View Full Version : Skeet Gun

November 24, 2012, 07:15 PM
I have been invited to join a skeet and trap league. I was looking at a Stoeger Model 3000. Not to sure about these but I know a lot of guys run Bennelis and these are similar. Give me your opinion.

November 24, 2012, 07:57 PM
I have heard a lot of mixed opinions on the Stoegers. IMO I would look for something different.

November 24, 2012, 09:15 PM
What would be a good suggestion? I have never shot skeet before.

November 24, 2012, 09:36 PM
First and an important question is how much money are you willing / able to spend? Let us assume you don't like either skeet or trap. You either keep the gun you buy for hunting/ fun/ whatever or you decide to sell it to finance something else.

Does this change your question? If so, how?

November 24, 2012, 09:46 PM
If I end up not liking shoot skeet or trap then I am willing to sell/trade it for something else. If I can hunt with it then I will. Any of those are an option. My spending range is less than $1000.

November 24, 2012, 10:03 PM
To me it sounds like the Benellis impressed you. You can get a used Benelli for under that. Most likely an M1, SBE 1, or Montefeltro. I've heard all are nice guns. But I'm gonna tell you something you will probably hear a lot when you ask for an opinion on a gun. You want a gun that fits you. When you shoulder it you want it to fit you and feel good. If you go with a name brand like Beretta, Benelli, Remington, etc. then you should get a nice gun. All of which can be found either new or used for under $1000

November 24, 2012, 10:29 PM
I recommend looking at the Winchester SX3 strongly.

November 24, 2012, 11:45 PM
My biggest thing is getting suggestions to look for at pawn shops. The nearest retailer of any of these is Cabela's and its about 2 1/2 hours away. I will be looking for the Winchester SX3. Open for any other suggestions. When I find out more about the requirements for the league I will update the thread. Thanks everyone.

November 25, 2012, 02:30 AM
Chase, I don't know enough about the guns to recommend anything, but should you get an SX3, there are a few models to choose from. Since you say you may want to use it to hunt, note that the SX3 comes in a few models.

If you want it for skeet and trap there is a sporting adjustable model. It has a 2-3/4" chamber, which may not be what you need for some prey. It is more expensive, but you may find one for not much more than $1000 new. You should be able to find a used one withing your budget.

Even if you don't go with the sporting model, you probably will want a 28" or 30" barrel.

BigJimP may be along soon and he has much more experience with trap and skeet, plus one of his faves is a Benelli SuperSport. The Stoeger is similar to the Benelli and is an inertia gun, whereas the Winchester SX3 is gas operated. Trap and Skeet shooters are often looking for softer shooting guns since felt recoil is more of a problem to them due to the fact that they shoot a lot more rounds in a short period of time than do hunters.

In general it is a very good idea to shoot a gun before buying, even if you have to rent one if available in your area.

November 25, 2012, 11:14 AM
If you want to hunt with it then a good gun to consider is a Remington 1187. If its exclusively for skeet or trap then look into the Remington 1100. Both can be found new or used for under $1000, reliable, and gas operated

November 25, 2012, 01:01 PM
To get started in the clay target games...you don't need to get into a "skeet specific" target gun. Most any gun you can hunt upland birds with - with changeable screw in chokes - and in a 28" barrel will work .....pump gun, semi-auto, or Over under....

In pump guns ...I like the BPS Hunter model, 12ga, 28" barrel - around $600.

In semi-autos most any of the Berettas are good guns / SX3 or Browning Silver series ( Silver Hunter again is a good option). Browning - Winchester are the same company now - so there models are virtually identical these days. Beretta and Browning Winchester are all gas operated guns ( with the exception of the Browning Auto 5, but I wouldn't suggest you go down that road). Benelli's are inertia operated ...and a division of Beretta - and so is Stoeger...but in my opinion, Benelli and Stoeger do not share the same quality of parts. The "clay target" gun for Benelli - is their Super Sport model but its retailing new for around $2,000 now ...it is a good gun if you find one used, but even used they're $1,250 - $ 1,500 in my area.

In over unders....Browning and Beretta have given shooters the most gun for the money for a long time. You might find an entry level O/U Browning Citori Lightning ...or something similar / but I'd stay away from Stoeger in the O/U market as well.

Since you're new in these games - go with a pump gun or a semi-auto to start.

Most any "field" gun will be just fine as a beginner for Skeet and Trap. For Skeet -ideally you'd want a Skeet choke ( but you can also go with a Cyclinder or maybe an Improved Cyclinder). For "Trap" again, most any gun will work / although if you get serious about Trap - you'll want a heavier and longer gun probably...but for 16 yd singles for Trap - most of us would shoot a Modified choke. Most "Field" grade guns will come with 3 chokes ...Cyclinder, Modified and Full. Extra chokes are $ 35 - $ 50 each for the most part. When you're looking at guns - make a note as to what chokes they come with. Some guns like the Benelli Super Sport will come with 5 chokes ( Cyc, Imp Cyc, Mod, Impr Mod, Full ) and if I shoot my Super Sport for Skeet a Cyclinder choke is fine.

