View Full Version : Shooting Clay Pigeons

March 19, 2005, 06:44 PM
Ok all. I would like to start shooting bluerock...or clay pigeons...whatever they are called. I think I would like it a lot....and be decent at it. Now...here's where I need your help. I shoot a Reminton 870 at work once a year or so. We use slugs in it...and it kicks soooo much for me. I mean...after quals...which is about 30 shots.....my shoulder is dead. Now I realize some of it is the positioning of the butt and the slugs we use. Since we have to draw the gun then fire....(and yes....boobs do get in the way) I'm sure I don't place it correctly....so I guess that has to be taken into consideration. I've read a few messages on this board and saw where some 20 gauges kick more than 12....so I have to say I"m a little confused. What would you guys recammend? Thanks

March 19, 2005, 07:39 PM
First off, if you are familiar with the 870, keep shooting it. Buy some Remington Premier STS Superlite target loads, or the Winchester AA superlite target loads. Look for 1oz loads at about 1150 to 1230fps, or 1 1/8 at 1150fps. These will be about 1/3 the recoil of a slug. Some work on form and possibly a recoil pad for the gun and another in a jacket or slip over harness if necessary.

Find a skeet or trap club in your area, or an informal portable target thrower. If you find a club, most people are more than made welcome, and shown courtesy and shooting tips if asked. Many will have guns available to try out of different types to see what fits an individual. I know at our club if a new person shows up they are made to feel comfortable, because we have all been there in that position.

Go here to find a place close to shoot.

Hope this will help.

March 19, 2005, 07:40 PM
The 20 gage has about 75% of the energy of the 12 however the 20 is usually a lighter gun so you lose the advantage.In the 12 you have lots of choice .Even slugs -are you using full slug loads or the newer reduced loads ?[these have been show effective for defense]. For target shooting [sporting clays , skeet, trap] you use lighter target loads and these are available as light target or heavy target usually using #7 shot.If the light loads are still too much in the 870 [you do 100 rounds in sporting clay ] then go to one of the autos. Most women in sporting clays us the 12. If you are having trouble mounting the gun - does it fit you ? If a gun does not fit it will accentuate recoil and of course you will hit the target more often if the gun fits. It would help also to get some lessons , it will shorten the learning curve.

March 20, 2005, 07:37 AM
Ladies who shoot regularly have their guns fitted by a professional. Shotguns are made to be shot by men, and have dimensions that fit the average male . Women are anatomically different (Duh) and need stocks with different dimensions.

Both Browning and Marocchi have guns with stocks set up for women, but these guns are O/U and not cheap.

One would think that Remington or Beretta would make guns set up with women in mind, as these two companies get the lions share of the clay shooting shotgun market and women are a sizeable chunk of that market.

March 23, 2005, 02:29 AM
Last weekend I shot some of the "lite" loads that Kudu mentioned. They are very easy to deal with compared to heavy loads. Like shooting a 7.62x39... you could do it all day. Less noise too. Can't comment on long-range performance though.

Dave McC
March 23, 2005, 05:57 AM
A typical riot 870 weighs around 7 lbs. Most slugs weigh at least an oz and leave the weapon above 1400 FPS. That combination will tear a new one if fit and form are not good.

Back in the day, I taught hundreds of rookies to shoot. That includes with the 870 and bird loads as well as buck and slugs. Smaller shooters had probs with the shotgun because fit was off and their form was not polished.

Clay shooting requires less of a load than perps. A 1 oz or even a 7/8 oz load willl bust the clays nicely, and out of a shotgun weighing more than 7 lbs they do not hurt.

Tweak your form. Commonly new shooters do not pull the weapon back into the shoulder, giving it a running start on kick. Lean well into it, your nose should be over the toes of the leading foot. Practice mounting at home, using a shotgun KNOWN to be empty.

Make sure you're behind your shotgun instead of beside it. Keep the strong side elbow up to make the "Cup" just inside the shoulder joint and face the area where you're breaking the birds. If you're behind your weapon the whole upper body absorbs kick. The back acts like a spring. When you're beside the shotgun the kick is concentrated into a pad shaped area of outraged pain receptors.

While many of us can use the standard stock, you may be better off with one shorter. Remington's youth models have shorter stocks and by trying them in the store or at the range you may find what works for you for best shooting and comfort.


March 23, 2005, 07:55 AM
Keep shooting that 870 since you're familiar with it. Don't keep switching guns "just because" - you'll never achieve your true capabilities if you do. My brother shoots an 870 exclusively at Trap, and dang he's good with it - shot his first perfect score with it late last year after just two years of occasional shooting.

And yeah, you're going to find just regular target loads are one heck of a lot less recoil than the hunting loads - potentially 3/4 less punishment to you if you were shooting the most powerful turkey loads for instance. I bet you could shoot 100 to 200 rounds in a weekend without too much a problem.

Do check out shotgunworld.com too. Great site for everything shotguns, and they've got a forum just for the ladies as well:

Shotgunworld.com forum (http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/index.php)

Shotgunworld.com forum - Women Shooters (http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewforum.php?f=9)

Great stuff!