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 Post subject: Best shotgun for sporting clays amateur
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:10 pm 
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Six months ago I got into sporting clays and have been shooting regularly. I didn't have my own shotgun and couldn't afford one on my own, so Ive been 'renting' one from the club. It is a 20ga 391. It was ok, but because so many people used it it often had needed repair. I am about to start competing and I need my own gun. I've managed to save $1200 for my own gun, and really think I need a 12ga to progress, but I don't know which gun would be a good 'starter' shotgun.

I have gotten it down to two models and I would like to know from the experts here which would be better, a Benelli M2 or a Beretta 391 in 12 ga. I haven't shot a Benelli, but some at the course where I shoot said it's easier to sight the clays with the M2, Legacy, any of them with a raised rib. Is that true? I know it is a pupular gun with hunters. Do 12ga guns have too much recoil for women? I'm not that big, but lots of women shoot 12 don't the? I only moved here 7 months ago so I don't know alot of other people I can ask.


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 Post subject: re: Best shotgun for sporting clays amateur
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:51 pm 
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Gungal: don't listen to the BS about "sighting the clays" b/c to successfully shoot clays , you have to look at the clay and only be slightly "aware" of your gun in your peripheral vision.

M2 will likely deliver more felt recoil (ie "Kick"),,,, but be slightly easier to clean than the 391.

Two of the littlest lady shooters I know shoot O/U K 80 12g Krieghoffs.....no one would call these "Ladies" guns and they both weigh over 8 lbs......so don't be afraid to look at the O/U's.

BUT the best idea, is to try , try , try, before you buy.


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 Post subject: re: Best shotgun for sporting clays amateur
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:01 pm 
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Location: Staying in the "Zone"
sera, is right. Fit is important also. Auto, used beretta 391 I would consider at 650.-700. O/U used beretta or browning for 1200 would be a good buy providing there in excellent shape. Usually shootrs will let you shoot there guns sometimes, hang around the gun club a little.


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 Post subject: re: Best shotgun for sporting clays amateur
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:16 pm 
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Given your level of shooting experience, your budget, your concern about recoil, and your previous experience with a 20 ga 391, I think a 12 ga 391 is the best choice.

Whatever you choose, forget that BS about sighting the clays with a raised rib. And forget anything else that same person told you.

There are many different variations among 391's - they are available in a half-dozen different flavors. Look at all the different ones you can, and pick the one that feels best to you, without worrying about whether it is a sporting or a field version. A field gun will work as well for clays as a target gun, provided it is the one that feels best to you.

Unless you are rather tall for a woman, a factory gun may be too long for you. Check the length of pull of the rental gun you have been using, and compare it with the standard 12 gauges. You might need to save some money to get a gunsmith to cut the stock and fit a good recoil pad, like a KickEez for example.

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 Post subject: re: Best shotgun for sporting clays amateur
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:19 pm 
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When I hinted that shooting the guns of the other people at the club I was directly told that their guns were 'too valuable' to let an amateur shoot. Most of the people there shoot trap or skeet, so it is possible they look down on clay shooters? There aren't many women there either, but that's because of my work schedule Im not there when they are. I liked the feel of the Benelli M2 but if theres more recoil that might not be the best. Do people use those alot for hunting? It seems when ever I ask about shotguns Benelli is mentioned.

I didn't think 12 ga was too much for chicks.

I found a new 390 for $800, which is the cheapest I can find it, including Walmart. I haven't seen any used 391 locally or online for less than $900. I can get it new for $200 more so it doesn't seem like a bargain. I haven't looked at the sale forum here yet. Does it matter if a gun is 'old', like 4 or more years old if its in good condition?

Sorry for all the questions.


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 Post subject: re: Best shotgun for sporting clays amateur
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:03 am
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When I hinted that shooting the guns of the other people at the club I was directly told that their guns were 'too valuable' to let an amateur shoot. Most of the people there shoot trap or skeet, so it is possible they look down on clay shooters? There aren't many women there either, but that's because of my work schedule Im not there when they are. I liked the feel of the Benelli M2 but if theres more recoil that might not be the best. Do people use those alot for hunting? It seems when ever I ask about shotguns Benelli is mentioned.

I didn't think 12 ga was too much for chicks.

I found a new 390 for $800, which is the cheapest I can find it, including Walmart. I haven't seen any used 391 locally or online for less than $900. I can get it new for $200 more so it doesn't seem like a bargain. I haven't looked at the sale forum here yet. Does it matter if a gun is 'old', like 4 or more years old if its in good condition?

