Some shotgun questions before my first purchase

Discussion in 'General Shotgun Discussion' started by therhino, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. therhino

    therhino New Member

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    Hey all.
    I'mnearing the purchase of my first shotgun in the next few weeks. Just got my yearly company bonus (minus the wife tax, of course), and can spend about $350-400.
    I'm looking for a weapon that can be used both for home defense and turkey. I'm planning on taking the state-required hunter safety course so I can start hunting during the spring turkey season.
    I've looked at a lot of the used guns around this area, and have liked the feel of several. I found several used Ithaca 37s, Remington 870s, and a pair of Stoeger Condors.

    With the Ithaca 37s, I found one Police model that feels right for HD, and a basic model with a 26" barrel and a Modified choke. I've read that you can successfully take turkey with a Mod, but having never hunted before, I'm not sure if I want to go with a tighter pattern. The areas I'd be hunting around here are field edges, power line runs, and some "experimental forest" areas that are selectively clearcut and regrown.
    How intergangable are the barrels of the various Ithaca 37 models? If I buy the Police model, can I scrounge up a smoothbore barrel and swap them out as needed, or will that require gunsmith work to fit and seat the barrels to the receiver? Is there any place online I can read up on the various makes of 37, their history, and compatibilities?

    The Remington 870s are simple and well-known, but are the highest-priced. As are the barrels. Are there any non-compatibility issues with any make of 870?

    The Stoeger Condor just felt really nice in my hands and when sighted in. However, I was unsure if it'd make a suitable turkey gun. It was definitely a little long for HD use.

    My other option is to just buy something new instead of fiddling around with buying used and trying to collect up the parts I want. That would require saving for a couple more paychecks, but is doable.
    I like the feel of an over/under so far, and the Stoeger Outback looks like a servicable field and defense kit. However, I've never handled that particular model, and would likely have to have it ordered for me.
    If I were going to go for a new pump-gun, I'd probably stick with the 870. Is it as simple as getting a Wingmaster on sale at Cabela's and buying a 20" HD barrel?


    And on a smei-related note, I found a used Savage 24 in 22/20 that was a beautiful single-shot. Unfortunately, the person who traded it in sprayed the whole thing in a thick layer of semi-gloss black paint. The barrel markings are barely legible becuase the paint is so thick. If I remember right, it was priced at $230. Is this a salvagleable weapon and worth tinkering at that price?

    Thanks in advance for any info you folks can throw at me.
     
  2. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

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    Not a hunter myself so I can't speak to the specific bells and whistles required for a good turkey gun but can offer the following. A good HD shotgun will typically have a shorter barrel, say 18" or so and will not accept a choke of any sort...think basic Remmy 870 or Mossy 590. From what I have seen, a decent field gun will have a longer barrel, accept a variety of choke tubes and will use a vented barrel. My advice would be to purchase a combo gun that offers the best of both worlds, the lightweight, more maneuverable HD mode and the longer barreled, variable choke field mode. Both Remington, Mossberg as well as all other shotgun makers offer prepackaged "convertible" guns that come complete with 2 barrels.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012

  3. PanBaccha

    PanBaccha New Member

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    I had just purchased a Mossberg 590A1 LE a few days ago. Can't wait to test it at range. I'm awaiting the arrival of heat shield before then.
     
  4. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Ithaca- great gun. Believe they were shut down, so eventually, parts could be an issue.
    Mossberg/ Remington- sort of the standard pump shotgun. For turkey, you will want a longer, tightly choked bbl. For HD, you CAN use same, but would be better with a shorter (18-20") more open or unchoked bbl. Get one, get spare barrel.

    High Standard also made (past tense) a decent pump- sold by Sears as their Mdl 20. For $250, with some careful shopping, you could get TWO of those.:p
     
  5. HockaLouis

    HockaLouis New Member

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    The pictured Mossberg 500 Field/Security combo is ideal and a bargain IMO. You will probably use the Full Choke, one of three the 28" ribbed and vented double-beaded barrel comes with, but you can also easily find Extra-Full, etc.

    Good luck and safe shooting!
     
  6. cottontop

    cottontop Guest

    I would avoid the Savage 24. I had one a few years ago I used for squirrel hunting. The top barrel in .22LR was deadly accurate. However, the shotgun barrel centered its pattern 12" below point of aim. I did take lots of squirrels with it, but it was frustrating trying to compensate the shotgun barrel.
    I believe the other suggestions are good ones. Also, the last I knew, the Ithaca model 37 has been re-introduced, but the new ones are on the expensive side.
    cottontop
     
  7. Buckethead47

    Buckethead47 New Member

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    Mossberg 500/590 and the remington 870will be your best bet when it comes to the ability to multi task. Just a change of a barrel and bam. I can't speak for the mossberg but the 870 has issues with barrels as long as you buy 20 ga barrel for a 20 ga gun and same for the 12. From what I understand you use a full choke and most guys run red dot optics. Hop on the hunting sub forum for more if that info.
     
  8. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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    For turkey you want full or extra full choke.

    Many shotgun brands have specialized turkey barrels in the 22 to 24 inch range, this is for maneuverability in brush.

    My turkey gun has a 26 inch barrel and I use a Carlson turkey choke.
     
