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Beginners Gun For Clays

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Have shot IDPA 3-Gun ,now I would like to know what type and brand Shotgun 12 or 20 gauge I should get to start the sport and not break the bnk.New or used.

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Hello: Depending on what game you plan to play will have a lot to do with your choice. As was suggested to me a Beretta 391 in 12 gauge is hard to beat. They are no longer made but you can still find lots of them for sale. Parts are easy to find if needed but rarely needed. When you find which clay game you like you can then look at more serious equipment or just keep shooting the 391. For the games I am liking the most a O/U works better and I shoot them better than my 391. A word of caution shotguns are addictive and you may end up with more than 3. I would also suggest you try different shotguns to see what fits you the best. Unlike pistols, fit is very important. Lastly shooting clay sports is very addictive and you may end up preferring it. Thanks, Eric

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nothing wrong with your 3 gun shotgun to start, although the purists will look at you a little sideways for a while.

12 gauge.

semi or double unless you are just going to shoot trap. But for skeet, 5 stand and sporting clays, semi or double.

I shoot a benelli cordoba or an M2 for all clay games except when I get nostalgic for my old 30" barrel, full choked remington 1100, or when I really want to frustrate the hell out of myself with the .410 1100.

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......... when I really want to frustrate the hell out of myself with the .410 1100.

I like the way you think.

If the OP is looking at trap, don't rule out a nice pump gun.

As for a semi-auto for trap, my second trap gun was a Remington 1100. I don't know if they still make them, but I had a little attachment that caught the individual shells which made the gun nearly the perfect soft shooting gun for trap.

Also shot the Beretta 391 for a while. An excellent gun on the sporting clays range. Only got rid of it because I'd collected one too many O/U shotguns and a friend had just got hooked on SC and wanted to start on a budget.

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Hello: They still sell shell catchers for semi autos. T&S and Birchwood Casey are two. I have used both and both work well. Thanks, Eric

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A break open gun like a Browning BT-99 will keep you going for a while. Or just use your 3gn shotgun until you figure out how much Trap you going to shoot.

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If you are looking for an ou, don't take the cheap(Turkish) route. You can find some used Browning Citoris or superposed on gun broker. A used bt99 can be had often for just under $1000, but you can't shoot doubles with it. Doubles are by far the most fun, and challenging.

Edited by Naka16

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Plus 1 for the Beretta 391. I have two. One has a sporting clays stock and one has the parallel target stock. Very versatile and soft shooting gun. The 391 with the sporting stock was my first clays gun. I have tried O/Us, some costing $5,000. I have always come back to the 391.

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Depending how serious you are about trapshooting you might consider a combo setup. This is an over/under set of barrels and a single barrel which fits on the same receiver. Some of these combos can be purchased used for a few thousand depending on the make and model. If you go this route you usually do not have to buy numerous trap guns which can save a lot of money. This one gun will shoot all of the trap disciplines. I would also be the first to admit trading guns may be part of the appeal of the game. Always looking for one more bird whether one more out of 25, 100 or a 1000.

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I had a a400 for awhile but went back to a 391, not enough difference to matter.

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I started with a used Franchi O/U with 26" inch barrels. I didn't mind it. I stepped up to a FNH SC-1 U/O and it's been a great choice. I like the look of it and it has all the porting adjustable shenanigans the really high end guns do for a competitive price.

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Beretta auto loaders are a great way to go. You can go as cheap as the A300 Outlander model. Somewhere around $700 with a synthetic. Very similar to the Beretta 391 in Design for 1/2 or less the money. With Sporting Clays the fit of the Shotgun is a major contributor to improving accuracy.

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Its depend on the game which you have plan to play. According to me beretta 391 in 12 gauge is the best shotgun for beginners. I would also suggest you that before buy test different shotguns to see what fits you the best.

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I started with a 391 field model then when I shot more games got a 391 parallel target, had and adjustable comb cut and adjustable butt plate put on and use it for trap, sporting clays, and skeet.  I am not super serious about any of them so I am fine with having one pretty versatile gun.

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If the weather is bad and I don't feel like taking an over under I take my 3 gun versamax.  And it shoots so much softer then my over under.  My only complaint is I have to pick up my shells.  But what ever you had for 3 gun should get you out their and people will always offer to let you try theirs then you will get a better idea of what you want.

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Posted (edited)

Use your semi to start.

 

Go shopping at a specialist shop or attend a field day. Swing a bunch of guns, see what fits and feels right. Then wait for a good used example to come up. 

 

Adjustable combs, butts and even ribs can make the gun work even better.

 

I have to shoot clays for clients socially otherwise I wouldn’t, I don’t care for it, feels like golf. I have owned a Beretta 391, Browning BT-99, Beretta 682 combo, etc. Honestly I’m tempted to get a 1980s vintage Remington Wingmaster and put an adjustable stock on it, call it one and done. It’s odd to bring a pump gun but they work well.

Edited by Frankly

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I have a Beretta A400 SA and a Beretta 686 O/U and like them both. I am setting up my A400 as a dedicated trap gun. I have a shell catcher and by shimming the stock I can raise the POI. I will use my 686 for all other games.  You can't go wrong with a Beretta SA. Like has already been said it is addicting. I hardly shoot USPSA any more. I am hooked.

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Before you buy a shotgun try it out- Grand American is a great place to do this- lots of manufactures there- all you have to do is supply shells. Fit is everything in a shotgun, especially if you are going to use it for competition- trap, skeet, live birds, 5 stand, etc.

 

Suggest you look at a break open gun if you are going to shoot a lot since you can retrieve the shells vs an autoloader. You could start out with a O/U and then add a single barrel to the receiver for handicap later. There are a lot of good used guns available- keep looking and be selective. Lead shot is expensive these days- reloading is marginally cost effective- you can buy on sales and get the same cost as reloading in some cases. Check on trapshooters.com for reloading costs.

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I started with a Browning Citori but have since switched to a Beretta A400.

I really l like the Beretta - very soft shooting and just a really nicely built gun.

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I would suggest checking out a local teacher.  they can help you get started and also will have access to different guns to try out and see which fits right or is at least close.   personally I shoot a custom stocked Beretta 682 over under and my little girl is wanting a custom stocked Beretta  A400 in 20 gauge.

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