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


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#31 Bisley

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 02:19 AM

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.

Gotcha, thanks. I guess It's because I usually see the factory stock cut to fit and shotguns usually come with choke tubes that I don't really think of them as accessories. But yes, they surely are when you stop and think about turkey chokes and synthetic stocks :rolleyes: Guess I'm just so used to to accessories for shotguns as being gun mounted shell holders, extended mag tubes, etc, that are all worthless for most all hunting applications.

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

The catch 22. It all depends on what you want to do most with it. If I had only one to choose from, I myself will sacrifice a little bit of pushing around while practicing (shooting clays) where you can stop and take a break, relax, and give your shoulder a rest than to be an hour and a half of uphill walking away from your vehicle toward the end of the day with a heavier gun. Ugh! That is precisely why my autos and heavier pumps are now designated "dove and clay guns" and the Ithaca (Featherweight), 870 (20ga), and H&R (single shot) have all taken their place as quail and chukar guns. But again, I am lucky enough to have a choice at this point in my life. It's kind of funny when I think about it, as I started off with a top-breaker, and now that I am much older, I still find myself finishing many days hunts with the same gun. Full circle.

#32 dangerranger

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 06:20 PM

All of my boys were on the small size and only youth stocks would fit them. I started out with a cut down stock like most other kids, but my kids had small hands and the cut down stocks were difficult for them to hang on to while reaching for the trigger. the first gun I bought with a youth stock was a Mossberg Bantam 20ga. thats when I learned that a good youth stock was more than just cutting to length. It was also reduced in the wrist area and slimmed down all over. that was the first shotgun they could shoot well. A fitted stock is well worth a l;ittle extra. DR

#33 StephLuvsHunting

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 06:49 PM

Thanks Tom! I def want to take you up on your offer. It's almost like trying on a pair of new boots, gotta find the right fit before you buy lol. I'd probabbly wanna start to try the Remington 870 12 ga pump, H&R 12 ga break (is that a single barrel?) and see how they go!

#34 StephLuvsHunting

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 06:51 PM

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

In my initial post I did forget to mention using slugs for big game. That's a must because I love me some big game too, so thanks for clarifying that danger

#35 StephLuvsHunting

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 01:40 PM

I did some shopping around in my area and found a Remington 870 Express 12 gauge for $417 out the door. The other places were around $440-$450. Is this a good deal? For some reason I'm really set on a Remington 870 Express 12 gauge now and can't go to bed until I get one LOL

#36 screwwork

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 01:52 PM

Steph,Check out BPS fisrt $320 plus tax $350 out the door.You can add a Scoped Slug barrel down the road. http://www.basspro.c...10217875/135889

#37 ratassassin

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 03:33 PM

$417 seems a bit pricey for an 870 Express, unless that includes the DROS as well as tax. I bought my 870 Express 12-28 for $299 from Big 5 two years ago and bought a nice older wood stocked 870 Express 20 gauge 28" used for $205 off Gunbroker. Check some pawn shops in your area that carry guns and you'll probably find a used 870 Express pretty cheap. When I first started shooting shotguns, I thought 12 gauge was going to have a lot more recoil than it actually has. But shooting #6, #7-1/2 or #8 bird shot loads isn't bad at all, especially if you have any kind of a padded jacket on. Shooting slugs and shooting 00 buck is another matter and prepare for a sore shoulder, especially with 3" magnum shells. Last weekend for grins I shot some Remingon 00 buck 3" magnum loads out of my Mossberg 500 milspec 12 gauge (cylinder bore) and it was fairly painful, about like shooting slugs. After 5 rounds, I was done. For 00 buck, I'll stick to 2-3/4" loads which are much more comfortable. And shooting bird shot hunting loads with 2-3/4" shells isn't very painful at all. Just takes some getting used to. By the way, be sure to pull the stock solidly into your shoulder; a loose hold to your shoulder will hurt more than a solid hold. Another surprise when I started out with shotguns was that despite the length of a 28" barrel pump gun, it was lighter and easier to swing and point than I expected. Also, there's no appreciable weight difference between a 12 gauge and 20 gauge of the same model and length, e.g., 870 Express, so you might as well go with the 12 gauge from the start.

#38 Bisley

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 05:05 PM

Also, there's no appreciable weight difference between a 12 gauge and 20 gauge of the same model and length, e.g., 870 Express, so you might as well go with the 12 gauge from the start.

I don't know about you, but one full pound is quite a bit of weight difference for me to be to be carrying :rolleyes: It is also why my 870 is a 20ga. I was lucky enough to be able to hold and shoot both before buying, and there is quite a bit of difference in the two. There is also a lot of weight difference in the shells too. My back always gives a sigh of relief when I switch over to the 20ga shells from the 12's :rolleyes:

#39 dangerranger

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 07:01 PM

I guess I look at it differantly, My shoulder cant tell the differance between a 1 oz load from a 12 ga and a 1 oz load from a 20 ga with equil guns. but 12 and 20 guage guns are built differantly. adding up to the weight differance. 20 guages are usualy built slimer, and lighter. for a pure hunting gun thats not a bad thing , but most of us shoot more targets than game. So that extra weight adds up to less felt recoil.Steph, keep looking, you are narrowing it down to what you really want. Most adds I can find that are current have the 12 Ga Express for around $350 with only the Mod choke. so if your gun has a full set of chokes , thats not such a bad out the door price. If not ask if they will put the other chokes in to sweetin the deal. DR

#40 Karl

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 03:55 AM

This week Big 5 has the Mossberg 500 with two barrels, 28" and 18 1/2", for $319.

