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nbd13
07-30-2010, 08:14 PM
Hey everyone,

First post here....Long story short, I got a vizsla and after watching it grow and develop it's hunting skills on his own, I have decided to hunt with him. I have never hunted before nor trained a dog to hunt. Him and I are working on the training and it's going very well. Working on the "whoa" right now, hopefully we will be ready for quail season.

Anyways, since I have never hunted nor has anyone in my family....I need some help.

I need to get a gun obviously and am looking for some help and suggestions. I don't have a ton of cash to drop on this so price is key. I just want something decent to hunt quail and pheasant with. Nothing too special.

Also, I live in IL, what do I need to do in order to have a shotgun? I'm 23 yrs old, so not sure if I need to take a class or something? I was born in '87.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Nick

jeffstally
07-30-2010, 09:09 PM
I am not sure about Illinois law but you may have to take a firearm safety course. Contact the state DNR and ask.

I would recommend a Remington 870 pump or a Remington 1187 or 1100 for a good starter gun. They are cheap and reliable IMO.

moellermd
07-30-2010, 09:16 PM
As far as the gun goes I am sure you will get a lot of opinions. Mine would probably be a Remington 870. Used they are pretty cheap and a solid gun with lots of uses.

I would definitely take a hunters safety course. It might be required to hunt in Illinois. After that I would find a local Pheasants Forever Chapter or other Sportsman's club and join. Tell them your situation and I am sure you will get some local help. I know if I was approached by someone wanting to hunt for the first time I would definitely take them hunting with me. Good luck and welcome to the sport.

Houston54
07-30-2010, 10:40 PM
I echo the advice on the Remington 870 pump. It can be found in pawn shops in this area for about $175 out the door in good shape. Get one with the vent rib barrel and screw in chokes. As long as it does not look like it was dragged behind the truck it should work well for you. I have 2 870 models in the safe now and probably always will. I pull one out when the hunting is going be on the wet and dirty side.

A pump will make you be more economic with your shells also. An autoloader makes it too easy to throw lead out. I started with a 870 years ago, upgraded to an 11-87 then went back to a pump.

You may be able to borrow a gun from someone who you know. Hunters are always glad to help out a new convert.

I would also suggest getting an electric collar for your dog. They help enforce field manners when needed.

Good luck and I hope you have a great time in the field with your pup. You both will enjoy it even if the trigger never gets pulled.

jlm60195
07-31-2010, 01:28 AM
If your in Illinois you will need a FOID card before you can even purchase a gun (assuming you don't already have one)
http://www.isp.state.il.us/foid/

Calisdad
07-31-2010, 10:28 AM
ditto on the 870. It will provide years of service with no problems.

Don't go too big. A 20 gauge 870 with a 3" chamber is plenty big for pheasant and you can still put 2 3/4 shells in so you don't obliterate your quail. Saves your shoulder too. Look for a used one with an Improved Cylinder or Modified choke (not Full choke). There are over 10,000,000 of them out there.

good luck-

nbd13
07-31-2010, 10:46 AM
Thanks guys for the info.

I applied for the FOID card and have to wait 30 days for processing before I can buy the gun.

I also have an electronic collar for my dog, have already been training him with the collar.

I have a few questions for you guys about the 870:

1. So I should get a 20 gauge with the 3" chamber right?

2. What does improved cylinder/modified coke mean? How is it different that full choke? You'll have to forgive me as I know nothing about guns.

3. What does the vent rib barrel do?

4. What does pump vs. autoloader mean? Does pump just mean the gun sort of hinges in two and you put 2 shells in where as an auto loader is the type where the shells go in the side?

5. What type of ammo is recommended for quail and pheasants? I will probably try quail first, actually since both seasons here in IL are the same time. I guess it's whatever I run across. Although, from what I've read so far pheasant hunting in IL is kind of screwy so quail might be easier to find.

6. Is there a place I can buy guns online at a good price? I just wouldn't know what to look for if I were to go to a pawn shop. Which would be cheaper?

Thanks again and I apologize about all the probably easy and stupid questions for you guys.

Nick

Calisdad
07-31-2010, 11:00 AM
Hey Nick,
1. I would although with the newer loads the 3" chamber isn't a deal breaker.
2. The choke patterns the diameter of the shot. Full is the tightest on down.
3. Vent rib cools the barrel somewhat but it help with sighting also.
4. Pump means you physically pump it, auto does it with recoil.
5. The higher the number the smaller (and more) shot. 7 1/2 to 8 for quail 5 or 6 for pheasant.
6. There are a few online sites. Auction Arms is one. Be prepared to pay a small FFL transfer fee (Federal Firearms License- need to make sure you are not a felon etc.)

regards,
C-dad

jlm60195
07-31-2010, 04:02 PM
Thanks guys for the info.
I applied for the FOID card and have to wait 30 days for processing before I can buy the gun.
Nick
Just as an FYI, FOID's are taking about 6 weeks or so, not 30 days (at least mine did and a few others I know).
The 30 Days is from when your check clears. Not from when you send it in.

pheasantaddict
07-31-2010, 10:37 PM
Read some hunting mags like Pointing Dog Journal lots of good advice. Watch bird hunting shows. Like md said, If you had a PF chapter in your area I'm sure someone can give you tips. Good luck and have fun.

