Recommendation a shotgun for clays

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Jenrick, Dec 13, 2021.

  1. Jenrick

    Jenrick Member

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    I recently on a whim went and tried skeet for the first-time last week. Big mistake as I'm pretty hooked. I shot with my Mossberg 535, which I bought years ago and converted over to a 20" SD/HD gun. I did however keep the 28" barrel which I used for skeet. As I plan on keeping my Mossberg as a SD/HD gun I'd like to get a dedicated skeet/trap gun (and possibly sporting clays later down the road). While I'm figuring out what to get, I'll keep shooting my 535, but a lightweight hunting gun isn't exactly the kindest thing on the shoulder for day of shooting.

    Are there any specific recommendations for a solid long-term gun for the clay games? I may upgrade down the road, but I'd like something that will last me for a good while (and possibly forever). I'm not planning on going pro or anything similar. My general budget is around $800, but less is better and the difference will go to shells and shooting.

    I've always wanted an over-under, and Academy Sports here in Texas imports Yildiz shotguns. The reviews are decent, and the pricing isn't bad at $500-$700 depending on the model. I haven't handled one yet, but they are apparently fairly light. Besides the cachet of it being an over under, is there any marked advantage to them? I know they pretty much dominate the professional ranks, but they are also $5k+ guns. Also, if anyone has a suggestion on other budget over-unders, please let me know.

    If I could luck into a semi-auto at a good price I certainly wouldn't argue. However I'm not going to hold my breath on that happening.

    The other track I'm thinking is getting something like an 870 Trap. I'd actually love to have a vintage gun, but with the way prices have climbed lately I know that might not be feasible. I've got a lot of time behind a pump gun, so I'm not really concerned about shot speed for doubles. If anyone has a specific recommendation on models to look for, let me know as my knowledge of shotguns is all SD/HD focused.

    One last option would be to modify my 535 to make it more amenable to a day shooting clays, and get another HD/SD shotgun. If I did that, it would leave me about $400-$500 to spend on my 535 to modify it. The main things would seem to a heavier stock and fore end to eat some of the recoil, and I'm not sure beyond that. Suggestions are welcome.
     
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  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Under 800 bucks? I would look at the Beretta A300 if I wanted new. Dicks has a model that goes on sale for about $650 often. If I wanted used, I would look at a Beretta AL391 or a Remington 1100.

    I wouldn't consider a budget O/U.
     
  3. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    Don't pick the gun, let the gun pick you. Try some different models and see which points and shoots well for you.

    For me, it's an 870. I can hit with a winchester 1300/1400 and a mossberg, but it feels like I'm trying. When I use an 870, it's an extension of my body.
     
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  4. Roverguy

    Roverguy Member

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    Do not buy a cheap over under for clays games. It will let you down. And $2000 + is the entry level for a reliable target gun. You may find a used B gun for less in decent shape.

    For your purposes, there are a number of decent semi autos that will serve you well for clays and can be used to hunt as well should you wish. The Beretta A300 is an excellent place to start. A Remington 1100 is another has gun with a solid reputation. Weatherby's SA-08 is a good choice. Some of the other Turkish guns are well appointed but choose an importer with a solid history of customer service.I

    I don't like a pump for skeet (assuming you are referring to the game specifically and not as a generic term for shooting clays) and longer term, as you improve, your scores will be better with a good semi auto than with an equally good pump gun. Having said that, there are some very nice classic pumps that would serve, the 870 Wingmaster chief among them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2021
  5. slickracer

    slickracer Member

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    This is so true...a cheap OU will not hold up.
     
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  6. Beach Bum

    Beach Bum Member

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    Semi auto- Beretta A300 ultima 12 ga is soft shooting , 20 ga is a cream puff to shoot ,simply a pleasure . I own 2 of each .
    O/U ..IFG ,Italian firearms group ....makes Fair - Fabbrica Armi Isodoro Rizzini shotguns , I find these very interesting and I will most likey have one soon .
    Also CZ has some interesting guns
    I find Yildiz interesting too . at its price point
    Beretta and browning are way more expensive , but they set the standard
     
  7. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    I like my buddies Sears over and under by Antonio Zoli. It feels and shoots good for me. 10 years ago when I researched it, it appeared to be a sleeper in the shotgun world.
     
  8. RUT

    RUT Member

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    >>I recently on a whim went and tried skeet for the first-time last week. Big mistake as I'm pretty hooked<<

    Just wait until you get into "sporting clays"...you'll REALLY get hooked!
     
