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$2,400.00 for a beginners Sporting Clays gun??!!

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Jim_M, Mar 4, 2006.

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  1. Jim_M

    Jim_M Member

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    Guess my first mistake was to tell the "gunstore guy" I had very little knowledge of shotguns. I wanted recommendations for my first sporting clays gun. He simply told me this. "You'll spend around $2,400.00 or so for a nice O/U". I said I'm sure I could. But wouldn't a rank novice be a little better off with something less extravagant? "You won't bust clay, you'll get discouraged and quit." I thanked him and left a bit disappointed. Does this mean all you people claiming success and fun with "regular" shotguns are fibbin' or what?
     
  2. 461

    461 Member

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    $100.00 Winchester 1200 pump gave me 18 out of 25 my first round of Trap. I'm now up to a $300.00 Baikal Trap gun and have broken 25 but not regularly. It aint' the gun and anyone who says it is has some issues somewhere.
     
  3. Thain

    Thain Member

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    Pure and utter bull spittle. I started bustign clays with my wife's single-shot Brazillian knockoff that she paid $200 for! It's also a .223 rifle with a barrel swap.

    I picked up a almost new Remington 870 Wingmaster for my birthday this year, the Missus found it on a used rack for $199.95 + tax... Sure, its from 1967, but aside from a few scratchs on the stock it looks like it came of the new rack last week.

    I realize that there are some wonderful high-end guns out there... but for $2,400 that shotgun better have a targeting system by NORAD that tracks the clays from fifteen orbiting satelites, directs the flight of each shot pellet, and a 100% money back guarentee that I'd never miss. ;)

    Honestly, if you spend more that $300, including gun, tax, ammo, cleaning kit, and parking you've spent too much.
     
  4. SShooterZ

    SShooterZ Member

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    $2400 is a little too steep. :what:

    If you want a dedicated, well made, Browing, Winchester, Beretta or Ruger though, you might be spending more than $1000 for it. Of course, this would be for an O/U model.

    Take a look at the semi-auto models if you want to save even more cash. Take a look at the Remington 1100 sporting or the Beretta 391 Sporting and you should be able to walk away for about $800.
     
  5. Scottmkiv

    Scottmkiv Member

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    I'm quite happy with my 870.
     
  6. kudu
    • Contributing Member

    kudu Moderator Staff Member

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    Many top sporting clay shooters are running semi-autos with 30-32" barrels right now. The Beretta 391 Parallel Target model being one I see the most. Still about $1100, but a far cry from $2400. Nothing wrong with a good Remington 1100, Win SX2, or Browning Gold. Pumps can get you started with very little money involved, a nice 870 Wingmaster for a few hundred dollars. The most important thing is to have the gun fit you when you buy it, more important than in rifles.

    With Sporting clays, you need to walk before you run. Get down your basics on a skeet and a trap range where you know what to expect of targets. This will get you a feel of how to break different target presentations. Good luck on whatever you decide. :)
     
  7. pauli

    pauli Member

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    heh. i heard much the same thing one day while wandering around at dick's... "you really need an o/u that costs at least $2000. anything else isn't worth it." after the customer left - clearly not inclined to buy a darn thing from that guy - i just laughed and said, "that's why i like pump actions." then the clerk then started telling me i need a lifetime membership in the nra :confused:
     
  8. Jim_M

    Jim_M Member

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    If "gun store guys" could just wrap their arms around consultation sales their numbers would sky rocket. It seems to me that most of these clerks are there for the employee discount.:)
     
  9. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

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    Clays guns come in several price levels.

    Seitz,Ljutic Alfermann, etc make Single Barrel Trap guns costing up to $15K.

    Kolar, Perazzi and Kreighoff make O/Us in that range as well as SBTs.

    Beretta and Browning make not so fancy O/Us starting at about $1800.

    They also make autos running $1K, +/-.

    Remington makes the 1100 auto, which has been in the hands of many HOF shooters when they won. The 1100 needs some parts like O rings replaced regularly.

    Remington also makes the 870, which has a LOT of value for the money.

    All of the above will handle a steady diet of shells for a long time without major surgery, though PM is needed.

    I paid about $400 for my 870TB, a trap grade with pretty lumber and a death ray to clays when I do my part.

    There's tons of shotguns for sale at your local ranges, oft shot little and for much less than new.

    Very few shotguns of this quality ever get shot out. One gets a couple lifetimes of service for a small investment.All of these are mechanical Methuselahs.

