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Tips on finding a quality shotgun?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by GrandpasArms, Apr 21, 2011.

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  1. GrandpasArms

    GrandpasArms Active Member

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    Location:
    About 40 miles west of Chicago, IL
    I live about 40 miles west of Chicago (yeah, I know that isn't a benefit). Can someone guide me to reputable outlets that sell the upper end guns? When I search for gun shops or gun retailers I end up with lists of Cabelas and Ganders. I don't think those are places where I should be looking.

    The various magazines have glowing reports of products and service from places I'd have to plan a road trip to visit. What about top-notch places within, say, 100 miles of Aurora, IL (probably not eastward)? Any recommendations?

    I'm usually happy with my BT99, but you never know.
     
  2. smsnyder

    smsnyder Well-Known Member

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    Hi-grade shooting Irwin Pa. Joel Etchen guns Pa, Bob Schultz N.C. All are good dealers.
     
  3. Bruce Specht

    Bruce Specht Well-Known Member

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    Near but not in chicago
    You might want to consider visitng trap clubs for example St. Charles which is off of RT 47 or, West Chicago Rt 59 & Rt64 or Maywood in Elmhurst, you'll always find some nice shotguns for sale that you may be albe to shoot before you buy.
     
  4. handlepuller

    handlepuller Well-Known Member

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    I'd consider Jaqua's although it is eastward. You could look at your website to see if they have anything you're interested in.
     
  5. elinvar

    elinvar Member

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    Come down and see me- Terry's Gun Vault

    I'm about 30 miles south of Champaign- I am a Ljutic dealer and have many good used ones and new ones as well.
    Right now all I have are Ljutic's but I get trades all the time. Our club is right up the road- Anything I have can be taken out and shot a few rounds.
    Terry Jones
    Terry's Gun Vault
    103 N Main, Pierson Station, Il 61929
    217-433-9885
    Open by appt only.
     
  6. Don Rackley

    Don Rackley Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    If I were you, I would travel to Sparta IL in August and buy some practice tickets and shells. Most all of the top dealers will be there, the selection will be very large. You can hold, shoulder and shoot a multitude of guns to find the one that you really like and shoot well.

    I know it's out of your 100 mile range, but they will be coming most of the distance to you.
     
  7. Pull & Mark

    Pull & Mark Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree with Don above!!! Its a no-brainer. Every big gun shop will be at the grand with every type of gun you can think of at that time. You seem OK with the 99 until that time. This also gives you some time to put some cash in your piggy bank so you can up-grade if you like. Meanwhile travel abit to all the different clubs around your area and try shooting as many guns as you can. All you have to do is ask why someone likes his gun and you'll get his reason. If you ask nicely and use new factory shells they will all let you try their gun when they are done shooting as well. This will give you plenty of time to narrow down your search before you even go. Plan on staying their as least one night. I'm sure you'll need two days to really see all the guns. Book a room to do that ASAP. Good Luck and Breake-m all. Jeff
     
  8. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    I'll throw a vote towards Don's post as well. If you can't find a gun to your liking at the Grand, its probably not out there.
     
  9. RAScott

    RAScott Member

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    You could drive up to racine wi and visit kolar. and ask about a local dealer.

    Bob S
     
  10. GrandpasArms

    GrandpasArms Active Member

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    About 40 miles west of Chicago, IL
    Duh! I've been to Sparta and shot a few practice rounds - NOT during The Grand. I was one of the very few shooters at the place, yet they treated me very well and we had a good time. It hadn't occurred to me to visit when the vendors are actually on the job.

    Thanks, Don, for jogging my mind. The Grand is Aug 3 - 13, a perfect time for me to put the top down and take another trip south.

    Larry
     
  11. Dickgshot

    Dickgshot Well-Known Member

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    GAT gun shop on Dundee in South Elgin has a lot of gun and target guns too, though mostly Brownings and Beretta. JTG in Libertyville has a large selection of trap guns, a lot of Perazzi's as I recall. John is a little hard to deal with, but know what you want and how much you want to pay, and you should get something you want.
     
