defensive shotgun for skeet?


June 5, 2005, 11:11 PM
besides having a bunch of old guys with O/Us snickering at me, is there any reason i wouldn't want to shoot skeet with a defensive shotgun?

a wilson/scattergun 1187 auto is the only shotgun I own at the moment and I've been thinking about shooting skeet more often.

it just so happens that i'm a member of a range that offers me FREE rental of shotguns.

i don't have to clean them!
i get to shoot a gun with a choke appropriate for skeet

i'd get a different shotgun model every time i go to the range and I'd really rather get more trigger time on one of MY guns

I've only ever put 00 buckshot through the wilson. I have no idea what kind of pattern something like #7 would present.

is it worth trying or just a bad idea?

edit: i'm not talking competition or leagues or anything. strictly solo entertainment

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June 5, 2005, 11:20 PM
Take the scattergun- I had a friend that did it and I think a couple of the "competitive" shooters actually had a stroke. It might do alright, but the shock factor will be priceless. But think, if you actually outshoot one of the serious folks, he'll never live it down. Seriously, if you want to be competitive (just playing around), look into a longer barrel until you get hang of it and if you like it, save the pennies and invest in something for the leagues.

June 5, 2005, 11:21 PM
Go for it! I shoot skeet with my 590 when I'm feeling froggy. Unless I was going to buy a gun, I wouldn't rent any. Although the gun may prevent you from being really good, after some practice you should be able to break >20 with it. A lot of people take the shotgun games too seriously anyway. It's all about having fun...I've seen a lot of people miss quite a few with multi-thousand dollar Berettas and Brownings and I've seen old guys run em all with $200 Mossberg .410s.

Double Naught Spy
June 5, 2005, 11:55 PM
If the REM 1187 doesn't have a choke, you will be at something of a disadvantage shooting against guys with guns set up for skeet. Similarly, if your REM 1187 has an 18" barrel as many common HD oriented shotguns have, then you will be at a further disadvantage against their longer guns.

So, what are the problems? First, the lack of a choke and a shorter barrel means that your patterns are going to open up faster and spread out wider than regular skeet guns. So the longer the shot you need to make, the greater likelihood that your patterm will have spread out so far that the bird may be completely missed even though it went through your pattern.

Shorter barrels and no choke also is probably going to produce a more irregular pattern than is produced by the skeet guns. Ideally, you want he pattern to be uniform in shape and coverage. Irregular patterns means that you will probably suffer inconsistant hits as the bird has the potential to pass through holes in the pattern.

One thing in your favor is that you are probably going to have a mechanical advantage of hitting birds passing close to you because the pattern is spreading out faster and so is more likely to score a hit than choked guns with tight patterns.

Even with the shortcomings, it is a hoot to try to shoot skeet with a HD shotgun. It will also help you to develop your tracking skills and skills in generating the proper lead on a moving target.

June 6, 2005, 12:12 AM
I think Double Naught brought up a legitimate point. Regardless of what favors it does or doesn't do for your skeet scores, I think using your home defense shotgun for skeet could be worth it just for the practice it gives you with your defense peice. You'll learn its balance and controls and have some fun at the same time. And I'd be willing to bet that if you can hit that 4 inch clay pigeon at that speed, nothing on two legs is going to evade your sights if you can keep your cool when the crap hits the fan.

My highest score on clays was shot with a Benelli M1 Tactical. I found I actually prefer the ghost ring sights and with practice was able to throw the bird myself, pick up the shotgun laying at my feet, and shoot the bird. I did this three times in a row then smiled at my uncle and handed him his shotgun back.

I say go for it.

June 6, 2005, 12:33 AM
I took my Benelli M1S90 the first time out to shoot skeet. It was a riot to see all the regulars give me the *** is he doing look...haha. I got the hang of it the more we shot. I say take what ya got.

bad LT
June 6, 2005, 03:35 AM
Try shooting skeet with a bayonet mounted :neener:

June 6, 2005, 04:55 AM
"Man, if you have to defend yourself from skeet. you're aiming the thing in the wrong direction!" :D

Now snipe-snipe you have to worry about, especially at night. :evil:

June 6, 2005, 05:50 AM
Take the HD shotgun. The difference between a skeet choke and cylinder bore is not enough to worry about. Most HD guns have some choke, usually improved cylinder, which is tighter choke than skeet choke. The pattern with 1 1/8oz loads will be denser than a 28ga with 3/4oz loads, maybe not as even though.

June 6, 2005, 06:22 AM
It is good to get time on the range with your HD gun, but if rentals are free I'll have that Perazzi over in the corner!

