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Im looking to maybe pick up a shotgun for shooting clays. I'd like a place to start. Talking to a few guys at the range they said semi auto or over under. I have a few questions,

Do all shotguns take those short shells? 

Ammo would be 7# to 8.5 # correct? 

What shotguns should i look at? Budget for gun would be around 700. 

Can all shotguns shoot slugs as well as birdshot with no problem?

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I am a novice at clay shooting, and not a very good one at that, lol. But I will try to answer at least part of your post. If by “short shells” you are referring to, for example, Aquila Mini-Shells(1.5 inches in length I think), I doubt they will cycle properly in a semi-auto. They will cycle in a pump action especially with the use of the Opsol rubber adapter. I shot 20 mini-shell slugs thru my Mossberg 590 yesterday. 
 

 

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36 minutes ago, Cheflife15 said:

Im looking to maybe pick up a shotgun for shooting clays. I'd like a place to start. Talking to a few guys at the range they said semi auto or over under. I have a few questions,

Do all shotguns take those short shells? 

Ammo would be 7# to 8.5 # correct? 

What shotguns should i look at? Budget for gun would be around 700. 

Can all shotguns shoot slugs as well as birdshot with no problem?

Come on out to one of the clay shoots we have at Clinton WMA.  I haven't called any lately as I've had a couple health issues but now that things are warming up again, we'll start putting dates out there soon.  

You can bust clays with pretty much any shotgun, but it will be a lot easier to do with the proper equipment.  A home defense shotgun with an 18.5" barrel or say a Mossberg Shockwave can bust clays... but it's a lot more difficult and only at a closer distance.  A shotgun with a 28" barrel will be able to hit out to 40-50 yards... even further if you have the proper chokes.

What are you looking for in a shotgun?  For clays, we normally use #7, 7.5, 8, and 9 shot...  The lower the number, the larger the shot.  #7 shot will generally have a little more breaking power at longer distances compared to #9 shot... but it's fairly negligible when you're shooting clays.

The Aguila mini shells or whatever can be fired out of most shotguns, however, they will not properly cycle in semi autos, and pumps will only run them if there's a short shell adapter.  Out of a break action (O/U or SxS) they will work fine.

There are also different types of shotgun slugs.  You can shoot Foster and Brenneke slugs (Rifled slugs) through a smoothbore barrel (as long as you don't have a tight choke installed).  For Sabot slugs, you would need a rifled barrel for your shotgun.  I mean, technically you could shoot a sabot slug through a smoothbore barrel, but there would be not stability to it and it'd just be a waste of money.

Unfortunately with supply/demand being what it is right now, there's not many options out there right now, and not at the $700 price point.  I see mostly cheaper models, defense models, and "AR type" shotguns out there right now.  Note that Pump and Break action shotguns will have heavier recoil than a semi auto - the semi auto action will take out some of the recoil.  There's also 2 types of semi autos - gas operated and inertia operated.  They have a different "feel" when shooting as well.

Best thing to do is to try out as many shotguns as possible :)

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14 minutes ago, Krdshrk said:

Come on out to one of the clay shoots we have at Clinton WMA.  I haven't called any lately as I've had a couple health issues but now that things are warming up again, we'll start putting dates out there soon.  

You can bust clays with pretty much any shotgun, but it will be a lot easier to do with the proper equipment.  A home defense shotgun with an 18.5" barrel or say a Mossberg Shockwave can bust clays... but it's a lot more difficult and only at a closer distance.  A shotgun with a 28" barrel will be able to hit out to 40-50 yards... even further if you have the proper chokes.

What are you looking for in a shotgun?  For clays, we normally use #7, 7.5, 8, and 9 shot...  The lower the number, the larger the shot.  #7 shot will generally have a little more breaking power at longer distances compared to #9 shot... but it's fairly negligible when you're shooting clays.

The Aguila mini shells or whatever can be fired out of most shotguns, however, they will not properly cycle in semi autos, and pumps will only run them if there's a short shell adapter.  Out of a break action (O/U or SxS) they will work fine.

