View Full Version : Need better skeet gun

April 11, 2005, 09:57 PM
Hi as you can see I am new to this forum. I have been shooting skeet for about the last two months. I am improving rapidly first round I shot maybe 6 birds. Now I constently shoot 15-17. When I miss it is beacouse I bring my head up, it is a bad habit a know but my birthday is coming up. I need a better gun. I am using a 870 express magnum 20ga 26in. barrel. It works fine but I want a better gun. My grandpa has Charles Daly o/u 20ga but it wouldnt be my gun any tips

Thank you in advance

chris in va
April 12, 2005, 02:50 AM
Better, as in...?

That gun you have is great for skeet. The only thing that might help you more is a 12ga, putting more pellets in the vicinity.

Otherwise an o/u or semiauto could be used, but they get $$$.

April 12, 2005, 05:07 AM
Do you want a dedicated skeet gun? If so, a good auto like the Beretta 391, Win SX2, Remington 1100, or 11-87 is a good place to start. For the money of any of these guns you can save a bit more and get a decent O/U new or a higher end one used.

A 20ga will put enough shot in a skeet pattern to take out a skeet target from anywhere on the field. I would suggest working on your form, making sure that the gun fits you and perhaps finding an instructor to help determine what and why your lifting your head. I realize with a pump that there is that second that you have to move everything around to pump and get on the second target. Practice alot.

I started with a 20ga in an 1100 with a fixed modified choke. I moved on to an O/U Ruger after I was consistantly breaking 22's-25's. I have the pump your talking about in the Wingmaster version. I picked up a cylinder bore choke for it to shoot skeet with, as the I/C was throwing a too tight pattern out of my gun.

Think about what your priorities are right now and where you want to go with skeet. The cost of a good gun is nothing compared to getting enough practice on the field and buying shells.

April 12, 2005, 06:04 AM
Ask 15 Skeet shooters their choice of a better gun and you will get 20 opinions.

I would consider an O/U in 12 ga with 28 or 30" barrels that take choke tubes.

Remember that with an O/U you can have sub gauge tubes installed to shoot all four gauges in competition. Sub gauges are fun to shoot.

Stick with a known brand, parts are more available for Brownings and Berettas.

O/Us don't throw hulls away if you decide to reload, rarely malfunction and are simpler to keep clean.

April 12, 2005, 09:33 AM
Invest in a skeet choke tube for your 870 before you do something rash. There will be no difference in your scores between the 20 gauge and a 12 gauge.


April 12, 2005, 04:28 PM
Thanks alot I didnt mention that I use a skeet choke.
I also have an 870 wingmaster 12ga but it has a fixed modified. I use it for H/D
I have used a remington 1187 and i didnt much care for it. my coach shot 498/500 last year so he knows what he is doing. I need to add more weight to it. also the gun fits me just fine. I just bring my head up and dont follow through.
Thanks for the advice and more is always welcome

April 14, 2005, 09:33 AM
It isn't so much about the gun as it is your technique. Most any gun that fits you will work as I have seen many young shooters with single barrel guns smoke targets like crazy. Assuming the gun fits you, there is NO shotgun made that won't break the targets if YOU are pointing the gun in the right place when it goes off. You need to FORCE yourself to not lift your head, even if you miss a couple of birds in the process. If you concentrate on holding your head down and forget about seeing the birds breaking you will see an improvement quickly. There is no need to lift your head to see if you broke the bird, the peices will be in the air long enough to see after the shot. The only thing more guaranteed to help you miss more birds is stopping your swing.
I had found during my many years of Skeet, Trap and S/Clays that you reach plateaus in your shooting scores. You will hit a point that just seems as though you will never get better or improve your scores. With a sound shooting basis and following the ("proven rules") you will improve, maybe only a bird or two at a time, but you will improve with dedicated practice.
I learned a helpful hint from a great shooter "D. Lee Braun" many years ago.. Empty your mind of EVERYTHING other than hitting this single bird, not the next one or the one you just missed or hit,, just this one. If you had a fight with your wife that day, you need to forget it for 3 seconds if you are going to hit the bird. you need to concentrate intensly on this one bird for just a couple of seconds.
It looks like you have a GOOD coach, listen to him,, he has proven what works by his scores. Everybody will give you advice, but, as I found out years ago, I listened only to the ones that could kick my butt in the game, not the ones I outshot every time.
I will say that a pump gun is not the best to use for the doubles as it is a bit slow and that is why auto's and O/U's are so popular.. fast second shot without doing anything. As far as a 20 guage. it will work great. I shoot a Browning 4 barrel set and LOVE to shoot the 28 guage the most, followed by the .410. Even a .410 will break the birds at skeet, it may not powder them,, but it breaks them and that is what counts.
My personal opinion as far as a gun goes would be as posted above a Rem. 1100/1147, Beretta ( I use both at times) or a reliable O/U. Check out good used guns too. There are almost always a gun for sale at the Clubs. This is because there must be something we inhale from in the dust from the targets that somehow drives men to thinking they need a new gun. Best of luck in you new found sport

