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What is the best but most reasonably priced single barrel 12 gauge shotgun?


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#1 StephLuvsHunting

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 02:24 PM

I want to go quail, turkey, rabbit hunting. I have never owned a shotgun before but thinking about getting a single shot 12 gauge and also buying the .22 caliber insert so I can do smaller game. Any advice on where the best deals are for a decent shotgun? I'd like it to be lightweight as well. Thanks,Also, what am I looking for as far as length of the barrel? Every hear of longhunter shotguns?

#2 ShooterJohn

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 02:38 PM

You'll have to hurry to go quail and cottontail hunting. The season ends the end of this month. I'd just go with a straight 12 or 20 gauge and skip the barrel insert. You could buy an H&R single shot but spend a little more money and find a Remington 870 on sale and you'll have ten times the shotgun. You can easily hunt everything you mentioned and more with just a shotgun and you can shoot slugs out of them too. But you will really give yourself the advantage having a multi shot shotgun.26 to 30 inch barrels are common on most shotguns. I've never heard of longhunter shotguns.

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#3 Bisley

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 03:13 PM

Or go with the combo guns. 20ga/17hmr, 20ga/.223, or my favorite 12ga/.243. http://www.rossiusa....eadcrumbseries=http://www.rossiusa....eadcrumbseries=Multi-shot shotguns are great for sure, but I have always had a place for single shots. As I have stated many times before too, if you wear the shell holder that goes on your stock on your forearm instead, reloading is very quick and easy.Posted Image Never felt under-gunned for rabbit with only one shot (rifle or shotgun). And especially for newer hunters, it is more important that they learn to find the one bird down than worry about trying to take two. And yes I understand it does take more than 1 shot some times for a single bird, but better to miss the shot and not take any rather than to put two down and not find one or both. There is plenty of time left to buy pumps or autos after better skills and more discipline is developed. But again, (thank God) I was taught how to do this the old way, before i-phone apps were needed for hunting, a well placed 150gr .30-30 or 06 was plenty of gun, and people you deer hunted with would smoke while hunting and not worry about scent blockers and still fill the freezer :blink:

#4 ratassassin

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 04:43 PM

Go with a Remington 870 Express 12 gauge 28" barrel. Love mine. Inexpensive, too.

#5 dangerranger

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 05:49 PM

One of the problems with single shot guns is they are short and light. That equils more recoil and a quick swing. the quick swing means that I pass targets and miss more often than I do with longer barreled guns. so for me a little more weight and a barrel 28" or longer = more hit targets. I have several New England, and H&R shotguns. They are good solid guns, and will last a lifetime but most people want more from a shot gun. to get the most out of a shotgun look for a repeater with replaceable chokes, and a barrel over 26". with that setup you can hunt doves to gease, and rabbits to hogs with just choke and ammo changes.Check out the used racks of your local gun shops and you will likely find several inexpencive shotguns that will do all you need. one thing to rember tho when looking at guns is stick to the name brands and replacement parts are much cheaper. Good luck DR

#6 terrace

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 05:20 PM

Go with a Remington 870 Express 12 gauge 28" barrel. Love mine. Inexpensive, too. I agree you can not go wrong with this workhorse

#7 acousticmood

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 05:35 PM

Go with a Remington 870 Express 12 gauge 28" barrel. Love mine. Inexpensive, too.

+ 1000. You will use it for years on a variety of game and give to your kids to give to their kids.Dont mess around with a gimmick - go right for the 870 - you will never regret it.There is also a ton of aftermarket mods available.

#8 StephLuvsHunting

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 10:36 PM

Thanks for the input! I went to my local gun store and the guy recommended a 12 gauge bolt action Mossbery for $150, its a little heavy but it also has an adjustable choke tip. Would this be a good buy?

#9 Bisley

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 11:22 PM

If you are going to buy anything that carries more than one round, then a pump would surely be best. If you are not worried about the round count (as originally mentioned) then you would be just as well off to buy the single shot over the bolt as it would be lighter and shorter (due to lack of longer action). And a single shot (with shell holder on the wrist as mentioned earlier) is also just about as quick as cycling the bolt, provided the single action has an ejector (pops them out automatically) rather than an extractor (need to pull out empties by hand).As a side note here, if you do go with a pump, they tend to feel longer on the length of pull than the single shots. I do not know your height or LOP, but if you are vertically challenged or have a short reach, you may want to try the feel of a youth model. But if you do end up going with a single, a cheap $20 slip-on recoil pad goes a long ways. More so for skeet than hunting due to the light weight.I also find it funny how many seem to feel perfectly comfortable with limiting themselves to two rounds with a SxS or O/U, but are intimidated(?) to use only one shot in a handy little 5lb shotgun.

