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Old January 8, 2010, 11:41 AM   #1
beardsbh123
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First Shotgun purchase / Trap / Skeet / Clays

First time post here - Looks likes there is a lot of knowledgable people and great info here - Looking forward to browsing the forums...

Interested in joining my local club, who offers trap and skeet - Haven't owned a shotgun in over 20 years, and I'm looking for some recommendations - Not looking to drop big $$ -

Thoughts on semi auto over pump? Over under vs. side by side? I've been researching the Remingston Spr310, a used Lanber 2097 and headed to the LGS this weekend.

Thanks in advance!
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Old January 8, 2010, 11:48 AM   #2
BigJimP
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What does big bucks mean - give us a top end on your budget please / or at least a range so we can make a decent recommendation.

Last edited by BigJimP; January 8, 2010 at 12:06 PM.
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Old January 8, 2010, 12:36 PM   #3
oneounceload
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As Jim mentioned, YOUR budget and idea of big bucks might vary from others, so some info will help.

New semi's for these games that will last and run properly tend to start in the $1,000 range and go up from there.

Over/unders like Browning and Beretta in target form tend to start around $3,000 now and go up from there.

Typically a side by side is not used for these games.

While a pump is not a bad choice for trap singles, it can present some issues with skeet or sporting when it comes to shooting true pairs.

Of all the types you mentioned, the pump will be the least expensive. That being said, I would opt for a slightly used Beretta 303/390/391 for starters. O/U and SxS can be expensive for a starter.

The Beretta will LAST far longer than lesser-made guns and your resale value will hold much better than the Turkish/Chinese guns if you decide to upgrade or stop. Shims are available to allow you to adjust the stock somewhat to help make it fit better.

Fit is EVERYTHING when it comes to shotguns for moving targets - be they birds of feather or birds of clay, so the closer you get it to properly fitting, the better your scores will be.

Don't feel that you have to buy some overly powerful shell either. Basic 1oz ammunition, running at 1200 fps or so will do the job for any target out there. I watched a course owner shoot measured trap and crossers that were 50-70 yards using 1oz loads and #8 shot. Granted, he's a M class shooter, but it CAN be done.

Ask at your local club what folks think and try to borrow as many as you can before you buy. Over the long haul, the gun is the least of the costs - so by buying a good one to start with, you'll tend to have more success, which means more fun.

Good luck
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Old January 8, 2010, 01:41 PM   #4
zippy13
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Greetings, beardsbh123, and welcome aboard

Quite honestly, few folks shoot trap and skeet. Even at the smaller clubs, the regular shooters tend to segregate themselves into Skeet people and trap people. This is not to say that Skeet shooters don't shoot some occasional trap and vice versa.

To the casual observer, Skeet and trap look pretty much the same: a target is tossed and it's either broken, or not. Yet, the games are quite different. Skeet demands a more dynamic shooting style where trap requires more precision.

There's also the social aspect. Skeet is shot as 5-man team with each member shooting in sequence with the support of the others -- while trap is shot five abreast with little interaction between the shooters. Because of this, Skeet is shot at a more leisurely pace than trap.

There's also a difference in the equipment that's best suited for each game. Trap guns are typically single shots with long barrels that are suited for shooting rising targets at various distances. Skeet guns are repeaters that are suited for shooting close-in crossing targets. The more involved you get in a sport, the more specialized the equipment becomes. To shoot both games with the same gun will involve some compromises. Contemporary compromise guns are commonly known as "sporting" models. Another option could be a second barrel set.

Since the two sports are so different, they will appeal to different individuals. New shooters who start with Skeet and trap will, most likely, eventually come to favor one game over the other and concentrate their efforts on that game.

Beardsbh123, for now, get a gun that is suitable for both games and have a great time at your local club. Be realistic about your budget, if you purchase a big-box store, super discount, entry level pump, you'll soon realize that you're severely disadvantaged in Skeet and trap.
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Old January 8, 2010, 02:17 PM   #5
BigJimP
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OneOunce and Zippy covered the options well - +1 to what they said...

For me, a good general gun ( for Skeet, Sporting Clays and hunting birds ) - is a 12ga with a 28" or 30" barrel / and between 7 1/2 and 8 1/2 lbs. For Trap - I go to a longer gun 32" or 34" barrels - and a gun that weighs around 10 lbs.

On Trap - there is less Left to Right or Right to Left barrel movement in the target presentations. So a heavier and longer gun is an asset in Trap. For more general shooting ( Skeet, Sporting and hunting ) I go with the shorter and lighter guns. If I could only have 1 gun / I would go with the shorter and lighter option that I said above.