April 15, 2005, 08:16 AM
Your head should be up to shoot skeet. Put the gun to your face with your head up, then slide it back to your shoulder. Shooting with head up will let you see better, move better and there is nowhere to go with your head when you want to peek at the break early.

Way too many guys put the gun on their shoulder and then scrunch their face down onto the stock.

April 22, 2005, 10:47 PM
I always shoot skeet from a gun-down position. I find it quicker to pick up the bird, snap the gun to my shoulder, swing past the bird and shoot. The gun makes no difference at all when it comes to your score. Before all my neck surgeries (I've had to take a break from skeet for the past few years), I was consistantly shooting 23-25. My gun of choice is my old Winchester 1897 pump with a 25" cylinder bore barrel.

I've even gone sporting clays shooting with it. Around here, most of the courses are close shots, so I wasn't all that handicapped with the cylinder bore. I remember going there to shoot for the first time alone, looking for a group to jump in with. I met a few guys, both shooting very expensive O/U's, telling me how they travel all over the Northeast to all the competitions. I was looking forward to learning from them.

We all walked down to station one, and the trapper asked us who was going first. Well, they all took one step back, so I figured I'd just go. I got up to the station, and one of the "experienced" guys told the trapper to throw them slower since I was shooting an "old pump". I was offended by this, not knowing these guys at all, and told him to send them out faster for me than anyone else. I shot the station clean. They didn't.

I used to shoot a 12ga Remington 870 "Special Purpose" that my father bought for me the first year they came out. I liked shooting that more than the 1100 Skeet that we had at the time. It all comes down to practice and how comfortable you are with the shotgun. Don't get all caught up in the equipment race. You can go out and spend thousands on an expensive shotgun, and find that you are shooting the same, or even worse, than you did with your Remington. You'll be better served by spending more money on ammo than you will on an expensive shotgun.

April 23, 2005, 02:39 AM
I agree with the others that there is not going to be any difference between 12 and 20 gauge as far as breaking birds, but may be a difference in your personal level of comfort. Try and shoot as many different guns as you can, and find one that fits YOU well, one YOU'RE comfortable with. That is all that matters. I think most guys at the club would be open to you trying their gun (maybe not one of those $14,000 ones with every guage barrel, but) I'd certainly let you try mine. I found my Benelli Special 80 (which hasn't been imported since the 80's) in a pawn shop for $500, so keep you eyes open and just find something that fits.

May 30, 2005, 05:04 PM
I have been shooting clays for 15 years now. I do consider myself not to be your "standard" shooter. I do believe in common sense though.

A very old saying (in German) says: The barrel shoots, the stock hits the target. Which in plain language means: Whatever type or brand you use, get the stock altered to fit your body, scores will improve instantly.

As for the gun, I thought that more than 3 centuries of SbS couldn't be all that wrong so:
I use a Merkel (East german production) SbS, double trigger, 1/2 & full choke, and will take on any of my beretta/browning equipped friends. True, with a fitting beretta I might improve but that would make it all so predictable and standard. Dare to stand out and enjoy it.