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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,
This is my first post-- so go easy on me!
I am very new to the shotgun world in general-- I've shot skeet a few times and shot trap once. It probably is no surprise to anyone here that I am now totally hooked! The vast majority of gun clubs in my area (and price range) primarily offer trap and sporting clays; however, if forced to pick a favorite, I'd say I prefer skeet (I've never shot SC). I do not yet belong to any clubs, so I don't have the option of trying out different types to see what I like. My question is, should I be looking for a trap gun, as it appears that is what I will shooting most often? Is there a gun that won't handicap me in trap and can still shoot flat enough for skeet?

Just in case this question wasn't challenging enough, my budget is under $700. I know I am looking for a 12 ga, andI have looked at a couple new guns (not confident enough to tell if a used gun is "solid"), a Remington semi and a Mossberg O/U (Silver Reserve). I know the SR hasn't gotten the best reviews here, but it seemed to shoulder nicely. I love the look and feel of O/Us, but I don't want to be "that guy" who buys a gun because it looks cool. Beyond that I'm pretty much open to suggestion.

Thanks for your help!
 

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Real simple.....the Beretta 3901. I have had one 10+ yrs and mine has a synthetic stock. They now have them w/ nicer wood stocks. I'd go w/ 28 inch barrels. This gun is a hybrid of the older 390's and the newer 391's.

Sometimes you can find a 390 at Wal-Mart for that price range. That's a top gun , too.

I have shot every clay game , plus ducks, geese , snipe and doves w/ mine. It's been dropped in the bottom of our duck pond twice (I'm clumsy) and once it's dried and re-oiled it runs perfectly.
 

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If you've got $700 to spend, you can move well beyond the entry level O/U's, such as the Mossberg SR you mentioned. In that price range you have a lot more guns of higher quality to choose from.

If you want to buy a new gun to shoot both trap and skeet with, I suggest you consider going with a semi auto or an O/U, with a 28" barrel and removable chokes.

When it comes to semis, you can generally find new Remingtons, Mossbergs, and Stoegers in your price range. All seem to have a good reputation among their owners. Some folks will beat me up for mentioning the "S" word, but the Stoeger semis seem to be pretty decent guns.

When it comes to O/U's your choices for new, better than entry level, guns is pretty much limited to CZ/Huglu (around $800), Lanber $700), and Yildiz ($500). These guns are also popular with their owners and are designed for recreational shooting and hunting use.

If are willing to sacrifice new in favor of high quality, you may be able to find a good used Browning, Beretta, Weatherby, Miroku, SKB, or Ruger in your price range. These guns all have excellent reputations, can hold up to the rigors of competitive shooting, and hold their value well.

Good luck with your search!
 

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All the clay games are fun! Most guns can be used for all of them and hunting. For semi-auto I would consider an 1100 with a 28" barrel. Very reliable and soft shooting. There are some decent deals on o/u's out there. Try shooting a bunch of different guns, most guys at a range won't hesitate to let you shoot them and give advice about that specific model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the advice! As I live in the great state of Illinois, where a FOID card takes many weeks to arrive, I'm limited to looking at sporting/gun shops. I will absolutely look into the 1100 as well as the plethora of brands Grizzly mentioned. Also, what should I be looking for in a used gun? I would love to get a quality O/U, but I have no way of telling if a gun hasn't been cared for properly. I don't have an "in" at any gun shops, so I've been concerned with being taken advantage of.

Stripersonafly- As soon as I get out to a club, I'll give sporting clays a try...I've heard it's fun but very humbling!
 

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The post below is one of the better summaries of what to look for in used O/U's:

phideaux_2003 said:
Not knowing what your budget is going to be, I'd look into the SKB's, or used Citori's. There are LOTS of them out there and they're such solidly built guns that even a fairly well used one will still be a good buy at $600-800.

What you're gonna look for in a good deal is making sure the action is still very tight when closed. It should not have any movement at ALL when closed. Like a vault. With the Brownings, this shouldn't be a problem. The SKB's or Berettas either. Some others might be an issue.

When the action is closed, you'll want to look at the top lever, (the lever on top of the action that when pressed to the right, releases the action to hinge open.) When the action is closed, this lever should be either dead center, or just slightly to the right. What this tells you is that the action hasn't been warn or overly loosened. When an action get loose (internally) that lever is usually a good indicator.

You'll want to make sure the safety works. CAUTION!!!! Do this with snap caps and do it as safely as possible!!!!!! It's a little different checking the safety with a Semi-auto... You can never really be sure that crazy machine is empty! But with sxs's and o/u's, you can at least visually inspect the barrel and chamber. Since you can be more sure of the safety with a break action gun, people sometimes get complacent with safety. So please be just as safe as you would with any gun! (Not saying you'd shirk safety, just a word of caution about double guns.)

