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Want to try sporting clays

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Appalachiannative, Nov 11, 2022.

  1. Appalachiannative

    Appalachiannative Member

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    So in my corner of WNC we don't have much of a bird hunting culture. When I was a kid I remember being taken dove hunting one time when I was three but that's it. Or maybe I just don't know the right people etc. So naturally I've never noticed a lot of places around here to shoot skeet or trap or sporting clays (just recently learned the difference) now I find out there is a place that does sporting clays that I believe less than an hour a way. A friend of mine who is from Long Island and has lived in Texas for a long time who grew up hunting upland and water fowl has taken his son to this place twice and they have had a blast. So now Ive got to try it. Thing is... I've never done this in my life! Only thing I've ever shot with a shotgun was cans, trash can lids thrown like a frisbee, soda bottles full of gravel tossed up in the air and plenty of squirrels. Any tips from someone with more experience? Also I'm wondering which of my shotguns to take. Leaning towards my 870 wingmaster 12 with the fixed IC
     
  2. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    Sporting Clays is a blast! Just watch the squad in front of you and you will figure it out. Others in your squad will help you. Shooting skeet is good practice for sporting clays. As far as guns nothing special needed. I shoot it with my Browning 20 gauge O/U. I can hold my own with it.
     
  3. entropy

    entropy Member

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    IC should work, depending on how the course is set.
    Of course, I'm not much of an expert. I shoot about a round a year. Saturday was this year's round, 28/50. But it is a lot of fun!
     
  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Gonna have to shuck that pump.
     
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  5. Appalachiannative

    Appalachiannative Member

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    the way my buddy described it sounded pretty fun. He mentioned on this particular course they have one station with a steel rabbit that runs along the ground sometimes... That was one of the selling points for me.
     
  6. Appalachiannative

    Appalachiannative Member

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    W
    What you mean?
     
  7. Appalachiannative

    Appalachiannative Member

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    See that is part of the problem. From the pictures it looks like this course is a lot of fairly close range. I've got an automatic that is open cylinder and I wonder if that might be better BUT my auto is a 16 gauge... Really don't wanna shoot all those expensive shells...
     
  8. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    I know the culture on this forum is to be warm and encouraging.

    Real world can be rather different.

    Some shotgun ranges, or more specifically - the shooters who frequent them, aren't real friendly toward folks who show up with equipment that is below the norm for the regular shooters. A fixed-choke pump-gun on a sporting clays course falls deeply into that category.

    I hope you have a good time on the clays course.
     
  9. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    SC includes doubles, Report doubles, the second bird is thrown when you shoot the first. Following doubles, one then another, True doubles thrown simultaneously.

    Can be done with a pump, but you have to be quick.
     
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  10. Appalachiannative

    Appalachiannative Member

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    I see. I also have a SXS 12 and a 16 auto. Rest of my shotguns are mostly single shots lotta full chokes, squirrel guns ya know. I just don't wanna wear out my poor ol SXS or spend an arm and a leg on 16 ammo. My buddy allegedly shoots pretty good with his Benelli supernova but he did admit is son does better with his Over under. Now I suspect I know why
     
  11. Appalachiannative

    Appalachiannative Member

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    Well there we go that's why I'm asking. What would be a better choice? I've got a 16 auto that's wide open fixed and I've got a 12 SXS that takes the tubes. I've got a skeet tube and improved modified that it came with plus a light full and a full I bought for it
     
  12. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    Just go shoot it. That's what I did. Yes there are some folks frantically changing chokes between stations while I was watching them. It didn't seem to help them that much.

    For me clays is good practice for hunting. And I am not changing tubes every time the terrain changes in the field. If I wanted to be a world champion clays shooter I may change my ways. As Jim Watson says a pump would be a challenge.
     
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  13. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Buy a Mod. Or Light Mod. Tube for the SxS and use the Skeet and whichever Mod. you get.
     
    Appalachiannative likes this.
  14. Sovblocgunfan

    Sovblocgunfan Member

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    Post above has it, but if you are not comfortable with it, you could possibly check and see if the club has a loaner gun. On my two most recent trips i used a loaner CZ Sporting O/U, and did well with them. Both were good outings.
     
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  15. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    With my o/u modified and improved cylinder worded well.
     
