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Old January 29, 2009, 09:36 PM   #1
WW2
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Pump Shotgun for Skeet, Trap, or Sporting Clays?

Just wondering if any of you use a pump shotgun for Skeet, Trap or Sporting Clays. I have a Remington 870 Express Magnum that I don't shoot because no place around seems to allow such a shotgun on their range.

Yet, just 5 minutes from work is a wonderful Skeet, Trap and Sporting clays club open to the public. After replacing the adjustable pistol grip stock with a non-pistol grip stock, and replacing the 18.5" barrel with a 23" or longer barrel they will allow me to shoot the shotgun. However, the shop pro recommends an autoloader shotgun rather than a pump. He, of course, sells them for $1,000 up.

So, for those that use a pump shotgun how does it work for you against the evil clay pigeons?
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Old January 29, 2009, 09:43 PM   #2
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No reason why you can not use an 870 for trap. In fact Remington even makes a trap version of the 870. It can be used for skeet but doubles can be a challenge at first.

An 870 is one of the most versatile firearms on the planet. It can pretty much do anything you want.
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Old January 29, 2009, 09:51 PM   #3
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I used my Mossberg 500 (I just swap barrels and stock) for trap quite a bit till I got the Remington 1100. I'll still use the 500 every once in a while, it's worked well for me. That's the great thing about the 870 or 500, they can really be a do all shotgun by just a simple swap of the barrel and stock.
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Old January 29, 2009, 11:07 PM   #4
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Pump shotguns used to be seen frequently on Skeet ranges but in recent years, the Over/Unders and Semi-Automatics have taken over. Your pump will do fine at Skeet if you use a Skeet or open choke. You must be quick on the pump though to get the second bird in Skeet doubles.
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Old January 30, 2009, 08:36 AM   #5
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+1 to LHB1. I used to shoot skeet competitively and trap for fun a few years ago. I shot an auto, but that was to take advantage of the quick follow up shots for doubles.

One of the "grey beards" on the range routinely went out with his 870 and cleaned straight 25s in skeet for fun. Now, he also had a Perazzi sitting in the truck as well, but he never lost the fun of using a pump, which he also used in the field.

Your shotgun's configuration is a clash of culture to the "range rats" I remember. To most skeet/trap shooters, seeing someone come on the range with a tacticool shotgun is in their eyes akin to sporterizing a 1903 in today's context.
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Old January 30, 2009, 08:39 AM   #6
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Most of my skeet shooting is done with a 20ga wingmaster. You really do have alot of time for the doubles on stations 1 and 7. You need to be a little quicker on 2 & 6, but still have lots of time. The rest are all singles.

Go get a full stock and a sporting 28" barrel and go have fun.
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Old January 30, 2009, 12:33 PM   #7
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I don't use a pump as my primary gun for any of the clay target games - but it isn't the pump gun that they are telling you, you can't use - its the short barrel.

I will tell you at my club, and probably this club near you, the issue is the noise from that short barrel and how it impacts the other shooters on the stations next to you in Trap, or the other shooters near you on a Skeet or Sporting Clays field. An 18" barrel is way past obnoxious - for anyone to stand next to you while you're shooting it all day. I wouldn't let you shoot it on my squad either on a Trap, Skeet or Sporting Clays field.

Just go to a longer barrel on the pump gun - and you'll be fine. If they will let you shoot with a 23" barrel - then do that - although personally I would recommend you put a 28" barrel on it. A 23" is still awful short.

This issue has nothing to do with guns the club may be trying to sell / and I wouldn't recommend a semi-auto either - although his prices seem competitive. I will occasionally shoot my pump guns on a Skeet field - just for the heck of it - but all of my pump guns have 28" barrels. The longer barrels will give you a longer sighting plane - and better results - as you execute your shot and follow thru on clays or in the field.
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Old January 30, 2009, 12:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
I have a Remington 870 Express Magnum that I don't shoot because no place around seems to allow such a shotgun on their range.


Let me understand, they do not allow it because of the pistol grip and 18.5" barrel or they do not allow it period, even with a suitable stock and barrel for the game? If it is the latter then they are morons. If it is the former then they could simply be a little formal, but the advice they are "imposing" can only help your game.

Now as to using one for those games...