You'll want to check the hinge works and the tightness of the hinge. If the gun flops open, you may want to pass on that one. It's possible that it is shot loose. Not necessarily, but you'll want to check it real well.

Check wood to metal fit. Swelling, chips, cracks near the joints, and any odd discoloration are bad signs. Dents and dings are cosmetic, so if it doesn't bother you, go for it.

Make sure the barrels are in good shape. No dents, dings, bulges or pitting. Also if you're looking at an older gun, you'll want to check the chambers for length. If you want to shoot 3" shells, some guns were only made with 2.75" chambers.

Also chokes... If you're going to be shooting steel shot, you don't want a full choke. Most fairly modern guns have screw chokes but if the gun is older, it'll be fixed. I personally prefer fixed choke guns, but that's an argument we've rehashed on SGW a thousand times. (It's still a good debate though!)

Those things should put you into a decent over and under for a fair price. Once you learn to like them, and really decide which model and make you really like, post on here again and get some opinions. Then we'll help you find a deal on one!

Nick
Source: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=193637&start=0
 

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With a $700 budget, I think sera has the right tool for you. The 3901 is a very good gun. It can be used for every sport though it may not be the best at any of them.

Steer clear of the O/U market for the moment. I know those cheap O/Us you see in the big box stores are tempting, but they will just put you $700 further from your goal of a nice gun. Unless you find a killer deal on a used Browning, stick to the Auto Loaders like the 3901 or 1100.
 

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Go to CDNN. you can locate it by just putting it in google. Download their latest PDF which is 2011-1

Locate the Lanber 2097 12 Gauge Sporting. Buy the 28". It will work equally well for skeet and trap and even sporting clays. Mind you it is an entry level gun but a good solid one and versatile enough to get you started. I've shot it and my son has used one for years. Price is $599.99 discounted.
 

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Don't understand why he is being steered to a "new" gun when for the same money, he could own a higher quality "used" gun.

Skeet is a great game to learn leads and the "tank turret" sustained lead method. However, if you shoot sporting, you will have to "unlearn" the "tank turret" move. Trap is a good game in learning how to "rifle shoot" with a shotgun. It will teach you how to shoot quartering/rising targets with a high gun mount.

You will migrate to sporting (much better game than trap or skeet) and will have to blend what you learned in trap/skeet and add new "moves" to the mix.

Regarding guns: Stay away from "new" lower rung guns. You are better off with a used higher quality gun. Buy a semiauto! It will recoil less and you will be able to afford to shoot more (you will be able to shoot the cheaper ammo). A Beretta 303 with 28" Mobilchoke barrels is a great starting gun. A field and or skeet stock will be better for sporting (you can always put moleskin to add comb height). A trap stock may be too high (removing wood destroys the value of your gun).

If you like Berettas (good resale value) go for a 303, 390 or 391 in a used gun. Stay away from the low brand name recognition stuff-you will have a heck of a time on re-sale.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you for the advice, everyone! This is all really helpful, and I appreciate you answering the "newbie questions" that must pop up frequently. I know the last thing everyone wants is sub-$600 O/U question, so take validation in the fact that I have taken the Mossy SR off my list.

I've now seen a couple 3901s as well as 1187s, and the one thing I'm not certain about is the 1187's lack of extended chokes...is this an issue?

I love the "how to" used gun advice, Jokus.
 

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feckusblvd said:
Thank you for the advice, everyone! This is all really helpful, and I appreciate you answering the "newbie questions" that must pop up frequently. I know the last thing everyone wants is sub-$600 O/U question, so take validation in the fact that I have taken the Mossy SR off my list.

I've now seen a couple 3901s as well as 1187s, and the one thing I'm not certain about is the 1187's lack of extended chokes...is this an issue?

I love the "how to" used gun advice, Jokus.
Remington has plenty of extended chokes for the 11-87. There are also plenty of after market companies that make them as well.
 

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shogan191,

I see them at CDNN and locally, I have handled one. A good value but, not in the same league as a 303 (I admit I have never shot the Lanber semi but, given resale considerations, I believe a Beretta is the way to go -remember, he WILL be outgrowing his first gun and offering it for re-sale.)

By the way, you have an avatar picture of a MOST HANDSOME ESSFT....my 12 year old passed on and we will be looking for a top breeder/puppy.....know anyone? Any good breeders in Florida?
 

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Fec: You can get aftermarket extended chokes for the Remington.

But who needs 'em. Most chokes are so similar that you get nothing special w/ the aftermarket ones....and you end up blowing money that you could use on shells and targets.
 
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