5 Things You Should Know About Shotgun Hunting

A shotgun is a versatile part of a hunter’s collection. Not only is a shotgun a great addition to your home defense strategy, but it’s also an excellent gun for beginners, it comes at a variety of price points, and a twelve gauge shotgun is ideal for sport hunting a wide range of game, both big and small.

What You Can Hunt

With the versatility of ammunition, you can hunt any bird, including dove, quail, grouse, pheasant, geese, duck, and turkey. Birdshot in either a 12- or 20-gauge model gives you a deadly shot, and because they shoot a spread of pellets, shotguns are perfect for animals in flight.

You can also hunt small game like rabbits and squirrels, or load your shotgun with buckshot to pursue big game like deer or feral hogs at close range. If you use slugs, your shotgun is capable of hunting the same big game, or perhaps bigger, at longer ranges.

Range and Specs

The range of a shotgun varies depending on the ammunition. Pellets are an adequate shot at about forty yards, and slugs at about seventy-five. The reality is that shotguns will always be less accurate than rifles; however, because they can fire multiple projectiles, they are ideal for small, fast-moving targets.

The two most common gauges are twelve and twenty. The gauge refers to the diameter of the barrel, and the higher the number, the smaller the barrel. A 20-gauge shotgun is slightly smaller than a 12-gauge, is lighter weight, and has less recoil.

Ammunition also comes in gauges rather than caliber like in rifles or handguns. There are several different kinds of ammo you can use to load a shotgun. A shell is a self-contained cartridge loaded with multiple metallic pellets. Buckshot is the same is birdshot, but the spherical projectiles are bigger, so it does more damage and can be used to hunt bigger game. Slug is the term used for a shotgun bullet. It’s one solid lead projectile and is the most powerful ammunition you can buy for a shotgun.

How It Compares to Bow Hunting

Experienced hunters use both a gun and a bow regularly. However, for beginners, or someone wanting to gain proficiency, it’s best to choose one firearm and practice consistently. Focusing on a smaller set of skills enables mastery of those skills more quickly.

The outdoor hunting experience is entirely different from shotgun to bow. Hunting small game with a bow is very challenging, and you’ll be largely unsuccessful unless you have exceptionally good aim with moving targets.

Big game is also hard to shoot with archery unless you’re within thirty yards of your target.  Stalking within archery range of elk or deer requires a lot of practice, skill, and sometimes luck. In most cases, a shotgun promotes more frequent success if your goal is to bring home dinner.

Seasons, Tags, and Regulations

Outdoor hunting regulations are complex, and they vary from state to state. Check local rules for where you can hunt, how to obtain tags, and how long the season is. When factoring in some of these things, bowhunters tend to have more of an advantage.

Some land is designated archery only, and many local landowners will only allow bowhunting on their property. If you know someone with land, hunting on private property can be cheaper, so gun hunting tends to be more pricey if you want the exclusivity that private property provides.

Over-the-counter tags are available first-come-first-serve but are the best bet for beginners because you don’t need points to be competitive. More experienced hunters have a better chance at a lottery for obtaining the tags they need.

Archery season is usually longer than gun season. You may also want to consider whether the seasons overlap because many archers don’t enjoy sharing the woods with gun hunters due to a significant disadvantage. It can also be dangerous to have bowhunters and gun hunters in the same area at one time, although incidents are rare, especially if you practice appropriate safety techniques.

Archery season usually precedes gun season, meaning that if you hunt with a rifle, you’re already at a disadvantage before you even begin. Guns often scare off animals, so once gun season starts, it can be hard to bag your limit. However, the earlier in the season it is, the warmer it is, so gun hunters do have a weather advantage later in the year.

Best for Beginners

A shotgun is one of the most versatile guns and performs nearly all functions that a rifle does, with few exceptions. Its ability to shoot a wide range of ammunition makes it useful for almost anything. Small game, large game, and home defense are a few potential uses already addressed. It’s effective at both short and long range.

Shotguns are also relatively inexpensive, so they’re not a huge investment for those wanting to learn. Shotguns circumvent a lot of legislation where handguns and rifles are concerned, and they’re easier to acquire.

It’s easy to transform a shotgun to a home defense role or make it a bird-blasting gun for the field. With an endless line of aftermarket accessories, you can tweak a shotgun to make it comfortable for anyone.

Shotguns are versatile, and you have a lot of options for comfort, size, and ammunition, making it one of the best guns for hunting. Grab A Gun has shotguns for sale, and you can order shotguns online on their website. If you’re looking to take up outdoor hunting, shotgun hunting is the perfect choice.

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3 Affordable Shotguns for Beginners: Mossberg, CZ, and Remington

So, you finally made the decision. You want to purchase your first shotgun. Congratulations. It’s your first step into the firearm community. Before we welcome you fully, you need to decide which shotgun to buy. Are you looking at tactical shotguns? Would a lever action shotgun be more your style? Are you already overwhelmed by two options?

