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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have just recently taken up sporting clays and have been seeking advice on making a purchase of my first shotgun. I seem to get a different recommendation from everyone I discuss this matter with which has made the decision quite difficult and time consuming. Everyone says to shoot a variety of guns but I have never been in a position where there are a variety guns for me to use. I have had recommendations on Browning and Beretta - with Beretta being recommended the most. I have shot with a Benilli semi-automatic which I found to be nice but have been told it is not a "true" sporting clays gun. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated as I am in the process of introducing the sport to my sons.
 

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Welcome to Shotgunworld!

You don't need a "true" sporting clays gun to enjoy sporting clays. If you hunt also, then a 28" barrel field o/u or semi-auto will work. Do you have a budget in mind? Do you have a preference for an o/u or semi-auto?

Some will say an o/u is the dominant shotgun for sporting clays while others will tell you of top competitors shooting a semi-auto. So, it comes down to what you prefer.

If an o/u is what you want, then a Beretta or Browning is a good place to start. Most will recommend looking at 30 or 32 inch barrels for sporting clays. If semi-automatic, then a Beretta AL391 Urika Sporting 30" is a good starting shotgun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I can't say that I have a preference since I don't hunt and really haven't had enough experience other than listening to others that I have shot with - most of which use O-U. As far as my budget is concerned, I have come to the conclusion that I will need to spend aroung $2500 - $3500 to get something along the lines of what I have been exposed. With my body size, I have been told - and probably agree - that I need a 32 inch barrel.
 

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Well hope this helps. This opinion is not based of price, just something to think about.

A good light weigth O/U that you will see is the Perazzi. Many top shots use it. 34 inch barrels are what the top guys use like Mauldin or Cherry. They are also light weight, fast moving and well balanced.

A heavier gun like the Kreigoff is a great gun. It is a heavier, slower/smoother swinging gun. Guys like Kruger and McGuire are a few that use this gun.

Semi Auto's- These are well balanced and are popular among people who don't like the recoil, heavy guns or cannot afford the Kreigoff's and Perazzi's. Auto's are a main stay in the clay world. Top shooters like Martarese Jr., Tony Rivera, Cory Kruse, Scott Robertson and MANY others shoot autos.

It really depends on what you are looking for in a gun. Autos are great, don't cost as much as a car and work well. O/U's work great as you can use multiple chokes which you cannot do in Auto's. Because of this Auto shooters will compensate by using different loads which works well.

I personally shoot an Auto. I shoot a Benelli Supersport. It was a toss up between the ever popular Beretta 391 Techny's Gold and the SS. I picked the SS because of the weight, the way it swung and the slimness of the gun. I also picked it as it is not a gas gun and is easier to clean. The Beretta is a kick butt gun and is proven. I personally like to go against the grain. What I will tell you is that most bottom priced O/U's are at the 2k mark. Auto's are under this mark and will do the job perfectly and will allow you to buy a vest, bunch of ammo and some lessons. If money is no object and you like the O/U then rock it out.

Hope that was good info for you without straying you one way or another too bad. For sure pick as many guns up as you can and shoot them if you get the chance and pick. You will not be unhappy. MOST guns are good.

CR
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the suggestions. Interestingly enough, I am going to shoot this Friday and the owner of the facility was telling me that he had a Browning 525 w/adjustable comb for sale - $2800. I know the person that owns the gun (he shoots w/Beretta) and I am sure that it is probably in excellent shape. I don't know the age or number of rounds fired but did notice the MRSP was around $3200. So, my initial reaction was this might be a little high.
 

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Browning wise I'd suggest looking at their latest innovation and skipping the rest. The "Cynergy". It is every bit Browning as the man himself. I believe he would have been very proud of it. The way it fits, feels, swings, shoots for me is simply the best I'll ever get out of a box gun not built especially for me. I liked it so much I'm buying a sub-gauge version now. And I have no doubt a couple more Cynergy models may follow down the line. I implore you to give one a try. It generally brings nothing but smiles to peoples faces that have tried it...
 

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tennbigdog; croberts gave you a VERY good run down.

Im going to take it one step further. I have been down the road of many many guns :roll: When I 1st started out I was changing guns every 6 months it seems like and the truth is I wasted a bunch of time and $$$$$$.

