Saturday, August 8, 2009

All Purpose Bird Gun

Remington 870

Dove season's not far off, September 1st, so naturally the mind veers towards shotguns. A friend asked his cousin, Captain Charles Henry Canon IV, what his recommendations were for a inexpensive "all purpose bird gun". I thought the reply was pretty wise; here it is:

"all-purpose bird gun to me means two guns: one for quail and dove, the other for duck. There is simply not enough oomph in a 20 GA to knock down a duck cruising at 70 mph.

If you are looking for a good duck gun that is cheap with a good reputation, get a remington 870. You can have it "dipped" in camo and it will not chip the paint and it'll be water proof. I started using one this past season after I put to many knocks on my dad's Browning Gold 12 GA.

For the quail / dove, get a Remington model 1100. Classic shotgun that is not too expensive and is a very good skeet/trap gun as well.

You could probably find both of these guns on-line and spend less than $1000 for both of them...."

I'm inclined to take Cpt. Canon's advice and scout about for a 1100, which can be found pretty cheap. Already have a 12 GA (Mossberg 835 gun show special) that's bashed about but seems to work. For a good review of the 870, check out Field & Stream, where its rated as one of the 50 best shotguns ever.

Good shooting,


PS. The aptly named Canon is a serving member of the U.S. military, hopefully we'll hear more from him.


tom said...

1148s Rem (Licensed Browning Auto-5s, more or less) are good if you aren't the type to whine about gun weight and can usually be had for a song if you spot one. I find the extra forward weight in the design gives me a smoother swing and the action cycling is more easily field (or home) adjustable for different weight loadings from dove to heavy buckshot.

Well made, not the shotgun for the person that wants to become tacti-cool or heavily accessory. Well made back when American Industry took being the best in the world seriously. Wouldn't alter one anyway.

I like design and always have. Your mileage may vary. One of those love it or hate it things.

Happy Shooting,

LSP said...

Thanks for that - I've enjoyed the A5 on the few occasions I've shot 'em. Will look out for the 1148.



tom said...

If it isn't a good double...

Beretta makes the best affordable gas system guns. They also have made some super hard kicking ( though that never bothered me and I used to shoot a LOT of clays with a few ot their early 90s model recoil guns that I like better than their gas guns. I have a predilection for the feel of how they (recoil guns) run and I'm very recoil tolerant.

Benelli recoil operated are nice and not as hard kicking if you are recoil sensitive as the rest of the recoil op guns but they cost a lot.

My favorites that are easily affordable and you can often buy quite cheap nice used guns as to reliability and smooth swing in an autoloader are all recoil operated in semi-auto land: A-5's, Franchi's and Rem Elevens and 11-48's (the ones I most often see going cheap at gun shows and gun store used racks for how nice of a used gun you end up getting related to price. The current one that's my favorite all-arounder is a older production full choked 12 I might have paid 225 for if that. Some day I might get around to putting an interchangeable choke system in it but I've been saying that to myself ever since I bought this particular one in the mid I probably won't ever get around to doing it.

...Then the aforementioned recoiling Berettas of the plasticky stocks but shoot nice and the forward heavy CG but light weight make for a fast handling gun with a smooth swing through, albeit it will bruise your shoulder more than any of the other recoil guns due to the mechanics of it not having much help of inertia in the recoil operated shotgun game. When I was at gunsmith college, the school trap and skeet club had a couple loaners donated by somebody and I was the only one that liked them and everybody else thought they kicked to hard.

One thing about recoil guns, if you don't put your shoulder into them they don't work well just like 1911s don't work well if you limp wrist them. Nature of the recoil operated beast. Makes them less popular and cheaper than gas guns with the average American shooter and I like them better, did I say that already? 30 weight motor oil on the mag tube and a good friction ring of the adjustable or semi-self adjusting kind and lean into it and they beat the heck out of gas guns maintenance and reliability. Remember, the JMB design that eventually was to be the Auto-5 was originally developed for muddy trench warfare as much as anything else. JMB had a bit of an eye for design too, I've been told that anyway :-)

Good JMB store here. I like the lesson his father taught him at 10 years of age. Good article.

Happy shooting, I'm off to see the Pastor named Wiatt and all and sundry on a Sunday.

Happy Shooting,