Winchester and Remington both make a heavy target load of 1.25oz that might offset your lack of choke if your gun likes load. I had some success Sat. before last with a cylinder bore gun on some hand thrown clays.

Did I mention it was a 28ga? :what:


June 6, 2005, 06:41 AM
Have used 18 in pump and 20 in sxs for informal clay bird busting. Used a full choke in the pump and sxs to extend a tighter pattern further out with small shot. Had previously tried a 20 in pump with cylinder bore, not much success.

Walt Rauch
June 6, 2005, 06:56 AM
Using your short barreled gun for skeet will put you in good company. Through the 1950s, FBI agent trainees were required to shoot skeet with the Bureau guns while at Quantico, VA.

June 6, 2005, 08:31 AM
Do it just to see the reaction from the obsessive/compulsive skeet fanatics. A lot of skeet shooters are wierd. It is like it is their religion. They take it sooooo seriously it makes me laugh.

The game is flawed. Any game that people can shoot 100% consistently, is too easy. It becomes an obsessive act for a lot of guys. Heck, if I can get 20 out of 25 with no practice, it can't be too hard.

Do it and watch them freak out.

A Cleaner
June 6, 2005, 10:00 AM
Just this Sunday, my buddy and I went trap shooting at a "high brow" club. My friend is a military enthusiast and finds that what works for them in combat works for him anytime. He goes in wearing camo pants tucked into shiny black boots, OD green shirt, and a full system on shoulder straps. We're both carrying HD guns (his-Mossberg 500 Persuader with PG + Stock, mine - Remington 870 HD).

More looks than we knew what to do with. In fact, it was so intense, we at one point considered leaving as it felt a little like we were going to be lynched. Then we remembered this was the $3000 trap gun club (read: Browning Citori owners) and the old timers were probably not up to the task. It was a gas.

Shoot with your HD gun. It's trigger time + a more challenging task. Having loose groups from a cylinder bore also encourages prompt target acquisition/neutralization which is always of benefit to anyone serious about defense.

Happy shooting.

Dave McCracken
June 6, 2005, 10:44 AM
Go skeet with your room broom. Being able to acquire, destroy and cycle to do it again on the doubles is as good training as one can get.

A standard clay is about 4" wide. So's the important parts of a foe's CNS. Catch my drift?

With 5 12 gauge 870s here, I can and do use a non "Serious" 870 for the clays games, as many here can attest. Same controls and chops for all,shooting one is training with all.

And skeet, like wobble, trap and so on, is as much fun as one can have standing up fully dressed.....

June 6, 2005, 11:27 AM
Dave, I could not agree more that skeet, trap, and clays are awesome fun. And, I also agree that it is great training for weapons familiarity for a defense gun.

My initial point would have been better made by saying that we, as a society, take our "games" much too seriously. It is just a game. I see this everywhere. My kids baseball games are insane. The kids are fine. The parents are lunatics. I think it is an expression of our collective loss of perspective. Don't even get me started on the golf psychos I know.

I think it is a combination of too much free time and not enough real purpose in life.

Dave McCracken
June 6, 2005, 11:36 AM
Much too seriously? Heck, yes! Some folks get downright O/C.

Real purpose in life? That's one crisis I managed to avoid. Pro sheepdogs KNOW what they do has value. It's one reason we are professional sheepdogs, guarding the group from predators.

June 6, 2005, 01:28 PM
To the original question, I use my 18" predator control 870 for skeet occasionally to stay in touch with using a pump gun and can hit with it reasonably well. So take your gun and enjoy yourself. At our club you'll shoot with all sorts of o/us but you paid for your targets and provided you obey the safety rules there's no problem.

Now to some of the others. It's pretty disappointing that some folks feel the need to make snide and stupid comments about skeet shooters. As for the game being easy Dave3006, do you have a 4x100 badge? Heck you don't even have to show the badge, go 100 straight with a .410 and then tell me how easy it was. :rolleyes:

Last time I checked we were all shooters and ostensibly on the same team.


June 6, 2005, 01:37 PM
thanks for the replies, all!

I do have an 18" barrel, and will pattern the gun before I try the birds.

While I was looking at the shotgun though, it occured to me that i have night-sights on this thing.

would it be cool to paint some clays with glow-in-the-dark paint and shoot a round at night? I'm thinking yeah :) that would probaby even the playing field with the citoris!

June 6, 2005, 07:05 PM
Shooting your HD shottie at most clubs is fine. Don't forget that some places do have a minimal barrell length. (beginning around 23").

Also do not worry about the stares. Let your gun do your talking for you by dusting the clays.

Bob F.
June 8, 2005, 10:25 AM
As for group tightness, I could probably shoot trap with my 870HD 18" (IF I could use Hornady TAP 00!!!!!!) LOL

Have fun and stay safe.

