skeet shotgun for the girlfriend


November 23, 2007, 02:22 PM
My gf recently has sent off for her firearms licence, over the last 4 months or so she has expressed to me several times that she wants to go skeet shooting and that we should try it out.
For christmas I was thinking of getting her a decent pump shotgun for skeet, but I know nothing of the sport. I have my own shotgun but its an 18" synthetic and I don't know how well it will do for skeet, for now its better than nothing.
The more important question is her, at first I was thinking of getting her the same thing that I have, a maverick 88 but I think it would be better to ask some skeet experts before I do anything.

I was looking at the legendary 870, and its in my price range, I really don't want to exceed 400$ at all for her, lol, no offence to her but I'm not a rich man.

The barrel is 26" and I think this is really the question I want to ask. How does barrel length effect skeet shooting? would longer be better? Do you want a choke? What are the average skeet shooting distances?

Let me know, I appreciate your input.

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November 23, 2007, 02:54 PM
Here's my take on your dilemna. If you like your girlfriend, and want to keep her around, I'd recommend starting her off with something besides a pump. I'm assuming you are talking about the kind of skeet with 8 stations and 25rounds, and not skeet as some use the word to mean informal shotgunning with spring or hand throwers. You may have to shop around a bit, but I think a Remington 1100 in 20ga is PERFECT for a woman's first skeet gun. 26" barrels should work coupled with a skeet or light skeet choke. The new take on shotgun barrels is that longer is better to help smooth out your swing. I agree with this to some degree, my skeet O/U has 30" barrels, but keep in mind that with a pump or an auto you need to factor in the longer action length, so a pump with a 28" barrels feels more like 30. I use BPS shotguns for 410,28ga and 20ga skeet, and I like them because they are very smooth, I see people shoot skeet with pumps that are not as fast and most of the time they end up having to rush the second shot on doubles. If your girlfriend is new to shooting, it's going to be an added complication to ask her to remember leads, foot positions, eye on target, and then pump in between shots.

November 23, 2007, 04:01 PM
I have seen a lot of people try it out and like it as well as those who try it out and decide they don't want to get into it. Before you lay down the $$, I'd find a friendly club that would rent you some shotguns to try. Many would give some informal lessons while letting her (and you) try out some possible shotguns. If you are lucky and everything clicks, she will find the gun that feels good and fits her as well as deciding she likes the sport and wants to do more. Then you dig down for the $$. Starting out on skeet with a gun that she may not like for some reason is a sure way to be certain that it doesn't become a fun hobby for the two of you.

November 23, 2007, 10:21 PM
an 1100 is alot of $ but i think I will take both of your advice and rent some and see what she likes. I mean its no use getting her a gun that she doesn't like, and if I'm shelling out 400$ she best be liking it :D

Thank you.

The Deer Hunter
November 23, 2007, 11:10 PM
If you look around at gun shops, you can find nice used 870 Wingmasters in the $250-300 range. I shoot trap, not skeet, and a 28" barrel works fine on my 870. A 26" barrel might be fine, but if you can get a used 870 with a 30" barrel or so you would be set.

If you two just want to try it out, you could probably get a new barrel for your 88. I'm pretty sure all Mossberg 500 barrels interchange, provided they have the same magazine length, so you could pick up a 28" barrel pretty cheap.

Either one of those would fit the bill perfectly for skeet.

November 23, 2007, 11:38 PM
I don't think a pump is a terribly good choice for clay games. A semi is likely to work better. I understand that you want it to be a gift, but honestly this is something she should be looking for with you, or on her own.

I started shooting trap regularly a couple of months ago. I love it and am doing fairly well at it. I can guarantee that f my husband had picked out my gun I would probably not be shooting as well or enjoying it as much. The gun has to fit her well. It also had to have the right weight and action and everything else that will work for her.

Again, I know the idea is a gift, but imho, buying a new shotgun when you are on a budget is just a bad idea. I have only bought one new gun in my life, and it's the only way I no longer own. I bought new, and so I didn't get nearly as much gun for my money.

Write her a nice note that you are devoting $400 and as many weekends as necessary to helping her get the right gun. Not as much fun as unwrapping a shiny new gun, but ultimately, much, much more fun as she gets a better gun and a better gun for her.

Also, dunno what gun pricing is like by you, but in my experience many women prefer Benellis or Berettas over Remingtons. They tend to be less muzzle-heavy and they tend to have a slimmer forearm. This is far, far from universal, and there's no perfect gun for women any more there is a perfect gun for men, but there are some inexpensive versions of the Beretta 391 that sell new for $600 (Wally World); you may be able to find a used one for a decent price if you do some extensive searching. Personally, the cheapest I've seen a used 391 was about $500, but that was a Cabela's, hardly known for their generous pricing on guns! I wasn't shopping for a Beretta though, so deals may be out there.

November 24, 2007, 12:20 AM
This would be about perfect if you can stretch the budget a bit:

Beretta 390 20-gauge (

November 24, 2007, 05:46 AM
Im the only person Ive ever known try skeet with a pump. The best Ive managed is 19 or 20 out of 25. Most people think thats pretty good too!

Are you sure you mean skeet, or do you just mean clay shooting in general?

November 24, 2007, 07:11 AM
There are "lot's" of used 1100's for sale. You should be able to find one in that price range I believe.

November 24, 2007, 06:45 PM
yea I should clarify that I don't know the difference between skeet and clay... sorry, I meant shooting clay targets.

Sounds like I need to do more research, and let her pick something out herself... That beretta looks very nice, reasonable price as well.

thanks for your advice.

November 24, 2007, 06:57 PM
As some of the posts above point out, most 20s weight enough less than the equivalent 12 that the recoil is *not* less, at least as felt at the business end of the buttstock. If recoil matters, a gas-operated shotgun will feel softer than a recoil-operated gun, which in turn will feel softer than a shotgun with a standing breech.

In addition, clay games with a pump is not going to make a beginner feel good - the doubles are going to be frustrating.

Translation: look for a good gas gun for a good price. The Beretta shown is great. I just sold one exactly like it that had abaout 3 boxes through it for $450, but $525 is a fair price. A used 1100 should cost less, and if you can find one a used Winchester 1400 should be even less (and is a very good gas operated gun).

The Deer Hunter
November 24, 2007, 07:34 PM
Look, a semi isn't going to help you, her or anyone else shoot clays better than a pump action. If you want to buy your girlfriend a new gun, the cheapest way would be to get a pump action. You might find a nice used semi for a decent price, but you really cant go wrong with a pump.

November 24, 2007, 09:31 PM
Now that you mention you want a general clay shooting gun, I think a pump would be just fine. If you try and end up loving skeet as I did, a pump will work, but I'll bet you will convince yourself easily to get an auto at least.

November 25, 2007, 07:15 AM
A beginner would be much better off with a gas operated auto than a pump...without question for general clay target sports.

Trap singles is the only sport where shooting pumps is not a disadvantage.

There's a reason you don't see many pump guns on the ranges!

November 25, 2007, 08:40 PM
Trap singles is the only sport where shooting pumps is not a disadvantage.

Agree - at least for starting shotgunners. That and the softer recoil of a gas gun pretty much point the direction here, I think....

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