Looking to get started....

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Aug 4, 2005
Western Washington
Looking for a good starter shotgun, over/unders would be my preference. Was hoping to get a little feedback.

Situation - I've done a little sporting clays, skeet and some trap. I like trap and skeet the best. Sporting clays would be fun, but I'd prefer to get some practice on trap and skeet first, maybe improve my target aquisition skills.

Problem - Have not fired too many shotguns. My father-in-law competed in ameteur sporting clays and taught me how to shoot. I've fired mostly Browning and Remington over unders. The last one he let me use was a Remington competition STS.... He was just starting to get me interested in shooting and now unfortunately, I can't ask him as he has passed away.

Target - Look for and purchase a shotgun that would work well for skeet. One that won't break the bank, but performs well. Wouldn't mind one that can be used for trap also, not sure that's feasible, since the sights are set different. Not sure exactly, but have read that they are sighted to add lead to the target. (no pun intended.)

Thanks in advance for your comments and any advice. Like I said I'm new to shotgun target shooting, but do enjoy it when the opportunity presents itself. :)
Let's just say I think I'm too spoiled. Liked the Remington Of course it's a little $$$$ The over under is really nice. But, not sure what differences, options are really availble. I guess if I could get something somewhat compairable used at half the price, then I'd be happy. Not sure, but that line is pretty new isn't it? Not sure there'd be much on the market. Plus, I only got to take it out once so it may be that I just really liked how the sights were set up and that there wasn't a lot of recoil. I'm left handed, so over under seems like the best option, though I believe they do make autos that eject to the left. "?"

If it matters I'm
left eye dominant
can shoot with both eyes open, finally got rid of the rifle habit.
Contrary to popular belief, you can have fun shooting trap with damn near any shotgun. It's VERTICAL lead that's built into trap guns. You just have to point a tad higher with a field gun, usually. Or hold high, in which case it doesn't matter much because the bird isn't rising so fast anyway.

Don't get a trap gun as your first shotgun. You'll know if and when you want a special gun for trap (usually useless for much else).

Assuming screw-in chokes, a Skeet gun is pretty much interchangeable with a field gun.

On a budget, I'd recommend a Stoeger Condor with selectable trigger. I know a number of people who have used and abused them, with no trouble. They have a 12/20 combo that's still not expensive. That will truly do anything you want to do with it.

If you have $1500 or more, just get the gun you already know you like. There aren't any used ones. There are few new ones. They just came out. For that money, there are lots of choices. SKB's are nice, but not too expensive.
+1 ArmedBear

I've seen far too many people with $1200 + shotguns outguned with well used pumps from Remington/Mossberg/Winchester. On shotgun games where only one shot is fired, it does not really matter the type of shotgun you use - they all go bang when you pull the trigger.

If money even a small concern for you, I would buy a well known pump and spend the rest on ammo and range fees.

If it is not a concern for you, can I shoot you cool new toy?:neener:
I like O/U's and SxS's, buy what you want.
you definately want a left handed one.
I've only seen a couple. Browning makes one, I don't know about beretta, think most of theirs are set for righties, where Brownings are usually pretty straight, I think Verona made one, Rizzini might.

I would go used
You should be able to get a VERY nice used O/U left handed for around $1000
find the local gun shop that has lots of shotguns and look around and find one that fits.

I agree with not buying a trap gun.
Get a sporting clays one (mid-range rib)
longer barrels, 30" to 34" will be better, help it swing in any of the guns.
interchangable chokes should be standard at this level.
BTW the nicest gun and the best gun for you to shoot with may be very, very different.
i like the brownings and you can get a basic one used for about $800-$900
skb's/weatherby's are good for the money, too. o/u's are not cheap to make and you pretty much get what you pay for. sub $600 guns have problems if your gonna use them much. If you don't have the money right now, try a remington 870, its a solid pump action gun that is reliable and you will never regret owning one. lots of people are using the semi's too, most can be had for $800 or less.
Haven't looked it up yet, so this is an uninformed reply.

What's the difference between a left-handed and right-handed O/U? The stock?
Yes. Stocks have various dimensions, like "cast". Stocks can bend towards or away from your face, to compensate for your having skinny or full cheeks, for example. Many stocks have palm swells so they fill your trigger hand comfortably. Sometimes these are only on one side of the stock.

