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Just bought my first shotgun a Remington 870


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#1 StephLuvsHunting

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 06:31 AM

(oops just realized I posted this on the wrong forum :1087: )

Hi everyone,

Happy to finally say I am the new owner of a Remington 870, pick it up 10/6. I'm looking forward to duck and turkey hunting, and have a lot of learning to do. But I do have a drive to learn and passion to get out there, get dirty and have some fun.

A couple things:

What kind of chokes do I need for dove? duck? turkey?

Do I absolutely need a dog?

Any tips on cleaning your shotguns after use?

Sorry if these are all duplicate questions from past posts.

Thanks for reading :)

#2 GSH

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 06:54 AM

Good shotgun, IMO use full choke on both duck and turkey, On my first shotgun I had a 30 inch full choke (no injecter choke) and I used that gun for all type of birds from dove, quail, pheasant and duck, you just didn't want to shoot the small birds to close. If you hunk duck over decoys you might want to use a modified choke but it depends upon how your gun patterns the load your using. If you decide to hunt dove or quail you might want to use an open choke so your shot pattern opens up for those close birds.

#3 Baja_Traveler

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 07:01 AM

What chokes did it come with? The choke you use depends on the distance of the game you are shooting at - close in shots use an Improved Cylinder (or even a skeet choke) mid range use a modified and long shots on ducks a Full choke. They make special turkey chokes, or a full choke works also. The turkey choke works well for coyotes and #4 buck. There is no one easy answer, the doves could be flying high or coming in close, you have to adapt at the time, so it's best to have a selection in the gun case...

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#4 True2ThySelf

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 07:17 AM

When you guys talk about hunting with a full choke, does this still apply if you're using steel loads? I thought I read somewhere to use a choke one level lower if you're using steel.

#5 Frank

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 07:20 AM

First, Congratulations on your very fine purchase. The 870 is what all the other (pumps) are measured by IMO. You did Good! :good:

Well, Grant and Baja said it well...

For duck & turkey, a tight choke is needed... ie; full, turkey etc

For dove and quail a more open choke can make even a bad shot look good. Improved Cylinder & skeet are my personal favorites. And as said above, the gun & load (pattern at 23 yards) will determine what to use. HOWEVER, I personally have seen skeet almost always work good with many types of ammo, in every shotgun I've patterned... unlike Improved Cylinder or modified etc! It is the safest bet (most reliable) for upland birds IMO.

Happy Hunting

#6 dabob

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 10:01 AM

If I was going to have just three chokes for my shotgun my choices would be Skeet, Light Modified and Improved Modified.

I have had good results with Carlson's Extended Sporting Clays chokes in my hunting shotguns.

http://choketube.com...oke-Tubes&mf=16

For steel loads a Modified choke is quite often considered to be a steel full choke. Quite a few duck hunters use Improved Cylinder, Light Modified or Modified for shooting steel shot, Hevi-Shot and the other heavier than lead high density shot.
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#7 ShooterJohn

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 10:30 AM

Do I absolutely need a dog?

Any tips on cleaning your shotguns after use?


No you don't need a dog, but it does make your chances better when hunting upland game. Ducks you don't need a retriever to hunt them.

An 870 is so easy to remove the barrel it doesn't hurt to run a swab through it every couple of uses. As a kid I only removed the trigger assemble if I got the gun really dirty, muddy or dropped it in the water. If you have it out in the rain it's recommended that you dry it thoroughly and wipe it down with a good oil.

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#8 KNOCKED UP

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 10:37 AM

Congrats Steph.
I think you are going to like that one.
If you need a skeet thrower, I have one you can use,
that way you can sharpen your skills.
I highly reccomend that you have the gun fitted
to you,
It makes a big differance in accuracy.
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#9 Lone Wolf

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 02:39 PM

Good solid gun, Can never go wrong with an 870. That was also my first shotgun, still use it some today. I have a modified choke in mine that I have never changed and Ive hunted dove, pheasant, quail with much success.
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#10 True2ThySelf

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 03:17 PM

My friend has an 870 and it's a nice gun. Cycles very smoothly. I would like it more and might even get one if it had a tang safety.

