Help with a new shotgun purchase....

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JRG
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Help with a new shotgun purchase....

#1

Post by JRG » Fri May 06, 2016 2:13 pm

I am 62 years old and have decided to purchase my first shotgun. I want a 20 gauge for the lesser recoil versus the 12 gauge. The local Bass Pro has a Weatherby PA 459 Reaper in 20 gauge that looks pretty spiffy. Ghost ring rear sight, 18.5" barrel, chrome lined barrel, black furniture with a skulls camo pattern, soft pistol grip, full stock with a limb saver type of pad on the end of the stock, 5 + 1 in 2.75 and 4+1 in 3". They wanted $399 for it. I know nothing about shotguns. I am trying to educate myself.

Are Weatherby shotguns any good? Are they better or worse than the Mossbergs, Remingtons, Winchesters, Bennillis, Mavericks, and Pardners of the world?

Can somebody help a brother out?

Which brand is your favorite? Should I consider a semi auto instead of a pump?

Joe


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Re: Help with a new shotgun purchase....

#2

Post by Right2Carry » Fri May 06, 2016 2:26 pm

Semi autos have less recoil than bolt action or pumps. I have a Weatherby 12gage SA-08 (Semi Auto) that has been trouble free and sees plenty of action on weekends in club matches. I used it for 3 or 4 years before buying my Ruger red label over and under. My 14 year old son has been using it for about a year or two now. Great value and great gun.

You didn't mention what you were going to be using it for.
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Re: Help with a new shotgun purchase....

#3

Post by Scott B. » Fri May 06, 2016 2:35 pm

It's pretty hard to go wrong with a modern shotgun of any American / European brand. There are also some very reasonable shotguns coming out of Turkey. However, there are some(all?) Chinese guns that I would steer clear of.

Semi auto will certainly mitigate felt recoil if that's a concern.

As mentioned, what's your intended purpose? Home defense?
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Re: Help with a new shotgun purchase....

#4

Post by LosAlce » Fri May 06, 2016 2:56 pm

Benelli is my brand of choice. I own a 12ga Benelli Nova for hunting and I have absolutely nothing to complain about it. Its also one of their more affordable models and one of the few pump action shotguns they offer. I researched shotguns for months before I ultimately decided on that model because:

1. It has a 3.5in. chamber. It fires and reliably cycles 2.75in., 3in., and 3.5in. shells (possibly just in 12ga. Don't know about the 20ga)
2. They are built like a TANK. My husband has fallen in a muddy creek just as doves were flying overhead. He quickly washed/rinsed the gun out, took aim and it fired no problem. we instantly fell in love at that point.
3. The price, especially compared to other Benellis, is just amazing considering you're getting the same benelli quality in a more economic package.

My Nova was my first shotgun and from my personal experiences, we will continue to be a benelli family. Infact, a local gunshop got a Benelli M3 in stock that i've had my eye on. Too bad I just purchased a new CCW :lol:

quick edit: I'm also a 5'5" woman. I'm pretty stout (always have been) but recoil is something I do consider when shooting shotguns and rifles. I barely notice the kick in the 12ga. Magnum slugs, of course I notice the kick on those, but for normal hunting purposes its reasonably soft shooting, at least for me.

Goodluck with your search! I'd love to hear what you decide on.
Last edited by LosAlce on Fri May 06, 2016 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help with a new shotgun purchase....

#5

Post by Jusme » Fri May 06, 2016 2:58 pm

I don't have any experience with Weatherby, I have a Mossberg 500 that I use for everything. I bought a combo pack that has an 18.5 inch barrel and a 28" vent rib with interchangeable chokes. Mine is in 12 gauge, but I bought my son the youth model in 20 gauge, that he used to get his shotgun merit badge in Boy Scouts. When he outgrew the stock I replaced it with a standard stock, and he can change out the barrels when ever he wants. He likes shooting my 12 gauge as much as his 20. You can get the Mossberg combo pack for around $350 normal price and cheaper if you find it on sale. I like a pump, just because I am more familiar with the action. The Mossberg also has the safety on the top of the tang rather than by the trigger which, for me is more of a natural way to engage/disengage, but if you like a pistol grip type stock it won't be as easy to manipulate. If you are planning on shooting slugs, the recoil factor between the 12 and the 20 in negligible, because you are sending a 1 oz slug downrange with the only difference being the diameter. I wish you luck with your decision, I agree with Scott B, there aren't too many "bad" shotguns made here or in Europe, I would suggest getting together with friends who have a variety of shotguns in different configurations and shoot them, in both 20 and 12 gauge to get a better idea of what will work for you. You may be able to rent some at a range, but I don't have any definite info on it.
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Re: Help with a new shotgun purchase....

