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#1 jthompson

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 10:41 PM

I'm looking to get into hunting, specifically for birds but I'd really like to start learning to hunt in general. But I'm a complete newb/greenhorn so I'm looking for all the help that I can get. So I guess I'm starting with would be good all around, multipurpose gun for beginning out. I was thinking about the remington 870 or browning bps? Like 28"? Thanks again.

#2 Mayhem

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 12:40 AM

in my opinion ....Remington 870 Express magnum (3" chamber) 12ga 28" barrel ... Cheap versatile has lots of after market parts and mods. reliable (may have to polish chamber)Mossberg 500 magnum (3" chamber) 12ga 28" barrel ... very cheap, durable.Benelli Nova super magnum (3 1/2' chamber) 12ga 28" barrel .... Cheap very durable reliable innovative but uglyBenelli Super Nova super magnum (3 1/2' chamber) 12ga 28" barrel ... very very durable reliable innovative more options then reg nova but more expensive slightly less ugly then a reg nova.Remington 870 wingmaster Super magnum (3 1/2 chamber) 12ga 28" barrel... Durable versatile reliable light (probably the lightest super mag) and pretty (you almost don't want to take it into the field.) it's a classic but probably the most expensive in this group.I have a Remington 870 express magnum and a Remington 870 wingmaster super mag both 12 ga 28" barrelsthe cheapest would probably be the Remington 870 express and Mossberg 500 the best all around stand alone (if you don't want to trick it out or add accessories to it) would be the super nova. My next pump will be a supernova super mag in camo as this will be exclusively a hunting gun for foul weather.Pumps are very reliable and easy to use. some still come in only a 2 3/4" chambers. Most use a 3" magnum chamber and a allot are now coming with the new super magnum 3 1/2" chambers.I love 870 wingmaster's it was my first shotgun as a kid. any of these guns are a good start for a first shotgun and I would recommend any of them. If I had to pick just one out I would have to go with the super nova or wingmaster however I'm very partial to the wingmaster due to nostalgia.one thing you want to do is check the fit on your shotgun. a bad fit can make a good gun suck. check to see how knowledgeable your gun dealer is. me personally I don't trust gun dealers so if you know some one that is very very good at shotguns .. some one who hunts as well as shoot trap, skeet, and spprting clays. take them along .... its sort of like taking a mechanic with you to a used car dealer.
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#3 Old timer

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 08:50 AM

Thats good advice, I have the 870 rem and it works for me Geese thru Quail
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#4 Jeff

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 10:12 AM

870 and 1187 are all I use for upland and waterfowl. I've got a few others but for hunting they are all I use. You won't be dissapointed in Remington's products.The 870 is tried and trued and not expensive. It will quickly become a throw around shotgun that you can rely on.
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#5 ShooterJohn

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 10:14 AM

It's hard to beat a Rem 870.

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#6 SpokaneSlayer

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 02:26 PM

+1 for the 870. I have 2. A turkey model with a 23" barrel. I've shot pheasants, grouse, and trap with it. The other is a late '60's Wingmaster.

#7 Mayhem

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 04:55 PM

BTW if you want a single do it all gun (including shooting trap skeet and/or sporting clays) and you want it to look good on the range ..... Go with the Remington 870 wingmaster super magnum 12ga 28"
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#8 4RHUNTS

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 06:22 PM

+ 1 for the grand old 870.

#9 jthompson

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 12:50 AM

Okay, looks like the 870 is going to be it. I like what Mayhem said about the wingmaster super magnum being a multipurpose type shotgun. Now, is getting a shotgun chambered for 3 1/2" important verses just chambered for 3? And I saw a nice model of black synthetic 870 with a mossy stock and grip but I also like the classic wood look. Would getting one verses the either make a difference in hunting?

