Shotgun newbie needs advice for Hutto property control


New Member
Jan 6, 2013

I know you guys/gals are the right people to steer me in the right direction on this.

I know a good bit about handguns and a little about rifles, but just as a result of spending most of my adult life in urban areas and focusing mostly on handgun ownership for SD, I haven't dug into shotguns much (I don't mean to spur a debate on usefulness of shotguns for urban SD).

I am purchasing a house on 15acres in Hutto, and I want to add a shotgun to my gun safe for shooting snakes and any other undesirable animals that make their way onto the property.

Can anyone point me in the right direction? Please do not underestimate how little I know about shotguns...

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Big Phil

Feb 20, 2013
If you want a pump most folks go with a Mossberg 500 or Remington 870. They are both solid platforms, the differences are mostly ergonomic in nature. I preferred the 500 because of the placement of the safety.

I really can't give any advice on autos. Although if I had my choice I'd get a Benelli M2.


Lifetime Member
Oct 15, 2009
Lampasas, Texas
Since you are new to them, a pump is the way to go. The Mossberg Maverick is a good low prices option. The Mossberg 500 and Remington 870 are a little step up in price and quality with a good aftermarket following for switching from field to HD and everything inbetween. Another step up brings you to Benelli, FN, and other big names. The aftermarket gets a little slimmer for them and the prices for parts reflects that.

If you have deep pockets and want to go right to the top for an autoloader look at Benellis. You will not be disappointed.

Just like anything else there are a ton of good options. Everybody has an opinion but it all comes down to what feels right to you.


San Saba Songbird
Apr 4, 2011
Out West
20ga single shot.
#6 shot shells.

That'll take care of varmints and won't cost much.
If you want pizzazz, the previous posts hold the answer.

M. Sage

TGT Addict
Jan 21, 2009
San Antonio
If you're new to them, I'd actually suggest an auto because you simply load it and shoot it. Remington 1100 at the least, FN SLP/Winchester SX2, or spend big on Benelli.

Shotguns are fine for snakes, but you really can't beat a carbine for home defense, though.

You do know you can get snake shot for your handguns, right? Works well.


TGT Addict
TGT Supporter
Mar 19, 2008
Kerr County
I'd go with a Rem. 870 (pump) in 20 ga. for critter property control. Easy to shoot and decently priced. Good quality and you can get you're money out of it if you ever get tired of it!


TGT Addict
Jan 24, 2011
Grid 0409

For snake and varmint control, I've had good results with a break-open single shot .410 shotgun.

The only snakes I've killed were aggressive western diamondbacks that got territorial and would not leave the property. All other non-poisonous snakes should be left alone.

The .410 is effective for coons, skunks, and possums that raid the chicken coop.

Have not used it for coyotes, foxes, or hogs: .223 Rem serves that purpose admirably.

Lots of cats will reduce the rodent population which snakes hunt; cats are no match in a fight with a coon, fox, or coyote.


TGT Addict
Aug 9, 2013
south of killeen
If you know someone that knows corrct body position to hold one while firing get them to show you, if not, most gun stores can show you. It makes a difference. After that all the above post are good advice. Find one that feels RIGHT when brought to your shoulder within your budjet. You will shoot better and recoil will be more managable

Sent from my iPhone by a coffeeholic


TGT Addict
Jul 1, 2011
You do know you can get snake shot for your handguns, right? Works well.
That's the ticket for snakes and small stuff all though just because it's a snake, I don't kill it.

Sounds like you may need a 20ga with slugs and/or buckshot too.
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