Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

AnswersASK YOUR QUESTION

Answers

Q:
What is the best shotgun for an adult beginner hunting deer? I am buying a gun for my husband who wants to start hunting deer. He is short, maybe 5' 4", but stocky. He wants a shotgun, I think rifles might not be allowed in my area, heavily wooded. Any suggestions?

Question by carmen.r.scott. Uploaded on September 12, 2011

Answers (22)

Top Rated
All Answers
from Oryx wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I would make sure of the regulations; a call to the dept of wildlife or whoever maintains the regulations in your state should clarify.

That said, I would want a pump action Remington 870 with a rifled barrel and provisions for either good iron sights or a scope.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, shotgun stocks pretty much come in "child" (too short for your husband) or adult (should be fine). Custom fitting is a good idea, but not very necessary in this case unless there is a problem.

Another attractive option would be a deer specific shotgun made to function and fit more like a bolt-action deer rifle. In this case, I would prefer the Savage 20 gauge model, as it has a better trigger.

Maybe ask friends or family that hunt deer in your area what they use. Although it's not always the right answer, often it's easier in terms of a new hunter for advice and getting pointers as they set up the weapon and get accustomed to it.

Good luck!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rlowe357 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

The remington 870 would be my choice also. They are almost indestructable, easily cleaned and can be used for almost every type of hunting by easily changing out barrels

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Remington 870!
Hands down!

Do not be afraid to have the stock adjusted if necessary for proper fit! Fit makes a gun easier to mount and MUCH easier on the shooter recoil wise!

Bubba

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I'm not trying to be tacky, BUT.... if the man is 5'4" and stocky....a "factory" length stock will be WAY too long!
Just a quick hint. If you purchase a Remington 870, take the time to have the stock reworked before he shoots it.
Let's be honest! If a man that's 5'4" has arms that fit a factory stock, he'd look like an orangutan walking down the street!!

Bubba

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from OutdoorEnvy wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Get a remington 870 20ga youth model. Adjusting the stock will not be necessary and since he's new to hunting he'll shoot the 20ga better than a 12ga. These days the 20ga slugs are plenty good enough to down any whitetail.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dbetzner wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Either a 12 gauge Remington 870 If he's only hunting deer get one that has or comes with a rifled slug barrel. Second choice would me A mossburg 500 and the same would apply.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ga hunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Im going to have to agree with everyone else and say the Remington 870 would be the best choice! Is it a surprise? If not why not take him to see what fits him the best either the youth version or the full sized. A 12 gauge great but a 20 gauge also has enough knock down power for deer.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from carmen.r.scott wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Thanks everyone for your help! Based on what you all said and talking to my dad, sounds like this might be a good option (we will get the stock shortened if need be):

http://www.gandermountain.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?i=GM418250&pde...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greenhead wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

That would be a great choice.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 1Browning2 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

the gun you just posted is the exact combo I have and love it. I have the 20 and 12 ga mode. i like my 20 because its lighter to carry and i feel it shoots better than my 12 ga 870.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Carmen

Do you "love" your "husband"?!

DO NOT send a "man" out hunting with a "Youth" model firearm! If you're going to do that, make him carry a purse and wear lacey underwear!

C'mon, guys!
Would you give your son a "pink" Chipmunk for a "first" gun?

I know, I know! It's just a stupid "guy" thing! Just "think" about it!

Bubba

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from carmen.r.scott wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I agree, Bubba. I am going with the adult version.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Oryx wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

American stocks are pretty short to begin with. It's easier to cut the stock down than to add a bunch of spacers, etc.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from laker wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

That's the gun I use for deer and grouse hunting, in 20Gauge. It's very reliable, accurate enough for the distances I am likely to shoot, easy handling, and I don't shed a tear with every new scratch or ding.

It's a fine tool, but no piece of art. I'm OK with that. Most of my pretty guns are safe queens.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

laker

Scratches and dings add character!

Bubba

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

remington 870 chambered in 20 gauge should do just fine.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

A Remington 870 is hard to beat. If he is exclusively hunting deer with it, you can go for a slug barrel with sights. If not, a regular vented barrel with a bead is just fine and gives him flexibility for bird hunting too. I personally prefer a 12 gauge but a 20 gauge will work mighty fine too. The 20 is lighter to carry and faster to bring to the shoulder with less recoil for sure. The 12 gauge just seems to do a little more damage on deer impact and gives me a fuller pattern on birds.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wp wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

A Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 would be a good choice. There are tons of aftermarket stock options for both of these guns. An adjustable M4 type would be an ugly but very practical option for someone who needs a shorter stock and it can be changed quickly to allow for heavy or light clothing. Blackhawk even makes one that helps reduce recoil.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I have to agree with the Remington 870. I've purchased two, a 12 gauge and a 20 gauge for my son, and they've been reliable and versatile. You can find a barrel for every purpose!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Ithaca Deerslayer II. Makes the 870 look like something made in China.

Browning BPS shotguns are very nice and come with slug barrels too.

If you want something cheaper than those two get a Mossberg with a deer barrel or a combo if he likes bird hunting too. The finish on new 870s is terrible.