Don’t be.

Here at GrabAGun, we specialize in helping people buy shotguns. We’ve done the research on all of the shotguns we have listed for sale and picked three that are affordable, reliable, and ideal for beginners. So, here are our selections you will want to consider.

Mossberg 500

To start the list, we have the Mossberg 500. This shotgun can be found with as much frequency in a hunter’s gun case as an officer’s patrol vehicle. With over 50 years in production, the Mossberg shotguns have fine-tuned their firearms for ultimate performance. The 500 series has several different models to pick from, each with a different style to appeal to different hunters. But Mossberg is also aware that they can’t make a shotgun that fits everyone’s needs, so this firearm can be customized—there are several aftermarket parts that you can find to make your first shotgun truly unique. And as a final note, since you might not be aware of the maintenance required for proper upkeep of your firearm, Mossberg shotguns are built to withstand the rigors of the hunt, and neglectful owners (though you should always properly clean and maintain your firearm).

CZ 612 Magnum Waterfowl Shotgun

The next shotgun on the list is perfect for beginners, because it too is relatively new to the firearm scene. The CZ 612 Magnum Waterfowl is the new kid in town, but is making a reputation for itself quickly. All that praise comes from the capabilities of the shotgun; it’s a hell of firearm for beginners and experts. The first aspect you’ll notice as a beginner is its recoil pad that will absorb a lot of the kick from those 12-gauge shells and slug you’ll be firing. For shooters not used to it, having a firearm that helps protect your shoulder can make a big difference. Once you begin to advance your knowledge some, you’ll notice that the 612 has a big forearm for easy action manipulation and easy-to-access release lever. It also comes standard with five choke tubes that can be interchanged with ease. All-in-all, you are getting a 3 ½ inch chambered 12-gauge that is camo-dipped for under $400. Hard to find other shotguns for sale better than the 612.

Remington 870

You can’t have a list of shotguns without a Remington (if you did, it wouldn’t be a trustworthy one). One of the best for first-timers is the Remington 870. Similar to the Mossberg 500 and CZ 612, it features a list of aspects that make it ideal for people wanting to purchase their first shotgun. As one of the older gun manufacturers, Remington has been honing their craft for some time, so their steel receiver and twin action bars are made to withstand decades of use. They are also made in several different models, most of which can be found for under $500, most notably the Express and Super Magnum Express. These Remington shotguns are also easily upgraded with a variety of aftermarket accessories.

Those are three of the best options beginners have for their first shotgun. Before you run out and buy the shotgun though, it’s a good idea to keep researching and even test fire a few. You’ll be able to determine which of these feels right in your hands, and understand the subtle difference between them. Once you’ve picked the one you like most, you’ll want to compare prices with local gun shops and an online gun store. Odds are, you’ll find better prices when you buy guns online—and with options similar to local places. Here at GrabAGun, we offer a layaway program so you can afford your shotgun. So do your research, pick your shotgun, and we’ll be ready to help you during every step of buying your first shotgun.

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Hunting Rascally Rabbits and Other Varmints

“Ya better say your prayers, ya flea-bitten varmint … I’m-a-gonna blow ya to smithereenies” From the wise words of Yosemite Sam to your author’s humble keyboard it's hard to find truer words. If you haven’t guessed it from my apparent affinity for Looney Tune’s quotes today we are talking about varmint hunting.

Image result for Yosemite sam

Courtesy Warner Brothers

Varmint hunting is unique in its own right. Most of the time varmint hunting isn’t necessarily done for meat, but for what’s basically pest control. Don’t get me wrong, some varmints are quite tasty… But many of them are complete and utter pests. They often breed so much, and so fast you must hunt them to just control their population.

Varmint hunting isn’t typically associated with the seriousness of deer, elk, moose, or bear hunting. It’s often more sought for the challenge than the trophy. Outside of the challenge many do it simply for pest control.

While varmint hunting may be a necessity, that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. We’ve picked our top 5 favorite varmint and the calibers and guns perfect for blowing them to “smithereenies.”


Good ole’ tree rats, the bane of many a bird feeder. Squirrels are one of the few varmints that are nice and tasty. They can be gamey, but toss them into a stew or fry them in a cast iron pan and you’ll have a nice dinner. Squirrels can be a major pest for those in the countryside. They can chew their way into attics, destroy insulation, and leave a mess. They are nightmares in a barn, especially if you keep corn, horse feed, and similar feeds stored there.

He Looks a little squirelly - Courtesy US Fish and Wildlife

So, you gotta take ‘em out. Squirrels can be easily dealt with a 22 LR but I’ve always stuck to a shotgun for safety reasons. Since squirrels tend to keep to the trees I don’t want to be shooting rifles in the air and risk a miss. The old adage of what goes up must come down is important to remember. The 410 is my preference due to its small size and low recoil. You don’t need anything more powerful than a lightly loaded 410 and good point shooting skills. The 410 is strong enough to kill them, but weak enough where it won’t damage the squirrel past the point of edibility.

