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adamm1

My first gun

56 posts in this topic

I went hunting for the first time this year and was able to harvest a small 8 pointer and now I'm hooked. I was hunting (and will continue to hunt) a friends heavily wooded private land. This year I was using a borrowed Remington 11-87 which did a great job and served my purposes perfectly. I am now looking into purchasing one of my own and I have a few questions.

1) I have been looking at both 11-87 and the 870 any opinions

2) Sights/optics

The gun I borrowed had a smooth bore barrel with open rifle sights as well as bird barrel with a regular bead on the end. I would like to get the shotgun as it would allow me to hunt birds, shoot trap and hunt deer. In addition the considering the location I am hunting I won't ever have more than a 50 yard shot so I don't really need to invest in a rifle (yet). But what are my other options for optics? The new barrels seem really expensive and I was wondering if there are scopes built for shotguns that would be just as effective and easy to remove if I was hunting something other than deer.

3) Any other guns I should consider?

4) Any good place to buy used guns/ barrels or optics?

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Well first off congratulations on the deer your first time out. When I got my shotgun last year I went with a benelli nova. Great gun, a couple of downside are that the stock and the receiver are all one piece do I can't change the stock. Also when i went to price a slug barrel the ones that cost more than the gun. I think that a 870 for sure is a great gun. If I were you I go to a good gun shop and look at some of the shotguns. You might find out that there is a better one out there that you like better.

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Congrats on the deer. I have a 870 and don't leave home without it they are trusty durable gun for a reasonable price and its easy to change barells.

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The 870 is the best all around gun!! It was my first gun and my only gun for 20 years until I bought land where I can use a rifle.

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Everyone has an 870. I have 2. they are inexpensive and I would classify them as okay. they jam occasionally, many times due to short stroking, but the bottom line is they jam.

1187..had one. got rid of it. it jammed, and it is really heavy compared to some of the others. it is however, fairly inexpensive.

You can get hastings rifled barrel with either rifle sights or with a cantilever scope mount for most guns these days. check to make sure before you buy the gun however. hastings will give you the best (IMO) accuracy.

As with anything it comes down to $$$. an 870 is serviceable at a cheap price. an 1187 would prolly not be on my list, if i was going to jump over the 870, go all the way to a Beretta 391. Of course they cost a lot more. you should be able to find a used one.

Good luck and welcome to the sport!

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The biggest thing about any gun is do YOU like it. I have 2 870's and love the fit of them. I use one for all hunting that requires a bird barrel. The other has my slug barrel on. This is just because I will hunt differnt things during slug season so it saves me from changing barrels. You can pick up a 870 with a bird barrel and a rifled slug barrel for about $375 if I remember correcly. They are great guns. The jam problem will be with all guns if you short stroke them.

The 870 along with the mosberg 500 or 835 are probally the best bang for your buck and will be very durable.

Froggy

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I was told by several people not to buy a rifled barrel that the sabot slugs are not that much more accurate is that true? Also does anyone know which years of the 870 take 3 inch shells?

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Oh and one more thing I was told that i would eventually get sick of the pump if I start shooting clays or bird hunting and would eventually buy an automatic so I should just start with one now. (although that was by the guy at the gun store)Any thoughts?

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He wants the higher sale, thus he wants to sell you an auto.

The truth is many hunters prefer pumps, just like some prefer over-unders, and some prefer automatics. Me, I'll take anything that fits right -- that mounts to my shoulder comfortably in an automatic position where my right eye naturally focuses flat down the rib and stays there in a swing.

Unless that is not the case, you cannot possibly go wrong with an 870. It's pretty much the benchmark against which all other single-barrel shotguns are measured. It has been that way for 50 years, and as wonderful as these later model shotguns are, there is no evidence of any shotgun replacing them as that benchmark.

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That is absolutely NOT true. Rifled barrels are MUCH more accurate than smoothbore almost all of the time ( I am sure someone will chime in that HIS smoothbore is the most accurate gun ever invented now).

The guns that take 3" shells are stamped on the barrel. It has nothing to do with what year....except some of the real old ones may only take 2 3/4" if I 'member correctly. Just read the barrel.