#41 pete

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:05 AM

I recently bought a brand new in box Mossberg 500 12gauge w/ the upper model add ons for $250 out the door on gunbroker. It fits me better than the 870 and is a bit lighter, also for the lower price it had the nice varnish finish and blued metalwork. I also started shooting shotguns on a Sears bolt action 12gauge and can tell you the recoil is much worse on those cheaper guns. With the Mossberg that has ported barrels its a little easier to keep on target for a second shot than with a friend of mines 870 Wingmaster, though his is undoughtably nicer.

#42 Mayhem in Carmichael

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:31 AM

I did some shopping around in my area and found a Remington 870 Express 12 gauge for $417 out the door. The other places were around $440-$450. Is this a good deal? For some reason I'm really set on a Remington 870 Express 12 gauge now and can't go to bed until I get one LOL


So, I've been off the board for a while, but now that it's been hunting season for a bit, and stripers are slowing in the delta, we're getting back into it. I, too, want my first shotgun and was curious if this is what you ended up with Steph?

I've been looking at this one vs. the Mossberg 500, but in the 20-gauge variety. We do a lot of hiking into places, and it seems to be lighter vs. the Rem 870. My bro-in-law and his buddy both prefer the Moss, too, because of that and the price and I've read it's like comparing Craftsman tools to Snap-on tools - both get the job done.

I've shot the 12-gauge Rem 870 with a 3" Mag slug - scared the hell out of me, which I believe was the intent when my bro-in-law handed it to me. Said he wanted me to know what the worst kick would feel like - thanks a lot Bro! LOL. REALLY can't handle that kick. Shot another with a really nice recoil pad, although I couldn't tell you which it was.

Does anyone else have a preference between 12/20-gauge, or Rem870/Moss500? Plan to get turkey, pigs, a few predators, and maybe a deer someday...

#43 clampdaddy

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 10:13 PM

There isn't anything wrong with a 20. When I belonged to a duck club there was an old timer that hunted exclusively with a 20 and he knocked the snot out of any duck or goose that made the mistake of getting inside his decoy spread. Regardless of what you are hunting, you will always shoot better and make cleaner kills with a gun that you can shoot comfortably. That being said, the 12 is very versatile and there are loads out there that dip down into the 20 gauges power and recoil range.

#44 sxshooter

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:28 AM

If most of your hunting is upland, a 20 ga is probably a better choice, IF you can find a 20ga that is lighter by a noticeable amount. Many manufacturers just take their 12ga gun and put a smaller barrel on it and make some small internal mods to accomodate the 20ga shells. These types of guns are usually the same weight as the 12ga. Take a close look at the manufacturer's website and specifications to see the weight differences. No sense in carrying a 7 1/2 - 8 lb 20ga as a upland gun. A nicely proportioned 20ga upland gun should be in the under 7lb range and preferably closer to 6lbs. Many english and european 20ga double guns will be under 6 lbs. A 6lb 20ga is a sweet handling gun for quail and chukar. 20ga 7/8 oz or 1 oz 2 3/4" loads are plenty to whack even a wild South Dakota rooster. You just need shot sized for the task. I like the #5 shot for pheasant, #6 for chukar and # 7 1/2 for quail. I've shot plenty of pheasant with exactly that combination and never felt undergunned.

If you are intent on pass shooting (high flyers) geese, you should look into a 3 1/2" 12ga gun made for that task. It'll be big, heavy, and probably near $800 or more for a good name gas operated one. You're not going to like carrying it to chukar hunt, though.

Just some perspective...down in the south at the quail hunting plantations, many of them don't allow a 12ga and some don't allow pumps or autos. To a southern quail hunter, a 28ga over/under or side by side is a "proper gun" for quail. (Cheney used a 28ga o/u in that quail hunting accident if you recall)

One gun may be able to do it all, it just won't be the ideal fit for all things. That's why God created the large gun safe... :signlol2iu:

#45 sxshooter

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:03 AM

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

I can answer the "What is the best..." part with this suggestion... http://www.csmcspeci...slash-22665.htm
Posted Image


At $85 K for the pair of them, they should be the best or close to the best single barrel 12 gauge shotguns out there. Remember, that's only $42,500 each.

For the most reasonably priced single barrel 12 gauge, I guess that depends on your perspective ... and portfolio.

#46 sxshooter

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:46 PM

Steph,
If you haven't bought anything yet, consider buying a used gun. A Rem 870 Wingmaster in 20g, an Ithaca model 37 in 20ga, a Winchester model 12 in 20ga. etc. Stick with well known brands and you'll be ok.

GunsInternational.com, GunBroker.com, GunsAmerica.com all have more guns than you can look at.

#47 clampdaddy

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:22 PM

.......If you are intent on pass shooting (high flyers) geese, you should look into a 3 1/2" 12ga gun made for that task. It'll be big, heavy, and probably near $800 or more for a good name gas operated one. You're not going to like carrying it to chukar hunt, though.........


Not anymore. They've come a long way in the last few years. My 3.5 inch auto is slender, weighs under 7 lbs., recoils like a pussycat, and carries really nice.

#48 braunbear66

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 06:37 PM

I bought a H&R 20 topper Jr for $99 bucks and my Savage/stevens 410  $75 bucks and love them both






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