The Budget Gun

Image result for H&R Pardner 410

H&R Pardner Break-Open Shotgun .410

The classic budget shotgun has always been and likely always will be the single shot shotgun. The H&R Pardner series has been the go to choice for cheap, but well-made single shots for decades and I’d hate to break from tradition. This super lightweight shotgun is easy to point and is perfect for younger shooters. It has a 3-inch chamber, is hammer fired, and features classic wooden furniture. It’s also a sub 200-dollar gun.

The Fun Gun

Mossberg 500 410/24/FULL VR

The Mossberg 500 in 410 is hard to beat if you need to take multiple shots in a short amount of time. The pump action ensures you aren’t dealing with a finicky semi auto action, while providing 5 rounds of rapid fire potential. It’s easy to pump and dump on multiple squirrels and the ribbed barrel and bead sight keeps things simple. The gun has a 3-inch chamber, a 24 inch barrel, and a full choke. It might as well be called the squirrel blaster.


Oh coyotes, they were one of the first animals I successfully hunted. They just happened to be hunting a friend's calves and terrorizing the chickens. This is common coyote behavior and they are spreading fast across the southeast United States. They are vicious scavengers that can even be a threat to young children and domestic animals. Coyotes breed very fast, and if you’re hunting them you want something that takes them down without issue. A wounded coyote can be a very dangerous animal. You want a round that can take them out without much effort.

Coyote Courtesy US Fish and Game

Coyotes are also pretty dang suspicious of humans and tend to be skittish. It’s a lot easier to hit them from a hundred yards and beyond than trying to get them in shotgun or rimfire range. Plus, it's a lot more challenging the further out you go. I like the 22-250 for popping coyotes. It has enough oomph to take a coyote down with a single shot to almost any part of the upper body. It’s also less affected by wind than similar cartridges. It’s flat nature and hard-hitting power makes it a great coyote round out to even 500 yards.

Budget Gun

Image result for Savage axis 22-250

Savage AXIS 22-250 BL/SYN 22 inch DBM LH

The Savage Axis series are renowned for their quality and affordable price. You aren’t getting a rifle neutered to save a few dimes. You are getting a very competent rifle equipped with a free-floating barrel, sling swivel studs, a steel magazine, and their silky smooth bolt action. The rifle is drilled and tapped for a scope mount and ready to terrorize the next coyote that has the unfortunate luck to meet you and your Savage.

Fun Gun

Browning BLR Lightweight Walnut/Black .22-250

Lever gun? More like lever fun. Okay I’ll put the lame marketing jokes away now. In all seriousness the Browning BLR is one of my favorite lever guns. Instead on using a tube to hold ammo they use a rotary magazine that allows the gun to use spitzer (IE pointy) based cartridges. The BLR’s lever action is smooth and rapid. The 22-250 is a short round so there isn’t a lot of movement necessary to work the action. This gives you a lightweight, easy shooting gun with the ability to cycle rounds rapidly if needed.

Prairie Dog

Prairie dogs hardly seem to be a pest, but just a hair of research tells you just how destructive these creatures can be. It’s not uncommon for large animals like cows and horses to stumble into a prairie dog den. This often results in an injured animal, and some serious vet bills, or having to put the animal down. Prairie dogs also breed faster than rabbits and spread almost like a disease across the land. Taking them down fast and hard is the name of the game.

Courtesy US Fish and Game

Prairies dogs are basically the same size of squirrels, but live on the ground. You won’t get too close without having them scatter to their den. Hitting them from a hundred yards off with a good rimfire rifle is the way to go. The 17 HMR is an ultra-modern rimfire round from the minds at Hornady. It’s flat shooting, fast as lightning, and smashes into prairie dogs with ease. 17 HMR offers much better ballistics than 22 LR and is a more modern choice with more modern hunting projectiles offered. It hits harder, shoots flatter, and flies faster than 22 LR ever will.

Budget Gun

Image result for Mossberg 817

Mossberg 817 Bolt Action

The Mossberg 817 is about a cheap of a 17 HMR as you can find. This bolt action repeating rifle comes in at under 200 dollars and for that price it's a steal. It has a short 14.25-inch length of pull and weighs only 4.8 pounds. This makes it an excellent youth rifle and a lightweight prairie dog reaper. It’s ready for a scope with its Weaver style scope bases. This magazine fed rifle has a unique pistol grip and stock combo and even comes with a forward picatinny rail for mounting a bipod.

Fun Gun

Image result for henry 17 hmr octagon barrel

Henry Repeating Arms Varmint Express

I like lever guns, and the fact that Henry introduced one in 17 HMR wasn’t lost on me. The Henry Varmint Express holds 11 rounds of 17 HMR allowing you to load it on Sunday and shoot it all week long. The adjustable semi buckhorn rear sight and beaded front sight makes it easy to split prairie dogs down the middle. Also, I chose the octagonal barrel model because let’s face it, looks matter. Get your wild west fantasy on and send them varmint packing.


