I need help! Shotgun choice?

Discussion in 'Rifles & Shotguns' started by Babboonbobo, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. Babboonbobo

    Babboonbobo Avatar is back to my favorite things!

    Nov 18, 2014
    I have been invited to go pheasant hunting with my SIL in the spring. I haven’t shot skeet or hunted birds in 30+ years.
    I will look pretty funny trying to hunt with my DP-12 B9053ACE-94B6-4BBD-B560-E59774DF73CD.jpeg
    So my question is what would be a good shotgun for pheasant hunting? Won’t be used a ton but I am starting to get into this and skeet again.
    I’ve been wanting to pick up a semi auto shotgun for some time just other things were picked first because I didn’t need one at the time.

    Now it’s a few months away and I’d like to get a start on figuring out what to get.

    I would like a semi auto? I would like to be around $1000 or so!
    Given those two criteria can you guys recommend a decent shotgun for those intended purposes?
  2. BigJimP

    BigJimP Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2018
    Stay with a 12ga, 28" barrel, gas operated gun...vs inertia...and look at the Beretta offerings, they have quite a few around $ 1,000 ( and in most cases a 3" chamber is plenty for Pheasant ) and I would usually recommend a Mod choke, but make sure the gun has changeable screw in chokes so its versatile.... but what choke you shoot depends if the birds are running or flushing close - and whether you have good dogs or not. Most field guns will come with a Cylinder, a Mod and a Full choke.

    Another gun I like a lot ...is Browning Silver Hunter / they might have changed the name to Silver Field, not sure......semi auto ..light weight .. / unless you can find an older "Gold" model in inventory somewhere( they quit making the Gold in 12ga about 5 yrs ago, but there are still some around) ...or the Browning Maxus model on sale somewhere. Winchester is basically the same gun as a Browning ( both companies are owned by FN...and the Winchester is usually a little cheaper - shares same chokes, same gas system, etc).

    It would be a plus if the gun has "shims" ...that allow you to adjust the angle of the comb...for fit. ( Shims go between stock and receiver )...some of the lower end priced guns might have them - but most will not.

    You don't need camo...and all that for Pheasants --- but by Spring, the birds are plenty wary - and don't usually hold very well unless you have really good dogs..so be prepared for some longer shots ...but I still don't think you need a gun with a 3 1/2" chamber ( and they will be more money ). But this the time of year when a lot of guns are on sale..
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
    Oldgunner, Babboonbobo and FWoo45 like this.

  3. john_anch_ak

    john_anch_ak Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Mar 7, 2017
    Personally, I prefer an over/under shotgun. Ain't nothing quicker for the 2nd shot if needed. And in a lot of places you can only load 3 shells in the magazine tube. And, not least is you look like someone who knows what he or she is doing. But that's just me.
    I have heard good things about Bennelli's new auto shotgun. Here is a link: https://www.benelliusa.com/shotguns
    And don't forget Browning or Beretta!
    Like you I haven't had the pleasure of bird hunting in 40 years now, and I do miss it!
    Babboonbobo likes this.
  4. BigJimP

    BigJimP Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2018
    I prefer an O/U too....but a "good" O/U is going to cost you a lot more money ...in either a Browning or a Beretta. I would be very cautious about getting sucked into some of the less expensive O/U's....if you really want to go O/U, both Browning and Beretta give you the most gun for the money long term.
    Babboonbobo and FWoo45 like this.
  5. Apollo99

    Apollo99 Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2017
    Pheasant and skeet, a nice over and under. I prefer 12 gauge, but I have friends doing just as well with a 410, so the gauge choice is yours. Should be able to pick up a nice used one in your price range.
    Babboonbobo likes this.
  6. tarosean

    tarosean Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2013
    A look into your states game laws..

    Waterfowl is 3 rounds maximum (Federal Migratory Bird).

