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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/13/2002 8:13:06 AM EDT
I'm thinking of taking up bird hunting. I'll probably just hunt pheasant, grouse, and turkey, but might move into waterfowl eventually.

At the same time I'd like a shotgun that is well suited for skeet shooting.

I'm looking in the $1000 range. I like the looks of the over & under Berettas, but don't know a lot about hunting shotguns.

What brands should I be looking at?
What should I be looking for in a good bird gun?
What are your recommendations?

Link Posted: 8/13/2002 8:38:22 AM EDT
if you want to hunt hunt pheasant, grouse, turkey and waterfowl i would go 12 gauge 3" magnum.

for quale, dove and the like i would say 12-20 but for the larger birds go with the 12.

there is no special trick to skeet shooting. you need a gun that fit's. just remember to keep your head up when checking the shoguns. larger people tend to lower their heads to get a good sight picture.

$1000 gives you a lot of guns to choose from. Berettas, Brownings and Weatherbys all make nice double guns. so your primary concern is fit. does the gun feel comfortable? are you looking along the rib at the front sight? or are you looking down from above at the rib and front sight? if the rib stretches out like a road you need to increase the length of pull. if you are above or below average height you will need to have your gun fitted. 5'-9"-6'-0" is normal. charge is about $150.00

for a good bird gun i would look at any 12 gauge 3-1/2" magnum.
consider and autoloader like the Benelli super black eagle it can shoot light 2 3/4"-- 3.1/2"magnums.
Link Posted: 8/13/2002 8:43:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/13/2002 8:46:46 AM EDT by Gloftoe]
Just to chime in here. I'm one of those people that think you don't need to spend $1000 for a good shotgun. If you're going to hunt grouse, pheasant, turkey, etc., yes go with a 3" magnum shotgun. 2 3/4" is more than sufficient for dove/quail. You can't go wrong with a Remington 11-87. I have one, and love it. It's pretty much just a magnum version of the old standby 1100, and works very well.

Just FYI. Save those extra bucks and buy ammo!

Link Posted: 8/13/2002 9:06:33 AM EDT
Well I was looking in the $1000 range because I'd like to have something that I can pass down a generation or two that will always be admired for it's quality and beauty even if it's not used to hunt.

But since you brought it up, I won't limit myself to spending a lot of money. What are the good lower price range shotguns out there?
Link Posted: 8/13/2002 9:11:28 AM EDT
remington 870, 11-87 if you like autos...

i feel let down.
a double gun is not just a hunting tool or weapon it's a piece of art.
Link Posted: 8/13/2002 9:21:48 AM EDT
To recommend a Shotgun would like trying to pick a girl for you. Which do you like; red, blond or brunette? No way is our recomendation going to help.

I recommend that you find a sporting clays range and start to shoot clays. they typically have guns to borrow or rent. see what you like, see what fits and so forth... What type of action are you into pump, auto or o/u - s/s?

I have shot sporting clays for a number of years using a Beretta 390 sporting. I use it to dove hunt, duck hunt and to have fun with. to date I have put 6,000 rounds thru it. one major stoppage, a link in the bolt broke, the range owner loaned me his link for two weeks while I sent mine off to be fixed, and I was able to continue to shot my gun. (just get a spare parts kit). The good part about the gun is going from 2 and 3/4 inch target loads to 3 inch mag loads is nothing but a thing for this gun.

Good luck in shopping for a new band stick, please let us know your outcome.

Link Posted: 8/13/2002 9:33:04 AM EDT
I'd recommend a Remington 11-87SP 12g with a 26 inch barrel for a great all-around bird gun, obviously with an interchangeable Rem choke system. I tend to favor an autoloader for hunting, especially if you want a single gun for all applications.

With the appropriate choke and shell selection, you can hunt any bird you wish to, as well as have a decent clay bird gun.

The SP finish is matte, non-reflective, ideal for turkey or waterfowl.

I've got a pair of 11-87s in the safe, and they have been excellent performers in the field. One has even been known to shoot a sporting clays course now and again.

I tend to use my Benelli M1S90 a bit more these days for pheasants and ducks. It is a bit lighter to carry, but is almost equal to the 11-87 in handling characteristics. The Remington, however, has a greater variety of accessories at a less expensive price than the Benelli.

