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Old February 15, 2020, 02:27 PM   #1
Mastrogiacomo
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Looking to take up Skeet Shooting

I'm new to this but I have a Remy 870 Home Defender with an 18" barrel that I suspect won't work. I'm 5'2", 120 lbs and no idea whether to get a 12 or 20 gauge or a 26" barrel or less. I don't have a lot of upper body strength so I'm not sure whether to go with an over and under or pump. Feedback would be appreciated. Thank you.

Laura
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Old February 15, 2020, 03:07 PM   #2
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A few things to consider...

Skeet is likely the hardest of the Clay sports, and I usually tell folks to shoot some Trap before jumping into Skeet.

Fit, Fit, Fit. That is the most important thing. While I prefer 12g for everything, Skeet is a game where sub gauges do fine even for novice shooters. So a 20g is okay...if it fits you. 20s are on lighter, smaller frames and so they will have recoil more than their counterpart in 12g, but should be easier to fit. 12g, you can buy low recoil shells (and trainer shells) for about the same cost as standard 20g. A box of 20g is usually more than a box of 12g too.

Not a lot of upper body strength moves me towards suggesting a gas gun or maybe an O/U over a pump. A good gas gun will be a lot cheaper and have less recoil than a good O/U. Barrel length is less important than the ability to swing the gun, especially on the doubles. O/Us have more mass out front, which for 6 foot men helps to smooth the often jerkiness of the overpowering of the swing. Again, with less upper body strength, that will push my suggestion to a Gas gun even more. Almost every smaller statured shooter who has tried is has loved my Browning Golden Clays. No longer made, but they can be found used for less than a quality O/U. Rem 1100s, several of the Berettas and there are others, offer great sporting guns suitable for the clay sports.

Your Remington would work okay to try it, but I suspect it is not fit right to you and the sights are not a good idea. You could buy a sporting barrel for a few hundred, go with low recoil 12g ammo and try a few rounds of Trap and Skeet, but again, I worry about fit. A poorly fitting shotgun will frustrate, teach bad lessons and have sharper recoil.

If you were in CO, I'd offer to meet you at the range and let you try several and get a read on fit. So, maybe someone in your area will do just that. If not, your best bet is to go take an Intro to Trap class with an Instructor/Range that has loaner guns. Until you do that, specific suggestions on what gun to get, and how to fit it, are premature. But I still think you will be best with a Semi-Auto eventually.

Just FTR, HS Trap/Skeet coach with a State Title and 2 kids going on to shoot College trap on Scholarship.
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Last edited by MarkCO; February 15, 2020 at 03:54 PM.
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Old February 15, 2020, 03:23 PM   #3
Ridgerunner665
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Get a 12 guage... and shoot 7/8 ounce loads in it.... the slightly heavier 12 gauge will soak up more recoil than a smaller gauge gun with a lighter frame.

Shooting clay, and having fun at it, absolutely requires that you get rid of all the felt recoil you can.

Plus.... with a 12... you can still hold your own at any handicap trap game.... and ammo is generally cheaper too.

And yes.....FIT.... the gun needs to fit you or it'll be both painful to shoot and hard to hit with.

I prefer over/under myself.... shorter barrels will be fine for skeet (26") and keep the front end weight down, I still do fine even at handicap trap with my 28" barrels...if only shooting for fun, 26" would do just as well for trap as anything else.

My gun is just a field grade Winchester 101... one of the new ones made by FN...it is my only shotgun.... I've used it for trap, skeet, 5 stand, rabbits, squirrels, grouse, quail, and turkeys... pretty solid shotgun at a reasonable price.

I'm no great clay shooter.... I've run a few 25's at trap and 5 stand.... never done better than 19 at skeet so far....I just enjoy the games and the people I shoot with...not in it for competition.

Last edited by Ridgerunner665; February 15, 2020 at 03:33 PM.
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Old February 15, 2020, 03:27 PM   #4
RaySendero
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Laura,

I've shot skeet with people shooting with just about any shotgun you can imagine, S/Ss, O/Us, Autos, Pumps and single shots in all gauges. No reason you can enjoy shooting that !8" pump while you figure out what you really want and need.

I went thru many shotguns until I settled on just one and got rid of the others. Found I could not compete at the level I wanted when switching from one gun to another as they all were just enough different in feel and balance to cause me to miss 1 or 2.

I also like to hunt doves and ducks so I picked shotguns that shot to POA. Many skeet guns are designed with an exaggerated high rib that cause that pattern to shoot high. It will allow you to keep the clays above the barrel on a higher line of sight. I choose not to use these as I also wanted to hunt with it - Again, I found it best to stay with one shotgun for all my skeet and hunting.

