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New to Skeet...

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Mastrogiacomo, Feb 15, 2020.

  1. Mastrogiacomo

    Mastrogiacomo Member

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    I have a Remy Home Defender which is an 18" pump action. I'm 5'2", 120 lbs and new to the sport, which I plan to start when it's a tad warmer as I dearly hate the cold. My situation is I really don't know what I can use. Is the 12 gauge 18" acceptable for learning the sport? What gun should I consider if I find I like this? I'm guessing 26" 20 gauge gun but is there a gun more suitable for my size? If not, how do I go about making it "fit?" The over & unders are expensive, is there a lower end pump that would work?

    Laura
     
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Can you shoot skeet with that gun? Sure, but it is far from ideal.

    I would look at a autoloader, perhaps even a youth model. If not a youth model, a wood stocked gun that is easy to cut down if need be.
     
  3. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    You can certainly get out and give skeet a go with that gun,though you will have to endure disdainful looks on the course. But no sense buying another gun until you're hooked. CPE's post above is spot on.

    For casual and club level competitive skeet, a gas gun that will handle 1 oz loads reliably might be ideal. I would look very hard at a Remington 1100 youth model. And I wouldn't recommend a barrel shorter than 28" unless you find it very comfortable and shooting well for you. The short barreled skeet gun is quite old fashioned.
     
  4. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    You can shoot skeet with about anything. I have seen some tear skeet up with 28 gauge but mostly 20 gauge is used where I shoot. Really your size shouldn't matter as long as you have a gun that is comfortable, points, and swings well. Skeet is a lot of fun. Take your Remy Home Defender out and give it a try. Just remember that if you start with skeet sporting clay's is just around the corner.
     
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  5. treedoc1

    treedoc1 Member

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    Skeet is shot with all 4 gauges by class. 12, 20, 28, 410. The increasing difficulty occurs as the gauge decreases mostly due to smaller pattern size from smaller amounts of lead shot. 12 might hold 1 1/8 oz, 410 only 1/2. Make sure whatever gun you decide on has the ability to have an open choke, improved cylinder, skeet, or cylinder. That will give you the best pattern at the short distance you will be shooting from. Beginners tend to benefit from an over under or semi automatic for the ease of the second shot on doubles, just pull the trigger again without any manipulation. I have never experienced gun snobs on the skeet range, quite the opposite. Shoot what you have, consider a youth model semi in 12 or 20. Inexpensive shells, little to no recoil because the semi action uses most of the recoil to operate and cycle the next round. Have fun, believe the lead, and follow through. Smiling is worth 2 birds a round minimum.
     
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  6. treedoc1

    treedoc1 Member

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    FWIW a TriStar Raptor youth 20 ga semi auto will run you around $300, $350 after tax and xfer.
     
  7. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Used a Thompson Center Contender in 410. for singles. Any old water pipe works with #9 shot.
     
  8. kudu
    • Contributing Member

    kudu Moderator Staff Member

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    I try to start new folks out on skeet with all singles on the skeet range. You don't have to worry about pumping the gun on doubles. Once they get comfortable with the targets and if they are consistently breaking the majority, then I will move them to doubles. Watch several rounds of skeet before you just jump in not knowing what is going on, maybe find a member of the club that looks like they know what they are doing and ask advice, most will be happy to help a new shooter even with a self defense/riot gun. Many times they will offer to let new shooters use one of their own guns. I have 2 or 3 guns set up for kids with a shorter stock just for this reason.

    If you do decide to use your home defender find some shells that are called ultra-lights, generally will have 1oz of shot with a velocity of 1200-1250fps. Nice mild target shell, I use mostly reloads that I run 7/8oz of shot at 1200fps, the equivalent of a 20 gauge shotshell, not only is there no kick, I save money on reloading less shot. I am a 6' 2" guy at 280lbs, I don't need low recoil, but I prefer it to get on target for second shot quicker.

