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 Post subject: Spend my money!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 12:55 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:20 pm
Posts: 43
Just got into trap 3 months ago, and I've gone every week since my first lesson.

I'm getting there. Took a lesson, working on correcting some bad habits, shooting 20-21 most rounds now, and just hit my first 24 yesterday. This is a life-long thing, so I'm not in a rush.

I traded a Mossberg 500 for a '76 BT-99 (I won that deal HARD) with a 32" full choke, and it's totally all I need for singles right now, but my buddy and I want to try skeet and sporting clays.

I have a "project gun" in a 1970 Ithaca/SKB 600 Trap, but that MAY need more work than it's worth to make it a reliable every-week gun, so that's probably going to be my spare.

I have a discretionary budget (aka "below spousal aggravation threshold") of around $1500-$2000. I'd prefer a double of some sort (probably O/U, but I'm not opposed to a target SxS, just because they look super-cool, and I'll never be good enough for it to matter), but I realize there's a lot to be said for the A400 or 1100 Competition in that range, too.

So far, in addition to my BT (one of the "high shooter" years) I've shot:

- My friend's 2020 Citori CX (30") -- at least for trap, it doesn't really fit me wonderfully (not like my BT with the Monte Carlo stock and the buttplate cranked down to smoosh it high and tight) -- works fine, but just not for me...
- a 725 Pro Sporting (32") with a fixed buttplate but adjustable comb. MUCH better, even with the comb just notched up two clicks. Balanced really well, made me feel like I had an extra half-second to relax and swing because it just got where it was supposed to go faster than my BT. The balance just felt good.
- My Ithaca / SKB (30"): Shoots flat compared to the BT (50/50). Works, but I feel like I'm shooting a field gun. I feel like I need to be more actively on top of the gun, if that makes any sense. COMPLETELY different from the BT, but that kind fo "fast" feel might be good for other sports, maybe?
- Some Browning autos, various pumps not designed for target shooting. I like pumps for what they are, and I'm generally not a fan of autos, largely because I can't break them over my shoulder for a clear "THIS IS EMPTY" indicator, and even with a shell catcher to avoid annoying the neighbors, I can't do the cool "catch yer empties as they eject" thing... :)

I have yet to shoot any Berettas, Benellis, CZs, Franchis, etc.

My current plan:

[*]Shoot a Silver Pigeon (they're easy enough to find) for a round or two, to see how they compare.
[*]Shoot anything else I can get my hands on

My current options I'm considering:

[*]Lightly used 725
[*]Maybe a new or newish Silver Pigeon
[*]Possibly the Franchi Instinct II? They're tough to find and try.
[*]Possibly one of the new SKBs? Ditto.
[*]Possibly a CZ All American? Same--I can only find cheapo CZs as rentals, and no one at teh range seems to own a higher-end one.

Anything I'm missing?
Any thoughts on reliability for the last 3?

Thanks!




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 Post subject: Re: Spend my money!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 1:37 pm 
Crown Grade
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:20 pm
Posts: 22722
Buy whatever gun fits you the best; personally, I would look at one of the Browning or Beretta offerings in the target version (not the lighter field version)

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The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory, Aldo Gucci

Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience, George Carlin


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 Post subject: Re: Spend my money!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 2:01 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:20 pm
Posts: 43
oneounceload wrote:
Buy whatever gun fits you the best; personally, I would look at one of the Browning or Beretta offerings in the target version (not the lighter field version)


Thanks! So no complaints about durability of the more expensive CZs or the Franchi, if they fit appropriately?


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 Post subject: Re: Spend my money!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:04 am 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*

Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:32 pm
Posts: 6984
Location: Creston, Iowa
Manufacturers design "out of the box" shotguns to fit the average sized shooter (5'9' or 10' height, 160 to 180 pounds) If your are not average in size and shape, you will need to make the gun fit. LOP need can vary more than 1 inch between different shooters, as well as chubby cheeks to thin face effects comb height and cast off. Horizontal eye (pupil) distance, thin to heavy shoulders. All has an effect in gun fit and POI placement.

Your looking for comfort and center shot placement. Recoil straight back with the bore and the pad distributing said recoil evenly from the top of the pad to the bottom. Your looking for a gun ounce mounted to stay in the same place during the shot. It's hard to hit targets with the back sight (dominate eye) moving around during the shot.

A good gun fit and a POI that delivers center pattern to a moving target will make you a much better shot, above average in a short time and no top shooter in any of the clay target disciplines get there with poor fit guns.

So..... my point......buy the gun you like and can afford. Then have it fit or you can easily learn how to fit yourself with a little study. There are 2 excellent books available for your education. If you are a lifetime shooter like me, understanding gun fit is a great advantage.

Maltz

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 Post subject: Re: Spend my money!
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:34 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:20 pm
Posts: 43
Thanks.

The gun fit sticky in the FAQ forum has been really helpful.

I clearly need to get a good fit once things open up here. Currently, my point of reference is this BT-99, which was causing my to crane my neck and push down to meet the comb until I did this:

Image

Now, I'm a new-to-shotguns shooter (12 weeks since my first lesson) and the BT in question is 44 years old, so I'm not sure if:

[*] The stock is warped
[*] My neck/shoulder is oddly shaped
[*] I'm holding it wrong

But I WILL say that after doing that (which allowed my head to feel more "up and down"), I jumped from neck pain and 18s to no neck pain and 22s (with my first 24 last week).