On top of that, should you want a deer gun, the 11-87 platform is outstanding with its fully rifled cantilever barrel. The versatility is tough to beat.
Link Posted: 8/13/2002 9:34:20 AM EDT
Think about a quality PRE-OWNED shotgun. With the economy the way it is today, there's a huge market for high-grade second-owner shotguns. Lots of folks are cashing in their toys.

A Beretta O/U 686, 687 or even a 682 for $1000 is possible.

So much good stuff for sale at give-away prices it's hard to think about buying new.
Link Posted: 8/13/2002 12:37:07 PM EDT
Browning Gold Hunter in 3 1/2 inch Receiver, with a 26 inch BBL. 12 Gauge
Link Posted: 8/13/2002 1:14:19 PM EDT
If you're going to be waterfowling at all, consider an autoloader (or pump, but your price range puts you into auto territory) - that third shot is a nice feature to have.

My waterfowling and trap buddies recommend the Winchester X2.
Whatever you go for, make sure you try it first. Shotguns are personal.
Link Posted: 8/13/2002 1:14:40 PM EDT
I've used a lot of shotguns to hunt upland birds and turkey.

Here's what I found:

Remingtons are too heavy for me. If I'm going to walk the ridgelines for grouse I need a lighter shotgun.

Benelli's are great. They're natural pointers, they're light and they're well built. However, their recoil action means that you're limited in what the gun will cycle.

The Browning Gold 3 1/2" is notoriously unreliable. The first few production runs of the 3 1/2" model featured an undersized ejection port that hampered reliable cycling. Perhaps they've fixed this problem. I do love thier little Gold 20 gauge though. Upland shooting is best done with a 20 or a 16 gauge. But that's just my whacky opinion.

I shoot a Ruger Red Label Clays. I like the 30" tubes - they keep me swinging. I like the weight. I like the style. I like using one shotgun for clays, skeet, trap and hunting.

However, if I had it to do again I would get a Browning Citori.

Beretta O/U's are nice also, however I haven't shot one in the field yet. I've shot them on the range only.

Yeah, shotguns are a matter of personal taste. If you need a one for all gun, get a twelve gauge. But if you want an upland bird gun, get a 20 gauge.

Oh hell! I've just talked myself into getting a Citori Lightning in 20 gauge... thanks a lot!

Link Posted: 8/13/2002 4:00:07 PM EDT
I have two Browning Citoris, one in 28" Field, the other is a 26" Lightning. Both will shoot 2 3/4" and 3" and have screw in chokes. But these are about $1200 to $1400 range.

I like a shorter Bbl for wing shooting, but here in the South, I prefer the shorter tubes because doves haul ass. When the season changes and the birds fly faster and higher, I switch to full chokes and Max Dram Equiv. loads to get the job done.

For upland shooting, you will find shorter Bbls will do you proud. Good luck and safe hunting.
Link Posted: 8/13/2002 4:29:34 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/13/2002 4:58:53 PM EDT
Ruger Red Label 26". I sell Red Labels 2 to 1 over any other brands at my part- time. Never had anyone bring one back or any complaints.
Link Posted: 8/13/2002 8:06:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/13/2002 8:16:33 PM EDT by OSUBeaver]
Like mentioned before, a shotgun... or any gun for that matter, is a personal preference thing. One thing you may want to consider before you plunk down your money for a do-it-all 12 ga. 3.5" auto, (I know you are leaning toward O/U)is if it will really cycle light target loads. I mean fire, eject, fire, eject .... My brother has called the Beretta warranty repair center and they wouldn't say that the 391 xtrema would for sure cycle light 2.75 (target) loads. He is leaning towards the 3" version because he can't find an xtrema to shoot, and there aren't any reputable sources that will say target loads will cycle for sure.

FWIW I think the 11-87 is a handles like a club for a field gun compared to Beretta or Benelli autos. I used to shoot an 1100 trap gun and the front heaviness was fine. It actually helped with my follow-through on angle targets. For a field gun though, an 11-87 (still front heavy to me) is a little too cumbersome for quick mounts.

It sounds like O/U would be good for you since that's what you seem to like (whatever floats your boat). I've never hunted with one (I hunt with a Rem 870 wingmaster... yes I want a Beretta 391), but my dad has a Beretta 682 trap gun and it's pretty good. I shoot a Perazzi MX8 combo (O/U and single barrel) for trap. There is nothing sweeter, in my opinion, than an O/U that fits you. If my Perazzi didn't cost over 10 times more than my 870 (and had a field stock) that would be all I shot.

