Beginner clay shooter: 870/m500 or inexpensive o/u??


December 26, 2012, 07:05 PM
It looks like I am about to start trying my hand at clays. I've been wanting to do it for years but haven't gotten around to it. No more excuses for me- I'm going to do it.

The only shotgun I own is a nef single shot that kicks like a mule. I want to get either an inexpnsive o/u to test the waters or something like an 870/mossberg 500.

If you were going to start shooting claus which would you get? I'm not worried about other uses for the shotgun...this will be solely a clay gun for now

What are your opinions?

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December 26, 2012, 07:27 PM
What is your budget? What will you be shooting (ie, trap, skeet, sporting, 5 stand, etc}?

If your choice is between a pump and a cheap o/u, get the pump. It will hold up much better and give you less headaches.

Have you given any consideration to a semi auto?

Jorg Nysgerrig
December 26, 2012, 07:32 PM
Depends what you consider inexpensive. If you mean something with less than 4 digits, it would be better to go with a pump or perhaps a used semi-auto.

December 26, 2012, 07:58 PM
I was thinking if I went the inexpensive ou route I would go with one of the 600-700 ish czs or maybe one of the academy special yildiz or the cabelas exclusive savages. I domt want to step up to the 4 digit ous yet in case i end up not liking the sport. As far as which games id be playing - most likely it would be skeet at first then possibly move on to other games as I feel them out.

But if an 870 or 500 would suffice I'm ok with that too.

December 26, 2012, 08:44 PM
Beretta 3901 Standard little pricy $650, one of the best all around trap/field guns around. IMHO.

December 26, 2012, 08:46 PM
A pump gun will work. I shot an old wingmaster for a couple years when I started shooting clays. It will take a little while to come up to speed when shooting doubles. It also gets old after a while when shooting all doubles in sporting clays. If you are just seeing if you like it, why not try and borrow or rent a gun. The sporting clays course near me rents guns and the trap / skeet range has loaners.

Aside from trap singles, IMO you will get more mileage out of a semi auto. In the $600-$700 range you can pick up a semi auto that will cover you for a number of years.

single stack
December 26, 2012, 08:53 PM
A pump shotgun is the way to go as a beginning clays shooter.

Cheap O/U shotguns are not up to the task of clays shooting.
Quality pumps can last a lifetime.

I'm partial to Browning BPS but Remington Wingmasters are quite
good too. Next best would be Mossbergs and Remington 870 Express
pump shotguns next and off brands bringing up the rear.

I would only recommend used shotguns to experienced shooters.
Inexperienced shooters ought to buy new to avoid being taken
advantage of by less than informed salespeople.

Use the money you saved by not buying the cheap O/U on
ammo and range fees.

Good luck and have fun.

December 26, 2012, 08:54 PM
A GOOD repeater is worth a boat load of cheap O/Us.

December 26, 2012, 09:38 PM
I'd feel pretty safe buying a used pump from any of the major manufacturers. They are pretty bulletproof and it would be hard to find one used hard enough to be truly worn out. Most that I see on used racks are lightly broken in.

I like the 870, Benelli Nova and Browning in that order. Mossberg is good as well, just not in my top 3.

If you can find a used Remington 1100, 11-87 or Browning, Beretta, or Benelli in your price range you'd be good to go as well if you wanted a semi. Sometimes these show up in the $400-$600 range used.

I'd avoid any of the doubles in the same price range like the plague.

December 26, 2012, 09:50 PM
If you are willing to spend $6-700 (as mentioned for the O/U) than I would go for one of the inexpensive Beretta or Mossberg 930 semi autos. Sure, real men use pumps, I even still have one, but all the guys winning are shooting expensive O/U's or semi's. The Mossberg 930's are making some inroads in the 3 gun game and that's much tougher on a shotgun than sporting clays.

December 26, 2012, 09:59 PM
I've never picked up a Benelli that I could shoot, but an 870 or 1187 work fine for me. A buddy of mine is the opposite.
Either way, when shooting sporting clays I'd much rather have a semi or a good o/u than my pump. As others have said, you can get into a good semi for less than you can a quality o/u.
The important part is to go shoot and have fun.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

December 26, 2012, 10:05 PM
The important thing is finding a gun that fits you or making one fit. Find a local shooter and ask him to help you find (or fit) one with a proper drop at comb and length of pull. If those 2 points are good then it does not matter what style of gun you buy. It is lots easier to adjust comb height on a pump (an inletted OU stock is hell to adjust.)
Get a good fit and enjoy the game.

