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Good starter shotgun for sporting clays?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by tuj, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. kbbailey

    kbbailey Well-Known Member

    lol bigjim,
    ...I don't shoot 'em much either anymore either....too much like work. 'Clays with a 28ga is more fun.
  2. Nasty

    Nasty Well-Known Member

    I aspire to shoot skeet with a 410.

  3. Boattale

    Boattale Active Member

    A good starter shotgun for sporting clays would be a used 1100 or 11-87 which you should be able to find without any difficulty and at reasonable cost. I would not recommend a pump gun for clays. I would recommend screw in chokes.

    I love 870, have owned and shot them for years (40 plus now) at game. But when it comes time to shoot clays or skeet, the semi-auto comes along every time. You will find doubles very frustrating with a pump gun, that's why you'll never see a serious skeet shooter or sporting clays shooter with a pump.
  4. kbbailey

    kbbailey Well-Known Member

    I agree with Boattale^^^^^

    I have broken many 100x100 trap with 870. The fact is sporting clays with a pump is like running at Daytona with your minivan.....it'll maybe go the distance, but............
  5. czhen

    czhen Well-Known Member

    I second RC advice, about 870 Wingmaster in 28" and ashort barrel for HD. From the start point.

  6. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    A Beretta 3901, or the newer replacement, the A300 Outlander will run about $600 and last you several lifetimes with minimum maintenance. This is a gas gun, which will help mitigate some of the felt recoil, it comes with shims to allow a much better and closer fit - which is crucial with any shotgun - comes with chokes, and just works.

    In the clay games, the O/U reigns supreme - absolutely, no questions asked. But a small and growing segment (about 25% now) use a semi gun, especially for sporting clays. The semi of choice (99.5%) is one of the Beretta gas guns; even being used by several champions. No pumps, no Remington semi, no Chinese or Turkish - Beretta. Get it properly fitted with the shims, take some lessons, and there is no reason you can't finish in the top tier as well. I use an O/U - and have for over 20 years - but I am really lloking VERY hard at a Beretta A400 gas gun to give my Browning a respite.

    Why? I bought my wife an A400 Xplor - the field model - for her to shoot sporting clays. On a whim I switched the shims for me (LH guy here), and was smoking targets at the local 5-stand/FITASC set up we have. AND, it worked with my light 3/4oz reloads. Not bad for a gun designed to shoot 3.5" goose loads, eh?

    The other thing is simply this as well - the better gun you buy to start with, IF you then decide it isn't for you, you will be able to get a higher % back when you sell it;
    that being said, the cost of the gun is NOTHING compared to ammo and targets over the long run. My O/U, bought new at a closeout wholesale price, was $1000 about 18 years ago. Over that time, I have spent over $100,000 on targets, ammo, reloading, gas, etc........

    Read me sig line before you buy and realize, it really is a true statement
  7. Deer_Freak

    Deer_Freak Member.

    If all that is true why did I get an invite to try out for US national team in 86 shooting a pump? I will tell you why I got that invite. I am built my instinctive shooting skills on live game long before I ever saw a skeet tower. By the way, you have to be a fair shot to get invited to try out for a national team.

    Let's get back to the topic. The OP has no experience with a shotgun. He has no clue if he will even like the game. Why make it so complicated he is overwhelmed before he sees how great it is to spend a morning with good company just having fun? Any form of clay shooting is great entertainment I don't care what gun one shoots.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  8. Even cheaper but practically the same gun as a mossberg 500 is the Maverick 88 pump. It also can be bought with two barrels to do double duty and most if not all of the 500 accessories will fit the Maverick. It's made by Mossberg. And u can get one for about $200 I and thousands if others swear by them.
  9. nm3

    nm3 Well-Known Member

    I'll throw in a vote for a used Remington 1100 semi. I do pretty good with mine against all the singles & O/U's at my club. I certainly have fun and I'm out there without a huge investment.
  10. BigJimP

    BigJimP Well-Known Member

    Like most of us have said ...any decent pump gun is a good gun to start with ...and if you're only going to shoot 500 targets a year ( about 5 rounds of sporting clays ) ...maybe a decent pump gun will be all you'll ever need.

    When I was raising kids - and had a lot of bills - I shot a Browning BPS for a long time..before I decided I wanted to take the next step in the clay target games / or before I knew whether I wanted to make this a major hobby....

