View Full Version : New shotgun?

09-27-2006, 03:48 PM
I've been shooting a 1957 Remington 870 Wingmaster (2 3/4) with a plain barrel for the last three years and I'm getting more serious about waterfowling.

I think I'd like a 3-inch shotgun with a ribbed barrel. Whenever I shoot friends' ribbed shotguns at clays, I find I hit better than with my plain barreled shotgun.

I'm also interested in a synthetic stock and the most weather resistant gun I can get, so I've been looking at new shotguns.

I'm seriously considering a Mossberg 535 ATS pump or the new Mossberg 930 semi-auto. The 930 is probably a little rich for my blood at about $550, and the 535 would be more in my price range at $277.99 in the Plain Jane black syth stock version .

I'm used to a pump gun, but after trying a couple semi autos recently, I quite like them.

Given that price range, what would you choose?

Other recomendations?

09-27-2006, 04:14 PM
I just traded in my remington 1187 semi-auto 3" at Reliable Gun and Tackle in Vancouver. I think they put it out for $500. I really liked the 1187 and considered having a middle bead welded on.

09-27-2006, 04:46 PM
I really liked a buddy's 11-87 I handled last fall, but I understand they don't reliably cycle with light 2 3/4 -inch target loads. I like to shoot sporting clays in the off-season.

What do you like about the middle bead?

09-27-2006, 05:23 PM
I had no problem with 2 3/4" clay loads on it. I never had any cycling issues with it. You have to clean it regularly - the gas ports can quickly add layers on the tubular magazine and slow down your cycling.

The middle bead really helps with sighting a target quickly. I have it on my Benelli and I can sight really quickly.

09-27-2006, 06:08 PM
After years of owning very fine shotties, I realized that I am not a real scattergunner and never fired many of them, so, I sold them all and then bought a Benelli Nova, the ugliest gun I have EVER owned. From a contact made through a friend on CGN, I bought a scope mount for it and installed some old Leupy QRW rings and a Leupy 2.5x HDM scope I used to have on my drilling. Bingo, Turkey gun plus duck/goose gun and even good for slugs, mine is the short bbl'ed. Turkey version, in black and it is one MEAN lookin' MFer!

These cast about $520.00 at WSS or Russell's, I bought locally so paid more, something I am going to stop doing as there is no good reason to support higher prices, but, THIS to me, is the pump gun to buy. It is going to go to my nephew in about 30 years when I am 90 and getting tired of hunting and I bet it will still be truckin', then.

09-27-2006, 10:48 PM
Benelli? Defintely worth a good hard look.

Ian F.
09-28-2006, 07:59 AM
Your budget provides quite a restriction and you should strongly consider WHAT YOU THINK YOU WILL use it for in the future, aka future hedging.

No smart waterfowler will argue that the single best and most reliable pump gun within that price range is the 870 express. Been around for over 30 years, based on much older models and proven day in day out. I have one that's 20 years old and semi retired as it just go shot TOO MUCH! Used to put 400+ rounds a week through it year round on clays, and then hunt as well.. But is still works well!

I presently shoot a Winchester Super X2 ($1000+/-) and will say in the semi auto market there is no comparison, let alone when you compare the price, and it'sw belgium made ta boot! I would also say this is the single most over looked shotgun on the market. Folks will spend twice as much to get a benelli SBE or alike with poor fit and finish and an atroshish record of factory defects (in the 50% range). The berretta 390's have only a slightly better track record then the 11-87 - 1100's, but once again your costs climb.

The issue of light loads is usually way overstated, I shoot 1oz light loads with mine no issue and the only guns I've seen with cycling problems are the older humpies and 1100 with the wrong rings installed. The berrtta pintail which is the original benelli action is noted for not liking light rounds.

So I think your first key decision is pump or semi, and then try to shoot a few different ones before you buy. Then go from there and strongly consider the used market. A used 11-87 is really easy to get parts for, as is an 870. Less so for anything overseas.

09-28-2006, 08:22 AM
I just bought an 870 Express Super Magnum from Lebaron for $320 delivered. It's synthetic with a vented rib and shoots 2 3/4, 3 & 3 1/2. It has the Remchoke system but only comes with a full steel/lead choke. It is the first time that I have dealt with Lebaron and I was quite impressed I had it at my door within the week.


09-28-2006, 01:53 PM
Being an 870 user already , I am very tempted by the 870 Express, but I have heard horror stories of their susceptibility to rust.

Ian F.
09-28-2006, 02:05 PM
Rust is a maintenance issue, take care of your gun, and it will take care of you! I've hunted salt water near exclusively for the last 8 years and outside of the a small smudge or two from my own stupidity never had a rust issue.

In the $300 range you are not going to get chrome lined barrels, or some of the other rust inhibitive treatments.

Get some G-96 (all around good gun spray) or fluid film and hose er down!


09-28-2006, 02:58 PM
my wife just bought a Browning BPS in shadow grass camo. $700... only 6 in Canada right now?
Excellent gun, and makes my mossbergs look and feel like cheap trash.

09-28-2006, 03:12 PM

I am well aware of the benefits of Fluid Film. My 1957 Wingmaster doesn't have a spot of rust on it either from the last 5 years of salt water waterfowling. (I'm new at the game)

I like your suggestion of the Winchester. I've never had anyone else recommend that model.

I'm slowly selling off unused guns and accessories, building up my "New Shotgun Fund."

Ian F.
09-28-2006, 03:38 PM
Here's what the winchester has going for it..

