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O/U or Semi Auto for sporting clays/ Trap

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by oxfordpony, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. oxfordpony

    oxfordpony New Member

    Mar 9, 2006
    Hello, this is my first post. I was wondering what the general consensus is on this subject. I am planning on getting involved in this type of sport and would like to know what most peoples opinions are of each style of gun for this stlye of shooting. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
  2. Jim_M

    Jim_M New Member

    Mar 3, 2006
    Arizona Desert
    I've just started as well. When my skills and understanding of Sporting Clays evolve, I'm purchasing a nice O/U. Strangely enough my only justification right now for an O/U is that I hate looking around for my empties. My club requires that they be picked up. I'm renting guns currently. Why make an investment as big as a good shotgun and then discover you don't like the company your keeping. My first Sporting Clays gun will be semi-auto. For me they feel better. Lighter out front, and faster to the target. And besides a real nice used semi can be a boat load less expensive than a comparable O/U.

    P.S. Welcome on board!
  3. BozemanMT

    BozemanMT Participating Member

    May 29, 2003
    Longmont CO
    O/U (or SxS, I like SxS's).
    a. No game requires more than two shots,
    b. Find one that fits you, some like to be light in back, the current thinking is heavy out front so it keeps swinging.
    c. you don't have to chase empties.
    d. You will get sucked into reloading (it's addictive) and breech guns are much nicer to the sheels than pumps or semi-auto's.
    e. O/U's are pretty and let's face it, shotguns should be pretty.
  4. Technosavant

    Technosavant Senior Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    I wouldn't drop $1000+ on a nice O/U. If you can find a decent one for about $500 (it ain't gonna be the best out there, but you want reliability and a reasonable degree of accuracy), then I would go that route. However, a semiauto also works fine. I am pretty new to skeet, and I use a Remington 1100; I can see some of the advantages of the O/U, but the 1100 was free (inherited), and it is working just fine until my skill level increases.
  5. Tiny in Ohio

    Tiny in Ohio New Member

    Feb 12, 2006
    There is something elegant about an O/U that a semi does not compare to. I agree with the no need to start out with one of the "B" guns, but sooner or later you will end up there. It is the natural progression of life.

    My buddy just got one of the Remington Sparton ALN310S for ~$600, and so far it is a nice shooting machine. For the money I am considering getting one for a more foul weather gun rather than taking the Citori out in inclement weather. Shop around, there are good guns for decent money.
  6. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Senior Elder

    Sep 8, 2005
    There are a few things to consider, here.

    Trap and Sporting Clays guns are different in significant ways.

    You can use a hunting gun for both, but it won't be ideal for either. It will be less expensive than a specialized "competition" gun, though, and you can have a lot of fun with it before you feel the need to go buy more guns. A hunting (or "field") gun will be closer to a SC gun than a trap gun.

    HOWEVER, a trap gun won't be ideal for SC and vice versa, so don't spend a bunch of money on one gun and think that you'll be done.

    These are trap guns:


    Take a careful look at the buttstocks. That's the most obvious visible difference. The weight of a trap gun is another. They're made to be shouldered in a "set" position. The shooter gets set, then calls "pull." Trap guns are made to shoot a little high, to compensate for a rising bird.

    These are SC guns:

    They're made to be shouldered quickly after the "pull" call, and they shoot to a lower point of impact than trap guns. Many are also ported for quicker second shots.

    For trap, a semiauto is a PITA. Cleaning is a pain, it's not as easily carried in a takedown case, it needs a lot more maintenance and can have an inferior trigger pull. No one at the range likes it; you can't tell from a distance if it's open or shut; it spits shells on others' expensive guns and in their faces. You have to pick up your shells after you're done. You can use a "shell catcher" but they don't always work. They can be picky about ammo. It has one advantage: softer recoil. I have no problem with trap load recoil; some people do.

    A break-action takes any ammo, cleans up in a few seconds, takes down easily, needs minimal maintenance even over a number of years, it doesn't spit shells, and it's a safe gun on the range because you can just open it and everyone can tell that it's open. Even a pump has most of these advantages, and I'd recommend a pump as an inexpensive but good starter gun if you didn't also want to do SC.:)

    For SC a semiauto is a bit more desirable than for trap. Heavier loads recoil more than trap loads, so the semi's advantage there is greater, and followup shots might be a bit easier. However, the other stuff still holds.

    An O/U can have another real advantage for SC, though. It has two barrels which can be choked differently for different distances. That can be insignificant or huge, depending on the target. Porting is a PITA to clean, though.


    If you have a gun, use it. If you're going to go BUY a gun, consider a field O/U and plan on buying at least 2 more guns as you get experience. Or just have fun with the field gun.:)

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