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diamonddad 02-27-2011 11:40 PM

hunting shotgun
Hey WWers, does anyone know about hunting shotguns?

I am involved in training my dog for hunting titles on upland game (quail, chuckers, pheasant) so it's time for me to get a gun for this task. But, a good over/under gun is expensive -- roughly $2000. And, I would rather buy a gun that I will be happy with for many years.

It will be 20GA with 26" barrel.

So far, I have looked these two that look very nice...



Are there things I want to look out for?
Any ideas on how to get a better than retail deal?


ktm525 02-28-2011 7:37 AM

I don't hunt with shotguns that much. I am an avid competition Trap shooter. I love my Browning. I have a grade 6 XT trap combo that I love. On the other hand I use a Browning Citori over/under 410 for pheasant and love it. Either Browning or Berretta you wont go wrong.

NuBu 02-28-2011 8:12 AM

Both are great guns. I've shot them both (a bunch), hunting quail, pheasant, and shooting sporting clays. They're both quality guns but they do "feel" different. Mainly the way the fore stock is designed. Personally I think you're looking at two of the best. That being said, do you have to have an o/u? You can get a more versatile gun (same quality) for less money if you go with an automatic.

psudy 02-28-2011 8:40 AM

Also, why a 20 gauge? I would go with a 12. more versatile.

diamonddad 02-28-2011 10:46 AM

Thank for the info guys!

O/U is preferred for the safety aspect of breaking the gun.
20 gauge is preferred for the smaller bang over the dogs.

I will have to see if I can find these guns in a store to see how they feel.

psudy 02-28-2011 11:28 AM

I wouldn't spend that kind of money on a smaller gun just because of the noise level over the dogs. There are proper ways to break them into the noise. If a dog is gun shy, there is little you can do to fix it.

guido 02-28-2011 11:31 AM

Man, you're not messing around. Those are nice guns.

Personally I think you should go side by side Elmer Fudd style.... "silly wabbit."

Shooter 02-28-2011 12:20 PM

I don't know much about hunting or comp, but I would guess it's hard to beat the tried & true Remington 870 for the price. They make it in a 12 & 20 gauge. Thousands of police agencies can't be wrong.

barry 02-28-2011 12:53 PM


I will have to see if I can find these guns in a store to see how they feel.
That is your best bet. You'll do well with either gun, they're both pretty nice. I wouldn't select a 20g over a 12g due to sound differences. I've never seen a dog that was shy of a 12, but ignored a 20.

Dane asking for gun advice. Wild. :D

stephan 02-28-2011 1:30 PM

In my experience a 20 gauge is hardly quieter than a 12. They are both loud as heck. Even a .410 makes a pretty big boom.

Like McGavin, I'd recommend the Remington 870. I shoot a 870 Wingmaster 12 gauge and love its versatility. I can put on the longer barrel and shoot the 3 inch mags if I want to go after ducks/geese. I shoot dove with it regularly and absolutely love my gun! If you want an autoloader that is nearly identical, check the 1100.

As for that Citori, beautiful gun. The Citori I've shot is incredible, love it. If you want to drop the coin, thats where my $ would be.

diamonddad 02-28-2011 1:32 PM

The experts in field training are recommend 20g. Really.

My dog has been shot over many times now and she is fine. But, I am always with other people with dogs at different levels of training. We start with 22 crimp blanks.

I will try to get these guns in my hands. Thanks everyone!

psudy 02-28-2011 1:44 PM

True. What would I know. I spent $1500 on getting my lab trained. Got him back took him hunting, ducks came in, we shot, the dog was under the damn truck.

barry 02-28-2011 2:03 PM

Psudy, that's tragic comedy! haha!

Dane, why are they suggesting a 20g?

diamonddad 02-28-2011 2:12 PM

1 Attachment(s)
They are suggesting 20g because 12g is overkill and a bigger bang. I will double check.

Its more about the dogs for me than the bird. But, I need to kill the bird for the dog to retrieve.

Here's a pic of my pup training on a pigeon pole...

flattirenotube 03-01-2011 8:16 AM

That is a beautiful dog GD. I have been going back and forth between getting a Visla or a GSP. As far as the gun is concerned, just find the one that feels the best to you. I shoot an 870 super mag when hunting birds and have taken down plenty. I've also shot my buddies Browning Featherlight, which was awesome. I agree that with bird hunting you really don't need more than two shots, because they are usually out of range after two. I would love to have an O/U, but I'm thinking my next gun will be a Winchester SX3 auto. FWIW

03-01-2011 8:44 AM

Just get it over with and get a Benelli... you will probably end up getting one anyhow...