    In my mind, there is no question - that better equipment / if you want to take these games pretty serious / shooting 10 boxes a week in practice and a local tournament every weekend ( 100 - 150 shells)...you'll need a better gun to stand up to 350 - 500 shells a week ...and about 20,000 shells a year or so.

    Its not about scores...its about reliability / and durability long term for a gun at maybe $ 3K that will last for 500,000 - 1 Million shells..or more.../ and that's when target grade guns like the higher end Beretta O/U's, Browning Citori XS Skeet model, Perazzi, Blaser, Krieghoff and Kolar ...start to make some sense as a long term investment - and guns, if you take care of them, will sell for a lot of money even on the used market.

    "Fit" is always the number 1 issue in any shotgun..so it hits where you look. As long as any gun, even an old bolt action Westernfield, "Fits" you, you can hit a lot of targets - or a pump gun of whatever variety your budget will allow. Its fun to shoot these games with a pump gun ( although I don't do it too much anymore / its fun to challenge my buddies to a pump gun day at the club and have some laughs - and its amazing how quick we get back into the groove shooting some of our old guns ) ...but its also amazing with the balance and feel, better triggers, etc of some nice O/U's how your scores will probably be more consistent...so you can improve on a 75% - to an 80% or whatever your goals are in sporting clays...
  11. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Was it for sporting clays? I doubt it as that sport was just getting started and there was no National Team at that time.

    The OP, however stated:

    (Most likely a fun or charity shoot)

    Which is why I said to go for a semi. Should he try as many as possible of all types? Absolutely, no question about that. But I still stand by words for a beginner to get a good semi, and IMO Beretta currently makes the best for clay games
  12. kbbailey

    kbbailey Well-Known Member

    ^^me too^^
    Shots fired at sporting clays, trap, skeet, hunting, etc, etc,....who knows. For me, it's tens of thousands.
    Shots fired in sd/hd?? For me.........none, thank goodness
  13. tuj

    tuj Well-Known Member

    well guys, a very gracious forum member offer to take me out to shoot sporting clays yesterday! I of course took him up on the offer. I shot an 870 and a Beretta semi (I forget which model). I had a great time even though I was humbled by the game; I missed A LOT.

    The other thing that was a bit tough for me was that the gun got heavy on me. (I know, I know, lift more weights). Are there some good lighter guns out there?
  14. Browning

    Browning Well-Known Member

    Try a Rem 1100. Faster for doubles and easier on your shoulder than a pump.

    They make lightweight models.
  15. BigJimP

    BigJimP Well-Known Member

    As long as you had a good time...and were safe...it doesn't matter.

    and now you have a little bit of perspective on the games...and the next time will be a little easier because you know more what to expect. Keep it up !
  16. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    The issue with lighter guns then becomes more fatigue from the recoil and the possible introduction of a flinch - which you do not want
  17. tuj

    tuj Well-Known Member

    So I'm looking real close at the Remington 1100. Would a 30" be good or is that too long? What kind of choke should I be looking for?
  18. nm3

    nm3 Well-Known Member

    The 1100 that i bought had a 28" ribbed fixed choke barrel. I just put a 30" ribbed choke tube Remington barrel on it. So far I like it and can change chokes, if i desire. I use it for Trap an enjoy the 1100....good luck in your search.
  19. BigJimP

    BigJimP Well-Known Member

    No, a 30" barrel is not too long.../ I prefer a semi-auto in a 30"....

    What type of choke ....you should make sure the gun has changeable, screw in chokes, not a fixed choke gun. Buying a fixed choke gun, limits you way too much....and is not smart in my view.

    For a sporting clays gun ....I will carry chokes in :

    Improved Cyclinder
    Improved Modified and

    ....and probably 75% of the time, depending on the course, I'll shoot either a Imp Cyclinder or Modified in a 12ga with 1 oz of 8's at about 1225 fps.
  20. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Jim's a big guy and can carry all that weight of all those tubes.... ;)
    with a single barrel gun, like the 1100, for sporting clays you will need one choke for close, one choke for medium, and one choke for far, realizing that the medium choke will be used about 85% of the time. Depending on where you live and the course layouts that would be: SK, LM, IM, (.005, .015, .025)or if the targets are just a little further: IC, M, LF (.010, .020, .030). Don't sweat choke and always changing them - focus on the bird and prepare your mental plan on how to break it - reading the target line, determining your hold, insertion, and break points, etc.......

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