  12. Captain Bud

    Captain Bud TS Member

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    As RAScott stated above, Kolar is just up the road from you in Racine, Wisconsin. They will fit the gun to you. They are very knowledgeable and can answer most if not all of your questions pertaining to gun fit.

    They make a very fine product and their service after the sale is great.

    If I lived as close to them as you do I would be there getting to know everything I could from them about getting the RIGHT FIT.

    JMHO of course.

    Philip Santos Capt. (Ret.) "Team Budweiser"
     
  13. rodbuster

    rodbuster TS Member

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    Downers Grove SC in Morris has several guns on the board for sale. Also Maywood SC in Elmhurst has a few also, but not nearly as many as Downers. It doesn't seem like Bass Pro or Dicks has much (if any), of a selection of trapguns. You might have a better chance at Gander Mountain. In my opinion the best bet is to visit the clubs in the area and see what is for sale there. Usually if someone has a gun for sale, they will let you shoot it, and can offer more info on it than the average gunshop. Do you have any idea of what you are looking for? If you want to check out Downers Grove, I am planning on shooting there this coming Saturday. You can shoot me a PM if you would like.

    Good luck, Rodbuster.
     
  14. Ifitfliesitdies

    Ifitfliesitdies Member

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    I agree with Don and everyone who agrees with him! Go to the grand. Check out everything you can think of.

    I also agree with going to see Chris Maest at Clay Target Sports either that or you can go directly to the source, Krieghoff International.

    Shoot safely, well and often
     
  15. EuroJoe

    EuroJoe TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Don't forget Carter's in Shabbona, you must be pretty close to them.
     
  16. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    Lynn Gipson, Doug Gray, Merlin's Guns, MIA (Jack Swanson, here on TS.com), Bob Schultz..........

    ...........lot's of honest and good dealers out there. I'd make the trip to the Missouri State shoot that starts on May 9th. There will be a few really good dealers there with lots of good stuff. After that I'd concur that the Grand would be the best place that is still sort of close to you. You might also consider contacting Terry Jordan near Springfield. I think he's a Ljutic dealer and I'm sure he trades for a variety of fine guns.

    The Ohio State shoot or the Cardinal Classic in Columbus would be a good place as well. Lot's of good eastern US dealers there. Much luck.
     
  17. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    .............also you might make the trip to the Great Lakes Grand. I haven't been there for a long time but there should be some dealers there.
     
  18. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    Trap and field magazine. Maybe the source, like Ljutic, Kolar, Bowen, etc. Your going to have to travel to get what you want.
     
  19. bobdog

    bobdog Active Member

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    Sparta in August, or one of the other major shoots, like Mason, Michigan in late May. I bought a nice MX 10/2000 there last summer. The vendors that show up specialize in trap guns, and know that they're dealing with knowledgeable shooters and other competing vendors, so you're more likely to find a good used gun and get a decent trade in price on your current gun. Some of them carry new guns as well - Ray Stafford comes to mind, although you'll want to call him first. There are others, but Ray is one I know of. At a big shoot, you can usually arrange to shoot a used gun you're genuinely interested in buying, and you can ask other shooters you know to take a look at it.

    I bought a gun at Gander Mountain years ago (call it the cost of education), and today I wouldn't buy a box of shells at Gander, Cabella's or Bass Pro. I'm not a big fan of most local dealers. I'd rather buy a used car in a bad neighborhood.

    Small local retailers have much slower turning inventory and vary considerably in reliability. As for local dealers, if you're considering JT's Guns in Libertyville, do a search here for opinions first. Nothing personal against this dealer, and I don't mean to be unkind, but there are those here that would advise you against it.
     
  20. 1oldtimer

    1oldtimer TS Member

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    If you can find a nice used gun from an Individual,You can save the tax money.
     
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