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Trigger Mike

recommendations for a skeet/trap/clay shotgun

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All of my children will go to a private school next year and they have a shotgun team.  Even my daughter who hates sports but realizes schools view kids in better light if they participate, wants to try it out.  We have to provide the shotguns.  We is a reliable but not so expensive shotgun that is good for skeet, trap and clays?  The school coach said some use Tristar or Beretta.  I never fired either one, but know Beretta is usually good quality.  He said they use over/under or semi auto.  He said 28inch barrel is average length.  Currently my 2 sons do fairly well with my coach gun but that won't work for this.  Nt sure how my daughter will do as she refused to go shooting a few years ago and only fired 22 rifles back then.

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Generally trap & skeet guns are different. Different barrel lengths, chokes and stock fit. You don't say how old your daughter is. If you are starting out with no experience, I would buy a semi auto like a Remington 1100. 26 or 28" barrel with screwin chokes. Could be used for both types shooting.

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I'll tell ya what isnt. my pw87. Think I busted 6 or 8 out of 25 lol. I dont shoot trap but got invited out so it was either that or my hammered double lol. I did handle my friends tristar and it was a very nice gun. He does well with it but i'm sure there's other makes/models that will do fine for a much smaller price. 

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Go with the Remington(s), either a 1100 or a 870.  They make trap and skeet models of both, you will need one of each due to different stock designs between skeet and trap guns.   Also look on Gunbroker, they sometimes have Browning Citori skeet and trap guns at a good price.

 

Good Luck,

Duffield

 

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Go with either  Remmy 1100 or 1187(what I use).

Very mild in recoil and bbl swap is easy.

Where do there store the guns?

OLG 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Trigger Mike said:

All of my children will go to a private school next year and they have a shotgun team.  Even my daughter who hates sports but realizes schools view kids in better light if they participate, wants to try it out.  We have to provide the shotguns.  We is a reliable but not so expensive shotgun that is good for skeet, trap and clays?  The school coach said some use Tristar or Beretta.  I never fired either one, but know Beretta is usually good quality.  He said they use over/under or semi auto.  He said 28inch barrel is average length.  Currently my 2 sons do fairly well with my coach gun but that won't work for this.  Nt sure how my daughter will do as she refused to go shooting a few years ago and only fired 22 rifles back then.

I shoot skeet for fun on a regular basis and what I have seen is that over/unders are the most common making up maybe 75% of the guns I've seen.  Semi-auto's make up another 20+% and there are a handful of people (like me) who will use a side by side or pump.

 

My suggestion for a starter gun is a Remington 11-87 or 1100 and if possible one with a youth or ladies stock so it will fit her.  Otherwise you'll probably have to cut down the existing wood stock to fit her and buy replacements as she grows and needs to be re-fitted.  I recommend the Remington's not because they necessarily the best guns available, but because there is a lot of factory & aftermarket support for them and they are relatively inexpensive.  Make sure to get barrels with interchangeable chokes.

 

There are other good semi-autos out there, but: they don't have the factory or aftermarket support; they are at least the same price or more expensive; they are inertia-driven actions, which do not reduce recoil like a gas operated gun (Remingtons are gas operated).  This is important because skeet & trap loads in 12 gauge is generally going to be either 1 oz or 1 1/8 oz in between 1150 fps and 1300 fps.  I suspect they are going to be firing a LOT of ammo in practice.  A round of skeet or trap is normally 25 rounds and sporting clays is 50-100 rounds.

 

Skeet (and I believe sporting clays) use a fairly open choke, with most shooters using a "skeet choke" which is in between cylinder bore and improved cylinder.  Trap uses full, extra full or turkey chokes.

 

Beretta makes very good over/under & semi-auto shotguns and I believe most of the over/unders I see are Beretta.  Tristar is an importer, not a maker, but I believe most of their guns are coming from Turkey.  I bought a CZ-USA side by side that was made for CZ in Turkey and the quality is really good for the price, but there just isn't that as much factory or aftermarket support for the Turkish made shotguns.

