View Full Version : What size barrel should be used fr these games?

August 27, 2001, 12:32 PM
I am new to shotgun sports and would like to know what size barrel should be used for shooting trap, sporting clays also skeet and the 5 stand?
I am currently using an 870 Express Mag. with a 28" barrel for eveything except skeet, but I have not tried that game yet since where I shoot don't offer it.
I plan on getting a semi-auto in about 6 months and would like to know what size barrel should I look for?
Also what exactly is the difference between a field gun and a skeet model?
I was told the difference is target guns usually shoot high while field guns shoot where they are pointed, Is that true?

Dave McC
August 27, 2001, 12:49 PM
Partly true,Steve. Trap guns are stocked to shoot high,since all trap targets are taken on the rise. Skeet and SCs are not.

The differences between field and gamer guns are myriad, but oft subtle.Gamer guns run heavier, often a lb or so.

You'll see field guns without a midbead or even a rib,but never a competition gun.

You can and will have an awful amount of fun with that 870, and will likely become quite proficient with it. The day will come when you outshoot some guy with a Perazzi, K-gun, Ljutic, etc. Be modest and humble, do not gloat until after you're alone(G)...

A 28" bbl will work fine for all the games. Game guns tend to be slightly longer than field equivalents, but the difference is minor.


August 27, 2001, 01:18 PM
My name is Scott not Steve...LOL..

I was out shooting clays last week and an experienced shooter was giving me some pointers and mentioned that I should keep the bead over the bird since the 870 is a field gun and it wont shoot high. He was saying that with guns designed for skeet, clays and trap you want to keep the bead underneath the bird.
I went to the range to pattern the 870 yesterday and noticed it was shooting a little to the left from my POA with an IC in it and that was 20 yds out. (The longer side was closed for repairs.)
My biggest problem with the 870 is that on simo's I have trouble pumping and following through on the other bird at the same time. Now when useing my friends Remington 11-87 SP or Beretta 391 I have no problems, just that the 391 is so damn light it is not comfortable also the forearm seems to far forward for my comfort.

August 27, 2001, 02:19 PM
There are no hard and fast rules only preferences that have built up over the years. Currently, the preference is towards longer barrels for all sports.

Skeet is a fast, close game where shorter barrels are more common. Skeet lengths generally start at 26" although they are seen less frequently. 28 inches barrels are most common with 30 being seen more frequently.

Trap requires longer shots and going away targets so longer barrels are typical usually 30 inches and up to 34.

The current trend in Sporting is longer barrels. When it began 28" barrels dominated but now 30" and 32" are the standard choices.

Another thing to remember about barrel length is that 28" in a semi is closer to 30-32 in an over under due to the length of the action.

Pattern placement depends on how the gun is set up. Most game guns are designed to shoot 50/50 and not higher than 60/40. A gun whether for game or clays is not worth much if it shoots too low. Trap guns are set up to shoot higher because the bird is rising in most cases.

Dave McC
August 27, 2001, 02:38 PM
OOOOps! Sorry, Scott. Old men are forgetful(G)....

The guy was mostly right. Most field guns will print 50-50,or 55-45. I like to see the bird when hunting, and had my little parts 870 set up for 60-40 roughly. It's about that now also with the Monte Carlo stock. I took out the shims.

I'd try patterning that thing one more time, and it POI is still a bit left....

First, make sure it's UNLOADED, then...

Remove the pad, and use a long screwdriver of the right size or a ratchet to loosen the stock bolt. Remove the whole thing from the receiver. While you've got it apart, put a bit of furniture wax. Turtle Wax, etc, on the end grain to waterproof and stabilize the wood. Put a little on the end of the receiver too.

Now, take a small piece of aluminum foil and fold it several times. Scissor out a section and place it on the LEFT side of the receiver,in between the rear of the receiver and where the stock will go when assembled. Make it maybe 1/32 to 1/16" for starters. Reassemble. In theory, 1/16" will move POI 2" at 40 yards.