There are also different types of shotgun slugs.  You can shoot Foster and Brenneke slugs (Rifled slugs) through a smoothbore barrel (as long as you don't have a tight choke installed).  For Sabot slugs, you would need a rifled barrel for your shotgun.  I mean, technically you could shoot a sabot slug through a smoothbore barrel, but there would be not stability to it and it'd just be a waste of money.

Unfortunately with supply/demand being what it is right now, there's not many options out there right now, and not at the $700 price point.  I see mostly cheaper models, defense models, and "AR type" shotguns out there right now.  Note that Pump and Break action shotguns will have heavier recoil than a semi auto - the semi auto action will take out some of the recoil.  There's also 2 types of semi autos - gas operated and inertia operated.  They have a different "feel" when shooting as well.

Best thing to do is to try out as many shotguns as possible :)

Lots to learn I see! Yeah ill be keeping an eye out for the next shotgun meet up. I may have to hold off until purchasing until prices (hopefully) get back to something normal again. 

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14 minutes ago, Cheflife15 said:

Lots to learn I see! Yeah ill be keeping an eye out for the next shotgun meet up. I may have to hold off until purchasing until prices (hopefully) get back to something normal again. 

I just did a little searching and there are some guns out there at somewhat decent prices.  I saw a CZ 1012 (inertia) 12ga for $680 and a Mossberg 930 for $650 - but that's still over budget if you figure in Tax + Shipping + Transfer + NICS.

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12 minutes ago, Krdshrk said:

I just did a little searching and there are some guns out there at somewhat decent prices.  I saw a CZ 1012 (inertia) 12ga for $680 and a Mossberg 930 for $650 - but that's still over budget if you figure in Tax + Shipping + Transfer + NICS.

Im a bit of a cz fanboy so I wouldnt mind going a little over. Ill check out some reviews and YouTube videos on that after work today!

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43 minutes ago, Cheflife15 said:

Im a bit of a cz fanboy so I wouldnt mind going a little over. Ill check out some reviews and YouTube videos on that after work today!

@Displaced Texan loves his CZ, even though he implies it gets around like a female with loose morals sometimes. 

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Been clay shooting about 2-3. 

I have a weatherby Orion sporting O/U that I paid about $850, never had a issue with it, Shoots with almost no recoil, some members might have shout it at one of the Clinton clay outings. 

Also a Beretta A300 outlander semi, for about 700, also a fantastic shooter.

if you come to the next meet up I'll have them, feel free to try them.

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9 hours ago, Cheflife15 said:

Im looking to maybe pick up a shotgun for shooting clays. I'd like a place to start. Talking to a few guys at the range they said semi auto or over under. I have a few questions,

Do all shotguns take those short shells? 

Ammo would be 7# to 8.5 # correct? 

What shotguns should i look at? Budget for gun would be around 700. 

Can all shotguns shoot slugs as well as birdshot with no problem?

I have a CZ712 utility I’m rather impressed with. The Utility model has a 20” barrel, but I use it as an all around shotgun. I think I paid $500 for it in Nov ‘19.
 

You’re welcome to shoot it at the next clays shoot. 

C66A9563-5AEF-48A6-B08C-BC495F71DFD4.jpeg

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I would definitely come to the next shotgun shoot to try different guns but I will say the only shotgun I bought new I sold.  I have purchased a few used ones at gun shows for a reasonable price and I'm happy. If you must have brand new then by all means do so but if you're patient you can get a good deal on a pre owned model.  I saw a few at a PA gun show 2 weeks ago that were reasonably priced.

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14 hours ago, Cheflife15 said:

Im looking to maybe pick up a shotgun for shooting clays

Are you looking for an all around shotgun that you can also shoot clays with, or are you looking for a dedicated gun just for clays?  What kind of clays, trap, skeet, sporting, or what's with all the questions, I just want a gun to shoot some effing clay pigeons.

