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Thread: First firearm for hunting

  1. #11

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    Congrats on passing the safety course, and welcome to hunting. When I was a youth, it was common for new hunters to start off with a single shot shotgun and a .22 rifle. As a hunter grew older and gained more skill/experience (and had more disposable income), he/she would graduate to repeating shotguns and high power rifles. For me, the acquisition of firearms has been a journey of upgrades e.g. from cheaper/ poorer quality to more expensive/better quality. Some hunters are really into firearms and have a wide assortment ó> like a bag full of golf clubs, while other folks (like myself) get by with the bare minimum. To each his own.

    Good luck and good hunting,
    A true sportsman counts his achievements in proportion to the effort involved and the fairness of the sport. - S. Pope

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  3. #12
    Has too much time on their hands

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    Quote Originally Posted by loliveros View Post
    Wow, thank you all for your advice. I was expecting just a few ideas, and you have given me a lot to work off of. Another thing to be grateful for this season is your sage advice!

    I was warned about the general feeling amongst gun owners that the semi is being taken behind the shed and shot... pun intended .

    I also wanted to add a little context to me question. I will be doing this on a tight budget, so really I have funds for one firearm. It seems quite a few of you have mentioned a shotgun, so I am leaning that way. Interchangeable chokes is a new concept to me. I will look up some option for that now.

    So, after reading over the comments again, I think I am looking for a 12g pump action shotgun with interchangeable chokes. Does that sound like the right starting gun for someone who intends to cover as much ground as possible on a budget?

    If so, please let me know if you know of any options that fit the bill.

    Thank you!
    Step 1

    There can be atleast a $2000 difference in pumps with interchangeable chokes, Browning, Winchester, Remington, Beretta, CZ, Stoeger, Henry, Mossberg and Benelli are good names, lots of other names out there but I wouldn't touch though. The "others" might have good names etc. but service, parts and durability may or may not be issues but nothing like a broken firearm to ruin a hunt. Youtube reviews of specific models can be good but might be sponsored, online reviews at stores and on other sites... do some research.
    Start out looking on Canadian Gunnutz, there are lots of varieties, links to many stores that offer new and used shotguns. Flahertys, Bass Pro, Sail, Gotenda and many shops within an hour, look online and call before you go to save a wasted trip and so you can look at the model you are interested in, in person.

    Step 2
    Get out and practice, there are a few places you can go see if you can hit a clay bird before you try with a real bird. (or put holes in a paper target)

    Step 3
    The insurance, information available and benefits of different groups is a must. I would say join CCFR, CSSA and OFAH in that order and all 3 actually.

    Step 4
    Research where to hunt, find someone to go with or get a guide for the first few times.
    Bookyourhunt and a few other options there.

    Good luck and enjoy.
    Last edited by mosquito; October 12th, 2021 at 05:29 PM.

  4. #13
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    If on a tight budget, find yourself a 12ga mossberg pump, 2 or 3 barrel combo. That will keep you going for awhile.

  5. #14
    Needs a new keyboard

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    First of all congratulations!

    Get to a range and shoot as many different guns as you can get your hands on - this may be difficult because most gun ranges are only open to members only due to COVID. Do not get your mind set on a particular gun before you have even shouldered it or even shot one - I see this mistake more than any other.

    Get the best gun you can afford. If you want a semi buy a semi.......I also watch guys buy and sell guns until they get the gun they wanted in the first place often costing them WAY more money than just buying the gun they wanted out of the gate. Buy once cry once is my motto.

    Keep in mind that even new guns require tweaks to make them fit you better and a good gunsmith can make all the difference. Once you get your gun shoot it as often as you can......hunting, or weekends at a gun range. Like anything the more you shoot it the more proficient you will become.

  6. #15
    Borderline Spammer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fox View Post
    Pump 12ga, cheaper than semis and lots of really good used ones out there. If you find a remington 870 or a mossberg 500 the aftermarket will have parts for you until the world ends.

    You can legally hunt everything in Ontario with a 12ga shotgun and not feel over gunned. You can also get lighter loads for upland game so that you do not put too many pellets on target. A 22LR is a necessity but I rarely hunt with one now, just plink with mine.
    What he said.

    Start off with an affordable & reliable gun and get the fundamentals down. You can always go crazy with additional guns down the line if you wish. Itís kind of like driving your first donít go right into a Ferrari.

    My first gun was a Mossberg 500 12 gauge and it has been put through hell and back. Has never jammed or malfunctioned. Shoots great and doesnít recoil as hard as my friendís much more expensive Benelli semi-auto.
    "The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

  7. #16

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    Either a 20 gauge or 12 gauge with a 24-28" smoothbore barrel. Just make sure when you shoot slugs you have an Improved cylinder choke. 3.5" steel shot for ducks/geese. 3" or 3.5" Tungsten for Turkey. 3" or, 2.75" #6 shot for rabbits, grouse, quail etc. You can literally hunt any game with a shotgun
    "When you're at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on"
    - Theodore Roosevelt

  8. #17
    Needs a new keyboard

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    Pump shotgun. 12 gauge, interchangeable chokes, get out and practice.

  9. #18
    Loyal Member

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    I agree...either a 12 or 20 ga barrel combo for the first few years

  10. #19
    Just starting out

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    Hello again,

    I wanted to clarify something, in terms of 12 ga, what is the best cartridge size for all around hunting? 2 3/4, 3, or 3 1/2?

  11. #20
    Needs a new keyboard

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    If you can get a shotgun that takes up to 3" shells, it would be a good idea to get it. For most small game you'll only use 2.75" shells, but it's good to have the option to go up to 3" for turkey and waterfowl. I have a shotgun that takes up to 3.5", but I never use that size shell. I tried it for turkey a few times, but it didn't make a big difference in the pattern, and there was a big jump up in the amount of recoil.

    Since it seems that you may be new to shotgunning, I should clarify that a gun chambered in 3.5" will take the other two shorter shells. A gun chambered in 3" will also take 2.75".
    Last edited by rf2; February 27th, 2022 at 06:40 PM. Reason: Added info

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