A lot of the ladies I watched starting to shoot skeet would pick a 28 or 20 gauge auto. The ones that caught on and really loved it would migrate to a heavier 12 gauge auto or O/U.
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Old February 15, 2020, 05:10 PM   #5
eastbank
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I shoot all the clay games and skeet is the hardest for me at 76, but it is fun for me and helps me with upland bird hunting. my first rule is if I don,t have fun its work and I stopped that when I retired in 2005.
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Old February 15, 2020, 08:03 PM   #6
pete2
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A gun that fits, preferably a 20 ga gas semi auto, at least a 26" bbl. For me skeet is prolly easiest to learn because the birds fly the same every time, never change. A 12 ga gun is better for Trap and Sporting but both can be shot with the 20. You can't use a single shot for skeet because you have to shoot doubles.
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Old February 15, 2020, 08:28 PM   #7
Jim Watson
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A gas operated auto is a good choice to moderate recoil and get off the second shot. Remington and Beretta are popular.
A GOOD OU is expensive, a pump just adds challenge to shooting doubles.
20ga or very light 12ga loads are ample.

Last edited by Jim Watson; February 15, 2020 at 08:34 PM.
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Old February 16, 2020, 08:16 AM   #8
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I have a younger friend who shoots a 20 ga pump for skeet and 25-25,s come easy for him, he is greased lighting with that pump. but his doesn,t do as good at trap or sporting clays. go figure.
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Old February 16, 2020, 10:18 AM   #9
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My first trap shoot was with a Mossberg 500 18” with a red dot! We shot around a bunch of self proclaimed “pros” and out shot them on everything. To say we were wildly unpopular is an understatement. Hey, we were having a blast hooping it up, but all the guys with their $20k+ O/U aren’t going to be the least bit amused. We were shunned pretty bad, but the whole experience was so addicting, we all (5 of us) went on a hunt for “real” shut guns.

We shot tons of different ones at a facility where we could rent several models. We all learned a pretty valuable lesson on that day. 1) the rifle makes a huge difference. 2) 20 gauge and 410 can pound the snot out of you. They are lighter and have less recoil control. 3) My bad shoulder in particular didn’t do well and any better with most non-semiautos than my pump gun. 4) a nice O/U is freakishly expensive...AND 5) It’s really easy to get humiliated with a nice (correct) shotgun when not being helped by the wider spread of a short barrel! Kinda explains the being shunned by the big boys thing.

I ended up with a Benelli Super Sport. Nicer than I deserve, but doesn’t pound the snot out of my bad shoulder. I’ve shot 400 rounds without bruising or issues, where my buddies with no shoulder issues with “lesser” semiautos have bruises after 75 rounds.

The Super Sport also is not so specific that I can’t use it for other activities like a dedicated skeet gun. What I’m really trying to say is go out and shoot as many as you can. The difference between one and another can be huge for feel, etc. I haven’t had a professional fitting, but I watched several videos on what constitutes a decent fit and had enough options with my rifle to get close. Two of my buddies didn’t have the option to adjust fit out of the box. Not advocating for the Benelli here, just saying there are differences to watch for. The best part of shooting clays/skeet...it doesn’t get any more fun than that! Enjoy the search and subsequent blastings!
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Old February 18, 2020, 02:43 PM   #10
T. O'Heir
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Best to go shoot one or the other to see if you like it first. A lot depends on your budget.
Your 870 Home Defender will take regular 870 barrels with no fuss. I'd suggest one with Remchokes(changeable choke tubes) vs a fixed skeet/trap choke. And use 2.75" target ammo. You won't have a choice of gauge though.
You can have a 28" Carlson vent rib Remchoked barrel for $176 from Midway.
Like Jim says any 'skeet/trap' over and under is going to be pricey. Mind you, a Stoeger Condor Field Over & Under(12 ga., IC and Mod) runs $399.99 at Cabela's. About $500 for a Mossberg semi-auto. There's a Weatherby in that price range but it only weighs 6.75 pounds. Semi's are much more pleasant to shoot for a whole day than anything else, but not one that light.
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Old February 18, 2020, 06:49 PM   #11
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Proper fit is essential, especially if one is 5’2” tall.

Skeet is a club sport, so ask around to find out who the other women are. Ask around to find out who the recommended shotgun gunsmith is. You’ll need a gunsmith to get you properly fit.

You could go with a youth 20 gauge semi auto (or pump but not advised)
Or after talking to other women in your club and a smith that can do a proper fitting go with a 12 Gauge with light light loads that will mimic a 20 ga. Load.

