Im 5'8" 173lbs. I am shortly going to get a target gun. have about 2500.00 with tax to spend. Almost sold on the teknys target 391. Can't find one to shoot. Other than the info I have read, How do you know?
I would suggest a used Remington 1100 TB trap and about $2000 worth of ammunition. The 1100 should fit you like a glove as it fits most shooters with your physical dimensions. The 1100 will also have about as low a recoil sensation as any semi automatic around. I have an 1100 TB 30" step rib fixed full choke that shoots 1 oz loads all day long. It will also handle 3 3/4 - 1 1/4 oz. "games" loads.
My understanding is that Leo Harrison started out with an 1100 TB and that he shot it well for many years.
If you don't like the 1100, you can usually trad or sell one very quick.
There is a Beretta 391 for sale for $850. Buy it put an adjustable comb & butt plate onit. Send the barrel to Dennis DeVault for an adjustable rib. You will now have a gun that will fit you,crush targets & work way better than any Teknys out there. Cost will be way less than $2500.00
$2,500 is a tidy sum and enough to get you into something very nice. There are hundreds of quality used target guns available right here and can be had at depressed prices due to the economy and seasonal valuations. There's nothing wrong with a semi-auto...good versatile guns and yes, Leo might still be shooting one of his 1100s if they weren't stollen!
As you learn to shoot different games and disciplines, you'll find that you may want/need the ability to fire two shots. A nice cased COMBO might be your best bet. A 34" top single with choke tubes with a set of 30" choked O/U barrels will do it all. Your 870 has some value...trade it in on a Joel Etchens 687 EELL used COMBO and you'll be good to go for YEARS to come.
treefrog..Unless you've shot a bunch.. You probably will not know.. Seek out a good coach who can teach..as well as help you with gun fit.. Being the club champ does not always make you give correct help.. Many mean well..but just don't have a clue.. This year I was amazed at how many shooters could not adjust their stocks..didn't have a clue.. Ability 100% knowledge .. well.. they knew how to load a gun..
At $2500,there is a ton of guns out there.. The right one.. however can be difficult to find.. We are both exactly the same size.. I'm 57 years old.. Upper body strength will play a huge factor in what puts you in the winners circle.. Don't get a gun that's 2 front heavy..
Shoot more than a few guns.. Keep a notebook for your impressions.. Keep a tape measure with it for stock measurments.. Note and record what you shot well..barrel length.. recoil pad.. comb shape..
While you don't want to hinder your shooting with the wrong gun.. remember.. It's just your first gun for this sport.. I'm sorry to say.. Trap shooting is an evolution of form and style.. magnified by ability and understanding.. The gun perfect for you today will.. if you stay in the sport .. change at least 3 times in the next 5 or 6 years..
In any event.. there is a wealth of information here.. Welcome to the sport..hope you call TS.com home..
Most trapshooters that I know are anywhere from 5'6" to 6'5". Most weigh any where from 300lbs to 450lbs. Go to any major shoot and you will think you are at a Weight Watchers convention. If most of these shooters shot a gun based on their size, they be shooting Bazookas. Go to a club that sells used guns. Try different types out. I have seen petite women shoot 32" o/u's. Best advice, buy a good used gun and shoot it first as the same new gun may not shoot the same way.
If you do what 635 G suggests you can have two hobbies for the price of one. When you are not shooting your gun, you can be dickin' around adjusting and readjusting all adjustable hardware. Plus you'll have the added pleasure of getting all that hardware installed. But wait, there's more! When not shooting or adjusting, you can have a third hobby of thinking, and reading, and talking about how all that stuff should be adjusted. And then there are the hours you can spend trying to figure out how you would have shot had everything been adjusted differently. All great fun.
But an 870 with a buncha adjustable hardware would be even more fun because then you would have the extra joy that come with trying to deal with recoil. Not only could you spends hours and days with even more hardware, but think of the endless hours of pleasure trying to find which ammo 'kicks less'. And then if you reload the hours will just roll by as you figure to get the perfect balance of speed, pay-load, and performance. Then there is ecstasy to me found looking for wads, primers, and powders that 'kick less'.
Are you planning on just shooting singles and handicap? Or do you plan to shoot doubles as well?
If your just going to shoot singles and handicap, then I would say find a nice used Browning BT-99-- either with or without a length of pull adjustable recoil device and an adjustable comb (if it doesn't have these items, have the work done).
Take the rest of your $2500.00 and buy ammo and practice, practice, practice.
If you plan on shooting all three games then try to find a used Browning Citori Trap or a Beretta 682/686/687 o/u with choke tubes. If it doesn't have the adj. comb and adj. lop recoil device, install them. And again practice.
You will have to set the gun up to fit YOU. Having the adjustability of comb and lop will go a long way in helping you to make the gun fit correctly.
As stated above, go to a good gun fitter/stockmaker and get his advise.
And most of all go out and have fun.
And remember many shooters never shoot 50x50 let alone a 100x100. It is the challenge. But have fun!!