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Best Shotgun: Experts Offer Advice

By    |   Monday, 06 Apr 2015 11:16 AM

The best shotgun for people who are interested in hunting, shooting sports, or home defense is a source of endless debate on the Internet. Here are some of the factors experts look for when fitting the ideal shotgun.

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The most important factor is how you shoulder a gun and hold it when firing, according to an article in Field and Stream about choosing a shotgun.

A try gun, or a gun with a stock that can be adjusted in every direction, can be used as part of a fitting with a gun fit expert. "The fitter can change any dimension; you shoot the gun at a pattern plate, the fitter tinkers some more, and eventually you have a gun that shoots where you look," wrote Field and Stream's Phil Bourjaily. "When you're done, you have a piece of paper with your measurements that you can give to a gunsmith."

Single-shot, side-by-side, and over-under barrel styles can be used for different applications. Single-shot barrel style lets you insert the round directly into the chamber. Once it is fired, it must be opened and another round loaded. This style was once considered a beginners weapon, but is still popular with hunting and sport shooting where only one round is needed at a time.

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Side-by-side, or "doubles" are the equivalent of two single-shot barrels made together. Only a couple manufacturers produce side-by-side shotguns, according to Steve Felgenhauer of Bass Pro Shops 1 Source web magazine. "The recent popularity of cowboy shoots has given the side-by-side a boost," Felgenhauer said. "They are designed for shooting close range targets quickly."

Over-under shotguns are like side-by-side but with the barrels on top of each other. These are popular with bird hunters and clay shooters.

The most vociferous arguments among shotgun aficionados is pump-action vs. semi-auto. Semi-auto shotguns have slightly less recoil and allow you to fire more rapidly. However, they sometimes jam if you change shell styles and require more maintenance than pump-action. They also generally cost more than pump-action. On the other hand, a pump-action gun is highly unlikely to break.  "They wear like iron," said Bill Balda of Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife to Lee McClellan on the Outdoor Channel. "If money is an issue, a pump is a good choice for a repeating shotgun."

The most important factor of a gun purchase is choosing one that you feel comfortable with and will train with regularly. A well-trained shooter is a safer shooter.

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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The best shotgun for people who are interested in hunting, shooting sports, or home defense is a source of endless debate on the Internet. Here are some of the factors experts look for when fitting the ideal shotgun for men's needs.
gun reviews, shotguns, gun advice
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2015-16-06
Monday, 06 Apr 2015 11:16 AM
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