My original trap gun was an 870 Express Magnum with the black stock and parkerized receiver. I picked up a 28" Wingmaster barrel off Ebay, when you could, and swapped it with the 18.5" for when I went to the range.

Can you use it for anything other than single shot trap?

Certainly.

Doing so though comes at a price. You will slow down your rate of improvement and adversely affect your scores compared to an auto loader or over under set up for the sport you are participating in. Certainly there are guys out there not missing a bird in doubles with that gun. It took some time for them to get to that stage though, longer than if they had more suitable gear. The benefit is purely in the use of a pump, be it in the field or for a defensive purpose. When it comes to the game though you are only hindering yourself with the pump. This does not apply so much to singles trap as it does other games.

Now you do not need to spend $1,100 + for a serviceable gun. Keep your eyes open because lots of guys will move on to more expensive guns and be looking to off load their perfectly serviceable over/unders and autos. I picked up an O/U for $600 which had one box of shells through it and saw my trap single scores improve quickly over the season. It fit me far better, both out of the box and after having the stock cut, than the 870 and was more comfortable to shoot for extended periods of time.

I wish it was out of the freezing temps, I haven't shot it in months...
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Old January 30, 2009, 12:55 PM   #9
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BigJimP is right on about the noise from the short barrel also, I should have remembered.

Proper behavior on the line with regards to procedure is critical both for safety and for focus. One yahoo on the line who constantly screws up and disrupts the squad's rhythm can blow scores for the most skilled competitive shooter. Doing everything right but still blasting away with the short barrel likewise is a real distraction.
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Old January 30, 2009, 02:34 PM   #10
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WW2

Just to make sure you understood my point - I'm not saying a pump gun - a Rem 870, Browning BPS, Mossberg, etc is a bad gun for clay target games .... It clearly is not - especially in skilled hands.

I shot a Browning BPS for many years for Trap and Hunting in the 70's and
80's. For a long time, it was the only 12ga I owned / it fit well / I shot it well - and it was very reliable.

If your arms are long enough to operate the mechanism without moving the gun away from your shoulder or taking your face off the comb of the gun - then it can be used very easily in Trap doubles, Continental Trap, Skeet or Sporting Clays. If you can't do that - then the time it takes to dismount - rack the gun - remount - find the bird ... is a problem.

Particularly on a light gun ( like any pump gun is ) part of effective shotgunning on moving targets - is the follow thru ( after you pull the trigger ). On many lighter guns ( guns under 8 1/2 lbs ) - a lot of shooters have a tendancy to "yank" the gun short on follow thru - or "whip" it vs making a nice smooth swing and follow-thru. So on lighter guns, I go to a longer barrel - a 28" or 30" - so it gives me a longer sight plane and helps on the follow-thru a little. Sometimes I will also add some weight to a light gun ( inside the forend / or in the butt ) - but you need to do it without screwing up the balance in your hands - you don't want a gun that's nose heavy or butt heavy. But if you can add barrel weights / a little weight in the butt - it will also help you smooth out your swing.

Shooting moving birds ( clay or feathered ) is very different from Tactical Target aquistion - on birds, the shot does not end as you pull the trigger ( that's the middle of the shot ) - a well executed shot is more like ( see the target, mount the gun, insert barrel on target path, in line and ahead of target - with sustained lead - matching target line and speed - pull trigger - maintain target line and speed as target disintegrates ( then, shift your eyes, do not move the gun ) find the 2nd target - and then make your initial move with the gun for your 2nd target.

I don't care if you do it with a pump gun / or a $25,000 O/U - if you can do that you will break a lot of targets - or kill a lot of birds. Tactical is way different - and I'll leave that to Shotgun Bob and others with more experience than I have on Tactical execution of a shot. I did train with a riot shotgun when I was in the service 30 - 35 years ago / but I am not qualified to discuss it in any detail.
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Old January 30, 2009, 03:22 PM   #11
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I have used a Mossberg 500 for trap at my local range. It works fine. Use the 28" vent rib barrel w/ full choke (tubes) for trap. Switch to a 20" with Imp. Cyl for home defense. A 26 or 28" with a more open choke tube would work for skeet. The only draw back is I sometimes pinch my finger in the slide action when trying to catch the hull while working the action. I save hulls for reloading and it is bad mannors to pick them up after they hit the ground.
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Old January 30, 2009, 05:45 PM   #12
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WW2

Thanks for all the great replies!

