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Old December 31, 2009, 02:47 PM   #1
crapster
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Good shotgun for skeet and clay shooting

Ok, so i am going to join a local club, mostly for the handgun/rifle range. But they have a nice skeet range [it thats whats its called], and a course for shooting clay's in the woods. they also have a trap area, but i understand that require a different gun. Anyhow..so i am looking for a nice skeet gun. I have searched here, and have a little knowledge. It seems that an over under is ideal, and i like 12 guage. I dont hunt, so that isnt a consideration. Gun ideas....keep in mind i will only do this 1-2 times per month, so save the expensive stuff. If i could get a decent one for >500 that would be great. Input form those of you with exeprience would be great. thanks i apreciate it!!!
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Old December 31, 2009, 03:37 PM   #2
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OK, going back to the beginning -

skeet range, course in the woods and a trap area

Trap is one game, skeet is one game, sporting clays is yet another. Trap and skeet have very specific layouts for their fields. Sporting clays, like golf, do not.

Target guns, especially in the O/U arena are going to cost more than a semi or pump. Before you go and buy anything, I would suggest going to this club, making friends with those shooters, seeing if you can borrow their guns and get a feel for what you like.

Cheap O/U guns do not last, tend to pattern terrible, and usually do not fit anywhere close to what is needed. The result? Poor scores and a big disappointment when it comes to getting into the shotgun sports.

If your budget is around $500 then a decent USED semi from Beretta or Remington will fit the bill - AFTER you have tried a wide variety of makes and models
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Old December 31, 2009, 03:40 PM   #3
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+1 on the decent semi-auto. There are lots of them out there and they will do an admirable job for the recreational clay shooter. See what the guys/gals at your club are using, try a bunch of different ones and go with what fits best.
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Old December 31, 2009, 03:40 PM   #4
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Around $ 500 / a good pump gun is an option - like a Browning BPS Hunter model with a 28" barrel and screw in chokes.

Around $1,000 - you can find some decent semi-autos like the Beretta 390 / 391 series.

Most O/U's under $ 2,000 are not long term guns that you can expect 10,000 + shells thru ( and most of us that shoot clays / Skeet, Trap and Sporting Clays shoot 15,000 + shells a year .... But if you want to go that way / one of the best guns for the money in my opinion is the Browning Citori XS Skeet model, 30" barrels, with adj comb for around $ 2,750 .

There are a lot of used guns out there too ....

For a general purpose Skeet, Sporing Clays gun in 12ga - I like a gun that is around 8 1/2 lbs, 30" barrels in an O/U ...... Citori XS Skeet is my gun. Check a couple of threads down - where DRE bought a nice Citori for under $ 2K that he found on special - so shop it a little. Personally, I would go with either a Beretta or Browning in an O/U for a long term gun ... but even their entry level models ( that may or may not fit you ) are around $ 1,750 these days unless you buy used / but you'll also see the resale value on used Browning and Beretta O/U's remains pretty high these days. If you look at a $3K gun over a 10year period .... where you'll be shooting 150,000 shells at $6 a box that's about $ 36K in shells / another $50K in targets ......a $3K gun isn't the biggest part of your expense.

But you can shoot a lot of clays with a good pump gun or a semi-auto as well .....
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Old December 31, 2009, 03:54 PM   #5
the rifleer
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i vote for a good pump. not many good O/U or really reliable and vell built semi's for less than 500.

I have a mossberg 500 and i shoot clays with it well and it works great for me, however for i would say go for a like a BPS as stated or a benelli nova pump. there is nothing wrong with my 500, its just more of a work horse than a show pony. if you want a 500 however, go for it, its a great shotgun.
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Old December 31, 2009, 04:33 PM   #6
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Not knocking the BPS but for a games gun I would not recommend it. You have to pump it to many times for the same results as the other guns. Like the 870 open the chamber and leave it open. Place shell in chamber then close it. Shoot, pump, leave it open. That's just my option from what I've seen others having to do on the field. I would go for the auto which leaves the chamber open when its empty if you can't afford a goodO/U.
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Old December 31, 2009, 04:49 PM   #7
BigJimP
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You can do the same thing with the Browning BPS Mike .....that ejects out of the bottom.

Just turn the gun over and drop a shell in - and keep the forend back ( so the action is open ) .... you don't need to put a shell in and out of the magazine .... to get the next round to feed.....
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Old December 31, 2009, 05:15 PM   #8
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All of the gun mfg's have a lot of "marketing speak" in terms of the guns they sell .....and while I have well over a dozen shotguns ( don't tell my wife, but I could do most anything I want with 1 or 2 max ) ....

Browning, as an example ( because I'm most familiar with their guns )....

