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jeff_gun
April 15, 2009, 06:16 PM
Hi,
I'm new to this site. I'm thinking about buying my first shotgun. I have a Glock 40, but wanted a little more home protection and also have some fun. I live in GA and I have a friend that's an avid skeet shooter in Tenn. If I buy a shotgun in GA, could I lock it up in a case inside my trunk separate from the cartridges and drive to Tennessee to have him train me? I read some other threads that I think say that I can drive to a range, but am I allowed to drive to his house and hang out, then go to the range?
I'm planning on a Beretta 391 and have further questions about that guy.
Thanks for any assistance.

BigJimP
April 15, 2009, 06:24 PM
Welcome - Unloaded and locked in a trunk of a car - it should be fine / no issues ( same on a handgun ). You can go to his house or to a range with no problems between all 48 states.

The Beretta 391 is a good starter gun / getting into Skeet or the other clay target games. There is a little adjustability, using shims, between the receiver and the stock.

Look around at the gun club when you get there - you'll probably see a variety of guns being used for Skeet - and different barrel lengths, etc.

The 391 and most semi-autos are pretty light guns / and personally I like them in a 30" barrel / but you may find a 28" more to your liking. Most of the time I prefer an Over Under for Skeet - but going with the semi-auto is certainly less expensive until you really decide how serious you want to get with Skeet.

jeff_gun
April 15, 2009, 06:41 PM
Thanks for the info Jim.
I don't know much about shotguns yet, although I'm doing my research.
I realize that a longer barrel generally means better accuracy. But, what if I'm buying for both home protection and not so serious skeet shooting? I've read that for home protection a shorter barrel is better. Is there a barrel length that is simply not practical for skeet shooting, e.g. 24" ?
I mean, would that be just plain silly. Would I get laughed off the range? ;)

BigJimP
April 15, 2009, 07:20 PM
Its not accuracy in the sense of what the gun can or can't do. Its a question of having a barrel long enough to have a "good sight plane".

You won't get laughed off the range with a 24" / but a 26" barrel is about as short as I would ever go with a general purpose shotgun - for Skeet.

I use the same primary 12ga gun for Skeet, Bird hunting and Sporting Clays - and for me a 30" barrel on an Over Under is just right in a gun that is about 8 1/2 lbs / and a semi-auto with a 28" barrel would be the same overall length as a 30" Over Under - because the receiver is longer on a semi-auto. Part of this comes down to personal preference - but in lighter guns, and most semi-autos are about 7 lbs - I go a little longer so I don't tend to "whip" the barrel vs "swing it smoothly". If I go short, 26" or 28" on a semi-auto - or in any 7 lb gun - I tend to get out of the gun too quickly and shorten my follow-thru / which is not good. Even hunting Quail - I stay with an 8 1/2 lb gun .... ( but I'm 6'5" and 290 lbs - with fairly long arms ) ..... yet even some of my grandkids, at 13 or 14 - that are not big kids yet, still seem to do better with barrels at least 26" or 28" long.

To me - a "Defensive" shotgun - is just fine in a 28" barrel / vs a true "Fighting Shotgun" where you want to go shorter / but if you can only have 1 shotgun / you just compromise / or put 2 different barrels on a single receiver.

jeff_gun
April 15, 2009, 08:23 PM
Thanks very much Jim, for taking the time to explain. I was google'ing in the meantime and came across similar recommendations as yours.
I think I'm going to focus on sport shooting vs home defense as far as the gun configuration. After all, I have a Glock 40 with the old 15 round clips, so I think that should be sufficient for home defense.
Every question I get answered about shotgun shooting raises about ten more. It's amazing to me that someone might purchase a gun that is better designed for skeet than trap. An hour ago, I was just thinking "clay frisbee", fling it and shoot it. There's still so many terms I have to bone up on. I won't burden you with all of them, but I am curious about what folks mean about guns that shoot high? I know that almost can't mean that you aim at a target and it shoots 10 inches above that spot, but of course to a novice that's what it sounds like. :D

BigJimP
April 16, 2009, 12:11 PM
There is a lot of very specialized info on the clay target games / but I don't want to drown you in details either ...

the basics of all shotgunning ( for moving targets ) - is to put the cloud of shot ahead of the bird (allowing for whatever lead you need - based on speed, range and flight angle relative to where you are ) and break the bird as it flys into and thru that shot cloud. Follow thru is key - to stay on plane with the bird - and stay in your gun - and watch it break. Pulling the trigger on a shotgun is only the start of the shot - the followthru is the end of the shot. So its a sequence - find the target / hard focus on leading edge ( not the butt ) / insert or move the gun in front of the bird / sustain the lead you need / pull trigger / ( stay hard focus on bird ) and follow thru. You never, ever, look at the rib or the front bead on your gun ....except as you mount the gun.... when you say pull .... all your focus is on the beak of the bird - never the butt. There are other ways to establish lead / follow-thru, etc - but somehow you have to develop a feel for lead. Sustained lead - and following the flight of the bird / matching the speed is pretty easy to learn and easy to adjust if you miss.

