View Full Version : Weapon choice
11-19-2002, 09:17 AM
I am very interested in getting into waterfowl hunting. I have my license and have shot a few different shotguns. My question is if you had to pick one shotgun for overall waterfowl hunting what it be?
I have had many suggest a Remington 870 in cammo pattern with interchangeable choke.
11-19-2002, 09:56 AM
It all depends on your budget, but the 870 is a good choice in pump guns.
11-19-2002, 10:48 AM
I've got to say that when I started Waterfowl hunting a few years back I bought an inexpensive Rem 870 express. While it's not fancy like the other guy's benelli's and such, I'm not at all afraid about it getting dunked in the mud and water and crud that exist in the California refuges.
So, Just my 2 cents, but that 870 has worked fine for me on Pheasants and Ducks. My Wifes got the 870 wing master, which is a nicer looking gun, but then again, she's not the one wading around in the water all day, either!
11-19-2002, 02:18 PM
If you hunt Salton Sea you may want to use a Mossberg Multijam 835 3 1/2". That's my S-Sea shooter.
As Songdog once said "The good thing about the 835 is you're not afraid to use it as a paddle". http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-biggrin-aqua.gif
I also use an 870 and 1100 mag. If I had the $, I woud step up to a Benelli.
11-19-2002, 02:37 PM
I have a 870 in 20. I don't duck hunt that much and it works fine for what I do. If I was buying a cheap duck gun I would go with the mossberg 835. Can't beat the price and you can handle 3.5 inch. The only issue that you might have is that it will kick like a mule.
11-19-2002, 05:59 PM
years ago I shot Wister and the sea. My entire family shot 870's and NEVER had a problem. I still shoot an 870 - Super mag in Camo. Just bought it this yearand it is terrific - with 3 choke tubes.
11-19-2002, 06:07 PM
The only 870s in camo are the SPs I believe and that means a camo 870 is built on the Wingmaster action and not the Express'. From what I understand, the former is much smoother and built with better quality components. So that might not be a bad choice.
If money is not a factor, I'd get a Beretta 391 Xtrema or a Benelli SBE as they are built with better quality components than the American autos. I'd lean toward the Beretta because it's overbored and it's gas system will reduce recoil of the heavy loads more than the Benelli's inertia system.
But whatever you choose, I'd have it with a camo finish if you are going to use it almost exclusively for waterfowling. I have two 835s(best patterning shottie in the market) and a SBE and the rust has been repelled by all of their camo finishes over the years. However all their blued swivels and the extended choke I have on the SBE are rusted and pitted, which shows you how vulnerable blued finishes are compared to camo.
11-19-2002, 06:38 PM
Wingman has it right on that Mossberg http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-yellow.gif
For an inexpensive (not to be confused with "cheap") shotgun, I'd go with the 870 hands down. Just can't be beat for the money. 50 years of duck hunters can't be that wrong. If you can get it with the camo covering it will resist the water/salt that much better.
If you're looking at the high end ($1000) I'd vote for the Benelli Super Black Eagle. I feel the same way about it as the 870... can't be beat - except that it's just plain expensive. Worth it yes, but it's still over a grand which just isn't in some people's budget (like mine if I don't get another job).
I've actually been looking for a used Mossberg 835 to add to the gun safe. I figure I'll keep it for a loaner for those guys that want to go duck hunting with me. When the birds lock up and come in I know I'm going to be the only one shooting a second shot http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-yellow.gif (sorry Steve)
11-19-2002, 07:25 PM
yes, the new one I purchased is a Model 870 SPS Super Magnum Camo. Love it
11-19-2002, 07:51 PM
Well I have shot an old 870 Wingmaster Magnum for the past 7 years or so but noticed it was taking quite a beating on the refuge. They are not exactly all weather if you know what I mean. The newer 870's seem to be quite a bargan, but i chose to pay alittle more and get a Benelli Nova 12 gauge Camo pattern 26" barrel. It have several nice features on it: 3 1/2 receiver, integrated swivel mounts, mag stop button to mention a few. All that for only $379. Now the old 870 is for Upland game only.
