Feel free to tell me what I don't know.
I have pretty well settled on a Remington 870, rugged, dependable etc etc. I liked the Mossberg 500 OK, but the 870 shoulders and points better for me; I also prefer the metal bits on the Remington to the plastic bits on the Mossberg.
I am thinking a longer barrel with a full choke in case I get a hankering to shoot some orange discs out of the air.
And a second shorter barrel, 18.5 or maybe 20 inches for home defense with shot pellets and maybe slugs through the same short barrel around remote campsites.
Am I right that an 18-20" smooth bore barrel ought to be able to put one ounce slugs into angle of interior bear at say 20 yards or less - and then the same barrel running #7 or #8 shot give or take around the house not blow through the side wall of my house, and the side wall of my neighbor's house and then make a mess out of his dog or one of his kids?
Longest straight shot in my house is 37 feet from the end of the hall to the wood stove. I got a couple diagonals kitchen/ dining/ living rooms at 25 feet, and then nothing over 16 feet anywhere else in the house except for the garage.
What choke do I want on the short barrel to let slugs through but still make nice patterns at 20 feet or so with itty bitty pellets?
How long a barrel do I really need to hunt clay discs?
We raised poultry on the farm when I was a kid, so I'll not be hunting anything with wings on it until I run out of Mountain House, canned beans and spam. When all three of those are used up and I have had another day or two to get really really hungry after all the squirrels run away, I might think about a bird. Or suicide. Or becoming a vegetarian. But other readers of this thread might appreciate knowing what is a good all around barrel length/ choke for Alaska's feathered wildlife, so don't hold back if you know...
What other shotguns should I really really think about before I get the 870? I should be able to get the gun, both barrels, a sling, a floating soft case and some factory loaded ammunition for around $700. A bracket and a light for around the house will be what it will be regardless of which shotgun I bring home.