The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Dave McCracken Memorial Shotgun Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old April 4, 2013, 12:43 PM   #1
pequeajim
Member
 
Join Date: April 3, 2013
Posts: 18
Choosing a shotgun for skeet

I am sorry to post another “can you help me pick out a gun” message, but I really do need some help with my selection. I am the kind of guy that progresses pretty quickly in whatever I do, and my first step is ti try to learn as much about skeet shooting as I can before buying a shotgun, then buy something that will meet my needs now as well as 4-5 year from now.

My areas of choice are the following:
- OU Barrel, or Semi Auto, (I am not interested in a pump).
- Field or Target use, (I am not interested in hunting).
- Price range, (between $400-$1200).
- American made, (I don’t care as long as the quality is there).
- Light, Light, Light
- How do I get the right FIT?

So you see, over the next few weeks, my plans are to visit a few clubs and talk to skeet shooters in person, maybe get to shoot their guns, and gain some local knowledge. The feedback, and conversation that I can get from this forum will be instrumental in helping as well, so I soliciting your opinions on how to make my choice.

By the way, I should add that I am already shooting a rifle, and handguns

Last edited by pequeajim; April 4, 2013 at 02:50 PM.
pequeajim is offline  
Old April 4, 2013, 02:38 PM   #2
BigD_in_FL
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2012
Location: The "Gunshine State"
Posts: 1,982
Top end of $41200? Lots of options....

Read this:

From ShotgunWorld.com

Quote:
I've got $0-$600 to spend
Look, I hear you. You want an Over/Under because that's what everybody has. Your options at this price point are limited. Understand what you are getting into and that you're not going to be the next Anthony Matarese with a CZ. There are some guns in this range that have better reputations (like the CZ and other Huglu branded guns). There are others with not-so-great reputations. Understand at this level that there is a greater likelihood that you're going to have problems. For somebody that shoots about 1000 rounds a year or less, you will probably get along OK with a CZ, Mossberg Silver Reserve, or a Yildiz (if you live in the Southeast near an Academy Sports).

For target shooting, I think there are much better options in this price range than an Over/Under. The Mossberg 930 series Semiautomatic is a great choice if you have to have something new. Another great new choice is the Beretta 390 that some big-box stores are selling right around $550. If you are confident in your gun-buying ability or you're just feeling lucky, a used Remington 1100, Browning Gold, Winchester SX2/3, or a Beretta 390/391 are all good choices for target guns.


I've got $600 - $800 to spend
We're into the range where careful shoppers can come out with a nice gun. If you are looking for something new, your first stop is CDNN Investments (http://www.cdnninvestments.com, download the latest catalog). CDNN is retailing a bunch of Lanber 2087 and 2097 shotguns in this range. Lanber guns are reliable and to me handle like a Browning. You can get them in nice target configurations with 30" barrels.

Another new option is the Savage Milano. While these guns are not in production anymore, they have been selling in the $800 range from places like Bass Pro. I don't expect these guns to be for sale much longer. I feel that the Savage Milano (A F.A.I.R. gun) feel most like a Beretta.

On the used gun market, you have more options. Typically in this range you will find older Browning/Beretta/SKB guns with either fixed chokes or short (26") barrels. At one time 26" barrels were all the rage in skeet, so it's not that they're bad, they're just not as desirable today as longer barrels.


I've got $800 - $1200 to spend
This is the sweet spot for bargain hunters. Most of your bargains in this range are going to come from people selling nicely equipped entry-level upper grade guns. Here you're going to start to see things like older Browning Citoris with 28" and 30" barrels. You will also start to see Beretta 68x with Mobilchoke barrels in this range. Another good gun in this range is a Franchi.

Every now and then something will show up in this range that the discriminating buyer will recognize as a deal. Nicely equipped guns like an LL Bean (by SigArms/B.Rizinni) or Weatherby guns (by SKB) will start showing up in this range. Most guns in this range are going to be 28" or 30" barrels.

If you are looking for new, you want to navigate over to CDNN. They have been closing out some Winchesters and Weatherby guns under $1000 with decent barrel lengths. Again, these guns are not current production, but what do you care?


I've got $1200 - $2000 to spend
This is the sweet spot for the target shooter that wants to start getting serious about his equipment but doesn't want to spend an arm and a leg to do it. Toward the bottom of this range ($1200 - $1500) you will be looking at former kings of competition; Browning 425/Ultra/GTi, Beretta 686/687/or a well used 682, and Modern SKBs. In the upper end of this range, you will find the more desirable barrel lengths and better wood.

Most guns in this range are going to be current production guns, but used.

Be educated in this range on what your options are. Some of the F.A.I.R. guns or the B.Riz guns that fall into this range are hidden gems.

If you are patient, you may even find a used Caesar Guerini in this range.

Most guns in this range are going to be 30" or 32" barrels.