Phil Robertson says so...

jason_ssr 03-02-2011 6:31 AM

Parker FTW

ridemarktwain 03-02-2011 7:31 AM

Beautiful dog. Is that a weimeraner or a chocolate german shorthair?

I have been upland bird hunting for over 10 years. I recommend a 12 guage if you are planing to hunt pheasants. 20ga or 12ga are both great guns for quail and chuckers. For quail hunting I would not recommned a pump shotgun, too slow. If you want an overunder buy a Browning Citori you won't be disapointed. If you are buying a semi-auto I like the Benelli Super Black Eagle a Bretta.

RedRum 03-02-2011 8:38 AM

I shoot a Citori Grade 1 425...it is very balanced and swings VERY smoothly, but that is probably due to the 32" barrels. It is a 12 ga though, and the only thing I don't really like about it is the ported barrels. Hard on the ears after a good day in the field.

Both the White Onyx and White Lightning you listed are very nice guns. You might also consider the Ruger Red Label. I have shot them in 28, 20, and 12 gauge, and they all fit and swing very nicely.

RedRum 03-02-2011 8:40 AM

BTW great looking Vizsla! If I didn't have my two Weimaraners, I'd have Vizslas!

trace 03-02-2011 12:52 PM

I have a ~35 yr old Remington 1100 (12 ga, modified choke) that my Dad gave me. I use it a few times a year for dove hunting and skeet, clean it once every couple years, and it has never given me a single problem. I have an older 20 ga Beretta, and it is way less reliable.

I agree with most on the 12/20 noise issue, and I'd question the experience of whoever told you that. The only way you're going to see a significant noise difference is with .22 rat shot.

If you're shooting a lot of rounds in a day, autos also kick less than pumps and breakovers. That would also be a good reason to go with a 20.

diamonddad 03-03-2011 12:45 AM

Anyone know of a place in NorCal that has a lot of O/U shotguns that I can put my hands on?

No Cabellas. No Scheels. Time for a trip to Reno?

barry 03-03-2011 1:11 AM

Not familiar with shops in your area, but it's not legal to buy a firearm out of state.

RedRum 03-03-2011 7:40 AM


Originally Posted by barry (Post 1663471)
Not familiar with shops in your area, but it's not legal to buy a firearm out of state.

Is that a California rule or something????

stephan 03-03-2011 8:25 AM

Barry, that's not entirely true. You can buy a gun out of state, you just can't take it into your possession without it going through a CA FFL. Basically you would buy it and they would ship it to your local guy whereupon you could take receipt of it. Check with your local guy to see what they might charge for this.

barry 03-03-2011 10:58 AM

I should have been more clear. Stephan is correct. You can purchase a firearm out of state, but the firearm must go through a California FFL. The reason is that all California residents are mandated a 10 day wait that out of state dealers aren't set-up for. Also, all California residents are required a DOJ clearance( that's what your DROS is) to be certain you're not in a prohibitive category ( felony, misdemeanor DV) , not just a federal 4473 like most states.
You can purchase a firearm out of state/over the net and have it shipped to a local FFL, but you're most likely going to pay a heavy fee to have the FFL run a DROS/4473. They finally got smart and started charging HUGE fees to deter people from buying on-line and forcing them to buy locally.

I was vague because most people who say " I'll just go to Nevada" think they can simply cross the boarder, but a firearm and come back to California.

I hope that was detailed enough.

diamonddad 03-03-2011 1:09 PM

Thanks for the info guys. I knew about the NV->CA issue after looking at guns at Scheels a few years ago. I just want a place to touch/feel these guns (vs buying from a catalog at my local store).

blastmaster 03-03-2011 2:45 PM

There are guns shows in Sacramento this weekend and the Big Reno gun show next weekend. There will be dealers @ Reno that will accept the gun, process the paperwork and deliver the gun to you after the show and proper waiting time for a small fee usually. My buddy owns Great west Guns in Carson City if you have patience, something will usually walk in his door used for a reasonable price. Call up there.
There is almost no diference in sound from a 12 to a 20 guage. 1 1/4 drams of powder is the same weight regardless of size of casing. Barrell length and porting makes them louder.
Stay away from the Turkish import guns. I have seen 3 of them misfire when the firing pin breaks and the shell explodes during cycling the shell into the chamber but breach is not quite closed all the way. Makes a hell of a noise and usually ends up beaking the stock into peices. The break action over/under are less prone to this thatn the semi automatics.
here are alot of used high end shotguns for sale if you're patient. You might try River City Guns in Sacramento as they are great to work with. I really lkike that Baretta but the suggestion above for the Wicnhester SX was excellant too..

