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Shotgun discussions Trap, Hunting, Defense and more. A place for enthusiasts to discuss the shotgun.

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  #1  
Old 04-26-2011, 9:27 PM
Thefeeder Thefeeder is offline
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Default How to Pick a Shotgun for Clays in a Nut Shell

How to pick a shotgun for Clays and HD that is right for YOU

I’m going to focus on the clays issue since the HD will be a lot easier after and the user will be shooting at a lot more clays.

The top and the most important thing to take into consideration when choosing a clay or wing shotgun is how the shotgun fits you. Fit is paramount if you want to break clay or bag birds. A good fitting shotgun will not leave bruises on you arm or shoulder….your cheek will not feel like you went two round with Mike Tyson…regardless if your shooting full loads or target shells 12 or 20ga.

Price point or model are not what you want to base your selection on. Base what you buy on fit.

How do I know if a shotgun fits me?

First does the shotgun feel good in your hands? Does it feel light , heavy, big, small.

If you get past this stage the next step will decide weather to buy that particular shotgun.

Now here is the BIG one:

Get in a simple shooting stance (feet a bit wider than your shoulders, right foot back about 6 inches ( for right hand shooters). Lean a bit forward over you left foot. Stick your chin out and down about an inch

Now pick up the shotgun as if your going to use it….place it at your side. Now close your eyes.

Are your eyes closed? Bring the shotgun to your cheek and shoulder in one motion as if your going to take a shot. Do not adjust the shotgun or move your face.

Open your right eye (right hand shooters) and you should see only the front bead sitting on the barrel.......repeat this drill a few times ……good fit… Buy it!

If you see any part of the barrel, part or no bead…..you will need to adjust the stock to fit you or move on to the next shotgun and try to again


Long or short barrels?

Long barrels are the way to go for clays/ hunting 26" or longer. Buy the length that feels good to YOU. The long sighting plane will be much easier to point at the target……especially when the target is 40 yards away. Yes, a good wing shooter can break clays with an 18” barrel…….becoming a good wing shooter is what we are trying to get to. And even then, the short barrel is not the best choice.

Do I need a shotgun that has removable chokes?

It is best as far as versatility…..but not mandatory. All shotguns have chokes and are marked on the barrel somewhere as to which choke it has. You can decide if that choke meets your needs..

Remember… Fit is Key

You will not hit if it does not fit..

Ever here someone say “ I can’t hit cr*p with this or that shotgun but shoot this one like a pro“……..Now you can tell’em why.

HD Use…….take out the little plastic plug in the mag….buy a short barrel for a 4+1 HD shotgun.
All of the add ons for HD will only get in the way on the clay field .

You now will be able to control your shotgun much better and the OO and slug recoil will be much nicer on the user.

Shotgunners who want to learn more and get some hands on clay shooting .......here are a couple of links
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=405000
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=329160

Last edited by Thefeeder; 08-09-2011 at 8:30 PM..
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  #2  
Old 04-26-2011, 9:43 PM
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This section needs a sticky. ^ Looks good to me, thanks for making this!
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  #3  
Old 04-26-2011, 10:00 PM
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thanks, I'm currently in the market for a clay sports gun...everyone says " make sure it fits." But no one has gone through the steps, like you've done here on fit up, so thanks again. While I already have a home defense purpose built gun, I don't have the need to for an all in one gun, but I appreciate your explanation of what to look for in proper fit. I can't wait now to go back to the shops and retry to guns Ive had my eye on to purchase.
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:32 PM
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Great Post... I actually just inquired about this. Very helpful thanks.
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  #5  
Old 04-26-2011, 10:46 PM
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One thing I have noticed with many of the guns first time buyers look into getting for home defense and for clays is that you cannot get other barrels to fit some home defense guns like the Winchester SXP Defender, Mossberg 590 (yes Maverick makes a barrel that will fit) and even the Hawk (forgot the number but it is the Chinese made 870 clone). The list is not exhaustive.

Fit is very important, but some things can be done to adjust fit, while there isn't a lot that can be done except buying another gun if you get an HD gun for which there is not long barrel.

Also, I cannot understand how you downplay the importance of being able to change your long barrel's chokes. Regardless of how well a gun fits, how much good is a gun with a fixed modified choke going to be for skeet and how are you going to shoot trap if you have a fixed skeet choke?
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  #6  
Old 04-27-2011, 10:45 AM
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Fixed chokes are most often found on older guns on the consignment rack... which is also where deals (and really special guns) can be found. There are some who would say that a fixed choke will also deliver more consistent results and is easier to maintain.

If the gun has the capability to interchange barrels, then you can always buy a barrel that accepts removable chokes for a fraction of the cost of a new gun. But that's a whole nother thread.

This one really rates a sticky, IMO. Thanks to thefeeder for posting it.
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  #7  
Old 04-27-2011, 2:22 PM
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It All depends on how serious you get about target shooting. Theres a reason trap shooters will spend $2K and up for just the stock.
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  #8  
Old 04-28-2011, 8:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmca View Post
It All depends on how serious you get about target shooting. Theres a reason trap shooters will spend $2K and up for just the stock.
Unless you are rich enough that you've stopped looking at price tags, a new shooter probably shouldn't put down serious money at first not matter how much he/she _THINKS_ he/she'll like the sport.

