View Full Version : Is There Any Reason I Shouldn't Shoot Clay w/My Mossberg 590?

12-15-2006, 2:40 PM
I own a Mossberg 590 w/Ghost Ring sights.


It's bone stock and it's the only shotgun I own.

I want to shoot clay - and I want to get good at shooting clay. I understand that this isn't the typical clay gun, but it's the one that I have right here right now.

Is there any reason I should NOT take this shotgun out for clay shooting?

What's your advice?



Item #: 50663
Description: MOS 590 12M/20CB PRK GSTRNG
Manufacturer: Mossberg
Model #: Model 590 Special Purpose
Type: Shotgun
Finish: Parkerized
Receiver: Parkerized, Drilled & Tapped
Stock: Black Synthetic
Sights: Ghost Ring Sights
Barrel Length: 20"
Overall Length: 41"
Weight: 7 1/4 lbs
Chokes: Cylinder Bore
Chamber: 3"
Butt Plate Recoil Pad: Black Rubber
Additional Features 1: Sling Swivel Studs
Caliber: 12 Gauge
Capacity: 2 3/4" 8+1
Action: Pump Action

12-15-2006, 3:26 PM
Well, if you don't mind some strange looks on out the skeet field, then go for it. The over under crowd can be a bit snoby sometimes.

Make sure you talk to the range master and let him know. Some ranges will only allow 2 shells at a time.

12-15-2006, 3:59 PM
The only reason not to would be if there are any restrictions on doing so. I know that there are ranges where the minimum barrel length is 24 or 26 inches. If there are no restrictions, well, have at it.

The sights may be a hinderance because they are meant for single projectile or non-flying targets, but if you can overcome that, well, again, have at it.

If it were me on the field, I'd see how you shoot before telling you "that gun is all wrong" mostly because I've seen how some people shoot with non-traditional guns, and um, I've been one of them :D


12-15-2006, 5:06 PM
You'll have a lot of difficulty if you're not RIGHT on the clays. The pattern thrown by the cylinder bore will have a lot clay sized and larger holes in it at even modest trap/skeet distances. I have the A1 version of that gun and can pretty easily dust the hand thrown clays at 20 yardsand the clays thrown by the Popper flippers that are 15 yards out, but if you let them go too long its nearly impossible. One solution is to get the barrel threaded for chokes, or if yours is the thin walled barrel version of the 590, get one of the longer choke threaded barrels.

Really what you ought to do is just buy an inexpensive 500 or 870 express with the longer tube, and save the 590 for an apprpriate use like Heavy Metal 3-Gun Competetion.

12-15-2006, 7:48 PM
Its a real pain to hit anything but its alot of fun.


12-15-2006, 7:56 PM
I own the 500 with 20" barrel and 8 rd. magazine tube. I shoot clays regularly with it and it does quite well @ skeet! The old timers with the O/U's are quite accepting of it as well, as they should be. Except for the fact that their gun only holds two rounds and they probably paid $2000 too much, it's no different than my shotgun. At such close ranges a longer barrel has very little effect either. Once you learn the pattern of the bird, you could hit 'em with just about anything! Besides, it's all about having fun!

P.S. - I use Win. #8 Super Speed. You can get a box with 250 rds. for $35 at Walmart. Seems to get the job done and it's easy on the wallet and the recoil is nothing.


12-15-2006, 10:08 PM
skeet ok --Trap? forget it.

you have to be fast at picking the birds out of the house to play trap with a cylinder bore SG. Get an 870 express while the $30 rebate is still good and put an IM or full choke in it or get a sporting mossberg or good used SG.

12-15-2006, 10:26 PM
I'll agree with Mike on that one. Those birds get too far out there too fast in trap. I've managed to hit a few with the 500, but it's more or less a waste of clay and lead without the proper equipment.


12-15-2006, 11:45 PM
I started shooting Trap with an 18" boomstick and did fine. Approx 75% hit rate.

Your sights will be a problem. With traditional clay shooting, you cover the target w/ the bore.

The spread on your gun will be quite large. Take it to a patterning board @ 30 yards and see what it looks like.

If you take that thing to the course, clear it with the person in charge. Also make sure you bring a wooden dowel. My 18" was too short for some of the gun racks.

12-16-2006, 3:48 PM
I can break 16 yard trap targets with a skeet choke all day long. You'll be fine. Trap shooters WAY over choke.

12-16-2006, 9:11 PM
I was at the Los Altos range today and while I and my buddy were shooting trap there were two gentleman using home defense 20" barreled shotguns and they were doing just fine.

12-16-2006, 10:34 PM
I tried to shoot clays with slugs in the desert once..... that dident go so well. I think I was delerious from being up so long, but I was laughing my a** off. Good fun, Good fun.

12-18-2006, 11:46 PM
Shot trap with an 870 Marine Magnum once :D , but that was on a public range, and the others on the line weren't uppity about it. Only did so-so, however. I'd think your main problem would be perception and reception by the others--that's about it, unless the range specifically prohibits shorter barrel lengths.

