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Discussion Starter #1
Took my brother (16 years old) on a turkey hunt in the spring and we came back empty handed because I only have one shotgun. When he was holding the gun I had the angle, and the reverse, and anyone who's ever been in the Northeast in May knows how thick the brush is; being just a few feet away makes a big difference.

That being said, I want a semiauto shotgun with a "broke college student" price tag. Trying to get as much gun as I can get for as far under $1000 as possible, otherwise I might just get a Benelli Supernova pump. I also love simplicity; the fewer moving parts in a gun the more reliable it is and the easier it is to strip down.

I'm looking at the Mossberg 930, which has a reasonable price and I'm definitely a fan of the mid bead on the barrel. Or the Stoeger 3500, which is essentially a Benelli with a different name and accommodates up to a 3.5" shell. Being an NYC resident (for the time being) it has to have a fixed stock and cannot have a pistol grip.

Anyone know anything about these guns, good or bad? Anyone have another suggestion I may not have considered? I'm all ears.

Thanks in advance guys, I appreciate the time you're using to lend a little wisdom.
 

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Never owned a Mossberg. Having said that, the majority of the hunters involved in our deer drives, which are hard on shotguns, use a Mossberg with no complaints. Funny you should mention the Stoeger 3500, one fellow had a new one this year, and developed an issue where the bolt could not be made to go forward, ended his hunt with that shotgun. Not uncommon for a shotgun to develop problems on the hunt, but this is usually after many years of hard use. Always keep a loaner beater shotgun in the jeep for these happenings.
 

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Don't know anything about the 930, but Mossberg seems to make a decent shotgun for the price!
 

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Look for a good, used Remington 1100 or 1187. They are a little beefy but pretty much foolproof and way under your budget.
 

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I use a Beretta Urika 391 for birds. These are an excellent shotgun that has served me well in foul weather and below feeezing temperatures. It's reliable, easy to maintain and soft shooting, at least in my opinion. I have seen them at my LGS for $500 in very good to excellent condition.
Mine is wood furniture and I would not treat it like a duck boat gun, but I have seen them with plastic stocks and I am sure those can be abused without worry.
Andrew
 

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If you get used too a pump, you can get three as fast as an auto, & most shotguns have choke tubes now, for the better ones.
 

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For an autoloader, the Turkish-made Hatfield SAS can be had for as little as $200, brand new. They tend to be a bit balky at first, but oil the heck out of one and put a box of cheap field loads through it -- it'll never jam again. Academy lists them right now at $229.99.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If you get used too a pump, you can get three as fast as an auto, & most shotguns have choke tubes now, for the better ones.
I have an 870 that I'm pretty nice with. Side by side with a Mossberg 835 or 590 I prefer the 870, though all are nice. I'm just trying to widen my variety so that's why I was leaning toward a semi
 

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Discussion Starter #13
For an autoloader, the Turkish-made Hatfield SAS can be had for as little as $200, brand new. They tend to be a bit balky at first, but oil the heck out of one and put a box of cheap field loads through it -- it'll never jam again. Academy lists them right now at $229.99.
I've seen these and thought they had to be garbage quality to be sold so cheaply, are they actually decent sturdy guns? I'm trying to spend as little as possible while still getting a quality item that I'll have for a long time
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Dont laugh at me. but my most used turkey gun is my single shot savage 94 H ive had it since I was 12 ( im 60) I use Winchester turkey 3 inch loads.
If it ain't broke don't fix it. If you're killing birds with it clearly it's working.

I also use the Winchester turkey 3" shells (I want to say they're called longbeard rounds #6 shot)
 

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All kinds. Enamored of their mechanisms!
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Always... no, ALWAYS... cruise through the used gun rack at your LGS. At least monthly.

When I first got into Sporting Clays I decided I needed an autoloader. Walked into a used Rem 100 Express (plastic stock that fits everyone, pseudo-phosphate metal finish) for $300. To this day, after many a target shotgun has come and gone, it has accounted for the best score I've shot in FITASC. Liked it so much I bought the next one I ran across, this time for $250. Neither has ever so much as hiccupped in the field, shooting skeet or on the Sporting Clays range.

And there's the time I walked into not one, but two Rem 870 Windmasters - not that Express nonsense but actual 30-year old WINGMASTERS. Polished steel, perfect bluing, both as smooth as well-worn silk. One with perfect metal (28" Mod barrel) and chewed up wood, the other pretty nice wood and very nice metal with a 18" rifle-sighted barrel. Made an outrageous offer and got the pair for $500. One synthetic stock set and a couple of mag springs later, and some parts swapping, and I have a synthetic-stocked deer shotgun that I wouldn't mind loaning even to my son-in-law and a pretty Mod-choked field gun, both for under $600... and did I mention they are WINGMASTERS?

I suspect God loves me, but for the life of me I still don't know why.

The point is... most of the time the gun you are looking for is in the used rack at your LGS.
You just have to be smart enough to recognize it.
 

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I sold a Benelli Nova to buy a SBE3. I shot a ton of turkeys with the Nova. I bought it for $315 many years ago and sold it this spring for $300, and bought the SBE3. Maybe a pump would work for you now and trade up to a semi?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Always... no, ALWAYS... cruise through the used gun rack at your LGS. At least monthly.

When I first got into Sporting Clays I decided I needed an autoloader. Walked into a used Rem 100 Express (plastic stock that fits everyone, pseudo-phosphate metal finish) for $300. To this day, after many a target shotgun has come and gone, it has accounted for the best score I've shot in FITASC. Liked it so much I bought the next one I ran across, this time for $250. Neither has ever so much as hiccupped in the field, shooting skeet or on the Sporting Clays range.

And there's the time I walked into not one, but two Rem 870 Windmasters - not that Express nonsense but actual 30-year old WINGMASTERS. Polished steel, perfect bluing, both as smooth as well-worn silk. One with perfect metal (28" Mod barrel) and chewed up wood, the other pretty nice wood and very nice metal with a 18" rifle-sighted barrel. Made an outrageous offer and got the pair for $500. One synthetic stock set and a couple of mag springs later, and some parts swapping, and I have a synthetic-stocked deer shotgun that I wouldn't mind loaning even to my son-in-law and a pretty Mod-choked field gun, both for under $600... and did I mention they are WINGMASTERS?

I suspect God loves me, but for the life of me I still don't know why.

The point is... most of the time the gun you are looking for is in the used rack at your LGS.
You just have to be smart enough to recognize it.
My first love came to me at the used gun rack at my local shop. An old but pristine 336SC. Then I found a 39A, I think from '82. I like the used guns better than the NIB guns; I only bought two guns brand new, and among my modest but growing collection they're the ones I probably love least
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I sold a Benelli Nova to buy a SBE3. I shot a ton of turkeys with the Nova. I bought it for $315 many years ago and sold it this spring for $300, and bought the SBE3. Maybe a pump would work for you now and trade up to a semi?
I've got a pump, I kind of wanted to diversify the collection a little to get a wider variety and a taste for different guns. I guess I'm sort of still feeling out what the perfect match for me is. But hey, if I go to the shop to buy a semi and fall in love with a pump, I'll have no problem having two pumps in the safe.
 
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