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Old August 23, 2016, 07:54 PM   #1
DieHard06
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Purchasing a shotgun for skeet shooting

Recently, I decided to buy a used shotgun for skeet shooting with friends (maybe one day I would move to hunting as well). After looking in stores around me I found three choices I like, all of them used.

-Ithaca Featherlight $340 (decent condition with some marks and wear)
-Browning (I think it is a BPS) $340 (same condition)
-Mossberg 500 with 28 in barrel as well as an additional rifled slug barrel. It is in like new condition. $240

What do you think of these options? I already have a Mossberg 500 with 20in barrel and an equally long tube for self-defense. Though with the other mossberg I could get another shorter barrel and have a second shotgun at home. I also really liked the Ithaca a lot.
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Old August 23, 2016, 08:24 PM   #2
lockedcj7
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For informal shooting, they will all work. I personally love the featherlight Ithaca. I would buy it for $340 and I don't have a use for it. If you want to shoot with experienced skeet shooters on a real skeet field, you'll quickly wish you had an auto or O/U.

My advice would be to borrow/rent a gun more suited to skeet or shoot the Mossberg you have. Either way, find your dream skeet gun and save up for it.
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Old August 23, 2016, 09:05 PM   #3
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Skeet was designed as a field gun game, so a good field gun will work for skeet, until skeet takes over your life. As lockedCJ7 noted to be competitive you will want at least a 1100 type shotgun or an over and under. When you start breaking most of your rocks, you become obsessed and you will cash in a 401k or preferably your kids college fund for the shotgun that will break all of the rocks. The sad part is you will trade several shotguns before you find the perfect one. Oh, i forgot to mention you will buy a couple of reloaders during your quest.
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Old August 23, 2016, 09:16 PM   #4
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Since all three are pumps I don't see a decision here. I may have 2 500's and would buy another tomorrow if I had to. But with the one you currently own being the longer model it's not like you can swap barrels around. I would buy which ever one you like that feels good, shoots good if they'll let you shoot it and you like.

But if you do continue a over/under, sidebyside or semi will better serve you.
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Old August 24, 2016, 06:27 AM   #5
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Personally, I find a pump to be a hindrance for shooting skeet (I am talking about the actual game, not the handthrown backyard clays) and would prefer a semi or O/U; even a SxS.

Your choices are all good guns, but not necessarily for skeet.
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Old August 24, 2016, 08:12 AM   #6
243winxb
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Skeet

Avoid the Ithaca. I have used my 12 ga 20" barrel, Mossberg turkey gun many times. Its a fun gun, compared to my BORING O/U guns. Tho i would avoid a 410 in a pump action. Having had Ithaca's in 12 and 16 ga i found a few problems. 1.The 2nd shell may not chamber and drop on the ground. 2. A high primer may discharge a shell when it flies out of the magazine , hitting the receiver. 3. Some brands of shells will not come out of the magazine. 4. A light weight shotgun is fine for field carry, but may induce fatigue from recoil on the skeet field after 50 or 100 birds.
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Old August 24, 2016, 08:25 AM   #7
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A pump for clay birds definitely requires more skill.
If you are good with one, no reason not to use it, though.
One of the best guys at our local club sometimes, just for a fun gun, would bring his son's youth 410 pump for skeet.
He rarely missed with it.
Very embarrassing for the rest of us with our autos and over-under 12 gauges.
Shows to go ya'.
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Old August 24, 2016, 08:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Recently, I decided to buy a used shotgun for skeet shooting...
Are you sure it is "Skeet" shooting that you are interested in and not "Trap", shooting? They are two different sports which can have two different requirements as to shotguns. If it is truly Skeet that you wish to shoot, there is two different "houses", and the birds can come from either and both, requiring two quick shots, whereas in Trap, there is a single throwing station to the front of the shooters and only requires a single shot at a time. Trap is much easier to learn than Skeet, but Skeet simulates upland bird hunting more than does Trap. Therefore, my preference for Trap is a Browning BT-99 and dedicated Trap gun. But if I were to move to Skeet, I would likely one an over and under gun made for Skeet (with appropriate chokes and weighted stock)...neither are common "hunting" guns.
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Old August 24, 2016, 11:52 AM   #9
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If the M37 is a 20ga., get it

a 20 will not be beat you up.

wearing a shooting vest, jacket or shirt with small pad will help, too.

