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Old January 22, 2013, 09:09 PM   #1
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Looking for a sporting clays gun

HI everyone, I am a long time member of the forum, but mainly post on the Hogans Alley section. I decided to come to this part of the forum to ask some advice.

I am interested in giving sporting clays a try. A friend of mine has started into it and want me to come out and try it with him. I am looking for a decent gun to start out with. My friend who is trying to get me interested is shooting a Benelli, and raves about it. However that is a little out side of my range that I want to spend. I am more into the $500-$700 range. I have seen some from CZ, Remington, Mossburg. I am just looking for some ideals to get me started on my search for a sporting shotgun.

thanks in advance.

I don't have a good signature.....
wstein is offline  
Old January 22, 2013, 09:26 PM   #2
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Your in the same predicament I was in. I decided on the Remington 1100. Great gun for your price range and for what your looking to do with it. As a matter of fact I am going to put one in layaway this weekend
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Old January 22, 2013, 10:13 PM   #3
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I went through the same thing about a year ago, i had about $600 and really wanted a gun fast. My pump just wasn't cutting it any more. Looked at a few autos in that price range and just wasn't happy with what was out there. I saved a little more and found a used citori GTI for $1000. You can find quality used O/U's for $800. lot less maintenance and fewer things to break. Don't have to pick up hulls. and they last forever. Just my .02
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Old January 23, 2013, 12:07 PM   #4
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i think most will agree your over/unders are your classic clays gun, but its hard to find a good one in your price range. IMHO you really just need to find a gun that fits you right now so you can get your feet wet, and if you really like it then maybe plunk down some cash on a serious clays gun. I have a fondness for benellis as well, the super black eagle just seems to shoot right where im looking and makes clays fun.
"i got the most powerful gun in the .88 magnum. It shoots thru schools......"
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Old January 23, 2013, 01:53 PM   #5
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For a starter gun ....nothing wrong with a pump gun or a semi-auto....and personally, I'd look seriously at the Browning BPS Hunter model in a 12ga, with changeable screw in chokes, in a 28" barrel for a good pump gun - new they're around $ 550 - $ 600....

Its a lot of gun for the money ....and a gun, regardless of where you go with the clays hobby - that you'll keep for a long time.
If you want a semi-auto ....look at the Browning Silver Hunter series...again in a 12ga, 28" barrel ...

around $ 900 in a 3" chamber....and again, a good solid entry level gun in my opinon. Its gas operated...vs Inertia operated like the Benelli's ...but the Benelli's are more money....
O/U's are the primary choices over the long run ...2 barrels, 2 chokes so you don't have to compromise on choke over one bird vs the 2nd.../ better weight, better handling, you don't have to pick up your hulls, etc....and the better guns like a Browning Citori XS Skeet model in 30" barrels is a million shell gun easily but they're also selling for around $ 3K right now..../ but it is by far one of the most versatile guns in the Browning Citori line of guns - especially with the adj parallel comb and 30" barrels...
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Old January 23, 2013, 02:14 PM   #6
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At $650, the Beretta 3901 or the replacement, the A300 Outlander, will give you a decent semi that will do the job and not break the bank. Pumps are a distinct hindrance on targets that involve pairs - which 95% of sporting clay targets do. It is not as highly refined as their other gas guns that cost closer to $2000, but the mechanism is very close and about as reliable as you can get.

Next time you go sporting clays shooting, especially at a tournament or charity/fun shoot, take a look at the gas guns - they will typically be ALL Berettas. While the O/U rules the roost in sporting clays, about 25% of the shooters use semis. Of that, 98%+ use a Beretta gas gun, including several of the national champs. They use them because they work and are reliable - period

The A300 or 3901 is typically found at wally world, Cabela's, and similar stores
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Old January 23, 2013, 03:13 PM   #7
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Selection of a gun not who made it ....its about whether it "Fits" you - so it hits where you look.../ but a lot of the bigger names in gas semi-autos seem to come pretty close to fitting a lot of people....

I'm not a big semi-auto fan...and BigDinFL probably right in my area as well ...that there are more Beretta semi-autos out there than any other brand...especially among new shooters.
Just so you know .....the clays gun ....that is designed by Benelli for the clay the Super Sport model ...and its a very nice gun, synthetic stock, comfort tech system in it ...but new its retailing for around $ 1,900 right now.../ but its a solid competition grade gun. I have one in 12ga with a 30" barrel and a 20ga with a 28" barrel...and I use them primarily as "training guns" for the grandkids or new shooters...or as inclement weather guns ...or as a "travel" gun for myself when I fly somewhere and I don't want to give a high dollar gun to the airlines...and I want to take 1 gun that will do everything pretty well. It may be a gun that you want to consider long term ....but not as a starter gun.

Beretta also makes some high end competition grade semi-autos ...the UGB ..and some of the 391 series and A400 series....
I only mention these guns you understand the spectrum of guns out there....( its kind of like saying buy a Browning Citori ---- when there are 36 models of the Citori line of guns on the market ....telling you to buy a "Citori" or a "Benelli" ...isn't giving you enough info....

same thing in handguns, etc..../ there isn't just one size that fits all....
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Old January 25, 2013, 03:22 PM   #8
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You'll drive yourself fruit trying to be competitive at clays (doubles are part of the course) with a pump gun. O/U or semi are your choices. And on a budget it is difficult to beat a used 1100.
Its all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.
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Old January 25, 2013, 04:50 PM   #9
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I would always advise you to start with a good name brand gas operated semi auto. Remington, Browning, Beretta, etc. Pick one that seems to feel right to you. If and when you decide to change guns you will NOT lose a dime if you take decent care of it. You might get lucky and decide you love it and just want a brand new one just like it, but probably not. I cannot shoot and do not like over and unders, at all. A Remington 1100 has been breaking clay pigeons for me for 49 years. A truck load of others have come and mostly gone in the interim. Okay, a small pickup truck load.
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