  9. tonydewar

    tonydewar New Member

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    go for a 870 with an extra barrel imho run away from stoger thay dont hold up to high volume shooting(you might get the one i traded in on a beretta)
     
  10. kfox75

    kfox75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ithacas are still being made in Ohio. Barrels are interchangeable on model 37s made after 1976 or so. The main downside to the Ithaca is disassembly for cleaning. Being a bottom eject, every part comes out of the rear of the reciever after you remove the stock. It can be a little complex at first. I would personaly look for a Remington or Mossberg with interchaneable chokes. If you look around you can find a combo with a long and short barrel for around your price range. Unretaker makes an excellent turkey choke that screws into threaded barrels on the mossy or the rem. I picked up my 870 used with a smooth slug and bird barrel for $328 five years ago. Deals are out there if you look. Good luck and enjoy.
     
  11. therhino

    therhino New Member

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    Thansk for all the feedback and opinions, all.
    I drove down to the Kittery Trading Post today to handle a couple of the used models they had in, and the Condor Outback.

    The Condor Outback felt like a dream in hand. Nice balance, fit well in my arm sighted in, etc. But after talking with one of the staff members, I got over my "wow, that's cool!" reaction and realized that while it's a great 20" O/U brush gun, that's all it could ever be.

    I moved on to the used Rem870 and Moss500s I had on my list. A Remington Express Magnum was the only 20ga used they had in which I was interested. Not bad, but it didn't feel right in-hand.
    Both Moss500s I picked up were 12ga, and neither impressed me.
    The main problem I had with all three was the position of my hands. The stock fit was ok from shoulder to trigger, but my supporting hand was stretched out unnaturally far. It felt like a struggle to get my supporting hand on the rear end of the slide (closest to the receiver).
    Is that a normal feeling for a shotgun? I'm used to my 10/22 or an M16A2, and use a tight, elbows-in arm position when firing rifles. It was how I was taught in the marines, and has always worked for me. I found I just could not replicate that position on a shotgun until I picked up a youth model.
    Of course, I was sighting in at an upward angle. The gun racks were crowded with other shoppers, and I wasn't going to level a weapon in a crowded area. Would that affect the feel of a full-sized weapon overmuch? I think I might end up with a weapon of this size for comfort, and the fact that my wife could not possibly fire a full-sized shotgun and keep it at all stable.

    I almost walked out of the shop with a brand new Mossberg 500 GS Turkey in 12ga. However, i realized the address on my driver's license was not up-to-date, and I'm angling more for a 20ga. My wife has expressed interest in learning to shoot whatever I buy, and I'd prefer the 20 for weight and recoil reasons. She's a little lady, and I don't want one solid recoil to sour her on shooting.
    In searching around, I can't find anyone else locally who sells that particular model. When was it produced and then discontinued?
     
  12. HockaLouis

    HockaLouis New Member

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    If u r asking if Mossberg still makes 20 ga., of course they do.

    The forearm on a pump shotgun does make you reach more than a rifle stock, yes. A 20 ga. may be a little shorter for you guys. Some are "better" than others, meaning, the forearm is further back and may even overlap the receiver when all the way back. Another thing is that you may have been pushing the gun too far straight out in front of you. Perpendicular to your chest. Try making it 45-degrees from your chest. Might take some getting used to.
     
  13. therhino

    therhino New Member

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    Sorry, I meant that specific model of 500. It's listed as a 500GS, which apparently means "Grand Slam." I was incorrect. Mossberg's website does still list that line. Oops! Now to find a local retailer that has the 20ga version.
     
  14. hockeyjr1

    hockeyjr1 New Member

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    I got my rem 870 for 350... It's good up to 3" rds and interchangeable chokes are around 20-30 bucks.. I would never hunt turkey without a full choke.. Also don't get a rifled barrel since when you shoot any number shot the wad will spin on the rifling causing you to have a circular pattern on target.. Go to dicks sporting goods or Walmart and get the gun... Save your self 30-50 bucks from a local store
     
  15. therhino

    therhino New Member

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    I ended up stopping by the local Cabela's today and got a used Mossberg 500C (20ga). 26" vent rail barrel. Pretty standard Field model in passable shape. $239.99.
    The guy told me it had a Full choke in it, but I can't seem to shift it out of the barrel with the choke wrench I bought. Any tips for loosening that bad boy?
    Also, anyone know if Mossberg still sells an 18.5" Defense barrel in 20ga for the 500? I did some searching online that said they sold them a couple years ago direct, but I haven't had the chance to call them yet (closed at 5 Central).
     
  16. HockaLouis

    HockaLouis New Member

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    There ya go! Congrads.
    Enjoy. Be safe.
     
  17. tonydewar

    tonydewar New Member

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    TAKE IT BACK!! if you cant unscrew the choke tube with the proper wrench there is a problem and could be the start of a bag of worms and more $$$ put out to make it right
     
  18. kfox75

    kfox75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Use 3in1 oil and let it soak. TYhat should help loosen up the choke. Also keep the barrel on the shotgun when you go to loosen it, as this gives you more leverage.

    I think you can order that 18.5 incher right from Cabela's in their shooting catalogue. I'm also pretty sure that it is still available through Mossberg.
     
  19. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCB7uEQ9W9A[/ame]



    That is all I got to say !
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  20. therhino

    therhino New Member

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    First 25 rounds through the gun...works perfectly! 7/8oz target loads to start out. Not too much kick to those ;). it took two and a half hours of cleaning to get it Marine Corps clean beforehand. Absolutely filthy inside, which might explain why the choke is stuck.

    I also got a can of PB Blaster to try and get the choke free. If it doesn't work, I called Cabela's and they'll repair/remove it as part of their 30-day warranty.