Rabbit is our second tasty treat on the list. Great for cooking in the crock pot or in a stew as flavoring. Rabbit are one of the easiest creatures I’ve ever hunted. Often, it’s as simple as walking, watching one run, and then picking it off when it stops ten feet later. Rabbit are like prairie dogs in the fact that they breed fast and can invade an area quickly. They love to destroy crops, and will eat a home garden to bits and pieces.

He Looks Rascally… Courtesy US Fish and Game

Rabbits are social creatures, and it’s not unusual to find them in groups of 2 or 3. You need an easy shooting, common caliber that’s small enough to avoid damaging the meat of a target. I like the 22 LR. There’s a few reasons, first it’s close range, so the long-range potential of the 17 HMR simply isn’t needed here. Second, the semi auto designs are affordable, widely available and reliable. The third reason is 22 LR is cheap, and easy to buy in bulk.

Budget Gun

Ruger 10/22 Deluxe Sporter

Well this one was incredibly easy. Of course, I am going to choose the Ruger 10/22 as my 22 LR rifle of choice. The Ruger 10/22 is a lightweight, easy shooting rifle that’s ubiquitous. You can build and accessorize the 10/22 to your heart's content. The rotary magazine and finely constructed action ensures reliability. In my opinion there really isn’t a finer semi-auto 22 LR rifle for plinking, target practice and hunting. Plus, it’s extremely affordable and comes in a variety of different configurations.

Fun Gun

Browning Buckmark ConTOUR URX 22 LR 5.5

If the 10/22 is the finest semi auto 22 LR rifle I couldn’t possibly suggest another rifle right? So, I won’t and take an alternative route and suggest the Browning Buckmark Contour model. This semi auto 22 LR handgun is plenty accurate for popping rabbits, but using a handgun is always more challenging than a rifle. The Contour model is equipped with a scope rail across the top which is perfect for a red dot. The Browning Buckmark is an easy shooting and reliable little gun that gives a new edge to rabbit hunting.


Hogs aren’t traditionally treated as a varmint animal, but in the southeastern United States their behavior and the laws regarding hunting them are becoming more varmint orientated. The feral hog population is exploding in the South East and its moving north every year. States are deregulating the hunting of these animals and making it legal year-round to exterminate them. Feral hogs destroy everything, from crops to yards. They are aggressive and can easily harm people and domestic animals.

Example of a Feral Hog in Florida - US Fish and Wildlife

You need something potent to take them down and you have a number of choices. I like the 7.62x39mm. It’s a moderately powerful caliber that’s excellent for taking shots under 300 yards. There are plenty of different rifle options for the round. Its moderate recoil makes follow up shots possible, which is important because hogs rarely travel alone. You also may need that quick follow up shot if a hog decides to charge you.

Caliber 7.62 x 39

Budget Rifle


CZ 527 Carbine Blued/Walnut 7.62X39MM

Confession time, I love CZs. CZ has a brilliant and subtle marketing tool that boils down to “Come for the famous pistols, stay for the fantastic rifles.” The CZ 527 Carbine is one fantastic rifle. It’s built for hunting and is one of the finest rifles out there for under a grand. The CZ 527 is a bolt action rifle, with an 18.5-inch barrel and a 5 round magazine. This is one of the few bolt action rifles that comes equipped with iron sights, and is still scope ready. It’s a great brush gun, and with its iron sights you can hit a close-range target fast and accurately.

Fun Gun

Arsenal SAM-7 Milled Receiver AK47 Black

I know AKs aren’t hunting rifles I get it. But listen to my logic. Hogs are an invading force and as hunters we are brave partisans who must resist the tyranny of the hog. Why not use a gun renowned for its presence in the hands of partisans throughout time? That same gun just so happens to be a great hog gun. Why? It’s fast shooting, accurate enough and perfect for dealing with angry hogs. The Arsenal SAM-7 is one of the most well-made AKs on the market and if you are going big, go really big. Just remember after shooting a hog with an AK it’s mandatory you hold your gun above your head and shout, “Wolverines!”


Hunting varmints is a blast, both literally and figuratively. Having the right gun and right gear makes it easy to be successful. Varmint hunting is a little less serious and to me more fun than deer hunting. It’s perfect for new hunters or someone tired of the deer blind. You are also providing a service to the environment by controlling the population of pests. So, Grab a Gun, grab some ammo, and get out there.


Five Reasons to Buy Winchester’s New SXP Shotguns

The revival of Winchester firearms has been accompanied by a resurgence in their shotguns – in particular, the Winchester SXP. After several years of focusing on ammunition, the company has returned its focus to shotguns and rifles, and marksmen widely agree that they are happy with Winchester’s decision.

