A few Shotgun questions.
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:27 AM   #1
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Default A few Shotgun questions.

Hi there! Sorry for the long post. I'm very new to guns (as in I've never shot one) I'm in the process of getting my FOID card right now, and I'm trying to make some decisions on what shotgun I want to buy. I've read a ton of different articles and opinions, but am still left with some questions.

I want a shotgun that will primarily be for home defense, but I may take it out skeet shooting once a year, and I would eventually like to take up hunting (probably ducks to start out with). More importantly I want a shotgun that my wife can handle as comfortably as possible. At the moment I am leaning towards buying a Remington 870 18.5" tactical shotgun. My reason for this is that I am guessing the 18.5" barrel will be easier for my wife to support while she is aiming, and it has a ported choke which sounds like it will help a bit with the kickback.

My biggest question is if this 18.5" barrel will be too short for hunting and skeet shooting effectively? I know it will still function, but I've read and heard so many different opinions that I don't know what to believe. Will I get an effective spread at longer distances with the shorter barrel, or will my spread break apart too much even if I install a full choke. Buying a second barrel is an option, but it also puts this out of the price range I was hoping to spend, so I guess it's going to depend on how big of a difference the longer barrel will make as to weather I need to save up a bit more.

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Old 01-27-2010, 03:32 AM   #2
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good choice on the 870 its very versatle shotgun, sadly I use a 26 inch barrel for skeet; your gunna have to break the bank and buy a new barrel, but try gunbroker

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Old 01-27-2010, 03:53 AM   #3
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Welcome to FTF...

You may want to look at a Mossberg or Remington model with interchangeable barrels. Several models come with an 18.5" inch barrel suitable for HD as well as a 26" or longer barrel for field use.

Mossberg 54169 500 COMBO 12 28AC/18CB PG for Sale at Buds Gun Shop $307.00

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Old 01-27-2010, 04:24 AM   #4
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Mike5150, Welcome!!
Please stopby the introduction section &
introduce yourself to the FTF gang.

To answer your question-
HD= 18.5" barrels
Hunting/Skeet/Other Fun = 28" or longer barrels
Really can't go wrong with Remington or Mossberg.

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Old 01-27-2010, 09:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Will I get an effective spread at longer distances with the shorter barrel, or will my spread break apart too much even if I install a full choke. Buying a second barrel is an option, but it also puts this out of the price range I was hoping to spend, so I guess it's going to depend on how big of a difference the longer barrel will make as to weather I need to save up a bit more.
The pattern/spread is depends on the choke & shells you use not the barrel length. Most find that a longer barrels 26" or 28" handles/swings better and are faster on target. Short defense barrels are for tight spaces like inside your home.

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Old 01-27-2010, 11:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAX100 View Post
The pattern/spread is depends on the choke & shells you use not the barrel length. Most find that a longer barrels 26" or 28" handles/swings better and are faster on target. Short defense barrels are for tight spaces like inside your home.

GC
This true, BUT to get the effective range needed for hunting and skeet shooting a longer barrel is needed. 28" or more would be best.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:40 PM   #7
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Glad to see you here. Welcome. In your post, you said the primary reason for the shotgun was home defense. I suggest buying the short barrel gun. If you aren't too concerned with what others think, just take it to the skeet range once a year. I like to take my short guns to the skeet range, or the sporting clays course. I also know a guy who shoots skeet with a .410 handgun. It's kind of cool to see a guy shooting a gun that puts him at a significant disadvantage. He still hits targets. Just don't get discouraged if you do not do as well as others. I'm of the opinion that for the casual shooter, the gun matters MUCH less than the shooter's skill.
After buying the short barrel, within a year or so, you will probably be able to buy the longer barrel.
The 870 is an excellent choice. If you aren't afraid to purchase a used gun,(I have never been afraid to buy used guns if they are from a quality manufacturer) you may be able to find a gun with 2 barrels for the price of a new gun.

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Old 01-27-2010, 09:49 PM   #8
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@Jpyle - I was actually looking at a Remington 870 combo like that, but I noticed the barrel of the 18" is rifled. I assume you probably need to use slugs for that instead of shot. I think that I would like to stick with the Remington brand just because it's a more recognized brand, and when I pass it down to my son I feel the name adds a little more to it. Probably a stupid reason to spend an extra $150 but what can I say

@ Underfire & Max100 - You two hit on exactly what my problem is. I've read all sorts of articles and blogs and points of view since I've decided to buy a gun. Some say the choke and shells determine the spread, but others say that the shorter barrels allow the grouping to spread out more over longer distances. As for range I keep reading that 18" is plenty of space for the shell to expend all of it's gasses and reach it's maximum speed. I wish I could find where someone has done some testing with different barrel lengths and gives hard numbers as to how large a certain type of shells grouping is at a specific distance and with a specific choke on each barrel. I have a feeling that if such a test existed I would have come across it by now though. I'd even be thrilled with someone with experience using an 18" barrel for skeet or hunting, but it seems like most people do the smart thing and buy 2 barrels. You guys are all extremely helpful and I appreciate it very much! I'll head over to the intro forum right now!

Thanks!
Mike

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Old 01-27-2010, 10:59 PM   #9
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I have a Winchester 1300 with a 18 inch barrel. It was the first shotgun I ever bought with my own money as a kid. I hunt, shoot skeet, and sporting clays with it from time to time. If I miss, trust me, it is not because of the gun. Two to six inches of shotgun barrel will not make or break your shot. My other shotguns are almost all 30 inch barrels. I miss just as well with them as I do with the baby barrel. Sure, it would be better if you could get the longer barrel, but for a novice shooter, your skill level is far more important.

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Old 01-27-2010, 11:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
I was actually looking at a Remington 870 combo like that, but I noticed the barrel of the 18" is rifled. I assume you probably need to use slugs for that instead of shot.
Rifled shotgun barrels are for Sabot slugs.


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