Good luck and happy hunting

--Friendly warning!-----
A 3" O/U will kick the living daylights out of you with 3" mag loads compared to a gas-operated auto Edited to correct 686 to 682
Link Posted: 8/13/2002 8:58:51 PM EDT
On the other hand...

When I lived in Pennsyltucky, my best friend had an old Mossberg 500 and he bagged more grouse and quail than anyone I ever knew!
Link Posted: 8/14/2002 5:23:03 AM EDT
I've got a Mossberg 590 that I shoot occasionally. It has ghostring sights and an 18.5" barrel. I can hit a deer sized target with a 3" rifled slug at 100 yards, but it doesn't pattern as tightly as I'd want it to for bird hunting. I suppose I could try it though just to see how it goes. I'm not sure if the rifle style sights would be a hinderance though.

I've been browsing online and I'm pretty set on an O/U. Autoloaders are nice, but they're just not as pretty. And wouldn't you know it, the ones that I like the most cost more than my car.
Link Posted: 8/14/2002 9:48:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2002 9:54:37 AM EDT by badredfish]
To chime in again.

Start off with an inexpensive pump - mossburg or rem.

Get your feet wet shooting shotguns and have a good feel for what you want.

A very good article is a sporting clays web site (I will try to find it)the short version is to buy/start off with a nice target auto, get if fitted, take some lessons and shoot it for a year.....then mortgage the house get the gun of your dreams, have it fitted, get some more lessons and shoot that gun the rest of you life.

I hope this helps.
edited to add web site:

P.S. the sporting clays = crack cocaine , you try it once or twice and you will be hooked. I know when I take my customers shooting, the next thing they are doing is going out shopping for a 12 ga.

Link Posted: 8/14/2002 11:36:18 AM EDT
No, sporting clays is like crack cocaine, sex and "Tale of the Gun" all rolled into one big addictive mix.
Link Posted: 8/14/2002 12:32:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2002 12:34:28 PM EDT by Big_Bear]
I'm a Remington 1100 aficionado. One of mine does double duty as a field gun and as a skeet gun - 26" skeet choke barrel with target beads and 28" modified choke barrel.

The other 1100 is a Bicentennial Trap gun with a 30" full choke barrel.

I only hunt upland birds these days so I don't really need a magnum, but I could always break out the Mossberg 835 for turkey blasting.

Wal-Mart had a close-out sale on synthetic stocked Remington 1100s awhile back for about $325 IIRC. That deal is probably gone by now.

I agree with whoever mentioned the Browning Citori. It's an awesome O/U with beautiful detailing and wood. I borrowed my brother's Ruger Red Label for a few days of quail hunting and I found it a bit heavy for a field gun. YMMV

Edited for spelling
Link Posted: 8/14/2002 12:56:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RotDorn:
Did you say shotgun...
man you are talking my language! I own A5s all flavors, 1100s, Beretta 686...and my favorite of all time "Black Betty"! Walmart made a deal to get rid of their AL390s in their stores for $529 you get a Beretta autoloader that will handle 2 3/4 and 3" adjustable stock, and screw in chokes. I used this gun for everthing. Dove, Duck, quail, I am even not embarassed to take it up on the trap line!...does it all!

I also got one of those $529 Walmart / Beretta AL390's. Black synthetic stock. Now its my main gun, I put the Browning 425 O/U in the safe and haven't used it since
Link Posted: 8/14/2002 8:19:48 PM EDT
Some notes if you are going the cheaper priced route (mainly Remington):

For a pump gun, the 870 is hard to beat. But it comes in several varieties. The cheapest are the "Express" models that have a parkerized finish and low-quality wood stock (flat and cheap looking)...but are fine guns. However, the 870 can be had with nice stocks and blued barrels for about $450. Another great pump gun is the Winchester Model 1912 (or "Model 12" as it's most commonly referred to)...it is the most copied pump in the world. I think even Browning's copies are called Model 12.

For an autoloader, the 1187 and 1100s are both nice too. For a classier "pass down the family" gun you can get some with nice scroll work on the receivers and vent-ribbed barrels.

The key is fit and angle of the stock. When you get the right one, you won't hardly feel the gun kick at all...just a bump. Better get a professional shotgunner to help you figure that out though (I am definitely not qualified for that).
Link Posted: 8/14/2002 8:46:24 PM EDT
I don't want to buy another shotgun for dove so I'm going to use my Benelli M1 Super 90. I'll just get another barrel and take the ghost ring sight off of the receiver. I'm going to keep the pistol grip stock on.
Link Posted: 8/15/2002 4:45:59 AM EDT

Another great pump gun is the Winchester Model 1912 (or "Model 12" as it's most commonly referred to)...it is the most copied pump in the world. I think even Browning's copies are called Model 12.

