Can I hunt with this shotgun?

This is a discussion on Can I hunt with this shotgun? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm thinking of geting the Maverick 20 gauge 18.5", mostly cause its cheap, seems to be a quality gun, and not too big. But is ...

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Thread: Can I hunt with this shotgun?

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    Ex Member Array Pythius's Avatar
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    Can I hunt with this shotgun?

    I'm thinking of geting the Maverick 20 gauge 18.5", mostly cause its cheap, seems to be a quality gun, and not too big.

    But is it too small to hunt with?

    GunsAmmo_UplandShotguns - Dick's Sporting Goods

    Woodhaven Rifle & Pistol Range Inc. | Maverick 31023 88 Pump 12 ga 18.5" 3" Black Synthetic Blue Finish

    http://www.maverickarms.com/pages/88security.htm

    and as far as hunting, I think I would only maybe hunt Turkey with it.

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    VIP Member Array mprp's Avatar
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    Of the three that you posted there, your best bet would be something from the first one. When you say too small, I think that you're referring to the length and I would say that for hunting you aren't going to want to go with something that has a 18.5" bbl. but should go with something around the 28" range and look into what different chokes will do for you. Some are even adjustable with different choke inserts. But by no means is a 20 ga. too small to hunt with. Being suited for hunting with a shotgun has more to do with the range that you will get with the shot pattern when comparing a 28" full choke, say to a 18.5" modified choke. IMO an 18.5" bbl on any shotgun is pretty much a SD gun and not a hunting gun.
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    I do my hunting with a Mossberg 500, and would recommend it. Here is an idea of what one can be bought for:
    ARMSLIST - For Sale/Trade: Mossberg 500 both barrels

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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    What he said. You can hunt with an 18.5" shotty, but it might not be as accurate as you'd like at long ranges.
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    Its not about barrel length, its about choke.

    Most 18" barrels that are marketed for defensive purposes will have either a cylinder bore or an improved cylinder choke. This ckoke allows the shot to spread faster in a shorter range.

    Hunting barrels are typically around 20" and over, most being either modified choke or full choke.

    Each choke has a specific purpose. Most duck hunters prefer a modified choke.

    Here in Arkansas, squirrel hunters use both modified and full choke. You can get by with the modified in the early season, later when the leaves are off, you'll want to go with a full choke.

    Most turkey hunters will hunt with at least a full choke, or an extra full choke, or in my case a super full choke, as each choke will generally get you further down range. You'll want a tight pattern that puts as many shot as possible in the head/neck area and you can have a killing pattern out to 60 yards or so. Same shotgun with an improved cylinder will be good at 30 yards, but at 60 yard your pattern in so dispersed that your chances of killing a turkey are slim to none.

    On the other hand, a short barrel with an interchangable choke ccan do it all. The trend in turkey guns is to have short barrels (20"-26") with extra full chokes that can kill a long ways off. You'll want the shorter barrel for quicker handling and its easier to carry.

    Since turkey can spot a grasshopper moveing at over 100 yards, the trend is for full camoflage on the shotguns. They have such good vision, that every little advantage helps.
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    Member Array Smilinswordsman's Avatar
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    I don't kniw much about the Maverick but if I were you, I would spend just a fraction more and get the Mossberg 500 or the Remington 870. Both are proven winners and will last a very VERY long time. I hunt pheasant and dove with a cheap 870 and outshoot most of my friends who have more expensive shotguns.
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    Can I hunt with this shotgun?

    Hunting any bird with an 18" shotgun would be a very poor choice. If all you're going to hunt is turkeys, you need 24" or longer with a full choke. If you want to shoot things that fly, the very bare minimum you need is 24" and Improved Cylinder choke. I grew up bird hunting..... And I'd take a $250 Remington Express 870 over a Mossturd ANY day of the week. Way better gun for the money.

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    Distinguished Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    The gun in the Dicks add is a hunting gun. You can easily add a short barrel to it for home defense. For an HD gun I prefer a little longer barrel. 22 to 24" balances best for me. The Mavericks are a good entry level gun. By adding a full set of chokes you will improve its utility, and by adding a shorter open choked barrel you will make it a capable HD gun. Mossbergs and Mavericks can both be had as combos with a short barrel, a long barrel and a set of three choke tubes, but it bumps the price up. Or you can buy the gun and add a short barrel and chokes as the cash comes in. DR

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    Ex Member Array Pythius's Avatar
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    so, if i ever plan on hunting, I don't want a choke that has a wide spread at a short distance.

    the choke on the Maverick 88 18.5" is too small?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pythius View Post
    so, if i ever plan on hunting, I don't want a choke that has a wide spread at a short distance.

    the choke on the Maverick 88 18.5" is too small?
    It's not too small, it's too loose. your patter will open too rapidly and greatly reduce the range at which you can kill game.

    If you decide to hunt down the road you can always buy a hunting barrel for it. A hunting barrel will come with interchangeable chokes. That way you can customize the gun for the use of the day.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pythius View Post
    so, if i ever plan on hunting, I don't want a choke that has a wide spread at a short distance.

    the choke on the Maverick 88 18.5" is too small?
    The choke is too big allowing the shot pattern to disperse faster.You can buy the maverick 88 with the 18.5" barrel and buy either a 26" or 28" replacement barrel with screw in choke tubes,that way you can select the choke for the type of hunting you do.
    Heres a ported barrel
    Mossberg 500 12 Gauge All Purpose Barrel 28" Vent Rib Blued Bead Sight Ported | eBay

    Or you can buy the Naverick 88 with the hunting barrel and buy a 18.5" Defense Barrel which would probably be cheaper
    Mossberg 500 12 Gauge Security Barrel 18 5" Blued Bead Sight | eBay
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    Re: Can I hunt with this shotgun?

    I recently bought the Maverick 12 gauge from Dick's with the 28" vented barrel. Immediately ordered the 18.5" barrel from CTD for $80. Going the other direction would have cost about $50 more. One of the best decisions I've made. Recently learned to shoot clays with it and it seems to work fine.

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    Ex Member Array Pythius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blanco64 View Post
    I recently bought the Maverick 12 gauge from Dick's with the 28" vented barrel. Immediately ordered the 18.5" barrel from CTD for $80. Going the other direction would have cost about $50 more. One of the best decisions I've made. Recently learned to shoot clays with it and it seems to work fine.
    what's the total length of the shotgun?

    the case I have is 42".

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    Its not about barrel length, its about choke.

    On the other hand, a short barrel with an interchangable choke ccan do it all.
    Perhaps, perhaps not.

    Though many people are indeed more accurate with the longer-barreled variants, irrespective of choke. Yes, choke affects the patterning, but increased sight radius and changes in balance can improve aim. With a given shooter, it'll come down to what works best.

    As some have suggested, there are plenty of dual-length barrel options in shotguns out there. ie, a shotty with a 28in bbl and an 18.5in bbl, swapped in depending on usage.
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    I went dove hunting a few times near Niland, CA, on the edge of the Imperial Desert, with a Mossberg ATP8. The short barrel and folding stock made it an excellent gun for shooting birds that were moving fast at 15-20 feet altitude over brush near the grain fields. I did have about half a broomstick in the mag to make it legal. It drew some snickers from guys wandering around with nice double barrels, but I didn't care as I got my bag limit in well under an hour. The "right tool" depends on the job at hand.
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