#6

Post by rotor » Fri May 06, 2016 4:59 pm

If you are getting an 18.5" barrel it probably means self defense only. Guntests gave your selection in 12G a B- grade. I own 5 shotguns but none are self defense type but for trap, skeet, sporting clays. I think this is where a subscription to guntests.com can save you some big $$ as they have done a comprehensive review of self defense shotguns, mainly 12 gauge. Some good ones were less than $300. My wife and I both shoot (I am in my 70's) and we have automatics and o/u guns all in 12g. I bet you can handle the recoil.

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Re: Help with a new shotgun purchase....

#7

Post by The Annoyed Man » Fri May 06, 2016 5:14 pm

I am 63 years old. In my experience, the recoil on a 20 gauge and a 12 gauge seem about the same to me - the reason being that the 20 gauge is usually a little smaller and lighter, so even though the shell is smaller, the perceived recoil is about the same.

We have 4 shotguns in the safe - three 12 gauges and one 20 gauge. The 20 is my wife's Yldiz over and under, and it seems about the same to me as shooting my much bigger and heavier Stoeger Condor Competition over and under. The other two are a Benelli SBE II semi auto in 12 gauge, and a Mossberg 590A1 in 12 gauge.

I actually take a bigger beating on my shoulder from putting a lot of .308 rifle rounds down range than I get from shooting a lot of 12 gauge. Also, the 20 gauge is a higher pressure round than the 12 gauge, so I think that if you have a chance to shoot both gauges side by side, you'll find that any difference isn't really a big deal.
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Re: Help with a new shotgun purchase....

#8

Post by Bitter Clinger » Fri May 06, 2016 6:21 pm

I am 62 with a really bum shoulder (NO rotator cuff at all). I run a Remington 1100 tactical 12 gauge and I love it! It is a semi-automatic (7+1 in the tube) and just a devastating firearm at close range when loaded with buck and accurate with slugs at 100 yards. There is no way I could handle a pump, especially when trying to also manage ammunition.

Plenty of local training opportunities abound. Phil Ryan is planning a class this month, see http://txconcealedcarry.com/class-sched ... shotgun-i/

Come on out and try a few different guns before you buy...
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Re: Help with a new shotgun purchase....

#9

Post by JRG » Fri May 06, 2016 11:06 pm

Right2Carry wrote: You didn't mention what you were going to be using it for.
Sorry. This will be strictly a home defense weapon. I am not a hunter.

Joe


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Re: Help with a new shotgun purchase....

#10

Post by JRG » Fri May 06, 2016 11:14 pm

Wow! Again I say Wow!

You guys and girls are great! So many great comments and suggestions. I am not a shotgun guy at all and really have no idea the recoil involved in either the 12 gauge or the 20 gauge. I just assumed that the 20 gauge would be less due to it being a smaller shell. I did not think about the gun being lighter and thus there would be more felt recoil.

So, the 12 gauge option is back on the table.

What is your take on the semi auto shotgun? Is it worth the extra money?

Joe


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Re: Help with a new shotgun purchase....

#11

Post by JRG » Fri May 06, 2016 11:18 pm

Bitter Clinger wrote:I am 62 with a really bum shoulder (NO rotator cuff at all). I run a Remington 1100 tactical 12 gauge and I love it! It is a semi-automatic (7+1 in the tube) and just a devastating firearm at close range when loaded with buck and accurate with slugs at 100 yards. There is no way I could handle a pump, especially when trying to also manage ammunition.

Plenty of local training opportunities abound. Phil Ryan is planning a class this month, see http://txconcealedcarry.com/class-sched ... shotgun-i/

Come on out and try a few different guns before you buy...
Bitter clinger,

I would love to come out for the shotgun class, but am in Iowa for the summer. The wife and I retired from Texas schoolteaching 8 years ago and hit the road in our RV. We come to Iowa in the summer so as to do a little workamping. We winter in southern Arizona. We will be back in the DFW area during the months of October and November. I will check your link website from time to time between now and then and see what is available at that time.

Thanks for the good info.

Joe

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Re: Help with a new shotgun purchase....

