I was at the local Scheels Sporting Goods store the other day and saw the Stoeger P-350 12 gauge shotgun along with the Stoeger M-2000, Benelli Nova and the Remington 11-87.
Iíve never owned a shotgun before although I have fired the Remington 870 many times. I have fairly extensive experience shooting firearms such as the M-9, M-16/M-4 rifles in the military, and I own a Ruger 10/22 rifle, a S&W Model 27 in .357 magnum and a Taurus PT99 9mm. I do a lot a target shooting at the range and Iíve never been much into hunting.
Long story short, a couple friends want to introduce me to small game/bird hunting and I wouldnít mind taking up the sport of trap/skeet sometime but I don't own a shotgun. Iím not sure what type of shotgun would be best (pump or semi-auto). I clearly understand the difference between the two types of shotguns but I'm not sure which type is best for what I want which is a great all around/versatile and reliable shotgun.
Iím also confused on what barrel length would be best for an all around versatile shotgun. From what I held in the store, the 26 inch length seemed a good all around length and seemed to handle well. Is there a big advantage of one length over the other?
Is there a model of shotgun out there that would be great for a first time shotgun buyer? The Stoeger P-350 was selling for $229 with five chokes. I didnít think that was a bad price. In other words, from all your experience with shotguns, if you had to buy a shotgun for the first time (knowing what I like in a shotgun and what I'm going to use it for), what would you purchase?
I appreciate and look forward to all advice from all of you with shotgun experience. I hope to be joining your ranks soon with my first shotgun!
Thanks in advance for your time and opinions.