View Full Version : The Best Clay gun

February 26, 2002, 01:54 AM
With all the expertise on this board I'd like to get some idea of the best clay gun for most if not all the games skeet, trap and sporting clays at these various price ranges.

1. Sky is the limit
2. Sub $2000
3. Sub $1000
4. Sub $500

February 26, 2002, 02:45 AM
I've seen $4000 guns that are nothing more than clubs and $600 guns that are a charm. The gun that fits your face, points and conforms to your shooting style is the one for you. Money don't matter, although it would be great to have some and make a dream gun fit properly.

In my case, Browning, Beretta and Krieghoff fit. And all the rest don't.

Remember, lighter is better. And, there is no best. Just one that fits.

Dave McC
February 26, 2002, 07:03 AM
Sub $500- Remington 870. 2nd Choice, an 1100.

Sub $1000- Ditto.Second choice,recent Beretta Auto.

Sub $2K- Various Beretta and Browning O/Us. Second choice, maybe SKB...

No limit- Kolar.Second choice, Kolar.

More importantly, I'd want it to fit very well, have a sub 4 lb trigger, some recoil attenuation,
choke tubes,be as reliable as anything made by man can be and weigh between 7 1/2 and 8 1/2 lbs at least. Non-behemoths might like a slightly lighter gun.

The latest Sporting Classics has a column by Mike McIntosh on the best O/Us for the money. His choices are interesting...

February 26, 2002, 08:24 AM
Under 500 = good used Remington 1100

Under 1000 = Beretta 390/391

Under 2000 = B & B O/U

No Limit = Figure it out from my handle :D

The 870 is great for Trap, but a distinct disadvantage at Skeet or any of the sporting disciplines.

Remington 1100's are still going strong, more clays trophies have been won by 1100s than any other gun.

New Berettas are the perfect gas gun, can be easily customized to your liking.

The K80 is the best of both worlds, Brilliant American design perfected by the Germans. Nobody builds better triggers, nobody! Barrel layout is without a doubt the ultimate, Kolar and now Briley have copied it.

February 26, 2002, 09:31 AM
I've always liked the fact that shotguns are a very personal item and as such what one person considers the "best" doesn't work for another shooter. What follows are my choices. They might not work for you.

For under $500, the Remington 1100 but a well-cared for older model. The latest ones aren't very impressive.

At $1,000, another vote for the Beretta 390(1).

$2,000 gets you into a quality over/under. I don't care for the Browning 12 gauges (the 20s are nice though) and am firmly a Beretta shooter. One of the 680 series guns is my choice.

And after that the world gets cloudy. I've hit the first three stages and taken a half step in to the fourth (a well used Krieghoff Model 32 that set me back about the same amount as a Browning). This is where the decisions get harder. Krieghoffs are everything that Geoff says they are. Mine reminds me of driving my uncle's 1970's Buick Roadmaster. Big, solid and smooth, low recoiling.

Perazzis are another very popular choice but they are like driving a sports car. Nimble, quick and great handling. Which do you prefer?

Kolars are gaining a deserved reputation for quality and the Spanish-made Kemen is turning some heads now that they are being regularly imported into the USA.

If the absolute sky were the limit I might choose a Fabbri pushing close to $75,000 or a Galazan o/u which starts at $38,000 without engraving. (Matching the engraving on a Fabbri puts the Galazan into the same rarefied neighborhood.)

So many shotguns, so little money.

February 26, 2002, 10:07 AM
Fit counts more than fancy.
The shooter breaks em, the gun is just the tool.


February 26, 2002, 01:23 PM
C.R..... true, but some tools just feel better:D

February 26, 2002, 10:29 PM
Whay are the Rem 1100s recommended, but not the 11-87s? Are the 11-87 an economy model?

Is the 1100 more reliable and rugged?


February 26, 2002, 11:46 PM

The 11-87 is practically identical to the 1100 except it is designed for different purposes.

Generally speaking the 1100 is the target model set up for lighter loads while the 11-87 is designed to handle heavier hunting loads. The exceptions are the 11-87 Sporting Clays which are, for all intents and purposes, 1100s under a different name. Remington reintroduced the 1100 to distinguish it as a target gun.

February 27, 2002, 12:37 PM

Doesn't the 11-87 have a variable gas system, allowing it to shoot a wider variety of shells than a standard 1100?

1100's were issued in field, skeet, and trap grades (maybe some others).

Didn't the 11-87 come out as a response to the Beretta 390, which got a lot of press by being able to handle 12 gauge shell, from light 2 3/4" to heavy 3" mag.?

I don't think that it was to distinguish field and target grade guns.

February 27, 2002, 04:28 PM
The 11-87 was out long before the Beretta 390 appeared.

It was designed to take a variety of different shells unjlike the 1100 which is designed for only one type. Target 1100 only take 2 3/4 in shells. There are 1100 made to handle heavy 3" loads.

The 11-87 was supposed to be an "improvement" over the 1100. An awfull lot of folks do not believe it is. Remington was forced to bring back the 1100 because of loss of market share to Beretta.

In my neck of the woods the 11-87 is known as the "Lemon 87"

they are just not found in any of the clays shooting sports.

My $.02

February 27, 2002, 08:47 PM
Fabbri...Perazzi...Yeah, THAT's the ticket!!!
'course, on MY budget...enforced by Mrs. 3-5-7, I might add...I must be content with my 870 "Trap C", my 1100 "Skeet B's", my Winchester 101 with Skeetmaster tubes and my Remington 3200 with Purbaugh tubes...now, how old are THOSE tubes?!?!?
...one day, though...a fine EYE-tal-yan shotgun WILL be mine!!!....mikey357

Wayne F
February 27, 2002, 11:12 PM
Can you guys expand on why an older used 1100 may be preferrable to a new one?


February 28, 2002, 01:57 AM

You are correct about the gas system. It is different in the 11-87 and will handle 3" shells. The 1100 and some 11-87s (Sporting Clays Model for example) only handle non-magnum 2-3/4" shells.


I'd prefer an older 1100 in excellent condition over the new ones because of the PC safety system on the newer models and my observation that the older ones are better fitted and finished than recent production. I've seen a couple of 1100s recently -- a 12 and a 28 -- and didn't care for the end result. They didn't seem as well built as the earlier models.

Dave McC
February 28, 2002, 06:04 AM
Wayne, Remington's QC has had probs in recent years, and newer products have gotten a rep for probs like off center bbl boring, eccentric choke tube threads, and that #$%^&* PC locking safety.

Fit and finish have gone south also.

March 1, 2002, 12:51 PM

Not the 390. My Beretta history is not what it should be. Was it the 303? IIRC, there was a Beretta semi that could handle everything, and it came out before the 11-87. Or am I just getting senile (like my kids keep telling me)?

March 1, 2002, 09:44 PM
TaxPhd, The 303 did come out before the 11-87. Nice gun BTW