Trap is mostly a single target game - and in general, many Trap shooters like to float a target above the rib on their gun, so they never lose sight of the target. So they set their comb and rib ( and on some guns both the comb and rib are adjustable ) so the gun patterns high ( maybe 70% above the center point of impact and 30% below) / a few I know even go to 80%/20%.

Many "Trap" guns have higher and wider ribs - and the mfg's intentionally make many of the guns with points of impact intended for the gun to shoot a little higher ( and you can adjust it from there - either up or down).

In general - Trap - vs Skeet, hunting birds or sporting clays - has less barrel movement left to right - so Trap guns tend to be a little longer and heavier. Longer guns give you a longer sight plane / and heavier guns absorb more recoil and follow thru a little better because the heavier the gun is the less likely the shooter is to yank it short on follow thru vs stay nice and smooth.

The idea is to shoot a Trap target as it is rising and under power - where its predictable - vs waiting for it to reach its apex and then drop ( where its more erratic). From your hold point, you move up to the target - float it - and kill it as its rising. Now - having said all this - if you have a flat shooting gun meaning on the point of impact its 50% high and 50% low / you can still shoot Trap with it - but you need to cover the bird with the barrel and kill it ( not float it ).

I prefer a " Flat " shooting gun for Skeet, Sporting clays and bird hunting ( for me Browning XS Skeet O/U with 30" barrels at about 8 1/2 lbs). In Trap - I like a longer and heavier gun - Browning XT O/U 32" barrels at about 10 lbs - but I setup my Trap gun for about a 60% / 40% pattern.

The Beretta 391 is typically a Flat shooting gun / but you will need to take it to the pattern board to be sure / and make sure it hits where you look. It may need some adjustment - for the size of your frame ( shoulder to cheek, etc ) ...

BigJimP
April 16, 2009, 12:44 PM
Lots of good books and DVD's on shooting Skeet - the DVD I like the best is Todd Bender / Skeet fundamentals. He gives a really good breakdown of foot position, swinging with the lower body, balance, staying in the gun, etc ...

http://www.sunrisevideo.com/catalog.asp?c=skeet

Personally I find Trap a little boring.

When I started to shoot Skeet - my wingshooting really improved / and using Benders DVD - made a lot of the fundamentals that my buddies were coaching me on / make a lot more sense. No matter how serious you end up taking Skeet - this DVD is a good addition to your shotgunning library.

Now in Registered Skeet competition - you can shoot a 12, 20 or 28ga and .410 event. So many Skeet shooters have guns - with tube inserts in them - to allow them to shoot sub-gague events. Some of us use 4 guns - and a lot of guys just shoot a 12ga event or whatever. Trap is a 12ga game / although you can shoot whatever gague you want.

Today a 12ga is a very vestatile gun / with so many different shells available - you can effectively make a 12ga gun perform like a 20 or 28ga ( so young shooters can use a 12ga gun ) / or you can shoot whatever you want.

My preferred shell - for Skeet, Sporting clays, and Trap from the 16 yard line - in 12ga is 1 oz of 8's at about 1225 fps ( around 3 Dram equivalent ). If you don't reload - buy whatever cheap shells you can - Rio, Estate, Remington Gun Club .... but make sure you don't have any loads with pellet size bigger than 7 1/2's ( that's the max allowed on most clay target clubs ).

jeff_gun
April 19, 2009, 08:13 AM
Thanks again Jim for the explanation about high-shooting guns. I think I get the idea, but I'll have to see it for myself when I get into it.
Proper trap or skeet shooting method sounds a lot like a golf swing.
I did enough reading about the various gauges to stay away from the odd-balls like 16 for the sake of shell cost if nothing else. I'll definately go 12 gauge. When I was still considering the gun in the home protection scenario, I even researched 10 gauges. But, from what I read, today's 12 gauges can do as much or more damage than the 10 gauge depending on the load, I guess.
Not that I can afford it, but have you shot or have any experience with the new break-open Baretta semi-automatic (UGB250)? It seemed a bit odd at first reading about a two-shot semi-automatic, but I understand the logic after reading some about it. I guess it's a big deal to have your skeet gun broken open between stations to show it's not loaded, and further it seems that pump action or semi-auto's are more difficult to detect that they're not ready to fire.

BigJimP
April 19, 2009, 01:56 PM
Stay away from the 10ga - the only thing it will give you is abuse...

I've fired one of the test UGB Berettas - I don't own one / but frankly I don't see the point. Every time you step on or off a skeet pad is the only time you can close your action / or even touch your gun with a shell. Pump guns need to have the pump to the rear at all other times / semi-autos need to have the bolt locked back at all other times.

My primary guns are all O/U's - but I have a couple of the Benelli Super Sport semi-autos / they're good guns and I do shoot Skeet, etc with them once in a while. There is probably nothing wrong with the UGB but I can't warm up to the design or the idea too much / I'm more of a traditionalist.

I don't see any of them around / they're competitive with O/U's in the $ 3500 price range / but I think more traditional O/U's are still going to maintain their dominance for the clay target games.

jeff_gun
April 25, 2009, 05:03 AM
I didn't realize OU's were in the same price range, in general.
One of their sales points about the rounds coming out of the same barrel, seems logical to me that it might be potentially more accurate. But, I've never shot a shotgun, so have no idea if that's the case.