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  1. #1
    gunluver is offline Member
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    Shotgun question?

    I am pretty familiar with handguns, but have to admit I really don't know too much about shotguns. I have recently taken up a fascination with clay bird shooting and will be going for my first time this weekend. The range we are going to has shotguns for rent and I am hoping that they have several models to choose from....I might rent 2 o 3! Anyway, because I tend to enjoy anything dealing with guns in general I can see myself wanting to buy my own shotgun within the near future. Now I don't hunt, and don't really need it for HD, so here's my question....
    If I was on a budget of say $400-500, what shotgun would you recommend for skeet shooting? Should I go with an autoloader, pump, or over-under? I have to admit, some of the over-unders I have seen have been very beautiful guns and I tend to be drawn that way. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    bent21606 is offline Junior Member
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    hey it all depends on what you want to shoot and how.my favorite gun i own cost less then that price range and ive had it for 4 years now without a problem. its the stoeger condor. i also have a old remington model 11 and thats like the a5. i like using that because it holds 5 shots and its semi. a mosberg 500 pump is a great gun and can be found for under 250. the remington 870 exspress is a really reliable gun a little better made then the mossberg and a little lighter for under 350.

    anyway the stoeger condor is a super great gun for the money. the safe goes on evertime you open the barrels so its a safe gun i love shotguns im kida doing what your doin now. im goin from shotguns to handguns

  3. #3
    GySgt1811 is offline Junior Member
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    Gunluver,

    I shoot skeet, very poorly, I might add. So, since you and I are at about the same level of accomplishment, here's my 2 cents worth. For us beginners, I would counsel not to get a pump gun. It can be too difficult to get off the second shot at doubles. I've seen very good shooters do it, but even then, it was for showing off. You'll want a gun with interchangeable chokes - you'll want "skeet" and "skeet" for what else, Skeet. And you'll want to be able to change to other chokes when you try Trap and Sporting Clays. A dependable used auto with screw-in chokes could fill your economic needs and be versatile enough to easily sell if you decide to quit or upgrade to a more specialized gun. As bent21606 recommends, the Stoeger Condor could be a good choice if it has screw-in chokes - and those chokes are available in "skeet" bore. There are other good O/U 's out there, too. Watch the used market for one. I use a Browning Citori and a Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon. Anyway, skeet is fun as well as frustrating. Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

    Gunny

  4. #4
    gunluver is offline Member
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    Thanks for the advice so far guys. I saw a Mossburg silver reserve O/U at walmart for $398. Anybody know anything about that shotgun?

  5. #5
    dondavis3's Avatar
    dondavis3 is offline Senior Member
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    +1 GySgt1811

    Mosburg is a fairly inexpensive Brand of shotguns - My advise would be a automatic shotgun 1st and a over / under 2nd.

    I would not suggest a pump at all for starting out.

    I happen to shoot a Charles Daly over & under http://www.charlesdaly.com/

    and a Remington Md 1000 auto. http://www.remington.com/products/firearms/shotguns/

    Both are in 12 ga.

    If you buy a gun with screw in chokes you might just use it for hunting / trap / skeet / etc. sometime.

    I'd buy a used expensive shotgun before I'd buy a new cheap shotgun.

    I would not buy a used shotgun at a gun range because they have probably been shot a million times


  6. #6
    bent21606 is offline Junior Member
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    i have three mossberg 500. not to empressed with them but they get the job done. if you look in long arm photos and look at my thred you can see what happens when you shoot heavy loads out of a 500. never used the gun your talking about. most people i know start out with a pump cause its safer. i shoot just as good with my pump as my over under and i do the least with my semis. last time i actualy took notced i got 20 out of 25 and that one just a random time i desided to keep track over one box. some days im worse some im better. bottem line its just like a shoping for a handgun. bring up up and look down the barrel and what ever one just feels rite walk out of the stor with it. i have addleast 7 guns i can use for skeet shooting and about 75% of the time i just use my condor cause it feels good to me. semi pump or double barrel just what you like doin. after you shoot one of each you will see what one you like. my one buddy doesnt use anything but my ithica 37 featherlingt. oh and the condor does come with differnt chokes i never pay atention to what kind of choke i am using tho. i know there are 2 diff ones in it

  7. #7
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    I'd like to get this thread going again. I recently went clay bird shooting with some buddies and loved it!! It's so much more satisfying to see your target explode instead of just seeing a hole appear in a piece of paper. So naturally it made me want a shotgun of my own. What barrel lengths are best suited for clay shooting? From what I've gleaned so far, I'm guessing the longer the better with 26 inches being the minimum.

    The Remington 870 models seem like a tried and true way to go, but I also really like the idea of an over/under. Seems like they have less moving parts and would be easier to clean. Ideally I'd like to spend $300-$500. Do you shotgun experts really not recommend a pump for clay shooting?

