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Hello everyone....first time posting here but I've been reading a lot and appreciate everyone's insight!

I used to shoot trap quite a bit, but that was 20+ years ago. I'm interested in getting back into it, along with skeet and sporting clays. I would appreciate anyone's comments and advice on selecting an all around gun in regards to action (auto vs. o/u), features to look for or avoid, pros and cons of one vs. another, and how to best fit a gun for a novice. Ideally I'd like to keep it under $2K or so.

Just as when I was selecting a hunting shotgun, rifle, hand gun, etc. I know there will be a vast array of thoughts, but the more opinions I get the better. That will allow me to absorb everything and take it all in in order to help make the best overall choice for my needs. Thanks in advance!




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An O/U is the way to go if you want a gun that can do everything, is reliable and easy to clean. Buy a big brand gun like beretta or browning and it will likely last a long time. If you are a recoil wimp like me, then buy a semi. There are two choices that have adjustable everything: Beretta A400 multitarget or Fabarm XLR5. Both are excellent guns. Semis get nasty dirty and are painful to clean, but are oh so soft to shoot.

And never, ever, under any circumstance buy a Turkish made gun. They are really unreliable. And yes, that is a major generalization and correct about 90% time.
 

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You can find a decent gun for 2K. First of all I would recommend a used gun. Guns depreciate like anything else. Try and shoot a variety of guns to find what you feel comfortable with. I have a Beretta 682 O/U trap with 32" barrels, choke tubes and an adjustable comb. I use this gun for sporting clays and it is my backup trap gun. Install appropriate chokes, (raise comb if shooting trap-lower it if shooting sporting clays) . Works great. Another choice would be a Browning Citori that is set up the same way. I just sold my brothers Browning Special Trap for $1400. It had very few rounds through it. Just a couple suggestions. These guns are out there. (Check gunbroker.com or the classifides on this site or the shotgun world classifides. Joel Etchen is another good source. Good luck in your search. Ed
 

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I have shot competitive skeet, trap and am currently shooting mostly sporting clays (still shoot the others quite often just for fun).

I have shot both O/U's (Beretta 682 Sporting w/Kolar AAA Lite tubes) and semi-autos for all three and they will both work fine. It really comes down to what YOU think is the best choice.

I have been shooting a Beretta 391 Gold Sporting w/30" flat ribbed sporting barrel for many years and it's my favorite clay target gun. Don't believe for a second that you HAVE to shoot an O/U to be successful.
 

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Gun fit. If a $250 Mossberg pump from Wallyworld fits you...you'll get more pleasure and fun than paying 2K for a pretty gun that frustrates.

Spend $30 on Rollin Oswald's book; "The Stock Fitter's Bible" (Amazon.com), read it at least 3X, then go find a gun that fits (or is close) and fine tune it if necessary.
 

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I'll second two things from personal experience.

1 Browning CX is a very nice shotgun at a good price.
I have one and it shoots 60/40. Works well for an all around shotgun. Add an adj comb and you can tailor to your sport.

2 make sure whatever you buy fits or can be adjusted. I like a shorter lop. I bought the CX Micro, 30 inch and it fits great and has excellent balance. For me, haven't met a Browning thst didn't fit well. YMMV. Berettas tend to not fit me as well.

Whatever you get, enjoy and welcome back to shooting sports.
I just got back in a 3 months ago after about 15 years. I love it now that i have more time.
George
 

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As someone with somewhat similar experience: I bought and shot my first trap gun in 1980 for a couple of months and became bored and stopped. Last year my wife became interested through a female friend and pushed me to get reinvolved. I dug out the Remington 1100 trap gun that had been sitting in a safe for years (without a monte carlo stock) and we both used it for a couple of months.

The length of pull was wrong for her so we investigated and bought a Syren for her, which was factory fitted for her. I continued to shoot the 1100. Along the way I became convinced I needed an over and under, partly because I thought they looked right, partly because I thought I would shoot it better, and partly because it seemed like "every other semi serious shooter was shooting an over and under". I did break more clays with it, (Winchester 101) but it also had a better choke for 16 yard practice. (The 1980 1100 has a very tight fixed full choke.)

After thinking about it, I bought a brand new 1100 Classic Trap with adjustable chokes because I did not want to spend the money getting my older barrel refitted for changeable chokes and for a Monte Carlo stock which by this time I knew helped me at least by trying other peoples guns. My scores dropped in half until I actually patterned it and discovered it shot considerably higher than the Winchester 101 or my older 1100.

Last Sunday I shot a highly modified single barrel that a member had just bought used and it was amazing. I loved it but I don't think he wanted to sell it. Today, I broke 25 straight twice with the new 1100 for the first time at a trap range I had only shot at once. Wednesday I shot a 22 on one round and a 23 on the second round and won $80.00 in side bets and a trophy. I'm keeping the new 1100 and am willing to sell the older (1980) 1100 even though it is better made and the Winchester 101 which is also an older gun (1966) with fantastic wood and fit.

The point to this ramble? I think it really comes down to how you see yourself and how you view the sport. I really don't care about the over/under image anymore but you might. Despite what people say about semi autos being hard to clean - my wife's (A Syren/Fabarms) certainly is a pain in the ass - the Remington 1100 is easier to clean than actually breaking down the Winchester 101 by considerable. (I'm guessing some people think swabbing out a barrel and wiping down the exposed areas is all they need to do to clean an over and under gun. Of course they would be wrong.) The Remington 1100 kicks less than any over and under I have shot which honestly has not been a major issue until I started shooting four boxes a day, four days a week a couple of weeks ago. (A habit I'm not going to keep up.)

What it will come down to is personal preference and whatever arguments others make that sway you to what you really want anyway. Then fit, as I have come to learn is the next step.
 

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If you do decide on a semi auto, I would highly recommend the Remington 1100 Classic Trap or the Competition Synthetic. I would have chosen the Competition Synthetic hands down but I could not overcome my fondness for wood. They are less money and easier to clean and the recoil is softer than some of the other semi autos.

The downside is the "new" Remington Arms is not the old Remington Arms in terms of customer service and the fit and finish on the new Classic Trap is not nearly as good as the fit and finish on my 1980 1100 Trap Gun. You might want to consider an older used one if you can find it.
 

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I had an 870 express that when I broke the stock. I wanted to buy a trap gun. So I bought a BPS trap. I bought it with out shooting one. It doesn't fit, so it's not a ton of fun to shoot. I have a A300 semi that I shot sporting clays and skeet with. This gun does fit, it's more enjoyable to shoot. And my scores are much better. the nice thing with a semi is they can be pretty easy to adjust. With shims and spacers. The A300 is pretty easy to clean.

So the main thing is shoot a few guns see what you like before you buy
 
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