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Your All Time Favorite Shotgun

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  • Your All Time Favorite Shotgun

    If you are like me, you have experienced owning several different shotguns throughout your hunting career. Each one was unique in it's own right, but there always is one that stands out as being a your favorite. One that brings back more memories than the rest.

    Mine was an Iver Johnson Champion, 16-gauge single shot with a full choke. I bought it used from a farmer that I was working for when I was 15. It had been used quite a bit, but was solid. After cleaning it up a bit and removing some surface rust, I put it to use. The gun just fit me perfectly and pointed like a dream. It was my "Go-to" gun, even after I had purchased a new Mossberg pump 12-gauge. Most of my fondly recalled hunting experiences are with it. It taught me patience, target focus, and economy. Sadly, I sold it years later to purchase a new Remington 1100. I still kick myself for getting rid of it.

    So, what's your gun story?

  • #2
    Still shooting 870s

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    • #3
      I don't believe in having several shotguns like most people. I have shot several different ones at different times, and they have different options, but when it comes too shooting ability, I don't believe its the gun at all. Customizing the gun too fit you is the true key IMO. Whether that means shortening the stock, length of barrel, etc, making it fit you is what you need. Once you have a gun that will come up the exact same every time, then you will gain confidence, and you will shoot better. Starting with a gun when your young helps a lot too, for you will adapt too it, as you adapt it too you. I find when you get older, that is not often the case, and therefore, older people often shoot much worse when they change guns at an older age.

      I currently shoot a mossberg 835, and I like it. Growing up, I shot a beretta AL-2 and was very good with it. Very different guns, but both gave me 20 years of good shooting. Having 5 different guns that you use all the time will impair your shooting, IMO. Beware of the one gun man!
      You can put water in corn and hunt over it legally, but you can't put corn in water and hunt over it legally.

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      • #4
        My favorite gun to shoot is SBE I . This particular model is the first version but with the change in the ejector plate. Benelli engineers did this in the middle of the production run (ECR).

        I currently own two SBE I I have both types of SBE I one before the ECR and one after. I shot better with the one that has the 26" barrel. I also own a SBE II I picked it up last year. I ordered it on line from the east coast her in Canada it was 400 bucks cheaper than in my area. I also own a over and under and a older side by side. My original back up to my first SBE was a Express 870 rem which I still own.

        I shot almost the same with all 3 of my SBEs but I do prefer a 26" barrel in the spread. I do customize all of my butt stocks so they slide on my jackets or shirts and do not get hung up.

        They gun has to fit you properly, I always look at it as a pair of shoes that don't fit you right pretty soon you take them off. I have seen guys put the gun down for a while when they are missing often.

        I am actually collecting the SBE once the SBE III get to the price point that I feel is reasonable then I will own it too. It is the only thing in my adult life that I have ever wanted to collect, being a machinist I have a love of well engineered and machined metal.
        .

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        • #5
          I like the HK SBE. The only shotgun that has held up to my punishment. I've owned plenty but since the sbe it's the only one I have for over 20yrs for goose hunting

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          • #6
            SBE 2. Simple and reliable. Awesome customer service imo .

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            • #7
              My first auto was the Winchester X2 and I still shoot it today. Big heavy gun (kinda like me..) that has been ultra reliable over the years. I can take her apart and put her bag together with my eyes closed. Parts are readily available, although I have not needed many over the years. I know not everyone could shoot this gun, as most would complain about the weight. But as Reg pointed out, it's important to get a gun that fits you and this one certainly does.

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              • #8
                I shot single shots for years as a kid, and having one shot I think instilled better shooting. I notice sometimes now that I rush the first shot and do better on second, maybe mentally because I know there are more shells available when I used to make the first count more often.

                But my goto is the 870. I got a youth 20 ga as my first multi shot gun, and shot it until I saved my pennies for a super mag 870 12ga. I shot that gun for 18 years until I got my first auto, mainly because of layout style hunting with odd angles that make the pump a bit awkward at times. But I still like the feel, simplicity, and my results with the 870 the best and therefore shoot it frequently. I've put both of those guns through torture with zero replaced parts, several paint jobs each to deter off rust, and they keep killing. I added an adult stock to the 20 and still shoot it for all small game, 21" barrel and all, and added stock spacers to the 12 for better fit as I grew and learned about gun fit.

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                • Kansasgoose
                  Kansasgoose commented
                  Editing a comment
                  that 20ga would be a killer turkey gun due too the light weight of it. Very easy to pack around on spot and stock, and 20ga kills them just as well as 12ga.