Be patient, you will find what you are looking for on the used market. It helps to understand what the gun you are looking for sells for new.

Also, if you are looking for new guns, you should take a look at CDNN Investments again. They run specials on nicely equipped target guns that are closeouts from some of the bigger manufacturers. Recently they have had some very nice Browning Cynergys and 525s in the $1400- $1800 range. In fact, CDNN has some nice JP Saur Sohn branded Caesar Guerinis selling at $1800 or below.


I've got $2000 - $5000 to spend
You're getting serious about your shotgunning now. Here you will be looking at new guns with all the bells and whistles you are looking for. The big names in this range are Browning, Beretta, and Caesar Guerini.

A hidden gem in this range is the Zoli guns from Antonio Zoli.

Feel and fit is important in this range, because you're going to have this gun for a long time. If you are oddly shaped like me, a fitted gun may be in your future and you'll be able to find one in this range.


I've got over $5000 to spend
Dude, why are you asking me? If you're spending this kind of jack, you already know what you want. If you don't know what you want, stick with an off-the-rack gun until you know what you want.
Your starting amount of $400 means well used for even a decent semi.
No hunting, targets only, you will want the target model whether semi or O/U- because weight is your friend - you do NOT want light, light, light because recoil will wind up causing you to flinch - when shooting targets, weight and a longer barrel are your friends.

US only leaves out a lot of good choices - the only current US-made O/U would be from CSMC - those start about $8000 and go up from there. Quality guns can be found from Beretta, Browning, SKB for a lot less.

US made semis - as in actually MADE here - again leaves very little choice and omits a lot of good brands

FIT is accomplished - correctly - by having a fitter fit you, much like a tailor does a suit. Can you get a gun that is close, and then have alterations like adjustable comb, adjustable buttstock, etc., added on? Sure can

For me, what your plans are for the next few weeks are a great idea. Ask questions, try to shoot as many as you can, do not rule out used, or foreign guns of quality - you will most likely get the best bang for your buck buying from a member of your local gun club - they won't be screwing you as that would get all over the club immediately and get them ostracized, you'll be able to try before you buy, and those folks will be able to help with fit, tips and hints on shooting the game. They will also have some ideas on who to use if you need to make some mods to make it fit you.
Secondly, you might be able to get in group buys for ammo or reloading equipment
BigD_in_FL is offline  
Old April 4, 2013, 02:46 PM   #3
cvc944
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 17, 2013
Location: Lenhartsville, PA
Posts: 164
It's a shame you don't want a pump, because that is where you will most easily find a gun that fit your higher demands for the lower amount of money you are willing to spend. I do understand how personal desires figure into the decision, because I bought an O/U for skeet because I didn't want a pump either. It just cost me more money than I wanted to spend.
cvc944 is offline  
Old April 4, 2013, 02:50 PM   #4
BigD_in_FL
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2012
Location: The "Gunshine State"
Posts: 1,982
Others, like me, feel it is better to buy once, cry once and get the gun you want. A higher grade gun holds it value better and for a longer period of time while still letting you shoot the better gun in the interim
BigD_in_FL is offline  
Old April 4, 2013, 04:05 PM   #5
NoSecondBest
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 7, 2009
Location: Western New York
Posts: 782
I shot a lot of shotgun over the last forty years. I've owned a lot of different guns for clay birds and some were pretty high end. Looking back on all my purchases, I'd recommend taking a look at a Beretta gas auto. They're going to put you at the top end of what you want to spend but they are worth the money. They are adjustable for fit, super soft recoil, come with five chokes, and if you look at what's on the rack at any range they are the number one choice of shooters in an autoloader. I did my best with a high end O/U but it was very close with the auto.
NoSecondBest is offline  
Old April 4, 2013, 04:53 PM   #6
pequeajim
Member
 
Join Date: April 3, 2013
Posts: 18
I just want to be clear. It's ok if the firearm is made outside of the US. I just want the best gun for the money that I have to spend.
pequeajim is offline  
Old April 4, 2013, 06:38 PM   #7
BigD_in_FL
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2012
Location: The "Gunshine State"
Posts: 1,982
Then a gas gun will be your best bet as you will get a higher quality gas gun over a semi for the budget involved.

Used - Remington 1100, Beretta 303, 390, 391; unless you luck into a nice, but older, Belgian Browning - which run about $1500 for guns from the 60's and 70's - but those have some of the best barrels ever put on an O/U.

The Beretta 303 is considered by many the best gas gun Beretta ever made and its sleeper status seems to be going away and now it is becoming a cult gun - if you can find one in good shape at a reasonable price, get it

Browning gas guns are also a good choice, as is the older Winchester SX1 -some folks praise it as the best gas gun ever made, worth looking for.

