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An In-Depth Guide to Finding the Right Shotgun that Fits Your Needs

The shotgun remains one of the most popular choices of firearms for hunting, home defense and shooting for sport. This versatile firearm can adapt to a number of different situations, and is easy enough for an inexperienced shooter to learn how to fire.

You’ll want to consider a number of points before buying your shotgun in order to guarantee you wind up with a firearm that suits your needs. DE Guns can help you figure out which shotgun is best suited to your intended purpose.

First time buyers and inexperienced gun owners can get bogged down in the long list of different options. It can seem like a daunting task to determine which gun is best for you, which is why we have put together a collection of brief bites of information on shotgun characteristics and distinctions.

DE Guns wants to help you by providing an in-depth guide to finding the right shotgun. If you’re planning on buying a shotgun, spend some time thinking about the following major factors:

Gauge: The 12 gauge is one of the most versatile options as it handles a huge range of loads. The 16, 20 and 28 gauge are for upland-bird gauges. The .410 is a popular choice for squirrel hunting and expert clay target shots. The large 10 gauge tends to be a specialty gun for goose hunters.

Action: For the least expensive choice, go with the pump action as it is also extremely reliable. Semiautomatics will cut down on the amount of recoil you feel, and in some cases quite notably. Pumps and semiautomatics are a better choice for hunting deer and turkeys, and extra barrels are readily available and interchangeable for these as well. Break-action guns deliver two shots compared to the three from pumps and semiautos, but you have a choice of two chokes. These guns will also do a better job of digesting misshapen reloads than the other options. This makes a big difference to target shooters loading between shots.

Weight: Gun weight should be based on the purpose of the firearm. Heavier guns will absorb more recoil, but lighter guns are less tiring to carry.

Balance: Most people tend to fire a better shot with a gun that is slightly heavy in the muzzle. This does not apply in the case of upland hunting, such as grouse and woodcock.

Finish: You need to balance functionality with aesthetics when choosing this finish. For upland and target range use, a walnut finish and a shiny engraving can work. However, when going after waterfowl, deer and turkeys, it is easier to care for something duller and more weather resistant.

How to Choose the Right Shotgun Gauge

Shotgun shooters have it a little easier than rifle shooters, who have an endless number of choices when it comes to caliber. Shotgun shooters have six to choose from, and each one offers pros and cons and has fans and detractors within the community of gun owners.

10 Gauge (.775-inch diameter)

This one is the largest legal gauge in the United States. Its primary purpose is goose hunting. It does will with BB and larger steel shot and given its massive 10-lb-plus weight, it absorbs the recoil of a heavy load.

12 Gauge (.729) This is the most versatile gauge, and is considered a standard. The 12-gauge can shoot everything from a ¾ ounce practice load with virtually no recoil to the heavy 2 and ¼-ounce turkey hunters. Ammunition is available everywhere, and the sheer volume of 12-gauge sales keeps the price low. If your plan is to own just one gun, you should probably go with the 12.

16 Gauge (.662): The 16 finds a niche between the 3-inch 20 gauge and the 12. It is a popular upland choice, and is still best described by the classic saying “carries like a 20, hits like a 12.”

20 Gauge (.615): The 20 gauge is competent upland choice with 7/8 to an ounce of a shot. A 3-inch 20 fires an ounce of steel, which is enough for ducks. Advances in slugs render the 20s equal to the 12 in a lower recoil package. For a great starter gun, go with the gas-operated 20 gauge.

28 Gauge (.550): There are a couple of common ways to describe the 28. Some say it’s the thinking man’s 20, and it’s also the .410 for people who want to kill birds and crush targets. At a range of 30 to 35 yards, the 38 delivers a light kick when it fires a ¾ ounce shot. It’s commonly used for smaller birds and short-range clays.

.410 Bore (67 gauge): This is a common starter for kids because it is lightweight and has very little recoil. The ammo is expensive, and it delivers light payloads and poor payloads. These characteristics make it a better choice for expert target shooters who want to keep their eye sharp.

For Home Defense:

A good tactical shotgun for home defense often has the following points:

· 18 to 20 inch barrel

· Pump or semi-auto operation

· Practical optics

· Comfortable shoulder stock

· Loaded with buckshot for inside-the-home use

For Hunting Turkeys

Look for these characteristics if you plan to hunt turkeys with your shotgun:

· Short barrel

· Tight choke

· Ability to shoot heavy loads

· Sling swivels

· Matte or camo finish to keep your gun inconspicuous

If you are an experienced shooter who knows exactly what to look for, or a first-time buyer who wants as much information as possible, DE Guns can provide what you need.

Contact DE Guns for All Your Shotgun Need

Whether you are hunting, defending your home, teaching a young person to shoot a shotgun, or going out for target practice on clay pigeons, DE Guns can provide you with the information, guns and ammunition you need. Call us at 402-875-6500 and visit our website here. Our trained and cheerful professionals enjoy giving advice about guns to first time buyers, and talking shop with experienced gun owners who have extensive collections. We look forward to hearing from you!