December 26, 2012, 10:06 PM
I was a member of the Illinois All-State trap team way back when. I shot a Mod 12 Win and a Super-X Win to get there. For singles trap, a good ol' Mod 12 or 870 will compete with any trapgun.....IF IT FITS YOU.

Aside from trap singles, IMO you will get more mileage out of a semi auto. In the $600-$700 range you can pick up a semi auto that will cover you for a number of years.
^^^^good advice^^^^^ advice is: whatever model/type you sure it fits you.

December 26, 2012, 11:42 PM
Any old good 870 Wingmaster.
Or better yet, a 1100 or 11/87 auto, or Berreta AL-390 series if you like your tooth fillings to stay where the dentist put them all day at the range.

You can't buy a cheap O/U that will take the pounding over time.
Some of us old guys can't buy fillings, or joints that will take the pounding over time either.
So we shoot semi-auto gas guns.


December 26, 2012, 11:56 PM
Lanbers are good o/u shotguns in your price range. There is nothing wrong with acquiring a good pump first though. I have a Mossberg 500 and a 935. I shoot the Lanber much better than either one of those.

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December 27, 2012, 07:42 AM
A pump will work and get you most of your money back if you decide to sell because you do not like the games. HOWEVER, if you are going to try them all - trap singles and doubles, skeet, 5-stand, and sporting clays - a pump can be a real hindrance on the pairs of targets most games have; therefore the suggestion of the Beretta 3901 (or the new 300 Outlander) semi gas gun is a better solution. At about $6-700, it is only a few dollars more than the pump and a better gun overall.

Personally, if I were going top get a new O/U strictly for clays, my budget would need to be in the $3,000 range for an entry Beretta/Browning target gun

December 27, 2012, 11:16 AM
get a older rem wingmaster with a rib with two beads and get a morgen adjustable pad put on it. i use a older (70,s) rem trap gun(TB) with a morgen pad on it and i shoot with the best of them at our trap range, on the doubles or five stand and sporting clays i use a older browning citori with choke tubes. or you could skip the rem and go to a browning or other name brand o/u, fit is the key to great scores. eastbank.

December 27, 2012, 11:27 AM
I started shooting skeet with an 870 Express, then purchased an ADCO O/U ($400), then a nice Browning A-5, and now use a Browning superposed (O/U). A pump gun is a hassle on doubles, forcing you to think too much as you pump the gun for the 2nd shot. You also have to contend with the hulls flying around. At my club, we are required to pick up our spent shells, and I found scrambling around for them annoying, an annoyance which goes away with an O/U. If you're going to shoot trap, the guys at my club (many have $5-10K guns) get pissed if you send ejected shells toward their highly figure stocks and fancy engraving.

There will always be somebody to buy the cheap O/U from you if you want to upgrade or exit the sport. If I were going to buy a semi-auto, I'd look at a Benelli Montefeltro (a seriously fine piece of engineering, but maybe at the top of your range). Regardless, make sure to get a gun with adjustable/screw-in chokes. If you want to move from skeet to trap, you probably want to tighten it up, but if you want to shoot sporting clays (or hunt), you want an even tighter option.

Good luck!

December 27, 2012, 11:34 AM
get the beretta 3901 if it fits you... lower recoil... very reliable... easier shooting doubles

December 27, 2012, 03:08 PM
I like oneounce's suggestion ....

But another gun on a budget....for a real solid, long term pump gun, is the Browning BPS Hunter model.

Browning also makes a Silver Hunter in their semi-auto line of guns - that is a good entry level gun in my view - but a little more money than oneounce's suggestion.
Beretta and Browning have both long established the market for affordable, quality and long term Over Unders...and while their entry level guns are now in the $2,000 price get a lot of gun for the money from either of them.....and far too many of the companies in the lower end market of O/U's are just imposters...and I wouldn't give you a nickel for most of the inexpensive O/U's on the market...whether they came from Cabelas or anywhere else...for most of those other guns there are some good reports / guys having good luck with some of them - and a lot of bad reports with barrel issues, trigger issues, etc...and some even after only a few thousand shells...

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