My 1st dedicated clays and hunting shotgun was a Browning BPS Hunter model, 28" barrel with screw in chokes - and they sell today for around $ 500. A good pump gun is always a good starter gun. Today my preference for my all around gun is a Browning Citori O/U, XS Skeet model, with adj comb, and 30" barrels ...selling new for around $ 2,850 / both options give you a lot of gun for the money.

Last edited by BigJimP; January 8, 2010 at 02:34 PM.
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Old January 8, 2010, 03:32 PM   #6
beardsbh123
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Great information, thanks very much - I'd like to stay under $750.
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Old January 8, 2010, 03:40 PM   #7
BigJimP
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Then a pump gun is about your only decent option to meet your budget.

If you can squeeze out a few hundred more - then look at the Beretta 390 / 391 series / and there are lot of them around used in pretty good shape - like OneOunce and Zippy both advised.
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Old January 8, 2010, 06:54 PM   #8
olddrum1
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In your situation, I would purchase a shotgun that offers a return on your money. I, myself, would not buy the SPR310 or the Lanber. I would go with a quality auto or pump. From the trap side a pump has its good points and if its skeet then the auto is the better gun, I believe. If you go with the auto a shell catcher is a must when you are on the trap field. Beardsbh123 welcome and let us know how the search goes.
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Old January 8, 2010, 08:00 PM   #9
crapster
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I am in the same hunt as you

looking for a good clay gun. You will find that it seems no one on here likes the 310. Cant figure that out, my own searches seem to show that the 310 is an excellent choice for a first gun. Great reviews by tons of magazines etc...but not here. Now keep in mind that the guys in here give good advice, thats why we are here. The advice is free and great, im not questioning it. But it does strike me that sometimes one needs say..... a honda, even though a porsche is a better car, a honda would do the job...nicely....
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Old January 8, 2010, 09:23 PM   #10
oneounceload
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For $750, I would personally look at something used in a semi form. There are some available from Browning or Beretta - you might have to look hard, but I have seen them available. You might also be able to find a used SKB O/U. Any of those will work very well for target games.


Quote:
You will find that it seems no one on here likes the 310. Cant figure that out, my own searches seem to show that the 310 is an excellent choice for a first gun. Great reviews by tons of magazines etc...but not here. Now keep in mind that the guys in here give good advice, thats why we are here. The advice is free and great, im not questioning it
Crapster - what mags have you found those reviews on? I don't get as many mags as I used to, since most seem to never shoot a gun they don't like, but in the few I do subscribe to, I have never seem a review at all, let alone good or bad. Thanks in advance for a link or two.
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Old January 8, 2010, 09:41 PM   #11
crapster
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Here are a few reviews i found quickly

Again, i really value everyones opinion..and you all have way more experience then me. Not trying to step on toes

http://www.sportinggun.co.uk/guns/14...un_review.html

http://www.shootingtimes.com/longgun...SPR310_032906/

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...spartan+review

a few i found quickly.
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Old January 8, 2010, 10:00 PM   #12
oneounceload
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Not saying you are at all - just haven't seen any reviews in the mags that I read.

Thanks for the links

Added: I have always liked the UK site - nice to see the other models they get over there

ST is one of those I just stopped - to me, they and G&A have never had anything bad to say since the ads support them.

Tis OK though - hopefully they'll keep getting better and better

Last edited by oneounceload; January 8, 2010 at 10:11 PM.
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Old January 8, 2010, 10:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crapster
I am in the same hunt as you looking for a good clay gun. You will find that it seems no one on here likes the 310. Cant figure that out, my own searches seem to show that the 310 is an excellent choice for a first gun.
Remington doesn't seem very proud of the Model 310. If you go to the Remington site, they act like they've never heard of the Baikal models. You have to go to a special Remington Spartan site to find any mention of the 310. At the Spartan site, very little information is given on the 310 and the only one listed as currently available is #89744 a 28-ga with fixed chokes and a 26-inch barrel for $495.48. This sounds like an ugly duckling, or left over model since today's US shooters would be loath to select a 28-ga with such short barrels and without screw-in chokes. I'm guessing they are trying to dump an unpopular model at a clearance price. If you check Cabela's on-line, they don't have the Remington-Spartan, their entry level O/U is the Tri-Star line. If you go to the Remington site, they wanna sell you a Premier O/U in the $2226-2540 price range.