#11 ratassassin

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 05:31 PM

Congrats! Did you get a 12-gauge or 20-gauge? I love my 870 Express 12-28. It came with a modified choke and it shoots very accurately and reliably.

#12 StephLuvsHunting

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 05:52 PM

Congrats Steph.
I think you are going to like that one.
If you need a skeet thrower, I have one you can use,
that way you can sharpen your skills.
I highly reccomend that you have the gun fitted
to you,
It makes a big differance in accuracy.
Tom


Thanks Tom, I was just thinking about how I would practice, so to borrow your skeet thrower sometime would be great, im guessing in Concord they have a shotgun area? I got a 12 gauge with a 28in barrel. It comes with one choke but when I get it I will be buying different chokes to fit the kind of game I will be hunting.

Thanks everyone for your input, im very much looking forward to getting out in the field. Now I need to find the BLM land to do it. I live off the delta in Antioch, so any advice on places I could go to hunt are great, also I have a kayak and can get into little sloughs eventually for duck and geese :)

#13 Bisley

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 06:36 PM

Congrats and nice shotgun. I noticed on the other thread that you were talking about hitting the second dove opener? May I suggest you start with the quail season first for several reasons. First being the dove are already smarter and much less abundant (bad combo) than the first season. The second one being that it is far easier for newer shotgunners to hit quail which take time to flush up before they get going, and also almost always fly straight away from you, much like clays that we all practice, rather than sideways by you already up to freeway speeds. Having taught many new shotgunners (including two kids in the last two years) I can tell you without a doubt it is much easier and fun for them when learning to hunt quail rather than dove. Once you get it down well, then go for dove and have a blast. Just a thought.

And you absolutely do not need a dog to hunt! No way, no how! It may make it easier to find birds some times, but not easier in general. Especially when you factor in all the cost, care, training, and inconvenience at times. But if you do hunt without one, I highly, highly suggest #6's and a modified choke minimum. Full is even better if you can learn to hit with it. I know many bitch and complain about losing say even 1/3 of the breast some of the closest birds with tighter chokes, but it sure beats losing 3/3 of it when it flies off crippled or runs away crippled and hides. And the 6's will usually drop birds instead of just many times knocking them down or slowly killing them with 7-1/2's, and having to play a lot of hide and seek. No fun, trust me. Plus, there are many times chukar where there is quail, and you already have the shot for them in there so you do not miss that rare golden opportunity that you will kick yourself for later. And you can always wait to take a further shot with a full choke, but you can never make them turn back round to you when they are too far for your modified or improved choke. And being newer to birds, it will take a bit of time to get used to birds flushing, then picking one out as you shoulder it, and finally shooting. Very rarely will they be too close for that full choke, even for us that have been doing it for years ;) . But again, these are just suggestions from what we have picked up over the years, good luck which ever way you go.


When you guys talk about hunting with a full choke, does this still apply if you're using steel loads? I thought I read somewhere to use a choke one level lower if you're using steel.


Yes and no. Yes, you can use full choke on steel, but no, not with all choke tubes. Only certain manufacturers say that you can. Carlson chokes will tell you that you can use all the way up to full with steel right on their website.

#14 modoc squeek shooter

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 06:56 PM

Congrats Steph on a fine shotgun. My dad bought me a 20 ga 870 when I was 12, 67 now. It was modified choke, I used it for everything and became quite good at killing ducks, geese, pheasants and dove. I started 3 sons and 1 grandson with that same shotgun. I lilked my Rem 870 so well that I bought one in 12 ga after my first son was born. Ed

#15 clampdaddy

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 07:20 PM

The factory modified choke patterns steel very well in my 870. I like the factory full for dove and pheasant (wild pheasants, not farm birds). The factory Super Full (not extra full) is one heck of a turkey choke. It is also my favorite choke for crow hunting. It really shreds 'em.

