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Shotgun for 3-gun?

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by Mauser lover, Jul 13, 2019 at 11:19 AM.

  1. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

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    So... I've wanted to get into three gun for a little while, but I don't have a shotgun that would be suitable. (Okay, it would work, but I'd run out of time on most stages!)

    I just got an email from DK Firearms that said they had "Panzer Arms" shotguns that look like ARs back in stock. Is this a good idea, or just a gimmick? If I showed up to a match with something like this, is it even going to work for how the matches usually work? I don't care if I get laughed at if it works, but I want something that works.

    Let's assume that the arm will fire reliably for now, then I'll go from there. What I'm looking for is... "Is a semi-auto 12 ga box magazine fed shotgun what I'm looking for?"
     
  2. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    First you need to decide what division you want to compete in. Box fed shotguns put you in open division even if it's a pump shotgun. IME to get a saiga or similar AK type shotgun to WORK reliably in match conditions with big mags and light bulk ammo takes lots of money and I've personally never seen one that didn't still have the occasional problem.

    I've never seen an AR-style shotgun that worked reliably enough. But I've only seen a couple total.

    Most of the time you lose or make up in 3gun shotgun is loading. So if you learn to load quads or twins well you can use pretty much any quality semi auto that's been modded correctly to speed load.

    Benellis and Bredas and franchis and Stoegers and mossbergs are popular. For the money the Stoeger 3000 is probably the best bet. They have a 3-gun model that's cutaway for twins for around $600ish.

    I shoot a 590 pump pretty well and load from sidesaddle and bandolier or shell caddies if necessary. I shoot fast but load slow so I usually shoot the gun empty and transition to pistol or rifle if available.
     
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  3. LRDGCO

    LRDGCO Member

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    So, I am not an expert in shotgun matches and do not shoot three gun comps. I do shoot shotgun "side matches" and have done well in several even with my Benelli Nova.

    The AR pattern shotguns, of every brand and build, have not lived up to their promises. They tend to be jammomatics with very few exceptions. Read reviews and this is a recurring theme. The one possible exception to this, and it's still early days, is from an unlikely place: RIA. Their AR-like VR80 seems to be gaining a reputation for reliability.

    In the matches that I shoot, the Mossberg 590 mag-fed is far more prevalent and gets good reviews for reliability and feeding. I have started to see the Remington 870 DM box mag as well, but in the limited number I have seen - only about five - there have been several complaints about magazine change outs and mags not seating cleanly.

    I have used a Mossberg 590 mag-fed and I didn't like it at all. It felt really unwieldy and awkward. Having said that, mag changes became easy quickly and getting used to the 10 round mags might not be that hard.

    I also shoot sporting clays competitively and have done for around 10 years. I have never completed a match in which a semi-auto did not have a failure of some sort.

    So, I would suggest a pump and if you need box mags, the Mossberg seems to have the bugs worked out.
     
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  4. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    As 1K said, a box fed gun will put you into Open running with guys with optics on everything......

    At our local matches the vast majority of shotguns are still tube fed. Last week we had an AK style in our squad and that's one of the few I've shot with. The majority of stages we shoot you can get by with starting division capacity and reload on the clock with another 8 rds on your belt. Once in a while they'll put together a primary shotgun stage with a chitload of shotgun targets to force reloading on the clock, cause it kind of separates the "men from the boys", but it's not the norm. Practice loading twins, maybe quads, and you'll keep up. A lot of stages we simply run the shotgun dry, then transition to pistol, especially if the tgts are close in, as 1K said

    I shoot a Stoeger M3K, zero issues and a good friend of mine also shoots one after dumping his Mossberg 3Gun model. I started with a Benelli M1S90 Tactical, very reliable gun, but a dedicated 3Gun rig is the way to go. I fiber optic front is much faster IMHO and it's really isn't to bad on the slug targets. I see a lot of Stoegers and Benelli's at matches with a mix of Berretta's. A lot of the guns are inertia driven, VS gas and I really don't see that many pumps. Reliability is key, and a #gun shotgun IMHO takes more abuse than most other sport guns. Few other competitions will go through 75 rounds in a total of about 2 minutes (stages combined)

    The Stoeger M3K is pretty competitive right out of the box, until you sort out what mods you want to make. Honestly I see a chitload of new guys show up with tricked out chit, that would have been much better off spending the cash on match fees and practice ammo.
     
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  5. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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    If I was going to shoot 3 gun, I'd use what the USMC uses. Benelli M-4.
     
  6. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

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    10-4.

    I think I'll get a magazine tube, short barrel, and stick with my pump gun for a bit. Until an AK-ish or AR-ish or other detachable box fed gun proves its reliability.

    I'm going to end up shooting with the "open" guys anyway. I just know it's going to happen eventually.

    MONEY PIT!!!
     
  7. Hoser

    Hoser Moderator

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    Grab a Benelli M1 or M2, an extended tube from Nordic, a welded up lifter and your off to the races.

    Dont make it hard. Buy once, cry once.
     
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  8. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I’m not a 3 gun shooter nor a fan of Benellis but I do know their capabilities well and this is good advice.
     