And by the way, I used to think that I would never really need 3 1/2 inch shells, but after takign 3 Honkers this past weekend with 3 1/2 BB loads, I'm convinced. I shot 3" T shot and watched as it ruffled the chest feathers of a few big one (and yes they were in range), but when the 3 1/2 were used, they felt it alright!
Take a look at the Nova, you may like it!
11-19-2002, 09:56 PM
I've shot (and still have) an 870 Express, a Mossberg 835, a Benelli SBE, and an old S&W Semi auto. That old S&W fit perfect out of the box, but a gunsmith screwed up the porting during the "steel Conversion" era. The 870 is a very good gun, but I could never adjust my aim to compensate for that that hump in the rib near the chamber: I always shoot high. The 835 is almost as good as the 870: I only had one jam where a cheap Win shell overexpanded and the extractor ripped through the rim. 5 min to take down and and clear. it only mule kicks when using the 3.5" shells. The Benelli is a very sweet shooter but $1100 is a chunk.
Look at that Benelli Nova. They run about $300 on Gunbroker.com. I shot a friend's: very good guns. The only drawback is the pull and drop is fixed - love it or get a Browning BPS for an extra hundred.
11-19-2002, 09:57 PM
I will Vote for the Winchester Super X2. I have had this gun in the worst conditions, dont baby it, and would still perform. It can be a little pricey for the camo models but I have seen the black synthetic models on sale for (I believe last year) as low as 599.00. I did choose the X2 over the benelli's and Beretta's because it felt more solid, and didnt rattle when shook. The 870 is also a good gun but I dont believe they are what they used to be I heard that the newer ones were bieng manufacted now in mexico or something, I never looked into it so it could be wrong , I had two friends that were having some trouble with thier new 3 1/2 inchers.
11-19-2002, 09:58 PM
I'll save you retail $ on the multijam... you can buy mine and I will put the $ towards a Benelli SBE and a case of WD-40 http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-rotflmao-yellow.gif . I never had a problem with that dog until this year. I jammed a couple times and missed a few opps.
The last time I went to S-Sea (last Sat.), I took the 870 mag and didn't have any problems.
The "multijams" I had were a result of not pumping back hard enough to eject the shell. The action is a little stiff on the Moss.
At least the safety hasn't popped off as I have heard this has been one of the problems. The biggest prob Iíve heard of is the choke doesn't line up with the bore causing it to pattern incorrectly.
That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!
11-19-2002, 10:42 PM
I shoot my 11-87 most of the time, if the conditions are really bad I'll break out the Winchester 1300 pump.
11-20-2002, 07:10 AM
If your gonna pump it, you can't go wrong with an 870. For an auto, I think they're all good but I've been most impressed with the Winchester X2 in the camo.
11-20-2002, 11:24 AM
I shoot an 870 express Remington mag. Its the only shotgun I have ever owned and I have never had any problems with it. My Dad bought it for me about 18 years ago (Christmas 1984) I have since buried the gun in sand, mud, water, snow, ice and every other thing imaginable. It never jams, always works flawlessly and I never have any doubt I will miss a day of hunting because of my shotgun.
I am thinking of getting a Benelli SBE though, I want to try an auto and I am a southpaw and I always wondered if my shooting would improve if I didn't have shells and powder flying in front of my face after every shot. But I would never not have an 870 in my truck when hunting,,,just in case. As far a a first gun, I think its the best, Remington has sold over 7 million since 1949, that says something good.
11-21-2002, 11:25 AM
Most Remingtons are great and less expensive but just as good as Brownings. Shot my 11-87 for so many seasons I lost count and my 870 for centuries before that.
The best..........Benelli. I have a Super Black Eagle now and will never look back. Someone else called them "fancy". That they are not AND I have dropped mine in the mud and water several times, poured out the water tore it down to the firing pin in 30 seconds and shook out the water and kept on strokin'. That's something you might not get away with with a gas operated semi or a pump. Expensive they are but quality, reliability and longetivity costs.
