View Full Version : Inexpensive Shotgun for Clay/Skeet/HD

July 19, 2002, 01:27 PM
I posted earlier about looking for my first shotgun and I want to thank those who replied. My uncle heard I was looking into shotguns and he asked if I wanted to go to the local Rod & Gun Club as some of his friends were shooting clay pigeons. After watching for a bit one of his friends let me use his O/U. To be honest I don't know the make or model of it was, but it felt solid and shot great. Unfortunately though, out of 4 flying targets I barely nicked one. It's tougher then it looks. BUT, now im hooked and determined to get better.

So with that said I'm on the lookout for an inexpensive shotgun, which I can use for clay/skeet as well as HD. I've looked at a few O/U and can say they are way out of my price range.

Can someone suggest a shotgun that fits this. I'm figuring it will have to be semi-auto as a pump doesn't seem to be appropriate. Then again, what do I know.

As I continued to watch them shoot, I was wondering if I could hit one of those flying targets with my trusty Sig 229. Hummmm

Thanks for the advice.

July 19, 2002, 02:13 PM
What does inexpensive mean? To some its sub-$1200, to others sub $500 and to us really economically challenged its below $250.

Well for around $500(+/-100), take a look at the Beretta 391, Remington 1100 and the Remington 1187. Any of these would be great for the skeet and HD. You can always look on the used market and find these guns a few hundred cheaper.

Personally I like my 870 pump for HD, the intimidation factor of hearing a sha-shunk in the darkness would likely make any BG crap their pants and run. For a while I shot skeet and sporting with a pump gun (cuz it was all I could afford at the time), its definitely a bit more challenging but fun.

July 19, 2002, 02:40 PM
There's no NEED to restrict yourself to a semi-auto; lots of people fill all of these roles with a pump (but you might get some weird looks from the people on the 16-yard line if you show up with a "combat" shotgun to shoot trap). I shoot trap, skeet, and sporting clays with a variety of SGs, and there's no hard and fast rule other than "use what works for YOU". I've shot trap with a Citori O/U, a Rem 1100, and a Rem 870 Express, and had good results with all. For skeet, I've used a Citori, an 1100, a Citori in 20 ga, and a "combat" 870 (lots of fun, especially when I do as well as the guy shooting a $4500 Beretta O/U). For sporting clays, I've used all of the above, but you'd probably be better off choosing something with choke tubes, so you can change your pattern (instead of your gun) as each station calls for it.

Dave McC
July 19, 2002, 04:07 PM
Pumps are VERY slightly slower on repeat shots, but do not let that stop you from getting one, they're a lot of gun for the money.And bbls of fun.

In your shoes,I'd look into getting a pump combo, one gun with two bbls. The short one for HD and possibly deer, the longer one for clays.

Failing that, get a short bbled pump, any of the Big Four will do fine, and use it for everything. You may get some strange looks, but good range manners count more than having a "Proper" target shotgun.

Stick to the Big Four, off brands depreciate faster than new cars and oft have warranty and parts probs. ALso, if you decide shotgunning's not for you or want to trade up, a Winnie, Mossie, Ithaca or Remington will keep some value.

I would second SDC on choke tubes. With proper fit,ammo and attitude, a tubed 12 gauge pump shotgun will provide food, recreation, and protection for a lifetime or two.

If you do decide to go with a semi auto, I'd look for a used 1100, Beretta gas gun, or A-5. Again, chokes are almost a necessity.


July 19, 2002, 04:25 PM
Unless shooting non-doubles trap an auto is the way to go. Pumpguns are fine but unless you've grown up using a pump or are willing to go the extra mile to learn to use one as a repeater you're wasting your time. They are definitely not a beginners gun for any type of doubles/pairs work were timing and smoothness is necessary. Might just end up frustrating you more then anything.

The only O/U worth mentioning for cheap and quality is the Ruger. A good used one with fixed chokes is around $600, with choketubes $800.


July 19, 2002, 05:37 PM
For a new shooter learning the game a pump gun is a handicap. He'll have enough to remember without having to shuck the action on doubles and following pairs. Not to say it can't be done, thousands have but for a first timer who can't afford an over/under, a semi auto is the way to go. The Remington 1100s are plentiful and reliable and if they do break down spare parts are easy to find. Get a 28" barrel with choke tubes. If you want a shorter barrel for HD, a 21" slug barrel can be acquired.