Browning has 20 versions of their legendary BPS ( Browning Pump Shotgun ) ... the hunter, the stalker, the Trap, upland, micro ...and there are differences in them ( but the Hunter model, is the one most sold as a general use, good looking pump gun )..... and they all come in a variety of different barrel lengths which makes it more than 20 derivations ...

http://www.browning.com/products/cat...11B&catalog_=B

Browning Citori's ( traditional O/U ) ... have 29 versions (and multiple lengths of barrels within those options ) - XS Skeet, XS Skeet with adj comb, XS Special ( a high and mid rib ..), white hunter, white lightning, Ultra XS Prestige, 425 sporter, 625 field, 625 sporting, XT Trap, XT with adj comb .....

http://www.browning.com/products/cat...g_=B&offset=12

Personally, most of the guns marketed as "sporters", or "hunters" - don't fit me very well / because I've learned I need a parallel comb gun - so the comb is parallel to the rib ( not angled like most traditional shotguns ). For Trap - I do like the Citori XT Trap with the adj comb ( 32" barrels ) / but for all my other shotgunning - hunting birds, Skeet and Sporting Clays - I shoot a Citori XS Skeet model, 30" barrels ( in 12, 20, 28ga and a .410 ) ...

So don't let a salesman tell you - you have to have an angled comb to shoot sporting ( that's nonsense )... or a parallel comb to shoot Skeet (that's nonsense ) ......you need to buy a gun "that fits" so it hits where you look / and they don't come in one size fits all ...... and its not just upper body strength either ( I'm 6'5" and 290 lbs ( my xmas extra weight ..) / but I have a skinny, 14 yr old granddaughter that can shoot my 28ga XS Skeet gun - and it fits her just fine ... 30" barrels and all ... its length of pull, drop at comb, drop at heel, balance, overall weight, etc that makes a gun fit ( and the dimension from your shoulder to your cheek bone --- which is different for all of us ...)...

So you don't need a "Trap" gun / and a "sporting gun" / and a "Skeet gun" ...( but I like guns / so I have more than I need ... ) but the old Browning BPS pumps I bought in the 70's are still very serviceable guns / and have killed a lot of birds and a lot of clays - although today, I shoot my O/U's almost exclusively in competition... so buy what you like, what you can afford and have a good time with it.

But if we can save you several hundred dollars by not buying a gun that isn't going to hold up ...over the long haul ....that's what most of us mean by durability ....... / and every club has one or two guys that are masters with old beat up pump guns ....(because they have dialed those guns in / so they fit them very well ..) but if you look at the top 25 or even top 50 competitive shooters in your area ....... you are going to see a lot of guns ( mostly O/U's that retail from $3K - $50 K ) - Browning, Beretta, Perazzi, Blaser, Kolar, Krieghoff and its not all fancy wood (although there is some of that too )...

Last edited by BigJimP; December 31, 2009 at 05:31 PM.
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Old January 1, 2010, 11:55 AM   #9
tristar viper
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I bought my Tristar semi auto solely for sporting clay use. It's light, comfortable to hold, shoots great, and was $399 with a 5 year warranty. It serves it's purpose for my uses perfectly.
Someday I will buy a better gun, OK let me re-phrase that, someday I will buy a more expensive gun (a Ruger Red Label if at all possible) just because I would like to have an O/U shotgun as well.
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Old January 1, 2010, 12:34 PM   #10
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I totally agree with Big Jim, listen carefuly what he said because just right gun will make you an outstanding shooter within a few shooting sessions. I bought my Browning Citori XS Skeet about a month ago and I love it, it looks so nice and performs even better (I'm currently shooting trap with it; however, it is a "skeet gun" but it fits me good so I don't have any problem shooting skeet/trap/sporting clays with one gun - my scores average 22-23 out of 25 (I hate those misses), but I just started and a lot of guys who shoot for years missing too)). Anyway, I took my brother in law shooting yesterday and he loved my gun, he said:" it doesn't kick a lot and even my cheek doesn't hurt" - here's the answer: gun fits him, weight and parallel comb...I think parallel comb guns will fit most people, especially with long neck. A word about "gun weight" if it's heavy = good, less kick/recoil...if it's still heavy after a few days of playing with it = you need to workout and build some muscles - it will help a lot. I try to play/dryfire with it almost every day and within 2 weeks I got used to it - it feels like I have this gun for years. Ok, you the one who has to make decision, but if we can help you - just let us know. HAPPY NEW YEAR AND BETTER SCORES IN THIS YEAR!!!
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Old January 1, 2010, 01:08 PM   #11
aTm papi
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In regards to skeet and clay shooting, what do you guys think of using a shotgun with a pistol grip? I've been think about changing out the stock for one with a pistol grip.
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Old January 1, 2010, 01:20 PM   #12
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Of all the shotguns I've owned my favorites have been (2) Browning Citoris. Both field grade, both 12ga., both w/Invector chokes. They seem to point naturally for me. The one I shoot now has a Sporting Clays recoil pad installed and both barrels ported.
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Old January 1, 2010, 01:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aTm papi
In regards to skeet and clay shooting, what do you guys think of using a shotgun with a pistol grip? I've been think about changing out the stock for one with a pistol grip.
It will probable work just fine if you don't mind being laughed at.
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Old January 1, 2010, 01:50 PM   #14
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Personally, pistol grips don't seem to work as well when using a shotgun for swinging on clays or birds.
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Old January 1, 2010, 02:10 PM   #15
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i once shot clays with a mossberg 500 with a 18.5'' barrel, a laser sight, and a red dot scope on it... it actually worked surprisingly well. i would not compete with it, but it was pretty fun. it was a just for kicks sort of thing. i invited a friend to go skeet shooting and that's what he showed up with.
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Old January 1, 2010, 03:09 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by BigJimP
So you don't need a "Trap" gun / and a "sporting gun" / and a "Skeet gun" …
BigJim, my friend, I think you misspoke. None of us really needs a brace of sport specific comp guns. Perhaps the correct verb is want, not need. As long as you're making a list of guns on your want list, it's easy to expand from the basic trap, Skeet and sporting guns. Each game has it's special requirements that lead to additional more specific guns. i.e, a boomer is a different type of trap gun, with a very special application. You may want one, but you don't need one. It wouldn't be hard for a guy to accumulate a large collection of the guns he wants.