Most copied by whom? Browning offered a limited run of 28s and 20s. Not exactly what I'd call "most copied." The Remington 870 would come closer to that claim with the Norinco versions out there.
Link Posted: 8/15/2002 10:01:37 AM EDT
My local Academy Sports has a Beretta Whitewing 12ga w/28"tubes for 999/99.
A local gun shop has several trade-in o/u for less than 1000/00 including a 686 onyx.
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 12:50:05 PM EDT
If a person is dead set on a O/U 12 ga that serves multiple purposes a 3inch is probably a must.

The first and most important component is gun fit. If a Berretta fits you better, then buy a Berretta, if a Citori fits you better then buy that, Winchester, Ruger, Remington, all make affordable and reliable O/Us. While a service rifle such as a AR-15 makes little difference as to comb and stock dimininsions and with limited ability to change these parameters close is usually good enough, these parameters need to be taken into consideration when buying a shotgun. An obvious but important oversite is the fact that your head needs to hit the same place on the stock each time in order to give you a consistent sight picture. A good fitting shotgun will help you be a better shot which brings about success and encouragement and enjoyment.

Second and less important is barrel length. For skeet and quaill hunting a shorter barrel ie 26 inches seems to work better, for pheasant, duck, goose, turkey, trap, sporting clays a 28 inch barrel swings smoother and also provides a longer sight picture which will improve your odds of hitting what your aiming at further out.

I have owned both 26 inch and 28 inch O/Us and prefer a 28inch O/U. If weight is a concern I would lean towards a pump or an automatic verses skimping on barrel length for weight reduction. Shotgunning is where I first fell in love with shooting, and has opened my eyes to other avenues such as handgunning and rifle shooting.
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 5:27:05 PM EDT
Funny you should mention this. My dad has had a Browning A-5 for 30+ years. He finally decided to retire it. Its killed hundreds of grouse, pheasants, deer, ducks, geese, everything you can imaninge.

Surprise Surprise, He went with another Browning. The turkey stalker model, 3" chamber, black synthetic stock, 24" bbl. Sweet, Sweet gun. Some might say that a 24" bbl is short for waterfowl, but you can buy extended choke tubes that bring your bbl to 26", and then your fine.

The best part? All said and done (including Brownings 100 rebate they have going right now) the total came to 490.00, w/out tax. Thats a damn good deal if you ask me.

Regarding the whole waterfowl thing... To many people get caught up with there 10ga, 30" bbl's so they can shoot 75 yards into the air and nock down birds. My opinion is, theres more to waterfowl hunting than just pass shooting. It takes tons of work, paddling in the marsh, setting up dozens of decoys, learning to be effective with a call, Thats whats hunting should be. It all pays off when you have a flock of 50 mallards about to drop into your decoys, thats when you shoot. When they are about to land on you.

Good luck... The best part about buying a gun, is shopping for it!

Link Posted: 8/21/2002 6:44:52 PM EDT
I like a light, semi auto 12 gauge with 3 inch chamber and 26 inch barrel with screw in chokes. Matte finish, synthetic stock. They are great multi purpose shotguns. I like the 1187 but it is heavy and weighs a ton after a few hours in the field (trust me, I have one). I also have an American Arms Silver II lite (made in Italy by Franchi). It's an O/U 12 Ga. 3 In. chamber, lite contour vent rib 26 In. barrel. O/U's are O.K. for hunting game farm or released birds on state land but for wild birds you often get multiples in a flush and a 3rd, 4th or sometimes even a 5th shot is nice to have.
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 9:19:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/21/2002 9:33:09 PM EDT by jbntex]
My personal favorite is the Remington 11-87.

I shot Beretta autos for acouple year through my University Trap/Skeet team. Damn things broke down more than they worked.

That wishbone looking part that connects the bolt to the recoil spring in the stock broke reliably every 2500 rounds or so.

I have a Rem 1187 that has a hell of alot more rounds than that through it and I have not replaced one part in it yet.

I had a Browning B80 autoloader 20 gauge when I was a kid and was that thing a POS. That thing would not eject a shell to save its life. Not to mention that it spent a large portion of its life in the Browning service department.

