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1st gun

1598 Views 21 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Photobug
I am looking to get back into clay shooting. I started shooting Trap and Skeet at a young age but when all the family guns were lost in a fire I was decided to take 30 years off. I am now looking to get started shooting again. Now I need to find a gun for me and my wife to get involved in clays.

Back in the day I started with a .410 survival gun then owned a model 1100 when I could hold the heavier guns. I even got to fire my father's nicer guns all of which went up in smoke. I was hoping to find a gun both my wife and I could shoot and then if she likes it I would get a second gun so we each could shoot at the same time.

We went to town yesterday to look around but the selection is sparse. I was thinking a 20 gauge for our first gun, but think my wife at 5'2" might be better with a youth shotgun, which apparently all got sold for home defense recently. I lean towards over-under or semi-autos as that is what I am familiar with. I appreciate all suggestions.
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I suggest a gas-operated automatic for your wife. The Remington 1100, or any of the Beretta line of auto's are all good choices. You can look at used shotguns too.

You can look at all the vendors on this website and see what they have to sell. Many of them will have used shotguns and new shotguns for sale. So look here first.

I also posted the names of every reputable gun shop on one of my threads here on TS.com about 6 months ago or so. You should be able to find it and look at the each gun shops on-line used guns for sale. The gun dealer at the Silver Dollar is good also. He is a Beretta dealer I think. If you can grab a issue of Trap and Field mag. from your shooting clubs clubhouse where you shoot. They have all of the best gun shops across the country.

Good Luck finding ammo and shotguns right now. It you try hard enough, you can keep shooting though. break em all jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I suggest a gas-operated automatic for your wife. The Remington 1100, or any of the Beretta line of auto's are all good choices. You can look at used shotguns too.

You can look at all the vendors on this website and see what they have to sell. Many of them will have used shotguns and new shotguns for sale. So look here first.

I also posted the names of every reputable gun shop on one of my threads here on TS.com about 6 months ago or so. You should be able to find it and look at the each gun shops on-line used guns for sale. The gun dealer at the Silver Dollar is good also. He is a Beretta dealer I think. If you can grab a issue of Trap and Field mag. from your shooting clubs clubhouse where you shoot. They have all of the best gun shops across the country.

Good Luck finding ammo and shotguns right now. It you try hard enough, you can keep shooting though. break em all jeff

Great Info Thanks Jeff. Having a model 1100 would be a fun way to get back into it.

Shotgun ammo is easy here. Try finding 9mm or .22. I have had to pay triple prices to mail order these two.

I will look around at the options here. My local range has some sort of clay facility but don't think it is either trap or skeet more like a bird hunting oriented house, still I am excited to get involved with it.
 

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I also recommend the Remington 1100 as a starter. See if you can find some lighter recoil rounds (although any ammo is hard to find at the moment) such as 7/8 or 1 ounce loads that your wife might find less kick. I enjoy reloading and load some light rounds for my better half to shoot in her 1100.
 

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If you care to say what part of the country you live in some members here may know of shops and ranges in your area to broaden your search. For sale boards at local ranges can be a good place to search and you may be able to try before you buy too.
 

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If you are really serious about shooting clay target games, go straight to O/U's that start with a B. Pick the one that feels and fits best. Your wife will probably fit a Micro or youth sized gun. If your wife is less serious, a gas powered auto from a manufacturer that starts with B or the 1100. The 1100 may be tough to find in size to fit her. The 1100 is a great gun. However, in very little time you will be wishing you have an O/U that has choke tubes for all the different games and presentations. (My personal recommendation is something like a used Browning CX)
As far as gauge and shells stick with a 12 Gauge. If you can find a good supply of 1 ounce loads or even 7/8, the weight of the 12 GA will eat up all the recoil. I coach for the high school trap team. The vast majority of female shooters can easily handle a one ounce load at 1180 fps. Several work up to full blown 1 1/8 ounce 1200 fps. The want more soldiers in on the attack. They can handle it after they cut their teeth on the light one ounce loads.
My daughter started shooting in the seventh grade. 5'-4" and didn't weigh a buck and a quarter. We started with a 9lb semi auto with a 28" barrel. Once she got her core muscles strong enough to hold the gun up, never had a problem with recoil. She finished the year a 200 target state meet. Once again, never a complaint about recoil or fatigue.

Good luck and have a great time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
curious where you are that shotgun ammo is easy?
If you care to say what part of the country you live in some members here may know of shops and ranges in your area to broaden your search. For sale boards at local ranges can be a good place to search and you may be able to try before you buy too.
I am in Jackson Wyoming. My view may be skewed about shotgun ammo availability. I have only been to the gun shops during ammo delivery days. On those days in Jackson and Idaho Falls, the shotgun shelves were all well stocked. The .22 and 9mm were behind the counter with armed guards, who handed out each box and were very stingy about it. I was at Cabelas yesterday and at noon when the ammo boxes arrive there was a line and the employees were handing out the boxes as they opened the cartons.

