March 23, 2006, 12:24 PM
After talking about it for years, and long after my wife finally agreed that it was the right thing to do, I bought my first firearm. It's a brand-spankin'-new Remington 870 Express with a 28-inch barrel, made specially just for my left-handed self. I've had it for more than a month now but haven't had the chance to go shooting, yet. But that may change this weekend. I bought 100 shells and plan on killing some free-range clay pigeons.

I originally wanted to buy one strictly for self-defense purposes, but then it wouldn't be too effective shooting flying things, so I went with the longer barrel. I don't have a rifled barrel for slugs, but maybe if I decide to start hunting deer with it (can't hunt deer with anything else here in Indiana).

Now for the question: When you go out shooting for fun with a shotgun, where do you go? Do you hit the range? Make friends with someone who lives out in the country and use their fields? Are there clubs where you can shoot clay pigeons, etc.? Also, as far as shooting clay, do you think the standard launcher is superior to someone using a hand launcher? Yes, I'm pretty new to this and have only been shooting in someone's field with a hand launcher.

Thanks for such a great forum. I've learned a ton so far, and can't wait to learn more.

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March 23, 2006, 12:41 PM
Congratulations! Great choice for a first gun.

Maybe someone here will step up and suggest a good place to shoot clays in Indiana. If you can find a place where it's safe and legal, blasting away at clays flung by a hand-held thrower is pretty inexpensive and can be great fun.

March 23, 2006, 04:34 PM
Congrats on a good solid shotgun Mendel5. Depending where you are here in Indiana there are some fine skeet and trap ranges. I shoot mostly at Kosko Conservation in Warsaw. There is the St. Jo gun club north of Fort Wayne about 25 miles. Indiana Gun Club northeast of Indy in the Fishers area. Several small ones scattered throughout rural areas as well. If you're in my neighborhood let me know and I'll hook you up.

Fred Fuller
March 24, 2006, 08:14 AM
National Sporting Clays Assn lists 11 clubs in Indiana- see .

And see for a longer list of ranges, look for skeet, trap or sporting clays ranges on that list.

Ask about lessons when you call-


March 24, 2006, 11:31 AM
shoot at a range, learn teh games a bit, will help you get better instead of not understanding why you missed (i.e. you get teh same presentation)
shooting things in a field is fun too though
but sporting clays is addictive.
shotguns on crack.

March 24, 2006, 12:04 PM

Others addressed questions to which I agree.

Re: slugs

May I suggest you stay with a smoothbore bbl? Brenneke's are the bees knees, then again the 1 oz Foster [plain vanilla lead] nothing to sneeze at either.

Keep your eyes open for a used bbl, be really great if a Turkey 21" bbl with chokes.
Even a bbl someone fired with mud in the end and busted at muzzle. Have a gunsmith cut to > legal length - though I recommend at least 20" and I really like the 21" and 23" length.

Short bbls are great for grouse, woodcock and other hunting apps too besides Serious Situation use.

IME/IMO the rifled chokes provide equal if not better performance than a rifled bbl.

Pellet loads do not do well at all from a rifled bbl - smoothbores offer a LOT more versatility. I mean out bird hunting with pellet loads with a deer season - just ease out the bird loads, slip a Brenneke slug in and good to go...



March 24, 2006, 03:39 PM
Mendel5; you might want to check out

Dave McCracken
March 24, 2006, 04:15 PM
Welcome, and enjoy. Now go shoot it.

Bob F.
March 25, 2006, 06:37 PM
Dave: can't believe you didn't mention the 1oz loads!!!!!! Unless one has shot them, won't believe the difference in recoil vs. 1&1/8oz loads. Shop here had ESTATE Brand 1oz as cheap at Wally World's Win & Rem "Value Packs".
Spaeking of which: I've gotta go get somemore!!

Stay safe.

Oh, yeah, Mendel5: WELCOME!!

Dave McCracken
March 25, 2006, 09:16 PM
OK, OK! Use light loads, Mendel.....


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