Guns like these can be found on www.gunsinternational.com, which is NOT an auction site, but a sales site with lots of reputable sellers
BigD_in_FL is offline  
Old April 4, 2013, 06:44 PM   #8
BigJimP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 11,061
The best all around Skeet or Sporting Clays gun for your money ....is a parallel comb gun ( where the comb is parallel to the rib ) ...meaning it can be adjusted to fit 99.9% of the shooters out there....

The best /most affordable gun that fits that category is a Browning Citori XS Skeet model with the adjustable comb ...in a 12ga...in either a 28" or 30" barrels ( I'd suggest you go with the 30") ....and new they're about $ 3,250..../ they list for $ 3,600....

http://www.browning.com/products/cat...id=013&tid=066

Its a gun that will last thru 500,000 shells easily with no issues ...may 1 Million...easy to sell if you want to upgrade to something like a Kolar, Krieghoff, etc down the road....
----------
If that doesn't get you excited ....look at the Beretta DT-10 model / I'm not a huge Beretta fan ...but the parallel comb here on this model is the key...
---------
or the Benelli Super Sport semi-auto ...in my area, new they're about
$ 1,900. You can make this gun, a parallel comb, by purchasing the optional comb inserts ( about $85 each ) and using it in combination with the shims between the receiver and stock ...it'll work as well. Its a very light gun ...so I'd go with the 32" barrel in this option...
-----------
Everything else is a compromise...on quality, durabilty, etc...especially long term.../ the best buy, a used XS Skeet, if you can find one...( probably $2,000 - $ 2,250 ) ....
--------
If $1,200 is really your budget limit ---- then you need to go with gas operated semi-autos and make some compromises... --- the guys above listed quite a few that might work for you ( if they fit )/ after you have 5,000 to 10,000 targets under your belt...you can reevaluate.../ how far you want to take the hobby and what gun will help get you there - and what gague, etc....

Last edited by BigJimP; April 4, 2013 at 06:50 PM.
BigJimP is offline  
Old April 4, 2013, 07:37 PM   #9
pequeajim
Member
 
Join Date: April 3, 2013
Posts: 18
Pardon my ignorance, but I assume that a gas gun is a gas cylinder for counteracting recoil?

How long does it last, refillable?
pequeajim is offline  
Old April 4, 2013, 08:03 PM   #10
BigD_in_FL
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2012
Location: The "Gunshine State"
Posts: 1,982
No, a gas gun uses expanding gas from firing the gun to work the action to eject the empty, recock the hammer and load a fresh cartridge into the chamber. The gas action spreads out the recoil impulse out over a longer period of time - measured in milliseconds - so the perceived recoil feels less
BigD_in_FL is offline  
Old April 5, 2013, 10:48 AM   #11
zippy13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 23, 2008
Location: SoCal
Posts: 6,383
Quote:
My areas of choice are the following:
...-Light, Light, Light
Why a light gun? It will have a choppy swing and cause you to lose targets. The idea that a Skeet gun has to be light and quick went out years ago, heavy and steady wins the race. Unless you have a special physical requirement, consider a target weight gun.
zippy13 is offline  
Old April 5, 2013, 11:43 AM   #12
BigJimP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 11,061
There are primarily 2 kinds of Semi-Auto shotguns on the market....a "gas operated" gun...( Beretta, Browning Maxus - Silver etc, Winchester)....and the Inertia Operated guns ( primarily Benelli )....

Gas operated guns shoot a little softer...but dirtier than Inertia guns.
-----------
To Zippy's point....we're all different....but to me a nimble gun is about 8.5lbs and in an O/U with 30" barrels ...and that is the gun that works best for me on live birds in the field, or Skeet or Sporting Clays.

When I go to Trap specifically....I go to a longer and heavier gun ...Browning Citori XT Trap ...at around 10 lbs and 32" barrels.../ because in Trap there is much less dramatic left to right / right to left barrel movement. I can shoot a Citori XT Trap with 32" barrels for Skeet...but I'm flat worn out trying to get that extra 1.5 lbs moving after 4 or 5 rounds ...( my buddy says...its like trying to swing a big ole sewer pipe out there )...but that point where it feels just right is different for each of us....

My friend Zippy ....really likes his Perazzi's..../ my buddy really likes his Krieghoff K-80 with 28" barrels / I like the Citori XS Skeet models with 30" barrels ...( I'm a little bigger than the average Buffalo at 6'5" and 290 ....so what suits me / may not work for you ).
----------
I'm not a big competition shooter like our buddy Zippy....but I really learned about "gun fit" when I started hanging out with Skeet shooters. That's when I really realized the concept of a parallel comb gun...where you can set it up ...and point of impact will not change if you shoot in a T shirt in summer....or a heavy sweater and coat and vest in the winter. On an "angled comb gun"....every 1/4" you move up or back on that comb - just based on your seasonal clothing...it means, the muzzle moves up or down and at 25 yds...your point of impact moves up or down maybe 12"...
------
The higher end guns....Perazzi, Blaser, Kolar, Krieghoff....is what the "big dogs" shoot for the most part.../ ....Beretta and Browning make a lot of solid guns for the rest of us mere mortals...