The Super X Pump (SXP) offers a list of features not commonly associated with the Winchester name, but that does not mean they did not bring the typical Winchester craftsmanship to these lever action shotguns. Here are five great reasons to buy one of Winchester’s new SXP shotguns.



Anyone familiar with Winchester would know that a synthetic pistol grip is not a typical feature from a brand that typically focuses on hunting weapons. Granted, not all of the SXP models feature this attribute; the ones that do, like the Super X Pump Long Beard, are geared towards more defensive-oriented shooters. On all models, there are textured gripping surfaces to prevent the weapon from easily slipping in your hands.



What good is a weapon that cannot withstand the rigors of the hunt or the range? Not much, which is why Winchester packed all of their SXP shotguns with solid components to keep your weapon working at optimal performance. Four large lugs offer support to the rotary bolt. A hard chrome-plated chamber and bore make the SXP ultra-resistant to corrosion and extended use. On the Winchester SXP Breakup Country, shooters will find the alloy receiver drilled and tapped with black chrome protection on the bolt to increase both its life and the lives of components used with it.



Whether you are firing the 12-gauge or the 20-gauge version of this weapon, you are going to experience plenty of kick. Winchester tries to mitigate this as much as possible with their inflex technology recoil pad. Found on all of the SXP models, it helps nullify the intensity of the recoil while directing the felt recoil downwards.



Many hunters have found certain gun safeties to be unnecessarily complicated. For home defense, the ability to easily and quickly disengage the safety could mean the difference between life and death. Winchester’s crossbolt safety allows for a quick transition to ready-to-fire. Most people agree that the safety can be easily operated while wearing gloves.


With these great features under the Winchester brand, you might be wondering how much this will set you back. Though price should not be the number one factor, you want to be sure you are getting the value you are paying for the firearm. The Winchester SXP Marine Defender 20 gauge, for example, can be found at just over $350. There are various pricing tiers available depending on the model, finish and gauge you want, but the SXP series can generally be found between $350-$550 for most versions. Most people agree that Winchester has outdone themselves with all of the features in the SXP series and how much they are being sold for.

Those are just a few of the reasons to consider buying Winchester’s latest Super X Pump models. They come with most of the traditional make-up of previous Winchesters, but with some modern upgrades and twists you might not expect to find but will be glad you did. If you are looking for semi-automatic shotguns for sale, or are just in the mood to upgrade any of your existing models to the latest version, the SXP series from Winchester is a great place to start looking.

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Shotgun Experts Love the Remington 870 & So Will You

Some weapons reach such a level of popularity that they become iconic. The Remington 870 is one of those firearms. Many people who own one commend the 870’s place in their arsenal – going so far to say they could not imagine not having this staple in their collection. Not only have they found a place in homes across the country, but they are the shotguns typically used for movies and theatre. But don’t let the acting fool you: these firearms are the real deal, and are often used for tactical purposes by the boys in blue. Private citizens, Hollywood, and service personnel all love the Remington 870, and you will to. Here’s why…

The Weapon


First, let’s take a look at some of the specs on the 870. It’s a 12 Gauge, pump action shotgun with a 3” chamber and an 18” cylinder barrel. This specific Remington 870 Express features a matte black finish and synthetic stock with positive checkering. There is a vented recoil pad and twin action bars. It weighs in at just over seven pounds.

Plain and simple, this is the most common pump shotgun in the States. One of the biggest reasons for this is because it comes in a variety of designs. There is essentially a good, a great, and an amazing model available. The better the model, the more money you will have to shell out for one.

The other option is to pick out what accessories you want after you purchase one of the Remington shotguns. Remington firearms can be outfitted with countless upgrades and modifications. Sights, grips, lights – pretty much anything you can think of for a shotgun, you can get for a Remington 870.


Though most shotguns have about the same accuracy abilities, the 870 is on par, if not better than its rivals. Depending on barrel length, you won’t see much variation, but there are some differences that can change your accuracy. Sights are the most important. On most standard models of the 870, the sights are pretty basic. That doesn’t mean you can’t upgrade to help augment your weapon’s capabilities, but when you first get a new one, the sights are not going to be much more than a ball at the end of the barrel and a grooved channel. As with most shotguns, your spread is going to be wider the further you get past ten yards.


There is no denying that the 870’s trusted dependability creates much of the love for this weapon. After all, hunters, homeowners, and law enforcement all trust it to get their specific job done. Though all of its components might not be the factory pinnacles in performance, when they all come together they create a weapon that is considered to be one of the most reliable firearms around. One positive outcome from its popularity is that if the rare occasion arises that you find yourself in need of a part for your 870, it is relatively easy to find a replacement. It is a 12 gauge that is going to have some kick and moving parts that are going to take some heat; but as with all weapons, parts will eventually wear down. Don’t let that discourage you from picking up one of the most trusted shotguns around, though.