    Fatigue will get to new shooters quickly, holding a shotgun out in front of you for extended periods of time is tiring, recoil is also fatiguing, eventually gets to the shooter. Find a coach or another shooter willing to help and not go too fast to show you leads and footwork on each station. I often teach new shooter the basics and sometimes will find a new shooting buddy this way, I am not a "coach", but have shot well over a half million skeet targets and am pretty good at getting people to hit targets on a consistent basis.

    If you really think you need a new gun to start with skeet, you should really find a club or gun store that caters to clay target shooters and has those type of guns in stock, any times there may be a good used shotgun that someone traded in to upgrade, or a kid outgrew. I tend to think long term with a target gun, like the shooter will be hooked and shoot several thousand rounds a year, but many will try a few rounds and maybe shoot 100-200 clays a year and a cheaper shotgun is fine for that, but quality will generally last for the long term shooter.
     
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  9. leo96150

    leo96150 Member

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    A Beretta A300 Outlander can be bought new for $600-650. The 28" barrel with Mobil chokes will take you through Trap, Skeet, and Sporting Clays. Plus you can hunt anything that flies. And they have a stock that adjusts for pitch and cast. The self cleaning gas piston just needs to be cleaned every 500 rounds or so, but it will shoot much longer. In the end, if you decide to upgrade, or if you just don't like it, you can sell it a lot easier than a bargain basement brand. Oh yeah, it comes in 12 or 20 gauge too.
     
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  10. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Not a skeet gun. I shoot one round of Trap a year with my 18" Ithaca 37 as a reminder that it is not a Trap gun.

    I bought one of those for the 4-H Trap program for a starter gun, it would be a good starter gun for Skeet, too.
     
  11. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    kudu has some good information.

    Start shooting singles at first and if possible, shoot at station one and/or station seven only at first. Then move to the other stations. Doubles can come later.

    I believe that your Remington will accept other 870 barrels. If so, get a 24" barrel with interchangeable chokes. As I tell folks, in skeet, the swing is the thing. Stopping the shotgun on the shot is one of main reason for missing. A longer barrel puts some extra mass out front that helps you maintain the swing through the trigger pull. Barrels are not very expensive and are easy to swap out.

    Otherwise, as long as your short barrel does not have too tight a choke, it really does not matter. One of the skeet chokes would be best and a cylinder choke would be a better than a full choke.

    There are some good You Tube videos on skeet showing camera views looking down the barrel.

    Here are a couple, there may be some others that are better but these are a start.




    A historical note, in the 1930's and 1940's, pump shotguns were the competition gun of choice for skeet. As semi-autos got more reliable and over/unders got more price friendly, the pump went out of favor. But they are still a viable choice for casual skeet.
     
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  12. George P

    George P Member

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    You need to contact your local skeet club to see if they allow short barrels like your REMINGTON (NOT Remy) shotgun. (Sorry but those nicknames irritate me to no end)
    Many club will not allow them. That said, you should be able to get a nice 28" barrel with choke tubes for not a lot of money.

    Here is a now out of print brochure from Remington on how to shoot skeet; it gives the basics, foot positions, lead, etc. so you don't waste a lot of time learning bad form.
    http://masondixonclaybusters.com/uploads/SkeetShootingFundamentalsHandbook.pdf
     
  13. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Shoot the gun you have for a few rounds. Most places where I shoot have loaners for new shooters and I've found most all experienced shooters willing to let you try their guns. Once you've gotten a few rounds in using other guns you'll have a better idea what will work best for you.
     
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  14. Obturation
    • Contributing Member

    Obturation Contributing Member

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    It's all about fun, just take what you've got and give it a go. It's far from ideal but if you get good with a HD shotgun a proper skeet gun will be like cheating. I've shot skeet with an 18" cylinder bore Mossberg, it's tough and I'm not great at it either way. Some folks are just wired for it though, a buddy of mine can take that type of shotgun and hit just about anything with it but can't shoot a rifle to save his life. Everyone's different, find what works for you. Good luck!
     
