New to clays where to start


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brainwake
July 10, 2013, 05:11 PM
So my birthday money burned a hole through my pocket and I picked up an over/under shotgun......

So I will be looking at getting a clay pigeon thrower....probably manual one. I will get to shoot at the in-laws every few months..

I also might start checking out the local ranges too.

I don't imagine that I will be competing anytime soon. But any advice as to where I should start? what other stuff do I need/might want? What kind of ammo should I start with?

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Mitlov
July 10, 2013, 06:04 PM
EDIT: I misunderstood and didn't realize you already got a gun, so I'll delete the paragraphs about which gun to get. Congrats! Which did you pick up?

Federal or Estate target loads tend to run about $6.50 a box nowadays and are totally adequate for any clay sport. Remington Gun Club shells have given me a bit of trouble (I've had two shells come apart in my gun in four boxes of RGC; gone through dozens of boxes of Federal and Estate target loads and never had anything similar) AND they're marginally more expensive than Federal/Estate.

brainwake
July 10, 2013, 06:12 PM
I went with the Yildiz OU in 20GA from Academy. Seemed like a great value.

smokeyandthebandit05
July 10, 2013, 06:35 PM
I would get a shell pouch. It makes life easier

Something like this http://www.cabelas.com/product/Shooting/Shooting-Accessories/Clay-Shooting|/pc/104792580/c/104769180/sc/104269680/Cabelas-Single-Box-Shell-Carrier/1233326.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Fclay-shooting%2Fcabelas%2F_%2FN-1100229%2B1000002949%2FNe-1000002949%2FNs-CATEGORY_SEQ_104269680%3FWTz_l%3DSBC%253BMMcat104792580%253Bcat104769180%26WTz_st%3DGuidedNav%26WTz_stype%3DGNU&WTz_l=SBC%3BMMcat104792580%3Bcat104769180%3Bcat104269680

loose noose
July 10, 2013, 07:05 PM
You might want to try the Trius One Step trap thrower they run about $100.00 but they will last you a lifetime, they are simple to operate by one person and are quite a bit of fun. Due to the fact you got a 20ga., you will probable only be shooting informal trap, as you're at quite a disadvantage using a 20 as compared to using a 12ga. in formal Trap Competition.

Don't let that bother you though go out and have fun busting clays, with that pretty little gun you got there.;)

oneounceload
July 10, 2013, 07:31 PM
Besides a pouch, do not forget eyes and ears.

You do not say what TYPE of clay games you might be interested in at your local clubs

Here's (http://www.claytargetsonline.com/list.php/OK) a map of clay clubs in OK.

The main page (http://www.claytargetsonline.com/index.php), depending on where you live, might show courses in other states that might be closer

jrdolall
July 10, 2013, 07:33 PM
I prefer the automatic throwers over the manual ones simply because I shoot a lot and I can use a deep cycle battery rather than my arm to cock the thing. $350 or so at Gander.

As far as ammo I will use any field load of ammo that I can find at a decent price. I have no doubt that some are better than others but for my purposes all of them are pretty much the same. You can generally load up on clays 2-3 times a year when Walmart or Academy runs them on sale. I have done that but it may not be worth it to tie uo the money and save a dollar.

Shooting clays is not a cheap sport. At $5 for a box of 20g shells and $10 for a box of clays you are looking at $35 to shoot 100 times. I have a friend that reloads, or did before components got hard to find, which cut the cost of shells more than half. He can also load them lighter which is noce for my shoulder.

oneounceload
July 10, 2013, 08:42 PM
The issues with "pasture clays" that arise are several:

You are only shooting one type of target going in one direction

Those wally world targets are not the same as the ones the clubs throw on professional/commercial machines

The speed isn't even close to what the club machines can throw them at.

You would be surprised at the differences; couple that with shooting sporting clays where you can also have rabbit targets, midis, minis, battues, and different presentations like quartering, incoming, dropping, rising, chandelles, and any other way the setter can think of, and you begin to realize how much fun it can truly be

brainwake
July 11, 2013, 12:36 AM
I am looking forward to trying skeet, trap and sporting clays.

I went 20 GA because I have wife and kids, and figure the 20 GA might be a little easier on everyone. I imagine if I were to get into competition, I would upgrade.