12-19-2006, 10:28 AM
There's a reason why most trap guns have bead sights and 26, 28, or 30 inch barrels. The reason is that trap is small and moves quickly so it is usually shot at 30+ yards. 20 inch barreled "home defense" shotguns with tactical sights and features are designed for close engagements in close quarters combat. Although it is possible to try and shoot trap with one of these shotguns, it won't be very fun and may even be frustrating. Get an 870 express from Big 5. I've seen guys shoot 21/25 and 22/25 using a $200 870.

12-21-2006, 1:07 AM
i shoot clays with my 590...lots of fun
have at it!

12-21-2006, 12:17 PM
my friend has a defender that we take with us some times. it can be a pretty fun game to see who can shoot the most with it. you have to get them right away though. dont worry about the looks from other people. who cares what anybody else thinks as long as you are being safe and respectful it shouldnt matter.

12-21-2006, 2:13 PM
Theoretically you can, but no public range in the LA will allow less than 26" barrel, the other thing, on a private range / desert

01-29-2007, 6:12 AM
Thanks for all the feedback.

It appears that for a few good reasons it's not the right gun. I'll look into something more appropriate.

Again, thanks.

02-02-2007, 2:29 PM
I shot skeet with mine just fine.

Plan to take it duck hunting with my Doberman too. Betcha can tell I'm not interested in impressing the $3000 engraved shotgun crowd, can'cha?

02-04-2007, 9:46 PM
I don't know that much about the 590. But my only shotgun is a 500, and I've shot a lot of clay with it. It came with a 26 inch barrel, and thatz what I use for clays. But I wanted a home defense gun, so I bought an 18 1/2 barrel. I use that at the indoor shooting range. At 25 yards, the 18 1/2 barrel and bird shot still make 2 inch holes in the target and pepper the whole man sized target with shot.

02-08-2007, 10:43 PM
ive shot clays with my S&W 915a which is like a riot style gun with a 18" barrel, and i did fine with it, but you just cant get the longer shots if you miss.

i also shot clays with my M3 super 90, that was alot of fun, and worked pretty good.

as i see it, if its what you have just go with it as long as the range doesnt have a problem with it, even if you do mediocre you still went out there and had some fun making some noise.

02-09-2007, 6:22 AM
Sure go ahread! It's great fun, and any time handling shooting your HD gun is time well spent. I want to play the clay games with my HD shotgun so I get in practice time with it. It's an 18.5" barrel, I usually put a modified choke in it for trap, Once I get more consistent, maybe I'll try a couple rounds with cylinder and see how that changes things.

At this point I'm doing better than I expected. I've shot maybe 15 rounds total over a few different range days, last weekend I had a round of 23 and a round of 21 [and a round of 15 ;-( ]. This isn't record breaking, but I'm really happy. Once I get consistent, I'll start adding other things to the "training" (see below).

I love shooting trap, it puts a smile on my face. Some things to consider:

- I don't know where you're located but a few clubs in the SF Bay area have a minimum bbl length. Call ahead. When you call, don't say "short barreled shotgun". Make it clear it's legal and >18". Enough clubs nearby me don't, so it's ok. I'll post of list of clubs what if people are interested.

- Some people will give you a hard time, many won't care, and a few will be friendly and ask. I had an RO talk to me about it. I had called earlier to check and he "was waiting for that short gun to show up." He's was a bit disappointed it wasn't more tactical (no pistol grip, no light, no sidesaddle, at least it's black.) Also, the kid of a father/son pair I shot with told his dad he wanted "that black gun!". Sometimes, the wooden gun racks near the trap field are two big for my little runt gun and everyone thinks that's funny, including me.

- For singles trap, most places only let you put in one round at a time anyway, so semi-auto vs. pump won't matter. As much as I've wanted to jam my magazine full and shoot 5 quick when I'm alone on the field, I haven't. I keep asking the puller, maybe I'll get lucky one day. Don't break their rules, it's not polite.

- According to people that see me shoot, I get on the clays really fast. I've taken (missed most, broke some) a few long shots, but I'm using a modified choke. I start with the gun mounted but aiming low at the trap house so I can see what's going on.

- I've got open rifle sights, not ghost rings. When I "aim" with these sights, I miss. Point, don't aim. I'd like to try ghost rings once in my life just to see, maybe we should go to the range together?

- Wal-Mart has great deals on shot shells. (Mtn View Wal-Mart still sells them). 100 packs of Federal, Winchester, or Remington for about $16-$17. 12ga or 20ga, 2-3/4" usually about 7-1/2 or 8 shot size.

- My goal is to have fun and practice with my HD gun. Once I'm consistenly breaking in the 20s, I'll chage things up. I'll try starting with the gun not mounted. I've done this a few times and it's hard. I'll also try with a cylinder choke and see how that goes.

- I'm getting a longer barrel for my gun. I want to shoot sporting clays with this gun and the local sporting clay range has a 22" min bbl length. This will also let me shoot more places.

02-09-2007, 9:14 AM
Thanks ysr racer. Great information. I bookmarked your website.