#10 Mayhem

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 01:47 AM

The shotgun you saw was a 870 express not a wingmaster. same basic design but theres alot more that goes into the wingmaster. Camo couldn't hurt for hunting but tends to be more important with turnkey and bigger game. Camo looks bad at the range but I once saw a kid shoot trap with a coach gun which is a very classic defense side by side 18 1/2" no choke no auto (pop out) extraction, its used mostly for cowboy action shoots. For general purpose do it all, You want light - durable - reliable - with lots of options in a super magnum that looks good on and off the range. Your best bet here is the wingmaster supermag.For pure field use you want something light - durable - reliable - weather resistant - and can take punishment and in a camo finish, your best bet here is the Benelli super nova supermag or nova supermag.You want a general purpose beater shotgun that can pass on a trap range with minimal snickers and you can use it as an oar when your boat motor quites on you and you still want reliable and durable .. get the 870 express or the Mossberg 500if you want just a pretty gun for the trap range that you can get a little field use out of get a wingmaster trap or a wingmaster magnum.If you want pure range gun get a wingmaster trap for singles or if your going to shoot doubles just get a cheap sub grade Over Under or auto.With auto's you loose a little reliability compared to a pump or break action (over under, side by side) and you have a new set of choices with their own pros and cons. Such as inertia driven or gas driven.again if you looking for an all out general purpose jack of all trades beginners pump you can do anything with go with the wingmaster super magnum. It cost more then an Express but it is a better, lighter, higher quality and more complete package and still cheaper then an auto, side by side or over under. If you want the same but your not going to really do any real clay shooting and your only only purpose is hunting you probably want a camoed nova or super nova in super magnum.If your on a tight budget get a 870 express magnum in wood or black synthetic furniture.shotgun shells for 12ga come in 3 lengths 2 3/4" 3" magnums and 3 1/2" super magnums. the longer shells allow more powder and/or more shot or heavier slugs which comes in handy for heavier or harder to reach game it can also give you fuller patterns.Nice thing about the super magnum wingmaster is they did managed to keep the receiver the same size as the regular and magnum 870's. My 28' 870 wingmaster is the exact overall same length as my 28" 870 express magnum. My wingmaster is lighter, has a much better finish, better furniture, and over all better quality then my express has which has wood furniture to. The trigger guard on my wingmaster is metal and the express is polymer. The wingmaster has a double bead sight the express has a single. The wingmaster has 3 chokes the express 1.However the wingmaster cost around double what the express does and you will really wanta kick yourself in the butt if you ding that pretty finish or furniture it has. The express you tend to think the same dings just add character to it.If you wanta really good all purpose pump and want to shoot trap allot with it get the wingmaster it's pretty and light for range use and still awsome in the field.If you want a beater gun with the same basic characteristics as the wingmaster and isn't to ugly for the range all while staying in a tight budget get the express with wood furniture. just remember it's got a single bead and is noticeably heavier. I'm not sure the if the express comes in a super magnum or not and if it does I do not know if the kept the smaller receiver size or not.If you want a pure field gun get the super nova super magnum it has a really nifty feature. it has a button you can press that allows you eject a shell without loading a new one from the magazine tube letting you hand feed the shell you want. This comes in real handy when your duck hunting and you see some geese coming in you feel your duck loads can't handle but you have a few goose loads in you're wading jacket. You can save a few bucks and go with the regular nova in super magnum. You loose a few minor after market options specially since in the nova the buttstock and receiver are all one piece. in the supernova they are separate pieces. there also some other minor improvements made in the supernova over the nova. these are really good guns but they are butt ugly IMHO.One thing about the 870 express the finish is rougher and is has fewer polished surfaces. The common complaint was spent shells would sometimes get stuck in the chamber and would fail to extract. you can easily fix this by polishing the chamber but make sure its the chamber causing it not a faulty extractor or combination extractor/unpolished chamber problem.Face it however your not going to stop with just one shot gun. your going to get more shotguns specialized for specific purposes in the future. You start with the one do it all gun which I would recommend the wingmaster supermag but then you're going to get hooked and you think your wingmaster is just to darn pretty for the field so you get a supernova. Then you get a 870 express for friends and family to shoot. Then you get a nice banelli or berreta auto. then you really take the plunge with a really nice Over under. now you start collecting side by sides, trap guns, skeet guns, turkey guns ..........Look at me I started with a wingmaster super magnum. most gun shops had the express but no one had the wingmaster. I had owned a wingmaster magnum (back before they had super magnums) as a kid before and up to me leaving the army. so I had have my wingmaster supermag ordered. I got a little ding on my butt stock witch really chapped my arse specially when it was done by some one else. So I got a 870 magnum with wood furniture. My next pump will be a cammoed super nova super magnum. then I want to get a Benelli autoloader then a over under trap gun then mabey a berretta auto .......EDIT:::The 870 express does come in a super magnum and a super magnum combo (smooth bore and rifled barrels) they also kept the shorter receiver like the wingmaster.
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#11 Mutt

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 05:50 AM

I would say mahem has summed it up. It is real hard to beat the 870 for a all around gun. I love my old wore out 870.

