What Shotgun and Choke for Sporting Clays

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Crash
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What Shotgun and Choke for Sporting Clays

#1

Post by Crash » Tue May 14, 2019 12:18 pm

I haven't fired a shotgun in years and have probably fired only a couple of hundred rounds in one in my life. With that in mind, what would be a good choice in gauge, action type, choke, and ammo for a sporting clays event to which I'm invited next month? Also, I would like to keep the recoil as low as I can consistent with effective performance.
I have a Mossberg 500 pump-action in 20 gauge, but I'm not sure that would do the job on doubles, and it's hard to find a skeet or sporting clays choke for this gun. Maybe a moderate weight 12-gauge autoloader with the appropriate choke and ammo?

Recommendations?

Thanks,

Crash


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Re: What Shotgun and Choke for Sporting Clays

#2

Post by omegaman » Tue May 14, 2019 12:36 pm

I use 12-gauge and Light Modified choke (Improved Cylinder is okay also). Nothing wrong with 20-gauge (if you're a pretty good shooter), but I don't recommend a pump for sporting clays.


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Re: What Shotgun and Choke for Sporting Clays

#3

Post by Crash » Tue May 14, 2019 12:51 pm

omegaman wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 12:36 pm
I use 12-gauge and Light Modified choke (Improved Cylinder is okay also). Nothing wrong with 20-gauge (if you're a pretty good shooter), but I don't recommend a pump for sporting clays.
Yeah, I'm sure you're right that a pump is not the right tool for sporting clays and that the 20-gauge is OK if your're a good shot--so my shotgun and I don't seem to qualify. Guess I'll start looking for a 12-gauge autoloader. Recommendations as to one at a moderate price?

Crash

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Re: What Shotgun and Choke for Sporting Clays

#4

Post by Scott B. » Tue May 14, 2019 1:06 pm

For autoloaders, it really depends on what price point you're looking for.

Semi auto's I've handled and shot:

Beretta - they make great shotguns. The A400 is a nice gun and comes in several trim packages from field to fancy.

Benelli - Super Black Eagle 3 is a terrific gun.

CZ - The 712 is a great gun for the price point, the newer 1012 is even better.

Remington 1100 - can't go wrong with a good one.

There are a number of others that I've seen or handled but haven't shot.

Winchester has their new SX4 Upland Field, Mossberg 930 Pro Sporting, and so on.
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Re: What Shotgun and Choke for Sporting Clays

#5

Post by Pawpaw » Tue May 14, 2019 2:03 pm

The most popular choice seems to be a 12 gauge over/under. You can put a modified choke tube in one barrel for reach and an improved cylinder in the other for closer birds. Most (all?) O/U's allow you to choose which barrel fires first, so you can tailor that to your needs as you go.

The extra weight of the double barrels helps smooth out the swing and goes a long way toward taming recoil.
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Re: What Shotgun and Choke for Sporting Clays

#6

Post by AndyC » Tue May 14, 2019 2:31 pm

A double eg. O/U is nice because of its ability to have 2 different chokes in the gun at the same time (I just use Imp Cylinder and Modified - and I can select which fires first, depending on the sequence of the clays presented to me). Other folks frantically change the chokes completely between stations - I've never bothered but it's a plus if you really want to fine-tune things.

A good O/U is fairly pricey, though - I wouldn't feel undergunned with a decent used semi-auto and a screw-in Modified choke eg. Rem 1100. FWIW, I did start clay-shooting with a Mossberg 500 12-ga pump - it's not that restrictive if you can shuck it decently quickly.

My advice - take your current gun and go do a few rounds of sporting clays with it first; sounds like you have enough time and you may be able to try a few rental guns as well.
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Re: What Shotgun and Choke for Sporting Clays

#7

Post by Crash » Tue May 14, 2019 11:09 pm

Scott B. wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 1:06 pm
For autoloaders, it really depends on what price point you're looking for.

Semi auto's I've handled and shot:

Beretta - they make great shotguns. The A400 is a nice gun and comes in several trim packages from field to fancy.

Benelli - Super Black Eagle 3 is a terrific gun.

CZ - The 712 is a great gun for the price point, the newer 1012 is even better.

Remington 1100 - can't go wrong with a good one.

There are a number of others that I've seen or handled but haven't shot.

Scott B.,

Thanks for the recommendations--appreciate your help.

Crash


Winchester has their new SX4 Upland Field, Mossberg 930 Pro Sporting, and so on.


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Re: What Shotgun and Choke for Sporting Clays

#8

Post by Crash » Tue May 14, 2019 11:11 pm

Pawpaw wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 2:03 pm
The most popular choice seems to be a 12 gauge over/under. You can put a modified choke tube in one barrel for reach and an improved cylinder in the other for closer birds. Most (all?) O/U's allow you to choose which barrel fires first, so you can tailor that to your needs as you go.

The extra weight of the double barrels helps smooth out the swing and goes a long way toward taming recoil.
Pawpaw,

thanks for the recommendation, but I think a quality o/u would be outside my budget. I've been looking at some semi-autos and there are a couple that might fill the bill.

Again, appreciate the help.