I don't hunt with a dog. You just have adjust your hunting spots to the terrain and learn to watch your shots. Don't shoot at dove that are flying over corn or tall weeds, and don't shoot at ducks that are flying over thick tullies. In hunting, recovery is the name of the game.
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#16 sxshooter

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 05:21 AM

Hi Steph. Congratulations on the new gun. An 870 is an American icon. Probably the highest volume produced shotgun in the world. Your 28" 12ga will do all that you mentioned and much more.

Advice on chokes has been given and it will always be a point of discussion and often contention with hunters. You'll find endless forum posts on the subject. The one thing that you need to keep in mind is that it doesn't change the maximum effective range by very much with a particular load. As an example: if your gun with a skeet choke and a particular load of #6 shot has a pattern that has enough density for quail at a maximum of say 32 yards, a full choke may only extend that to say something like 50 yrds. But here's the real falicy about chokes. People think that more is always better. That is most people will gravitate to tight chokes. In some situations this is the right choice. However, more often than not, especially when upland hunting with a big 12ga, a choke of more open pattern is more productive. This is not just my opinion, but the opinion of the most experienced upland hunters. My choice for quail in the hills and junipers where shots over 30 yrds are rare, is a cylinder or skeet choke. When I get out on chukar in open rocky country, I like about a 1/2 choked gun (modified), but a full choke can work too. I don't waterfowl, so I can't help you with that. One thing I think that will help you more than which choke to select is to take your gun and shoot patterns on paper or a steel grease plate at a range. Pattern at various ranges with various chokes and loads. Learn your gun limitations on a patternboard, not by loosing game in the field. It'll be fun. Some of the best shooters I've met don't fuss with changing chokes all the time or some not ever. It's really more of a distraction to think about selecting the right choke than just picking one and leaving it in for the entire upland season and just worry about your shooting.

If you want to learn about hunting with dogs, read books on the subject, watch some shows on tv, find a friend that hunts with a dog, try a hunting club/preserve that has professional dog handlers where you can see well trained dogs and handlers in action. That last one is probably more important and will give you a better idea than all the other stuff, especially hunting with a friend that has a family dog that may not be much of a hunting dog and be out of control in the field. Out of control dogs are a pain in the axe. The average couch potato family dog is not on the same planet with a well bred and well trained hunting dog in top shape, handled by someone with skill. Until you've hunted with one of these, you really cannot imagine what it's like. Dogs aren't for every hunter. But when you do get a good one, they become your hunting buddy as well as family companions. I know you probably can't imagine this but after you've hunted for a while, you're going to start thinking more about maximizing your enjoyment afield rather than maximizing your birds in the bag. That's when you should find out more about dogs and how they can make your hunting more enjoyable. Me? I would give up my entire collection of expensive vintage double shotguns and hunt with a beatup old rusty pump shotgun, before I gave up my dogs. Taking my dogs out, even without a gun, for my friends to hunt over is a great pleasure to me. My dogs are right beside me as I type this.
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#17 StephLuvsHunting

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 06:15 AM

Thanks for your input everyone!

I'm trying to let it all soak in right now, soo many different chokes and patterns. I have never even shot a shotgun before lol. But I am looking forward to it and getting some practice in. Here is a quick reference chart I found on chokes:

Posted Image

Soo many chokes, time to study.

#18 clampdaddy

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 08:50 PM

Advice on chokes has been given and it will always be a point of discussion and often contention with hunters. You'll find endless forum posts on the subject. The one thing that you need to keep in mind is that it doesn't change the maximum effective range by very much with a particular load. As an example: if your gun with a skeet choke and a particular load of #6 shot has a pattern that has enough density for quail at a maximum of say 32 yards, a full choke may only extend that to say something like 50 yrds. But here's the real falicy about chokes. People think that more is always better. That is most people will gravitate to tight chokes. In some situations this is the right choice. However, more often than not, especially when upland hunting with a big 12ga, a choke of more open pattern is more productive. This is not just my opinion, but the opinion of the most experienced upland hunters.......



