Can't Get Enough
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
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Re: OT - Shotgun Purchase Options
Yeah... I've had a little 'trigger time'. Started shooting early (7 or 8?) and have been at it ever since. Been on a number of teams and have attended some pretty high-speed shooting schools as well. (If you - or any of the rest of you reading this - get the opportunity, take a Gunsite course from Jeff Cooper ASAP; they're fantastic!)
Though I am thoroughly biased towards my Ithaca 37, I must agree w/ many of the other contributors to this thread regarding the Remington 870; it really is the 'Jeep' of the shotgun world. I have one, and really like it. Solid, reliable, decently priced. (I have been warned to stay away from the WalMart/KMart/large chain store 870 Wingmasters as being an inferior product though. No personal, first-hand experience, but thought I'd pass it along.) Very wide variety of extra barrels (easily interchanged) - both Remington and aftermarket. Also, more aftermarket accessories than you can shake a stick at. Chances are, if you see a shotgun sitting in a police cruiser, you're looking at an 870 - that says quite a bit about their popularity (for good reason) right there.
I'd also add that if I were grabbing a shotgun for 'social work', it would not be my 16ga. Ithaca - more likely the Rem. 870 pump or Benelli Super 90 semi-auto. (I prefer the reliability of the pump, as well as the sobering sound it's action makes as you chamber a 00 Buck round - no sound quite like it, especially in the quiet of a dark night.)
You indicated you wanted to keep the price down: my advice is to wait a while, saving your money as you do, and buy quality from the git-go. Just like buying Jeep stuff - buy cheap, get junk, only to replace later at ultimately a higher end cost than going quality from the start.
If you do want a gun now and are willing to spend a little now only to upgrade later, buy a Mossberg 500. They are a relatively decent gun and have a multitude of barrel and accessory options.
I also second the advice to go fiber optic sights - they allow for rapid sight acquisition, especially in low light conditions. I'm also partial to function over form, and therefore prefer low glare and rust-resistent finishes like parkerizing, and other similar coatings. While I like the look and feel of wood over synthetics, the durability and function of the latter must be considered.
Now I'm going to get preachy:
If not real familiar w/ firearms, do all of us a favor and take an NRA firearms safety course - something we ALL need to be refreshed in from time to time.
While most gun safety 'To Do/Not To Do' lists are painfully long and almost impossible to remember, there are four basic rules, if always followed, will prevent tragedy from occurring:
1. All guns are always loaded.
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
4. Be sure of your target (and what is behind it).
There are NO accidental discharges/shootings; only negligent ones!
IMHO: If you have enough money to buy a gun - any kind: shotgun, rifle or pistol - you have enough money to join the National Rifle Association. Do your part to support the folks who are fighting the frontline battle(s) to protect your right to buy, keep and use that 'smokepole'. You do not have to agree w/ everything they say/do; I don't, but I do recognize (and support) the good they do for all gun owners and our nation at-large.
Okay, off my soapbox now. Thank you for bearing w/ me through my 'Civics by Rupert' speech. (Did you hear the Star Spangled Banner playing in the background? [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img])
By the way, my youngest son's middle name is Remington... as a tip o' the hat to my Mdl 700 rifle! You might say I'm a little biased there too! [img]images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]
Take care and 'Keep yer powder dry'!