  8. #8
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    I have a Mossberg 835 that I use to shoot clays. It's a little long but manages well. A 500 might be a little better. I'm not sure about the pump statement in another post. really for me the pump action works well in my getting a sight picture fast. I use pump rifles for the same reason.

  9. #9
    SaltyDog's Avatar
    SaltyDog is offline Member
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    Depends on what type of clay shooting your doing.

    If you're shooting skeet you want a shorter barrel 26" - 28" so that you can easily swing on the targets. Cylinder or improved cylinder choke.

    If you're shooting trap you want the longer barrel 30". Modified or full choke. so that you can reach out to those longer shots.

    For sporting clays which I have not done they recommend the 28" -30" barrel.

    Also one other recommendation is to make sure you get a vented rib barrel. This gives you a flat line aiming point down the barrel.

    I've seen plenty of people using the pump action at ranges. Those are fine if you are just shooting singles but if you start shooting doubles a nice semi-auto or over-under shotgun is the way to go.

    I shot trap for many years and truly enjoyed the sport as well as the company.

  10. #10
    mike#9's Avatar
    mike#9 is offline Member
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    Most people that I know and hunt/shoot clays with (and there is a lot!!!!) have started out on a pump gun. I did, and I was about 11 years old. I have done a lot of upland bird hunting, and a ton a clays. Duck, quail....you name it, and I have hunted it (if it flies) with my Remington 870 Express. No question...the most reliabe shotgun on the market...especially for the money. I have seen all brands, and all shotgun actions fail....but never have I seen an 870 fail.

    Just my $.02

    Honestly, don't think twice about getting a pump gun. Not very difficult to get the hang of. If I were you, and if I were doing it again....I would get another 870 Express again, no question.

    Again...just my $.02

    Oh and....the interchangeable chokes people are talking about........most autoloaders, and pump guns will come with a couple different ones. Not really called skeet chokes.....and hunting chokes though. Typically you will find modified, improved cylinder, improved-modified, full....etc.

  11. #11
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    dondavis3 is offline Senior Member
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    +1 mike#9 - except I have used for the past 25 years a Remington 1100 12 ga. auto.

    It's been an amazing gun for me - in the rain / mud of duck hunting to the sweat of dove hunting - to the cold & ice of geese & quail hunting - it just keeps on working.

    I've used over & unders and this same Remington 1100 on clays and skeet & I reloaded my own shot shells for 20 years - I could not begin to guess how many shots I've put through that shotgun.



    I'm glad you asked, I got some great "flashbacks" of my hunts with that gun and my dogs.


    Last edited by dondavis3; 10-29-2009 at 09:05 AM.

  12. #12
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    Cool, thanks guys. After some more research, what I did was sporting clays. So it sounds like a 28" barrel would be about right. And thanks for the thumbs up on the pump guns. I think I'll start taking a serious look at the Remington 870. There are quite a few on Bud's for $316 delivered. Is that a good deal for an 870 Express? I'd still have to pay FFL fees on top of that if I order it online.

  13. #13
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    I'd keep looking. I'm not saying it's not worth it, but I found one for $270 NIB last month. Kicking myself for not buying it.

  14. #14
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    Looking around at prices these days that might not be all that bad a deal. I would look around a little more. Maybe you can catch a deal locally.

  15. #15
    Bisley's Avatar
    Bisley is online now Senior Member
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    It may not be worth mentioning, considering the price, but I would like to relate my recent experience with a Benelli Montefeltro, in a 20 gauge, 24" barrel, with IC choke installed.

    I went dove hunting at a great place in west central Texas and had the best dove hunting ever for me. I took my 12 gauge over and under that is really more of a duck gun, with 28" Modified over Full choke. Needless to say, I struggled mightily to get my limit each day, and by the last day, I had shot up all of my shells (well over a case). My shoulder was black and blue, to boot.

    My brother-in-law loaned me his Benelli that he had brought as a back-up. He was shooting a Franchi, because he has only one arm, and the Franchi was balanced more towards the muzzle, which he liked.

    The Benelli 20 gauge was a dream to shoot, after the 12 gauge, and once I learned to hold my fire on anything past 30 yards, I was probably hitting 80% of my shots - better than twice my normal success rate on dove, and I shot two doubles, which I had never done with doves. I had my fifteen bird limit in about 45 minutes.

    I'm sure that part of my success was due to having sharpened my eye a bit with the full choke 12 gauge, but the Benelli was so light, and fit me so well that I am now dying to own one before the next bird hunt. I suspect that by tinkering with the choke assortment that comes with it, it could be adjusted quite well to clay shooting.

    Of course, not everyone is gonna be willing to spend $1100 or more for a shotgun. I'm not sure I will. But it is definitely something to gauge other semi-autos by. It really is a great shotgun.

  16. #16
    mike#9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dondavis3 View Post
    +1 mike#9 - except I have used for the past 25 years a Remington 1100 12 ga. auto.

    It's been an amazing gun for me - in the rain / mud of duck hunting to the sweat of dove hunting - to the cold & ice of geese & quail hunting - it just keeps on working.

