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Old July 8, 2011, 05:39 PM   #1
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quick rant/another first ?

so i've been shooting ALOT since getting into firearms a year ago or so. pretty much every weekend. i have my first m-1 garand on the way, and think i'm going to look into doing some cmp matches and such. im starting idpa as well. i want to keep going deeper, and i've always wanted to give skeet/trap shooting a try.

i've been watching a good bit of three gun stuff too and that looks like a real hoot, so i'd like to try my hand at that also.

i have a few rifles and two handguns which i love to shoot, but this will be my first shotgun. i know in the land of skeet and 3gun the auto shotgun is king, but i'm happy with cheaper and i've always had an affinity for a pump action.

i'm guessing something like a used 870 or something in 12 gauge seems like a nice, reliable, long lasting do all sorta thing, but i was wondering if there are other things i should look for? such as barrel length, various chokes (still don't know much about such things), nicer iron/peep sights, and the like

please, guide me my friends
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Old July 8, 2011, 05:49 PM   #2
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I can not help you very much other than add the newer 870's can be equiped with a large selection of various Rem-Chokes. There are also several other Mfgrs. who offer choke tubes for the 870. It almost seems like the choices are endless.

I suspect other gun makers do the same. My Winchester Model 1200 was equipped with the Win-Chokes, and I bought it back in the 1970's. Others may also agree and recommend a screw-in type choke capable barrel.
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Old July 8, 2011, 06:24 PM   #3
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A pump gun is fine for Trap singles - especially for shooting casually. For Trap - in general - you will want at least a 28" barrel and a Modified choke. Most any 12ga pump gun is fine / personally I like the Browning BPS Hunter model ...or the BPS Trap model that has a 30" barrel. Nothing wrong with an 870 - if that's what you want.

Skeet is a little different - you can shoot it with a pump gun / but you'll be at a disadvantage on stations where you shoot pairs of targets in the air at once / but it can be done with a pump if you're experienced with it. For Skeet - stay with the 28" barrel / and an open Cyclinder or a Skeet choke.

Semi-autos are not the preferred platform for any of the clay target games / although there are a lot of them around. The clear platform for serious clay shooters is an Over Under ...with Browning and Beretta owning the entry level market - on long term guns.

For any shotgun used to shoot moving targets - no peep sights, etc are wanted on a shotgun. A mid-rib bead and a front-rib bead is all you'll want - anything else will get in the way / and not be productive.

Chokes restrict the opening in the barrel - and it changes the size of the pattern over various ranges. The idea on a shotgun to deliver a cloud of shot the kill range ...of about 30" accross. At 21 yards - that's why you use a Skeet choke / at 35 yards thats why you use a Modified choke ( in Trap singles you stand 16 yards from the house/bird goes downrange and you kill it at around 35 yds ) ....other games you may want to change your chokes as well ...sporting clays, etc ... Most tactical shotguns come with fixed choke barrels / not screw in changeable chokes. Most hunting and clay target game guns come with changeable screw in chokes. Some guns come with one screw in choke / you buy others at about $ 35 - $50 each / some guns come with 5 or more screw in chokes in the original box. Most of us can get by on a single barrel gun a pump or semi-auto / with a Cyclinder choke ( 10-15 yds ), Skeet choke for 15 - 25 yrds, an Improved Cyclinder choke for 25 - 30 yds, a Modified for 30-35 yds, an Improved Modified for 35 - 40 yds, and a Full for 40 - 50 yds.../ if you want to hold expenses down ....get a Cyclinder, a Modified and a Full .../ guns like the Browning BPS Hunter model pump come with those 3 chokes as standard equipment.

Here is a link to the shotgun I'm talking about ..../ I still have my BPS's in 12ga and 20ga that I bought in the late 1970's ....and they're still solid guns. Other guys will tell you the same thing about their Rem 870 Wingmasters...

Last edited by BigJimP; July 8, 2011 at 06:34 PM.
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Old July 9, 2011, 01:35 PM   #4
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awesome, thanks for the info bud
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Old July 9, 2011, 02:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by shrewd
i know in the land of skeet and 3gun the auto shotgun is king
I fear you've greatly overgeneralized. Skeet and 3-gun are two totally different lands. Skeet was designed to simulate wing shooting game birds, while 3-gun was designed to simulate shooting people. Also, there are different types of 3-gun shoots: classic (cowboy) and contemporary (tactical). Do you wanna dress up like a cowboy or a mall ninja? The shotguns used for Skeet and 3-gun are as different as day and night.

In the wing shooting sports (Skeet, trap, 5-stand and sporting clays) the presentations are single and double targets. You don't need more than 2 repetitive shots. The most popular configuration for clays is the over/under. Pumps and auto-loaders may be used, but the O/U is king.

With 3-gun shoots the object is to deliver a lot of firepower quickly. In tactical 3-gun a high capacity stick gun (pump or auto) is preferred. For cowboy 3-gun some shooters select old style side-by-sides (typically "coach" guns) others use early pump guns (W-97). Auto-loaders are not allowed in cowboy 3-gun).
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Old July 18, 2011, 06:30 PM   #6
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dress up like a cowboy or a ninja? nuts to both of those.

i wouldn't mind giving cowboy a shot because i have a fondness for the style of the older weapons, but i could never put on something that had tassles on it. its just silly.

if i did 'tactical' 3 gun, id still probably use a pump and and either an m-1 (just arrived!!!) or even my lever gun, unless 10/22s are usable

but man, over unders sure are sexy little things, arent they?
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Old July 18, 2011, 07:00 PM   #7
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The only pumps allowed in CAS shooting are the open hammer models such as the Winchester 1897. SxS may be hammerless but can't have ejectors.
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Old July 18, 2011, 07:24 PM   #8
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BigJim and Zippy know there stuff, take it in and listen to what they can share. They can really help you. If I were going to buy a pump though, why buy the cheapest thing that comes along first, dont. You will just want something better. Im not saying go spend 1200 bucks on a brand new Ithaca 37 which is the best pump in my mind made today but go look around for something that can serve for multiple purposes. Get something with screw in chokes so you can mix things up for a low cost. IC, M, F, EF are are ones to do it all. They will take you where a fixed tube just cant go. I would recommend a 26 or 28" barrel. If you want to do it casual and quick and be able to take it hunting if ever desire the 26" is the way to go. The 28" is getting to where its easier to shoot but to me feels akward, I shoot 26" on all my guns, I have 32s and 30s and they just set there in the safe. So as far as the gun goes I wood puck up a Benelli Nova if synthetic is your thing, or a Browning BPS if you like the wood. Either way you will be happy and also get the 12ga, no point in the 20 really if your already used to shooting and feel comfortable with your weapon and it fits well
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