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  1. #1
    nky1129 is offline Junior Member
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    Shooting clays with a Rem 870

    I'm not sure if this is the right place for this question, so feel free to point me in the right direction if it isn't.

    I went clay shooting for the first time about a week and a half ago with my new 870 (26"). To say that I was bad would be an understatement of epic proportions. I was terrible. Granted, it was my first time, and I expected to struggle in the beginning, but....... well, to be completely honest, I was more than a little embarrassed, and extremely frustrated. So frustrated that, in order to vent, I pumped almost 100 rounds into a couple of pumpkins with my Glock 19 just before we left. I'm pretty sure there weren't even any seeds left when I was done.

    My question is this: Is there any advice, tips, youtube videos etc. that anyone can help me out with? The weather here in the Cincinnati area is supposed to be nice on Saturday, and some friends and I are going to take advantage of it and go shooting again. At this point, I don't even care about being embarrassed. I just want to get better for my own sanity. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  3. #2
    xjclassic's Avatar
    xjclassic is offline Member
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    I got bit buy the sporting clays bug a few years ago. I had never shot a shotgun and when we went I hit 26 out of fifty. It was a small 50 round clays course. The gun I used was an old 870 pump with a fixed full choke. Depending on the choke you used changing it up may help.

    What clays discipline did you shoot (sporting clays, trap, skeet, or 5 stand). A pump shot gun is a little disadvantage with a few of these since it is a little slower than a semi-auto or an over under. What helped me the most was going to the range and getting an experience trapper to pull for me. He shed a ton of light on how to lead different bird flights. It really just takes practice. The more you go the better you will get.

    As far as the pump shotgun, use it. The guy that introduced me to clays shot a Benneli Supernova. He was an avid bird hunter and shot on average 40-45 of the clays on that same 50 round course.

  4. #3
    AllAmerican's Avatar
    AllAmerican is offline Junior Member
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    Lead the target but dont over concentrate on sighting it in. Hit it close and dont let it get too far away. My son and I still shoot clays in our back yard. I use a Mossberg with a 30" full choke and can still hit em. His Mossberg has an improved cylinder if Im not mistaken. My son is pretty good at it. We used to shoot twice weekly at the county range doing 5 stand.

    Keep doing it and you'll grab hold of it.

  5. #4
    nky1129 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the advice. I think part of the problem is that we had a hand thrower the first time. It was hard to be consistent because every throw was different depending on who was "pulling" and how hard they were doing it. This next time should be better. We pitched in and bought a machine to do it for us.

    Oh, and the choke is a "modified" one that came with the gun. I was told it should be fine for clay, but that I should buy a "turkey" choke for turkey hunting in the spring.

  6. #5
    AllAmerican's Avatar
    AllAmerican is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by nky1129 View Post
    Thanks for the advice. I think part of the problem is that we had a hand thrower the first time. It was hard to be consistent because every throw was different depending on who was "pulling" and how hard they were doing it. This next time should be better. We pitched in and bought a machine to do it for us.

    Oh, and the choke is a "modified" one that came with the gun. I was told it should be fine for clay, but that I should buy a "turkey" choke for turkey hunting in the spring.
    That would be the full choke for Turkeys.

  7. #6
    buck32's Avatar
    buck32 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllAmerican View Post
    That would be the full choke for Turkeys.
    I shoot upland birds fairly frequently and am a decent shot, ok fair shot. I got an opportunity to shoot ducks and geese for the first time this year. I took a hundred rounds with me and got 4 ducks. That is only a 4% success. This was a new game to me. I was frustrated but then realized I was with good friends and that is what the experience is all about. Keep practicing and it will come. Try to analyize your errors and learn from them but do not beat yourself up too bad.

    It is the time spent with friends that really counts, enjoy!

  8. #7
    nukehayes's Avatar
    nukehayes is offline Member
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    Don't try to guess where the clay will go and intercept it even if it is flying straight, you will miss every time. Rather follow, overtake, lead and squeeze the trigger while still moving the gun. A moving shotgun (as long as it is a steady swing) is more stable than trying to hold it steady in one spot. An 870 is a fine gun for just blasting some clays with your buddies. I hope you do better next time, good luck. I hope this helps, it is how I was taught and it works well for me.

  9. #8
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by nukehayes View Post
    Don't try to guess where the clay will go and intercept it even if it is flying straight, you will miss every time. Rather follow, overtake, lead and squeeze the trigger while still moving the gun. A moving shotgun (as long as it is a steady swing) is more stable than trying to hold it steady in one spot. An 870 is a fine gun for just blasting some clays with your buddies. I hope you do better next time, good luck. I hope this helps, it is how I was taught and it works well for me.
    That's pretty good advice. Use the info these guys have given and don't get frustrated. Everything is a pain in the ass until you're used to it.

  10. #9
    dovehunter is offline Member
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    Have one of your buddies stand behind you. He will be able to tell if you are below/above/behind the bird (clay). The worst thing that you can do is stopping your swing after you have pulled the trigger. The follow through motion will become automatic if you keep practicing.

    If the clays are crossing left to right or vise versa, start your motion from behind the target and depending on how far/fast it is moving, once you past the target, shoot. BUT YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW THROUGH. If not, you will miss everytime. Given enough time/practice, you will be able to judge how much lead you will need going past the clay before you pull the trigger.

    Once you become good at it, try hunting doves or teal. Now, that's a challenge, especially if the doves/teal have been shot at. They can move at 55mph and can dive or swing left or right at any given time.

  11. #10
    Shelby is offline Junior Member
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    I took my wingmaster out for 3 rounds of trap. I was pleasantly surprised that I scored 15 /14 /18, considering that those were the first 75 times I've ever pulled the trigger on a shotgun!
    I think I'm hooked<G>. I really enjoyed watching some folks shoot skeet also - but that's going to take a while for me to try. My shoulder is a little bruised, but it's a great feeling! Oh yea, I now need a glove for my left hand (hot barrel) and a shell pouch.....it's always something.

    Cheers,

  12. #11
    mike#9's Avatar
    mike#9 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllAmerican View Post
    That would be the full choke for Turkeys.
    A full choke and a turkey choke are 2 different things.

    Also, to the OP. Make sure you get a good base....strong foot back to anchor the body (and recoil). Lean forward a bit, and get a fair amount of weight behind the gun. Keep both eyes open. Make sure you follow through with your shot.....meaning continue tracking the flight of the clay/bird after you have shot.

    Also, let us know if there is a certain clay flight pattern that you are having trouble with. There are techniques for clays flying directly away form you, side to side, coming at you.......etc.

  13. #12
    nky1129 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks to everyone for all the advice. I went shooting again a couple of weeks ago and had much more success. For the first hour or so I still struggled, but I had a friend watch my technique very closely. He pointed out that I was stopping the swing of my barrel every time I pulled the trigger. Basically, I was shooting the spot where the clay was a split second before. After a few more pulls I started to see what he was talking about, and actually hit a few. I finished the day by hitting my last four clays. Now that I'm starting to get the hang of it, I'm frustrated because it's 12 degrees outside and no one will go shooting with me until it warms up.

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