Edited by Chantry
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There’s allot of good advice here . It really depends on how serious she is and what you want to spend . Unless she’s a really tall girl your going to have to cut the stock . Sometimes you can come across a used browning , Remington or beretta fairly cheap . It won’t loose much value if your buying it used , and there easy to move if you want to get rid of them . Just a matter of if you/she wants a o/u or semi , if it’s a semi just make sure it will cycle light loads . Does she shoot right or left handed , that can make a difference on gun fit and have you determined here eye dominance? 

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We had a "Cowboys vs Clay Shooters" match once at a club in Florida. The Clays folks used all of their fancy guns and we used 97's and S x S's. They won, but the guy that finished 2nd was a cowboy shooter, Deadeye Bob using a 20" S x S. I guess it just goes to show that although good equipment helps, it isn't the only thing.

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I'm a big fan of Beretta O/U guns.  A couple things to keep in mind.  Skeet requires you to shoot doubles (two targets in the air at the same time) and Trap generally has three events, 16 yard, Handicap (the better you shoot, the farther back from the trap house you have to stand) and doubles.  Because of the doubles you will very rarely see a skeet shooter using a pump action shotgun, nor will you see a trap shooter using a pump for the doubles event.  Also, if you think you, or they, will want to reload, a semi-auto will throw the empties all over the field and most skeet/trap fields have a policy of "if it hits the ground, it's ours".  Especially during a match.

 

As already mentioned, "skeet" and "trap" guns tend to be set up differently and most shooters will have a different gun for each.  Skeet generally requires an open choke ("Skeet" or "Cylinder") as distances are roughly 18 to 20 yards.   Trap usually requires tighter chokes (Modified or Full) for targets that will be shot at roughly 30+ yards.  Sporting Clays is best shot with a changeable choke so you can shoot an open choke on some stages and full choke on other stages.  I like the Beretta O/U's for trap because I can set it up to shoot Modified in one barrel and Full in the other for doubles.  Mod. on the first shot and Full on the second because the bird will be further out.  Plus, I can shoot Mod. in the 16 yard event and Full for Handicap.

 

I shoot a Beretta 686 O/U for skeet because I really like Beretta O/U's and I have it set up with tubes so I can shoot all four events (12 ga., 20 ga., 28 ga. and .410) with the same gun and same sight picture.  That's something else you might think about if they get serious about skeet.

 

I don't shoot Sporting Clays, but the guys I know that do all use an O/U so they can pick the choke they need for a given stage.  One shot might be close and the second much further out.

 

A big factor in my choice of a college was that they had a Skeet and Trap club.  I'd never shot on a regular skeet/trap field before and I loved it.  I hope your kids do, too.

 

Angus

 

 

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As has previously been mentioned, a trap gun and a skeet gun are typically two different animals.

 

You don't mention your budget, but if you can swing the cost, the Beretta A400 Xcel is a good choice. Beretta makes a version, the Parallel Target, that is intended to work well for both Trap and Sporting Clays. From what I have read from some people I trust, it is one of the the best all around guns for competition, and might also work passably well for skeet. If I were in the market, it would be my first choice.

Whether a Beretta, or a Remington 1100/1187, or something else, I would certainly recommend a semi-auto instead of an O/U (despite the fact that I only own break actions), because the action helps absorb some of the recoil for young shooters, especially when shooting 100 birds at a time.

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Winchester 21 on looks alone......other than that I never shot any shotgun sports

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I agree with Doc above. A good semi-auto is your best bet. The Berettas are gas guns, and the newer ones have self-cleaning pistons that only need a shot of brake cleaner every couple thousand of rounds. The A400 he recommends is a great, though not inexpensive gun. The A300 Outlander is also a great choice, and the last one I bought (for my daughter) was around $700 with the black synthetic stock . It has been flawless for trap, skeet, and sporting clays with the proper choke choice. I even bought the slightly more expensive A300 Outlander Sporting model for myself, wood stock and 30" barrel.

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maybe to keep cost down they can share during a match.  If not, then I may need to part with a M1 Garand or something to cut down the cost.  I am glad my daughter wants to consider it.  she got reclusive the last couple of years which is why we are not going to home school her next year.  we had to for a while as there were health problems.  