On a budget, buy a Remington, got the bucks, buy a Benelli.
Cazador Suerte II
11-21-2002, 02:11 PM
11-21-2002, 03:07 PM
Thanks to everyone for their input.
I feel much better informed as to the best choices and the reasons for each!!!
11-22-2002, 07:10 AM
I shot the 870 Express for a few years. But like BNick I couldn't get around the hump in the back of the rib. I guess I don't like floating my target above the bead.
I got a Beretta AL390 black syn. stock and I love it. It has a flat rib like most O/U and S/S's. I take it in the rain (I've never dropped it in the pond or used it as a paddle) and it never jams. In fact, I would jam the 870 more by short shucking than the Beretta. I like the Synthetic stock because I am always dunking the butt into the pond when I have the strap on and fooling with the decoys...
I believe you can get a simple version at Wal-Mart for less that $600. Great Gun.........
11-22-2002, 12:24 PM
Well, for my first go 'round I am going with the 870. If this really becomes a passion I will step up to the Benelli.
Now comes another decision...which model. Either the SPS or the Express Super Mag Turkey Cammo. Any final words of advice on the choice?
I want it to be versatile...waterfowl, upland game, target, etc...
Thanks again for all of your help!!!!
11-22-2002, 05:17 PM
I shoot a Camo Browning Gold 3 1/2 for the last 2 years and like it. I had a 870 3 1/2 but it jams http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-mad-fume-red.gif with Federal 3 1/2 shells both mine and brother in laws. So it is the gun. Personally I like guns that are light and can be easily http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-biggrin-aqua.gif striped ( taken apart) in the field. My Mossberg jambed in the field and that when I made the taking apart rule. As far 3" or 3 1/2" shells with modern day ballistics Estate Shells (http://www.estatecartridge.com/html/steel.htm) there is not much difference. It depends on your budget and if plan to hunt geese.
If you use to shoot lead this is intresting.Shot Size Table (http://www.winchester.com/ammunition/store/guide/shot_pop.eye?shot) Good Luck
11-23-2002, 05:23 PM
http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-faces-toast-beers.gif Get the camo gun. Much easier to care for and best of all.....no surface rust to deal with, just wipe it down with a damp rag.
11-25-2002, 11:41 AM
WOW. all these replies and no one shoots a Browning BPS. I have shot the BPS Stalker 3.5 inch for about 8-9 yrs. Good sturdy, all thou heavy, its very reliable gun.
I like it because I shoot left handed and with the bottom eject I don't have casings flying back into my face. Its a very good mid range gun.
I also have a Mulit-Jam 835. It works well as a back up, I have not shot it in years (get the hint). I loan it to friends who want to shoot 3.5" when we go goose hunting.
11-25-2002, 12:11 PM
http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-hair-raisin-blue.gif I had a problem with my Stalker BPS. The receiver was so long that I had to grip the forearm in such a way that my palm covered the notch in the forearm that allows the shells to bottom eject. Not a problem with 2 3/4 or 3" shells but when I shot 3 1/2" shells they hit my palm as they tried to eject and didn't fully eject. What happened next was that another shell dropped out of the magazine and I ended up with a spent and live round stuck in the action when it was closed. This especially happened when shooting from an awkward position, like flat on your back at Honkers. One season of botched shots and repeated field tear downs was enough for me.
Great gun if you are 6'4" tall with really long arms. High quality but really heavy due to the steel receiver.
I bought an 870 Super Mag next and loved it but found you had to pump the gun with a lot of enthusiasm in order to fully eject 3 1/2" cases (probably because it new and tight). The benelli came next and I finally fell in love. Had I not bought the Benelli I would have bought an 11-87 Supermag. At the time I was looking they were still having repeated fuction problems with the Browning Gold 3 1/2's, like about 1/2 of the ones sold being returned for function repairs. The shop where I bought my Benelli said he had never had so many returns on shotguns as he had with the Browning Golds but, he said, they had finally worked out the bugs. "Right" I said, "I'll buy the Benelli for $200 more."
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