Ultimately, you are getting a lot of value for your dollar with this shotgun. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for semi-automatic shotguns for sale or tactical shotguns, the 870 express can be the pump-action you are looking for. So if you read this and think you might want to give the 870 a chance to be among your weaponry, or if you are already a proud owner of one and just want to upgrade to a newer model, there are still plenty to choose from. The 870 Express is a great place to start your search, and GrabAGun.com has all the information and accessories you need to make your next Remington purchase the right one. So go ahead and grab one – you will always love owning an 870.

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Legal Lengths of Shotguns and Rifles in the United States

Many people might go down to their local gun store or a neighborhood gun show and assume that each and every weapon there is ready to be taken home. Whether it be bolt action rifles or a lever action shotgun, you think that you can fill out some paperwork and take it home with you. If you buy a secondhand weapon, you can run into the issue of purchasing a weapon that has been modified to standards not adhering to those set down by the government of the United States. Before you go out searching for rifles and shotguns for sale, let’s take a look at one of the most important things you ought to know before making any firearm purchase: the length of the gun.


There are many things to keep in mind when you consider shotgun and rifle lengths in the United States. You want to keep these in mind because you want to stay within the laws of the country. Other areas around the world have different regulations than the U.S., and sometimes what is acceptable or unacceptable there is not the case here. This includes both the overall lengths and the barrel lengths. A major reason that these regulations are in place is to help classify the type of firearm. By enforcing and standardizing these measurements, there is a particular category that all weapons will fall into. Most often this is used to make the distinction between short barreled shotguns (SBS) and short barreled rifles (SBR).

The law has regulated that a shotgun barrel length must be at least 18” long, while the entire gun must be at least 26”. A specific procedure must be used to define the actual barrel length. The barrel measurements are taken by closing the bolt and running a tape measure down the barrel to the face of the closed bolt. If you are unsure of where the closed bolt is, you can run a rod down the barrel until it stops, make a mark on the rod, and then measure the rod once you pull it back out of the barrel. The ATF uses micrometers to measure the length of the barrel.

Many factory length barrels start at 18½” to make sure that they meet these regulations on their shotguns. Keep in mind that when you purchase a new weapon and it says 22” barrel, there is a possibility that it is only a 21½” barrel, because manufacturers will round up. For rifles, that number decreases to only a 16” barrel. The length of the weapon must still be at least 26”. This becomes a little tricky for rifles that can fold the stock in. If the weapon can be fired while the stock is folded, then the length of the weapon when folded must be at least 26”. If the weapon becomes incapable of firing once the stock is folded, then the weapon can be less than 26” and still classified as a rifle.

As a side note, to check if a barrel has been shortened, simply take a dime and see if it will fit down the barrel. If the choke is still there, the dime will catch at the end of the barrel. If the choke has been sawed off, the dime will be able to continue down the barrel unimpeded. For those of you wanting to perform modifications modifications, it’s a good idea to keep your shotgun barrels to at least 18 ½” to give yourself a little leeway.

If you do decide to shorten your weapon, be aware that you will need to register it as an SBS or SBR, which comes with a $200 tax stamp. So if you have a weapon that is only worth about $100-$150, you are going to pay that additional cost just to make it legal. If you don’t do that, you can get into some complications that aren’t worth your time or the headache associated with them.

When you want to find some of the best lever action rifles or semi-automatic rifles, your best bet is to search for firearms online. Sites such as GrabAGun.com offer many brands that come manufactured to U.S. standards. You will not have to question whether or not you bought a weapon secondhand that you will have to pay an additional charge on just so you can legally own it.

When you buy guns online with GrabAGun.com you have the opportunity to find such items as the Mossberg 500. This tactical pump-action shotgun is a prime example of some of the quality shotguns for sale that they offer. They have many rifles and shotguns that can accommodate a variety of uses, whether it be home defense, hunting, or sport shooting. They also offer a wide variety of accessories to help outfit your Mossberg the way you want so you don’t need to try your hand at home weapon modification. When you buy guns online, especially with GrabAGun.com, you have all of the information in front of you on the website, so there is little confusion as to what you are buying. So when you want to purchase your next rifle or shotgun, keep these standards in mind, and trust a retailer like GrabAGun.com to be your source for your next firearm.

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American-Made Firearms Companies

Firearms manufacturers made in America

The red, white, and blue have branded many of the household names on the firearms industry. The weapons our police forces and servicemen use typically carry one of their logos. Guns made in America can be found on every shooting range, out in the field, or for home defense. Rifles, shotguns, and handguns are all made somewhere, and more often than not, when you purchase a new firearm you are joining the ranks of those who buy American guns. In fact, gun sales have exceeded the previous year’s sales every year since 2010, and the demand for U.S. weapons has only increased.

So what are a few of the gun brands that are made here in America? That’s a good question – and one that is easily answered. Though there are more than just these companies that manufacture arms in the U.S., these are the five most famous American-made firearms companies today:

  1. Ruger

The largest company on this list is Strum Ruger. Ruger gun production in the United States is over 1.1 million per year. Of those, they offer over 400 different variations of more than thirty different weapons. The majority of their sales are in handguns, though they do boast high numbers in rifles. Since their beginning in 1949, Ruger has always crafted dependable, identifiable firearms.

