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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm a handgun shooter delving into trap and skeet for the first time.

I know that the most important thing about the shotgun is how well is fits your body. But it also seems that almost everything about the fit can be customized.

Here's my question... I'm going to take a trap class this weekend and that will be my first time shooting any kind of clay targets. If I get a kick out of it (and I can't imagine I won't) I'll be in the market for a new sporting gun.

When I start shopping around looking at different makes and models, it seems to me I should be checking for overall fit, but especially for things that cannot be altered.

So for example, if I like everything about Gun X except the LOP, it may still be a smart buy because the LOP is something that can be customized.

But what are the things about shotgun fit that are impossible (or very difficult) to change?

Sorry if this is a realy novicey question - but I want to be pretty well armed with information for my first purchase.

thanks
 

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This is interesting. The reason I find this to be a difficult question is the answer is simple. Your right anything on a shotgun can be custom. Even the action can be modified.
The real question is how much money you want to put into custom work. You can take a $200 gun and spend $1000 making it just right or you can take a $1000 gun and spend $200. Heck you could take the $200 gun and spend $50 on a new pad and that might do it.

Buy the gun for features and customized to fit.

I bought a gun for my wife, she is small but wanted a 12ga auto. Recoil, ease of use and fit were the factors. I knew fit could be changed so I found the gun based on features and paid $60 to get some stock work done and $50 on a new pad. I found the gun she wanted and had it setup for her.
Fitting the LOP is cheap, raising a rib is a bit more, barrel work is expencive. Altering features is really expencive. Lets say you find an O/U that fits well but it has extractors and you want ejectors, you can have them put in for about twice the price of the gun! See why I say buy based on features and modify for fit?
Look at what you like on the gun and find out what it would cost to "fix" the things you don't like. Most places that sell guns have a smith they work with or even have one onsite.
 

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Altering a stock (length or comb height) is no big deal. There are even adjsutable pads that offer you some adjustment to the angle and height of the pad. Some guns offer adjustable triggers for length of pull or different style triggers (Browning). After that like GordonSetter says the cost to modify the gun goes way up. Trap guns can be highly specialized. High ribs long barrels high combs on the stock. They also will shoot high to compensate for a rising target. Like hand guns it's all up to how much are you willing to spend. You can by a 1911 clone for $300 or a full boat custom IPSC rigg for $2500. Same with a Trap gun. Starting out any good shotgun with a longer barrel (28 inch or longer) with a vent rib and a modified or full choke will do at 16 yard trap, after that the sky is the limit. If you get reall serious you will most likely buy a "trap gun" for just shooting trap with lots of bells and whistles.

Try trap and remember that if you get real serious about it you will most likely want a "trap gun" for that game that is not mch good for most other shotgun sports.

Good luck and have fun

APEXDUCK
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Great feedback, guys! Thanks...

I'm wondering... can I really go wrong with a Beretta 391 Urika as my first sporting gun?
 

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As far a quality it is a great gun.
That said you need to look at the fit and how it feels. I don't care what anyone says about the very best way to hold a gun and where every inch of your body and the gun needs to be, it all comes down to feel. If the gun feels good and you have a good site picture then go for it.
 

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My son and I shoot trap and skeet with a Beretta 391 Urika synthetic,(I like the look of a black gun), 28". I put the thinner pad on the end of the stock, ...just felt better, as far as length of pull goes.
Now, we have no problems with it, we hit about as many targets as the rest on the "5 stand". It is a great gun, low recoil, reliable,the problem we have encountered most, is the other shooters on the line.
We don't enter tournaments, or shoot competition, we just go out for fun. I wish some of the "pro??" shooters would respect that.
Where we shoot, they use o/u's and s/s's, and when we show up with the Beretta 391, we get the frowns about the shells ejecting from the auto.---
I've stood next to autos on the line and, "sometimes", get hit with an ejected shell, but heck, it is all part of the fun, I thought.
I thought I would post about the Beretta. I think it is a great gun. The gas mechanism does take a little time to clean, but, it breaks down, and goes back together quickly, and you can run a ton of shells through it before you have to clean the gas mech. After a day at the range, I just run a bore snake through it, till barrel is clean,check to make sure the choke is tight, oil it and we are good to go next time.
Good luck on your gun choice!
 

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One of the things that cannot be adjusted too much on a gun is the weight.

The other thing that would be hard is to add a second barrel to a gun.

You don't say anything about your physique, but there is not a lot that can be done to reduce the weight of a gun.

A person with little upper body strength will struggle with a gun that is too heavy for them. They can gain strength by exercising, but there is a limit in what you can do in weight reduction OR WOULD WANT TOO. Bear in mind if you shoot a light gun it will pass on the recoil more, better to get a gun in a gauge and weight suited to you.

Now, given you are looking at the 391, its a great single barrel and will give good and long service. For Trap and Skeet single tubes are not an issue. If you go to Sporting Clays in time, you may eventualy feel the need for two chokes, and hence go for an OU. But there are plenty of prizes won at all levels with single barrel guns.

Roger
 

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I have to disagree with the not adjusting the weight thing.

To make a gun lighter:
1) Hollow the wooded stock a bit
2) Install synthetic stock
3) back bore and lengthen the forcing cone
4) lighter after market parts (870 has Aluminum rails)

To add heft:
1) Recoil reducers
2) Put shot in the stock
3) Add a boss/polychoke/extended chokes
4) Get a heavier wood stock

These are just some of the ideas that popped into my head. I'm sure there are other ways to get these jubs done.
 
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