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Discussion Starter #1
I use a BT 99 for trap, but interested in shooting Sporting Clays. I'm leaning
towards a Semi-Auto, only because I have never had one, and they seem lite with less recoil. The question I ask, any recommendations as far as
a Semi-Auto goes, that works good for Sporting Clays, but may also work well
for Trap. Keep in mind a budget less than $2000.

Thanks, Keith
 

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Well, my favorites are the Rem 1187 and 1100. They have the softest felt recoil. Prices are decent, especially for good, used guns. They are easily customizable for stocks, barrels, etc. Most repairs can be done by the user. They also fit most people well. They balance well. Drawbacks are that the gas system needs cleaning about every 400 to 600 shells, depending on how clean the powder is. But this is not a big deal if the gas parts are kept "wet" with something like Break-Free to keep the fouling soft.
 

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If you go that route, make sure you aren't raining empties on the shooter to your right and you should get along fine - with the exception of an occasional mechanical malfunction. Good luck.
 

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My vote would be a Beretta 391 Parallel Target. Parallel comb and step rib, many shooters use it for clays also. You can change the shim for higher impact for trap, if desired.

Danny
 

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The only autos you see being used on the sporting courses are made by Beretta. With that in mind any of the 303,390 and 391's will work as long as they fit the shooter and shoot where you want them to. I have not seen a Remington auto on the course for years by any serious sporting shooter. The Berettas are used for a reason. Very little maintenance is required and they just keep on shooting after thousands of rounds. Aftermarket parts and accessories are very easy to come by.
 

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For sporting clays a beretta 391 (or 390) is the gun of choice. Rem 1100/1187's just cant cut it on clay courses. The reason is, very few can make it thru a round or two of sporting without some sort of feed malfunction. I know that there will be several replies that say that's hog wash, but that really is the facts and I can promise you those who get all bent out of shape do not shoot enough sporting to offer a real opinion. For trap shooting the 1100's are great (really great!) but they dont have to feed the second shell, thats the problem. Go to any sporting or skeet range and you will see 10 beretta autos for each one of all the other models combined. Wonder why?...feed failure? Having owned both a rem 1100 and a browning gold auto, both are very nice soft shooters but neither is reliable enough for a few rounds of sporting clays. I currently own a beretta 391 that my son shoots and he just passed the 5000 shell mark, not one fail to feed or fire... so far. My other autos could never do that. For the record I shoot a blaser f3 as my sporting gun and a well used but cared for 1187 as my waterfowl gun. I am not a remington hater by any means.
 

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you have an email--wally riebesell
 

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So explain sporting clays magazines advertise gunsmithing costing large amounts to make Berettas more reliable for sporting clays?
 

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Auto's are only as reliable as the shooters who maintain them. One can get a lemon though, I have seen them in all manufactors , but even these lemons can be made to work once you find the suspect part or parts that may be causing feed problems. Guys that normally shoot O/U in my experiance tend to have the most problems when switching as they dont know or care to know the maintenance routine needed. Auto's can be choosy with what ammo you feed them (which is just part of the snag of owning one), which alot of normal O/U shooters dont get. Don't expect promo loads to cycle them nearly as well as AA or STS's that have more percise case mouth shape/crimps and better brass that will not swell excessively causing extraction problems. Once you find a shell that works, stick with it and dont bitch if it wont cycle a cheapo bargain shell that you have not tried out before. Beretta's rule the Auto market mainly do to less part breakage in my opinion as I see just as many of them fail to feed as any other brand when either cheap ammo is used and or improper maintenance is performed.
 

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i shoot sporting clays 1 time each year--went last weekend to a nice course in st joe mo.-- there must have been 40 -50 shooters. 1/2 had o/u's and the remainder ( of which i noted)- i saw 1 benelli , 3 browning golds, the rest were 391's and 303's!!!!!
 

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I shoot an Remington 1100 and use an 1187 sporting clays. I have yet to have a malfunction with the 1187. I find that if you follow Remington's instructions on maintainance/cleaning you rarely have a problem. I happen to prefer Remingtons but Berettas are good guns too.
 

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You will be hard pressed to find any serious Sporting clays shooters using any Remington products. There are racks full of Beretta autos and that isn't just a fluke or can be written off as a result of sponsorship (I always ask "WHAT sponsorship?"). This is simply a fact and not just a bias opinion.

I guess it will all depend on how serious you are about the games. If you're going to shoot registered Sporting clays and Trap doubles where you are only allowed a couple of malfunctions, the Remington shouldn't be considered. If you're just a casual recreational shooter, then it really doesn't matter...just shoot whatever you want and have fun.
 

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Joe i hated to be so straight forward as you but i shoot all over the midwest almost every weekend of the summer and it has been years since i saw any serious sporting shooter shooting a Browning or Remington auto. They just simply are not reliable or durable enough to get the job done. If they were some shooters would be shooting them. And to the guy stating failure to feed problems with a Beretta. That is a non issue with a 303-390 and 391 if the carrier is the bent one. The failure to feed problem surfaced in the 391's when Beretta tried using the straight carrier. A super X 1 is far superior to the Browning and Remingtons for heavy usage.
 

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Your budget will allow you to get a very nice 391 Beretta fixed up how ever you might like it. You will have no regrets with this shotgun and it is veratile enough for all of the clay target games plus most field activities.
 

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i will have a real nice 391 sport(nice wood) 30" steprib-mobil choke forsale-under $1000--by weeks end- shoot it & if you dont like it ,send it back no problem-call or email me. wally riebesell 660-744-4115
 

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+1 for the Beretta semi-auto. Before I bought my over-under, I put a ton of rounds through my 391 on the clays course without a malfunction. Light recoil is also a plus when shooting all day.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks to everyone for the info, and advice. Beretta 391 sounds like the way to go. I came across a used Beretta 303 Ducks Unlimited for sale. Anyone
had experience with that model. Like to know if it is as reliable as the
391.

Thanks Again for Everyone's Input, Keith
 
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