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Thread: Gun buying conundrum

  1. #1
    Senior Member firehouselabs's Avatar
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    Question Gun buying conundrum

    So, in the search for a shotgun- used by the way, as I am both cheap and broke I am getting a Remington 870, and in fact have narrowed it down to two guns- both of which have their solid good points as well as "not so good"? I hate having buyers remorse and since they won't let me take them for a test drive out in the field (I mean really, is that asking for too much! I even told them that I am willing to go with them to their favorite hunting honey hole ) I am stuck between the practical part of my brain saying "buy this one!" and my gut/heart saying "no, buy this one!" So. I figured, why not get an unbiased opinion from a bunch of guys and gals that I really don't know from Adam (well, some I do) and who do not have a stake in the game like the poor sales guy who I am sure was glad when I left! Here are the choices. They are the ONLY choices so please don't suggest a different gun, OK?

    Gun A:
    Older model with the shiny finish and trefoil design, showing some wear, mainly scratches on the receiver but no more than one would expect for a gun that is used. 28" (actually 27 1/2" but I guess they round up?" barrel with ridged rail sight. Barrel is a modified choke and is one of those that you cannot change chokes, so modified it is. Stock is about 3/4 shorter with the reach/neck being where the stock is shorter than the other gun. Not sure of the weight, but it is noticeably lighter than the other gun. This gun will only accommodate 2 3/4 or shorter shells.
    Pros: Lighter, shorter reach which is VERY comfortable for me, gun really seems to fit and seems to be very balanced (female, shorter arms, smaller hands) and my soon to be 10 yr old son will also be using the gun in the near future…hopefully! This gun is also $50 cheaper than the other, although I am not basing the cost on the decision.
    Cons: Won't take 3" or bigger shells, cannot change the choke. High gloss finish- will this flare birds with the sun shining?
    Question: Will this gun be able to knock down geese and at what range? Typically stalk hunt (as in creeping, not corn), river hunt from blind, or in open field of stalks (corn this time!) I also upland hunt and I know that with the "comfort value" this gun has, it would be a good fit there.

    Gun B:
    Newer model, plain jane Magnum Express. Heavier in weight and seems "barrel heavy" even though it too is a 28" barrel. Clean gun with only a slight but long gouge in the stock, but then pretty doesn't kill birds, right? Dull light brown finish, which I think would help hide the gun from incoming ducks/geese. Smooth rail sight. When putting gun to shoulder, noticed longer reach right away, just slightly awkward but this could obviously be overcome with practice and use. Comes with screw type of choke, currently has only the modified in it- I would have to buy additional chokes if I wanted them. This is the gun that my brain is saying BUY BUY BUY. I think that this would be the gun for ducks/geese, but wondering about upland since it just wasn't AS comfortable as the other gun to shoulder quickly and accurately.
    Pros: 3" and greater shells. Barrel and receiver are scratch free (for now!), dull light finish, removable/changeable chokes.
    Cons: Not as balanced and heavier than the other gun. Overall length of gun is an inch longer than the other gun. The reach is longer.
    Question: Do the Pros of this gun outweigh the comfort of the other gun, and vice versa?

    Looking for anecdotal evidence since you obviously cannot try out the guns either!
    Last edited by firehouselabs; 11-09-2013 at 03:14 PM.
    Raina Anderson WWW.FIREHOUSELABS.COM

    According to this BMI chart, I am too short !!!


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by firehouselabs View Post
    So, in the search for a shotgun- used by the way, as I am both cheap and broke I am getting a Winchester 870, and in fact have narrowed it down to two guns- both of which have their solid good points as well as "not so good"? I hate having buyers remorse and since they won't let me take them for a test drive out in the field (I mean really, is that asking for too much! I even told them that I am willing to go with them to their favorite hunting honey hole ) I am stuck between the practical part of my brain saying "buy this one!" and my gut/heart saying "no, buy this one!" So. I figured, why not get an unbiased opinion from a bunch of guys and gals that I really don't know from Adam (well, some I do) and who do not have a stake in the game like the poor sales guy who I am sure was glad when I left! Here are the choices. They are the ONLY choices so please don't suggest a different gun, OK?

    Gun A:
    Older model with the shiny finish and trefoil design, showing some wear, mainly scratches on the receiver but no more than one would expect for a gun that is used. 28" (actually 27 1/2" but I guess they round up?" barrel with ridged rail sight. Barrel is a modified choke and is one of those that you cannot change chokes, so modified it is. Stock is about 3/4 shorter with the reach/neck being where the stock is shorter than the other gun. Not sure of the weight, but it is noticeably lighter than the other gun. This gun will only accommodate 2 3/4 or shorter shells.
    Pros: Lighter, shorter reach which is VERY comfortable for me, gun really seems to fit and seems to be very balanced (female, shorter arms, smaller hands) and my soon to be 10 yr old son will also be using the gun in the near future…hopefully! This gun is also $50 cheaper than the other, although I am not basing the cost on the decision.
    Cons: Won't take 3" or bigger shells, cannot change the choke. High gloss finish- will this flare birds with the sun shining?
    Question: Will this gun be able to knock down geese and at what range? Typically stalk hunt (as in creeping, not corn), river hunt from blind, or in open field of stalks (corn this time!) I also upland hunt and I know that with the "comfort value" this gun has, it would be a good fit there.

