Trap? Skeet? Sporting Clays?

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by urbancowboy, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. urbancowboy

    urbancowboy Vicious Cycler

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,801
    Location:
    Laughing at Jerks in NYC
    there must be some shotgun guys lurking around here.

    i'm interested in learning more about these sports.

    i've shot maybe a half dozen rounds of trap in my life, one round of skeet, and two rounds of sporting clays.

    can i be an "enthusiast" with all three using (owning) one gun? if so, which gun can do it all?

    a guy at work just mentioned today that he has a never-fired baretta blackwing 12g o/u that he won as a door prize years ago. he's interested in selling it to me for under 1k. a quick google search reveals that the blackwing might be worth more, but is designed for hunting, and is too light for sport.

    what say the experts?

    what about a remington 870? i know i'd be the only guy at the club using a pump, but why is that?

    http://www.cabelas.com/pump-action-remington-870-8482-express-tactical-defense-shotguns-1.shtml


    let's hear it.
    #1
  2. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,864
    Location:
    Turning expensive metal into scrap
    I'm more of a trap shooter but I also shoot skeet a dozen times a year.

    I'm usually a 95/100 trap shooter, my best round of skeet is a 22/25. I'm terrible at sporting clays and five stand though and it pisses me off:lol3

    For an all in one gun, it's kinda like bikes. Yes you can do it but not ideal.

    For trap I shoot a browning bt 99 with 34" single barrel. My best round ever I shot 174/175 with that gun. It's probably a sub $1000 used gun. I've shot $10,000 perazzis and many others with fancy ass crap but the one I hit consistently with is the one that feels like a glove in my hand. With a single barrel you are limited to just regular trap. Obviously can't shoot doubles etc

    Skeet you really want a double barrel to not handicap yourself. I shoot an over under charles daly 20, 26" barrels choked skeet/skeet. I like it very quick also my bird gun.

    If I were you I'd buy an over under from a name brand with 30" barrels. It will be able to choke for skeet and trap and sporting. Make sure it comes with chokes. A beretta or browning are solid choices and you can easily resell and upgrade down the road.

    Many clubs and shooters frown on semi autos and pumps for the sole reason that the ejecting shells can annoy the next shooter. I've been hit in the face with shells and it if
    #2
  3. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,864
    Location:
    Turning expensive metal into scrap
    Sorry got cut off.

    Pumps and semis ejecting shells can be annoying but I wouldn't personally be a dick about it but I do know some shooters who are pricks about it.

    Bottom line buy a 12 gauge 30" barrel over under probably used under a grand and see if you like it you can easily get out of a name brand gun and barely lose a penny.

    And keep your head down until the bird breaks:deal
    #3
  4. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,864
    Location:
    Turning expensive metal into scrap
    Light guns are great for hunting because you don't want to haul around a heavy gun in the field. They also kick more. You want a heavier gun for the sporting events because the less recoil the less likely you are to flinch.

    Having a gun that fits you is extremely important as is practice with the same gun. I'm really good with my gun which is a junker compared to others but I sometimes struggle picking up a new fancy gun because the point of impact is different and my sight pattern is off. I also don't use a front sight, just my personal preference.

    I would suggest going to a real shotgun outfit not a cabelas type store. Handle a bunch of guns and see what fits you stock length and can you get your head down on it well. I know the browning xt is a favorite gun, hate it can't get my head down on it. I find berettas all fit me well and they shoot nice.

    If you are really looking fir a solid first gun and $1000 is about your budget I would highly recommend going to a dedicated shooting store and telling the guy exactly what you know which isn't much and have him help you pick out a gun. My bil has a berretta onyx and thats also a nice gun and not crazy money
    #4
  5. Heyload

    Heyload Remastered Classic

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    9,050
    Location:
    San Antonio
    I got into skeet when a buddy of mine took me out to the Rod & Gun club on base. It's alot of fun.

    I was using a Remington 1187 with a 26-inch barrel. Very versatile field gun and worked equally well for skeet or ducks.

    Don't let the "over and under" snobs turn you off, either. The point is to have fun and enjoy yourself. I wore two pouches, one for live rounds and one for the spent shells. Showing up with the latest "tacticool" shotgun will probably get you laughed at, though.

    One old man who was a regular at the club used a 410 pump, and could bust 25 out of 25 like clockwork.

    They used to have the Skeet Nationals here in San Antonio, just down the road from my house. Not sure if they still do, though.
    #5
  6. ShadyRascal

    ShadyRascal Master of None

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,068
    Location:
    the Root, Western Montana
    My son was on the trap team for a couple of years and used a Browning semi-auto. He loves that gun, and you can shoot it all day without getting beat up. He put this little flip-up wire guard on there to keep the empties from flying out and causing distractions.