For now, it's all about fun!

Glad to hear someone likes that Trius One Step....I was just eye balling that at Bass Pro this evening. It will do for getting everyone involved at first.

I work with a couple of guys that are getting into it as well. I think we are going to check out Silver Leaf first....www.silverleafshotgunsports.com

oneounceload
July 11, 2013, 09:09 AM
Realize a few things -
A 20 can have as much, and sometimes, even MORE recoil than a 12 because the guns are typically a pound or more lighter. I can shoot the equal of a 20 and even a 28 gauge load in my 12 (and I DO shoot a 3/4oz 12 gauge load and that makes recoil VERY light.
Secondly, if you are getting the kids and wife involved - unless you are all the same size and build, one gun will NOT fit everyone and improper gun fit leads to more felt recoil and pain no matter how light the loads are. If the LOP is too long, folks will be leaning backwards - and that will hurt. If the cast, drop at heel, drop at comb, thickness of the comb, reach to the trigger are all wrong for folks, it is going to hurt and their hit ratio will be low to non-existent - that all translates into no fun and a quick loss of interest in shooting because if you can't hit anything and all it does is hurt, it is no fun..........

Getting a youth stock to go with an adult stock can address some of that, but not if everyone is trying to shoot at the same time. (Several guns works better and can be a great excuse to buy more!)

loose noose
July 11, 2013, 01:09 PM
Brainwake, sounds like a pretty nice club, plus it's family owned. That Trius One Step is a really easy to set up, and you just have to use one foot to send the clay up and out, you can actually cock it with just one finger, you can adjust the speed of the clay as well as the height. My wife only weighs about 100 #s soaking wet and she can activate the machine all day long.:cool:

Mitlov
July 11, 2013, 01:59 PM
Realize a few things -
A 20 can have as much, and sometimes, even MORE recoil than a 12 because the guns are typically a pound or more lighter. I can shoot the equal of a 20 and even a 28 gauge load in my 12 (and I DO shoot a 3/4oz 12 gauge load and that makes recoil VERY light.
Secondly, if you are getting the kids and wife involved - unless you are all the same size and build, one gun will NOT fit everyone and improper gun fit leads to more felt recoil and pain no matter how light the loads are. If the LOP is too long, folks will be leaning backwards - and that will hurt. If the cast, drop at heel, drop at comb, thickness of the comb, reach to the trigger are all wrong for folks, it is going to hurt and their hit ratio will be low to non-existent - that all translates into no fun and a quick loss of interest in shooting because if you can't hit anything and all it does is hurt, it is no fun..........

Getting a youth stock to go with an adult stock can address some of that, but not if everyone is trying to shoot at the same time. (Several guns works better and can be a great excuse to buy more!)

I agree with all this. It might make sense to eventually get the stock shortened on the over/under for the kids (and your wife if she's of significantly smaller build than you) and get a semi-auto for yourself (and your wife if she's roughly the same size). A gas-operated semi-auto will significantly reduce felt recoil, making a twelve-gauge a soft shooter (particularly with target loads). And for a given price point, you can get a higher-quality semi-auto (or pump) than over/under because you're only paying for one chamber and barrel instead of two.

EDIT: Silverleaf looks like a really, really good club. I'd go check it out.

Snarlingiron
July 11, 2013, 02:28 PM
A 20 can have as much, and sometimes, even MORE recoil than a 12 because the guns are typically a pound or more lighter.

Given that, the best gun to use is the one you have. Don't get too wrapped up in equipment. A decent gun, some decent ammo, eye and ear protection and a shell pouch or vest and you are set. It's not about the equipment, it's about the sport. And of course as you stated early on, having fun. IF you decide you love it and want to do it a lot, that is the time to look into different guns and better equipment, etc.

