - easy to install and remove. Do NOT throw it away.

If you get a shotgun, check the requirements by the state regarding gauge, barrel length, slug size and slug weight (if slugs are allowed). Some areas may require buckshot. If they allow 20 ga. and 12 ga. you will need to decide between the two. What are the prices and availability of the type of shotgun ammo in your area?

Personally, I like deer hunting much more with a rifle. I do NOT suggest you get a flat shooting deer rifle - especially since you are a new shooter. I like the idea of shotguns with slugs (where allowed) or a cartridge like .44 Mag, .45 Colt or 30-30 for new shooters. They all can be dangerous for long distances, but a higher speed, flatter shooting cartridge can be dangerous for even a longer distance.

You can make hunting an expensive hobby, but it does not have to be expensive. Other than the blaze orange clothing requirements, you do not NEED to have anything special for hunting. Look for clothing specials after deer season is over. I can usually buy hunting clothing cheaper than regular clothing when the hunting clothes are on clearance - Long sleeve camo shirts for $5 to $10, camo jackets for $25. One piece insulated camo coveralls for $40. Look for good winter boots on clearance for hunting near the end of winter.
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:32 AM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: North Central Illinois
Posts: 848

Lots of good advice given here already, I'd add 2 things.
1) On the Mossberg you're looking at, does the rifled barrel have a cantilevered set up so that the scope attached to the barrel rather than the receiver? If it doesn't, you have to attach to the receiver which is an awkward set up -- hard to switch back and forth between barrels, and maybe some accuracy issues.
2) Optional equipment, though good to have: Best $10 I ever spent was a "Butt-Out" tool from Hunter's Specialties. Makes the hardest part of gutting a deer very easy.
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:45 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Watha,NC
Posts: 91

Mossberg makes a great shotgun for the money, I personally have a 535 it's my all around gun. Ive killed deer,duck,quail, coyotes. Just remember with the rifled barrel, you will get the best accuracy from the sabot type slugs, you can use the rifled slugs (aka Pumpkin Ball) but this will lead to lead fouling. One thing I have found to be very important, is when choosing a scope, you can have the best shooting weapon but with poor quality optics it's useless. Most scopes are somewhat equal in broad daylight, its at that "prime" time (dawn,dusk) that a quality scope will shine, nothing worse than when a big deer walks out the last 15 min. of legal shooting hours and you can't find it in the scope(been there). The cantilevered scope mount is good if you're going to be swapping barrels out. More advice try several different brands/loads of ammo especially in shotguns they will all shoot different. 12ga is a great home defense weapon especially a pump just cycling the action if enough to deter most thieves, just beware of over penetration of larger shot like 00/000 buckshot, the ammo companies have developed HD loads for the 12ga to reduce this risk. Good Luck and welcome to this addiction called hunting.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:50 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 4

Fishtaconc, Murdy, and Country1, and all others:

Thank you all very much for this valuable information. After reading your solid posts and thinking it over further, I have decided to follow Country1’s advice to start hunting next season. I have made a note to check out sporting good stores as well as online vendors for clearance sales for equipment, namely hunting clothing. My state, New Jersey, gets extremely cold in the winter, and I don’t think I will want to be outside in January and February to hunt even with proper gear. I can withstand snowy days, but here we get sub-zero temperature days on end.

I’ve also made notes on the cantilever scope/optics rail attached the rifled slug barrel and the scope. I am still leaning towards that Mossberg shotgun I showed you guys – but with holiday expenses upon me, I am probably better off buying this weapon later on.

Once again, thank you. I will still take my hunting education course and get a license for my state, which can be renewed annually. At the very least, I will have the basic knowledge for safe hunting and state authorization to go hunting come the fall of 2012. By then, I will have a weapon and the gear needed for hunting, and I will definitely keep my eyes open for sales after hunting season ends, as you pointed out.

Thanks yet again. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hunting!
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