SxS, the open choke shooters are most always guys that hunt over dogs. When growing up on the farm my brother and I would tie a thin nylon cord to our belt loops and walk the alfalfa fields for pheasant. Since we didn't have a bird dog that nylon cord would pass over the alfalfa a kick up any bird that was between us. Many times they would flush far behind us so a solid hit from a tight choke was nessiscary to put them down hard......chasing crippled pheasants, on foot, in alfalfa is fun to watch but try doing it with your little brother tethered to you by a nylon cord. Lol!
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#19 sxshooter

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:40 PM

Clamp,
That had to be a sight to see, you and your brother LOL.

Just my 2 cents, I hunted a long time without dogs and had my best days with open chokes. I like to think I'm a pretty quick shot and pretty decent about centering the pattern. That ain't always the case, but I like to think it is. :signlol2iu:
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#20 sxshooter

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:15 PM

This ol Ithaca Crass was made in 1892. It's a 12ga damascus barreled gun, 26" barrels, .005L/.000R chokes, 7 1/2 lbs of road hugging weight. It handles like a 57 Buick stationwagon. Nice followthru on your swing...though. That day, I finished out a limit of wild quail up in the Cuyama River valley.. No dog. The load was an anti-high velocity 1150 fps, anti-heavy load 1 oz of small 7 1/2 shot.

Posted Image

I've taken a few wild pheasant in South Dakota with this gun and the same slow poke load of 1150 fps but with 1 oz of #5 shot in place of the smaller shot. It ain't the arrow or the bow, it's the indian, in my opinion.

For the last few years I've taken to hunting all my upland birds with .410. My "go-to" gun is choked .010L/.000R (which is Mod/Cyl in a .410) firing 11/16 or sometimes 3/4 oz of shot at barely over 1100 fps. . Granted I'm hunting over dogs, but it wasn't until this year that I really will be hunting wild birds over a pointer. For 6 years I hunted over a flushing retriever. Mine would typically flush at about 20-30 yrds. A big fat pheasant slowly rising at 30 yrds is a piece of cake, you have half a day to get your gun up before the bird starts to move forward at any real speed. This old friend was about 70 when these pics were taken and he got his gun up pretty quick.
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

But a quail beelining it away a few feet off the deck is another story. And that's what I love about the quail. It's the most challenging shooting of all the upland birds I've hunted. You have to be ready all the time if you don't have a dog. If you have a flushing dog, you still need to have a quick mount and shot and be able to read your dog. With a pointer, and a holding bird (not always a given) life can be a lot more leisurely, like my friends over my pointer at a wally park hunt.

Posted Image




But...if you have one of these dogs, you're gonna need a lot more help than a full choke.
Posted Image


Did I mention that choke selection was a contriversial subject? :pot:
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#21 Frank

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 08:03 AM

SxS, the open choke shooters are most always guys that hunt over dogs.


Wow... someone definitely forgot to tell our group that. Out of perhaps a dozen guys, only one uses a dog (on quail).

The load was an anti-high velocity 1150 fps,


I'm starting to break out in hives all over... Why you do that to me (& Bisley)? jk :D

#22 sxshooter

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 08:34 AM

Wow... someone definitely forgot to tell our group that. Out of perhaps a dozen guys, only one uses a dog (on quail).


See...without direct adult supervision, people do things all day long that aren't supposed to work. :drinks:



I'm starting to break out in hives all over... Why you do that to me (& Bisley)? jk :D

Like all sports, it's for the entertainment. :archer-green: :smiley-innocent-halo-yellow: :D

Just showin the other half of the story of bigger/faster/tighter is better. I'm as guilty of bigger/faster as the rest, just not so much with shotgun loads anymore. My moving mainly to .410s with small, slow loads, for all my upland hunting is sorta like hunting with a bow, to a lessor degree. More fun for me, and that's the only reason any of us hunt. I feel more rewarded taking 1 pheasant with my .410 than a limit with one of my 12ga guns.
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#23 Frank

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:33 AM

:smiley-funny-post-sign: & so true... always 2 sides to a coin, &/or various ways of enjoying our sport(s)... which does make it all the more fun. :good:

#24 rustygun

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 03:52 PM

Congrats on the new shotgun Steph. Think you made a good choice and should have fun with it for many years to come.