I took the shotgun to the club so I could get an "official" review of its suitability. The girl behind the counter at the pro shop saw the case and said "I don't think it will be allowed, it is too short." So, I unzipped the case and she immediately pointed out the pistol grip and said "You need to remove that pistol grip." Next she measured the barrel. At 18.5" it was too short, she said "You need at least a 23" barrel to shoot here." Next she got the club Pro so I could talk to him.

To make a long story short, I picked up a new Remington Synthetic stock with all hardware and recoil pad on eBay for under $30 delivered. It is brand new, including the trigger lock as it was removed from an 870 that the buyer had replaced the stock on when he bought his new shotgun. I also ordered a 28" Vented Rib barrel and picked it up today. So, tonight a little surgery on the 870 and I will have a much different shotgun; plus the parts to have it ready for HD/SD which is why I bought the shotgun in the first place.

Based upon your discussions, and my lack of shotgun experience, I will pay for a lesson from the pro so I have a chance of hitting a few clays. He recommends sporting clays first saying "It's more fun!”

What good is a gun you don't shoot? Sporting clays at the club 5 minutes from work means I can kill clays at lunch rather than calories at the Mickey D's around the corner! Then, about once a month I can make the hour long drive to the range that allows tacticool shotguns.

When I hit the lotto I might even take the Tacticool course that teaches both Police Officers and civilians how to properly use a tactical shotgun.

As I was paying for my barrel a young couple came in to the shop from the range along with their instructor. The woman was rubbing her left arm and exclaimed, "That was FUN!"...
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Old January 30, 2009, 05:49 PM   #13
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A lesson is a good idea / and no matter what - be safe and have some fun.

Killing a pile of "moving clay targets" - is almost the most fun you can have with your clothes on .......
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Old January 30, 2009, 06:00 PM   #14
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A pump will do fine for practically any clay game, as long as you do your part; some of the most fun I've had while shooting skeet was with a "combat"-style 870 (with stock), where the puller launched doubles as fast as he could hit the button, and I tried to keep up. I've run 8 straight like that, and it's a real hoot.
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Old January 30, 2009, 08:31 PM   #15
Dave McC
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There's 5 870s here right now, a single shot NEF, a Beretta O/U and a loaner Saiga.

Two of the 870s are part of my homeowner's insurance plan. Another wears a short barrel and doubles as a waterfowler with a longer barrel.

Goose loads from a 21" barrel are not fun in a pit blind. Trust me.

A couple of the 870s get taken to the range now and then for some clays. That happened more beofre the B gun came my way a couple years ago.

My lifetime total through 870s has to be approaching six figures.

Shooting doubles with a pump will get your form in order PDQ, as well as accustoming you to functioning in very short time frames.

My "Home" range has a 23" minimum barrel length rule,citing noise probs. Since they don't ban ported barrels, I eye this askance.

Use your pump every chance you get. Then make more chances.

Most any shotgun is a good defensive tool. WE'RE what needs upgrades....
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Old January 31, 2009, 04:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalecooper51
Most of my skeet shooting is done with a 20ga wingmaster. You really do have alot of time for the doubles on stations 1 and 7. You need to be a little quicker on 2 & 6, but still have lots of time. The rest are all singles.
You can start out shooting Skeet with a pump action gun, many folks (including me) do. However if you get hooked and find yourself wanting to shoot competitive Skeet you'll most likely want a comp O/U.
Dale's "The rest are all singles" doesn't totally apply to competitive Skeet. Most ties are broken by shooting doubles at all stations, and there's the all doubles events. Shooting with a pump gun on the middle stations is an adventure and you'll handicap yourself in competition.
By all means, get yourself a Skeet-type barrel for your pump (and possibly a little additional weight) and have tons of fun on the half circle. However, be forewarned and use caution, it's highly contagious and can be addictive.
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Old February 1, 2009, 05:18 PM   #17
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There is a much less expensive way out of this. Shop around on the internet and purchase a longer barrel. The gun club that I shoot at does not care what type of gun you may shoot.
Again shop around the internet an buy a longer barrel for a $300 i think
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Old February 1, 2009, 08:05 PM   #18
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Trap is usually just singles, so using a pump in Trap is generally no problem whatsoever.

