20 ga & 12 ga for sporting clays


Ranger Roberts
June 12, 2014, 11:44 AM
Hello everyone. I was hoping to get some advice on a set of shotguns for sporting clays. My wedding anniversary is coming up and I was thinking about getting the wife and I new shotguns. We both shoot sporting clays around once a month, sometimes a little more. I shoot 12ga and she shoots 20ga. I don't really want to go over $1500 per gun. I realize it'll be a little tough to get a decent O/U in that price range, so I am not opposed to a semi but I really prefer an O/U. I was thinking that she may even be able to shoot a 12ga if it was a semi (12's typically beat her up pretty bad, she's tall and skinny), although she doesn't seem to really like any of the semi-auto 12's that currently reside in my safe. Can anyone throw a few suggestions my way? Thanks all!

If you enjoyed reading about "20 ga & 12 ga for sporting clays" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Arkansas Paul
June 12, 2014, 12:08 PM
I don't really want to go over $1500 per gun. I realize it'll be a little tough to get a decent O/U in that price range

Well, do they have to be brand new?

If not, it won't be hard at all to get a quality O/U for around the $1500 mark.

Something along these lines;



If you have to have brand new, yeah $1500 may be cutting it close.

Ranger Roberts
June 12, 2014, 12:15 PM
Well, do they have to be brand new?

Now that you mention it, I didn't really consider buying them used. My favorite LGS has a good selection of used guns but the really nice O/U's go pretty quick. I should really look at a few other LGS's in my area. GunBroker might be the way to go, I just get so nervous with a high $ amount items! Thanks for the food for thought Paul!

Sav .250
June 12, 2014, 01:04 PM
Don`t forget your local Gun Show, if you have any. All types of shotguns to be had, looked at and bartered for. :)

June 12, 2014, 02:54 PM
Take a look at the Beretta 390 series used. I think some models come with a recoil system called kick off. I shoot all Benellis but had the opportunity to shout a 391? Waterfowl model with kickoff and was blown away at how nice it shot. Might be in your $ range.

June 12, 2014, 03:11 PM
In that price range for semis look at the Beretta A400. I shoot the Xecl, my wife the Xplor Unico. Mine is the blue target version, hers is the green field gun. While hers is capable of shooting 3.5" shells, it only sees my 3/4oz reloads. Both guns work that reload with zero issues, so shooting factory 7/8 or 1oz loads will also work. My wife's gun has the Kick Off system, mine does not.

In the O/U arena, I would look for lightly used Beretta/Browning/SKB used O/U in the flavor that fits you and her. I would still stick with a 12 gauge for both if possible as there are a lot more ammo choices. I would also try to get the target version of any gun as opposed to the cheaper field version as the stock dimensions and other features are more conducive to target shooting. The heaviest gun she can handle shooting the lightest loads that work in the gun will give her the lightest recoil.
If you reload you can always load down the 12 to 20 or 28 gauge levels, but is it is harder to raise the 20 to 12 gauge levels if you both decide to get into the competitive spirit.

Getting fitted so you know what stock dimensions are necessary for you and her is a good way to start, as one brand might fit you better than the one that fits her

Good luck and glad to see another female enjoying sporting clays!

Ranger Roberts
June 13, 2014, 02:31 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys, I appreciate it! Has anyone had any experience with CZ's Redhead Deluxe? The price isn't bad (every other redhead I've known has left me broke :D) and I can get one in 20ga as well as 12ga. I have a few CZ pistols and really like them.

June 13, 2014, 04:04 PM
Again, let her try a 12 with low recoil loads - if nothing else, it will save you on ammo as then you'll both be shooting the same gauge

June 14, 2014, 10:02 AM
I'm an O/U guy to the bone but I see a lot of women shooting Beretta auto loaders. The very best trap shooter I've ever seen (and that includes men) was a young woman who was shooting a 12 ga. Beretta 391. She was a champion competition shooter.

But I know what you mean about O/U's because thats what I shoot. I would look for a used Beretta 687. You can find those around $1500. New one's are running about 2K or more. I've messed with Berettas for 20 years and still have a few. Lots of gun for the money there.

Ranger Roberts
June 16, 2014, 09:09 AM
Thanks again for all of the advice guys. I am taking her out today to try a Beretta A400. I also found out that one of my friends has a CZ Redhead, so I'll have her try it. I think that she is going to end up with the Beretta though. Their Kick Off system sounds pretty interesting. Thanks again!

June 18, 2014, 05:40 PM
I have two Sporting Clays guns a 12 ga Remington 11-87 Sporting clays & a 20 ga Beretta A390 Sporting clays, I oldest daughter used to shoot the Beretta and she isn't real big we'd shoot at least three rounds of skeet or 5 stand only problem with the semi auto's is I reload so I hate bending over to pick up empties. She also shot the 11-87 I used to load 7/8 oz 12 ga for it gun never hic-upped shooting them.

June 18, 2014, 09:46 PM
I have a CZ Redhead Deluxe that I bought from Cabelas gun library a few years ago. Shoots fine, but it only has a 28" barrel so I don't shoot it much. I much prefer my Citori 625 for clays and skeet. An o/u has an advantage over semi's in that you can have different chokes in each barrel if it offers an advantage.

June 18, 2014, 10:12 PM
Gun companies now make youth 12 gauge models. Many options on low recoil 12 gauge ammo including loading your own 7/8 oz loads that mirror 20 gauge target loads. Really no reason to get a 20 even though 1 oz. heavy 20 gauge target loads are now made. I have sold many newbies on a Winchester 1400/1500 series for around $300. Very soft shooting semi auto for cheap. You are out very little if you don't like it. Make sure you get one with a ventilated barrel and screw in chokes. I too love the way a over/under shoots and I am less recoil sensitive but gas autos have more of a push than a kick.

If you enjoyed reading about "20 ga & 12 ga for sporting clays" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!