    Gun B:
    Newer model, plain jane Magnum Express. Heavier in weight and seems "barrel heavy" even though it too is a 28" barrel. Clean gun with only a slight but long gouge in the stock, but then pretty doesn't kill birds, right? Dull light brown finish, which I think would help hide the gun from incoming ducks/geese. Smooth rail sight. When putting gun to shoulder, noticed longer reach right away, just slightly awkward but this could obviously be overcome with practice and use. Comes with screw type of choke, currently has only the modified in it- I would have to buy additional chokes if I wanted them. This is the gun that my brain is saying BUY BUY BUY. I think that this would be the gun for ducks/geese, but wondering about upland since it just wasn't AS comfortable as the other gun to shoulder quickly and accurately.
    Pros: 3" and greater shells. Barrel and receiver are scratch free (for now!), dull light finish, removable/changeable chokes.
    Cons: Not as balanced and heavier than the other gun. Overall length of gun is an inch longer than the other gun. The reach is longer.
    Question: Do the Pros of this gun outweigh the comfort of the other gun, and vice versa?

    Looking for anecdotal evidence since you obviously cannot try out the guns either!
    Your brain is saying BUY BUY BUY gun #2, but your body is saying the gun doesn't fit. Why do you buy a gun? To kill shit right? "If it doesn't fit then you won't hit shit" If I were you I would answer "None of the above" & keep looking for a gun that has the features you like: but that fits

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mark Teahan's Avatar
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    Remington 870?
    Get number 2, and shop (ebay)? for a youth stock or maybe one of the gun boards.
    Worst case, cut it down.

  4. #4
    Senior Member firehouselabs's Avatar
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    I can't kill birds by pointing my finger at them and saying "bang" either. And I really want to go hunting this year. The reason for the choice of these two guns is that I am in a really small town with just two choices of places to "shop", one of which will price everything $100+ just for the privilege of shopping there. I "could" go to Cabela's in Kearney, which is a little over an hour away, but then still run into that- priced higher because we can- problem. I know. I have been window shopping since August. I could go to Omaha to Scheels, but then I am spending an additional $100 plus on gas to get there and back, so that too is out with my budget. Yep. I am that cheap and broke. I have to keep in mind that I still need to buy shells you know! Once this season is over, I can start saving up for my "perfect" gun, this one is just to get me by for a season or two, and then-depending on how much I have grown attached to it or not, will either be traded in, saved for the kid, or used as a backup or loaner for brothers/sisters/friends.
    Raina Anderson WWW.FIREHOUSELABS.COM

    According to this BMI chart, I am too short !!!


  5. #5
    Senior Member firehouselabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Teahan View Post
    Remington 870?
    Get number 2, and shop (ebay)? for a youth stock or maybe one of the gun boards.
    Worst case, cut it down.
    Wouldn't that make it more "barrel heavy" unbalanced then it already seems? I wouldn't cut it down, I would rather go with a youth stock and save the other for when the kid out grows me…which should be in about 3 yrs.
    Raina Anderson WWW.FIREHOUSELABS.COM

    According to this BMI chart, I am too short !!!


  6. #6

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    Ditto on proper fit. A semi automatic kicks less than a pump! Assume you are talking about a 12ga. For a youth or woman a 12 ga pump kicks a lot which causes flinching. This will result in a lot of misses. My 2 cents worth

  7. #7
    Senior Member Henlee's Avatar
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    Neither gun. Gun A doesn't fit your needs and Gun B is a poor match.

    Curiosity forces me to ask why are you switching from your old gun also.

    If you are budget conscious I would also consider a Mossberg 500. They are at worst the equal of the 870 and roughly 2/3 of the price. You certainly won't go wrong with either.
    During break time at obedience school, two dogs were talking.
    One said to the other..."The thing I hate about obedience school is you learn ALL this stuff you will never use in the real world."

  8. #8
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    I would look at a used Benelli Nova before making a decision. I have seen new Novas for as little as $350. You can run 3 1/2" magnums through one.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Brad's Avatar
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    How about go to a skeet or clay range and have them help you and try a few out ?. They ussually have rentals.
    My wife went one day last year and I rented a 20 gauge for her and she actually shot one
    Last edited by Brad; 11-09-2013 at 03:36 PM.

  10. #10
    Junior Member 6x6Bulls's Avatar
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    Depends what you are hunting. If you are planning to hunt ducks and geese, gun 1 wont do. I would go with your gut.
    "However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results."
    Winston Churchill

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