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  15. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

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    Take what you have and shoot singles or report. Talk to the folks there before buying a new gun. Some fields hulls hitting the ground is acceptable, some fields it is not. That might make a difference in what gun you'll need (not sure if shell catchers are available for all guns). You may decide shooting skeet is something you enjoy doing on occasion, but not enough to purchase a new gun.

    One of my kids is shooting a Tristar viper youth 20ga. Had some issues at first, but after a couple hundred shells, it cycles cheap win and fed 7/8 at 1200 100%. Enexpensive gun, but still looks pretty good (blued/wood). Recoil is mild for such a light gun. Only complaint is choke threads are not great. Chokes loosen up often even with a lot of grease. ~$35 extended skeet choke made that not so much of a problem.
     
  16. George P

    George P Member

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    If grease won't hold them tight enough after using a wrench, you can try using the white teflon plumber's tape on the threads - just make sure to remove and clean good after shooting
     
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  17. Bill M.

    Bill M. Member

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    Many ranges will not allow that gun.
     
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  18. HB

    HB Member

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    Out of 60+ shooters I’m the only one that shoots a pump. There’s only a couple semi autos there on the weekends.
     
  19. kudu
    • Contributing Member

    kudu Moderator Staff Member

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    When I play at skeet, which is most of the time anymore, I use a pump gun. Either my 1897 Winchester with the poly ckoke on it or one of my Remington 870's. I still break 95%of the targets with my pump guns. My serious gun is my Beretta 682 with tube set. I can shoot as well with my Remington 11-87. Either of these guns will usually pick me up 2-3% targets. I'm fortunate to be able to choose from about 30 different shotguns in all skeet gauges.

    Use what you are already comfortable with if the club allows it.
     
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  20. desidog

    desidog Member

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    Most places have a couple loaner guns...I'd inquire about borrowing first.
     
  21. Armorer 101

    Armorer 101 Member

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    A couple of things that I did not see here. The shotgun, of all guns, must fit you. Properly. Your eye is the rear sight and should be in proper placement on the comb of the stock. A sporting gun should have a rib and that rib, just the very top is what you should see when the gun is mounted, naturally, not forced.

    Most youths and females require a shorter butt stock for proper fit, due to having shorter reach or arm length, which translates into length of pull or trigger distance from the butt of the stock.

    Miss, miss, fit the stock, hit, hit. Ask when you go to the range if there is a person on the range that fits stocks. Most well used ranges will have a person that can and will fit stocks for members or shooters. Plus most members will allow you to try their guns on the range after they finish a round. Many ranges will rent a gun for you to use on their range. Just do not rent a gun unless it fits you reasonably well.

    A 26 or 28 inch barrel is preferred for skeet while a 30-32 is preferred for sporting clays or trap. I do not shoot trap or skeet that often but shoot sporting clays twice a week, two rounds per day in the sub gauge class. Occasionally shooting a 12ga just to keep in practice with them.

    Most of the folks shooting clay birds are good folks and will help new shooters or shooters having trouble however they can. But shotguns and flying targets are addictive. Good Luck
    Ed
     
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  22. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

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    OK, comedy

    just start crack,

    cheaper, and less stressful
     
  23. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    20 gauge A300? That’s news to me.

    Amen brother, me too.
     
  24. Buzznrose

    Buzznrose Member

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    My wife is a tad shorter than you, and I bought her a CZ720 Reduced Length semiauto:

    1E14C1E0-27F7-44FE-A7FA-5F38C6A5B44F.png

    she really likes it. Just need to break it in with a few boxes of high brass before using target loads. Cycles best with 1 ounce loads
     
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  25. George P

    George P Member

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    High brass versus low brass means NOTHING in today's shooting world; I have shot target loads with taller brass than any hunting load. NO gun should need to be "broken in with a few boxes of high brass loads" Clean it completely after getting it home and then follow the owner's manual for relubing properly.
     
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