If it a 12ga, the put a thicker recoil pad on it.

you'll be firing 25 shells so a little bruising will occur.

Pumps ruled the skeet field from inception till mid 50's, then the O/U set guns took over.

I normally shoot using the low gun position not mounted on the shoulder.

Enjoy.
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Old August 24, 2016, 12:38 PM   #10
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Buy the one that has a bird barrel with changeable chokes. Or for which you can easily find such a barrel. Choke tubes run about $40 depending on the maker.
If you're going to a Skeet/Trap club, be prepared for a lot of unnecessary BS from the Skeet/Trap snobby types. Some other members will make stupid comments about your shotgun. Some of 'em think only 'Skeet/Trap' guns should be allowed.
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Old August 24, 2016, 01:02 PM   #11
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A pump gun will work fine but require more practice to use for skeet than a semi auto might. You might want to look a a good used semi auto like the Remington 1100. Good used ones are available in the $600 range on Gunbroker.

Last edited by JWT; August 24, 2016 at 01:36 PM.
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Old August 24, 2016, 01:16 PM   #12
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Just like everybody else said, you may want to get an autoloading shotgun or an over/under. Don't get me wrong, I know guys who rock it at the skeet range using a pump. If price is your limiting factor, yes, they are more expensive than pumps. But there are affordable models out there for both. Look up the Maverick over/under by Mossberg which has an MSRP of $530 (saw one on gunbroker for $350). For autoloading, Weatherby make ones for $650 MSRP (~$550 on gunbroker).
IF you're set on a pump, make sure the action is extremely worn in and smooth. You will want as little resistance as possible when pumping for those doubles.

Last edited by TrueBlue711; August 24, 2016 at 01:25 PM.
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Old August 24, 2016, 02:09 PM   #13
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If you decide on a pump gun ...go with the Browning ( and if it is a pump gun...it is a BPS ..as in "Browning Pump Shotgun" )...

To do well with a pump gun in skeet...the trick is to operate the pump mechanism without the gun leavinig your shoulder after the first shot. Ideally you want your face to stay on the comb..keep recoil pad in contact with your shoulder...pump the gun as you follow thru on the 1st shot ...shift your eyes to find the 2nd bird in the air ...and then move the gun to kill it.

All that takes some skill and practice...but sure, there were a lot of 100 straights shot back in the day with pump guns. Its fun to do once in a while...but I still favor an O/U or a semi-auto on the Skeet field.

A 28" barrel on a pump gun ( is the same overall length as a 30" barreled Over Under )...so in a pump gun I like the 28" barrel...and assuming it has changeable screw in chokes...it would work fine. Most shooters with a single barrel gun will choke it Skeet or Imp Cylinder.

1oz loads of either 8's or 9's is a good load ( at around 1200 fps ) ...for learning the game / you don't need heavy loads to shoot Skeet.
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Old August 24, 2016, 06:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
a 20 will not be beat you up.
Not true; most 20s are a pound or more lighter and that can lead to MORE recoil compared to a 12.
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Old August 25, 2016, 08:17 AM   #15
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I didn't know you cant shoot skeet with a Pump Gun.

Good thing they didn't have the internet when I was shooting skeet.

I had a 4 gun set of Rem 870 Skeet guns. 12, 20, 28, and 410. Had a Mec 600 Jr. for each but will confess I didn't load much for the 410, they are a pain in the butt to load for (if you need to load in volume).

That was in the Mid 70s, I use to do pretty good with the pumps. Even had one for Trap, Doubles in trap was no problem with a pump.

I don't shoot skeet/trap much any more, but if I did, I wouldn't have any heart ache using 870s.

I still have my 12 & 20 gages guns. Screw in chokes weren't around then and I ended up with several barrels for my 870s.