Repattern to check POI. If still off to the left, take it apart and redo the foil, a bit thicker this time. Keep this up until it's on. You can also raise or lower POI by placing it high or low. To raise, add it at the bottom.


August 27, 2001, 05:15 PM
I am gonna try and pattern that again, cause I had a total of 5 separate targets and only 2 seemed to be to the left, I am wondering if it is the shooter and not the gun. But than again that cant be possible:D...LOL
But I do need to practice and learn to pump and follow through wth the other bird at the same time.
Hey Dave those trigger pins I asked you about on another post they are fine they go in a little bit than stop like they are suppose to.
How often do you take your trigger assembly off? I took mine off the last time mainly cause I got caught out in the rain with it when shooting clays and that was the first time I did since I bought it new a year ago.
By the way what type of furniture wax? Like my wifey's Old English, or than again I think thats a polish... I know I use that on my wooden rifle stocks once in awhile.

Dave McC
August 27, 2001, 08:15 PM
If it works on rifle stocks, it oughta work on shotgun stocks. I tried teak oil a while back and it worked well. On another BB, someone recommended Lemon Pledge,FYI. Last wax I tried was a carnuba wax called Abbott's. Haven't seen it lately.

I drop the trigger group every thousand rounds or so on my heaviest use 870, my trap gun. Call it once a month. The others get it around twice a year, or after a fair amount of shooting, even if it's less that 1000 rounds.

My deer 870 gets it post season in Jan or Feb, and usually when I do my zero check before, say around October.

August 27, 2001, 09:08 PM
Thanks Dave for the info..
You sure do have your share of 870's there:) I take that your not a fan of semi-autos?
Do you do sporting clays also or just trap?
Are you also a fan of the Remington 700's?

Dave McC
August 28, 2001, 06:06 AM
I've nothing against autos. I've limited experience with same, having only owned a couple and them not terribly long.870s do all I need to do, and keep on doing it for generations.

I almost bought one of those Walmart 1100s, but I tripped over my conscience.Being retired and with Wife, Son and Daughter needing college tuition, my priorities have new shotguns a little further down than formerly.

I shoot clays sometimes, with 870s. I don't shoot them terribly well, but love to make a shot or two some guy with a Perazzi or fancy Beretta doesn't. FYI, my best round that I recall was 41/50 or so.

I've owned 4 or 5 Remington rifles, only one was a 700. It was the stainless synthetic Mountain rifle, and was the most accurate 30-06 I've owned.
It took some tweaking to get there, and a 3.5-10X Leopold scope. A friend(Heck, blood brother!) has it now. My hunting takes place in shotgun only counties, his doesn't.

August 28, 2001, 02:46 PM
Does any of the Wally-Worlds by you have the 1100's?
I know nothing over my way does.

I am getting a 700BDL custom delux 30'06 next month, I have it on lay-away right now. Its NIB never been fired, the guy won it in a poker game and sold it to a gun shop I deal with, and I walked in the next morning and got it for $400. I was in the right place at the right time I guess, considering I was about to buy a new one for $550.

Are you aware of some sought of problem Remington had with their barrels? I was on another forum and something was mentioned about the barrels not being threaded properly for the chokes and causeing them not to shoot straight.
Its the first I heard of it, and being how it may have been shooting to the left the other day has me thinking.

Dave McC
August 29, 2001, 06:07 AM
Great deal on that 700. I'll give you $450(G)...

As I understand it, Remington had some QC probs on Remchoked Shotgun bbls. They were not drilled straight and POI was any place but right. It's SUPPOSED to be rectified now, and limited to a few thousand bbls. The Technoid said something about it to me in an E mail a month or two ago. I gather the prob was with all bbls, not just 1100s or 870s or 11-87s.

More likely than an off drilled bbl is a non concentric tube.

If the gun consistently shoots left, I'd blame the tube, the bbl, or load. If it happens off and on, it's more likely to be the shooter. Make sure your cheek's on the stock with consistent pressure...

The only Walmart I tried was the one in Ellicott City, and they had none. This was probably where the guys that told me about it got theirs.