#10 dangerranger

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 09:11 AM

Thanks for the input! I went to my local gun store and the guy recommended a 12 gauge bolt action Mossbery for $150, its a little heavy but it also has an adjustable choke tip. Would this be a good buy?

Ive shot a few bolt action shotguns, and they work just fine. it will probably outlast you and your kids with good care. but make shure its "replaceable" choke tubes not "adjustable" choke. the bolts are not popular guns, and wont have after market parts available to make it fit you or tailor it to what you are hunting "this week". if you will stick to Remington , Mossberg, Maverick [ shares parts with Mossberg] you will probably be happier in the long run. H&R also sells a single shot that would fit your needs.http://www.hr1871.co...guns/topper.aspTopper Delux and Topper Delux Classic both have the longer barrel, replaceble choke, and weigh about a pound more. they are also available with a youth stock. the youth stocks are not just cut off for length but are also reduced to help small hands reach the trigger.heres another in your price range. Im not sugesting that you buy on line . only using these to show you whats out there.http://www.gunbroker...?Item=267028610

#11 acousticmood

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 11:04 AM

If you end up going up and down hills (if you end up chasing chukar) weight will be a huge issue.If that is your budget - I'd hold out and try to find a used pump. You want to be able to follow up with at least one quick shot and I don't think a bolt actiion will cut it. All I can say for sure is do a lot of shopping - don't just go for a quick deal - although the season is about over.If there is a trap range near you you might be able to use one of their guns just to get a feel for them if you buy a round.

#12 clampdaddy

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 11:27 AM

......But again, (thank God) I was taught how to do this the old way, before i-phone apps were needed for hunting, a well placed 150gr .30-30 or 06 was plenty of gun, and people you deer hunted with would smoke while hunting and not worry about scent blockers and still fill the freezer :good:

Amen! One of the great joys in life is poking fun at my buddys that bring their camo gear in a sealed plastic bag and then spray themselves down with scent blocker before they head out for a hunt. I'll stick with my Levi's, work boots, and a red & black flannel.
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#13 DirtyDave

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 01:41 PM

Are you dead set on a 12ga? I would reccomend a 20ga pump like a Mossberg 500 or Remington 870, both are right around $300 new.For a .22 rifle, the Marlin 795 is a great gun for a low price, better than a Ruger 10/22 out of the box. Though there are tons of ruger fans that think the 10/22 is the greatest hahaha
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#14 .22guy

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 04:25 PM

Get a Mossberg 500, with interchangeable chokes and you'll be good to go.

#15 bzzrd feedr

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 06:49 PM

Save up and get a used pump gun. The single shots kick like a Mule. When a covey of Quail or any multiple target opportunities present themselves having another shot available is handy.
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#16 StephLuvsHunting

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 07:40 PM

Are you dead set on a 12ga? I would reccomend a 20ga pump like a Mossberg 500 or Remington 870, both are right around $300 new.For a .22 rifle, the Marlin 795 is a great gun for a low price, better than a Ruger 10/22 out of the box. Though there are tons of ruger fans that think the 10/22 is the greatest hahaha

Not dead set on a bolt action or break action, pump is an option for me, still doin the research and seein what else is out there. A 12 gauge since seems pretty versatile. I'll look into the 20ga!I watch a lot of Wilderness Outfitters - Dave Cantebury videos on Youtube.com and this video caught my attention because he mentions the 12 gauge with different adapters, http://www.youtube.c...h/2/K8I1vpRtRQY

#17 dangerranger

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 08:33 PM

I think those adapters are for survival purposes, not hunting purposes. 15 feet to 15 yards are what he said it was good for before the bullit tumbled. its a 1 or 2" smooth bore barrel inside your shotgun barrel. They are usefull in being able to shoot what ever ammo you could find in the wild. But for our purposes a proper load of shot would do more good. I would agree that if I only had one gun, a shotgun would be most useful. If you are thinking you want a survival gun, maybe that single shot isnt that bad an idea. I have a H&R topper that came with a 30 30 barrel and a 20ga barrel. its not fancy but it did the job back in the day. they still make them but you have to buy the rifle and have the shotgun barrel fitted later. about $300 for the rifle and another $100 to have the shotgun barrel fitted. I think Bisley also mentioned the Rossi Combo guns. just know that a light gun in any major caliber is going to kick. DR

#18 StephLuvsHunting

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 04:39 AM

Good points Danger, btw I clicked on the link you sent for the Mossberg 500, Maverick 88 and that seems like a nice shotgun. I'm still trying to get familiar with the different gauges and what they are good at being used for.I will look into the H&R Topper conversion as well, thanks, So for upland fowl and some large game a 20 ga seems to fit the bill, but for more power I see that 12 gauge is the way to go, but just heavier. I like the idea of changing the stocks to youth size. Also, since I intend on doing more hiking out, it would make sense to have lesser weight., I have a 30.06 Savage Rifle and it kicks pretty good but I got a pretty good handle on it, only thing is that it is heavy and can be a sucker to take up 60 to 90 degree vertical climbs up mountains, so yea weight is a bigger issue for me rather then recoil.