Do you have any specific info on the current availability of 310 models?
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Old January 9, 2010, 12:03 AM   #14
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I'm a double fan

Santa brought me a nice used Winchester 101 O/U for Xmas. 30" 3" chamber allegedly choked Full and modified. Found out the upper barrel had been reamed out to about I/C
I think the lower barrel is still Mod. Besides shooting clays I plan on using this gun for ducks. I'm shipping the Barrels off to Mike Orlen to add screw in chokes, and having my smith add a spacer to get the LOP where I need it. By the time I'm done I'll have about 1k in the gun. Plan on spending money after the cost of the gun, even if new. Get it out and pattern it, and make sure it fits.
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Old January 9, 2010, 12:19 AM   #15
AZwarts
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no offense Oneounce, but I shoot true pairs in trap & skeet and sporting clays fine with my 870 and the pump doesn't mess with my rythym.. it is diferent for everyone though.
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Old January 9, 2010, 09:36 AM   #16
oneounceload
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Quote:
no offense Oneounce, but I shoot true pairs in trap & skeet and sporting clays fine with my 870 and the pump doesn't mess with my rythym.. it is diferent for everyone though.
No offense taken, and no offense meant on my part. I shoot with a few that use pumps and are fantastic shots, shooting their pumps looks like they're shooting a semi. I was referring to NEW folks trying to get into games with true pairs. Until they get a lot of experience, those shots MAY give them some fits as they try to work the pump and stay focused on the target
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Old January 9, 2010, 11:11 AM   #17
zip22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy13
Remington doesn't seem very proud of the Model 310. If you go to the Remington site, they act like they've never heard of the Baikal models.
All the spartan models are in the archive. Not sure why they don't come up with a search.

over under
http://www.remington.com/products/ar...and-under.aspx

side by side
http://www.remington.com/products/ar...e-by-side.aspx
http://www.remington.com/products/ar...e-by-side.aspx

autoloading
http://www.remington.com/products/ar...ng/spr453.aspx

single shot
http://www.remington.com/products/ar...ot/spr100.aspx

shotgun rifle combo
http://www.remington.com/products/ar...mbo/spr94.aspx

break action centerfire
http://www.remington.com/products/ar...on/spr18n.aspx
http://www.remington.com/products/ar...ion/spr22.aspx
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Old January 9, 2010, 11:31 AM   #18
zippy13
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Thanks for the heads-up, zip22. I tried the front door at Remington and got nothing. Click this link http://www.remington.com/search.aspx?q=model%20310 and you'll see.

The Remington site has all sorts of interesting stuff. The other day I stumbled across some deeply discounted parts on close-out; but, was not able to find them again the next day. How did you find the archives? I wonder why the Spartan site didn't link to the 310 archive.
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Old January 9, 2010, 03:10 PM   #19
zip22
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yeah, maybe things got shuffled around with their new site. "SPR" and "Spartan" don't turn up anything either. here is the front page of the archive
http://www.remington.com/product-cat.../archived.aspx

Last edited by zip22; January 9, 2010 at 03:31 PM.
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Old January 28, 2010, 07:41 PM   #20
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Tri Star is a Good Gun

The Tri Star auto is inexpensive and is the same gun as the S&W. It is made in Turkey, but is light, comes to your shoulder well and is just a sweet gun. Be sure to clean it and oil it before shooting it. It might help to run a couple of boxes of high brass or magnum shells to break it in. I didn't clean and oil it before I shot it (and I KNEW better), had a few problems, called customer service and talked to a very nice, knowledgeable guy who was anxious to help. I cleaned, oiled, and shot it in after taking to him and now it works like a charm. For clay birds, real birds and ducks, it is my first choice and I have a couple of high dollar guns.
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Old January 29, 2010, 02:33 PM   #21
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Lots of great advice given to you already. As a guy who started shooting pumpguns. Once you get accustomed to the pump action, you do it without even knowing you are working the action. A pump would be a great first gun. If you want something other than a pump, I suggest an auto. The reason I recommend an auto is you can put at least three shells in it. This gives you the ability to hunt with an extra shell, over an o/u. If you do resell the gun, it also gives you a little wider group of guys to sell it to. Many hunters want a gun with the third round.
O/u s are generally more reliable than an auto, but are generally more expensive, when you compare guns of equal quality.
As far as the Spartan line goes. I shot with a guy who had his about three months. Had quite a bit of trouble with it. This from a o/u, which are usually very reliable. Like anything, some are good, some are bad right out of the box. This is the only one I've ever seen in the field though. There may be ten thousand sold without a problem.
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Old January 29, 2010, 02:43 PM   #22
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I always prefer a nice break-open shotgun for trap/skeet/clays. Lets you manage the shells nicely after each round, so you don't have to spend time collecting cases; just drop them in your other pocket as you shoot and reload.

IMO, an O/U is the way to go, though they are expensive. I'd look into a Franchii, they are nice guns for lower-end when it comes to O/U's. They used to sell new for ~6-800, I think they might be a bit more these days. They do turn up on the used market for great prices, though.

I bought a custom Franchii skeet gun for about $700 used about 2 years ago, which was a great buy. I know someone who sold a similar gun recently for only $450, though he was anxious to move it.

Semi's are nice, but I don't like how they cast the empties about. I used one for years, and have never looked back from my O/U.
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