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?
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.
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!