But serious competitive skeet shooters ....practice at least 4 days / nights a week ...( so 16 boxes probably )....a tournament of some kind each weekend...( 4 - 8 boxes ) plus some warm up practice ( couple more boxes ) ...so call it 15 boxes a week ....out of 52 weeks a yr / they shoot at least 42 weeks probably.....so 42 X 15 is 630 boxes a year....or 15,000 to 16,000 shells a year thru their primary guns !!

Over 30 yrs....that's a Half Million shells....( and these days at $ 8 a round of skeet...) its an easy $ 5K a year in targets and shells.../ entry fees on top of that / gas / hotels ....

So that's why we say the cost of the gun is the least expensive thing in this hobby you'll ever invest in.

Now I think the Citori XS Skeet will hold up to this usage...at a modest price point ( around $ 3,200 ) .../ I think you'll get 3 - 5 yrs out of most gas operated semi-autos / Perazzi's, Blaser, Kolar, Krieghoff ( all $8 K - $ 30K ) will certainly hold up to this usage...and a lot more....

But that is our perspective...when you say you're "Serious" about shooting Skeet....
----------
and we haven't discussed full length tube sets in a 12ga gun --- with a carrier barrel --- so you can shoot 20ga, 28ga and .410's in one gun...( from Kolar or Briley )...

and the cost of 4 MEC loaders ...in 12ga, 20ga, 28ga, .410 ...or whatever...

But we're not addicts / we're just having fun ....

I don't think my career winnings in sporting clays was over $5K ../even couting all the side options that were pure luck when I got some cash from them( over about 9 seasons ) ...and I never won a dime in skeet ...but I never shot registered skeet seriously .../ I'm just a class B shooter...averaging about 92 on skeet these days ( some days I'm a 98 - but not often / and some days I'm an 88 ...) ......old eyes, bad shoulders, blah, blah, blah....

Last edited by BigJimP; April 5, 2013 at 11:48 AM.
BigJimP is offline  
Old April 5, 2013, 12:04 PM   #13
BigJimP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 11,061
Before anyone overreacts to what I'm saying....

if all you really want to do is go out and shoot a little bit of Skeet, some sporting clays, etc.....and have some fun 8 or 10 times a year....all you really need is a decent pump gun. The pump gun of my choice....is a Browing BPS Hunter model, 12ga, 28" barrel...selling new for around
$ 600.

Long before I could afford higher end guns...my BPS's killed a lot of birds and a lot of clay targets...and had a lot of fun with that gun.

http://www.browning.com/products/cat...id=012&tid=211
----------
Everybody into guns...I think....should have a good 12ga pump shotgun / a good Revolver /....and a good 1911 semi-auto ....

and you said you already shoot rifles and handguns....
BigJimP is offline  
Old April 6, 2013, 06:18 AM   #14
Virginian-in-LA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 11, 2012
Location: Evangeline, LA
Posts: 652
A new shooter doesn't need a pump gun for Skeet. Look for a good used gas action semi auto and have at it. If you change your mind later you won't lose a dime if you take care of it. If you like it you can just keep on going. I have been shooting Skeet with Remington 1100s for 50 years and a whole lot of shotguns - some costing many times as much - have come and gone in the interim. I have yet to miss a target because of the gun.
Virginian-in-LA is offline  
Old April 6, 2013, 06:32 AM   #15
mxsailor803
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 8, 2010
Location: Norfolk, Va
Posts: 656
If you live close to a range that you are wanting to shoot at, go there and talk to a few people. A lot of times if you are on the fence about a particular shotgun, they might let you shoot a box (if you bring your own ammo). That's just what i would do.
mxsailor803 is offline  
Old April 6, 2013, 08:04 PM   #16
pequeajim
Member
 
Join Date: April 3, 2013
Posts: 18
Thanks for all the replies. I think the best advice is to go to the range, watch and talk to the shooters. There is a club 2 miles from my house that is skeet and trap only, so I expect to learn a thing or two.

As of today, I am not looking to get into competetion, just shoot from a recreational standpoint. Will I think this way later, maybe?

For now, I am still interested in a autoloader. Gas? Maybe, but some more conversation with you all, and the guys at the club and I will make up my mind I'm sure.
pequeajim is offline  
Old April 9, 2013, 07:54 AM   #17
Slugo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 15, 2001
Location: Central PA
Posts: 1,007
Gas autoloader for target shooting? Beretta makes the best. The new A400 Excel rules the roost, by far...
__________________
Sometimes wrong, but never in doubt...
Slugo is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:30 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2013 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10436 seconds with 9 queries