Making the right choice on your shotgun purchase is not always easy.First thing you have to decide is what type of hunting you are going to be doing
And how much money you are willing to spend to do it! Modern shotguns have grown into a very breed of their own. from the very reasonable priced guns store brands if you will. to the higher end works of art that they are. When it comes to any type of firearm be it a finely made over and under,A finely crafted pistol they are works of art . That just happen to be very deadly used incorrectly.
Their are also many shotguns made for home defense. All with the ammo to do it. Nothing greets an intruder better than the old faithful 12ga.
The proper instruction in the safe use of firearms should be taught in every home that chooses to have them.
I am one of millions that do choose to bear arms. Along with you!!
So now lets talk a little about shotguns.
Choice in gauge is important based on hunting preference.In most small game rabbit,squirrel,crow the 20 ga. will be ample gun to do the job.If your prey gets any bigger the 16 or 12 ga. would be a better choice.Turkey and fowl its best to use 12ga. Some hunters like the 10 ga. for goose hunting but that is a handful of gun.Choosing chokes for specific hunting conditions is quite important. For shooting where most birds are taken inside 25 yards, Skeet and Improved Cylinder are our most useful chokes. When teamed up with the right load, those two deliver adequate pattern density for shots out to 25 long paces and yet pattern diameter is large enough to make hitting birds that flash by just off the muzzle of your gun quite easy.
For most of the water fowling Improved Cylinder is the most useful although Modified comes in a very close second. While less useful for all-around use than more open chokes, there are times when Improved Modified is a good choice. As a rule, and depending on the load used, Improved Modified will extend range by five to 10 yards over Modified with some loads and yet at closer ranges it is easier to hit with than Full choke. When hunting with a side-by-side or over-under double, use Improved Cylinder in one barrel and Improved Modified in the other. About the only time ever use chokes tighter than Improved Modified is when pass-shooting at longer ranges.
Those rules work for most guns but only pattern testing will determine if they work equally well for you and yours. To determine the maximum effective range of a choke/load combination for wing shooting, start by shooting paper at 20 yards and then back off from the pattern board in five-yard increments, shooting patterns at each range.
Once you see the percentage of shot inside a 30-inch circle drop below 65 percent you have exceeded the maximum range for that particular combination. While I realize it takes only one pellet through the brain or spine to drop a bird for keeps, I also realize it is possible for all pellets to miss those targets and if that happens multiple pellet strikes will usually deliver enough energy for a clean kill.
Smooth bore slug barrel or rifled?
Rifled all day long! JMO
There are three different types of shotgun barrels through which slugs can be fired: traditional smoothbore (any choke, with or without rifle-type sights); smoothbore with a screw-in rifled choke tube; or full-length rifled. In terms of ammo performance, it's the barrel that counts. The type of shotgun action - auto, pump, bolt or break-open - is not really significant. Nevertheless, the situation is not mix-and-match. For satisfactory performance, the type of slug ammunition you use needs to be matched to the type of barrel you are using.
A smooth-bore slug barrel does not spin its projectile, so its range is limited. A smoothbore barrel with a screw-in rifled choke is somewhat better because it will impart at least some stabilizing spin to a departing solid or sabot-design slug, and a full-length-rifled barrel is best (which is why high-power rifles are not smoothbore). In general terms, sabots are intended to be spun. The faster they spin, the better they work, the more stable the flight of the projectile they enclose and the more consistently they separate from the bullet. So, the rule of thumb is essentially this: All types of slug ammo, sabot and non-sabot, provide their best accuracy and the longest effective range when fired in a full-rifle barrel. A smoothbore barrel with rifled choke tube will be somewhat less accurate, and a pure smoothbore offers the least accuracy. You can safely shoot all types of slugs in all types of barrels, but if you use premium-grade sabot ammo in a smoothbore, you're wasting your money, and will likely get less accuracy than with a conventional old Foster-type soft lead slug, since the sabot won't properly separate from the bullet and it actually de-stabilizes the trajectory more than a solid-type load.
On the other hand, if you shoot an old-fashioned Foster lead slug through a rifled barrel, you'll get much more accuracy with it than through a smoothbore. Rifling does work, after all.
Now that we covered some of the basic ideas on shot guns it time to decide on what type ofshotgun you want.
Single shot -Good for beginners and seasoned hunters alike.
Pump-Good all around gun Remington 870and Mossberg 500 are good choices.Both are
multi purpose shot guns with many barrel options. Combo set of barrels adjustable choke and slug barrels smooth bore or rifled.
Their are many other makers of pumps the choise is up to you.
Semi-Automatic-These guns are the most popular next to the pump shotgun.Berreta,Mossberg,Remington among many
others. The auto take more thought to hunt with, because its to easy to fire off unneeded shots by just pulling the trigger.
So now you have some basic understanding of shotguns.You can start looking for the shotgun thats right for you.
The gun you buy must feel good when you pull it up and aim.
Buy a gun that fits you.
A gun no matter what it costs, if cared for will last a lifetime or longer.
Always be safe and see you in the woods
What do you think?