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#12 clampdaddy

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 04:02 PM

870s are great. My first 12 ga was an 870 express magnum and it is still my go-to hard use/rough weather gun (my browning is to pretty for all that mess :lol: ). If you plan on shooting trap doubles at a gun club the Browning BPS has one advantage, it kicks the empties out of the bottom of the gun so you wont have to worry about dinging the next guys $13,000 perazzi.
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#13 Skyshadow

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 04:23 PM

I'll toss in a vote for the Mossberg 500. Solid gun, not expensive or hard to care for. Lots of fairly inexpensive accessories for it (mine doubles as a home defense weapon in case an earthquake turns Oakland into post-Katrina New Orleans some day). Also has a tang safety so it's good for us lefties.I'm looking at getting a Browning BPS as well -- also has the tang safety, and it'd be nice not having the shell eject across my body. Obviously can't comment on it further than that, of course, but I've read good things.

#14 jthompson

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 06:01 PM

Wow, thanks for all the info, especially Mayhem. VERY informative. I'm pretty much sold on the 870 and it sounds like either a Wingmaster super mag or the express super mag. And Mayhem, you bring up a good point. I was reading on a rating site and everyone was trashing the 870 express for constantly, it seems, getting jams. Even to the point it sounded like 870 express was about as good as a tree limb. How common is that really and would it be also true for the express super mag? And lastly, I went to the gun store today and the Browning rep was putting the moves on me hard for the BPS. His main reason for superiority was the barrel( something about milling or something) that caused for a more uniform patter and about the choke being deeper in the barrel, so it wouldn't get dirty or crack the barrel. I haven't heard much about the Browning BPS here and they didn't have a Wingmaster super mag to compare it to, but is the Wingmaster Super mag still the shotgun of preference despite what he said? Or is it just a preference thing? Thanks again, getting great advice.

#15 bzzrd feedr

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 06:38 PM

Okay, looks like the 870 is going to be it. I like what Mayhem said about the wingmaster super magnum being a multipurpose type shotgun. Now, is getting a shotgun chambered for 3 1/2" important verses just chambered for 3? And I saw a nice model of black synthetic 870 with a mossy stock and grip but I also like the classic wood look. Would getting one verses the either make a difference in hunting?

I don't think the 3 1/2" is needed. If you look at the ballistics they don't do much more and they kick like a mule. I think it's close to the recoil of a 375 H&H. Learn what 35 yards looks like and shoot close to that range. The lighter the felt recoil the better you will shoot. I still only shoot 2 3/4" ammo for waterfowl and do as well or better than my shooting partners.
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#16 Thumper Dunker

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 12:07 AM

Im with Bzzrd feedr no need for anything over 2 3/4.
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#17 Mayhem

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 02:27 AM

The problem with the 870 express is that it is allot rougher then the wingmasters. Wingmasters are the pretty much the top of the line pump shotguns you can get but you pay for that. Guys I know that have the sticky shell hull problem in the express have been able to fix it by polishing the chamber this is something you can do yourself or have a smith do. as far as how often it happens I would probably say mabey 1 in 15 guns have a rough spot in the chamber in the wrong place. The sticky shell is also more common with 3" and 3 1/2" shells due to the increased length while shooting 2 3/4" shells from the same gun seem to be less effected. again polishing or smoothing the chamber always seems to fix it any way. I have never heard of the wingmasters having this problem. My express has never had this problem and I have never had this problem with any express I have fired.I disagree with the recoil being as bad as 375 H&H with the 3 1/2" shells. While there is more recoil and will notice it if you shoot alot of 3 1/2 shells threw it. the 3 1/2" shells do not have as much recoil or as much hurt as my 300 win mag and my wingmaster is allot lighter then the express so there is less to hold back the recoil. With the suprmag you do not HAVE to use 3 1/2 shells you can still use 2 3/4" and 3" shells. Even if you never intend to fire 3 1/2" or 3" shells don't you think it's nice to have that option if you ever do in fact think you need it. Say you are duck hunting and you run out of 2 3/4 shells and all your buddy has is 3 or 3 1/2 inch shells with a super mag you can shoot them. with a regular shotgun your walking back to your truck to fetch more shells. If anything else a super magnum gives you options. even if you feel you will never need it, just in case you do need it, it's there.One of the things about shotguns. If your gun is made for 2 3/4" shells thats all you can fire threw it.If your gun is made for 3" shells (magnum) you can use 2 3/4" shells and 3" shells.If your gun is made for 3 1/2" shells (Super Magnum) you can use 2 3/4" 3" and 3 1/2" shells threw it. since we are talking pumps there is no reliability difference switching shells and load like there is with an Auto.you probably going to shoot more 2 3/4" then anything else and your only going to use 3" and 3 1/2" shells for hunting only. Some people like the power of the supermag. Me I like having the options of the supermag.The supermag does cost a little more over a regular magnum but again you get the versatility of being able to shoot every thing from 2 3/4" all the way up to the 3 1/2".With the Remingtons' the super magnum does not increase the length of the receiver or the gun over a regular magnum.The super magnum is more of a preference but I like it because it gives me the options of going up to 3 1/2" I can still shoot 2 3/4" and 3" shells with no problems. There is no real disadvantage going with a super magnum. So when people ask why get a gun that shoots 3 1/2" in shells all I can say is why not, It's not like it can't shoot the shorter shells.
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#18 jthompson