    Small game in many states has the same 3 round limit. If you go semi and its going to be a game bird only gun, its probably wise not to remove the plug. So you don't accidently catch a heavy fine, impoundment, etc. etc. etc. Obviously with an O/U you dont have to worry about a costly mistake.
    Babboonbobo likes this.
  7. azguy1911

    azguy1911 I'm done buying guns, I'm just a bystander now

    Oct 22, 2015
    I vote O/U also only that who needs a ticket for forgetting to have your plug in the tube. Even if you get stopped with three rounds in the gun you still need the plug. Plus, O/U is cool ;)

    You can buy a CZ or Savage for $550-700 and a nicer one in the low $1,000's.

    Personally, until you do it more than once or twice I'd buy the Savage.

  8. Gimpster

    Gimpster Kevin G Supporting Addict

    Apr 6, 2017
    I always preferred a 12ga semiauto! Sometimes when the shooting is heavy you appreciate having that 3rd shell at the ready. 28 inch barrel with adjustable chokes is perfect imo and 3 inch chamber is plenty. Enjoy man.
    Babboonbobo and j quan like this.
  9. FWoo45

    FWoo45 Well-Known Member

    Jan 13, 2017
    Either heed @BigJimP's advice or do the right thing and buy a SxS. I've said it before, God intended for shotguns to have two barrels, side by side, and as many triggers. That way you can pick a barrel depending on where a bird flushes. And their classy. And sexy.
    Oldgunner and Babboonbobo like this.
  10. jaydoc

    jaydoc i'm riding a turtle!

    Aug 10, 2012
    CZ is the Dan Wesson of the shotgun world- a lot of gun for the money ( see what I did there :))
  11. Scaramouche

    Scaramouche Student of the Columbian Exchange Supporting Addict

    Sep 15, 2015
    Since you asking for a semi auto gun and most of the responders aren't, let me be the blue collar kind of guy and suggest a Remington 1100 which used will cost you well under $1000, for them long shots you don't necessarily need 3.5 shells but a full choke.

    I'm not against doubles, but you didn't ask about them.
  12. team101

    team101 Active Member

    Jul 31, 2017
    Check out the Franchi Affinity. Well under your budget and I like it a lot. I also prefer a 20 ga for upland hunting.
    FWoo45 likes this.
  13. Babboonbobo

    Babboonbobo Avatar is back to my favorite things!

    Nov 18, 2014
    Thank you for the responses, yes I like the o/u and SxSs but I really think I’d like a semi auto. I’m going to try that route as that’s what I used to shoot skeet with.
    I don’t have an issue spending more but I’d really like to stick around my price range because it won’t be used as much as my other firearms but I don’t want junk either! I know ya feel me! We like quality but at an affordable price. I think I’m going to hit fin feather fur when I get a few moments to spend the time to check out a variety.
    wcanterbury likes this.
  14. joerockhead

    joerockhead "BOURBON" It's not just for Breakfast anymore ! Supporting Addict

    Oct 12, 2011
    The 1100 is tried and true !!...
    wcanterbury and Scaramouche like this.
  15. Karsten

    Karsten Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2013
    So what so wrong with the DP-12.....I have shot Clays with my Keltec KGS and did very well....EOTech might have been cheating just a little.


    Then you would have to figure a way to plug the tubes.......

    I would say to check out the pawn Shops in your area......You might just find an O/U there in the price range you want.....

    Good Luck with your quest.

    UBOATDOC, wcanterbury, Fred_G and 2 others like this.
  16. BigJimP

    BigJimP Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2018
    The 1100 and the 11-87's --- are old technology / they will still work, but I am not a fan of that era of technology in the semi-auto world..

    I am not confident they are in your best interest either ...unless you can find one that has changeable screw in chokes. ( Some states, or in some locations within that state, you have to shoot Steel -- or some form of "Non Lead" shot for Pheasant...so a fixed Full Choke would be a mistake...or any gun with a fixed choke ...especially if you want to use it for shooting Skeet or Sporting Clays down the road.

