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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:!: I have been a "backyard" skeet shooter for the past 25 years, as well as an avid duck hunter but never have gotten into the formal sport of "sporting Clays" I am getting a hankering to do so and although I own may shotguns, the research that I have been doing is pointing me toward a fairly heavy, in hunting terms that is, gun in 12 Ga., with either a 30 or 32 inch barrel. I really like O/U guns, so I have been looking into a 12 gauge, probably Beretta, O/U, with a 30" barrel. I have sort of narrowed it down to either a white onyx sporting with 30 " barrels, or a silver pigeon II sporting, same barrels. I have chosen these two for a couple of reasons. First being I like the beretta's in general, I think the guns I have choosen are low priced for a quality gun, and if I do not stick with it would probably hold some resale value. First, am I on the corrrect track, and if so, which gun should I consider buying? Thanks for some anticipated expert advise.
 

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Yes, I'd say you are on the right track. Buy whichever one turns you on the most. Personally I like target guns with a bit more weight to them, so I would suggest you buy whichever is heavier.
 

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If you are looking to buy your first sporting gun that will be the one you will have for ever..... I went through about 5 before I setteled into the one "I" like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have given up on the "forever" claim on guns, even my wife won't buy that line now!! I guess if I like the sport, I may or may not "grow out" of either one of these guns. Which gun did you settle on??
 

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I own both. Both are mechanically the same gun, I shoot the spII more just because it is nicer looking. Neither one has ever had a mechanical issue in the 10,000 rounds or so each one has through it. Good luck with your decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
:!: Additional question---could I also consider a 20 ga gun? Is the 20 ga popular in sporting clays and are you at a disadvantage with one comparted to a 12?
 

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My experience:
20 ga will be at a disadvantage on most Sporting Clay courses, however.............
They can be a lot of fun at times also.
If you like a challange and can take a ribbing, shoot a 20.
If you like to hit more clays than you miss you may want to go with the bigger bore.
Just MHO.
It's all fun!!

B.
 

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Don't rush into your purchase - make a few shoots and pick the brains of the better shooters in your area. If possible, shoot a few different guns first as well. It's very hard to make an informed decision based on what the marketing departments put out. With a little luck you may come across something that really reaches out to you.
 

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You mentioned resale value... If you are concerned much about resale value you should go with a 32" gun. You would probably be better off with a 32" gun anyway, especially in an Italian sporter.

Personally, I don't care for the looks of the SPII and I would go with the WOS if I had to choose between the two you mentioned. If I was going to buy a gun in the price range you are looking at I would consider a used Guerini or a Verona LX980 (Zoli made). I do like Beretta's, I actually shoot a 32" DT-10 for sporting, but I wouldn't buy a WOS or SPII for a dedicated sporting gun because they just don't feel as solid to me as the others I mentioned. That said, I am sure either one would be fine, I just think you might get more satisfaction and milage out of a Guerini or Zoli made gun.

Welcome to the addiction!!!!
 

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Either of the guns you have mentioned would be a fine choice. You may want to look at 32" barrels however. They may swing a bit better for the clays games (smooth out your swing).
 

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My 2 cents, Don't make your 1st gun your forever gun, because your style shooting may change or something new and better will surely come along and you'll wish you had not spent the big money on your first gun.
I too started as a beretta fan, and still am, but I love my browning 525, and hate my browning golden clays.
It's not the brand as much as the right feel for you.
And for the 20 ga. question. I asked the top sporting clays shooter in his class, about using a 20 ga. He said simply, "Why would you want to handicap yourself with less lead?"
Keep it simple!
Goodluck
 

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I second the Verona 980. You are getting a $5000 Zoli for around 2,500. But as others have stated, fit and feel is important. You want a heavier gun to help with swing feel and to reduce the recoil of 100 rounds of 12 gauge on your shoulder per round. Stay with a 12 gauge. It throws more material, so you have a better chance of hitting something.

My final advice as with any o/u, is to pattern both barrels of your gun once you get it against each other. An old gunsmith once pointed out to me that some guns (Beretta's especially) can shoot "cross eyed". This means that when the barrels were attached they were slightly off center. One barrel may shoot substantially left or right. As you can imagine hitting something gets even harder when one barrel patterns a foot more off from the other. Fixing this problem is nasty as it requires that your barrels be separated and realigned by someone that is hard to find. The barrels have to be separated and reattached, and your $3000 gun just became a $4000 gun. Since most people either never pattern their guns or don't pattern both barrels against each other, they often never know that their gun has this problem. The get frustrated and often trade in the gun.

This is one advantage a single barreled semi-auto has of a o/u or sxs; you never have to worry about it. Plus with a semi your recoil can be lighter as well.

Welcome aboard.
 

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Be careful when buying the Verona. I had one and after 4 times of trying to get the triggers fixed, it was returned to the store I bought it from.. I do believe they are out of business, so there may not be parts for that particular gun in the US.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
:D Everyone, thanks for all the advise. This past weekend I was in Maine and visited LLBeans in Freeport. They had a used Beretta 682 Gold E Sporting with 32" Barrels. I fell in love with the gun. Fits met perfect, and seemed "alive" in my hands. Price was very high, $3650,but thats Beans for you. Next I went to Kittery Trading Post in Kittery Maine, a large local sporting goods store with many guns to look over. They had a 682 Gold E used with 30" for $3000, and a NIB for $3650. Then just by luck I found one with 30", shot 50 rounds, so ANIB complete with everything for $2500. Needless to say I just tonight committed to the gun and will be getting it next week. I will report on how I like it..........
 

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Nice choice! I meant to suggest the 682 as well as the others I mentioned, but but forgot to do so in my first response to your post. You will soon be the owner of a serious competition shotgun, congrats!
 

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I bought a nice old Parker at the Kittery Trading Post about 6 years ago when I was on a road trip to Maine from Florida. I hope you get as much satisfaction from your Beretta as I have from that Parker. The Berettas are great guns. I own several of them.
 
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