Many of the Inertia guns are a little lighter ( around 7 lbs ) so if they have an option for a 30" barrel -- the longer sight plane / will help you a little on your swing dynamics on follow thru ...so with my Benelli I like the 30" barrel ...in a gun like the Browning Silver Hunter I'd probably suggest the 28" barrel. Many of us that shoot O/U's tend to go toward 30" barrels ...but 28" is ok there as well. A lot of this depends on what you like vs what I like.
Not in your budget....but a very "affordable" gun in terms of an all around "Skeet gun"...or even a good upland bird hunting gun...and a gun you can probably find, and you will certainly see a lot of on the Skeet and Sporting clays fields.../ and a gun you can compare a lot of other guns to ...is a Browning Citori, XS Skeet model, 12ga, 30" barrels with an adjustable comb. New they're retailing for around $ 3,000 now ( and trust me, its a nice gun, but its not a high end gun ....when you look at Perazzi, Blaser, Kolar, Krieghoff, etc in competition guns...but its a "pedestrian" level gun that does a lot of things really well -- and it fits 99.9% of the shooters out there.) But looking at this gun / or shooting one if a buddy has one ...will give you an idea of what $3,000 buys in terms of a good solid 500,000 shell guns / maybe a 1 Million shell gun ...and how it feels for follow thru, etc....not that you should buy one yet as a new shooter in clay target games....but it is the one gun, that will do most anything very, very well. A lot of O/U's will significantly pale - in comparison to this Browning.

Its a gun to watch for on the used market ...in 12ga or maybe even a 20ga.

But for now, I strongly suggest you stay with a pump or semi-auto. A lot of us have killed thousands of clays /and birds with a good pump gun. My Browning BPS Hunter models, 28" in both 12ga and 20ga ...are coming up on 32 yrs old + now ...with many thousands of shells thru them ( and 2 boys, and a few grandkids - learning to shoot with them )...and they're still solid guns. At $ 600 ....the BPS is a gun you will probably end up keeping for a real long time / and never a bad buy - because everyone from time to time, will need a good pump gun. There are other pump guns out there ...Rem 870's, Benelli Nova's, etc...but there are a number of things I like about the BPS - ejects out of bottom, clean look, safety on top of tang - easy to reach even with gloves on ...cast neutral (doesn't favor right handed shooters or lefties)...

November 25, 2012, 07:33 PM
I have been invited to join a skeet and trap league.
…I have never shot skeet before.
If you had been asked to join a bowling league, and had never bowled before, would you run out and purchase bowling equipment? I think not. First, you don't have enough experience to make a wise decision. And, second, you may not enjoy bowling. The same applies to Skeet shooting. Before you commit to joining a league, you might want to give Skeet a try.

I was introduced to Skeet in the mid-60s and was hooked the first time out. For some time I shot with borrowed and rented guns before I bought a shot gun. My first gun was a cheap field pump and I soon became aware of its shortcomings and sold it. My present Skeet guns are all O/Us.

Life Member of the National Skeet Shooting Association

November 25, 2012, 07:55 PM
I got into trap and skeet at an impulse--I have been shooting rifles and handguns all my life. So, I gave it a whirl...

And got hooked.

I was in the same boat as you--trying to make out what I needed to have the most fun that I could.

I found that the very best thing I got was advice from another shotgunner on how to HIT the bird.

I went from hitting absolutely nothing to breaking 5/6/7 straight. On my last outing, I actually made a 20 straight, then psyched myself out of hitting the last 5.

The gun that I use is nowhere near as important as hitting that bird.

Don't get me wrong--my dream shotgun is a Perazzi O/U with a gorgeous presentation grade Circassian walnut stock. No engraving--I like simplicity.
Something like that would be really pretty.


I like pretty. :D

But more importantly--what shotguns do I have?

Well, I purchased a Winchester 1300 with screw in chokes, and a synthetic stock. It's smooth, and is a clay-busting machine.

I also shoot with my OTHER 1300...it's an 18.5" barrel riot gun. Was a duty gun for a bit, and I still use it an an HD piece.

But...the one I broke 20 in a row with?

An old Remington Model 11, with the barrel cut off at 19". (No, I didn't do it.) Has no choke whatsoever.

November 25, 2012, 08:16 PM
Powderman, congratulations on your progress, you're still fairly new to the game. Here's a P-gun I picked up after 20-years at the game. http://img267.imageshack.us/img267/3680/mx8.gif

November 29, 2012, 10:21 PM
Thanks everyone for your replies. I appreciate the time that you put in to your responses. My shooting buddy looked into the league more and said that you can have whatever you want. So then I looked into multipurpose as suggested by a poster.

Now I must ask, what do any of y'all know about the Mossberg 930 JM Pro? I is high cap for when I am showing the stranger busting down my door what I believe in, it is semi auto for hunting fowl and has a 24" barrel for busting clay.

Let me know what you think.

November 30, 2012, 12:11 PM
Mossberg isn't the first name that will come up ...when you ask anyone what a good quality semi-auto might be. However, it doesn't mean it won't fit your needs for an entry level gun to get some experience with. I think its probably fair to say the reports on Mossberg semi-autos are mixed...