    I'm not into SXS's either like my friend Fwoo45 ... a lot of them tend to be very light, shorter barrels, thin in the grip area..and you have to adjust your lead depending no which barrel you are shooting.../ vs the O/U which is a better system in my view ( on well made guns, both barrels on an O/U hit to the same spot... --- that is sadly not true on a lot of budget O/U's...( its called barrrel regulation...) / ...again I would be very suspicious of any O/U's under that entry level Browning or Beretta line of guns... --- there is some junk out there ...Mossberg, Ruger, etc O/U's get very mixed reviews...and you will not find them in the hands of serious skeet shooters ( shooting 20,000 shells a year or more )... or even casual skeet shooters shooting 5,000 shells a year...

    I think your choice of a good solid semi-auto gas gun is a smart choice for an all around gun to get started with. But again I would stay with a 12ga ( if for no other reason than the variety of shells you can shoot thru it ...), a 28" barrel and changeable screw in chokes, ideally a gun that has shims to adjust the "Fit" a little bit, with a 3" chamber.
    Babboonbobo and FWoo45 like this.
  17. switchback

    switchback Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2014
    I'll stay out of the brand name war, but will say that I shot as many (or more) birds than most with my trusty Ithaca featherlight37 pump gun. I tripled on quail with that gun, pretty fast if you've got the rythym
    Yeah the plug laws are ,"not loaded to 3 rounds but rather plug in place"
  18. Babboonbobo

    Babboonbobo Avatar is back to my favorite things!

    Nov 18, 2014
    Ok this all good to know. I knew about 3 round law but did not know about the “plug”
    I’ve got plenty of learnin to do before hand. I’m not worried about shooting just the rules. One benefit is thus will be a guided hunt. Son in law was doing it with a bunch of friends but a few moved away and he is looking for people to fill the spots to have 10 for the hunt.
    He knows how I am with guns it wasn’t sure I would be interested in hunting so didn’t bother asking me to go until this year.
    Him and I do the motorcycle and dirt bike, four wheeler thing and we shoot (range) but I never really hunted to much although I would love to join them!
    wcanterbury and FWoo45 like this.
  19. Sonic Ox

    Sonic Ox Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2018
    I can vouch for the Remington 1100. I've had one for about 30 years. It's 12 gauge and does not have adjustable choke. I've shot skeet, sporting clays, and somewhere near a zillion ducks, pheasants, grouse etc etc etc . Never had a glitch. Fantastic gun.
  20. Oldgunner

    Oldgunner Well-Known Member

    Mar 30, 2018
    Hey there, Babboonbobo;
    Just got power and internet back after 23 hours. For what it's worth, here are my thoughts. I have a lot of shotguns with prices ranging from $ 900 to $32,000. All things considered, i would like to be shooting one of my O/U or SxS favorites if the game and conditions are suitable. However, for all practical purposes, my Remington 1100 will get the job done 90% of the time for a lot less money and anything that goes wrong can be fixed at very low cost compared to the others. The same is true for several other semi-auto options including Beretta, Benelli , Browning, etc. Do some research on semi-autos and decide on how much you can spend. In today's market, $1000 is at the low end of reliable, adaptable guns. Beretta and Benelli offer guns that have "shimming" options that others don't. That's a big plus when you consider making the gun fit you versus fitting yourself to the gun - not good for wing shooting. Having taught people to shoot shotguns for over 35 years, I can guarantee you that gun fit is much more important in field shooting than in skeet, trap, and sporting clays - where you know what's coming and can pre-mount the gun. At least 75% of my clients didn't know how to properly visualize a shot and mount their gun correctly to deliver the shot effectively - in one, smooth motion. There are a lot of good books on this subject so I don't need to elaborate on it. I will say that having a good, well qualified shooting instructor in any shooting discipline is a very worthwhile investment. Far too many people don't read the best books available on the subject or pay for instruction. Here are three of my favorite books on wingshooting:

    Read and learn/enjoy;
    "Shotguns and Shooting" - Michael McIntosh,1995
    "More Shotguns and Shooting" - Michael McIntosh, 1998
    "The Shotgun" - Michael Yardley, 2005

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