HOWEVER, many guns are designed with no cast and no significant palm swells (or palm swells on both sides). Many people can grab, say, a Remington field gun and it will fit them, either right or left. Remington's field stocks are designed for a decent fit on the largest number of shooters. Mass-market Brownings also have no cast and ambidextrous wrists, but they have flatter combs, so they aren't quite as "one size fits all" as Remingtons, which have more angled combs so that the shooter's head tends to "self-adjust" on the stock. The payoff is that the Brownings might fit you better, if they do fit. Either way, there are some compromises.

Often guns that have cast have a slight "cast off", which lines up your face behind the rib. Obviously, if you are a leftie, this will become "cast on" and shove your face farther AWAY from the centerline instead. The overall caveat, though, is that either way, the cast might be wrong for your face. I tend to think that, the farther you get from straight, the more it makes sense to have the gun fitted for you.

High-end competition guns, unlike off-the-shelf field guns, are often fitted specifically to the shooter, sometimes to the point of the absurd. They will fit the shooter perfectly, but someone else might not be able to shoot them at all. Hollowed-out cheekpieces to fit someone's face like a puzzle piece, strange vertical and horizontal angles, as well as twisted butts, to fit someone's upper body angles exactly, and grips made to fit someone's hand are commonplace.

I know a guy who got a Wenig like that on his Perazzi. Weird looking, but when he shoulders the gun, he really does "become one" with it. Had to fly to Missouri twice for a preliminary and a final fit, and messed around with a lot of foam and duct tape in between.


The middle-price solution is an adjustable buttstock. Ugly as sin, usually, and butt-heavy, but it can be tweaked to a shooter for a lot less money than custom wood, and it can be readjusted at any time. However, it can also be adjusted and adjusted and cause nothing but frustration. I've seen too many people screw with their stocks so much that they start cussing and wishing they just had a stock Mossberg 500 because they shoot it better.:)

What's the difference between a left-handed and right-handed O/U? The stock?

yeah, just the stock, the gun itself almost never changes. (In fact, I can't think of any, maybe in a semi-auto? anyone? bueller? bueller?)

But basically, the palm swell will move and the cast will move. (and I always get this wrong, so there is cast on and cast off and I can never remember which way is which)

Beretta's are all slightly for righties. (whichever cast that is)
Brownings are usually pretty straight, unless you get a left handed one then it noticably curves. My wife shoots a Lefty Browning 525 and it feels terrible in my hands, so I bet it feels fine in hers.

If you are a lefty, you'll know instantly if you pick up a left handed one and then compare it to a normal one.
back to this....

Had to put this on the shelf for a while, but I'm ready to start exploring my options again. (Buying a new house and all the fun that goes with that)

Was looking at a Browning, just to see how it compaired to a Remington Spartan that a friend said was a good starter. After holding the Spartan, which seemed like it might be useful as a sledgehammer for staking a tent or something, I picked up Browning Citori XS Special. Seemed like a nice shotgun maybe a little high in the $$$ but wanted to hear what other shooters think of it. Brownings seem spendy are they worth the $$$?

Thanks in advance.
SEe, what did I tell you about the Russian guns?
A club, at best

The Brownings are very nice, well made, good value for the money, tons of them on the used market.
The Beretta's are similar in price point, maybe a little more lithe, but I think most people would be hard pressed to tell the difference.

You should get 80 to 100,000 rounds out of a Browning O/U without any issues.
If you like O/U shotguns, look around for a Ruger Red Label to handle if you can find one.Pretty nice looking, and its the best feeling/balanced shotgun I've ever personally handled/shot.I've used mine for skeet,trap, and bird/small game hunting, and it did all of them equally well.just a thought.DISCLAIMER-I may be biased, as I own one in 20ga and 1 in 12ga, but I rerally like them, and the few people I've talked to that have ever used one seemed to also speak highly of them.
Ruger Red Label

Thanks for the insight. I'll look at them. I've been eyeing the Browning Citori line, but I'll definitely look around before I buy.
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