1100s were popular back then. But autos need a lot more cleaning then pumps. You shoot 400-600 shells a week that does become an issue.

870s don't care if you clean them or not.

I think if I was going to go with an auto I'd go with the Mossberg 930s. I have one of those GM Pro 930s I use in 3-guns. Works great but it needs to be clean every 3-400 rounds.
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Old August 25, 2016, 09:54 AM   #16
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in Trap, there is a single throwing station to the front of the shooters and only requires a single shot at a time.
What ever happened to the doubles trap game I used to enjoy?
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Old August 25, 2016, 01:51 PM   #17
FITASC
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I didn't know you cant shoot skeet with a Pump Gun.
I don't believe anyone said you CAN'T; but that there ARE better choices out there.

Don't know too many folks who shoot skeet seriously using a pump.
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Old August 26, 2016, 08:13 AM   #18
g.willikers
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Hardly anyone wants a challenge.
Maybe there should be equipment divisions, like some of the other shooting games.
Pumps in their own class, for example.
All it really takes to get good with a pump is practice, though.
Many a steel challenge match for shotguns has been won with a pump.
Need that rhythm.
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Old August 26, 2016, 06:13 PM   #19
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OP is a novice. Sure you can shoot skeet with a pump and challenges are great, but it the challenge is too great for the novice they may be turned off on the sport.

As others have said, a pump will work well if you mean the game of trap. Skeet is a bit difficult with a pump. For skeet save your money and get used Remington 1100.
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Old August 26, 2016, 07:28 PM   #20
FITASC
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Hardly anyone wants a challenge.
Maybe there should be equipment divisions, like some of the other shooting games.
Pumps in their own class, for example.
All it really takes to get good with a pump is practice, though.
Many a steel challenge match for shotguns has been won with a pump.
Need that rhythm.
There is in sporting clays; there are pump class games at most major shoots; and steel challenge have nothing to do with any clay game
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Old August 26, 2016, 09:06 PM   #21
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Thank you for the responses. I am in fact a novice with shotguns. I have mainly focused on handguns and rifles. I think maybe I was wrong when I said skeet shooting. I am talking about shooting clays in a field and the once in a long while trip to a sporting clays range. I did enjoy the o/u more with sporting clays (I shot a Beretta), but they are very expensive. After holding them again, I think I will just get the Mossberg and one day branch out into a really nice o/u shotgun.

One more question though, are there any auto loaders that also shoot target shells well? Most autoloaders I have seen require stronger loads to cycle properly?
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Old August 26, 2016, 09:16 PM   #22
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pump

Remember a lighter gun will have more perceived recoil.

For hunting, it's a plus as you are firing the the gun much less and with down time as well.
In skeet shooting, sporting clays, trap, you will be firing that gun many, many times.
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Old August 26, 2016, 09:18 PM   #23
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A Beretta will do that to you. Problem with Beretta's or anything else is the price will continue to go up.

I had a chance to get a barely used Beretta Silver Pigeon 4 years ago for $650. The gunshop was really going to short change this guy and he offered it to me but I didn't have the cash. I told him to sell it privately at a sportsmans club and he probably did.

The next year I was in a better situation and looked at the prices of Brownings and Berettas which I think was $1200 and then it went up more the next year and the next. Base price I think now is $1600 on sale.

But I was lucky enough to stumble on a Browning Citori made in 2014 for $999 and jumped on it.

One of my better decisions and it shoots great of course.
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Old August 27, 2016, 07:31 AM   #24
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If you're just shooting for fun the pump is a great affordable option.

Between the three you listed I would go with whichever one feels better when you shoulder it.
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Old August 27, 2016, 07:36 AM   #25
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Diehard - the Remington 1100 was the king autoloader in skeet for a long time and they should cycle very well with cheap target loads. If it jams, clean it. If it still jams, change ammo brands. If it still jams, sell it and buy another one. They are very common and relatively cheap on the used market.

A fixed-choke gun with handling wear can be had for $400. A near-new one with choke tubes might run $600.
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