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Posted: 3/8/2010 10:21:35 PM EDT
...and it was fun!

Now I have a few questions for ya'll...

With so many choices of shotguns, which one would suit a beginner shooter the best? Pump? Auto? O/U? My price range is around $1,000.

I talked to some guys at the range about the auto's and they were skeptical. Telling me they were a pain to clean and not very reliable. Is this true?

Thanks for your help.
Link Posted: 3/8/2010 10:24:09 PM EDT
I shoot my $400 Benelli Nova pump a lot better at clays/skeet than I do with my $1600 Browning Cynergy O/U.  Dunno why, but I do.  

I'd get a good pump that you like and use the rest of your budget for shotshells, skeet, and range time.  You can always upgrade down the road.  That is what I did but, I consider myself downgrading even though the O/U cost 4x as much.

Also, pump and semi shotguns normally have a good bit less recoil.. usually not a big problem if you only shoot it every now and then.  Back when I was really getting into skeet shooting I'd easily run through 250 shells a day.  With the pump I had a sore shoulder but, with the O/U it usually ended up bruised.
Link Posted: 3/8/2010 10:27:51 PM EDT


I shoot my $400 Benelli Nova pump a lot better at clays/skeet than I do with my $1600 Browning Cynergy O/U.  Dunno why, but I do.  

Ha, there was a guy there with a $19,000 Krieghoff who was out shot by one of my friends with a pump.


Link Posted: 3/8/2010 10:39:40 PM EDT
Yeah.  To me when it comes to shotguns there really isn't MUCH difference between a $500 shotgun and a $5000 one.  Most of what costs the most is the type of wood stock and any engraving and non sense on it.  Some may disagree of course but, that is what I have seen firsthand.  I did have decent luck shooting with a Winchester X2 a few years ago but, I still shot the pump better.  

My main thing when I chose a skeet shotgun was how it "threw up to my shoulder" and how it looked down the sight.  I'd usually just close my eyes, toss it up and if I opened my eyes and the bead was perfect then that fit me good enough.  Just about all the Benelli's work well for me and the Winchester semi's.  Usually have to move my head around a tad when tossing up a Remington semi or pump though.  

Thinking of trading in my regular Nova for a Benelli Supernova as the ergo's and such are a good bit better for me.
Link Posted: 3/8/2010 11:58:51 PM EDT
In the shotgun world fit is everything. If you can, try a couple before you buy, this way you can see what works the best. Just because its sexy in the fun shop don't mean it will break clays for you.

Before I knew the importance of fit. I had an old Winchester field gun that I could never break more than 16 or 17 at trap.  I picked up a 870 pump and could break 23-24 consistently.  A 870 out of the box fits me well. If you have a stock smith at your club they can be a great help. I had one add length to a couple of my shotguns and that made a huge difference.    

Don't matter how much it costs if it don't fit it ain't worth shit!!  
Link Posted: 3/9/2010 9:15:58 AM EDT
I am partial to the gas operated autoloaders like the Browning and Beretta. The one I shoot the most is the Beretta AL390 which isn't made any more but they have a successor model. I have never had any reliability issues with Browning or Beretta autos. One nice thing about the Beretta is it has shims you can  use to adjust the stock to better suit your body. Plus the gas autos are softer shooting than pumps or O/U guns.
Link Posted: 3/9/2010 9:19:39 AM EDT
I had a Benelli supersport when I was shooting clays regularly.   I loved that damn gun.  I don't remember it ever jamming.   Cost around $1300 back around 2005, but you could get an M2 field gun which is essentially the same thing for right around 1K.
Link Posted: 3/9/2010 9:48:01 AM EDT
Depends on what kind of clays game you want to play.  Trap, skeet, shorting clays, five stand, etc.  Different games require different guns.  Purist in any of them will tell you to spend a butt load on an over/under.  Lots of guys get by just fine with an auto loader.  Pump gun is ok for trap, but  most of the other games require doubles and a pump doesn't do so hot.  Whatever you get make sure it has choke tubes so you can branch out into the various games.  Skeet requires a pretty open choke, trap a tighter one.  Sporting clays and five stand usually needs a couple different chokes.
Link Posted: 3/9/2010 10:24:48 AM EDT
The one thing that I do like that an O/U can do over a semi or pump is you can put 2 different chokes in the gun.  I usually went with skeet on top barrel and improved cylinder on the bottom for a slightly tighter shot as the 2nd shot is usually farther away.
Link Posted: 3/9/2010 10:47:09 AM EDT
I'd go buy a used Remington 870 with a 28" VR Rem-Choke barrel.

Then buy a Skeet (For Skeet) & Modified (For SC & Trap) Rem-Choke Tube.

Should set you back no more than $250. Spend the rest on shells, and range fees. Also I would get some pointers from the guys that spend all their weekends at the skeet/trap/SC range.
Link Posted: 3/9/2010 10:47:59 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/9/2010 1:17:51 PM EDT
Thanks for the replies guys! I have been looking into the Beretta and Browning auto-loaders and if I find one at a good price I might pick it up. How well do the Browning auto-loaders hold up?
Link Posted: 3/9/2010 7:05:04 PM EDT
I was about to post something exactly like this.  I went out on Saturday and shot some clays for the first time.  I had a blast and I'm already looking around for a shotgun.

Just reading some beginner threads over at shotgunworld, I see alot of people recommending the Remington autos (1100/1187) and Berettas (390/3901/391).  Not sure about O/Us.
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