Couple questions about picking a good O/U

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  • Chris387

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    Mar 21, 2012
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    I've been shooting skeet with a pump shotgun for a few years and I'm now looking to buy a good O/U that would be good for skeet and sporting clays, but don't know what to look for.

    I have a budget of around 2.5k max so what would be the advantages of going with a Browning or Beretta in that price range verses a slightly cheaper Franchi?
    What about barrel length and adjustable comb stock verses fixed stock?
     

    thunderchicken

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    If you have the money for a Browning or Beretta don't even think about anything less.
    IMHO one of the best options out there right now is the Browning CX. It's designed as a crossover type gun that is designed to be good for trap/skeet and sporting clays. Barrel length for most clays guns is 30-32". Some like a tad shorter at 28" for skeet but I find the 30 to balance well. 12g is king in clays games just vary the load to what you are shooting and how soft you want it to be.
    One thing is absolutely important with a target shotgun and that's gun fit. An adjustable comb help with fit, but can also be used to change the point of impact should you desire a higher patterning gun or flatter shooting gun. An adjustable butt plate will allow you to correct any issue with canting the gun should you need it. Those are both able to be done after the fact at a reasonable price should you later decide to do it.
    If you plan to have a gun that will last and hold value buy a Browning or Beretta.
     
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    wildcatfan.62

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    Good advice from Thunderchicken. I'd also say don't be afraid of a field grade gun from Browning or Beretta. I've favored a Browning Citori for sporting clays, trap, skeet and bird hunting. Don't overlook used in those families. Sometimes it falls back to the Carpenter and not the hammer.

    Browning has a thicker frame lockup than Beretta I think. Either way Browning or Beretta get whichever fits better.

    Jacqua's Fine Guns in Findlay, Ohio usual has a good selection of new and used shotguns. It's worth the trip just to ogle a $28K Perazzi.

    Good luck and welcome to the sickness. Reloading may be next....


     

    DocIndy

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    In your situation, your best bet is a trip to Indiana Gun Club in Fortville/fishers. They have lots of inventory and you can coon finger all kinds of options. They will help guide you and might have something used well within your budget. I go to see what goodies are in the pistol cases from Wilson Combat and Les Baer.
     

    Max Volume

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    The most important thing about a shotgun is fit. Do your eyes automatically line up with the rib/barrel when you quickly shoulder it without squirming to get into the proper alignment?
     

    thunderchicken

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    I shot field grade guns to break clays for years. They will certainly do the job if you do your part.
    However, most field grade guns won't hold up to the volume of rounds that a target grade gun will. That's especially true with lower cost guns, so again if you can afford a Browning or Beretta go with one of those.
    Here's something to keep in mind too regarding different gun types...
    Filed grade guns tend to be flat shooting and usually are designed to have a 50/50 pattern. They are designed to actually cover the target more as you swing through with the shot. That also works pretty darn good for skeet since the targets fly in the same path every time and the target distances aren't very far away.
    Sporting Clays guns tend to be a slightly higher patterning gun closer to 60/40 so you can see more of the target and it can almost look like the target is floating above the end of the barrel. But, you don't want the pattern too high because of the wide variety of target presentations and shot distances.
    Trap guns tend to mostly be anywhere from 70/30 - 100% high patterning. Although some do shoot flatter patterning guns (I shoot 60/40). The biggest reason is in trap, you want to shoot the target while it's still rising so a higher pattern allows you to see the target and shoot above it. Shot distances when you are standing on the 16yd line tend to be @ 40-45 yds by the time you break the target and can be much longer shots if you ever try shooting from the 27yd line (a skill I'm not strong at).

    I see a lot of serious trap shooters that have stocks with a parallel comb (no drop, parallel to the barrel) to have a more heads up position on the stock and a more upright shooting stance. Skeet and most sporting guns tend to have some drop at the comb. Field grade guns often have a little more drop at the comb than a target grade gun. So again it comes back to fit and you as an individual.

    Can't stress gun fit enough. And yes that's where an adjustable stock can make almost any gun fit you pretty darn well. Once you get it where it fits you well leave it alone unless you gain or lose a lot of weight. But isn't necessary to start out.
    In any case always focus on the target. Don't look at the bead, it's only there for reference
     

    bgcatty

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    With the OP’s budget, gotta go Browning or Beretta. Period!
     
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