With a 24" barrel ( or any barrel under 28" ) ....the gun is going to have a short sight plane...and for most of us, it will tend to make it light and "whippy" vs a longer barrel, that will tend to help you smooth out your swing on clay targets. Its not a barrel length you'll see on clay target fields in general - among experienced shooters...barrel length of 28" or 30" are common with semi-autos. I'm a little bigger than the average Buffalo...at 6'5" and 290 ...so in a Semi-auto, I like a semi-auto with a 30" barrel. Even a semi-auto in 28" is too "whippy" to me, and I tend to "slap" at targets rather than execute a nice smooth shot.../ my buddy who is around 6' and 190 lbs likes his semi-auto in a 28".../ but I don't see any serious shooters of semi-autos with barrels shorter than 28".

24" is also a barrel length, that will give the shooters on a Trap field adjacent to you - a lot of muzzle blast - as you move left or right on a target in front of them essentially. Many of us, would prefer not to shoot next to someone with a short barrel ...like a 24". Some shooters don't like to shoot next to someone even with a 30" barrel that is "ported" either...the blast can seriously disrupt the shooters next to you.

In skeet or sporting clays - the 24" is pretty short too.../ if I shoot a semi-auto in Skeet or sporting , I will still stay with a 30" barrel. Skeet is a quicker game ....but even there, the 24" will be a disadvantage to you long term ....but it won't present any muzzle blast issues because only one shooter is on the pad at a time.

Capacity on a skeet, trap or sporting clays field ...is not an issue. You can never load more than 2 shells at one time - not even in the magazine.

Note: if you really want input on the Mossberg specifically - I'd suggest you start a new thread...so people see it in the title...

November 30, 2012, 03:11 PM
So I hear people saying that a 24" barrel on a semi auto is way too short all the time, yet my wife shoots a 24" 20ga montefeltro and its longer than my 28" 20ga beretta o/u. So do people on the trap field not like shooting next to me either? I've never had any complaints, just curious.


November 30, 2012, 04:59 PM
Chase - for the league, at least starting out, get whatever gun you like - however -- you want to pay attention to things like the gun fit to you and the gun will need removeable chokes (skeet or IC for skeet, trap is depending on handicap distance so can be IC and tighter). If the Stoeger is what you can afford - get it and go have fun. Personally, I am not a fan of the inertia guns - they beat me up. But if you buy it, and really get into busting clays, you can get a dedicated clays gun later and keep the Stoeger for hunting.

November 30, 2012, 08:08 PM
Scotts - 4x,

In general....the receiver on a pump or semi-auto is about 2" longer than the receiver on an Over Under....

so a semi-auto with a 24" barrel ...should be about the same overall length as an Over Under with a 26" barrel...

26" semi-auto same overall length as an O/U with 28" barrels...
28" semi-auto same overall length as an O/U with 30" barrels...

No, in general if you're shooting an O/U with 28" barrels on a Trap field...most shooters will not frown at you ...( but every 2" of reduction in barrel lengths - does make the muzzle blast worse...)....

why your wife's gun is overall longer than yours --might be in the recoil pad ...don't know...but that seems odd to me.

December 1, 2012, 09:40 PM
You might also look at Franchi I-12. Nice guns and affordable.
I wouldn't hesitate to buy an older beretta 303. You can find new and used beretta 3901's on line or 391's.
There's only about a bajillion Remingtons out there for sale.
The only experience I have with Stoeger is a couple guys at our club being very disapointed with them. They both sold them at a significant loss. They have very poor resale value.
Like BigJim said, you can shoot clays with just about any good field gun.

340 Weatherby
December 3, 2012, 04:32 PM
Powderman, when you walk onto the skeet field with that Perazzi, your already "bitchin". You don't even have to break the targets! LOL My son cowers in fear when the Perazzi comes out of the safe. My other guns, not so much.

340 Weatherby
December 3, 2012, 05:09 PM
Nice gun Zippy

December 3, 2012, 08:38 PM
My friend and I were in a similar boat. We both shoot alot of pistol and rifle, and some friends invited us to shoot trap. The first 2 or 3 times we borrowed guns to see what worked best, what we liked, and (most important) what we could afford. I decided I wanted a nice O/U, and am now saving my pennies and investigating my options. Until that day comes, I use a 12ga. Maverick 88 with a 28in. barrel that I got at Walmart for $177. It spends most of its time under my bed with an 18in. tube. During practices I now score 22 and 23/25, and recently won my match group with an 18/25. I'm learning the game with a cheap gun and hope to know what I'm doing by the time I can afford something worthy.

December 3, 2012, 09:06 PM
So I hear people saying that a 24" barrel on a semi auto is way too short all the time, yet my wife shoots a 24" 20ga montefeltro and its longer than my 28" 20ga beretta o/u. So do people on the trap field not like shooting next to me either? I've never had any complaints, just curious.

I think the problem is the barrel length. Shorter barrel means more powder unburnt....your gun is shorter than hers because she has the added length of the action. Fwiw....I never really noticed a difference...

At the OP...I agree that at this point, more important than any gun is to get good instruction and will help you far beyond any 'special' gun. Some of us never move beyond that point. :o