There is much advice about shooting out there, but none of it can beat time at the range. I just purchased my first firearm, though I’ve shot a few over the years. I was pleasantly surprised with how my Mossberg 12 gauge handled when I took it out to the range.
First off, a semi-automatic action makes a huge difference in a shotgun. I’d shot trap with a few 12 gauge pumps, and had pretty bad bruising afterwards. This was while wearing winter coats as well. I was not bruised at all after putting 25 shells through my 930. It felt much like a large man was shoving me, whereas with the pump shotguns, it was like a large man was hitting me.
Second, I’m happy that I decided to get a barrel with a choke. Much praise has been written about Federal’s FliteControl wad, and how well it keeps shot together. Due to range rules, I was unable to test a long distance, but at short range a Modified choke kept all the buckshot on the target. The majority of it was going through the same holes in the paper, in fact. 135 pellets were fired on this target, both Winchester Super X and Federal non FliteControl loads. This is important, if you want to be able to use a little bit cheaper ammo.
I was a little disappointed with the fiber optic front bead. Bow fiber optic sights are much brighter, because they use long strands to collect light for the small portion that is actually in the sight. I guess people decided shotgunners don’t want brightly colored strands hanging from their gun.