I'm betting you will get hooked. It is tons of fun.

brainwake
July 11, 2013, 05:47 PM
any opinions on this one? http://www.amazon.com/Do-All-Outdoors-Backyard-Clayhawk-Cock/dp/B000FDSUI6/ref=pd_sbs_sg_6

I don't think I will ever be shooting this alone. This one looks like it will throw at different angles...not sure if the One Step does that.

oneounceload
July 11, 2013, 07:17 PM
And of course as you stated early on, having fun

Very true, and as I stated, if the gun doesn't fit so it hurts and success isn't there, there won't be any fun for that individual

loose noose
July 11, 2013, 07:28 PM
Brainwake, the "One Step" will let you shoot at any angle you decide to point it at, as it has a big knob under the arm that you can adjust the height also. I read the reviews on the other one, and I believe you'll need to take a wrench with you.

brainwake
July 16, 2013, 04:08 PM
How do I set up my chokes? Which ones for skeet? trap? sporting clays?

oneounceload
July 16, 2013, 04:15 PM
Skeet, on a regular skeet field, use a .005 constriction, AKA Skeet choke; trap, on a regular trap field, use a M form the 16 yard line; sporting clays, anything goes since no two are alike - that said, I shoot sporting clays and I typically start out with an IC and a LM and change accordingly - do NOT get too hung about chokes that you forget to focus on the bird. Unless something is VERY close, the IC will do just fine; unless something is really far- as in 50 yards - the LM or M will do just fine. There may be a few separator stations for the comp shooters where something tighter might be necessary - but that is rare. Learn to read the target line, get help on how to determine hold point, insertion and break points and do NOT look at the bead - only the bird.

For any of these games - "Head on the stock, eye on the rock" and keep the gun moving. More folks miss by stopping their gun when they shoot. When in doubt about lead, try to miss in front

Good luck!

PapaG
July 16, 2013, 08:19 PM
Go toa good trap clubland ask for a NRA certified shotgun insructor for lessons. Better yet, take the NRA basic shotgun class to start.

brainwake
July 23, 2013, 10:44 AM
I went to the OTA Shooting Park in El Reno, OK this last weekend. That place was destroyed by a tornado that came through a few weeks ago. Too bad too, because it looked like it used to be nice. The building was a pile of rubble. I hope they rebuild it.

MinnesotaFats
July 23, 2013, 09:30 PM
guess ill be the first to suggest a plastic 10$ hand thrower (as long as you got a friend to throw for you). they eliminate clays going into the same exact spot. with a small amount of practice you can throw some challenging targets for cheap.

brainwake
September 3, 2013, 10:14 AM
Shot some skeet for the first time this last weekend. We had about 5 of us taking turns on the hand thrower. Man it sure was fun. I gotta get me a better thrower, the hand one is a little inconsistent. We had to duck a few times LOL.

John3921
September 3, 2013, 10:41 AM
Glad you had fun - but that wasn't skeet if you were using hand throwers.

Like trap, skeet is shot on a specific field with defined shooting stations and angles, not hand thrown targets. It is a very fun game, and the 20 gauge is perfect for skeet.

It helps to get correct terminology. It just helps to eliminate confusion when asking and answering questions.

Again, glad you had fun.

brainwake
September 3, 2013, 10:45 AM
I guess I should say, I shot some clays. My ignorance is showing. :) Heck first time, I will have to go visit some of the shooting parks and try out the skeet, traps and sporting clays. It all looks like a blast....pun intended...

btg3
September 3, 2013, 10:54 AM
Go to a good trap club and ask for a NRA certified shotgun instructor for lessons. Better yet, take the NRA basic shotgun class to start.
Basic question: Do you want to compete?

If so, the advice to get coaching is spot on. IMO, no need to buy into the NRA certified stuff when clubs typically have several excellent mentors with a genuine interest in you, rather than an income stream.

As mentioned, trap is a 12ga sport, so consider others such as skeet, with a 20ga class. (Also consider that trap typically requires deeper pockets than other clay sports.)

As you move forward, keep reloading in mind. If you pursue competition, you'll want to reload (or have sponsors), and you could start saving hulls now. Even if you switch to 12ga, you can sell/trade your 20ga hulls.

If competition is not really in the picture, then just have fun and don't sweat the bad habits and lack of instruction.

brainwake
September 3, 2013, 11:07 AM
I don't think I have the time to compete....in fact....I am sure I don't.

I just want to learn more and shoot more. I feel pretty good. I was shooting as good and another fella that has a lot of experience. Well...he may have shot a little better. But I was giving good competition and it was my first time. I have always felt that I was a good shot, this is the kind of sport that will show your skills for sure.