  1. Remington

This Madison, North Carolina company has grown into an international hunting and sports shooting behemoth. The oldest gun manufacturer in the United States hasn’t kept their trademark an American secret. Though some of the companies on this list boast more sales domestically than Remington guns, Remington has the edge on the global market, reaching nearly $1 billion in annual sales. Remington is well-known for their rifles and shotguns, and they also produce quality handguns for their clientele.

  1. Smith & Wesson

Another well-known producer of firearms that was homegrown here in the United States is Smith & Wesson. Smith & Wesson guns have been in the hands of Americans since 1852. The western frontier’s rugged, outlaw lifestyle necessitated many Americans to carry their firearms during those days. S&W also played a vital role in the American Civil War, which helped propel the brand into the giant it is today. They boast over a half a billion dollars in sales around the world and continue to be a popular brand of USA-made guns.

  1. Glock

This iconic handgun can be found all over the globe, though nearly two-thirds of its sales take place on US soil. Glock guns are almost a culture icon, carried by police, armed forces, rap artists, and millions of other Americans. Glock started to perfect its polymer guns in the 1980s after its founder Gaston Glock turned his 18 years of working with polymers towards developing firearms. The company has since become the leading handgun manufacturer in the United States, with approximately 700,000 new weapons made each year.

  1. SIG Sauer

Another staple of American-made guns is SIG Sauer. SIG Sauer guns originated in the 1850s from a combination of Swiss and German engineering styles. SIG flourished in America due to its simple design and effective accuracy. Today, SIG Sauer remains efficient and practical in its design and manufacturing of over 650,000 weapons annually. It continues to be a large supplier of the Swiss army, though they moved their base of operations to the USA after the turn of the century. Though currently American-made, the SIG Sauer continues to use its Swiss and German roots to remain a global arms powerhouse, with nearly half a billion dollars in revenue each year.

Firearms have a rich and diverse history in America. There are millions of proud gun owners around the country that might not have even realized they were supporting domestic products. On the range, out in the field, or in the line of duty, American-made weapons are getting the job done.

Are you one of the of millions of people who use American-made firearms? Check out your arsenal. See how many of your weapons are manufactured in the USA. If you need to add a few, GrabAGun has many American-made guns ready to bolster your weapons closet.


Four Tactical Shotgun Accessories You Should Have

Accessories for shotgun

The shotgun has been a staple of arsenals since its inception. Whether if it is used for home defense, hunting, or another function, the shotgun always seems to find a way into gun owner’s homes. Though it is capable of many feats on its own, a shotgun can be improved to elevate its functionality to new heights. Whether you are in the market for shotguns for sale or are looking to upgrade an existing firearm, there are some upgrades to your firearm that you will want to look for.

This doesn’t mean that your firearm is inferior or cannot be used without accessories. It’s just if you can optimize it – why wouldn’t you? All of us want to improve the efficiency of our firearms, and accessories can take them to the next level. They can improve carrying capacity, make them easier to carry, and improve accuracy. If you have ever wanted to take your skills and firearm to the next level, then you will want to check out these four essential shotgun accessories you should have:

Mesa Tactical Sureshell Carrier Remington 8-12ga

Tactical shotguns require unique upgrades. Sidesaddles are an ideal way to keep additional ammo close and easily accessible. One of the biggest issues with nearly every shotgun is its magazine capacity. When you carry the magazines on the firearm with a side saddle, you alleviate some of that problem. With the Mesa Tactical Sureshell Carrier, you get a quality tactical shotgun accessory that is rugged and reliable. It fits onto the Remington 870.

Truglo Long Bead Front Fiber Optic Shotgun Sight Black with Red Fiber Optic Fits Ruger / Winchester with 3-56 Base

Another issue many shotgun owners have is sight: not only the ability to see, but also to have an accurate idea of what they are aiming at. Target identification allows for safer use of the shotgun and better accuracy (though this is not always what shotguns are thought of when used). The Truglo Long Bead Front Fiber Optic is one of the industry-leading bead replacements. For this shotgun accessory, the sight is red, with a fiber of 0.078” in diameter and 0.5” in length. Made out of metal and painted solid black, it fits on a Ruger or Winchester.

Grovtec USA GTAC77 Buttstock Cartridge Shell Holder

Similar to the Sidesaddle, a stock carrier can give your shotgun the additional storage it needs in situations where you find yourself needing more ammo. The Crovtec USA GTAC77 is a camouflaged version of a buttstock shell holder designed to carry five addition rounds. The buttstock carrier wraps securely around the shotgun’s stock rather than being screwed into the firearm like the sidesaddle. Many people have a preference between how the additional storage is secured to the firearm due to either the screws coming out of the sidesaddle, or the Velcro coming loose on the buttstock carrier. Owning both can give you two options that will sure to have one work for your needs.

