I am looking to buy a 20 gauge pump shotgun and wanted some opinions. I am leaning toward a browning BPS...want to keep costs around $400, will use for pheasants...any guns a great deal at that price? Thanks
I don't have any experience with the BPS, but I will give you some other recommendations/advice.
My personal favorite is the Winchester 1300/SpeedPump. They have a nice, smooth action and are great for follow-up shots. They haven;t made them in a few years, but if you look, you will find a few nice examples. I even come across a New-In-Box guns from time to time.
You will probably get a majority of recommendations for the Remington 870 as well. They are excelent guns as well, a little stiffer of an action, but the design has definitely lasted the test of time. I think I just read that they recently produced their Millionth 870. Just DO NOT GET THE EXPRESS MODEL. I personally like the old Wingmaster 870s but thats neither here or there.
Mossberg 500/590 whatever. I have had my share of problems with these guns. After dealing with a few of them, I will never again. I also don't care at all for the action either in operation or design/assembly/disassembly.
There are other good options as well, but these guns make up a good portion of my experience with scatter guns.
$400 should treat you very well in the used rack for a nice gun. Good Luck!
Last Saturday, I picked up an excellent used Winchester Model 1200 20 gauge pump for $149.00. I have found Remington 870 Wingmaster and Ithaca Model 37 20 gauge pumps for not much more money. I often see Mossberg pumps for cheap prices. There are a lot of bargains sitting on the used gun racks looking for anew home. It depends what you prefer, seems to fit and handles well.
I have not bought Remington Express shotguns because my local gunsmith has examples of them rusting from inside the receiver. They are not as smooth as the Wingmasters. It is a personal preference thing.
The BPS is built on the same patent as the Ithica 37. The Ithica has been built since the 60's, so lot's on the used market, but beware of barrels not built for steel/non-toxic shot. I actually prefer the Ithica, because of the front site. Also, the Ithica is available withan English stock and a "corn-cob" for-end.(really good for gripping). Killed a lot of mallards in the 70's with an English stocked 20 in IC and "Duck and Pheasant" 6's. Aftermarket chokes and Hevi'shot oughtta increase range a little...Terry
Take a hard look at a older Ithaca Model 37. Well built, all steel gun, handles very fast very light. Not clumsy or club like, but live/light, swings fast will do very well on birds. The Ithaca is a classic shotgun will do very well in the field. Stay away from the imports!!!!
You say you want to use it for Pheasants, right? If your pheasants are like the ones I hunt they fly rather well and it doesn't matter how much you like your new shotgun if it doesn't fit you, you won't shoot it well!
I would try to actually shoot as many different ones as you can. Have a fun clay bird shoot with your buddies and ask to try different guns. Even experts can pick up a gun and think it feels good but find out it's not so good when they actually shoot it. When you find one you can hit with I wouldn't care who's name is on it, I'd hunt with it! Just my 2 cents!
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