#25 Bisley

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 04:51 PM

I'm starting to break out in hives all over... Why you do that to me (& Bisley)? jk :D


I didn't break out in hives, but I did get a cold chill and almost choke on my iced tea :lol:
Open chokes work great if you're hunting something like pheasant in alfalfa fields that are flat and easy moving, ad the birds take a lifetime to get airborne and up to full speed and flush at your feet. But, when you walk up and down hills and valleys or chase through :censored[1]: lava rock for even an hour or two and are worn out from twisting your ankles and cutting your hands, it is much harder to get that thing shouldered quickly while gasping for air. Even if it flushes at your feet, you won't even have it shouldered until they are 20-30 yards out many times. I do not have to drop something every time it flies, but I do have a self driven effort to make sure I at least give myself the beast chance I can by having a load and choke that will reach out there and then some (in gosh darn hurry I might add) to do it. Is that not one of the rewards for taking the time to learn all about reloading and ballistics, and taking the time and effort to do it?

And Guess I just find it funny, but why is it shooting a small round with few pellets is sporting, but shooting a 12 with a tight choke making it much harder to hit seems to be wrong? Never understood that one.

#26 modoc squeek shooter

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 08:08 PM

My dad, if he was alive would be105, used a model 11 Remington ( Browning patten) with a 32 inch full choke for every thing, doves, quail, pheasants, ducks and geese. He was the kind of guy that always came home with the limit lol. Shot 71/2 shot for everything too. Even geese lol. Bought shells, never reloaded. He would go dove hunting with a box of shells and get a limit(10) and come back with shells lol. But he was raised in a time when money was short and you hunted to eat. Ed

#27 sxshooter

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:33 PM

Bob,
choices by others, different than yours, will continue forever. Move past "my choice is right" on everything and you might learn a bit about something and enjoy it along the way.
It's not about how many, it's about how.
Life is too short to hunt with an ugly dog or gun

Maintain a balance of nature, use a beautiful gun when shooting a beautiful bird

#28 Thumper Dunker

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:35 PM

A SHOT GUN ?! What happend to the bow? :P 870s are great guns I have two.
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Had to post that. Steph that shot gun can be used on othe game besides birds. Any thing in this state you can take with it. With a mod choke you can use slugs for deer and other big game ,at close range 50Yards maybe a bit farther. Or you can get a slug barrel and realy reach out to get them . A shot gun is almost as versitile as a bow. Good choice . Go shoot the snot out of it and start getting game.We expect pictures. :good: If I could only have one fire arm it would be a shot gun.
You can hop but you can't hide. Yahi Bowmen. Its not how far you can shoot but how close to the game you get when you shoot. Sights we don't need any sights. Why waist time reloading when I can be making arrows.

#29 StephLuvsHunting

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 01:16 PM

Thanks ThumperDunker! Funny I just saw the movie Looper and they a girl with a Remington 870, an American icon indeed this gun is and i am going to be a proud owner of it. I cannot wait to take it in the field and have some fun.

Question, how many acres of private property do u have to have to legal be able to hunt for say upland game, or say hogs? lol sorry that was random, just wondering because im going to do some work for this lady that owns a goat farm and she backs up to some good areas of morgan territory.

#30 ShooterJohn

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 01:21 PM

It depends more upon where the property is located not how big it is. If it's located in the city then it doesn't matter how big the area is you can't hunt it. Check the county regulation on hunting before you go out or call the local sheriff's department and ask them . Then you also run into the 150 yard rule about occupied dwellings if there is a neighbor close by.

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