FCSpringer
07-31-2010, 11:19 PM
You may want to look up a gun shop local, saving a few bucks will not replace the help and showing you the first gun, how to clean it, propper use and maybe even some clay pigeons to shoot it, he will help you with the fit as well. If not at least go to a range for some lessons and shooting. Have fun and be safe.

tmrichardson
08-01-2010, 11:37 AM
A 3" chamber isn't really needed for most upland game. Essentially it allows a 1/4" longer shell to be loaded. Usually 3" loads have more pellets and/or more powder (or both) and will kick your shoulder harder. If you think you'd ever like to hunt waterfowl or turkeys a 3" chamber in a 20 can be valuable. If its just quail pheasants grouse woodcock etc. the older guns with 2 3/4" cylinder can be pretty nice--some of them are a bit trimmer and lighter than the 3" chamber versions of today.

Also--Remington quality has taken a nosedive in recent years. I'd look for an older 870 wingmaster if you can, they are well made and can take a lot of abuse. 870 express models should be avoided unless you can have a gunsmith go over them for you. They tend to have unfinished parts, roughed up parts that need polishing, etc. to function well. Ithaca model 37's are great too, tend to be a little lighter than remington's, but run a bit more $$.

It probably would be a good idea to try to find one in a local store that will give you some advice on operation and cleaning as FC said. If you still want to buy online though I'd recommend gunbroker.com

Vent ribs are as stated handy for some but not really necessary for hunting use.

Newer guns typically come with interchangeable choke tubes, older guns will have a barrel with one choke constriction that you can't change unless you change the barrel. (Barrels are easily interchangeable on many 870's).

If you have interchangeable chokes I'd recommend IC (improved Cylinder) or even C (Cylinder) or one of the skeet chokes for quail. M(Modified) is getting a bit tight for quail, and F (Full) is too tight. This doesn't mean that you can't shoot quail with tight chokes--just that the ranges you will usually shoot them at make it harder to hit them with tighter chokes--and if you do--you may end up damaging the meat a bit more.

If the gun you buy has a fixed permanent choke, the ideal would probably by Improved Cylinder. Most fixed choke guns will come in modified or full--there aren't as many in IC--but a few have been made. You can also have a tighter choke opened up to IC by a gunsmith with proper gear to do so, for a fee. This is where the advice to find a local gun may make it hard for you as finding an older 870 with an IC barrel isn't easy in my experience.

You'll encounter different barrel lenghts that might get confusing to you too. Everyone is different and each gun balances a bit differently, but most standard lengths or 26" or 28". 30" is getting a bit long, 24" a bit short--but again people and guns will vary.

Hope that helps!

JMc
08-01-2010, 04:22 PM
I'm going to stir the pot a little and NOT recommend a pump. For all you pump guys, don't fret, I think they are great, but we are talking to a guy that has never hunted and/or handled a shotgun. Would not an automatic be simpler and less demanding from a "rookie". Just my 2 cents. For a few bucks more from any pawn shop is a Remington 1100, Winchester 1300, etc. just waiting for a new home. Based on my reasoning, probably ought to get an over & under or side x side but now the arguments begin. Regardless of your choice, welcome to the hunting side of life. Good luck on your choice and enjoy your dog to the fullest.

BleuBijou
08-01-2010, 04:49 PM
What I am going to say is when you get your gun, take it to the trap range and shoot 500 rounds or so. Get use to it ,learn how it shoots. Since you are so new to the sport, it could take you a little while to feel comfortable with it! Learn how to unload it. There are a couple of ways to unload a pump. Be safe!!! Welcome to the sport and good luck with your dog!!

moellermd
08-01-2010, 05:52 PM
I'm going to stir the pot a little and NOT recommend a pump.