Sorry for all the questions.


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 Post subject: re: Best shotgun for sporting clays amateur
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:27 pm 
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You need to find a better place to shoot. Most skeet and trap shooters will probably turn out to be decent once you get to know them, but they do tend to be rather snobbish. You would not get that kind of treatment at a sporting clays course that does not have skeet and trap fields.

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"Beretta 391 Disassembly" - What the owner's manual doesn't tell you. See: viewtopic.php?t=123733
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 Post subject: re: Best shotgun for sporting clays amateur
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:12 pm 
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Location: Panhandle
Yep, you need to find another place to shoot, c'mon down here, you can shoot anything I own and most likely, anything of the shooters I know. My Wife would be glad for you to shoot any of hers as well.

I'm not telling you to buy here, just a quick glimpse into something that I would recommend you finding if at all possible, to try.

It's a 391 RL (reduced length) parallel comb Optima. http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/product ... s_id=99065

Another but it isn't priced http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewIt ... =109535590

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 Post subject: re: Best shotgun for sporting clays amateur
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:29 pm 
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I know two women in my area who regulary shoot sporting clay tournaments. One uses a 12 gauge Benelli, the other a 12 gauge Beretta 391. The extra weight of the 12 over the 20 can help to reduce felt recoil when using lighter loads. I would suggest the 12, but stick with 1 oz loads with a velocity around 1,200 ft/sec. Both are fine guns, but the most important factor is proper gun fit. Go to a gun shop and shoulder/swing the guns you are interested in. You may want to seek out an instructor or gun fitter to adjust the gun's stock (both guns come with shims to adjust the stock and I know the Beretta comes with a thin and think butt pad to adjust the length of pull). If the gun doesn't fit you, it will have more felt recoil and won't shoot where you look. Also, if you rather small in stature, you might want to look at a 391 RL (reduced length) as recommended by a previous poster. Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: re: Best shotgun for sporting clays amateur
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:04 pm 
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GunGal wrote:
When I hinted that shooting the guns of the other people at the club I was directly told that their guns were 'too valuable' to let an amateur shoot.

Where do you live? I find this very strange. Most of the guys I know usually offer their guns before anyone has a chance to ask.

You are welcome to shoot any of my guns.

The 12ga is not too much gun for a woman. This is a myth and you should put it behind you. The largest factor in recoil is the weight of the shot. A load of 1 1/8oz shot will kick much more than a 7/8oz load.

The reason most people think a 20ga kicks less than a 12ga is due to shot weight. The cheap Federal loads you can get at Wal Mart in 20ga are 7/8oz and the 12ga are 1 1/8oz. I've seen different loads, but those are the most common out here.

So, a 12ga load can be bought or made to feel like the 20ga.

If cost is a big concern, the choice becomes a little more complicated. 12ga shells are typically less expensive than 20ga. I think it's a supply and demand thing. However, the 20ga Federals are the same price as the 12ga at Wal Mart.

I'm not familiar enough with Sporting Clays to tell you if a 20ga will hurt your chances. I can tell you that a 12ga isn't too much if you really want to do it. You will be able to handle the recoil as long as you don't buy "killer" loads.

By the way, the 391 is a good choice. Impact Guns has some good prices.

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 Post subject: re: Best shotgun for sporting clays amateur
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:24 pm
Posts: 330
Location: East TX
First off, I can't imagine not letting someone shoot my gun if they asked at a range. I don't care if it's a 10 year old boy, female of any age, or a good ole' boy. Some people!

That 390 12 gauge used (age not a factor if it hasn't been shot to pieces) will do you just fine if it feels good to you i.e. fits you well. I've never seen a price difference in 12 and 20 gauge shells unless they're some kind of special offering.

Use 1 ounce loads in the 12, you can always upgrade the recoil pad if necessary. It may not even bother you at all. "Rent" a 12 gauge where you shoot and see for yourself perhaps. No need to rush into anything without trying it out first. The automatics will generally absorb more of the felt recoil than the over/under guns.

Come on guys!............Lend the lady a gun to try!

Woody


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 Post subject: re: Best shotgun for sporting clays amateur
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:33 pm
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Location: Houston,TX
I too think a Beretta 391 would be the way to go at first. A Benelli Sport II or SuperSport would be a possibility too. All are Great autos for SC. Wish you lived near SE,TX , between me & my wife we could let you shoot several different guns.