Crash


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Re: What Shotgun and Choke for Sporting Clays

#9

Post by Crash » Tue May 14, 2019 11:13 pm

AndyC wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 2:31 pm
A double eg. O/U is nice because of its ability to have 2 different chokes in the gun at the same time (I just use Imp Cylinder and Modified - and I can select which fires first, depending on the sequence of the clays presented to me). Other folks frantically change the chokes completely between stations - I've never bothered but it's a plus if you really want to fine-tune things.

A good O/U is fairly pricey, though - I wouldn't feel undergunned with a decent used semi-auto and a screw-in Modified choke eg. Rem 1100. FWIW, I did start clay-shooting with a Mossberg 500 12-ga pump - it's not that restrictive if you can shuck it decently quickly.

My advice - take your current gun and go do a few rounds of sporting clays with it first; sounds like you have enough time and you may be able to try a few rental guns as well.
AndyC,

I'm leaning toward a semi-auto, but I'm going to take your advice and do a few rounds with my current gun and also try out some others. Thanks for the recommendation--appreciate it.

Crash


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Re: What Shotgun and Choke for Sporting Clays

#10

Post by cyphertext » Wed May 15, 2019 8:11 am

If you are going the semi-auto on a budget route, take a look at the Beretta A300 Outlander. My son and I have had these for several years now and have not had any issues with them. Not as pretty as other Berettas, but not as expensive either.

Franchi Affinity and Weatherby SA-08 also come to mind for less expensive choices. Used Beretta 391s should be plentiful as well.

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Re: What Shotgun and Choke for Sporting Clays

#11

Post by Bitter Clinger » Wed May 15, 2019 3:52 pm

+1 for Remington 1100 or VersaMax semi-auto with improved or modified cylinder. Cannot go wrong. Reasonably priced, reliable, easy to field strip, parts readily available IF ever needed. Also many different length bbls available in case you decide to use for other applications, e.g., tactical.
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Re: What Shotgun and Choke for Sporting Clays

#12

Post by The Annoyed Man » Thu May 16, 2019 8:57 am

Crash wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 11:13 pm
AndyC wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 2:31 pm
A double eg. O/U is nice because of its ability to have 2 different chokes in the gun at the same time (I just use Imp Cylinder and Modified - and I can select which fires first, depending on the sequence of the clays presented to me). Other folks frantically change the chokes completely between stations - I've never bothered but it's a plus if you really want to fine-tune things.

A good O/U is fairly pricey, though - I wouldn't feel undergunned with a decent used semi-auto and a screw-in Modified choke eg. Rem 1100. FWIW, I did start clay-shooting with a Mossberg 500 12-ga pump - it's not that restrictive if you can shuck it decently quickly.

My advice - take your current gun and go do a few rounds of sporting clays with it first; sounds like you have enough time and you may be able to try a few rental guns as well.
AndyC,

I'm leaning toward a semi-auto, but I'm going to take your advice and do a few rounds with my current gun and also try out some others. Thanks for the recommendation--appreciate it.

Crash
I have shot skeet with Andy, and he has a nice light o/u of which I am jealous. I have both a o/u and a Benelli SBE II semi-auto, both in 12 gauge. I prefer fielding the Benelli for its lighter weight, but it’s inertial action doesn’t know how to make nice very reliably with low wall light bird loads in the #7.5-#8 shot range. Apparently, this is a common problem for the SBE. Also, the inertial action provides slightly stouter recoil (although in truth, it’s not that bad) than a gas-piston action provides....and it is still less recoil than a o/u.

I also own a recently purchased Mossberg 930 SPX, a gas-piston semi-auto tactical shotgun, but I can buy replacement barrels and other parts for it for hunting/clays purposes, and it converts fairly easily and quickly. If I’m not mistaken, Mossberg sells a 930 package that comes with both a home defense and a hunting/clays barrel.
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Re: What Shotgun and Choke for Sporting Clays

#13

Post by omegaman » Thu May 16, 2019 9:22 am

I think you will be happy with a semi-auto, but I highly recommend steering clear of those capable of chambering 3.5" shells (12-gauge). If you go with 12-gauge, choose one chambered for 2.75" and 3" shells (or just 2.75" if you're only going to use it for clays). You will probably never need to use 3.5" shells. You might want to research for yourself why 3.5" chamber 12-gauges are not the optimum choice. Just my 2 cents.

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Re: What Shotgun and Choke for Sporting Clays

#14

Post by C-dub » Thu May 16, 2019 12:36 pm

A friend of mine that shoots VERY well with a $10k+ Perazzi once told me that the $500 O/U 20 gauge I bought for my daughter will hit targets just as well as his gun. The only real difference is in how many you will be able to shoot over a lifetime, year, month, or week. Shooting a couple hundred rounds a month mine will probably last as long as his will. However, he can probably get by shooting several thousand rounds a month and might still outlast mine with only a few minor replacement parts that typically wear out.

https://americantactical.us/4633/detail.html

I think this is the one I bought for her. It seems to have gone up a little since I got it a year or two ago. Either that or I have misremembered how much I paid for it at my LGS.
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Re: What Shotgun and Choke for Sporting Clays

#15

Post by rotor » Thu May 16, 2019 12:58 pm

We have a local event that requires 3 shots instead of two so that rules out an o/u. My wife is the better shot here and she loves her Beretta A400 xcel with IM choke. We also have Browning o/u. Wife prefers one oz. loads and beats me all the time.

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