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  9. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

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    As others have said
    • fit, fit, fit…
    • Try several
    • I like Brownings, but Berettas are good also - both are reasonable used
    • All else fails, get something that fits - or make it fit (this can get expensive fast…)
     
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  10. Frostbite

    Frostbite Member

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    In that price range? I look at quality entry level used over and under shotguns and wait a little to put aside the nessessary funds, because there are none in that price range! As cheap as I went for other guns, I want to wait for a good deal on a quality over and under for clay games, I think they are a better value and a better tool for the job.
    Meanwhile, I shoot my Defender with a 28" barrel on for clays and get some looks and comments from ladies shooting 40K shotguns who also complain in the same sentence there are not enough members at the club. And they shoot better than me every single time.
     
  11. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    ......ditto
     
  12. Jenrick

    Jenrick Member

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    Found a pretty decent deal on a Winchester Super X-1, just needs a little TLC. From what I've read they're fine guns, any opinions?
     
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  13. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Unless you're just practicing for hunting season a pump is going to be a big disadvantage. A decent quality semi is what most casual clays shooters use. And to get a decent one you'll have a hard time finding one for $800. The Beretta suggested above is the only sub $800 gun I'd suggest. The guys who take it seriously use O/U shotguns costing 4 or 5 figures.

    Beretta A300 Outlander Semi-Auto Shotgun with Black Synthetic Stock | Cabela's (cabelas.com)

    You might come across something used. The Remington 1100 is a decent gun, but all of the older ones are not designed for interchangeable choke tubes.
     
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  14. entropy

    entropy Member

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    An 870 Trap would be a bad choice if you plan on shooting Skeet and Sporting Clays with it.

    Great guns, until something breaks. Parts are very hard to find.

    I will agree with Colt Python Elite, an A300/303/391/400 series Beretta will be your best bet for a one-gun-for-all in the budget you're thinking. A used 1100 would be ok also, though they are harder to clean and maintain. If you are going for an 1100 the ne plus ultra of 1100's is the 1100 Competition Synthetic; I know Armored Farmer will agree, as his experiences with his helped me decide to get mine. It has every feature needed to shoot Skeet, Trap, and Sporting Clays. The only other auto made specifically to work for all three sports is the Beretta A400 Multi-Target.

    If you are thinking of a Turkish made O/U, I would recommend the CZ Drake. They are made by Huglu, to CZ's specifications. They are a little on the light side, but are well made, there are ways to add weight if you decide too.
     
  15. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Super-x us a very nice target gun. I had one as my doubles gun in the 80s. It is the smoothest action on an auto target gun imho. Very nice point and balance.
     
  16. kudu

    kudu Moderator Staff Member

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    An excellent gun that doesn't get the recognition they deserve. Not sure why they don't have the following like other guns though. I think they were a bit expensive to make so they came out with the X2, X3, I think they are to the X4 now. Cheaper and cheaper feel to them.
     
  17. Jenrick

    Jenrick Member

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    Interesting, a bit more than I was looking to spend but it certainly seems like an excellent answer.

    I'm going to ruminate on the 1100 and A300, see if anyone has one in town I can check out.
     
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  18. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    The 1100 Competition is a really nice gun. They are hard to find from what I have seen.
     
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  19. dieselchief

    dieselchief Member

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    fwiw a new 1100 competition didnt park my super x 1(have both a field and a trap model). it took a citori csx to move them to semi retired status. lol.
     
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  20. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    Generally speaking an $800.00 semi will be much better quality than an $800.00 O/U.

    All SA-08 models have been discontinued with one exception-the Synthetic Compact.
    Fit is by far the number one criteria for me when purchasing a shotgun.
    Awesome shotguns.
     
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  21. paul harm

    paul harm Member

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    A gunsmith friend claims the Tri-Star is a very good gun. No extra parts and good quality finish on the inside. If you want less recoil it's a semi-auto. Don't buy a light gun. You'll need something with some weight to take up recoil. Many records were set with pump guns. A Remington Model 31, 870, or Win model 12 are all great pump guns. I have no experience with the Mossbergs. Now is a bad time to buy reloading supplies, but I shoot OLD SxSs and the only way to reduce recoil in a 12ga is to shoot 7/8 or 3/4oz loads. The same would hold true for a pump - reduce loads.
     
  22. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    20170101_132903.jpg
    I shot a super-x for doubles and occasionally a round or two of singles. It pointed and balanced similar to my singles/hdcp gun which was a Winchester model 12.

    I ended up transitioning to an 870 competition for a singles/ hdcp gun and then I found the 1100comp that points like my 870. It also has all the bells and whistles that a target gun could want...


    The 1100, super-x, or Beretta auto would he my choice over a budget o/u.
     
  23. Jenrick

    Jenrick Member

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    For those that like closure, I ended up going with the Super-X. Price was extremely good, so even if I don't like I won't be in a hole.
     
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