I've shot my friend's Citori CX, and it just feels like a stick -- maybe because it's a straight stock without a high monte carlo stock smashed up to the sky like mine, with a fairly low-profile design? The 725 Sporting felt better, by a lot, for some reason, despite having the comb adjusted up only "2 clicks," per the owner.

I've been wondering about the Berettas with their cast-off that Brownings lack, and how that might affect things, but theorycrafting in my head only gets me so far (particularly since I really don't know what I'm talking about yet... :D ).

I'll get it eventually. I'm now a bike fit pro, and I can tell you precisely what top tube length, seat tube angles, etc. I need. I just hope I don't buy the wrong next gun while getting there with shotguns.

maltzahn wrote:
Manufacturers design "out of the box" shotguns to fit the average sized shooter (5'9' or 10' height, 160 to 180 pounds) If your are not average in size and shape, you will need to make the gun fit. LOP need can vary more than 1 inch between different shooters, as well as chubby cheeks to thin face effects comb height and cast off. Horizontal eye (pupil) distance, thin to heavy shoulders. All has an effect in gun fit and POI placement.

Your looking for comfort and center shot placement. Recoil straight back with the bore and the pad distributing said recoil evenly from the top of the pad to the bottom. Your looking for a gun ounce mounted to stay in the same place during the shot. It's hard to hit targets with the back sight (dominate eye) moving around during the shot.

A good gun fit and a POI that delivers center pattern to a moving target will make you a much better shot, above average in a short time and no top shooter in any of the clay target disciplines get there with poor fit guns.

So..... my point......buy the gun you like and can afford. Then have it fit or you can easily learn how to fit yourself with a little study. There are 2 excellent books available for your education. If you are a lifetime shooter like me, understanding gun fit is a great advantage.

Maltz


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 Post subject: Re: Spend my money!
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 1:05 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:21 pm
Posts: 680
Find a Remington 1100 Competition Synthetic. It comes with the adjustable butt plate (which it looks like you need), and an adjustable comb, and a recoil reducer to boot. You should be able to buy one for around $900-1100, if you can find one. Save the rest of your money for shells and targets.

Don't make the mistake that so many others on a budget make, where they blow their whole budget on buying a Beretta or Browning O/U, but find it doesn't fit them perfectly, and they don't have any money left over in the budget to make it fit them perfectly.


Last edited by mpolans on Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Spend my money!
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:53 pm 
Limited Edition
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Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:50 pm
Posts: 447
Location: The wilds of rural central California
Something more to consider.
I wanted a Citori but couldn't find one to handle so I got a CX with adjustable comb to widen my chances of a good fit. If you have to change the LOP you're a lot farther in the fitting process.
I got lucky in that I fit that "average" physical profile that many guns are designed for. The only thing I needed to do was one 1/16th shim to make POI right at 60/40 for me and a tiny bit to the right to center the pattern...all done with the adjustable comb.


tp

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RM, NRA/USCCA RSO, NSSF, and a bunch of other acronyms.
12/30" Browning Citori CX White
12/28" 1978 Browning BSS
12/26" Franchi Affinity 3
12/26" ATI Cavalry (waiting 2 months now for a frikkin' firing pin)


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 Post subject: Re: Spend my money!
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:14 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:27 pm
Posts: 94
Location: Kansas
I'm biased towards semi-autos personally, but I love the 1100 and A400 series. Also the Fabarm XLR5 and L4S series are good, though those might run in some versions up into the over-$2000 range, especially target specific versions like the Gryphon and Velocity.

Most important thing is to buy a gun that fits you. Most semi-autos will fit the average-height person. If you are looking to fine tune your fit I'd suggest investing more money in an adjustable stock.

Best option to avoid doing that is to see who has any of these guns at your local clubs and see if you can try shooting them. Most people, and by most I mean the majority of people who are not total jerks will be happy to let you try out their guns. That really is the best way to go in my opinion since it's the closest thing you get to a test drive.

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- yours truly


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 Post subject: Re: Spend my money!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2020 3:46 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 11:25 pm
Posts: 2327
Location: Attica, Mi
Adjustable recoil pads can be bought from Brownells [ or maybe Amazon ] and are pretty easy to fit because the part needed to fit the butt stock is so thin. Screw it on, scribe around it, take off and file it down. With a regular recoil pad because it's so thick you need to keep the bottom line of the stock continue on the pad, and that can be trouble if you're not use to doing it. This idea could save you some money and widen your choices. Good luck. [ Just installed a Morgen pad on my and friends shotgun - the cheaper black plastic ones work as good as the metal ones ]

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 Post subject: Re: Spend my money!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:03 pm 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*

Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2003 6:01 pm
Posts: 6798
When I spent my money it was a new SP1 with the new Optima HP choke barrels. And a replacement stock from Coles. And a Grayco stock adjuster installed by Tron. And I like the end result. Your money you just have to decide yourself. Since I reload and have shot O/Us for years that is the way I went. But I could see a gas automatic with factory shells being a lifetime gun also.


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 Post subject: Re: Spend my money!
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:19 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:33 pm
Posts: 6433
Location: Mascoutah IL
cormacf wrote:
oneounceload wrote:
Buy whatever gun fits you the best; personally, I would look at one of the Browning or Beretta offerings in the target version (not the lighter field version)


Thanks! So no complaints about durability of the more expensive CZs or the Franchi, if they fit appropriately?


Yes.. I don't know about Franchi, but odds are very high you will break the CZ if you shoot it a lot. On a positive note, CZ USA is pretty good about fixing them again and again.




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