How to select a first gun is a topic we often see here at this shotgun forum. It's easy to run down to the big box store and buy a popular pump on a super special, but is that what you want to do? If all you really want to do is own a shotgun, any shotgun, that's okay. Take it out and shoot it, see how an ill fitting stock in novice hands can bruise your shoulder and put a mouse on your cheek. Then, you'll take the gun home and keep it ready for something going bump in the night. To many folks, that's what shotgun ownership is really about. When your buddy is showing off his latest tacticool conversion, be polite and don't mention that it doesn't look to have shot very many rounds.

But if you want to shoot your shotgun, one thing to consider is what do you really want to do? Do you just wanna have fun blowing big holes in the sky in the various target sports? Are you looking to learn, or improve, field shooting skills? Do you want to be a good all around shooter or an expert in one specific game? Unfortunately, the new (or newer) shooter may not yet have a clue what he wants. Busting flying targets looks like fun and he wants to give it a try.

So, what it boils down to is, which gun do you put at the top of the list for your first acquisition? A lot of it depends on what you're going to be doing. If your local gun club shoots just trap singles and handicap, then a single shot, or pump gun will put you in business. Yet, most clubs throw targets that involve a quick second shot. For this you'll want an auto-loader or an O/U. A good used target grade gun is a good bet, for an entry shooter. After you decided what sport/s are best suited to your personality and abilities, then you can think about a new gun.

Why didn't I mention a pump gun? When you're learning to shoot, pumping the action between shots, is an unnecessary evil. You'll have enough to do just acquiring the second target (remembering to keep you head down on the stock), swinging on it, seeing the correct lead, shooting and smoothly following through. Your time will be fully occupied, you don't need shucking the cob added to the doubles equation.

Before a pump owner responds with, "Whats-his-name could shoot a pump faster than an auto," let me ask: Beyond a lower cost, how has a pump been more beneficial to your learning experience? Every gun club has a wizard with his pump and we may see him showing-off on a newbie practice squad. But, when it comes to actual competition, he's not there. While learning to shoot, why flatten your learning curve using a pump on doubles? Pumps are the gun of choice for many applications, but clay target doubles isn't one of them.

Let's be fiscally realistic, something we frequently overlook…
For the new target shooter: If a good used auto or O/U is beyond your budget, then the cost of ammo and target fees will probably be a bank buster, too. That's why so many "rookie" comp shooters are older guys who've had time to accumulate a little jingle in their jeans. There are many who's budget permits only a big box bargain pump gun and enough ammo to shoot holes in the sky once or twice a year. Some not even that.
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Old January 1, 2010, 04:50 PM   #17
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Zippy - I think you and I agree...

What I was referring to was the OP's comment that he "needed" a differnt gun for Trap ....and then I probably wandered off the deep end ....

To shoot our best competitive scores / and your accomplishments in Skeet far exceed mine .... / but I think to shoot your best, you do need to have a specific gun for that game to optimize your scores. However, many of us can get by with one gun for Skeet and probably Sporting Clays ( where both games usually have a lot of similar left to right crossing targets ) - but there are stations in a typical Sporting clays layout where I'd really love to have my Trap gun there vs my Skeet gun .... But I've been able to make the Browning XS Skeet Citori, with 30" barrels - as my primary gun for Skeet, Sporting and hunting in a 12ga / and then I picked up 3 more guns(XS Skeet models again, 30" barrels ) in 20ga, 28ga and .410 ..

