If you can find one, an older (pre 2006) Remington 870 Express pump. They are tanks and will last forever. The newer 870's are okay but not the legendary quality before they got bought up by a penny pinching conglomerate.
If you can't find an older 870, then a Mossberg 500 will get all you need to get done, done.
Both are reliable, but the Remmy is probably a little more customizable than the Mossy.
I've been searching around for recommendation and most of the time, the answer is another question: "what type of hunting are you looking for? deer, waterfowl or turkey,...".
But since NJ is a shotgun-country, I'm shopping for a shotgun that does not stick to a specific type of hunting.
I've never hunt before and will most likely to start with small game, squirrel, rabbit, etc... as that seems to me like the simplest thing to start.
So, here are the criteria I can come up with (and pls feel free to correct them):
- No camo - I don't want more trouble when buying another barrel
- No turkey - I don't like their meat at all and will never turkey hunting in my life
- Extra barrel/choke must be readily available to buy, and won't cost me an arm & a leg
- Good weather resistant. I heard many negative review about Rem 870 barrel finish.
- Packaged barrel/choke is good for small game
So in short, I am looking for a most customizable & good finishing shotgun.