I'm hooked on shotguns


Denton T. Young
January 13, 2003, 05:19 PM
I was never a fan of shotguns. The only time I fired one was 2 years ago, shooting a slug from an old single barrel. It was not a pleasant experience.

Three weeks ago, a friend bought a Mossberg 500. We were out shooting in the desert at the usual targets; boxes, microwaves, helium tanks, etc... I tried his shotgun and it was fun to shoot. The recoil wasn't too bad and it was easy to handle. I had to have one.

After much research, including reading 108 pages of the old TFL shotgun forum, I ordered a Remington 870 Express Turkey. I had checked all the local stores for a used Wingmaster, but couldn't find a decent one. I went with the Turkey model because of the 21" barrel. I figured if I wanted to shoot clays/skeet, a 28" barrrel would be easier to find. My gun will be a general purpose gun: home defense, upland birds, clays, and good 'ol blasting away in the desert.

When I was ordering my gun, I also purchased a clay thrower, a box of clays and 300 rounds of various loads. I went shooting today with my friend's Mossberg. At first, I couldn't hit anything, it was very frustrating. The Mossberg has a cylinder barrel so I thought that was the problem. I missed my first 16 shots....but then I busted my first clay! I think I was shooting too fast. I would launch the clay, miss the shot, but started hitting it on the followup shot. I tried to be patient and after a while I was breaking the clay on the first shot practically every time. I'm thinking, "wow, this is fun".

So now I'm eagerly awaiting my 870 to arrive. I plan to buy an Improved Cylinder and Imp Modified choke. And of course more ammo and clays. Thanks to everyone that posted on the old TFL board. You're advice has been very valuable. Special thanks to Dave McC for his many words of wisdom.

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Dave McCracken
January 13, 2003, 06:19 PM
Oh Frabjous joy! Calloo, Callay!

You're very welcome,Denton. That was a great bunch on TFL, and the good news is that quite a few of us are here.

A coupla things...

Before you break out the clays, spend an hour or so on patterning and if needed, adjusting the POI. And check fit with the closed eyes test.

I was thinking of posting the directions again for adjusting this, part of the continuing series for beginners. Stay tuned...

Also, you're starting off with an Extra Full choke. For max versatility, I'd start the other chokes off with a true cylinder, then Light Mod and IM. Or, Skeet, Mod, Full. Either of these sets should run the gamut with good shell selection.

Once all this is settled, the next thing I can suggest is to buy ammo, use up, repeat....

January 13, 2003, 08:08 PM

You are hooked. In your future I see a reloader, bags and bags of #8 and #9 shot, and a membership to a shooting club.

Like you, I found out a month ago that shooting flying things that break is more fun than paper targets that don't move. Now there's a Lee Load-All II and a RCBS powder scale attached to my desk and I'll be on the trap line in an hour for my weekly dose of clays.

:D :D :D

Have fun!


January 13, 2003, 10:08 PM
Roll the calendar back more years than I'd care to think about and this sounds a lot like me. Started with a short barrelled 870 and a clay launcher breaking birds at a buddy's farm. Then came the longer barrelled 870. My wife suggested visit the local gun club to try this game called trap.

Then the madness set in. :D

Welcome Denton.


Denton T. Young
January 13, 2003, 10:29 PM
Thanks for the kind words.

I will pattern my new gun once it arrives. I didn't bother patterning my friend's Mossberg....I was too eager to shoot it.

I like shooting out in the desert, but I'm also fortunate to live 10 minutes from a skeet/trap range. Once I'm more proficient with the shotgun, I'll check out the range.

Where can I buy a tactical stock, tactical light..........just kidding. :p

January 13, 2003, 10:59 PM
I also love bangin clays with my 30" Full Choke Browning. To sharpen my skills I move from Trap to Skeet with it. I like full choking them doves at long range! Call me strange! :neener:

January 13, 2003, 11:07 PM

I got all carried away there thinkin bout FUN and forgot to type what I originaly meant to! I also tend to fall on the side of moving targets over paper but, they are necessary!

Have fun and be careful, first and foremost!

January 14, 2003, 10:28 PM
One thing about shooting clays with that shorter turkey barrel... You'll need to be very aware of the need to keep the barrel moving through your shot. Follow through is a little easier with a longer barrel simply because of greater weight and greater momentum. That doesn't mean you can't shoot clays well with the short barrel. You just might have to work a little harder at it.

Denton T. Young
January 16, 2003, 06:44 PM
Well, I went shooting again today. My 870 has not arrived yet so I was using my friend's Mossberg.

I was able to break the first 15 clays. I decided to try doubles. I broke about 80% of the second clays. I got so cocky that I tried shooting left handed (singles only)! I was surprsed by my left handed accuracy.

Time to go buy some more ammo and clays!

Dave McCracken
January 16, 2003, 07:56 PM
Buy ammo, use up, repeat....

January 16, 2003, 09:27 PM
How do you adjust the POI? I had a Mossberg that threw a nice pattern but way off the POA so I returned it.

2nd Amendment
January 16, 2003, 09:40 PM
Yeah, I've had a sudden epiphany. In starting to rebuild my defunct collection I realized that everything I have so far bought has been shotguns. An old Stevens, another SPAS, another 590, I'm looking at several doubles...

This ain't right. I'm a black rifle kinda guy. Seriously...I mean it... :confused:

Denton T. Young
January 17, 2003, 12:14 AM
POA and POI - I just point and shoot. Until this week, I've never shot a clay. I'm sure my technique is not right buy I'm trying to learn the correct method. I'm reading the Orvis Wing-Shooting Handbook. I hope it helps.

Dave McCracken
January 17, 2003, 05:41 AM
2nd, lots of EBR fans own and use sporting shotguns. Vice Versa also.

Denton, that Orvis book has some good input, but the best teacher, once basic form and fit are OK, is a case of light target loads.

And take it slowly, don't obsess over hitting them all, shoot them one at a time...

January 17, 2003, 03:43 PM
I know what its like to be hooked. Rifles are fun to shoot but I prefer shotguns. I started with a 16 gauge. Then a 12 gauge. My uncle left me a 10 gauge and for my birthday this year I got a second 12 gauge. Then yesterday I got a 20 gauge. Now all I need is a 28 gauge. A .410 would be nice too.

January 17, 2003, 09:16 PM
If it goes BANG I think I have an obsession with it. :banghead:

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