View Full Version : New to the World of Shotguns

December 19, 2010, 03:41 PM
So I've always grown up shooting my Dad's shotgun, and to be honest I'm a pretty good shot when it comes to clays. However I'm ready to go out and get a gun of my own. I don't really know much about which models are good to use, and which ones I should stay away from. My dad's gun is a Ted Williams model 300 12 ga.

Any advice or links of good places to start would be amazing.

Also, anybody know a good place around Tampa for an amateur to shoot some clays? My dad and I would usually just go out in the back yard to shoot so I've never had to go to a shooting club.

Thanks for the help!

December 19, 2010, 03:44 PM
Many that I know have started out with a Mossberg 500A pump..... Everyone has one...or two...maybe.

Good gun....reliable...Ya can always find em used.

December 19, 2010, 04:27 PM
remington 870

December 19, 2010, 05:13 PM
To be honest with you, there's a big difference between shooting in your back yard and shooting at a shotgun club. I suggest you first locate an area club and have a look at what they're doing before you even think about what type of gun to get.

If your local shooting grounds are a casual country club with a few trap fields, I'm sure you'll see all sorts of guns being used at the 16-yard line by folks with varying abilities. As they start adding yardage, you'll notice they'll use more trap specific guns.

At a large club, where they host nationally sanctioned matches, you notice a big difference. Single shot and pump guns are fine for trap singles. For Skeet, trap doubles and the other clay games the O/U gun rules with a minority shooting semi-autos. You'll not see any serious shooters with entry level guns like the Mossberg or Remington pumps.

December 19, 2010, 05:33 PM
I agree that back yard shooting and shooting real clays ain't the same. Throwing by hand or even a spring thrower that is setting right next to you and thowing straight away is a piece of cake.

Put the thrower 15 yds out in front of you or put it 15 yds out and 90 degrees to you and try to shoot doubles as the number 4 station in skeet and then come back and tell us how good you are.

For half serious clays you will need and auto loader or O/U. You can find some fairly good O/U in the $500 range. I would look at CZ, tristar and Stoeger.

December 19, 2010, 05:52 PM
Tough to answer since you didn't give any info on what your looking for.

I would go with a Remington 870 Express Mag if your looking for a pump. People have been complaining about them. There are Mossberg 500 owners that are die hards and 870 owners that are die hards. I actually own both and like the 870 better. Easier to break down. Both of mine are over 10 years old. The 500 has a plastic trigger group and the finish isn't as nice as the 870.

Now if you want to go with a semi....I just got a Browning Maxus this year. I love it. It is my go to gun now for all things BIRDS. It is lighter than most of the other semis. The Remington 11-87 is noticiably heavier. The recoil on the Maxus is light. I have fired 2 3/4 target loads through it with no problems. Shoot 3 and 3.5 inch shells out of it for Ducks and Geese. It is light enough to carry around in the field for doves and the long walk to the duck blind.

So I now use the 870 for deer as I put the slug barrel on it and a red dot scope on it. The Maxus is for birds. The 500 sits in the gun cabinet and has for years.

I took my Maxus out to the skeet and trap field after shooting only several rounds back in 1999-2000 with the 870. I shot real good on the wobble trap field (21+ of 25, with several 23s and a 24)

If your looking for an O/U or a SxS then someone else will have to help you out with that one.

Good luck

December 19, 2010, 06:14 PM
Also, anybody know a good place around Tampa for an amateur to shoot some clays?

Tampa Bay Sporting Clays in Land O' Lakes

Silver Dollar Trap and Skeet (5-stand also) in Odessa

December 19, 2010, 07:34 PM
Thanks for all the advice everyone, I'm going to keep researching.

Zippy and tombstone- I wasn't trying to say that I'm competitive or anything like that... just that I'm good enough for myself to have fun and continue to shoot. Simply recreational, and I def. was not trying to brag about myself. But thanks for the advice!

December 19, 2010, 07:55 PM
Lets see, Im not sure what your into but I do not recommend a pump 870 express from remington. I will however recommend a 887 nitro mag from Remington. Mossberg 500s and 535s are also great little entry level pumps, I have 2 500s and 1 535 to this day I use for slug hunting mostly because of how fast the barrels swap. As for single shots I dont recommend a entry level guy with one because your one and done and most new guys want lead in the air. Semi autos is my highest recommendation. I have a 1100 that I love but they are pricey, I also have a 11-87 I love thats more reasonable. Its a great gun for the price. Mossberg also makes a 930 and 935 that are good for the price that I wouldnt have a problem shooting. If you want to get a really good gun however to last you the next 30 years pick up a SBEll, it will run you 1500 bucks but they are amazing. Another good one is the Vinchi from Benelli in the same price window. As far as over unders I have no recommendation because I do not own one of these guns but do have a freind that has a stoeger that shoots very well but I personally am not a fan of the design

December 19, 2010, 08:30 PM
You can find some fairly good O/U in the $500 range. I would look at CZ, tristar and Stoeger.

I'll disagree with this. The base models considered acceptable for target shooting begin with a "B" - as in Beretta and Browning.........with SKB a reasonably nearby third

None of those others mentioned have a reputable track record for shooting volumes of clays - you'd be better off with a quality used semi for $500 than a questionable O/U most likely to break after a few shots - better to go to those clubs near you and beg/borrow/rent many different types to see what fits the best and has a reputable name. Then look on their bulletin board to see who is selling something

December 19, 2010, 08:31 PM
>I wasn't trying to say that I'm competitive or anything like that... just that I'm good enough for myself to have fun and continue to shoot.
What I was indirectly saying: If you think back yard shooting is fun, you haven't seen anything, yet. Be warned, gun club shooting can be addictive and open a big hole in the bill fold.