  16. Appalachiannative

    Appalachiannative Member

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    I reckon I'll just shoot my pump or my SXS with the skeet on one side and get a mod tube for the other this place is in a different county and there is no prize money so I don't care how bad I do and I don't expect to do well on my very first attempt anyway lol. I'm not going any time real soon got this coming week off to go walk the logging roads with my 20 gauge single listening for the dogs to tree
     
  17. kudu

    kudu Moderator Staff Member

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    Most sporting clays courses are typically set up that a skeet and I/C choke will work, an occasional modified might come in handy. I ran our local course with my 870 with an I/C choke in and came within about 3 birds of my normal, 100 bird course I usually stay in high 80's but I shoot A or AA class. If I have my normal O/U shotgun a skeet on bottom barrel and an I/C on top and a spare mod choke handy but I rarely change unless it's a competition where that one or two birds make a difference.

    Just take your 870 shucker and have fun, it's what you hunt with, sporting is to simulate hunting.
     
  18. DukeConnor

    DukeConnor Member

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    I've shot trap my entire life. I did sporting clays for the first time this year. Believe me the last thing you have to worry about are chokes for your first shoot.

    Concentrate on the first bird and view the second as a bonus lol.
     
  19. Bill M.

    Bill M. Member

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    Go shoot the pump. IC will be fine for most of the targets. You will love it.
     
  20. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    I did a few rounds of sporting clays for the first time last year.

    I'm a decent shot, not great. Lot of fun, but somewhat tough, be prepared to be a little humbled.
     
  21. Nasty Canasta

    Nasty Canasta Member

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    My firm asked if I would be interested in participating in an industry sponsored sporting clay shoot & they needed another shooter, I knew nothing much about the sport but the other shooter from the company was a regular competitor. I don’t do golf tournaments but ask me to go shooting on the firms time & the answer will always be yes. I had a ball using a Winchester 1200 pump that was the best I could field at the time & shot 50/50 my first time. I was the only guy with a pump, autos & O/U’s ruled the day with my partner shooting a 96 out of a hundred. I’ve only gone a couple of times since at a nearby range, $45 for a nonmember for a round of clays & I’ve never failed to have a good time-still a better value than golfing IMHO
     
  22. Remington1911

    Remington1911 Member

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    Don't agree one single bit.
     
  23. Remington1911

    Remington1911 Member

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    I am going to post before reading the rest.

    At the club I go to they could care less what you shoot, just doing it is great. I am sure there are snobs around, they exist everywhere I have never seen them at my club.

    I have told the story about how we got into it before but will cut it short.

    The wife went to a work thing at the club, she shot a Remington 1100 in 20. She really liked it. She decides to take some 1 on 1 classes. Discovers that shotguns "fit" a person. Buys top of the line Benelli and hates everything about it. Trades it in on a Weatherby SA-08 and Tristar Viper with some money left over, loves the SA-08, people at the club could care less.

    First time I went shot the 1100, second time I shot a Auto-5 18g, next time I go I will shoot a Auto-5 20g. I have an old side by side that I have shot in the back yard at clays, and it is real fun....it does have issues, but I think I have it fixed, not sure more testing with expensive and hard to find ammo....if I get it working I will shoot a Stevens SXS.

    It is huge fun, when you show up people want to see what goofy thing I am shooting this time, a little like when I shot a different rifle for the service rifle game a few years ago. It was just fun.
     
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  24. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Member

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    Nobody will care what you shoot. Although, I do get some funny looks when I bring my pump gun to the range. I guess folks just aren’t used to seeing them anymore. Azov2ZO.jpg
     
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  25. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I bring my 18" Ithaca 37 to the range once a year and shoot a round with it. I use my trap guns most the time. I would say that it is not from snobbiness that some comment on others' guns, but from experience. They know which guns will last a lifetime of steady shooting, and if someone is excited to get into the clays games, they don't want them to buy something that will only bring dissatisfaction a year or so down the line. Can you shoot an inexpensive gun for clays games, and shoot it well? Absolutely! Eventually as a shooter starts shooting more and more, shooting a hunting gun for clays games starts costing in poor fit and increased recoil compared to a fitted gun. If you shoot one or two boxes a week over the summer, as practice for hunting, staying with a basic hunting gun makes sense. If you decide to become competitive in clays games, it is wise to consider that the shotgun is going to be a smaller expense than shells, entry fees, travel & lodging, etc. Then getting a gun that is adjustable for fit (particularly if shooting several different games with it) and either has a reputation for longevity between overhauls, easy to maintain, or good service availability, is a wise move.
     
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