NuBu 03-03-2011 3:00 PM

I personally prefer the 20 to the 12 in the O/U. It's lighter and will have less recoil and will be more than enough gun for anything you will be hunting with that particular O/U.The870 is a good gun (especially the older models, the newer models have been somewhat criticized) but it is a pump and you asked about O/Us. I would certainly agree with the Benelli post but they are autoloaders (SBE II). Browning and Beretta are both great quality guns but if I may interject a littler personal bias here...One of the main differences in the "feel"of these guns is the fore stock shape. TheCitori is bigger and more "square" whereas the Beretta is more narrow and tapered. Notice the post with the Grade 1 425 (awesome gun btw) it has changed it's fore stock to be more tapered like the Beretta White Onyx (and Silver Pigeon, my preference to the White Onyx). My point is the higher grade Brwoning went with the more sleek and narrow fore stock. You can get this type of fore stock in the Synergy also but the basic Citori doesn't have it. Now the "old school" Browning guys will swear by the Citori fore stock but the "newer style" is more of the White Onyx (Silver Pigeon). You should definitely see how they feel in your hands.

barry 03-03-2011 3:03 PM

If Reno dealers are conducting transactions for California residents they are not doing it legally. The California DROS entry system is specifically for California dealers and no out of state dealers are allowed to transact in California without access to that system.
Again, they may be doing exactly what you say, but they are not doing it legally.

guido 03-04-2011 11:41 AM

GD, I'm pretty sure Bass Pro shops has a pretty big selection that you can handle. Cabella's, for sure, has a ton of firearms in stock. You could always get a feel for a gun there, then order/locate something in the state.

blastmaster 03-04-2011 12:11 PM

I would like to clarify that I was merely pointing out a large gun show in Reno this weekend. There will be dealers from Ca, Nv and I am sure many other states. If you are a Ca resident, Barry is correct. the purchase must be transferred through a CA licensed FFL dealer and they usually charge the DROS and a handling fee. In no manner did I mean to suggest anybody should attempt to purchase soemthing that was NOT a 100% legal transaction for the buyers residence location especially Ca.

diamonddad 03-07-2011 1:41 AM

6 Attachment(s)
Some pictures from this weekend at Little Panoche, CA -- a beautiful place.

The gunners in competitons are pros.

barry 03-07-2011 2:12 AM

Little Panoche is close to me.

psudy 03-07-2011 10:41 AM

Looks like that one "pro" failed hunter saftey.

03-07-2011 11:03 AM


Originally Posted by psudy (Post 1664318)
Looks like that one "pro" failed hunter saftey.

I thought the same thing. Is it the camera angle or is that guy pulling a Dick Cheney on that girl?

psudy 03-07-2011 11:13 AM

Looks like it could be a bit of angle, but you can see the bird as well. IMO, it looks way to close.

trace 03-07-2011 12:29 PM

Remember, these are the same guys that shoot 20 ga's because they are so quiet. ;)

chris4x4gill2 03-07-2011 12:51 PM

Havent really seen any gun recommendations in this thread. Also didnt see a price point other than the $2000 first mentioned in the OP. If I was buying a shotgun today for general hunting, I'd get a Remington 870. Its a proven gun and is less than $300. IMO you cant go wrong with one of them, and its available in 12 or 20 ga

diamonddad 03-07-2011 1:04 PM

I think its the camera angle.

I talked to a number of folks about 20g vs 12g. Everyone says 12g is overkill for these birds. Everyone recommends 20g.

The pro gunners often use12g because they need to be sure to hit it. Yet, many hunters prefer the 20g to avoid blowing the bird apart.

03-07-2011 1:07 PM


Originally Posted by chris4x4gill2 (Post 1664377)
Havent really seen any gun recommendations in this thread. Also didnt see a price point other than the $2000 first mentioned in the OP. If I was buying a shotgun today for general hunting, I'd get a Remington 870. Its a proven gun and is less than $300. IMO you cant go wrong with one of them, and its available in 12 or 20 ga

I recommended the Benelli... so did Phil Robertson...

diamonddad 03-07-2011 1:32 PM

It's going to be an 20g OU and I am willing to spend $1500 to $2500.

trace 03-07-2011 1:33 PM

Is this hunting or an art show? :D I don't know one grown man that shoots a 20 ga by choice. If you want to impress these folks, save the $2000 and throw handfuls of gravel at the birds when they flush.