Made in Belgium at the famous FN factory of belgium browning fame

The X2 was developed during the flip flop that saw browning buy winchester. So it had all the development started at winchester and then also had access to all of brownings development and the oppertunity to learn from the issues with the early golds

Price, most of the 3"'s are around $1000, I purposely didn't get a 3 1/2 as most issue I've heard about with auto's, and pumps has been with 3 1/2 models. Just too much room to deal with going from 2 3/4 to 3 1/2.

Speed, reported to be the fastest, not that's not a typo, shotgun in production. Not that that should be a concern, just a point to note, and if sea duckin is in your future, speed can be important.

fit, finish, out of the box function, definetly got a piece of John M. Browning int here as they are well built and finished. Restated, it's a gun you like to look at, won't here that from the SBE crowd

Cleaning, basically 5 or 6 parts, the trigger mechanism (similar to your 870) the bolt (2 parts), space shuttle thingy, spring and plastic thingy and that's it for things that can fall off the gun, so similar to the modern blow backs in that regard.

All weather, I've shot it with absolutely no issue in everything from too hot to be shooting, down to too cold to be hunting, and that's not lower mainland cold, that's maritimes salt water freezing around your feet cold!

I have had exactly 2 problems with it in the 3 or 4 years I've owned it. 1. the bead popped off a day or two after getting it, replaced it with and after market true glo. 2. while cleaning it I popped of this little tiny weeny spring on the trigger mechanism and it wouldn't fire! figured out out, but blew a whole opening morning shoot!

So yes I really like this gun and it had worked very well for me, I have the traditional model, in 3" with wood, and if I had to do it again I'd go camo just to gain the weather resistance.

Very best,


Ian F.
09-28-2006, 03:39 PM
P.S. if we hook up sometime you can run a box through it and see before you buy..

Huli Huli
09-28-2006, 04:12 PM
The Wingmaster action is very smooth. If you try an Express, you will not recognize anything related to the handling of the Wingmaster. The Express is very rough. I have both. I mostly use a Benelli Super Black Eagle II now.

Things may seem expensive today, but when you ante up a little more and have something better, as your earning power increases, you will probably look back and be very glad you stretched a little.

mr eagle
09-30-2006, 11:15 AM
I bought an 870 express magnum from Wholesale last year, $399 delivered to my door in three days. It is great, I've put about 400 rounds through it so far.

09-30-2006, 11:47 AM
I also own an 870 express mag. Never given me any trouble what-so-ever, I'd prefer a hardwwod stock but for the money you can't go wrong.
369.99 + shipping from wholesale sports over in Alberta.

Tarp Man
09-30-2006, 07:58 PM
Michael, I bought a used Benelli Nova from CGN and have been very happy with it. This is my first season with it though, so I will have to see about longevity. It was advertized as having 400 or so rounds through it, mostly steel, but it shoots well, and fits well. The grip area on the Benelli's is longer than on Remingtons, so fit is important. There is a Remington Express Super Mag (2 3/4 - 3 1/2" chamber) on CGN right now for about $350? You should look there too. Especially since ducks and geese will be opening back up soon. Don't overlook local gunsmiths too as they may have some consignment stuff.

10-07-2006, 10:34 AM
This summer I was in the market for a new shotgun.

After much research I decided you get what you pay for and put out the extra $ for a Beretta 391 Urika Synthetic.

I've used it a lot this fall on clays as well as upland game and ducks/geese and so far it's been very reliable and I love how it patterns.

I only plan on buying one shotgun in my life so what's an extra $300-500 to make sure you get a good'un.

Just my 2 cents

10-24-2006, 07:30 PM
I have a SuperXII in 31/2",and never use it.I like my Beretta Urika a lot more but neither could be considered a low end firearm.If your leaning toward a semi auto the 1100 is probably the way to go.I have yet to see a situation where I would need a 31/2" while shooting over decoys(I use good dekes,and I call reasonably well),and I'll probably give my SuperX to my godson,he lives for recoil!:lol: Good Luck!Gunner

Tarp Man
10-24-2006, 07:32 PM
Funny no one mentions the Ithaca models. Solid value and good design. These are also worth a look. The pump versions use the Benelli design of recoil assisted action.

10-24-2006, 09:42 PM
I like the Ithaca pumps but I have trouble recommending them because I hear the earlier pumps would "slam fire" (that is, if you fired the gun and held the trigger down as you pumped, the gun would fire the next round when the bolt seated inthe barrel).
I know a guy selling one in great shape for $200 though....:smile:

Funny no one mentions the Ithaca models. Solid value and good design. These are also worth a look. The pump versions use the Benelli design of recoil assisted action.

10-24-2006, 09:49 PM
if you plan on waterfowling for many years the 11-87 special purpose is a great choice as they have a few options that are upgraded including a stainless mag tube as well as follower and spring. i bought the sp waterfowl edition as did my buddy and they also come with a camouflage teflon coatingthey shoot great and reliably mine cycles anything from the lightest trap load to the heaviest game load i have many other shotguns for nostalgic purpose and upland purposes but this is by far my go to gun when the family is hungry.

Ian F.
10-25-2006, 06:22 AM
Ithaca is out of business, again and never had any relationship to the larger Berretta group which bought Benelli and has farmed the action around it's various companies. The cheapest bennelli action guns you'll find are stoegors, or the pintail.

All the ithaca semi's I can think of where actually rebrands of european (SKB) manufacters to meet the US import laws of the day.

Very best,