I might watch some instructional videos and read some books to try and avoid some bad habits.

btg3
September 3, 2013, 11:16 AM
Ok, you were just asking for hardware advice. Seems you've got a handle on the software. :rolleyes:

brainwake
September 3, 2013, 11:35 AM
yeah, I am still a little bit of a dummy trying to figure out how to set up my chokes and which barrel to fire first. I need to break out the manual and take a few notes.

oneounceload
September 3, 2013, 12:43 PM
Go to a good trap club and ask for a NRA certified shotgun instructor for lessons. Better yet, take the NRA basic shotgun class to start

Even better, for trap, find a ATA instructor; for skeet find an NSSA instructor; for sporting clays, find a level 1 NSCA instructor

Deer_Freak
September 3, 2013, 01:30 PM
I have had a trap similar to this one for over 20 years. I have broke the legs so many times I can't remember driving it into the ground. But you can go to any scrap yard to find small pieces of angle iron to repair it. It doesn't take a professional welder to repair, just a little time and a few mild steel welding rods. I cut the metal for the repairs with a sawzall. Any portable trap is going to break from driving it into the ground. A large 3 lb hammer helps preserve the machine because you can drive it down with just a few blows of the hammer. A claw hammer will beat it to death in short order.

In time the throwing arm will get bent. No one will be able to predict where the next clay is going.

Think about where you shoot. While the clays do dissolve after a few rains they hang around for quite a while before they do dissolve.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Shooting/Shooting-Accessories/Clay-Shooting%7C/pc/104792580/c/104769180/sc/104269680/Do-All-Full-Cock-Competitor-Trap/707313.uts?destination=%2Fcategory%2FClay-Shooting%2F104269680.uts&WTz_l=DirectLoad%3Bcat104269680

John3921
September 3, 2013, 02:19 PM
I agree with oneounce - find an ATA, or NSSA, OR NSCA instructor. I've been through the level 1 NRA class. The NRA still thinks of shotguns as funny rifles. Get a shotgun coach that knows the games you're learning.

It doesn't really matter which bbl first. Typically you shoot the bottom bbl first - the thinking is that it is a bit more in line with your shoulder and you'll get a bit less muzzle rise which allows you to get on the second target faster.

In skeet, whatever you do, be consistent. If you are loading one shell and put it in the wrong bbl - it is counted as a lost target. Skeet is a game of perfection - you don't want a click - lost. It also helps if you have to borrow a gun say because of a malfunction - you change the bbl setting and then give the gun back to the owner who forgets to check - click - lost. OOOPS.

hunting is a different deal. my fixed choke gune was full over mod. close shots I want the mod, longer shots or going away shots I want the full.

oneounceload
September 3, 2013, 05:28 PM
Skeet AND trap are games of perfection where one miss out of 100 can mean you are tied with several others for about fifteenth place as there were 14 perfect 100s that went to the shoot-off. SPORTING clays OTOH (not that I am BIASED or anything :D) is called "golf with a shotgun" because every single place is different, just like every single golf course is different, and the numbers of perfect 100s can be counted on both hands with fingers left over. While in the beginning, the targets were more hunting oriented and realistic, some still are, but many are now called "good technical targets" Whatever the H*** that is supposed to mean. But they are fun, challenging and sometimes downright embarrassing - happened to me this last weekend - just one of those days where I couldn't count my nuts and get the same number twice, let alone hit the birds - oh well, shook it off as I have another tournament coming up this weekend.

Get your feet wet on clays with skeet first, then trap - and when you get bored of the same ol', same ol', find a sporting clays course and go have some REAL fun with a shotgun.........;)

Deer_Freak
September 4, 2013, 04:02 AM
What got me started is I am instinctive shooter I learned to shoot while hunting. I would go to the local club with a mossberg 500 and win a few bucks off mediocre shots. One day an old man challenged me. I said if you are shooting a 12 ga I will shoot a 5 round freeze out with you. Over the next couple weeks I dropped about $600 trying to beat the old fellow. Come to find out he was an instructor for the US olympic team. He did admit I almost killed him shooting the freeze outs with a 12 ga. After that he took me under his wing. I never paid for a lesson.

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