I’m 5’7” and my length of pull is around 13 7/8 inches. Usual factory lengths are 14 1/4 to 14 1/2.
Your LOP will be less than mine. Not to mention other fitting variables. It’s essential your shotgun fits you.

Once you have a properly fit shotgun, you’ll wonder how the heck you ever withstood the beating that 870 gave you with a stock so long it’s impossible to get a proper shoulder mount. If your upper arm gets bruises, you know.

A person doesn’t really aim a shotgun like a rifle, it’s more like shooting a bow- you look at the Target from a proper stance and swing... and you hit! Only if your gun fits, though.

A person could start with getting that 870 stock fit and see how much you like it, and if worse comes to worse, your 870 will fit you.

Last edited by stinkeypete; February 18, 2020 at 07:39 PM.
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Old February 18, 2020, 08:25 PM   #12
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You need to look at the answers from the other forum as well.
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Old February 18, 2020, 08:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
I have a younger friend who shoots a 20 ga pump for skeet and 25-25,s come easy for him, he is greased lighting with that pump. but his doesn,t do as good at trap or sporting clays. go figure.
Nothing to figure; skeet is a game of exact repetition where the target is always the same and once the muscle memory is set, you could damn near shoot it blindfolded........trap at least has a variable target and sporting has presentations no skeeter would ever see.
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Old February 19, 2020, 04:07 PM   #14
Jim Watson
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Col. Charles Askins said he could teach the rudiments of Trap easier, but he could make you a GOOD Skeet shooter sooner.
I don't think Sporting Clays is a good entry.
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Old February 21, 2020, 09:44 PM   #15
joegator
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For skeet a 20 ga. is fine. If you want to shoot other clays such a trap or sporting clays, a 12 is more versatile. A 26" or 28" barrel is a good choice for skeet with most 20's having a 26" barrel. Some ranges and clubs restrict how short a barrel is permitted on the range.

Based on your requirements, a 20 ga. auto would be a good choice. A 20 ga. Montefeltro would work well. The Monty is an inertia action shotgun. If you want the softest recoil, there are a lot of gas operated shotguns to chose from as well.

If you prefer an O/U and it's within you budget, you can't go wrong with an SP1.
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Old February 22, 2020, 10:36 AM   #16
pete2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZHeat View Post
My first trap shoot was with a Mossberg 500 18” with a red dot! We shot around a bunch of self proclaimed “pros” and out shot them on everything. To say we were wildly unpopular is an understatement. Hey, we were having a blast hooping it up, but all the guys with their $20k+ O/U aren’t going to be the least bit amused. We were shunned pretty bad, but the whole experience was so addicting, we all (5 of us) went on a hunt for “real” shut guns.

We shot tons of different ones at a facility where we could rent several models. We all learned a pretty valuable lesson on that day. 1) the rifle makes a huge difference. 2) 20 gauge and 410 can pound the snot out of you. They are lighter and have less recoil control. 3) My bad shoulder in particular didn’t do well and any better with most non-semiautos than my pump gun. 4) a nice O/U is freakishly expensive...AND 5) It’s really easy to get humiliated with a nice (correct) shotgun when not being helped by the wider spread of a short barrel! Kinda explains the being shunned by the big boys thing.

I ended up with a Benelli Super Sport. Nicer than I deserve, but doesn’t pound the snot out of my bad shoulder. I’ve shot 400 rounds without bruising or issues, where my buddies with no shoulder issues with “lesser” semiautos have bruises after 75 rounds.

The Super Sport also is not so specific that I can’t use it for other activities like a dedicated skeet gun. What I’m really trying to say is go out and shoot as many as you can. The difference between one and another can be huge for feel, etc. I haven’t had a professional fitting, but I watched several videos on what constitutes a decent fit and had enough options with my rifle to get close. Two of my buddies didn’t have the option to adjust fit out of the box. Not advocating for the Benelli here, just saying there are differences to watch for. The best part of shooting clays/skeet...it doesn’t get any more fun than that! Enjoy the search and subsequent blastings!
A rifle would make a huge difference..............................................................
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Old February 22, 2020, 03:44 PM   #17
MarkCO
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^ yes, yes it does.
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Old February 22, 2020, 05:26 PM   #18
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Shot a Round of 25 practice Trap with a new guy and the First shot he took was very loud . He had a box of shells from home to shoot one round but did not look at them . He had a box of deer slugs and thought it was funny . Less then 1/2 mile down range from us was a lot of houses ?
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