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just for curiosity how are the stoeger over under?  I found them for 400.  Would that be a good starter at least for the 10 year old to help cut the cost for now?

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Just now, Trigger Mike said:

just for curiosity how are the stoeger over under?  I found them for 400.  Would that be a good starter at least for the 10 year old to help cut the cost for now?

 

I've found the Stoeger Condors to be somewhat heavy and less balanced compared to others and a bit clunkier. Of course, that is very subjective. If you're set on an O/U, you might look for one of the less expensive Turkish made guns, like an entry level CZ, or any number of others. From what I've held in my hands, they have a better feel to them, seem to mount and swing better, and have a nicer look to them.

 

43 minutes ago, Rattlesnake Slim said:

I agree with Doc above. A good semi-auto is your best bet. The Berettas are gas guns, and the newer ones have self-cleaning pistons that only need a shot of brake cleaner every couple thousand of rounds. The A400 he recommends is a great, though not inexpensive gun. The A300 Outlander is also a great choice, and the last one I bought (for my daughter) was around $700 with the black synthetic stock . It has been flawless for trap, skeet, and sporting clays with the proper choke choice. I even bought the slightly more expensive A300 Outlander Sporting model for myself, wood stock and 30" barrel.


I don't know why I didn't mention the A300, definitely the better choice for someone just getting into it.

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33 minutes ago, Trigger Mike said:

just for curiosity how are the stoeger over under?  I found them for 400.  Would that be a good starter at least for the 10 year old to help cut the cost for now?

 

Very hvy gun.

OLG 

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Any $300 semi auto shotgun with a selection of chokes will be sufficient to start.  I start people out with a Hatsan Escort i picked up on sale under $300.  Skeet will use cylinder, Trap  mod or full.  A field shotgun will work great for skeet, the addition of the $25 Beretta gel pad will raise her angle when shooting the rising trap target.  

 

And if she doesnt take to the sport, you will have a great dove gun.

 

 

opplanet-beretta-gel-tek-cheek-protector-12in-e00378-tt-ka-jahy6-use1.jpg

images.jpg

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You might also want to visit your local trap/skeet club when they open back up. Most have youth programs sponsored by 4H or Scholastic Clay Target Program. Let them start in a local teaching program and they will have a great start when and if they want to shoot at school. Plus most youth programs provide guns and maybe even shells without cost. They will get to try a variety of different guns, most of them being semi-autos. Just like cowboy, try as many different guns as you can before buying.

 

Then join the trap or skeet league yourself and hang on for a wild family ride. My kids live on the far ends of the country, but the first thing they want to do when they visit( after saying "Hi Mom") is to head over to the Ben Avery Shooting Facility to shoot some clays.

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14 hours ago, Trigger Mike said:

maybe to keep cost down they can share during a match.  If not, then I may need to part with a M1 Garand or something to cut down the cost.  I am glad my daughter wants to consider it.  she got reclusive the last couple of years which is why we are not going to home school her next year.  we had to for a while as there were health problems.  

 

They could share if they are shooting skeet on the same squad.  There's no way to share a gun when shooting trap, except during practice with a very patient squad.

 

FWIW, I started shooting with a Remington 1100 and I loved it.  There is some merit in the fact semi-auto's suck up some recoil.  I tried a Benelli and a Beretta semi-auto during a "Manufacturer's day" at a local range several years back and I couldn't shoot either for beans.  So, if possible, let your kids try some different guns to see which they shoot well and which they do not.  Kinda like a new CAS shooter.

 

Angus

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Posted (edited)

I did pretty good with my Mossberg 500 for trap. I got 22 out of 25 once. Mostly I was getting around 18 out of 25.

 

I tried Skeet a couple times , not too good, but it wasn't the shotgun it was me!!:lol:

 

You can get a Mossberg 500 used for less than $200.00, new maybe around $500.00 (??)

Edited by Rye Miles #13621
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4 minutes ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

I did pretty good with my Mossberg 500 for trap. I got 22 out of 25 once. Mostly I was getting around 18 out of 25.

 

I tried Skeet a couple times , not too good, but it wasn't the shotgun it was me!!:lol:

 

You can get a Mossberg 500 used for less than $200.00, new maybe around $500.00 (??)