    I have a lightweight 12 gauge O/U (Beretta White Wing) and when I shoot a round of sporting clays I'm beat up pretty good. I would get a little heavier gun for an over under if this were it's main purpose.

    I used pump guns for many many years in the field. The first time I shot sporting clays the guys I was with were laughing at how fast I cycled the gun for the true pairs. It was just reflex from decades of upland bird hunting with no dogs. I had to get lead out there fast! But the ol' 870 worked just fine for sporting clays, I enjoyed it.

    As referenced, fit is everything.

    I love watching the Trap guys head for the 5 stand or the sporting clays and get their heads handed to them. :lol3
    #6
  7. Manuel Garcia O'Kely

    Manuel Garcia O'Kely Back at last

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Oddometer:
    13,784
    Location:
    Central Colorado Rockies
    I am by no means an expert, but I've shot a few clays. Reactive targets are a lot of fun anyway.

    I've got a .410, 20 and 12 ga. The first two are pump, the latter is a Browning Superpoised O/U.

    From a cost standpoint, the 12 gauge is the "9 mm" of the shotgun world - the most variety and usually lowest per shot cost for ammo.

    The 20 is very effective and won't kick you nearly as hard.

    The .410 in the hands of a really good shot is fun to watch - and it might be a good way to learn, but I like hitting my targets more.

    One reason doubles are popular is because they are shorter and easier to swing for the same barrel length. The second shot may or may not be as fast with a pump or auto.

    I had a Browning A5 12 gauge autoloader and found that it was just way too much gun to swing around, and the action cycling was really annoying to me.

    As to the fit, etc., I agree with the above.

    Regarding used shotguns: IF you plan to ever shoot live birds, a steel shot approved barrel is worth having - my Browning O/U was built long before steel shot and using steel in it would likely bulge the barrel. No waterfowl hunting with it with steel - now they do have tin-bismuth.
    #7
  8. Dysco

    Dysco Puppy wrangler

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
    Oddometer:
    16,763
    Location:
    Salida, CO
    I think we have a local trap range, but I usually go to the public range and just throw clays of various sizes to tune up for hunting. I shot about 50lbs of lead at target last summer. I have a Benelli M2 in 20ga that'll break anything, and I've been dying to get behind an automatic thrower, but bird seasons got in the way.... since Sept 1. :lol3
    #8
  9. adam_c_eckhardt

    adam_c_eckhardt halfway there

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,389
    Location:
    Live Free or Die
    :ear

    We used to shoot sporting clays at a place I used to work out West. I'd like to learn more.
    #9
  10. Dysco

    Dysco Puppy wrangler

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
    Oddometer:
    16,763
    Location:
    Salida, CO
    This. A hunting shotgun will manage shooting sports WAY better than a specialized shotgun will handle hunting. Stay over 7lbs and you're golden. My buddy shoots a CZ lightweight and at 6lbs, it's not something you want to keep shooting all day. :lol3
    #10
  11. gofast1320

    gofast1320 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    758
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    Go to your local gun range where those disciplines are offered. Tell the rangemaster you are interested in learning more about them and want watch and talk to some different shooters and learn what they are shooting. At the local range here the SCTP kids both college and high school like the Berettas 686 models. You see a bunch of the Benelli aemi- autos and occasionally the 870 and 1100, 1187 guns
    For every gun snob you run in to you'll meet half a dozen folks eager to help you.
    #11
  12. thouk

    thouk Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    197
    Location:
    Lincoln, Ne my hometown, Where I'm freezin
    Urbancowboy,
    If you do go with the Beretta and it is too light they make weights that can be added to the side of the barrels under the foreend that would help. You could also add a weight to the stock to help rebalance it. I hope that helps. Tony
    P.s. I am one of the lucky people to have my own thrower, Atlas At-50. It has a wireless remote on a foot switch to help in changing positions.
    #12
  13. Thisguy

    Thisguy Hold Fast

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,310
    Location:
    Socialist Republic of Maryland
    I love O/U just because they look cool. I did start off with a 1100 "trap" model which I used and loved. Having the gun fitted or having it fit comfortably and consistent is a must. I found myself placing half of the butt on my upper shoulder to get the comb high enough. If I would have kept it, I would have definitely bought an adjustable butt. With my 1100, I had a device that set in the ejection port so the spent shell would hang up.

    I ended up buying a used 30" Winchester Select Energy, which is the one you shot. It had all the gadgets if a Browning for prob half the price.

    If I were you, definitely look for a "Trap or skeet" model, you are not going to be hunting. They cost a little more, but you will end up saving money if you ever try to add any of the options. Prob a 28" barrel would suit you because I know you liked the sporting clays a little more then trap. Look for interchangeable chokes, so you can shoot different disciplines.


    This is the same gun I bought with a 28" barrel. I paid $1k shipped used with a ding or 2.