I certainly dont measure my gun against an 870 and neither do the people I know. as stated, they are ok. nothing wrong with them. You will have many good years if you buy one most likely. But the same could be said of a stripped down Chevy Caprice.

I agree wholeheartedly with gun fit. A good fitting gun is paramount and you should try a bunch before buying. A beretta comes with stock shims so you can change drop and comb to make it fit you. Most, if not all, others require a hacksaw to adjust fit.

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I certainly dont measure my gun against an 870 and neither do the people I know.

You should.

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The 870's will jam, the newer ones are worse than the older ones in my opinion, but I've had three & they all did the job. I've never killed a deer with any other type of shotgun & I've shot around 40 with a shotgun. All of them have been with the same slug barrel however. The first gun was stolen with the bird barrel on it & the second one's in the bottom of a river with the bird barrel on it, or what's left of it...

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I have 3 870's and a 1100 and none have jammed on me. The 1100 I have been shooting for 27 years. My 2 Wingmastes are both old ones 1 built in 1959 the other built in 1968 (3" chambered)this is my deer gun with a 24" rifled Hastings and a Red Dot. The other is a 20 express I got for my daughter and in the 8 years we have used it not 1 problem. All the 12's have had truckloads of shells shot through them. I started with the 1100 and went to the pump for deer but pheasants I still use the 1100. About the only gun I would trade my 870's for would be an Ithica 37 featherweight.

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I own several shotguns, including an 870. It was my first and still my favorite. Somewhat for sentimental reasons but also because it is one of the most dependable, best functioning shotguns of all time. I personally have never had a jamming problem but it sounds like some people have. The 870 is extremely easy for a newbie to disassemble, clean from top to bottom and reassemble and fun to shoot. You won't be disappointed with that gun. Get the rifled barrel combo. It's not that much more and more accurate, easier to aim when deer hunting,etc. Good luck in whatever you decide.

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I used to hunt with a Mossberg 500 worked great never have had a problem with it ever has a rifled barrel and sights always has worked great.

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Okay then, I will. It aint half the gun my current one is!

But I bet it's even less than half the cost.

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Originally Posted By: CodyDawg
Okay then, I will. It aint half the gun my current one is!

But I bet it's even less than half the cost.

My guess is both of these statements are true, making the 870 the benchmark for single barrel shotguns, just like I said.

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well looney, i could also benchmark it against a Sears and Roebuck, but that wouldnt make the S&R the benchmark.

870s are okay. not really knocking them. there are, however, better choices out there for most applications.

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well looney, i could also benchmark it against a Sears and Roebuck, but that wouldnt make the S&R the benchmark.

870s are okay. not really knocking them. there are, however, better choices out there for most applications.

Personally, I can't stand the things -- the swing seems awkward, the forearm is too wide and slick, and I'm perpetually looking down on the rib, thus overshooting -- but, if you look around a while you realize they are everywhere, they all work, they all work well, and most of them have been working for close enough to forever. I don't care what you have, you can say it's x amount better or worse than an 870, and in what way, because everybody who knows anything about shotguns knows all about the 870. It's the common factor, the shared language of wingshooters. It's the benchmark.

Personally, I wish the Model 12 was the benchmark, but that's just me.

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If you are having jamming problems with a pump gun, 99% of the time it's operator error. Most jamming problems with the 11-87 are from using ammo that isn't recommended for the gun(to light a load) and shooting the gun too wet(to much gun oil).

If the 11-87 worked perfectly for you, like you stated in your beginning post, well.. Here's you sign.

I've got 4 11-87s and three 870s and all have worked extremely well for me.

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I can guarantee 95% of the jams I've had with my current 870 are not operator error. There's some problem with the shell sticking in the chamber & you just about can't get them to eject sometimes. Generally it's 3" shells, but not always.

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I can guarantee 95% of the jams I've had with my current 870 are not operator error. There's some problem with the shell sticking in the chamber & you just about can't get them to eject sometimes. Generally it's 3" shells, but not always.

You probably have some crud caught up in the extractor.

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We are getting off topic a little and for that I apologize. But a jam is a jam. Doesnt matter how. that is why I rate 870s as merely okay.

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