 

There's a saying I once heard that trap is easy to learn, but difficult to master. Skeet is difficult to learn but easy to master.
 

I've seen people do well at trap with field guns, but they tend to lack consistency over time. A Mossberg 500 or Remington 870 new should be under $400 for your basic model with 28" barrel.

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FWIW, I have shot trap with my 870 and a trap barrel.
It's a hard kicker.

I wanted to introduce Wrongway to a softer shotgun experience, so I picked up a Remington V3.
This is a real soft shooter, compared to my Daly 500 and 870 both.

The V3 does not cycle AA Featherlites.

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Took my 16 yr old daughter shooting my coach gun and my remington 870 that Wilson modified and smoothed up.  She has not shot is 6 years.  She got to liking the pump.  

 

I then took my two sons to town to hold different ones to see balance and feel.   They held beretta , winchester,  Hatfield, Tristar, stoeger and benelli.   

 

Naturally the 15 yr old liked the benelli.  I said no to 1800.  My 10 yr old liked the winchester sx4.  They want 1000 but they are always high there.  

I then took them to a store that has better prices but less selection and they had a beretta 300 and the 15 yr old liked it and the remington.  The beretta was 700 the remington was 1000.  

 

We didn't buy anything yet.  We did see on line that mossberg will have a new product designed by Jerry miculek for competition.   It looks promising but has a 24 inch barrel. 

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TM, get'em to a trap range and talk to other shooters about letting them try before YOU buy. ;)

OLG 

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1 minute ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

TM, get'em to a trap range and talk to other shooters about letting them try before YOU buy. ;)

OLG 

Yes. Sadly there are none in South ga that I know of but told my daughter she can take my pump to the first practice and maybe the other shooters will let her try theirs.

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Trigger Mike said:

Yes. Sadly there are none in South ga that I know of but told my daughter she can take my pump to the first practice and maybe the other shooters will let her try theirs.

Here is a link to find nearby skeet clubs:  http://mynssa.nssa-nsca.org/club-search-2/

 

and another: http://www.gaskeet.org

and for trap: https://shootata.com/Default.aspx

Edited by Chantry
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19 minutes ago, Trigger Mike said:

 

 

We didn't buy anything yet.  We did see on line that mossberg will have a new product designed by Jerry miculek for competition.   It looks promising but has a 24 inch barrel. 

 

If it was designed by Jerry Miculek it's probably designed with 3-gun in mind.  I don't think JM shoots either Trap or Skeet.

 

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Posted (edited)

Auto's are popular in the USA for clay busting..here in Australia it is the U/O that is 99% the  choice of shooters.

The  days of a dedicated  skeet  or a trap gun are gone as now the Sporter   comes with 4-6 screw in chokes so you can shoot everything with one gun.

IMHO it is great to have the ability to have 2 different choked barrels especially when shooting simulated field & game targets.

Edited by Painted Mohawk SASS 77785

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All my weekly trap buddies shoot with high end O/U or single shots.
I'm the only one with the V3 gas gun.
Three or four rounds with the V3 is a lot more kind to the shoulder than my 870.

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*Reason to not use a pump:doubles

*Reason to not use a semi auto for smaller kids: The gun will be 3 or 4 inches longer and heavier for the same barrel length of an over/under making it more difficult for smaller stature shooters.

* A good trap gun will have the rise of the clay built into the rib of the gun. Meaning when you are shooting at a clay that is on the rise away from you, you don't have to cover the bird with the barrel in order to lead it. For me, it is easier to shoot skeet with a trap gun than it is to shoot trap with a skeet gun. Some folks will be opposite that. 

 

I don't know your price range, but if it were me, I would get something with an adjustable stock so it will "fit" your shooter. Kids grow, and an adjustable stock will allow the gun to grow with them. I'd get an over under with screw in chokes. Use the skeet chokes when shooting skeet and the tighter chokes for trap. You don't have to break the bank. I've had trap guns from $500 to $20k. I couldn't hit 100 in a row every time with any of them. A few I'd recommend are: Ruger Red Label, Browning Citori, Browning Cynergy

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