Well I just pulled the trigger on the purchase of our first youth model shotgun yesterday. Been along time coming, and after what my youngest daughter did in this year's basketball season with her commitment and improvement, it is a well deserved reward.
I spent considerable time narrowing down the options and I just wasn't ready to spend the money on an automatic although I realize this would be easier on the smaller shoulders of my girls. I'm also just a little hesitant to give the girls an autoloader right off the bat simple for safety concerns.
After researching some other forums and reading what's been asked time after time about what is the best youth model shotgun, it became apparent that the Remington 870 is by far the most popular choice. A proven shotgun with an affordable price makes for a good choice for a first shotgun and I liked the looks, feel and sound of the action. I had every intention of buying one when I went into the store last night and concluded that the mossburg, being $40 cheaper just didn't stack up.
Guess what I walked out of the store with? Mossburg 500. lol.
I took Jennifer with me to the store and figured she'd be a good test person to hold and swing the two youth model shotguns I was looking at. She's about the same height as my girls and is eager to do some trap shooting later this summer. Between her son, herself and my girls, this shotgun is going to be well used over the course of the year.
We laid both shotguns out in front of us and she shouldered both of them three times each. I had her bring them up to a shooting stance and told her to sight in on the shelf behind the counter as if she were following a bird. Each time she said the Mossburg felt better and each time I was wanting her to tell me she liked the Remington better. lol. It just didn't happen.
The difference was that the 870 was $280 and the Mossburg was $240 here at the local Academy. The 870 looked nicer with a gray laminated stock and a tighter action and a matte finish, but what Jen liked about the Mossburg was that fact that the fore stock was closer to the chamber and she didn't have to reach out as far. The Mossburg has a second sight pin half way down the barrel that, to me, will help with a beginning shooter by reinforcing sight alignment. The Mossburg came with three chokes, being the Accu-choke improved cylinder, modified and full while the 870 only comes with modified if I remember correctly. The mossburg also came with sling screws with the stock screw already attached to the stock as well as already been tapped with sight rail holes. With the combination of all these "little" things, I started looking closer at the Mossburg. One thing surprised me that I never considered until the comparison was in full swing was the fact that, the Mossburg's safety is a top thumb safety located on the back of the receiver. Easy for little hands to reach and also easy for me to see from a distance even when I'm not the one handling the gun.
Out of the box, it seemed to me that the Mossburg was a better deal for a first shotgun. I don't like the looseness of the fore grip considering it is loose enough to rattle while walking with the gun, but the design is as proven as the 870's and not allot has changed since 1970 when they went to the double slide bars.
Basically I think in buying the Mossburg, I traded some connivence of being able to get accessories at almost any sporting good store considering the popularity of the 870, but for my particular needs I think the Mossburg is going to fit the bill nicely. I'm already looking into finding a way to control the looseness of the fore stock but we'll see. As far as how it shoots, I'll let you know this weekend.
To all you guys I've been pestering the last couple of days, thanks! I appreciate the help!