Crickett 800 Sling Black

One of the best accessories for a shotgun is a sling. There are one-point, two-point, and three-point slings, but arguably the ideal for shotguns is the two-point sling. For many purposes, the one-point sling is not practical. Climbing, moving through rugged terrain, or just having to move quickly can all be problematic. Many people who own a shotgun also find the three-point sling to be overly complicated for their purposes. Because of this, most owners tend to lean towards the two-point sling as the favorite. The Crickett 800 sling comes in black leather embossed with the Crickett® name. Its two-point design makes it a favorite for many to add to their list of shotgun accessories.

When you combine all of these choices with your current firearm, you will notice plenty of advantages. Your ability to hold more rounds closer to your shotgun can help you in situations when your average shell carrying capacity just won’t do. The two-point sling will help carry your shotgun in several situations you might find yourself in that other slings couldn’t do. And everyone will agree that having the added sights on a shotgun might not seem necessary at first, but once they try them, they will never know how they fired a shotgun without laser sights.

If you are looking to purchase online guns, GrabAGun.com can help you find each of these extremely useful and helpful accessories. They are trying to help improve the quality of the firearm you carry as well as make the person carrying it a higher caliber of marksman as well. Enjoy your new accessories, stay safe, and continue to look for ways to improve your firearm and make the most of your hunting, shooting, and home protection.

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A Quick Guide to Hunting Guns

hunter, hunting, rifle.

If you are interested in the popular sport of hunting, one of the first things you need to know about is the gun you should use. There are many different types of hunting rifles, and your choice will depend on many factors. Some of those factors include the size of the gun, the speed and energy of the shot, the level of accuracy you need, and the type of prey you are hunting.

Hunters love the thrill of their pastime. They also love the firearms they use while on a hunt. There are plenty of different firearms that can be optimized while hunting, though some are better for certain situations than others. From rifles to shotguns to handguns, there is a place for each depending on where and what you are hunting. A closer look at these three firearms can help determine which gun is right for you in your hunting environment. Below are a few pointers about the main types of hunting guns people regularly use: rifles, shotguns, and handguns.


Perhaps the staple of all hunting firearms, rifles are powerful and easy to reload. They are all built based off of the same design, and are versatile by nature. They can have barrels that accommodate different calibers of ammunition. There are also different types of rifles, including semi-automatic rifles and lever action rifles.

That makes rifles very accessible to hunters of a variety of different game animals. They can be used for faster prey, like deer, feral hogs, and boars. Hunters of exotic game – rhinos, tigers, and leopards – and larger North American game – elk and bears – are also avid users of rifles for hunting. They are also useful for smaller prey, like rabbits, foxes, coyotes. The rifle is an adaptable firearm that can be used in many hunting situations.


Shotguns are also a versatile hunting firearm due to the variety of shells they can use. They can be loaded with ammunition that is better for fowl or other birds, or they can be loaded with rounds that are more suited for larger animals. Shotguns are generally pump action firearms, but can sometimes be found as a lever-action shotgun or semi-automatic shotgun.


These firearms also come in a variety of sizes and calibers that make them versatile in many hunting situations. They are limited in the range of their accuracy, however, and are not ideal for ranged shooting. The amount of recoil and kick you are able to handle will also dictate which handgun you will be able to accurately shoot.

Which Firearms Work Best for Different Sizes of Game

Now that you have a better understanding of the most common firearms used in hunting, we can cover which firearms you should take with you based on what type of animal you are hunting. This will be a basic overview, as the range of firearms available for your needs could fill books.

●     Smaller Animals

Smaller prey such as rabbits, squirrels, and other tiny creatures need a firearm that will not completely destroy them when it makes contact. Smaller caliber rifles are the most common gun used for this game. A .22 caliber cartridge is the ideal shell you want to use. Be careful when you choose your bullet, though: some are designed for quick expansion and are only intended for use on varmints (animals you do not intend to eat and that are a nuisance). For animals slightly larger than these – the predators of these animal such as foxes, coyotes, and feral cats – you will want to use a more powerful caliber.

●     Medium-sized Animals

Medium-sized animals range from 51 to 300 pounds, and hunting them requires more energy from the firearm and bullet. At impact, the bullet should be at least 800 ft. lbs. Bullet sizes used range from .24 to .40 caliber, depending on the size of the animal.

●     Larger Animals (Big Game)

Big game animals range from 301-1,000 pounds in weight. If you are a big game hunter, you are after animals like elk, musk ox, wildebeest, zebra, kudu, and moose. Because of their size, you will need premium bullets in order to achieve the right amount of impact for a successful and ethical kill shot. The range you should target if you’re hunting big game is .27 to .375 caliber.

While the information provided here is a great place to start, there is a lot more to being a skilled, knowledgeable, and responsible hunter. Picking out the right gear is an absolute must, and Grabagun is the right place to find everything you need.


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