First Shotgun

This is a discussion on First Shotgun within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm looking to purchase my first shotgun. What is the difference between a 12ga and a 12ga magnum, I see them advertised as both....

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Thread: First Shotgun

  1. #1
    Member Array Dolphin's Avatar
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    First Shotgun

    I'm looking to purchase my first shotgun. What is the difference between a 12ga and a 12ga magnum, I see them advertised as both.

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    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
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    As you've probably read, there are several lengths of 12 gauge shells. The most common is the 2 3/4" shell, which 99.9% of modern shotguns will chamber. There are also 3" and 3.5" (called magnum) shotshells. Guns chambered for these longer shells can also chamber shorter shells (however, some semiauto shotguns won't cycle properly on 2 3/4" shells).
    I'd get a gun that can chamber 3" shells at least. The new Mossberg and Remington shotguns can chamber any of them. I'm a Mossberg fan.

    Hope that helps.

    Peace,
    Pete Zaria.

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    Member Array Dolphin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Zaria View Post
    As you've probably read, there are several lengths of 12 gauge shells. The most common is the 2 3/4" shell, which 99.9% of modern shotguns will chamber. There are also 3" and 3.5" (called magnum) shotshells. Guns chambered for these longer shells can also chamber shorter shells (however, some semiauto shotguns won't cycle properly on 2 3/4" shells).
    I'd get a gun that can chamber 3" shells at least. The new Mossberg and Remington shotguns can chamber any of them. I'm a Mossberg fan.

    Hope that helps.

    Peace,
    Pete Zaria.
    Thanks Pete, I've narrowed my choice to a Mossberg 500 or Remington 870 and probably a 20ga. I've got a lot to learn, any particular reason you favor Mossberg?

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    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolphin View Post
    Thanks Pete, I've narrowed my choice to a Mossberg 500 or Remington 870 and probably a 20ga. I've got a lot to learn, any particular reason you favor Mossberg?
    Heh, those are the two most popular pump action 12 gauge shotguns in America and both are good choices.

    I have a Mossberg 500 that I've had a while and like quite a bit. It handles and "points" quite well for me and has never had any mechanical failure. I chose it because it felt good in my hands and was $100 cheaper than the Remington.
    If possible, shoot (or at least handle) both and make your decision based on how it feels and handles for you. There are lots of accessories available for both guns.

    Peace,
    Pete Zaria.

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    Member Array Dolphin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Zaria View Post
    Heh, those are the two most popular pump action 12 gauge shotguns in America and both are good choices.

    I have a Mossberg 500 that I've had a while and like quite a bit. It handles and "points" quite well for me and has never had any mechanical failure. I chose it because it felt good in my hands and was $100 cheaper than the Remington.
    If possible, shoot (or at least handle) both and make your decision based on how it feels and handles for you. There are lots of accessories available for both guns.

    Peace,
    Pete Zaria.
    Pete, thanks. Hope you have a good new year!

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    The Mossberg 500 is a good shotgun to start with and parts are relatively easy to come by, after market or stock. Barrel take-down is easy, and a swap can be done in less than 30 seconds. It will take the 2 3/4 or 3" shells, and I like the fact you can dump a shell into the open action and chamber it without feeding off the mag. Although I am currently shotgun-less, my first was a 500 in 20ga as well. Then a 500 in 12ga, Remington 870, and Ithaca 37 featherweight. All very good shotguns, easily customizable, very reliable, relatively simple, user friendly tools. I recommend parkerized in any as opposed to blued for the tactical scene.

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    Member Array Dolphin's Avatar
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    Aside from the cost are their any positives/negatives with the 870?
    (18" strictly home defense)

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    The 870 is the better built more proven shotgun. It can be found in just about every police armory across the country.
    The 500 is OK, but its built to be cost effective. Thats fine if you plan on buying it and shooting a few times a year. If you intend on using the gun often, I'd buy the 590 or the 870.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Senior Member Array allenruger's Avatar
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    Well, I have a couple of Mossberg 500's and an 835. As well, as two Remington 1100's (no 870's). Both of these manufacturers put out great shotguns. If money were an issue I would go for the Mossberg. If not, get the Remington (I think they are a LITTLE better built). I have put literally thousands of rounds through my 1100 Trap shooting clays at a local club on Friday nights with no problems at all. Can't go wrong with either gun though. Just get the one that feels best to you!
    Allen

    -"I may get killed with my own gun, but he's gonna have to beat me to death with it, 'cause it's going to be empty." -Clint Smith

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    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    Well... keep in mind there are some variants of each.

    Mossberg makes a 590 series thats a bit heavier built than the regular line 500

    ... and Remington 870's come in two flavors too. The 870 Wingmaster/Police is a bit heavier built than the 870 Express line.

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    Senior Member Array Knuckledrager's Avatar
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    Buy an 870. That way you only need to buy it once.
    "The liberty of the individual is no gift of civilization. It was greatest before there was any civilization." Sigmund Freud

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    Member Array What the?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Zaria View Post
    As you've probably read, there are several lengths of 12 gauge shells. The most common is the 2 3/4" shell, which 99.9% of modern shotguns will chamber. There are also 3" and 3.5" (called magnum) shotshells. ...
    FYI: you can get magnum loads in all lengths, not just 3.5", in case it's not already clear.

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    The 870 is the better built more proven shotgun. It can be found in just about every police armory across the country.
    The 500 is OK, but its built to be cost effective. Thats fine if you plan on buying it and shooting a few times a year. If you intend on using the gun often, I'd buy the 590 or the 870.
    Not disagreeing with your assessment, as I think the 870 is a better gun. that said, shooting a few times a year? If you mean about 3000 rounds a year... because that's what I've put through my 500 for three years now.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    I like the 500 field security combo. Switch barrels go hunting, switch back and you have felon defense.
    Sometimes I wonder who the old man in the mirror is....

    Lord, Grant me a good sword and no need to use it.

  16. #15
    Member Array Dolphin's Avatar
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    I think I'm going w/ the 870 12ga and a Knoxx specops stock. I seriously doubt the 95 percent recoil reduction claim, but I hear it's outstanding.
    Thanks for the replies.

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