Sporting Clays is all strictly doubles. I've very rarely seen anyone shooting a pump in Sporting Clays.

Overunder shotguns have the advantage of being able to use two different chokes, which can especially be helpful in sporting clays. They are also easier to clean, as all you basically have to clean are the barrels.

Semiautos are not as expensive, lighter in weight, recoil far less, and are longer. I myself like the longer length, as I feel that it helps make momentum for a good follow through. Disadvantage is only having one choke for both shots, and cleaning takes a bit more work.

I like to shoot semiautos, as I can go to the range and shoot 150 shots, and my shoulder still feels like it did before I shot a single round.

A really outstanding buy on a nice gas operated semiauto shotgun is the CZ 712. You can get them from Budsgunshop.com for only $399, which is quite a steal:

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...ducts_id/11861

These are well made guns, and even have chrome lined chambers and barrels, just like Berettas do.

If you want something better, but still don't want to spend a lot, a dealer that I have done business with still has a couple of the latest generation Beretta AL391 391 Urika II shotguns in 12ga 28" that he got at special reduced pricing last year. They are the base model of the gun with just a synthetic stock, but he has them for only $649, which is well below what one normally pays for a brand new, latest generation Italian made Beretta autoloader.

If you are interested in this Beretta, send me a private message here, and I'll reply with a link to this dealer's website.

.
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Old March 9, 2009, 11:52 AM   #19
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Ready for clays!

Finally got the stock, barrel, and time to play with a few combinations of this shotgun. The stocks I have are a collapsible/PGO and a standard synthetic stock. The barrels are an 18.5 inch cylinder with bead site and a 28 inch vented rib with modified choke. Here are a few pictures:








As you can see, a couple of barrels and a couple of stocks and you have a very versitile shotgun!

Last edited by WW2; March 9, 2009 at 12:00 PM. Reason: update images
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Old March 9, 2009, 12:25 PM   #20
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That " noise problem " seems funny to me, No one ever seems to complain when it's a model 12 with a cutts on it.
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Old March 10, 2009, 08:03 PM   #21
Dave McC
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mwar410, I do not complain about a 12/Cutts. I just stay well away and wear good ear protection.
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Old March 11, 2009, 11:57 AM   #22
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The problem with noise on a "Trap" field - is the other shooters are parallel to you - and only about 8 feet apart - and if you get a hard left or right target - you are swinging in front of them - and the other shooters get a lot of muzzle blast.

On a Skeet field - or Sporting Clays field - the other shooters can step back a little more / so it isn't as bad.

Some shooters do complain about guns with ported barrels, etc / but on a Trap field ( there isn't anything you can do to get away from the muzzle blast from the guy beside you ).
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Old March 12, 2009, 12:48 AM   #23
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+1 on BigJimP's comment

Re: Cutts
"If I wanted quiet, I'd have taken up darts."
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Old March 12, 2009, 11:56 AM   #24
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Wife and I are hunters first and clay bird shooters second. She shoots sporting clays and other range sports with her Win 1300 20 ga. I shoot range sports with my hunting guns, Win Super X2 and a Rem 870 20 ga. Never had a problem with the pumps. I even used a Win 1300 turkey gun with rifle sights on the clay range when I was between guns after a divorce cleaned me out.
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Old March 12, 2009, 01:25 PM   #25
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I trap shoot with a Mossberg 500 utilizing a 28" vent rib barrel and Full choke tube. When I get home I re-attatch the 18.5" cylinder bore barrel (isn't even threaded for tubes) in event of nocturnal visitors. I have a pistol grip that came with the gun, but has never been on it (in my possession). I think a pump is the ideal shotgun for trap shooting because it is good measurable practice using the slide for fast follow up shots, either for defense or wing shooting.

Just yesterday a co-worker and I went out trap shooting on some public land and just threw clays for each other, spent about 20 dollars total and had a great time. We just can't talk about it at work because all the hardcore liberals we work with (healthcare) are a:ANTIs and b:claypigeon cruelty advocates...

FWIW I was much more accurate with my field dressed 500 than with his tacticool 535 (Shock-reducing pistol grip synthetic multi-position adjustable shoulder stock and hybrid enclosure style synthetic foregrip)... I think trap shooting is best suited to a gun that would also be good for fowl hunting.
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