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 10:31 AM

Okay, I think I have my shotgun. While I like the Wingmaster super mag, a bit out of my price, at least until I get more adapt at hunting and such. So I think I'll opt for the 870 express super mag. Thanks for all the advice. My main hesitancy was the jamming issue but it sounds like a quick fix of polishing. And I while it may kick hard, I'm kinda a power guy anyway so it sounds nice. Plus the versatility point is a good argument. Why pigeon hole myself, especially if I decide to hunt something bigger. Thanks all again. I probably won't be able to purchase it immediately but I will let everyone know when I do. Thanks again to all!

#19 bzzrd feedr

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 12:23 PM

Mayhem You disagree all you want I've got both and have shot both, go look at all of the recoil charts they aren't making this up a 3 1/2" has a recoil energy of 72ft/#'s where a 375 H&H has 62 or 66ft/#'s
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#20 Skyshadow

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 01:10 PM

Okay, I think I have my shotgun. While I like the Wingmaster super mag, a bit out of my price, at least until I get more adapt at hunting and such. So I think I'll opt for the 870 express super mag. Thanks for all the advice. My main hesitancy was the jamming issue but it sounds like a quick fix of polishing. And I while it may kick hard, I'm kinda a power guy anyway so it sounds nice. Plus the versatility point is a good argument. Why pigeon hole myself, especially if I decide to hunt something bigger. Thanks all again. I probably won't be able to purchase it immediately but I will let everyone know when I do. Thanks again to all!

In all honesty, most shotguns in the same price range are more or less as good as the other shotguns in the price range.What I mean by that is that the deciding factor should be how natural the gun feels when you shoulder it. I know a guy who paid well over a thousand dollars for a Benelli semiauto only to go sell it a few months later for a Mossberg semi. It's not that the gun is better -- subjectively, the Benelli's a superior firearm -- it's just that it *fit* him better. And that's the key to killing birds.Anyhow, what I'm saying is that you should definitely research your purchase, but that you shouldn't buy until you've handled all the candidates.

#21 Mayhem

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 01:39 PM

Mayhem You disagree all you want I've got both and have shot both, go look at all of the recoil charts they aren't making this up a 3 1/2" has a recoil energy of 72ft/#'s where a 375 H&H has 62 or 66ft/#'s

Buz,The 3 1/2" shells recoil depends on the load. so this is subjective. I found the recoil chart that shows the data you posted but it does not show the velocity, load weight or the weight of the gun on it. I've seen some data that shows some 3 1/2" loads as low as 55'#. There is no recoil chart I can find that shows all common commercial 3 1/2" shotgun loads. So the 72'# is about the highest for the 3 1/2. obviously I haven't shot that load.an example of differences in load are Remington has nitro steel 3 1/2" shells that have the same payload and same shot size but one has velocity of 1300ft/sec while the other has 1550ft/sec.All of the 3 1/2 shells I have fired seem to have less recoil to me then my 300 win mag. This could because of the load and the fit of the gun. My wingmaster fits me very very well. but I will say I wouldn't want to fire more then 2 or 3 without recoil padding. I doubt any one is going to go out and shoot 25 rounds of 3 1/2 inch turkey loads, even when turkey hunting your only going to fire a few times at most, if you know what your doing your only going to fire once.the point is however even if you don't ever plan on shooting 3 1/2" with a super magnum you still aways have that option, where with a magnum your stuck with just 2 3/4" and 3" and with a non-magnum your stuck with 2 3/4".To fire 3 1/2" shell you need a 3 1/2" chambered barrel and a receiver made for 3 1/2" shells. and with a super magnum you can shoot 2 3/4" 3" and 3 1/2"a 2 3/4" shell is not going to produce any more recoil threw a super magnum shotgun then it is threw a no-magnum shotgun of the same weight.So other then maybe a 5 to 10% increase in cost why shouldn't some one go with a super magnum over a magnum or non-magnum shotgun?
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#22 Old timer