But if I were really serious about Skeet - or shooting sub-gagues in Sporting - I would go to a Krieghoff K-80 / and a carrier barrel for 20,28ga and .410 - so it was weighted exactly the same as the receiver with its 12ga barrel on / and more importantly, the same rib and the same exceptional trigger. But as you know, that's about a $ 30K option ...

But for Trap, I agree - its really a game best played with a dedicated Trap gun / but like you suggested - I think the OP is probably just beginning this journey ...
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Old January 1, 2010, 06:44 PM   #18
aTm papi
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by aTm papi
In regards to skeet and clay shooting, what do you guys think of using a shotgun with a pistol grip? I've been think about changing out the stock for one with a pistol grip.
It will probable work just fine if you don't mind being laughed at.
and the pistol grip I'm talking about is the that still keeps the long end of the stock. I guess like something you would see on the 930SPX.

Yeah, I'm not talking about the pistol grip that makes me look like I'm part of the Sopranos.
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Old January 1, 2010, 07:30 PM   #19
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aTm papi, most folks use a grip, or pistol grip stock for clay target work. Some like a straight stock -- they usually have a classic style SxS. You don't want to try shooting targets with a detached pistol grip or pistol grip only (PGO) stock. There is a misunderstanding because many newer shooters are unaware of stock nomenclature. In the world of plastic stocked Mossberg 500s and Remington 870s the term pistol grip stock is often used to denote a detached pistol grip or AR style stock. The term pistol grip goes way back and was initially used to distinguish grip stocks from classic straight, or English, stocks. The majority of shotguns sold in the US are of the pistol grip style. With tactical specific shotguns came the introduction of detached pistol grip and pistol grip only stocks. To avoid confusion, when using the term pistol grip remember to include detached (or full) or only as applicable, otherwise you're talking about a conventional stock.

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Old January 1, 2010, 10:08 PM   #20
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zippy13 Thanks for all the great info. Do people use detached pistol grip stocks for dove hunting? One of my buddies says you shouldn't really alter your firearm because it can mess with your aim or what not. What's your take on that?
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Old January 1, 2010, 10:14 PM   #21
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Thanks for that, Zippy. Once again you've proved an asset to the board.

My take on stocks is simple. For the last 200 years and more, the standard stock has been developed to direct the shot cloud to the target and to do so in comfort to the shooter. What we have there is what has proved to work.

I note that while various stock designs that differ from the standard we all know have shown up here and there, (Ljutic Space Gun, for instance) the folks at the top of the competition results use shotguns that Joe Manton would recognize.

Joseph Manton started making fowling pieces for British Gentry ca 1800 that were made to measure stockwise. The dimensions he used would fit most of us today.

Note that this applies to wingshooting and clays. "Serious" shotguns and slug shooters have different needs.
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Old January 2, 2010, 01:39 AM   #22
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aTm papi, I haven't hunted dove in a long time, before the wide proliferation of plastic stocks for shotguns. There's a housing development where we used to hunt locally, and we're no longer allowed to shoot within the town limits.

These days, I'm sure there's some folks who hunt with a detached pistol grip, but I doubt they are experienced shooters. I don't know how it is were you shoot -- On the opening day of dove season around here, there are a lot of folks who could have spent some more time at the practice range. (I'm assuming that they have practiced at least once, I may be being optimistic.) With a sky full of birds, some shooters seem to take special care to look as awkward as possible while they shoot holes in the sky in the spaces between the birds.
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Old January 2, 2010, 02:24 AM   #23
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Crapster, My question would be how much experience have you had with shotguns? Is this something that is somewhat new for you?
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Old January 2, 2010, 09:09 AM   #24
crapster
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Thanks for the advice

...olddrum1..this is new to me. I own a couple rifles, and a 45, but am not a "gun" guy by any means.....no offense ment there ...friend of mine took me skeet shooting and i loved it, but i dont hunt, and am not going to, so strictly looking for a skeet gun....great advice here...thinking for starting out maybe somthing like a 310 o/u??? and if i get into it then i realize $1000+ is a starting point. Thanks
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Old January 2, 2010, 09:13 AM   #25
Lawyer Daggit
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Shotguns must 'fit' you, so any advise given must be read subject to this caveat. I would look at a Beretta O/U or a Browning B25 citori.

Both are quality guns and retain their value. Incidentally, the Beretta 68- series shotgun is the most popular shotgun sold in the UK.
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