I would suggest that you go out and buy yourself a semi, browning, beretta or benelli it really doesnt matter that much. All 3 are great guns, come with shims to help you get the fit close to right, come with multiple choke tubes etc. & your good to go.

I can promise you this, IF you enjoy the game and find yourself shooting alot you will develop a preference in guns. While you are out there shooting your semi auto you will be around folks that will welcome you to try out there guns.

After some time and experience should you find yourself wanting to change guns the semi autos are easy to re-sale without taking a huge hit. However, you may find that you already have all the gun you need.

The most important thing you can do in this sport is shoot and then shoot some more. Find you a shooting buddy, preferably someone with experience and feed off there knowledge. And what ever you do keep it FUN :D

RTA48
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I must admit that I have enjoyed shooting the semi Benilli that the owner of the facility has loaned me a few times. But, I really don't have anything to compare it to since I haven't shot other guns. Although, I hope to use the Browning Citori 525 w/adjustable comb this Friday. I am certainly familiar with the prestige and quality associated with the Perazzi and K-80 but I just don't want to spend that kind of money because I don't envision I will be shooting often enough to justify such an investment.
 

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croberts and rta48 have nailed it perfectly. Take their advice.

If you do decide to stay with the game there's no doubt you'll feel the urge to experiment as time goes along. By all means, do so. That's part of the enjoyment, and frustration sometimes, of the game. But never lose sight of the fact that you should shoot whatever you shoot the best with, whether it costs 1,000 or 10,000 $$. The most important question to be resolved is what works best for you!

KK
 

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First gun?

I'd drop $1000 on a nice semi, and spend about another $500 on ammo, range fees and gear.

If your kids decide this is something for them, you have money left over to buy another good quality gun as well.

I'm a huge over/under fan, but I'm always an advocate of shooting more rather than buying a nicer gun.

Besides, at $1000 you can find plenty of new and used semi autos that will last you a lifetime.
 

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Personally coming from shooting autos exclusivly for almost 2 decades I would have never guessed the whole new level what an o/u has allowed me to achieve. I'll never go back to an auto for sporting clays.
 

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tennbigdog - Welcome to shotguns and shotgunning. Lots of sage advice above, and elsewhere as well in other Shotgun World Forums. If you have the opportunity, my suggestion would be to go to school before you commit to spending substantial money on a gun. Best would be an instructor who is also a gun fitter - something like the Orvis Shooting School at Sandanona, or the Holland & Holland Shooting Ground outside of London, and there are many, many others which are also excellent. Instead of reinventing the wheel (which entails making all the mistakes we inevitably do when trying to teach ourselves) why not stand on the shoulders of giants instead. Just my $.02. Shoot Safe, SidelockSxS
 

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tennbigdog said:
I have just recently taken up sporting clays and have been seeking advice on making a purchase of my first shotgun. I seem to get a different recommendation from everyone I discuss this matter with which has made the decision quite difficult and time consuming. Everyone says to shoot a variety of guns but I have never been in a position where there are a variety guns for me to use. I have had recommendations on Browning and Beretta - with Beretta being recommended the most. I have shot with a Benilli semi-automatic which I found to be nice but have been told it is not a "true" sporting clays gun. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated as I am in the process of introducing the sport to my sons.
I would buy a 12 gauge sporting clay grade autoloader from insert the name of your favorite brand gun here . It will be a much better gun than the over-priced garbage insert the name of your least favorite gun brand here dumps on the market these days.

Seriously, I'd keep the budget under $1000, since you may want to change guns after a few months anyway, as your tastes develop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
SidelockSxS said:
tennbigdog - Welcome to shotguns and shotgunning. Lots of sage advice above, and elsewhere as well in other Shotgun World Forums. If you have the opportunity, my suggestion would be to go to school before you commit to spending substantial money on a gun. Best would be an instructor who is also a gun fitter - something like the Orvis Shooting School at Sandanona, or the Holland & Holland Shooting Ground outside of London, and there are many, many others which are also excellent. Instead of reinventing the wheel (which entails making all the mistakes we inevitably do when trying to teach ourselves) why not stand on the shoulders of giants instead. Just my $.02. Shoot Safe, SidelockSxS
I appreciate your suggestion but I have a couple of questions: (a) Do you think these schools will be inclined to recommend their guns - i.e. Orvis sells CG under their own name?
(b) Are their other schools that would be as good are almost as good that are located closer to my home - i.e. Orvis' Barnlsley Garden Resort in Georgia?
 