    I've used over & unders and this same Remington 1100 on clays and skeet & I reloaded my own shot shells for 20 years - I could not begin to guess how many shots I've put through that shotgun.

    I'm glad you asked, I got some great "flashbacks" of my hunts with that gun and my dogs.


    The 1100 is a great gun. My dad shoots an 1187. I am just a pump guy...love it!! I am accurate as hell and very quick. If you are not both....with the group that I hunt with.....someone will jump all over the bird.

    Only other pump gun that I would own would probably be a Benelli Nova. Have hunted pheasant out in South Dakota with one, and it was great. But honestly, I still like my 870 Express.

  17. #17
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    The basic parameters are given by SaltyDog on the type of clay shoot (Trap, Skeet, or Sporting) as related to the barrel length and the choke type..If you are shooting singles all guns are alike a semi, a bump, or an O/U..they all have a single plane sight (i.e one barrel sighting as oppse to an SxS with two barrels)..if you are shooting doubles, the advantage is for a semi or over under, the bump action would some how slow you down for the second shot..However, My prefrence would be for an O/U because you have each barrel choked differently..The first shot you use the modified barrel and the second shot (as the clay flies further) you use the full choked barrel..With a semi you are using the same barrel with the same choke for both clay birds...That is the theoretical advice.

    Now let me share with you my personal experience:

    OK..Here is what I use for clay shooting..By the way I shoot trap (singles) only..I had a mossberg 500 with a 20 in cylyndrical barrel that I use for HD..When I got hooked on clay, I went and bought a 28 in vented rib barrel with 2 beads for the mossberg..and I am using this to shoot trap clays....I go to the clay range every other Sunday and shoot two rounds for fun...After I get home, the mossberg 28 in barrel get a thorough cleaning and the 20 in barrel is on the gun again for a HD gun..

    I also have an old Stevens savage model 311 (30 in barrel with fixed chokes: Modified and Full) that I use occasionally and everytime I bring it to the trap range, I get the odd look from other shooters, yes it is a SxS and not an O/U..I love this gun because my dad had one when I was a kid,,and I hit the same score as I do in my mossberg which is around 19-21 per 25..

    If I am to buy another shotgun, I would like to buy a good used O/U..I like the way they look..However, I am doing just fine with my guns and I am spending the extra cash on ammo and range fees for the clay..The idea is you choose your gun and enjoy it,,All the advices given by the members are great..You will hear advices that a single plane sight is ideal for clay shooting such as a semi or an O/U..That's true but I love my SxS..and I know how to sight it..but that's me.

  18. #18
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bisley View Post
    It may not be worth mentioning, considering the price, but I would like to relate my recent experience with a Benelli Montefeltro, in a 20 gauge, 24" barrel, with IC choke installed.

    I went dove hunting at a great place in west central Texas and had the best dove hunting ever for me. I took my 12 gauge over and under that is really more of a duck gun, with 28" Modified over Full choke. Needless to say, I struggled mightily to get my limit each day, and by the last day, I had shot up all of my shells (well over a case). My shoulder was black and blue, to boot.

    My brother-in-law loaned me his Benelli that he had brought as a back-up. He was shooting a Franchi, because he has only one arm, and the Franchi was balanced more towards the muzzle, which he liked.

    The Benelli 20 gauge was a dream to shoot, after the 12 gauge, and once I learned to hold my fire on anything past 30 yards, I was probably hitting 80% of my shots - better than twice my normal success rate on dove, and I shot two doubles, which I had never done with doves. I had my fifteen bird limit in about 45 minutes.

    I'm sure that part of my success was due to having sharpened my eye a bit with the full choke 12 gauge, but the Benelli was so light, and fit me so well that I am now dying to own one before the next bird hunt. I suspect that by tinkering with the choke assortment that comes with it, it could be adjusted quite well to clay shooting.

    Of course, not everyone is gonna be willing to spend $1100 or more for a shotgun. I'm not sure I will. But it is definitely something to gauge other semi-autos by. It really is a great shotgun.
    Benelli makes an exceptional weapon. You'll pay for em alright but you will have one fine weapon if you get one. Everyone I've ever had a chance to use was just fantastic.

  19. #19
    Bisley's Avatar
    Bisley is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevilsJohnson View Post
    You'll pay for em alright but you will have one fine weapon if you get one.
    Yep, I've gone twice to fondle them, but I haven't been able to 'pull the trigger,' and buy one. The one I want is $1099, and I would only use it three or four times a year...but damn, they have a smooth action...like butter.

  20. #20
    SaltyDog's Avatar
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    Benelli is nice but I prefer the Remington 1100 IMO best semi auto shotgun ever made.

    But if I had the money and wanted to get back into trap the Browning Citori Trap XT would be the way to go. The Citori is one sweet shotgun but costs $2400. That won't work on my beer pocketbook.

    Then you could step up to a Perazzi with match grade barrels - only $17,000

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