I recommended a Remington 1100. Reading comprehension? :confused:

RedRum 03-07-2011 2:02 PM

Fine shotguns ARE a piece of art, as well as a tool for hunting. A fine O/U shotgun is a traditional part of upland bird hunting over a well trained gun dog. It was started in England and Scotland way back in the day by the privileged upper class hunters. $1500-$2500 is not an outrageous price. You want to talk about shotguns that are in my opinion expensive, take a look at A.H Fox, Holland & Holland, or Perazzi. Some make make the claim that anyone that carries a fancy gun is a stuck up snob, and yet they will cruise around in a car or boat that costs in excess of $100,000. It is all relative, and personal choice.
When I lived in PA, 20 gauges were a favorite for ruffed grouse...heck, my grandpa carried a 28 gauge for grouse and woodcock.. If you claim that a grown man won't shoot a 20 by choice, you need to spend some more time in the field or at a sporting clays or skeet range, they are more popular than one may think.

Sure a pump or a semi-auto will work, but a good OU is a quality investment. Look at it this way. It is like comparing a $10,000 Bayliner to a $40k+ boat that most of us are running. They both get the job done, but are not built to the same standards, and each are in a class of their own.

diamonddad 03-07-2011 2:07 PM

Trace, is this where the thread turns ugly like most threads on WW?

pierce_bronkite 03-07-2011 2:16 PM

That third picture makes me squirm. Either angle you slice it the shooter still has the shotgun pointed towards an individual.

Anyway, good look on your shotgun. My trusty 870 always worked for me.

psudy 03-07-2011 2:51 PM


Originally Posted by pierce_bronkite (Post 1664405)
That third picture makes me squirm. Either angle you slice it the shooter still has the shotgun pointed towards an individual.

I agree. She may be a little north of him, but that is WAY to close. I would have been all over his dumb...

trace 03-07-2011 3:29 PM

My comments were mostly tongue-in-cheek. Maybe I should've used more smileys.

I've shot several cases of rounds thru some high end O/U's at skeet/trap ranges. I've also done some pheasant hunting. I prefer autos for hunting because they are faster, hold more rounds, and kick less. I prefer a 12 ga for hunting because they provide a better chance of bringing game down with less suffering on the animals' part. Also worth noting that pheasant are very much on the large side of game birds.

I am a staunch utilitarian. Probably worth noting here that I've had my 1996 Malibu VLX for a decade now, with no plans to upgrade. :) :) :)

bendow 03-08-2011 6:34 AM

I didn't read through all of this, but like Trace, I recommend a Remmington 1100 as well. I was passed down a Remmington 1100 that was my Great grandfathers, then my grandfathers, and now mine. It has more sentimental value than anything...but I will say it's an outstanding reliable shotgun that will serve you will for years.

diamonddad 04-04-2011 1:38 PM

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BTW, I finally got to handle both guns and I decided on the Beretta 686 White Onyx.

mendo247 04-06-2011 6:13 PM

Thats a nice gun.. Your gonna love it. Great choice.

diamonddad 04-08-2011 12:53 PM

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Here it is:

RedRum 04-08-2011 6:42 PM

Sexy! Congrats on your purchase!

Walt 04-10-2011 8:20 PM

That's a nice looking gun !

barry 04-10-2011 11:04 PM

Nice looking shotgun. I hope you don't plan on storing it in that Cordura case, it will rust eventually.

diamonddad 04-11-2011 12:03 AM

Barry, I am planning on getting a gun safe. But, would you expand on your point? Is there another case that would better? Or, some other advice?

diamonddad 04-11-2011 12:11 AM

Would you recommend a silicon sock or the Beretta VCI gun sock?

barry 04-11-2011 12:50 AM

Usually Cordura will have a soft cotton liner which attracts moisture. Moisture in a zipped case and poor air circulation- rust! Those bags are perfect at protecting your shotgun in transport and for short term storage(couple of weeks).
Silicon socks/bags are good, but they're unnecessary. Grab a silicon cloth and be sure to wipe the shotgun down lightly after you handle it. An old T-shirt with a light oily residue works perfectly too. You just need to keep a light coat of something that displaces moisture on it.

When you get a gun safe(please do research so you don't waste your money- lots of trash on the market) a small amount of desiccant in the safe coupled with a lightly oiled surface(t-shirt/oil...Silicon rag) will be all you need.

You did well. That's a really nice shotty.

barry 04-11-2011 12:57 AM


Sturdy safe's aren't pretty, but they are very, very well made. They put out quite a few video's to educate buyers, might be good to watch them even if you decide to buy a different kind of safe; at least you'll know what to look for.

diamonddad 04-11-2011 1:26 AM

Thanks for the advice Barry. Should I look for gun grade silicon or is common home depot stuff OK?



barry 04-11-2011 2:36 AM

I wouldn't put too much thought into it if i were you. To be honest, I use whatever I have available at the time. I've used Castrol light-weight motor oil on a rag. Anything that will leave a light protective barrier. You can spend money for the latest and greatest technology, but anything will work.
I was cleaning out one of my safes two weeks ago and found two rifles I forgot I had- That means they haven't been wiped down in at least 4-5 years. Both still had a slight sheen to them and both were rust free.