                • jolle
                  jolle commented
                  Editing a comment
                  It definitely is, I've picked it back up the past few years and killed a few nice birds with it and my son has taken his first two with it the past two spring seasons. He can't quite swing and pump it for wingshooting yet but does just fine with a shooting stick on gobblers. I'm gonna have to get another 20 when he grows into it more.

              • #9
                Left handed SBE, not H&K but not the 2 either, somewhere in the middle. Have had it 20 years and just got it back from a little rehab from Rob Roberts. Works flawlessly! Still have my old 870 my dad bought for me when I was 12 as a backup if needed.

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                • #10
                  870 super mag with a 30” barrel, ugly, clunky, and always goes “bang”

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                  • #11
                    Until I read Sarge's post, I had never really given much thought to all the shotguns I've had over the years. We all remember our first; usually handed down or bought as a gift from Dad. That right there was the memory....we had finally graduated from being just a "tag-along" or "bird-dog" to joining the ranks of "real hunters". It was a "rite of passage". In my case,the early 60s, it was almost the norm for first shotguns to be single-shots or pumps. It was also the norm that pump-shotguns would have a 30" barrel and be choked full. ( unless you got a hand-me-down that sported a polychoke...looked like a small turd or potato on the end of your barrel )

                    Over the years, I have bought, shot, sold numerous shotguns; 10 and 12 gauges ,pumps, autos, over-unders, and side-x-sides..Some I shot better than others; many I wish I still had; some I couldn't get rid of fast enough, and some I had bought not because I needed it but because I had convinced myself I needed it. If I was to pick just out one gun that has been the most reliable, enjoyable to shoot, or is most memorable, it would have to be one still in my cabinet that I've had since Browning first made them; a Gold Lite 10ga. This gun after hundreds upon hundreds of rounds has never had a hiccup. Haven't had a part break. Never had it not fire. Comfortable weight and swing; at least for me. I guess the best memory is the amount of confidence I have that this gun has never let me down......if the bird hasn't dropped, it's been my fault and not the gun.



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                    • #12
                      Browning Gold. Think I done shot it out though.

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                      • #13
                        For goose hunting I like my HK SBE 1 with 26" barrel.

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                        • #14
                          My youth years: a single shot 410 (my grandpa's shotgun), my middle years an 870 and now in the golden years my Super Vinci

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                          • #15
                            Originally posted by 10gaBBB View Post
                            Until I read Sarge's post, I had never really given much thought to all the shotguns I've had over the years. We all remember our first; usually handed down or bought as a gift from Dad. That right there was the memory....we had finally graduated from being just a "tag-along" or "bird-dog" to joining the ranks of "real hunters". It was a "rite of passage". In my case,the early 60s, it was almost the norm for first shotguns to be single-shots or pumps. It was also the norm that pump-shotguns would have a 30" barrel and be choked full. ( unless you got a hand-me-down that sported a polychoke...looked like a small turd or potato on the end of your barrel )

                            This is true in my case as well only 10 years later ish. Browning A5's have been and still are a huge favorite of mine. Mostly in 16 ga. and I also had a 20. I went on a Benelli M1,M2 run for awhile and have no complaints either. I'm more into the gauge now more than the actual maker of the gun. If set up properly I have found I can shoot pretty well with most that I have had. Some I have had to adjust more than others but summertime practice helps get out the bugs before the season starts and I think makes a big difference. I have only had one gun that no matter what I did, I could not get it to work well for me. That was a browning B-80. I could not hit the broad side of a barn from 10 feet with that gun and after a year of trying I traded it for a Browning A5 20 ga.

                            Today I use a Benelli Ethos 28 ga for most of my hunting in good weather. That little gun really shoots well and I so enjoy the reduced recoil and the little pop it makes I just smile and giggle like a ten year old each time I have it out. I also enjoy using my Dad's Browning sweet 16 on certain days too. If the weather is snotty or very wet out I go with the newer version Browning A5 12 ga. as it can take the weather better. On certain occasions I also take out Dad's M1 Benelli for fun. Honestly, any one of those guns I shoot on a given day is my favorite. As long as I can get out, have some fun, breathe the smell of fall air and enjoy what mother nature and God have provided I'm happy. Shooting has become secondary to me now, so much to be thankful for and enjoy with family and friends. Don't get me wrong...I do like to pull the trigger.

                            Qac

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