To suggest that someone not start out with a pump or single shot is simply un-American. I hope that none of the school board members read this or you might have to bring back your new Chevy, benelli and kennel full of GSPs.

jasper
08-01-2010, 07:32 PM
Being that you have never shot before I would go down to a local range and ask around. I would be more then willing to take someone with me sporting clays and let them use my shotgun. If you go this route make sure to go over gun safety and how his gun functions. Safety location, loading and unloading. Just remember there is no such thing as a firearms accidents. Only unsafe handling. Also I highly recommend hunters safety. You will learn a thing or two. A lot is common sense but it is a great program. You will also need it to hunt in most states.

cheesy
08-01-2010, 08:05 PM
I'll jump on the bandwagon and recommend the 870 Wingmaster. Used around here can be found for $200, screw in choke models go a bit higher.

http://astorarms.ca/images/non-restricted/remington%20870%20%2012ga%20aaaaa.jpg

I myself have upgraded to a semi-automatic Beretta, but in my opinion a pump is simpler for a rookie to understand.

Like was said above, find a clays range and ask the guys there to give you some pointers, all that I've been around would be more than willing to help a guy learn.

pheasantaddict
08-01-2010, 10:22 PM
Just remember there is no such thing as a firearms accidents. Only unsafe handling.

I agree very well said Jasper.

jnormanh
08-02-2010, 10:20 AM
Slow down a bit. If you don't know the difference between a pump and an autoloader, do not buy any gun. Your first step is to learn some basics. The best way would be to try shooting some clay targets at trap or skeet. If there's a gun club anywhere near you, go there and observe. Talk to some of the shooters, and I'll bet you will find many of them will go out of their way to help you learn, they may even loan you some guns to try. A formal firearms safety course would be very good too, and you can read books, and watch videos.

It makes little difference what you buy as a first gun, since you will almost certainly want something else after you gain some experience and competence. An 870 is as good as any for a first gun, and is capable of doing everything you will ever need. Lots of long experienced shooters love their 870s.

I think you're overly optimistic to think you can go hunting with your dog this coming season. While proper firearms handling is not difficult to learn, remembering it under the excitement of field shooting comes only after repetitious practice in no-stress situations. Even if you manage not to shoot your dog, someone else or yourself, You'll be frustrated by not being likely to kill any birds.

Find a gun club, bust a thousand targets, and then you'll know what gun you want and what to do with it.

JFan02
08-03-2010, 09:23 AM
NBD,

Just relax a bit. Do some research. Head to Cabela's, Gander, the local gun shop, club and ask around. Pick up everything in your price range and enjoy it. Sometimes people on here forget that not everyone grew up doing this and are a bit harsh on people just getting started. Take your time and get comfortable. Then find a club and shoot a little. I just pick this up about 4-5 years ago. I spent my first season without getting a bird, but I loved every minute of it. People are right, you are going to miss way more than you hit to start, but it will calm down. They are also right about the dog, but just remember it all takes some time and some practice.

As for the gun, my first was an 870. I just upgraded to a Beretta A400 over the weekend. I couldn't have asked for a better starting gun though, good handling easy to clean and can do all you want it to.

nbd13
08-03-2010, 09:33 AM
Thanks everyone for their advice and time.

Just to reassure everyone, I am not some naive young adult. Everything I do in life is well thought out and planned. I will of course research before I buy or more importantly shoot a gun. I will take a hunter safety class and will not just go out in the field without having shot trap or clays. I just wanted some advice from everyone on here about a good first gun, that's all.

I plan on going to a few local gun shops and cabelas or bass pro shops, but it sounds like finding a good remington 870 is the best bet.

I know this will take time for both myself and my dog, but I figured this would be a good starting place.

Thanks for everyone's time and help.

Nick

jasper
08-03-2010, 05:41 PM
I think if you picked something up in the near future there is no reason you can't get out this year. Also you can look at used guns. Gander Mtn warranties theres. I bought my current shot gun used from Gander.
On a side note have you worked with your vizsla around a gun?

birddognut
08-03-2010, 06:20 PM
My advice would be ask at the local gun clubs or hunt clubs. Up here they have learn to hunt or learn to shoot classes ( may be called other things ). That way you learn from experienced hunters and shooters. They let you shoot different types of shotguns and you decide what you like best.That way you don't buy something that you are not happy with.
They cover safety first then teach you how to hit what you are shooting at. Since you are new to hunting it would be big advantage to you to learn from experienced hunters and shooters.Good luck and have fun!

nbd13
08-03-2010, 06:32 PM
I think if you picked something up in the near future there is no reason you can't get out this year. Also you can look at used guns. Gander Mtn warranties theres. I bought my current shot gun used from Gander.
On a side note have you worked with your vizsla around a gun?

Thanks for the advice about Gander Mtn. there is one close by that I will check out.

I have not introduced him to a gun yet. I actually have a .209 Shotgun Primer Pistol coming that I'm going to start with and go from there. I have read a ton about it though, so I think I have a good idea how to do it, but any thoughts or tip are welcome! How old is your vizsla?