#19 Karl

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 07:21 AM

One shot is not enough for a beginning shotgun hunter. You will need follow up shots.Get a basic 12 gauge pump. Rem 870 and Moss 500 are both very versatile and proven in the field.26"-28" barrel. Although the 12 is heavier then the 20 you have a lot more options with the 12. The ammo is cheaper and more readily available in a wider variety of loads.
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#20 mackeralboy

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 07:30 AM

Steph,Forgive me if I missed this somewhere in your postings, but have you ever shot a 12 gauge shotgun? If not I would go out with a friend who owns one and put about a dozen rounds through it to see how your shoulder holds up. Also make sure that you are shooting a 12 guage that is "magnum" rated, meaning that it can handle 3" shells. If your shoulder handles it go for a 12 gauge. If not, I would limit my shopping to a 20 gauge. As to what brand and model of shotgun to get, I am another one who has been happy with my 12 guage Reminton 870 magnum. When I was shopping around a number of years ago for a good pump shotgun, I found that the 870 seemed to have the smoothest action out of all of them. Another plus for the 870 is that there seems to be an endless amount of after market add ons and extras that you can get to modify and customize your gun with. For example, I have three different barrels for mine. It came with a choked barrel for bird hunting or rabbit hunting and I have bought both an aftermarket short home defence barrel and a rifled slug barrel. With these three barrels I can quickly switch it out for home defense, upland game hunting or even large game hunting. As far as price goes I regularly see the Remington 870 advertised for sale at Big 5 for $399.00. Mc

#21 KNOCKED UP

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 09:21 AM

Steph, Big 5 in Antioch carries a single shot 12 break action, and they put them on sale often. I don't remember the brand, but I bought one a while back just because it was cheap. Someone sugested to check them out before you buy one. I have several 12gauges, and some 20 gauges. If you would like to shoot some of them before you buy, we can arange that.TomSteph, The single shot from big 5 is a H&R 12GA Break action.

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 09:57 AM

I have several 12gauges, and some 20 gauges. If you would like to shoot some of them before you buy, we can arange that.Steph,The bottom one is a Winchester 120 20GaNext is a Remington 870 pump 12 ga center is a Mossburg 20 gauge bolt. ( my fathers gun when I was a kid.)Then a H&R 12ga break action.And last is a Stevens 410 break action.You are welcome to try any or all of these before you buy.TomAttached File  8.jpg   16.1KB   2 downloads

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#23 Braz

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 10:37 AM

now there is the bes offer I've seen in some time. you can shoot various acions, vaious gauges and see various manfactures all the same day. GReat offer Tom. Steph you should definately take him up on that offer.
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#24 Bisley

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 12:48 PM

One shot is not enough for a beginning shotgun hunter.

:lol: :o :blink: :1087: :1087: :1087: If you can't hit rabbits with one shot from a shotgun, it deserves a free pass, and you deserve a pass to the range. Beginners hunting dove (alone or with others) can get away with a pump or auto more easily since dove is almost always hunted in an open field and downed birds (especially more than one) are extremely easy to find. A beginner hunting quail (especially alone) does not need the opportunity/temptation (yet) to drop more than one bird as even that will be hard enough to find.

I have a 30.06 Savage Rifle and it kicks pretty good but I got a pretty good handle on it, only thing is that it is heavy and can be a sucker to take up 60 to 90 degree vertical climbs up mountains, so yea weight is a bigger issue for me rather then recoil.

Very important statement above! A single shot 12ga with a $20 slip-on recoil pad will suit this bill perfectly, especially with factory bird shot. I have a 20ga 870, and can tell you that I still end many days this time of year carrying the still much lighter H&R in the pic above. The 870 is light. but I forget I even have the H&R on me at times.And absolutely take someone up on an offer like that every chance you get. Talking about it, and even holding it, is nothing compared to actually using it!Guess I was taught wrong also. We always felt that hunting was about getting out and having fun, not about making sure you have enough rounds in the mag to make sure you put down every bird you see and having to limit out every hunt :lol:

#25 dangerranger

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 05:01 PM

I think you are right on with the statements above, the reason I steer newbies tward a pump is length, feel, weight, and accessorys . but with the longer barrel and screw in chokes that H&R would be hard to beat! they even sell a pretty good youth stock. DR