You may never need this gun for home defense. You will however shoot it at clay targets regularly. Get the barrel and configuration that serves your most likely use. Besides with a properly considered plan, your 28" barrel will do nicely if things go bump in the night.


July 19, 2002, 06:10 PM
You can always do what I did, and turn your back on such name brand hoity-toityness. Go out and get yourself a Ted Williams Model 300. Mines a 20ga Auto, and I use it for everything you are looking for. It handles Skeet well, but does leave a bit to be desired on trap. Guess that choke thing could come in handy. I haven't tried sporting clays yet with it. I'm pretty sure that would be...what's the word? Challenging.

As for home defence...I'm sure it could handle any situation. I rely on it(and my H&K .40). It takes some practice though. In an appartment or a small house, you really need to think about how you would go around a corner with a full length shotgun.

If you have trouble finding one, well...I might be willing to part with mine. I keep waiting to see if the passing of The Splendid Splinter will affect the price of the shotgun at all.

As with all things, what you get won't be PERFECT for all situations...but having fun is what counts, right?

July 20, 2002, 09:34 PM
Thanks for the information. I was at the Kittery Trading Post in Maine today and they had a slew of used Shotguns. They also had an even bigger assortment of new O/U. WOW, those were very expensive. I only saw a couple under the $1500 range. Then again, the Remington 1100s were going for $150-$300 depending on how they looked. I saw one for less then $100 but there was rust all over it

July 21, 2002, 07:46 PM
I learned on a pump gun. Best thing about an 870 (or similar designs) is that you can have a barrel for every season or use you can imagine, from a vent rib 26 inch modified for skeet and clays, or an 18 inch "security" barrel. Same is true for the 11-87 or 1100.

If you like doubles keep your eyes peeled for used model 24 Winchesters. Serious workhorse shotguns, a bit heavy compared to a pricy double but they still shoot.

You thing you get funny looks with atricked out defense gun, try it with a black powder shot gun.:D

July 22, 2002, 10:09 PM
See if you can find a winchester super x 1. After I shot a Super x, I sold my beretta 390 and now use the old winchester for hunting, clays and HD. You can find a nice used super x 1 in the $400 range in my area, and it will last you a lifetime.
Check this link for super x info.
Good shooting, Weagle

July 24, 2002, 08:01 AM
My wife and I both use the EAA Baikal IZH-27 12ga O/U. They can be had for $350. We haven't had any problems with them and are very satisfied. In my first ATA shoot, I shot a 92/100 and came in 2nd in "D" class. My score was better than some people with the high dollar Brownings and Berettas, and even one guy with a Perazzi! :p

July 24, 2002, 02:34 PM
I have a Mossberg Persuader, 12 gauge, 20". That is my HD gun. I got an optional 28" barrel for trap shooting.

I think a newbie should start off with a pump. Once he gets accustomed to shooting and can focus on what he exactly wants he can get a gun with more bells and whistles.

A pump only slows you down in doubles.


July 24, 2002, 05:07 PM
Pick up one of the 1100's. More people have learned to shoot clays with 1100s than any other gun. They work, are soft shooting and can be repaired easily.

The best part is they are easy to sell once you decide to buy that Perazzi.

28" bbl with choke tubes is the best bet. Get sthe standard receiver, not the magnum. YOu will be limited to 2 3/4 shells but you need nothing larger for clays. Magnum loads are not legal on clays courses.

Wish I could find them in my area for $300!

I even learned on this website that you can use O rings from Home Depot to keep the guns running! amazing:D

July 24, 2002, 10:07 PM
I can also vouch for the EAA Baikal over under. I've got a 12 ga that i've shot sporting clays, squirrels, doves, rabbits, ducks and 1 deer. For the $ these are good guns. The over under will kick harder than a semi auto so if you are going to shoot a lot of sporting clays you might want to take that into consideration. 100 plus rounds of even light target loads can get a little uncomfortable if you aren't used to shooting that much. I love my super x but I shoot the Baikal every once and a while also.
Good shooting, Weagle

July 25, 2002, 07:37 AM
My wife actually thinks her 12ga O/U kicks less than a friend's 391. Maybe because of the higher weight of the O/U.

If someone REALLY wants a cheap gun to toy around with, there's always one of the single shot break-open guns that Wal-Mart sells. :) I bought an old Savage Arms single shot at a gun show and popped 20 with it. Not bad for $34.95. :D