#12

Post by LosAlce » Sat May 07, 2016 12:01 am

Bitter Clinger wrote:I am 62 with a really bum shoulder (NO rotator cuff at all). I run a Remington 1100 tactical 12 gauge and I love it! It is a semi-automatic (7+1 in the tube) and just a devastating firearm at close range when loaded with buck and accurate with slugs at 100 yards. There is no way I could handle a pump, especially when trying to also manage ammunition.

Plenty of local training opportunities abound. Phil Ryan is planning a class this month, see http://txconcealedcarry.com/class-sched ... shotgun-i/

Come on out and try a few different guns before you buy...
My personal preference is to have a pump action shotgun because I feel they are much easier to use, maintain, and tend to be much more affordable (especially since my preference is to stay with a Benelli). I would take that chance to try out a variety of shotguns before you decide.[Edit: bummer, just saw you are in Iowa. Maybe try gun ranges nearby?] it will definitely help you decide what you don't like. Plus, who wouldn't want to spend a day shooting a ton of guns to figure out what they like? :drool:

If you were wondering, I spent around $400 on my Benelli Nova, but it has a 26" barrel because I hunt with it. The Benelli M3 I mentioned earlier can be both pump or semi-auto, at the turn of a knob. This could either be a very cool feature to you (it is for me), or it could be useless to you, especially if you don't remember what mode you left the shotgun in since you want to use it for self defense. They come in a variety of configurations (including ghost ring sights if that's important to you) but they definitely aren't cheap. My local gunshop is offering one for $1200 and I understand that that just may be WAY too much to pay for a shotgun you will likely just keep at the house in a closet.

It was mentioned earlier, you really can't go wrong with any of the american or european brands.
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Re: Help with a new shotgun purchase....

#13

Post by Crossfire » Sat May 07, 2016 12:09 am

JRG wrote:
Right2Carry wrote: You didn't mention what you were going to be using it for.
Sorry. This will be strictly a home defense weapon. I am not a hunter.

Joe
If the shotgun is only for home defense, then recoil won't matter. If you have to shoot to defend yourself, then you won't notice the recoil.
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Re: Help with a new shotgun purchase....

#14

Post by Skiprr » Sat May 07, 2016 12:12 am

If you choose a shotgun for home defense, please choose a 12-gauge. You can opt for an 8-pellet, lower recoil shell, but a 20-gauge is good for shooting birds, not home invaders.

My choice for home defense is a 5.45 mm AR-15. It's accurate (especially with an optic), it presents low over-penetration (research it), and it can reach out a few yards if need be.

My rifle is within easy reach as I write.
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Re: Help with a new shotgun purchase....

#15

Post by C-dub » Sat May 07, 2016 6:06 am

Sorry, but I'm going to muddy the water a little bit. Some excellent points have been made and I don't disagree with any of them. A fun group that I get shoot with occasionally goes out trap shooting and a 20ga pump is brought along for smaller people or the ladies. However, a couple folks still complained about the recoil. On a whim, I loaned them my 12ga Benelli semi-auto and they said it was easier to shoot. So yes, a semi-auto can feel like there is less recoil and IMO worth the money.

Teamless also made a good point, which brings up another issue in my mind. Since you're not a shotgun guy and this will be your first and maybe only shotgun how this gun might be fired under duress could be an issue. A semi-auto that does not have the proper support (up against your shoulder) when fired may not cycle properly to chamber the next round. It's kinda like what "limp wristing" a semi-auto handgun does to its cycling functionality. A pump does not have this problem, but does require practice to be able to operate and cycle under stress. IIRC, this is why the USMC switched from pumps to the Benelli M4 semi-auto.

Your home defense options in ammo will be far greater with a 12ga.

The following may save you some money. My own personal choice for home self defense is my 5.56 M4 carbine. There are many opinions on whether a handgun, rifle, or shotgun are better for home defense. I don't even keep my shotgun loaded at home and it is locked away in the safe. The easiest to grab is my .45 handgun on the nightstand with 14 rounds in it and a mounted light and night sights. A foot further away is the carbine. It also has a light mounted on it and an Eotech sight and a 40 round mag. It will always be my first choice for few reasons. Round capacity, accuracy, and capacity to cause damage to the person(s) invading my home. A shotgun blast will not expand nearly as much as some think it will in the confined space of the interior of a house, so a person's ability to accurately shoot it will still be a factor. Then throw in the limited round capacity and the increased level of difficulty to reload a shotgun. A rifle round will almost always be more destructive to tissue than a handgun round.
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