    Get the fit right. That's way more important.

    Get one, BA/UU/R and have fun.....
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2006
  10. PJR

    PJR Member

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    Are you serious about clay target shooting or going out just to enjoy an outing? If the later then bring what ya got and enjoy yourself.

    If you're seriously wanting to get into the game buy the very best gun you can afford. A Browning 525 or Beretta 682E isn't cheap but they are worth the price in durability and reliability. Among the semi-autos the Beretta 391 is the top gun with the Browning semis a close second place.

    You can shave off dollars by buying a good used gun and they are often the best deals around. But I've seen untold number of guys show up at the club with their Baikals or their Condors only to become frustrated and give up the sport or come back with a better gun. Put the money into a good gun. You won't regret it.
     
  11. Chris Rhines

    Chris Rhines Member

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    There is a certain amount of logic to the salesman's statement.

    Permit a small digression. My Dad plays a pretty fair classical guitar. Once upon a time, we were chatting about the best guitar for a beginner to buy. He told me, "Whatever you do, don't buy one of those $150 Taiwanese knockoffs that all the discount stores are selling. They'll sound horrible, and be much harder to play. You'll get frustrated with it in a matter of weeks, and when you quite playing you won't be able to sell it. Spend about $600-700 for your first guitar. You'll have at least a chance of being able to learn to play on it, you'll have a nice instrument that you'll want to take out and play, and if you do decide to sell it, you can turn it over for $400-500 and be no worse off than if you started out with the cheap one."

    That said, I learned how to shoot clays with a 20ga. 870.

    That said again, I don't really shoot clays anymore.

    It's a question worthy of further discussion.

    - Chris
     
  12. Tiny in Ohio

    Tiny in Ohio Member

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    I am very lucky in that my grandfather left me a Citori O/U. I was taking my Mossberg 500 out to shoot trap, as I did not want anything to happen to the Citori. So it sat in the safe for 8 years. I just took it out for the 1st time since I have had it last week, and the difference in busted clays is amazing. I believe in this sport, it is not necessary to have to most expensive firearm on the course, but it does make a difference. There is a tremendous gap in the quality of a Citori to a Mossberg, and I know that. But there is something to be said for using a quality firearm to bust clays, and if you are going to be out there you might as well enjoy it as much as possible.
     
  13. riverdog

    riverdog Member

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    A used Remington 870 Wingmaster was my first gun for Trap and Skeet. IIRC the gun was $225 OTD. After my first day shooting I bought a 30" light contour RemChoke barrel and later I added a custom stock. So I've probably got $400-$450 in it now and I've shot a 23 with it from the 16 yard line. The nice thing is that I could change out the barrel and use it for HD. $2400 is a bit much for a first clays gun.
     
  14. hksw

    hksw Member

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    hahaha. Yeah, get the most expensive stuff, it'll make any newbie an instant expert.
     
  15. LJWebster1

    LJWebster1 Member

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    Get a good pump gun to begin with. When you really start to love it, you'll want a better gun, and then you can decide. However, I regularly shoot with people who still use pumps, and they shoot 22-25 consistently. I started with a Wincherster 1300 and now want an O/U. I'm looking at the Rugers because they are a little cheaper than Browning, Beretta, etc. The CZ is supposed to be a nice gun too, for the money.
     
  16. PJR

    PJR Member

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    That's good advice if the game is trap singles. For the other games however you have enough to worry about without having to remember to pump the action on a close and fast true pair.

    Don't get me wrong. I started with an 870, have always owned at least one 870 (usually more) and still take my pump gun out for fun. But if breaking targets is the objective then get your last gun first, have it fitted to you, take some instruction and then BAUUR.
     
  17. cgv69

    cgv69 Member

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    Everybody is entitled to their own opinion but IMHO, that advice is just as bad as the "You have to spend $2400" advice. There is no minimum or maximum amount a new person (or anybody else for that matter) should or needs to spend on any firearm.

    Personally, I think this whole thing is being looked at from the wrong direction. The question should not be "How much $ should a newbie spend on thier first SG for clays?" but "What is the best SG for clays given a budget of $?"

    You can never waste money on a quality firearm. A quality firearm will always bring more satisfaction, both in use and general ownership. They will also generally hold or increase in value better then a lower quality firearm will. Note, I am talking about quality, not price and I am not recommending you spend $2400 or any specific $ amount on your first SG.