There were what in comparison full shelves of shotgun shells. In retrospect, there were 12-28 available but probably zero variety of each. It is probably like a clay shooter looking at all the 9mm ammo not realizing high priced defense ammo does not help someone with a new gun trying to figure out how to get shots more shots to hit the paper.

I just did a search for model 1100s, it appears there is no shortage of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you are really serious about shooting clay target games, go straight to O/U's that start with a B. Pick the one that feels and fits best. Your wife will probably fit a Micro or youth sized gun. If your wife is less serious, a gas powered auto from a manufacturer that starts with B or the 1100. The 1100 may be tough to find in size to fit her. The 1100 is a great gun.
By something that starts with B do you mean Browning or any of the other B brands?

If I were to find an 1100, and my wife likes it, could it be made to fit her by cutting down the stock?
 

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By something that starts with B do you mean Browning or any of the other B brands?

If I were to find an 1100, and my wife likes it, could it be made to fit her by cutting down the stock?
Generally people mean Browning, Beretta, and Benelli.

You could cut the stock or you may be able to find a youth stock or one that's already cut. 1100s are great, I like beretta autos but any of the suggestions would serve you well.
 

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Generally people mean Browning, Beretta, and Benelli.
Forget Benelli !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are hunting shotguns. Not Target Shotguns to start with. They do not reduce recoil at all, since there actions are a mechanical, not gas operated!!! So there is really no good reason to shoot one!!! Second they fired Tom Knapp when he became sick with Pulmonary Fibrosis!!! Tom made Benelli a household word. Then they fire him when he became sick!!!! You can stick a Benelli where the sun don't shine if you ask me!!!

To the OP. Yes Browning and Beretta shotguns make up the vast majority of target shotguns for competition shooters. break em all Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
One gun for both of you isn't going to work if you really want to get into shooting. Too many differences in fit. Forget field guns. Get something made for trap.
I figure but can't invest $3000 into guns to see if my wife is going to like it and like it full time. It might be different if everything was not at a premium and shells being a rarity.
 

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Do you have a nearby that you can go to and trap shooting that has all you need for a session. We have a place nearby that for $25 you get a box of ammo, the clays and a shotgun. Doing a few rounds might help decide if it's worth getting her a gun.
 

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check out Franchi Affinity 3 semi autos. About $700-$800. Very reliable, easy to clean, same recoil as my Beretta 391 and A400xcel. Friend got one and it works for clay targets and would be a good starter gun. I think there is also a youth/shorter LOP version.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Do you have a nearby that you can go to and trap shooting that has all you need for a session. We have a place nearby that for $25 you get a box of ammo, the clays and a shotgun. Doing a few rounds might help decide if it's worth getting her a gun.
I don't believe so. Just found out my club has trap, skeet and some weird bird shooting clay house. However it is almost all shut down during winter. A warm day is 30 degrees, a cold day is single digits. I have been hanging out at the range shooting a .22 rifle. In winter a crowded day has 3 people shooting at all ranges combined. I think M-F the range is self regulated with maybe a rangemaster on the weekends. I can imagine there are some organized events in summer but even the trap is self regulated on normal days.

The few people I have met have been super friendly and introduced themselves and answered my questions about procedures and whatever they are shooting. I can imagine in summer with more crowds there will be plenty of opportunities to meet and mingle and maybe try guns. After 30 years of not owning guns I am excited to be back involved in shooting. My local shop has a very small inventory but offered me a few shotgun options when I visited today.

And for those who were jealous of my access to shotgun ammo....... Yes the shelves have ammo locally but I asked and it is all steel bird shot. I asked because I was going to start stocking up even before buying a gun, but it is not the ammo I am looking for. Buying a $1500 "B" gun is not in the works, until I can feed it.

On the plus side, I managed to stockpile a few thousands round of .22 and 9mm ammo this week. I am hoping some clay ammo gets back on the shelves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
check out Franchi Affinity 3 semi autos. About $700-$800. Very reliable, easy to clean, same recoil as my Beretta 391 and A400xcel. Friend got one and it works for clay targets and would be a good starter gun. I think there is also a youth/shorter LOP version.
Thanks that is the kind of info I need. No way I can rationalize a $1500 purchase when no ammo is available. Yet somehow a sub $800 starter gun without ammo seems more reasonable.

My shop was showing me a Weatherby shotgun that looked very field-oriented.
 

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My shop was showing me a Weatherby shotgun that looked very field-oriented.
I was going to mention the weatherby orion sporting, I picked one up when I was just getting into trap and wanted a O/U. Picked it up at a club I was at and it just felt right. Paid $850 out the door. I've had it for about 1-1/2 years have had no issues and it feels and looks fine. Most will frown on it because it's Turkish, but like you I was not ready to lay out the extra $$.
I have really enjoyed shooting trap and plan on moving up and getting a Beretta O/U, I now also have a nice 2nd O/U for a friend to use to start out with.
Buy what your comfortable with and the key is enjoy yourself. You will know when it's time to move up to something better.

 
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