One of my best Hunting buddies uses a Winchester 12 gauge. It is very light but will cycle less than 100 rounds before it fails to extract due to its gas system and rotating bolt assembly fouling. Field stripping that thing is a two person job or one person and a vise, just pray you don't lose a one of the 1000 springs that wants to come out of that thing at high speed when you take it apart.

Remingtons are heavy tanks, and if you are smaller framed than a Beretta or Benelli will feel awhole light lighter.
However If you are resonably strong and can handle the extra weight it transfers into reliabilty and ease of use.
I can put 250+ rounds through my 1187 before seeing failures, and just schuck the forearm off wipe down the gas/mag tube and a quick spray of oil and off you go. 5 minutes and you are back and rock and rolling.

As for spending 1000 plus on a gun to go hunting with I think is crazy.

Nothing ruins your day when having your 2000+ over/under Beretta scratched up by a fence or have the finish eaten off by super strength deet.

You need to ask yourself, would you drive your Mercedes out to the field to go hunting with. If yes go by a Multi-thousand Perazzi. If no buy a Remington or equilavent for 600 bucks and don't worry about it getting damaged.

Austin Texas
Link Posted: 8/26/2002 9:08:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By jbntex:
I shot Beretta autos for acouple year through my University Trap/Skeet team. Damn things broke down more than they worked.

That wishbone looking part that connects the bolt to the recoil spring in the stock broke reliably every 2500 rounds or so.

Austin Texas

That is a Joke right? I've been shooting a Beretta AL391 for some time now. I have both the Gold Sporting and Syn. models. The gold I clean maybe every 900 to 1200 rounds and the syn. I clean after every hunting season. Both guns have over 12,000 through them with out a single failure of any kind (the gold sport has closer to 20,000). The syn. gun is around $800 and will be the last shotgun you ever buy. Both will shoot anything from 7/8 oz loads @ 1150 to the heaviest 3" shells. My wife shoots the Benelli Montefeltro and really like it but the recoil is substantialy harder than the Beretta's.
Link Posted: 8/26/2002 1:28:37 PM EDT
I have a Citori,Auto-5,Rem Sp-10.Butt the one I shoot the most my Rem.870,It was my first shotgun in back in 74,it's the gun that I shoot the(most)best.Duck and geese get the 10ga though.I would have to agree with prev.post,get a good used one,not the express,unless you like that type of finish,o/u are nice but I always feel the need to baby it.Lots of Buddys have A-5's,nothing wrong with them! Get a cheap pigeon thrower and shoot and shoot and shoot...p.s.Dont overdose on all this barrel lenght/choke stuff,my 870 is a 28" MOD. choke,no screw-ins, and it is deadly on quail/dove.Whatever you get good luck and go shooting.
Link Posted: 8/27/2002 11:37:02 AM EDT
I would hate to shoot skeet with a FC 32 inch barreled shot gun and would hate to shoot Annie Oaklies from the parking lot with an IC 24 inch barrel. My guess is one would shoot better scores if the guns were reversed.
Link Posted: 8/27/2002 12:21:32 PM EDT
I use a Benelli Super Black Eagle , it's a nice shotgun in your price range

Link Posted: 8/27/2002 4:51:34 PM EDT
Of my Rem 870, 11-87 and my Beretta 686 Essential, I prefer to use the Beretta for skeet and sporting clays. 26" barrel and fairly light weight. I would assume it makes a good bird gun because it it a field grade gun but I don't hunt. Price is under $1000.00.
Link Posted: 8/27/2002 9:17:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2002 9:46:45 PM EDT by jbntex]
"That is a Joke right? I've been shooting a Beretta AL391 for some time now. I have both the Gold Sporting and Syn. models. The gold I clean maybe every 900 to 1200 rounds and the syn. I clean after every hunting season. Both guns have over 12,000 through them with out a single failure of any kind (the gold sport has closer to 20,000)"

I can't make reference to your Berettas quality.

However our teams Beretta autos were always having mechanical failures in the two years that I used them.

We were using Beretta 390's which was the precusor to the 391 (which I believe replaced the 390 two years ago, mid-2000). Maybe Beretta solved the wishbone failures with the 391. I can only speculate.

However I actually remember that the part was in such demand from Beretta (and we were unable to get some in a timely fashion) that we were for a time rewelding the broken wishbones back together to make do.
Granted the rewelded wishbones would rebreak after about 500 rounds.

I am glad to hear you have had better luck with your Beretta than we did.

Austin Texas
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