I think thefeeder's guide is very well written and can serve a newbie well.
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  #9  
Old 05-04-2011, 4:53 PM
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Just a simple guide....to help new shotgun buyers make a good pick reguardless of price range or wallet size
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  #10  
Old 05-04-2011, 6:49 PM
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Awesome post. I especially like the part about determining shotgun fit. When I buy my first shotgun, I'll definitely be trying that out.
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Old 05-04-2011, 8:47 PM
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thanks for the post. I am looking to buy my first shotgun and heavily leaning towards the Beretta al391 Urika 2 with the 30' barrel. Shot it today and it fits me well.
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Old 05-04-2011, 9:16 PM
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You can not go wrong with the Beretta 391. The 391 was my first shotgun and I love it. It is a soft shooter and cycles all loads from 1 oz to heavy magnums.
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Old 05-04-2011, 9:21 PM
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as far as versatility, reliability and cost are concerned, i think the mossberg 500A with interchangeable 18" and 28" barrels is the best way to go
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Old 05-04-2011, 9:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Javi View Post
This section needs a sticky.
^^^
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  #15  
Old 05-08-2011, 8:55 PM
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Default ><

TTT for referance
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Old 05-08-2011, 9:02 PM
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Winchester model 12.
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  #17  
Old 05-08-2011, 9:15 PM
Thefeeder Thefeeder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tankerman View Post
Winchester model 12.
Best pump shotgun ever made.....soomthest action...........and they never break......never.

Last edited by Thefeeder; 05-08-2011 at 9:19 PM..
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  #18  
Old 07-02-2011, 3:07 PM
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TTT for reference
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  #19  
Old 07-25-2011, 3:32 PM
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Back up
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  #20  
Old 07-25-2011, 4:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eltorito View Post
thanks for the post. I am looking to buy my first shotgun and heavily leaning towards the Beretta al391 Urika 2 with the 30' barrel. Shot it today and it fits me well.
How did you lift a 30' barrel?
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  #21  
Old 08-09-2011, 1:13 AM
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Quote:
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How did you lift a 30' barrel?
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  #22  
Old 10-26-2011, 1:21 PM
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Ha Ha, I have a Model 12-20 that my Great Grandfather kept by his bed for years. That thing has been handed down three times now and I still take it out to shoot 5-stand with friends. It is part of the reason I got into guns in the first place, because they last sooo long they are an investment in themselves.

So with that definitely buy something you are excited to shoot.

LC
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  #23  
Old 10-26-2011, 4:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thefeeder View Post
How to pick a shotgun for Clays and HD that is right for YOU

I’m going to focus on the clays issue since the HD will be a lot easier after and the user will be shooting at a lot more clays.

The top and the most important thing to take into consideration when choosing a clay or wing shotgun is how the shotgun fits you. Fit is paramount if you want to break clay or bag birds. A good fitting shotgun will not leave bruises on you arm or shoulder….your cheek will not feel like you went two round with Mike Tyson…regardless if your shooting full loads or target shells 12 or 20ga.

Price point or model are not what you want to base your selection on. Base what you buy on fit.

How do I know if a shotgun fits me?

First does the shotgun feel good in your hands? Does it feel light , heavy, big, small.

If you get past this stage the next step will decide weather to buy that particular shotgun.

Now here is the BIG one:

Get in a simple shooting stance (feet a bit wider than your shoulders, right foot back about 6 inches ( for right hand shooters). Lean a bit forward over you left foot. Stick your chin out and down about an inch

Now pick up the shotgun as if your going to use it….place it at your side. Now close your eyes.

Are your eyes closed? Bring the shotgun to your cheek and shoulder in one motion as if your going to take a shot. Do not adjust the shotgun or move your face.

Open your right eye (right hand shooters) and you should see only the front bead sitting on the barrel.......repeat this drill a few times ……good fit… Buy it!

If you see any part of the barrel, part or no bead…..you will need to adjust the stock to fit you or move on to the next shotgun and try to again


Long or short barrels?

Long barrels are the way to go for clays/ hunting 26" or longer. Buy the length that feels good to YOU. The long sighting plane will be much easier to point at the target……especially when the target is 40 yards away. Yes, a good wing shooter can break clays with an 18” barrel…….becoming a good wing shooter is what we are trying to get to. And even then, the short barrel is not the best choice.

Do I need a shotgun that has removable chokes?

It is best as far as versatility…..but not mandatory. All shotguns have chokes and are marked on the barrel somewhere as to which choke it has. You can decide if that choke meets your needs..

Remember… Fit is Key

You will not hit if it does not fit..

Ever here someone say “ I can’t hit cr*p with this or that shotgun but shoot this one like a pro“……..Now you can tell’em why.

HD Use…….take out the little plastic plug in the mag….buy a short barrel for a 4+1 HD shotgun.
All of the add ons for HD will only get in the way on the clay field .

You now will be able to control your shotgun much better and the OO and slug recoil will be much nicer on the user.

Shotgunners who want to learn more and get some hands on clay shooting .......here are a couple of links
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=405000
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=329160

That's a pretty big "nut shell"
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  #24  
Old 10-26-2011, 5:01 PM
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Good info. Honestly, I just went to Big 5 and got the Mossberg 500 when on special that came with two barrels. I had the LOP shortened to about 13.5" (most clay shooting places have folks who can easily do this for you even if you have a synthetic stock). It's good enough for my needs. I suppose if I really got into it, I'd likely do a more formal fitting process.
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  #25  
Old 01-19-2012, 10:33 PM
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  #26  
Old 01-20-2012, 12:03 AM
bug_eyedmonster bug_eyedmonster is offline
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Is it too confusing to add the adjustable stock and comb? This was a must for my girlfriend, the alternative was to get a youth model. I'm a bit of an oddball sized person myself. The hunt for a "out-of-the-box" fit was impossible, so I had to get something that was able to be fitted to me after purchasing.

I think thefeeder sums it up very well otherwise with weight, barrel length, and the consideration for using your next purchase as a home defense gun as well. Sight picture comes hand in hand with fitment. Thanks for the write up!

Jerry
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