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Many opinions here many good ideas. First I recommend a good 12 gauge. If you like autoloaders I would suggest a Beretta 390 or 391, or a Remington 1100, 11-87 or the new competition.

If you think and O/U is in your future I recommend a Browning XS Special low rib model (that is what I shoot). I like the adjustible comb, semi beavertail forearm and I added a gracoil unit. I can also recommend a Beretta, The Caesar Gurenni is nice and although I have never shot one I would look into that also. For the price it is real hard to beat the affordable reliability of a Browning.

I started shooting an auto loader and switched to an O/U I really like the extra weight out front and two barrels with less moving parts than an auto.

Edit: the gun also has to fit properly. I would suggest Rollin Oswald's book on Stock Fitting secrets. It may help save you money in the long run, from buying and selling the wrong guns and possibly taking a loss.
 

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You can get a quailty used O/U from Browning or Beretta for around $1000. That's where I would start. Do you have anything going on May 16-18, 2008?

http://www.ospschool.com/
 

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tennbigdog - a) would a school tend to recommend their own gun - possibly, but what you are looking for to start is not so much a gun as establishing the fundamentals of a good mount, and getting measured so that whatever gun you eventually choose to buy, you will know you are getting a gun that fits, which is essential. b) is there a school near your home which can both instruct and professionally measure you - I cannot say, but why not pose the question here or on the General Forum and see what comes up. There is a lot of talent out there, and it is definitely worth seeking it out. When I was getting started, I had fittings at more than a few schools, just to see how much their results varied. Most came within 1/8th of an inch across the board, which is a great place to start. All used a try-gun to arrive at their recommendations. If there is an Orvis-endorsed school near you, I would not hesitate to give them a call and see what they have to offer. Hope this helps, SidelockSxS
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
SidelockSxS said:
tennbigdog - a) would a school tend to recommend their own gun - possibly, but what you are looking for to start is not so much a gun as establishing the fundamentals of a good mount, and getting measured so that whatever gun you eventually choose to buy, you will know you are getting a gun that fits, which is essential. b) is there a school near your home which can both instruct and professionally measure you - I cannot say, but why not pose the question here or on the General Forum and see what comes up. There is a lot of talent out there, and it is definitely worth seeking it out. When I was getting started, I had fittings at more than a few schools, just to see how much their results varied. Most came within 1/8th of an inch across the board, which is a great place to start. All used a try-gun to arrive at their recommendations. If there is an Orvis-endorsed school near you, I would not hesitate to give them a call and see what they have to offer. Hope this helps, SidelockSxS
Thanks. I appreciate your recommendations and suggestions. I feel as though I may be too impatient. I am eager to own a gun and shoot. But, at the same time I want a gun and scores
of which I can be proud.
 

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tennbigdog said:
SidelockSxS said:
tennbigdog - a) would a school tend to recommend their own gun - possibly, but what you are looking for to start is not so much a gun as establishing the fundamentals of a good mount, and getting measured so that whatever gun you eventually choose to buy, you will know you are getting a gun that fits, which is essential. b) is there a school near your home which can both instruct and professionally measure you - I cannot say, but why not pose the question here or on the General Forum and see what comes up. There is a lot of talent out there, and it is definitely worth seeking it out. When I was getting started, I had fittings at more than a few schools, just to see how much their results varied. Most came within 1/8th of an inch across the board, which is a great place to start. All used a try-gun to arrive at their recommendations. If there is an Orvis-endorsed school near you, I would not hesitate to give them a call and see what they have to offer. Hope this helps, SidelockSxS
Thanks. I appreciate your recommendations and suggestions. I feel as though I may be too impatient. I am eager to own a gun and shoot. But, at the same time I want a gun and scores
of which I can be proud.
Just get a nice quality O/U that fits you fairly well for now and get out and grind up some clay! It's about having fun! You need to shoot and be around other shooters to get a feel on which gun you want to end up with. Your first gun won't be your last.
 
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