Thanks,

Nick

nbd13
08-03-2010, 06:33 PM
My advice would be ask at the local gun clubs or hunt clubs. Up here they have learn to hunt or learn to shoot classes ( may be called other things ). That way you learn from experienced hunters and shooters. They let you shoot different types of shotguns and you decide what you like best.That way you don't buy something that you are not happy with.
They cover safety first then teach you how to hit what you are shooting at. Since you are new to hunting it would be big advantage to you to learn from experienced hunters and shooters.Good luck and have fun!

Thanks, I think I may ask when I call some of the local gun shops/shooting ranges. There are a few hunt clubs around, maybe I will try them as well.

Nick

jasper
08-03-2010, 07:05 PM
Thanks for the advice about Gander Mtn. there is one close by that I will check out.

I have not introduced him to a gun yet. I actually have a .209 Shotgun Primer Pistol coming that I'm going to start with and go from there. I have read a ton about it though, so I think I have a good idea how to do it, but any thoughts or tip are welcome! How old is your vizsla?

Thanks,

Nick

He is three. On the timid side even for a vizsla. If yours is timid at all take the intro very slow. It took me over a month to work up to a 12 gauge then all it took was one night of fireworks to ruin it all. Now he is scared of everything that goes boom. He also associates it with birds so he is a great family dog for now but I still am hoping we we can work through this but it has been over a year with no change. I would start with a .22 blank pistol or make sure to have someone help you with the primmer that is pretty far away. It is easier to work into the gun then try and fix a problem.
Best of luck
Brad

nbd13
08-03-2010, 07:22 PM
He is three. On the timid side even for a vizsla. If yours is timid at all take the intro very slow. It took me over a month to work up to a 12 gauge then all it took was one night of fireworks to ruin it all. Now he is scared of everything that goes boom. He also associates it with birds so he is a great family dog for now but I still am hoping we we can work through this but it has been over a year with no change. I would start with a .22 blank pistol or make sure to have someone help you with the primmer that is pretty far away. It is easier to work into the gun then try and fix a problem.
Best of luck
Brad

Thanks Brad. He is a little timid, but not much at all. He just turned 14 months actually, but pretty much the normal vizsla...more sensitive than your German shorthaired, but what vizsla isn't. Luckily, this past 4th of July he was not scared of fireworks at all....he was actually curious and did not mind them. So, I'm hoping this is good. I plan to take it vary slow. I will have my wife helping me with the intro so we can start off very far away and work closer.

I hope you get it worked out. I've seen a few threads on here and other boards of different method to break gun shy dogs. Have you tried anything thus far? Good luck!

Nick

jasper
08-03-2010, 07:31 PM
Right now I'm just trying to get him birdy again. He doesn't want anything to do with birds. I didn't realize how bad the fireworks affected him and took him out and shot a couple of birds over him training. Very very bad idea. Now he thinks birds are bad. He wont even chase a lock wing pigeon or get excited for a pheasant. Until I can get him back into birds I am not even worried about the gun shyness.

nbd13
08-03-2010, 07:55 PM
Right now I'm just trying to get him birdy again. He doesn't want anything to do with birds. I didn't realize how bad the fireworks affected him and took him out and shot a couple of birds over him training. Very very bad idea. Now he thinks birds are bad. He wont even chase a lock wing pigeon or get excited for a pheasant. Until I can get him back into birds I am not even worried about the gun shyness.

Oh jeeze I didn't realize it was that bad. Good luck with it. I hope you get him back to where he was!

Nick

BritChaser
08-03-2010, 08:48 PM
Hey everyone,

First post here....Long story short, I got a vizsla and after watching it grow and develop it's hunting skills on his own, I have decided to hunt with him. I have never hunted before nor trained a dog to hunt. Him and I are working on the training and it's going very well. Working on the "whoa" right now, hopefully we will be ready for quail season.

Anyways, since I have never hunted nor has anyone in my family....I need some help.

I need to get a gun obviously and am looking for some help and suggestions. I don't have a ton of cash to drop on this so price is key. I just want something decent to hunt quail and pheasant with. Nothing too special.

Also, I live in IL, what do I need to do in order to have a shotgun? I'm 23 yrs old, so not sure if I need to take a class or something? I was born in '87.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Nick

Get a double barrel 12 gauge with screw-in chokes. Then you have a longer range shot for your second shot. You can change the chokes depending on your game: more open for quail and dove, tighter for pheasants. Doubles are safer because there is never any question whether you're loaded or not: Break the gun -- there the bad boys are, resting in the barrels, or not. Stoeger has doubles at very reasonable prices. A Stoeger isn't as nice as a Browning or a Beretta, but they knock down the birds just fine. Or buy used. Lots of guns for sale on the internet. Come turkery season, screw a turkey choke in and get yourself a big tom.

If you don't have a license, you may need to take a hunter safety course first. Check with your state's fish and game authority. Have fun!