June 8, 2005, 01:46 PM
Paul, I wish we were all on the same team. However, the last time I did skeet, one of the arrogant skeet regulars was bragging that he did not own a handgun. "All a handgun is good for is killing people." I asked him, "what if you are defending your life with it". He said, "killing is killing. It is still wrong".

Are all skeet shooters morons? Nope. But, the non-defense oriented shooting games seem to attract the tunnel vision arrogant types more than a three gun match.

Dale Taylor
June 8, 2005, 02:46 PM
I learned to shoot skeet at Camp Lejeune with Savage ?520 riot pump. I did as well as those with Winchester 101s, Kreikofs and mod 12's. We had reloads with #8 shot with 1oz. Shoot what you have. You will surprise the snobs.

June 8, 2005, 02:57 PM
You could buy a different barrel for your 11-87. I have the rifled barrel and the 24 in smooth bore w/ remchoke for mine. Then you have the same trigger all the time.

Dave R
June 8, 2005, 07:00 PM
I used my brother's Win 1300 defender to shoot clays on several occasions. It has a cylinder bore 18" (?) barrel. I patterned it once, informally, and don't remember any details except it looked better than I thought it would look with birdshot.

Broke the clay's just like my long-barreled 870 does.

I actually took it dove hunting last year, but it was late in the season and we didn't get any shots that day.

Will try again this year.

June 8, 2005, 08:04 PM
I shot trap at my local club with an 18" Benelli M1. Didn't do too bad. Later, after converting this to a 26" barrel with a ten round mag tube and a Red-dot sight, I returned to the same club and shot 24/25. This really got them twitching. I must admit that my regular clays gun is a Browning 425 Citori. On this particular evening, my M1 score was higher. I am a firm believer in that it is the shooter, not the gun. Thats not to say I haven't bought most things that came down the pike that I thought would help in the various shooting sports I do. I have sold most of these items.

June 11, 2005, 07:19 PM
well, i shot three rounds today with that wilson scattergun 1187 and 18" barrel. it was raining, so it was pretty much just me and the guy running the range out there. I wasn't really keeping track, but I think i missed about 5 or 6 of them on the last round.

i did find out that the remington shells wouldn't cycle my action, so i had to switch to winchester AA and after that, no problems.

he gave me a lot of good tips while i was shooting, and afterwards, i spent about an hour talking to him about equipment.

i think i'll be shooting skeet pretty regularly with this gun now.

June 11, 2005, 09:23 PM
I took my M1super90 to the Skeet range and scored a 16,17,20,21,17 With it. I perfered the ghost ring sights to a bead after useing them, as i could sight it like a rifle, and hit some on the downfall.

Although, one trap club asked a guy i know to leave when he and his friend showed up with a USAS 12 to shoot with. :evil:

July 5, 2005, 02:56 AM
I've shot skeet a handful of times with my 18" 870 Express. I'm a noob and that's all I have. But, it was more fun than I ever had than shooting any other type of firearm.

I did get wierd looks from the some of the O/U guys.

I was able to score a 21 last time out. But, I "cheated" by shouldering the buttstock before calling "pull" (recommended by the referee). I noticed that most of the O/U guys start by holding their guns at the hips, and mount their guns only after calling "pull".

Not sure if this is a rule. If it was, I was breaking it. :neener:

1911 guy
July 5, 2005, 08:48 AM
Dance with who brung ya! Even if you had a dedicated skeet gun, shoot the HD piece once in a while anyway. If you're gonna use it for real, you may as well practice on moving targets.

Gary A
July 5, 2005, 09:44 PM
I really enjoy reading the posts on this and other forums. There are many here who teach me a lot about shooting and thinking. That said, it seems to me that when visiting someone's club, be it "high brow" or "old men" or anybody, that no matter how I dress or what I choose to shoot, it is best to always be polite and not give any idea that I'm "in their face". After all, it is their club and I was always taught to treat people the way I want people to treat me. Attitude is more important than clothes or gear. It might make it better for the next guy who comes to shoot his 18" 870 while wearing camo pants. Offending people is not the same as impressing them. Walk softly (and get a more harmonious outcome - to mix metaphors :))

July 6, 2005, 12:23 AM
Good advice Gary.

June 6, 2006, 08:00 PM
Rather than start a new thread, I'll breath life into an old one.

I'm going to buy an HD shotgun and I intend to bust some clays with it for practice and fun. I saw several people mention the ghost rings. Could somone give advice on sights with skeet?

I've never shot skeet, but since you have to lead, it seems like a ghost ring would get in the way, does it? How about rifle sights?

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