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Old March 1, 2013, 01:47 PM   #1
Jeff2131
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first time clay bird shooting

Hello everyone, i have a newbie question. I am going clay bird shooting for the first time next month. I have a really cool shotgun that was given to me by my grandfather. Its a 1950's J.C. Higgins 12gauge pump. It has a really cool looking flash/compensator on the end of the barrel that is threaded for choke tubes. I have three choke tubes that came with it. Which choke tube is best to use for clay birds? Should i use a tight group, large group, or shouldnt i use a choke tube at all. The guys im going with spend the whole day shooting clay birds, talking about 500-600 rounds each person. I have no idea what to expect and would really like a few pointers and suggestions so that im atleast somewhat knowledgable and dont look like and ass trying to shoot with these guys...hahaha. thanx in advance for your tips and comments.
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Old March 1, 2013, 02:01 PM   #2
BigJimP
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Take all 3 chokes with you ....you may change them depending on the range that the targets are....

Typical kill ranges for chokes:

Cyclinder ( very open ) ....15 - 25 yds...
Modified ( medium range of chokes ) ... 25 - 40 yds
Full ( tightest ) 40+ yds...

Make sure your shells - have pellets no bigger than 7 1/2's in them ( no 4's, 6's etc ) allowed on any clay ranges. Most of us in a 12ga ...will shoot 1oz or 7/8oz of 8's as kind of a do everything pretty well shell.
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Familarize yourself if you can ahead of time with the specific range rules where you're going, if they have a website ....and the expense ...so you know what you're getting into in terms of expense ( in my area a round of skeet for targets ( 25 birds ) is about $7 ...and a box of shells is about $ 6 ...so figure about $ 13 for every 25 targets.

600 shells is a lot .../ I suspect you might have misunderstood...but who knows...
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Old March 1, 2013, 02:18 PM   #3
BigJimP
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Clay target shooting....can be a lot of different things too ....so you might ask your buddies what they're really doing.

Is it Skeet...
or Trap...
or 5 Stand...
or Sporting Clays...
( or just a thrower in someone's pasture ...)...

but all of the clay target sports can be very different....if you get some more input, then do some general internet searches...on that game ...so you know what to expect. If you know the name of the range..and city ...where it is, you might get some specific feedback on that club.

Safe gun handling ...a good attitude.../ proper clothing for the weather...and you'll be fine...
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Old March 1, 2013, 04:33 PM   #4
BigD_in_FL
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As Jim said, it would really help to know WHAT clay targets you are shooting. No matter what you are shooting, you WILL want to have a choke tube inserted to prevent damage to the threads at the muzzle area.

Skeet is a close game, constrictions of Skeet (.005), or IC (.010) will work fine.
Trap from the 16 yard line would require at LEAST the IC, better would be a Mod (.020).
5-stand can range from close to far - either an IC or Mod
Sporting Clays, same basis as 5-stand, but I would lean more towards a Mod for an all around

As Jim mentioned, the largest load you can use in any of the clay games is 1-1/8 of 7.5 - no hunting loads if they are larger in shot size or payload
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Old March 1, 2013, 05:15 PM   #5
BigJimP
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Don't go out and buy more chokes for that gun ....just use one of the ones you have ...make sure you like the pastime first....

Depending on how much you like this ....there can be a lot that goes into it ...for the best loads, chokes, guns, etc..../ but mostly just concentrate on having some fun.

You may just need to have some cash for shells and targets ...and borrow one of your buddies guns that are already setup - especially if they're experienced.

When I have new shooters with me....I typically provide everything (partly so I know it works ), and vests, shell holders, etc. --- not saying that your 1950's gun won't work ...but the technology on guns, chokes etc has changed a lot since the 1950's .... and I let them put some cash in the kitty to offset the expense - it also keeps this whole issue of what kind of shells and chokes, etc from becoming a distraction. That way - nobody gets a lot of money tied up in equipment that they may never use again...

I just ask new shooters to make sure they have safety glasses that fit ...and ear protection ...and I take care of everything else.

But I'm kind of like a "bad guy drug dealer.." ....now that they have a taste...they have to bring their own equipment the next time they come out to play ...!!
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Old March 1, 2013, 06:40 PM   #6
SauerGrapes
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Quote:
Don't go out and buy more chokes for that gun ....just use one of the ones you have ...make sure you like the pastime first....

Depending on how much you like this ....there can be a lot that goes into it ...for the best loads, chokes, guns, etc..../ but mostly just concentrate on having some fun.
GREAT ADVICE! Just go see what it's all about and have some fun. You can then decide where your going from there.
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Old March 1, 2013, 09:45 PM   #7
Rnbtexas
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Another thing to keep in mind most ranges will have a grease board of some sort. Fire a couple of rounds at it before you start your round. It will give you a good idea where the gun is patterning. Also, every range I have ever been to only allows one shell in the gun at a time. Have fun!
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Old March 2, 2013, 08:17 AM   #8
BigD_in_FL
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^^^^ That is only true for trap singles. Skeet, 5-stand, and sporting clays all have doubles presentations
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Old March 2, 2013, 01:41 PM   #9
Dreaming100Straight
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Always use a choke!!!

Quote:
Should i use a tight group, large group, or shouldnt i use a choke tube at all.
ALWAYS use a choke if a gun is threaded for chokes, else shot can easily damage the threads of the barrel.
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Old March 4, 2013, 10:59 AM   #10
Jeff2131
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Its accually not a range, they all head up to the mountains because they have a cabin and tons of land. They said they spend the whole day shooting clay birds. I suspect they are just the simple round orange ones. They have a machine to throw them and yes, they told me they go through the birds and shells very quickly so they each bring 5-600 shells and abouy 15-20 cases of birds...lol. i was looking at some winchester 7 1/2 shot shells, 2 3/4". They seemed cheap enough that i could purchase 2 cases of 250 shells each. They also told me to bring the rifles and pistols too. Im covered there, i reload for my .308 and .223 so i should be covered. I had a question about reloading nickel casings too but ill post that in the reloading forum. Thanx again for all the words of wisdom and advise. Im sure ill enjoy it just wanted to make sure im usingbthe right choke tubes so i can accually hit the birds
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Old March 4, 2013, 11:12 AM   #11
BigD_in_FL
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Each case of birds in wally world is either a 90 count or a 135 count - 20 cases is a LOT of clays....... you might need more ammo!
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Old March 4, 2013, 11:20 AM   #12
Jeff2131
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20 cases is not all for me...hahahaha. i am just responsible for buying my own shells they said. The guy that owns the cabin always suppmies the clays.
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Old March 10, 2013, 07:51 AM   #13
Ricklin
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In that case you will be shooting what we affectionately call "pasture clays" bring all three of your choke tubes with. Est. the distance the birds are being broken at and choke accordingly.
It's always easier to break the bird when it is rising vs. falling. Have fun and be safe.
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Old March 10, 2013, 01:01 PM   #14
g.willikers
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Unless you are naturally talented at hitting fast moving, flying objects, don't sweat the small stuff.
Just hitting them will be a challenge, whatever ammo and choke you use.
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