Best gauge for clays for beginning/young shooters and women?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by SKILCZ, Apr 12, 2016.

?

Which clay gun gauge for beginning/young and female shooters?

Poll closed May 12, 2016.
  1. 20 gauge

    38 vote(s)
    69.1%
  2. 28 gauge

    6 vote(s)
    10.9%
  3. 410 gauge

    1 vote(s)
    1.8%
  4. Other

    10 vote(s)
    18.2%
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  1. Candyman87

    Candyman87 Member

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    20 gauge for new shooters is my general recommendation. Especially for sporting clays. The last few stations tend to be miserable with a 12 gauge if they're even the slightest bit recoil sensitive.

    That being said a semi auto 12 gauge wouldn't be that bad. But these days both 12 and 20 gauge guns and target ammo are readily available and about the same price.

    Once you get into 28 gauge or .410 the costs go up considerably and the choices drop.

    And it was said the .410 is humbling. I got one for when I take new shooters to shoot sporting clays. It's probably a bit frustrating if I'm breaking most clays on the beginner course. I'll shoot my .410 instead to challenge me with new shooters.

    That being said, when we shoot the intermediate or advanced courses, you'll find me shooting my 12 gauge 11-87.
     
  2. JohnnyFlake

    JohnnyFlake Member

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    Let me make a suggestion for those that would like to be proficient using a .410 - Way back in the day, during my 4 gun competition shooting, I quickly learned that the stock on your gun makes a big difference of how you shoot. Most shotguns, both hunting and for skeet (Not Trap) come with downward slanted stocks. That works well for skeet shooting when your pumping out a 100 rounds per gun in competition, it helps to reduce recoil and give you a clearer view.

    However, to bring your sight picture into a more accurate format, a straight stock is much better. Straight stocks are a must for Trap Competition, as the needed field of view, is much less than in skeet or hunting. The problem is, that felt recoil is greater and tends to beat the hell out of you when shooting a 100 round contest.

    Many shooters, including myself, started using straight stocks on the .410 and .28ga guns. If you do that with your .410, it will automatically make you more accurate than with the normal slanted stock. A change over in the 20ga and 12ga guns really isn't necessary due to large shot loads.
     
  3. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    Rule of thumb, the biggest gun that is comfortable for the shooter, and biggest gauge they are able to shoot. Generally it will be. 20 gauge over/under. .410's are commonly bought by parents but if the beginner can't break a target they will lose interest. Recoil is brutal in a single shot, again causing the beginner to lose interest or flinch. Over/unders or side by side are shorter and easier to handle for small people. A youth pump or semi-auto is fine if not too big for the person.
     
  4. kudu
    • Contributing Member

    kudu Moderator Staff Member

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    I like the 28 gauge, but since the price of shot is so high I load 12 gauge, 20 gauge and the 28 with 3/4 oz of shot. A 20 in an autoloader is about ideal for young shooters and beginners.
     
  5. tahoe2

    tahoe2 Member

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    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G925A using Tapatalk
     
  6. wbstx11

    wbstx11 Member

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    If the person can handle the weight, a gas gun is the way to go. I love the Remington 1100 - while I like the 12 I'll shoot clays any day with my 50 year old Remy 1100 20ga improved - it's a really sweet shootin' gun.
     
  7. Averageman

    Averageman Member

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    If the 16 gauge was still a viable and inexpensive option, I wonder how the choices here would be effected?
     
  8. TomADC

    TomADC Member

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    Many years ago when my grandson was 8-9 I started him on skeet with a H&R single shot youth gun in 28 Ga. had a modified choke he couldn't shoot doubles of course but finally got to breaking 15-16 on a regular basis, he grew a little more and into my 20 ga O/U skeet gun got pretty good with it averaged mid 20's and by this time in high school playing football he liked my 12 ga O/U skeet gun and broke his first 25 straight, he's 30 now with a job and family and we don't get out much for clays but a range trip once and a while on his day off.
     
  9. AJumbo

    AJumbo Member

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    12, in a properly-fitted shotgun. As the shooter grows, so can the gun.
     
  10. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

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    honestly, i would just start them on 12....

    12g honestly doesnt kick that hard, small statured shooters should have no problem if they are confident with shooting guns.

    if they are recoil sensitive, a 12g in an autoloader is a good idea.
     
  11. AJumbo

    AJumbo Member

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    The only reasons I'd have for NOT recommending an are that, first, many (maybe most) have an action spring and strut in the stock, which can limit how much stock can be cut off for fitting purposes; and second, light loads can turn your autoloader into a perfectly functional single-shot. Any other design will function with any load you chamber in it. I'd seriously consider something like an 870 Express or Mossberg 500 with a youth stock. Like I posted before, the gun can grow with the shooter. If the pupil decides shooting isn't their game, you're only out the price of an affordable workhorse gun that shouldn't be too hard to resell.

    Stay away from .410s. Rounds are expensive, and 9/16 of an ounce of shot doesn't provide much of a pattern. This can be discouraging to a novice shooter. I own one, and shoot it when I want to be humbled into working on my fundamentals.
     
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