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 06:20 PM

I agree with Mayham I have the super mag and like it don't often shoot the 3 1/2 as I see it the only difference is the amount of shot in the shel
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#23 dabob

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 07:01 PM

If you are going to shoot steel at waterfowl the 3.5" maybe a good choice. If your not going to shoot steel loads at waterfowl a 3" is all you need. A heavy 3" load shot through a Remington 870 kicks harder than I want to be kicked. No matter what 12ga 870 Express you get you will need to get a good recoil pad for it if they still have the rock hard rubber ones like mine had on it.
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#24 clampdaddy

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 08:07 AM

Scince he's getting a new gun why not get a 3.5 gun? You can still shoot any load through them. Even if you don't shoot many 3.5 shells it would be nice to have it available as an option just in case he ever ran out of shells and had to bum some from someone but all that was available was a handfull of 3.5s.If you get a 3.5 inch pump gun I'd recomend the Browning and the mossberg over the remington super-mag. I've known two guys that have had them and the jamming problems they had wasn't due to a rough chamber, it was when a 2.75 shell popped out from the magazine and got crooked/stuck on it's way to the chamber.If you get a 3 inch express look for a used one. The newer ones have had alot of QC issues. Don't buy an 870 with a plastic trigger assembley. Those are the ones that have been hit or miss as far as quality goes.
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#25 jthompson

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 01:15 PM

Scince he's getting a new gun why not get a 3.5 gun? You can still shoot any load through them. Even if you don't shoot many 3.5 shells it would be nice to have it available as an option just in case he ever ran out of shells and had to bum some from someone but all that was available was a handfull of 3.5s.If you get a 3.5 inch pump gun I'd recomend the Browning and the mossberg over the remington super-mag. I've known two guys that have had them and the jamming problems they had wasn't due to a rough chamber, it was when a 2.75 shell popped out from the magazine and got crooked/stuck on it's way to the chamber.If you get a 3 inch express look for a used one. The newer ones have had alot of QC issues. Don't buy an 870 with a plastic trigger assembley. Those are the ones that have been hit or miss as far as quality goes.

So maybe that is what I've been hearing about on the internet from reviewers? Do you know if they were able to get in corrected after sending it in? The plastic trigger assembly is any trigger that is not metal? And I was thinking about a Browning BPS but it was about $200 more expensive than a express super mag. Do you think that cost is justified? Thanks again to all.

#26 clampdaddy

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 08:57 PM

Both of those 870s got sold to a couple of turkey hunters I know who only shoot 3 and 3.5 shells. The longer shells cycled just fine.I've only fired two BPS shotguns, one in 12ga and one in .410. I liked them both. I think they are worth the extra money. My favorite feature is the bottom eject. It made it really easy to clean up my empties after an evening of dove hunting because they weren't scattered all over the place. A sure way to lose a good hunting spot is to leave empty hulls on a ranchers property.The wood stocked models are beautiful and if you opt for a synthetic model they are coated with Dura-touch armor. My friend has one with this coating and all I can say is that stuff is great. It gives an almost rubbery non slip grip which can be handy on a pump gun. More than once I've had my hand slip right off the forearm of my express while trying to rack a second shot while wearing gloves.
My guns are mine, they aren't for sale, and I only give guns to people that I really like. So I guess the government is **** out of luck.

#27 Mayhem

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 11:46 PM

were those super magnums expresses or wingmasters?I have the Remington 870 wingmaster 12 ga super magnum 28" (3 1/2" chamber) To date I have not had any problems cycling shells threw it and I mostly shoot 2 3/4".I also have the Remington 870 express 12 ga Magnum 28" (3" chamber) with the new plastic trigger guard. I haven't had any problems YET. But I will say the action is alott rougher then the wingmasters. side by side the express almost seems unfinished compared to the wingmaster.
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#28 clampdaddy

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 04:30 AM

were those super magnums expresses or wingmasters?

They were express super mags. I've heard that the 3.5 wingmasters are much better guns than the 3.5 express. I haven't known anyone to have problems with the plastic trigger gouped 3 inch express, just the 3.5.
My guns are mine, they aren't for sale, and I only give guns to people that I really like. So I guess the government is **** out of luck.




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