    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=327002292


    Here is an 1100 trap with some extras
    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=326724602

    Remember, theses guns are going to be used and not safe queens.
    #13
  14. Thisguy

    Thisguy Hold Fast

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,310
    Location:
    Socialist Republic of Maryland
    I forgot to mention theses guys. Stoeger makes a pretty good gun for the money. For under $600 you have a very nice sporting clay gun. There are a lot of good reviews. Is it as nice as a Browning or Beretta? No, but the price is a lot less also.

    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=327232660
    #14
  15. mendoje

    mendoje Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    254
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I shot trap, skeet, and sporting clays for a several years, and I have a couple purpose built guns for same. But when I started out, ALL of my very experienced clay target friends said to get a good 12ga autoloader as a first gun, perfect for all the games. I ended up with a used 12ga Beretta A303 with two barrels, a 30" with interchangeable chokes, which is perfect for trap and sporting clays, and a shorter 26" with fixed "skeet" choke, for skeet of course. When shooting singles in trap, as someone mentioned, you can get a little sheet metal clip which snaps on the side of the receiver to catch the ejecting hull. Another good autoloader is a Remington 1187 which has been mentioned. My A303 is still my absolute favorite shotgun, ahead of my Browning BT99 and Beretta 682 O/U. Regarding autoloaders, I've NEVER run across another shooter who had an issue about them, whether in competion or just informal practice. I'd say if you run into one, he's just an old crochety a-hole. Now, compensated or ported barrels are another matter, whether they are single shot or autoloaders, they are obnoxious!
    #15
  16. newcastlebrown

    newcastlebrown cars suck

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    686
    Location:
    O.C. California
    NSCA shooter here, tho I do shoot skeet a few times a year and trap a couple times a year at my brothers private club. I shoot with a guy that uses a black wing for sporting clays and does quite well. If one can be had for under $1000.00 bucks that sounds like a smoking deal. If you are tight enough with the co worker, maybe he'd let you try it out before you buy. Good luck & have fun.
    #16
  17. subvet

    subvet Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Oddometer:
    9,189
    Location:
    middle TN.
    I've been a casual trap/skeet shooter for years. Reloaded my own shells for a long time and had one of those pigeon flinging machines. Cheap one, bolt to a car wheel, hand-cockable, and would throw 2 discs.

    I have been using an 870 Wingmaster with an un-ribbed 26" barrel w. a bead sight all that time and can keep up with the other guys w. double-barrels and autos OK. I have never shot competitively or at a club other than a couple of organized outings with work-mates where they have organized sporting clays. Most of my shooting has been with groups of friends in local gravel pits, or on private property. Rule of thumb is the guy or pair of guys with the least hits pays for the pigeons and we all split the beer and cleanup duties afterwards. Since it's a casual sport, I've never yearned for a gun any more equisite or specialized than my 870. I just love a pump action scatter-gun.
    #17
  18. redsport

    redsport Web Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    519
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Just a question for the trap guys. Isn't a trap specific shotgun designed to shoot high with the majority of the shot going above the point of aim? Does using a trap specfic shotgun have a negative impact on the other shotgun sports of sporting clays or skeet? I have only done backyard stuff and a few sporting clay courses nothing in competition, no skeet and no trap. Like most things once you get the bug you will start collecting. I started with a 20 ga 870 and did everything with it. Now it has a scope and is my dedicated deer hunting shotgun. I added an 1100 Special Field in 12ga that has an English stock and a shorter barrel supposedly better for upland hunting. Next I got a Remington Model 332 O/U that is good for everything. The last I added was a Browning BPS in 12 ga with a camo pattern and a barrel for steel shot for duck hunting.
    #18
  19. P B G

    P B G Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,001
    Location:
    Greater Chicago
    In terms of where the shot is regulated, the high regulated 90/10 80/20 guns are also usually long barreled rigs, so if the shot is 90% above the bead on point of aim, but are also 34" double tubes on a crossing bird on sporting clays - then yes you'll have some troubles.

    In trap that gets the shot up above the bead, which I don't even like unless you are shooting handicap, and I certainly don't appreciate too much on singles, and don't necessarily like on the first shot of a doubles.

    When I was debating the same I was shooting 28 gauge side by for skeet, a 12 gauge 870 classic trap for trap, and I usually used a 12 gauge ruger O/U for sporting clays with 28" tubes.

    But I found myself just shooting 28's on everything except trap.
    #19
  20. urbancowboy

    urbancowboy Vicious Cycler

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,801
    Location:
    Laughing at Jerks in NYC
    thanks for all the advice.

    my work buddy wanted to make a deal on his never fired baretta blackwing (we're talking in the $750 range). i'm not going to use it for bird hunting, and i don't want to buy it just to have the hassle of trying to flip it. i'll start researching the stoegers while also looking for a club that's not too far.
    #20