If you want to get something gun specific, I am a fan of this stuff: only because it's cheap, convenient and I think it smells good! :D I clean a lot of firearms and I've had the same can since at least 2005.


diamonddad 04-12-2011 11:48 PM

Yeah! My gun made it to the FFL shop today. Tomorrow, I sign papers and begin the 10 day waiting period.

barry 04-13-2011 12:31 AM

It's a long gun, as long as they knew the gun was coming they could have completed the DROS/4473 so that you have a head start on your 10 day wait.

Who did you go through?

diamonddad 04-13-2011 12:58 AM

My local store was crap. They paid me no attention. They knew very little about upland hunting guns. So, I bought the gun from Silver Creek Outfitters shown above. Great service over the phone. So far so great. They are shipping it to a local FFL guy who will do the legal transfer $80 total. I will let you know how that goes tomorrow. If this works out, I will be saving $350 compared to buying local.

barry 04-14-2011 9:37 PM

I'm sorry you had a bad experience within the firearm community during your purchase. I can assure you what you experienced is not the norm. What I frequently hear from 'outsiders' is they expect a bunch of chest-thumpers competing for the alpha role. What most new comers find is just the opposite. I frequently hear things like " I can't believe how nice/helpful everyone is". I think you'll find folks willing to go out of their way to be helpful. Most love to play show & tell and are usually willing to let you try anything they have.
If there's anything I can help you with let me know.

diamonddad 04-14-2011 11:13 PM

I held my actual gun yesterday at the FFL shop. It's a work of art. I am very excited to get it. The FFL guy was very pleasant/professional. And, the 10 day wait has begun.

Barry, would you recommend a cheap/legal trigger-gun-lock while I search for a gun safe? Thanks for your help!

barry 04-15-2011 1:11 AM

The FFL holder should have "project child safe" locks that are free to anyone who asks.They're yellow locks with a clear plastic coated cable. You should be able to slide the cable between the action and the barrel to prevent shotgun from closing rendering it inoperable. Obviously, it's a temporary solution to a gun safe. But, it won't cost you a dime and they work. I believe project childsafe allows for up to 3-4 free locks per request/visit. They're not pretty, but they will do what you need them to do and they free. Your tax dollars at work.

Most FFL holders have them, but if not here's a list of local participating PCS partners.


If all else fails let me know and I'll have our local shop drop one in the mail to you.

Edit- I probably have a few actual trigger locks I can send you if you insist on that option. Seriously, don't waste your money..

diamonddad 04-15-2011 8:13 PM

3 Attachment(s)
I had a great day training the pup today -- she found 10 birds in 1 hour -- I just blanked for training.

k9fxr 04-15-2011 9:10 PM

glad you got you hands on the guns, both those came up different for me, i ended up with the browning

Cajun_Misfit 04-19-2011 12:30 PM

Beautiful Vizslas... I have 2 pups myself. Both just over a year old. We start training this season! How is/was the training? I trained my Weim to retrieve... not an easy task. Just wondering what i should expect.

diamonddad 04-19-2011 9:58 PM

Christopher, the training is a blast. Its not the destination, its the journey.

Just try to not make big mistakes. The biggest being the proper introduction to the bang. First, teach your dog what an upland bird is. Next, get your dog to find chase the bird. Next, fire a blank 22 crimp (low bang) behind your back only after the bird has been flushed and your dog is fired up to chase. Rinse and repeat. In no time, your dog will simply look for a flying bird when it hears a bang.

Good luck. We just had a bird/hunt intro day at Hastings called the Fun Field Day last weekend. I will post some pics.

diamonddad 04-20-2011 12:16 AM

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I was a bird planter and photographer in the puppy/beginner field.

Here are a couple of shots from the day...

diamonddad 04-20-2011 11:07 AM

Barry, I am not seeing how a cable lock will be able to lock up an over-under which breaks down in the middle.


barry 04-20-2011 11:39 AM

Some O/U shotties will have a gap between the barrel and the receiver when they're fully open. If yours doesn't have a gap large enough to slide a cable lock through then you'll need to go with a trigger lock.

diamonddad 04-26-2011 1:06 PM

Took delivery!

Got a recommendation on where/what shell to buy? Does brand matter? Is price the only concern? Led vs steel? I will be starting with clays.

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