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 Post subject: re: Best shotgun for sporting clays amateur
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:58 pm 
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I was able to 'rent' a shotgun in exchange for making sure all shotgun shells are picked up after tournaments. The people working at the club were pretty nice about letting me do that since I'd never even shot a shotgun before. They have loaner guns for club members. I was there this morning and asked them if it was unusual for someone not to let me shoot their gun and when I told them who it was who said their guns were too valuable, they told me those guys are amateur shooters who look down on anybody who doesn't shoot trap. It was right after a tournament. I went this morning to shoot and see if someone else would be willing to let me shoot their gun but almost nobody was there and I felt weird just walking up to people practicing because they looked very serious. I'll go this weekend and hangout and try to be a bit bolder.


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 Post subject: re: Best shotgun for sporting clays amateur
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 2:47 pm
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Location: Staying in the "Zone"
Gungal,

before you know it you'll be looking for a reloader and 7/8 wads for reduced recoil :wink: best of luck


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 Post subject: re: Best shotgun for sporting clays amateur
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 9:13 pm
Posts: 247
Location: Philly, PA, U.S.A.
1. Gun that you like to look at / own.

2. Gun that "fits" you well.

3. Gun in your price range, new or used.

4. If the 391 works then find yourself one.

Best regards,
chalmitch


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 Post subject: re: Best shotgun for sporting clays amateur
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:08 pm 
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Try this,

Go to the range and shoot what you normally want to shoot. If it's Trap or Skeet, try to get squaded with some other people. If it's Sporting Clays, just wait at a station until some other show up.

Then, after they shoot, make small talk about their shotgun. Like this, "Wow, that sure is a nice looking gun. I'm kind of looking to buy a new one. Would you mind if I took a shot or two with yours?" This will almost always get you at least a couple of shots with their gun.

Let's face it, we all love our guns and flattery works! :D

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 Post subject: re: Best shotgun for sporting clays amateur
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:21 pm
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Location: Springfield, MO
You might consider a Beretta 3091. It's designed for women, relatively inexpensive and can be chosen with an adjustable comb--it comes with a shorter stock than the 391 as it's for women or youth. The woods is not fancy, but it shoots very nice. I got my wife to shoot this past summer (a Southern girl who had never shoot a gun but was growing tired of being a range widow). She tried it, liked the gun and I got her one for Father's Day (Mother's Day or one of her days would require jewelry). Remember, the automatic absorbs around half the recoil. You might try 2-3/4 dram loads in 1 oz. of #8.


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 Post subject: re: Best shotgun for sporting clays amateur
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 3:30 pm 
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My daughter started shooting when she was 11 with a 20ga M1 - IMO getting her that was a mistake - next I got her a 12ga 391 which she shot well with no recoil problems at all - just had lots of malfunctions on the SC course - finally after a particularly aggravating day of jam after jam, I ran across a 12ga O&U Browning 325 sporter in 99% condition at a good price - cheap enough that I didn't flinch too much cutting the stock down to a 12" LOP - She's now 13 going on 14 and loves her 325 and out shoots a lot of the old timers around the courses we go to - I did just add a Gracoil to the gun, not for recoil, but for the LOP adjustment, getting it back to 13-1/2" and some adjustment to spare.
SO in short - or long as it now - a proper fitting 12ga is not to much for a lady to shoot - and by the by - my wife shoots a Browning SX Special skeet 12ga O&U with no problem - having it fit really makes the recoil go away.


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 Post subject: re: Best shotgun for sporting clays amateur
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:53 pm 
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Location: Manhattan Kansas
If you are going to just shoot clays, give the Browning gold Lady's sporting clays a look. The Beretta 391 RL and 3901 RL are both stocked for a woman shooter.

The Beretta 3901 is under your budget and that will leave some money for shells, targets and even lessons.

good luck,

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 Post subject: re: Best shotgun for sporting clays amateur
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:31 pm
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Location: Monticello, AR
GunGal,

Do some reading in the womens section and you will get some ideas about womens specific guns and gun fit. The Beretta 391 RL is one choice. My wife shoots a Browning Gold Ladies Sporting Clays and with the $100 rebate going on it is an excellent deal (probably sub $700 if you shop around). She originally shot a Remington 1100 LT 20 ga. It didn't fit well and she hated it. The Browning fits well and even with 1 1/8 oz. loads she does fine. As others have said fit is everything in terms of comfort.


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