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Old 09-01-2014, 18:29   #1
URGueyes
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Are older shotguns better constructed than new ?

I'm in the market for a shotgun and as I am trying to decide what I should buy, I think about the recent discussions regarding older handguns(pre 1998) being better constructed than the newer models...the older have no MIM parts, better craftsmanship and quality control etc etc.

Does this school of thought also apply to shotguns? Should I be searching pawn shops for the pre '98 models or are the new shotguns constructed just as good ?

I am looking for a 12ga for HD.

Thanks
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Old 09-01-2014, 18:47   #2
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ANY of the older firearms are better made than the junk the mfgs turn out today! Look at a 30+ yr old 870, and look at one made now.
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Old 09-01-2014, 19:18   #3
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ANY of the older firearms are better made than the junk the mfgs turn out today! Look at a 30+ yr old 870, and look at one made now.
I agree, but then again maybe I'm just getting old.
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Old 09-01-2014, 19:40   #4
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Ithica 37 Police or Winchester 97. Slam firing is where it's at!
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:34   #5
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Check out some of the medium to higher end guns and they work very well.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:05   #6
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I have to say older is better. When I compare my 20+ year old Ithica, Browning and Winchester shotguns to models in the store today, there is a real difference. The older guns' fit and finish are way better. The stocks have better wood and better checkering.The actions feel smoother.

If you are looking for a well made affordable shotgun, older used guns probably represent the best value.
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:18   #7
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Depends on what you mean.

Surely older firearms like a Winchester M12 or a Ithica 37 etc have beautifully machined receivers and other steel parts. Nice Walnut stocks etc. They just don't make em like they used to....

However, newer shotguns made to good specification can be both ultra reliable and more durable than their 20th century counterparts. Look at something like a Benelli semi-auto shotgun...ULTRA reliable, very well made and certainly infinitely utilitarian and WAY more durable in a duck blind than a wood and steel model 12.

So it really depends on what you are comparing the older guns to... Looking at an older 870 vs. a new production model...no contest. The old one wins hands down from a fit and finish standpoint and from a smoothness of action standpoint. But a modern production 870 is still a dependable firearm that might occasionally have some production quirks like a rough chamber which is easily fixable. Shouldn't come that way...but they do. People bemoan the plastic trigger housing like the aluminum one was something special. 1. They make entire handgun frames out of polymer now...think GLOCK...yeah boy...someday when Glock makes a quality aluminum frame gun I'll buy one! Hah... (that was sarcasm in case you missed it. 2. I have never seen anywhere--not even on the internet--where someone had their 870 plastic trigger housing fail... FWIW...Benelli puts plastic trigger housings in all their shotguns.
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:33   #8
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My one big issue with any older/used gun is was it "fixed" by a Dremmel Tool Gunsmith!
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Old 09-02-2014, 15:28   #9
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Quote:
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ANY of the older firearms are better made than the junk the mfgs turn out today! Look at a 30+ yr old 870, and look at one made now.
Agree completely when it comes to the 870. But overall, the Benelli SBE II is the best shotgun in the world and IIRC it has only been in production for about 10 years or so. I drag mine thru the mud every year from the Eastern shore of VA to the Mississippi marshes and it runs like new money every time.
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:50   #10
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So what has changed in the 870? Must be something since so many of you say the older ones are better. Please explain.
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:32   #11
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Metallurgy is better now, machining processes are better and more consistent now, materials are better now (sorry wood/blue fans), and aftermarket products are better. In fact, the only thing that is "better" about old shotguns, is the fact that they are old and well-broken in.... Everyone turned out bad stuff 50-60 years ago as well, the only difference is that the junk guns got lost in time, and the survivors are the only ones you see. And people weren't on forums complaining about every little thing.
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:37   #12
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Would a 1967 Ruger 10/22 be better than a 2014 Ruger 10/22 ? Thusly a 1959 Ithaca Model 37 would be better than a 2014 Maverick 88 ...
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:58   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by URGueyes View Post
Should I be searching pawn shops for the pre '98 models or are the new shotguns constructed just as good ?
Seems like this bit needs a bit of clarification based on the replies........
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Old 09-03-2014, 19:55   #14
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Originally Posted by Inebriated View Post
Metallurgy is better now, machining processes are better and more consistent now, materials are better now (sorry wood/blue fans), and aftermarket products are better. In fact, the only thing that is "better" about old shotguns, is the fact that they are old and well-broken in.... Everyone turned out bad stuff 50-60 years ago as well, the only difference is that the junk guns got lost in time, and the survivors are the only ones you see. And people weren't on forums complaining about every little thing.
If it weren't for MIM and plastic parts I could almost agree with you.

Modern manufacturing is capable of making better guns now then 30 years ago. It's just that not all manufactures implement it properly.
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Old 09-03-2014, 21:13   #15
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If it weren't for MIM and plastic parts I could almost agree with you.

Modern manufacturing is capable of making better guns now then 30 years ago. It's just that not all manufactures implement it properly.
I'm not convinced that properly-made MIM or polymer parts make for a lesser gun. It may not feel as nice as a blued chunk of milled steel, but it doesn't make for a lesser gun.

I do agree that not everyone takes advantage of the technology at-hand and gives it their 100% attention, but the technology is there.
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Old 09-03-2014, 21:36   #16
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If it weren't for MIM and plastic parts I could almost agree with you.

Modern manufacturing is capable of making better guns now then 30 years ago. It's just that not all manufactures implement it properly.
I agree.

Side notes.
I have a Sears and Robucks fixed full choke. It runs. It was an OK for hunting shotgun, but never was any good with any slugs I could find.

But my Rem870 Express I bought back in 80s? is much better. I changed barrels so I have iron sights and shorter barrrel. Change out the chokes. Added an extended tube. Added a side saddle.

As I understand it, I could buy an other Rem870 and do the same to it. But the finish isn't as good and I could buy some non-mim parts...IF I have issues with them. OR buy a Police. Or buy....

But lets go a different direction, I couldn't buy a Vepr or Saiga in the 80s. Got a Vepr recently. I haven't had a chance to test it, but assuming it runs...it beats the 11-87, 1100, Browning A-5.....for a tactical gun right out of the box. Once I add a polychoke, I will be ready to rumble. 100 rounds ready to go. Quick change from buck to slug to bird to ....

The MP94 I bought is a great combo gun. I did test it this past weekend. I need to try it with something besides full choke, but....it pattered to good (with good factory loads, my buck was all over the place).
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Old 09-03-2014, 21:39   #17
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Thusly a 1959 Ithaca Model 37 would be better than a 2014 Maverick 88 ...
A Maverick doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as a 37.....and it's arguable that a current production 37 is better made than the old ones.
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Old 09-03-2014, 21:44   #18
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A Maverick doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as a 37.....and it's arguable that a current production 37 is better made than the old ones.
I don't know, what is it again that the Ithaca 37, old or new, can actually do that the Maverick 88 can't? I only ask because, practically speaking, I can't think of much.
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Old 09-03-2014, 21:52   #19
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A Maverick doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as a 37.....and it's arguable that a current production 37 is better made than the old ones.

Would I trade my 40 year old 37 'even' for one built today? Not a chance.
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:03   #20
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Would I trade my 40 year old 37 'even' for one built today? Not a chance.
Ditto.
The current crop of their riot guns are not in the same league nor do they even resemble the smooth lines of the original model 37 (later 87).

Add to that an inflated price tag of $800 and you see why the "new" Ithaca Gun Company may go the way of the old company; sad.
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