    Nobody knows your financial situation better then you. You need to determine how much you have and are willing to spend on your first SG. Once you determine a budget, then come back and ask for suggestions based off of your budget and intended use.

    As has already been noted, an 870 is a quality firearm that can be found for $200-$300 on the used market and can be used effectively for most clay games. That said, semi-autos and O\U do offer some useful advantages and if your budget allows, there is nothing wrong with starting off with one of those either.

    Just my $.02
     
  18. Jim_M

    Jim_M Member

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    ....good stuff, thanks
     
  19. Big Mike

    Big Mike Member

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    Tell him you'll take two! :)
     
  20. pezo

    pezo Member

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    At the age of 14 and my first time firing a 12 guage. I managed to get all but 2 claey's in my first session. With a used 870 wingmaster and modified choke. I beat both my father and uncle who are ex-veteran's.:) buyer beware with gunstore clerk's. Some of the biggest a...'s of the sale's industry are in fact, gunstore clerks. I stopped going to one local store because of this reason. They're alot of good one's but you need to shop around.
     
  21. Shell Shucker

    Shell Shucker Member

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    I would recommend an auto or O/U (decent quality, does not need to be top dollar) for new shooters playing games that require shooting PAIRS. The reason is that these guns allow a newbe shooter to concentrate on the targets rather than working the gun. Shotgunning is all about focusing on the target! That being said a pump is more of an experts tool than a beginners (shooting pairs), kind of like the .410....
     
  22. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    I shoot 5-stand with an 870 Express. But the pump is a real handicap when shooting pairs. That doesn't stop me from hitting both, and it's good practice for shucking fast and with finesse. If you can REALLY use a pump, you can use it to shoot pairs, and vice versa. All these people who talk about short-shucking just haven't practiced. With ammo that feeds well in the gun, and a little oil, it's never let me down. But I'd be lying if I said I could score the same as with a double gun.

    I shot trap with the thing, too. A pump that fits you will shoot singles trap as well as anything. But I recently got a BT-99. If I get a gun all modified to be perfect for singles trap, I figure it should be a trap gun, not a hunting beater like the Express.

    My recommendation would be a semiauto that fits you. If an 1100 fits you, a used 12 Gauge with 28" barrels ought to get you into the sport, and there will be no good reason to buy a new gun for a while. Buy a high-buck gun when and only when you've done enough shooting to know exactly what you want!

    Note that a full-length field gun works great for Sporting Clays or 5-stand. Field guns may not be the best for trap, and skeet favors shorter guns, but a regular old 28" 1100, 11-87, Beretta 39x, or similar run-of-the-mill semiauto will work well for SC. Same goes for a 686 or other common double gun.

    If you get into the sport and you have the money, you may well want a $2400 gun (or, sickeningly, a $12000 gun) one day. But at least you will know which one you want. You can buy the wrong $2400 gun and wish you'd laid down a few hundred for a used 1100 or 390 instead.

    Good luck and have fun!
     
  23. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

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    What is needed is a serious self-assesment of where your skill level lies and what you want to do with it.

    If you just want to shoot the occasional round of clay birds with some friends for a good time, then an over-and-under that costs four figures probably isn't the best choice.

    I only dabble in clays, so my Franchi 612, which I paid less than $600 for, works just fine. For where my skill level lies, the extra cost of a dedicated clay gun would be lost on me. Also, since I'm not super serious about developing my skill, I doubt I'd be able to utilize the competitive advantages of such a gun the way a serious shooter would.

    And in any event, if I were to suddenly take clays as seriously as I take Bullseye, my main cost concern wouldn't be the gun, but the ammo. Even with a .22 pistol, I know I've spent more on ammo for the gun than what I paid for it.

    In the end, it comes down to two things:
    1) Be honest about what you want to do.
    2) Buy the highest quality you can afford that lets you match #1.
     
  24. Manedwolf

    Manedwolf member

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    That's about like saying that a $100 pen will make you a better writer than a 20 cent pen. It's not about the pen, it's about the words you write.

    It's not the tool, it's the skill. As long as it's not something so cheap or badly made that it doesn't shoot where you aim it, or is ergonomically just BAD in how it works...
     
  25. SRMohawk

    SRMohawk Member

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    Jim,
    Just imagine the hottest woman with whom you ever had sex. Then imagine the nastiest woman with whom you ever had sex. The difference is about what it's like shooting clays with something like one of Browning's Citori models versus something like a Remington M1100!

    Peace,
    D.H.
     
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