  9. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    A good shooter loading quads in a tube-fed shotgun can keep up with or beat most open classers from what I've seen, over the course of a stage, unless the stage is specifically designed to favor open (which most aren't). Open gets you unlimited optics and mag size on your pistol and shotgun, bipods and whatever other garbage you want on your rifle, which may help in some stages. But "tactical" or "tac-ops" or "practical" is where the real competition is. AR with an optic, iron sights and 140mm mag on pistol, and tube fed semi-auto shotgun with a quad-load setup.
     
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  10. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    Last week we had a 300-25-50-80 yard stage where a bipod would have come in handy. The one Open Class guy slipped one on, us Tac-Ops guys just switched to our 40rd PMAG "mono-pods" and carried on. This stage "broke" a lot of shooters due to the normal reasons, not having a good zero, not knowing you're come up, and of course the RDS guys struggled due to dot VS. target size. Quite a few, never got beyond the 300y targets, or spent so much time there they "timed out" and didn't finish the stage.

    To echo what 1K said, our club might be different, but the majority of shooters are in Tac-Ops. Just went through Practiscore and out of 54 shooters last week there were only 4 Open Class. They finished; 1st, 5th, 33rd, and 41st. Difference between the 1st place Open shooter and 2nd place Tac-Ops was a whopping 1.36 pts.
     
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  11. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Yep. At my club it's rare that an open shooter wins outright. Usually the top tac-ops guys are top overall.
     
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  12. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

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    So... Is there any advantage for going with a 20 gauge? If it is even legal?

    What about shorter shells? Like those Aguila mini-shells? Probably not legal, I'm guessing.
     
  13. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    I've seen one guy run a 20. Probably because that's what he had. My son shot a 1300 pump in 20 once because that's what I had. They are usually legal in all divisions except Heavy Metal or whatever your club calls it. There may be some advantage if you weak hand load from caddies as I can get 5 20s in my hand comfortably. I can't load them worth a damn but if I could that might be a small advantage.

    However a serious 20 will probably be more expensive and will definitely be a red headed stepchild for any parts or mods that are specific to that model.

    As for mini shells I don't know whether they are legal or not. Never seen anyone try to use them.
     
  14. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    When I shot in 3 gun, I used a Mossberg 930 JM PRO. An excellent tool for the task.
     
  15. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    Last match a guy in our squad was running mini-s out of his AK shotgun. I saw him have a couple issues during the match, but whether it was the mini-s or the AK I honestly don't know.

    The majority of guys I see are running straight 12GA 2 3/4 1 1/8th birdshot. I've yet to see a 20GA. IF it did have some sort of edge to it, it would be more common. I did see quite a few 20s in Cowboy action, but they didn't have slug or Buckshot requirements. I believe for some of the knockdown steel you'd have to go to a tighter choke with a 20GA, which would slow you down on the other targets, so maybe that's why you don't see more of them.
     
  16. George P

    George P Member

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    HUH? Why would a tighter choke slow you down?
     
  17. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    More precise aiming on the other closer in tgts with the tighter choke.....It might vary by club, but the majority of our shotgun tgts (small knockdowns & Clay pigeons) are within IC distance and even a little tight for that. IF poppers are set at a greater range and they are I think for safety from bounce back, it's a question of getting enough shot on them to take them down.

    Soooo, less shot to start with = tighter choke to get more pellets on tgt.
     
  18. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    That tells you the key to your answer, go to the matches you want to shoot and see what works and what doesn’t. If you ask the right questions you’ll likely be offered some shells to try out different ones.

    My magazine fed shotguns have won some matches for me but sometimes they puts me in a class I don’t want to be in. There are lots of choices out there these days.
     
  19. George P

    George P Member

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    So put in a Mod choke and learn to shoot............and there isn't that much of a difference in most 12 and 20 gauge loads to begin with; certainly enough pellets to knock over a target
     
  20. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    @1KPerDay first post nailed it.

    With tubular mags you can constantly be topping off.
    With box mags you go dry or leave ammo.

    I ended up with an FN and I like it but it is not optimised for the game.

    I hear good things about Breda these days.

    Buddy of mine did some mods to a JM pro and it is a very nice machine
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019 at 10:37 AM
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  21. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Because you have to be more precise because the pattern is tighter. Precision means that extra fraction of a second to assure alignment.

    You have to find the balance between good speed and enough pellets to knock over the farther plates. I run a fixed cylinder bore and it's awesome for up close and aerial targets but if there's a small or heavy plate out past 20-25 yards sometimes they won't go over with one shot.
     
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  22. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Have you shot many 3 gun matches with steel targets?
     
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  23. George P

    George P Member

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    Nope, but if you want the maximum energy transmitted to the target, then you want a tight choke to keep the pellet mass as tight as possible.
     
  24. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    True.

    But you aren't always shooting the same targets. Sometimes you are shooting slugs, then airborne clays.

    Just remember the beauty of flexibility with a shotgun.

    I happen to be lazy so I use a light modified choke exclusively.

    But I don't place 1st every time LOL
     
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  25. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Yes... but there are other considerations besides maximum energy transfer. Otherwise an XFULL turkey choke would be preferred in every case. Speed and effectiveness must be in balance. Larger patterns mean you can go faster... up to a point.
     
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