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I'm not a shooter, but I shot sporting clays over thanksgiving and I'm hooked. I don't know how to shoot, I've only fired a shotgun on two occasions and the last time was 15 years ago.

Should I learn to shoot on loaner guns at the club or buy a cheap gun untill I'm good enough to know what I'd like in a nice shotgun? If I should go with a cheap gun, what do you recomend?

I want to take lessons but I figure I ought to decide what I'll be shooting before I make the appointment. Any other advice on starting out as a first time shooter is welcome and appreciated. :)
 

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newbilly said:
I'm hooked. :)
Glad you found sporting clays. Rember the extra cash you had and time? Well that will be all gone now :D

For a gun, sure you could buy a cheap one but why? You are hooked what you need to get is a Krieghoff or a Perazzi with custom fitted to you wood. Get plenty of lessons, Will Fennell is in the SC, Charlotte area. You must always shoot the best shells, I like the STS, Nitro remingtons. You need a 4wd truck, a trailer and a custom EZGO jacked up golf cart with big nobbie tires and loud side pipes. You need the hidef spx shooting glasses and a custom made shooting vest embroidered with your name. Entry fees to all the big shoots and travel expenses. Just go to the bank and borrow about $40 grand and that will cover you for a while :lol: :lol: :lol: .

Once again welcome to sporting clays !!!!!!

Seriously, a decent starter gun is a Remington 1100 or 11-87 or a Beretta 390/391. There is a ton of that stuff used out there and that will save a few bucks.

Now, I do recommend some lessons, although not cheap it will save you money in the long run.

Good luck and happy shooting !!!!!
 

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First, you need to decide what "hooked" means. Do you wish to shoot casually or compete or seriously compete? That means... taking up a new hobby expensive to taking up some of your disposable income and time or being the hole in daddy's arm.

I'd interview a couple of local instructors ... or three. You may get a list at www.mynsca.com on the instructor's page or www.paragon.com. Forget what Level they are. Get some references. Settle on one person. Let them suggest a gun for you.

If that approach isn't good for you, the preceeding post had some good advice. I'd get a Remington 1100 or11-87 or a Beretta auto or a Benelli. Doesn't matter as long as the barrel is 28" - preferably 30". Put a SK1, IC, SK2 choke in the gun AND LEAVE IT THERE. Bottom line is DO NOT put your cash in an expensive gun ( for the time being ). Put your money in targets and shells.

Make sure to have someone check the gun fit ( Length of Pull ) and perhaps put a soft recoil pad on the gun.

Now find some inexpensive ammo and go shoot. Once you're good and frustrated then revert back to finding an instructor. Seriously, a GOOD instructor is worth their weight in gold. Well, perhaps worth their weight in lead.

Keep the forum posted on how you're doing!
 

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newbilly - Welcome, and congratulations on your discovery. While this is a fantastic sport, all the same you might want to resist the temptation to go "All-In" before you have had a chance to gain some skills and experience. Starting off by investing in some instruction is a great idea, particularly if your mentor can also help you with a fitting with a try-gun. Rollin Oswald, who often helps out here, sells his book, "Stock Fitting Secrets" on his web site http://stockfitting.com/ Bob Brister's book, "Shotgunning, The Art and the Science" is excellent. You can find used copies at amazon.com, or get a new copy from MPC Sports at http://www.mpcsports.com/index.asp?Page ... rodID=2346

With this knowledge as a foundation, a second-hand gun that comes closest to fitting you will allow progress without developing some of the bad habits which can be required to compensate for a poor fit. Later on there will be plenty of time and opportunity to hone the refinements that come with developing a personal style.

Finally, a suggestion to focus on developing safety awareness and safe practices from the beginning. Access to the GunTalkTV web site's safety videos are included in their free basic membership at http://www.guntalk.tv/site.php.
 

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Conventional wisdom is that you should start with a cheap gun to learn, and then upgrade to a more expensive, and presumably better gun.

I've been lucky, I started with a cheap gun, and then found that it is the best gun I could have, it fits me perfectly, feels great, always functions, and breaks the clays. I have no intention or need to upgrade. It is a Lanber 2088.
 

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Welcome Newbilly,
I can echo some of the other posts. I started with a used Remington 1100 and went to a level 1 instructors course shoot day where the new instructors were being trained to instruct new shooters. I was a guinea pig and was able to shoot as much as I could for a low cost with all the instruction I could stand until I was too tired to hold the gun up.
Seriously the instruction is worth it and starting with a starter gun (my son shoots the 1100 now) is a good idea. Once you have been bit by the bug hard you can upgrade to the expensive over/under, the glasses, vest, clays cart etc. <LOL> Beware this addiction!
 

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Well, thanks for the advice. I was planning to wait untill spring to buy a use 1100 or 11-87 and some lessons. However, My wife gave me an SPR 453 for Christmas. I've already shot a couple rounds and I'm loving it.

The "cheap" gun seems to be working for me, I can hit about 25 out of 50 out of the box. I'm having it fitted by a gunsmith I know from my Masonic lodge next week.

So far so good. I'll take lessons in January and keep shooting from there.

Thanks again
 

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I'd agree that an 1100 would be an excellent shotgun to begin with. If it feels good to you and fits resonably well it would be a good starting point.
What ever you decide put a good recoil pad on it. 1100's can be found used in excellent shape in the $375 -400 range.
 
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