If you can find an older 870 with the nice blued finish, by all means buy it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hoski wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

The 870 you posted is a fine firearm.
As posted, fit is essential.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lyndonavery wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Mossberg makes combo deer, turkey, and field options that work very well. My son used my 535 deer/turkey combo to take his first deer. He used 00 buck shot with the smooth bore xx full turkey choke barrel.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report

Post an Answer

from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Carmen

Do you "love" your "husband"?!

DO NOT send a "man" out hunting with a "Youth" model firearm! If you're going to do that, make him carry a purse and wear lacey underwear!

C'mon, guys!
Would you give your son a "pink" Chipmunk for a "first" gun?

I know, I know! It's just a stupid "guy" thing! Just "think" about it!

Bubba

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I'm not trying to be tacky, BUT.... if the man is 5'4" and stocky....a "factory" length stock will be WAY too long!
Just a quick hint. If you purchase a Remington 870, take the time to have the stock reworked before he shoots it.
Let's be honest! If a man that's 5'4" has arms that fit a factory stock, he'd look like an orangutan walking down the street!!

Bubba

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from carmen.r.scott wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I agree, Bubba. I am going with the adult version.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from lyndonavery wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Mossberg makes combo deer, turkey, and field options that work very well. My son used my 535 deer/turkey combo to take his first deer. He used 00 buck shot with the smooth bore xx full turkey choke barrel.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Oryx wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I would make sure of the regulations; a call to the dept of wildlife or whoever maintains the regulations in your state should clarify.

That said, I would want a pump action Remington 870 with a rifled barrel and provisions for either good iron sights or a scope.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, shotgun stocks pretty much come in "child" (too short for your husband) or adult (should be fine). Custom fitting is a good idea, but not very necessary in this case unless there is a problem.

Another attractive option would be a deer specific shotgun made to function and fit more like a bolt-action deer rifle. In this case, I would prefer the Savage 20 gauge model, as it has a better trigger.

Maybe ask friends or family that hunt deer in your area what they use. Although it's not always the right answer, often it's easier in terms of a new hunter for advice and getting pointers as they set up the weapon and get accustomed to it.

Good luck!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rlowe357 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

The remington 870 would be my choice also. They are almost indestructable, easily cleaned and can be used for almost every type of hunting by easily changing out barrels

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Remington 870!
Hands down!

Do not be afraid to have the stock adjusted if necessary for proper fit! Fit makes a gun easier to mount and MUCH easier on the shooter recoil wise!

Bubba

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from OutdoorEnvy wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Get a remington 870 20ga youth model. Adjusting the stock will not be necessary and since he's new to hunting he'll shoot the 20ga better than a 12ga. These days the 20ga slugs are plenty good enough to down any whitetail.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ga hunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Im going to have to agree with everyone else and say the Remington 870 would be the best choice! Is it a surprise? If not why not take him to see what fits him the best either the youth version or the full sized. A 12 gauge great but a 20 gauge also has enough knock down power for deer.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from carmen.r.scott wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Thanks everyone for your help! Based on what you all said and talking to my dad, sounds like this might be a good option (we will get the stock shortened if need be):

http://www.gandermountain.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?i=GM418250&pde...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 1Browning2 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

the gun you just posted is the exact combo I have and love it. I have the 20 and 12 ga mode. i like my 20 because its lighter to carry and i feel it shoots better than my 12 ga 870.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Oryx wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

American stocks are pretty short to begin with. It's easier to cut the stock down than to add a bunch of spacers, etc.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from laker wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

That's the gun I use for deer and grouse hunting, in 20Gauge. It's very reliable, accurate enough for the distances I am likely to shoot, easy handling, and I don't shed a tear with every new scratch or ding.

It's a fine tool, but no piece of art. I'm OK with that. Most of my pretty guns are safe queens.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

laker

Scratches and dings add character!

Bubba

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wp wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

A Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 would be a good choice. There are tons of aftermarket stock options for both of these guns. An adjustable M4 type would be an ugly but very practical option for someone who needs a shorter stock and it can be changed quickly to allow for heavy or light clothing. Blackhawk even makes one that helps reduce recoil.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dbetzner wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Either a 12 gauge Remington 870 If he's only hunting deer get one that has or comes with a rifled slug barrel. Second choice would me A mossburg 500 and the same would apply.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greenhead wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

That would be a great choice.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

remington 870 chambered in 20 gauge should do just fine.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

A Remington 870 is hard to beat. If he is exclusively hunting deer with it, you can go for a slug barrel with sights. If not, a regular vented barrel with a bead is just fine and gives him flexibility for bird hunting too. I personally prefer a 12 gauge but a 20 gauge will work mighty fine too. The 20 is lighter to carry and faster to bring to the shoulder with less recoil for sure. The 12 gauge just seems to do a little more damage on deer impact and gives me a fuller pattern on birds.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I have to agree with the Remington 870. I've purchased two, a 12 gauge and a 20 gauge for my son, and they've been reliable and versatile. You can find a barrel for every purpose!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Ithaca Deerslayer II. Makes the 870 look like something made in China.

Browning BPS shotguns are very nice and come with slug barrels too.

If you want something cheaper than those two get a Mossberg with a deer barrel or a combo if he likes bird hunting too. The finish on new 870s is terrible.

If you can find an older 870 with the nice blued finish, by all means buy it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hoski wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

The 870 you posted is a fine firearm.
As posted, fit is essential.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post an Answer