#26 microtus

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 05:54 PM

The last thing you want to shoot is my Mossberg 500 with some 3" #4 buck. Heck, it kicks so hard I don't even like shooting the thing. My 30.06 with no recoil pad is a pussycat compared to that shotgun.If your hunting prices and like to surf the net, I'll suggest the gun genie at gallery of guns. You can probably find stuff cheaper if you look around but it will give you a ballpark number.
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#27 pete

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 07:04 PM

I recently bought a Mossberg 500 12ga for $200 brand new with 3 chokes on gunbroker. The seller won it in an auction and didnt want it so he unloaded it really cheap. It was a lot lighter than the Remmington 870 express due to the alluminum alloy reciver and the base model had a better fit and finish(not important at all for hunting but its nice). Older single shots like used Stevens or New England? on gunbroker can be found for under a $100 and the same with a Marlin .22 bolt action. There, now you have the shotgun and a fine .22 for around $200 or cheaper if you can find one that needs a little care. Really matters on what fits you best I think, I would take a simple well fitting gun over a fancy heavy or not well sized one any day. Good luck and if you can sand and varnish a stock and have a helpful member here help you do a duracoat finish on the metalwork you can find even better deals.

#28 Bisley

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 07:09 PM

I think you are right on with the statements above, the reason I steer newbies tward a pump is length, feel, weight, and accessorys . but with the longer barrel and screw in chokes that H&R would be hard to beat! they even sell a pretty good youth stock. DR

I can certainly understand pointing a newer shooter to a pump, but since it was mentioned it would be used for just rabbit or quail and not waterfowl or deer (slug), and also knowing that most women (not be sexist or prejudiced here) are usually much smaller in stature by nature, and even a light 20ga pump to a man can be quite a load to many women, children too. What I don't understand though, and have heard it mentioned a couple of times, is the accessories. Please help me to understand this part. I am not trying to be smart or sarcastic here, I honestly don't understand what accessories are being talked about. It is just that in all my years, I have never seen anyone hunting upland or small game with anything more than a stock gun. Except for maybe a universal shotgun sling. Unless it is in reference to slug barrels and scopes for deer or other such things? If it were being used for that I could see where it makes a lot more sense.

Amen! One of the great joys in life is poking fun at my buddys that bring their camo gear in a sealed plastic bag and then spray themselves down with scent blocker before they head out for a hunt. I'll stick with my Levi's, work boots, and a red & black flannel.

Please don't tell me they buy the "special" unscented soap also :signgreatreport3kg: That one always helps me get my uncle in Co fired up just mentioning it. His version of hunting clothes is green thrift shop sweaters and sweats for him and his 3 kids who take deer and elk every year :D I wear camo clothing when hunting, but it's only because a "larger" guy like myself needs materials that breathe a little better and are a little "looser" fitting :eck05:

#29 bzzrd feedr

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 08:45 PM

I think if you are worried about weight you should look at the 20 ga. pump in a youth model. (The shells you carry in your vest are half the weight too) If the LOP is too short you can lengthen it with a bigger recoil pad. That's what I did for my daughter as she grew. She still shoots her first gun she ever shot a Browning Pump. Try to shoot some different guns and watch out for the single shot break guns they kick like a MULE!!!
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#30 dangerranger

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 11:10 PM

I can certainly understand pointing a newer shooter to a pump, but since it was mentioned it would be used for just rabbit or quail and not waterfowl or deer (slug), and also knowing that most women (not be sexist or prejudiced here) are usually much smaller in stature by nature, and even a light 20ga pump to a man can be quite a load to many women, children too. What I don't understand though, and have heard it mentioned a couple of times, is the accessories. Please help me to understand this part. I am not trying to be smart or sarcastic here, I honestly don't understand what accessories are being talked about. It is just that in all my years, I have never seen anyone hunting upland or small game with anything more than a stock gun. Except for maybe a universal shotgun sling. Unless it is in reference to slug barrels and scopes for deer or other such things? If it were being used for that I could see where it makes a lot more sense.

She made mention of shooting Upland, Fowl, and large game. So a gun capable of a little of everything would need a set of chokes. And posibly a rifled choke for slug use. or even a slug barrel. Also a well fitted stock would be a good accessory. I see quite a few youth stocks floating around the net that are listed "for sale or trade for an adult size stock." Its nice to have them readily available. I have several old guns that if I wanted any of thos things it would involve a trip to the Smith. also part of the point of the pump 12 ga is the extra weight. that extra weight is what makes them easier on the shoulder. of course she could always add weight to the H&R. I added about 2 LBS to my H&R Bufalo Classic. it made it much more pleasant to shoot. The trade off is when you go out for a hike that extra weight goes too. DR




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