If you want a general purpose clay buster, I recommend a 12ga O/U with 30"bbl.  There are some surprisingly good O/Us for under $1000.  Most important, get a gun that fits you, or that you can adjust to fit you.

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9 hours ago, Scorpio64 said:

Are you looking for an all around shotgun that you can also shoot clays with, or are you looking for a dedicated gun just for clays?  What kind of clays, trap, skeet, sporting, or what's with all the questions, I just want a gun to shoot some effing clay pigeons.

If you want a general purpose clay buster, I recommend a 12ga O/U with 30"bbl.  There are some surprisingly good O/Us for under $1000.  Most important, get a gun that fits you, or that you can adjust to fit you.

Im a member of oldbridge rifle and pistol club. Honestly i have to google the difference between clays,skeet, trap, sporting. I saw the guys shooting clays in the morning and thought that looks fun, let me use some of my biden bucks on a shotgun! 

Ill be using it strictly for shotgun shooting games. 

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2 hours ago, Cheflife15 said:

Im a member of oldbridge rifle and pistol club. Honestly i have to google the difference between clays,skeet, trap, sporting. I saw the guys shooting clays in the morning and thought that looks fun, let me use some of my biden bucks on a shotgun! 

Ill be using it strictly for shotgun shooting games. 

Shotgun shooting games can be a fairly wide variety too. At one end you have clays where a old side-by-side with external hammers and dual triggers would be fine and at the other end you have 3-gun where you need a far higher capacity and ability to shoot multiple targets quickly.

For an all round shotgun a pump action is a good choice. Semi-auto would be better for 3-gun but in NJ you are limited to 6+1 capacity. With a pump you have no restriction on the magazine size and you can still run it for clays, especially if you get one with interchangeable choke tubes. I have a Benelli SuperNova and a Remy 870 each with 9+1 capacity for run and gun and a couple of used Beretta O/U that I got a nice deal on for clays.

I used to use the SuperNova and 870 for clays too. I have brought them both to the NJGF clay shoots - the clays just keep on coming lol

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9 hours ago, Cheflife15 said:

Ill be using it strictly for shotgun shooting games. 

A 28" or 30" O/U will do it all, and look good doing it.  No matter what you choose, if you are participating in a regulation clay sport, you won't be loading more than two most of the time.  You gain no advantage from having a large mag in skeet or trap.  Invest in a quality full set of extended choke tubes too. 

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I prefer a 26" barrel, swings faster. 

You really need to try a few to get an idea of length. There is no benefit getting a barrel size greater than 26" except for personal preference. 

Any shooting games like skeet or trap is all about how you swing the gun. Some people do better with short 26" others with 30" heavy guns. You won't know until you try. 

Semi autos can also be tricky. My a400 loves to short cycle with light target loads if I'm not hard into the stock. It's entirely due to the recoil reduction system in the stock that absorbs heavy shot for faster follow ups when using high velocity 3 1/2 shot.

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For informal clays, just about any shotgun will do. Only when you get into the games (skeet, trap, sporting clays) does sophistication and design come into play. 

Here's a quick read on barrel length, and when and where they are best used. Folks have their personal favorites, but you'll get the idea quickly once you start to shoot regularly. 

https://www.braysisland.com/life-in-the-field/shotgun-barrel-length

 

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1 hour ago, Grapeshot said:

I've got a Mossy 500 pump and I use it for everything - clays, turkey, and deer with slugs. Probably the most versatile gun I own.  They are inexpensive, reliable, and actually fit me better than an 870. 

Speaking of Mossberg 500, I stumbled upon them in stock in Pa, pickup only. Tempting to call and verify they'd let me buy and take procession same day. Roughly 2.5hr trip each way. The time to get there and having never shouldered one is stopping me.... for now.

https://www.sportsmans.com/shooting-gear-gun-supplies/shotguns/mossberg-500-hunting-all-purpose-field-blued-12-gauge-3in-pump-shotgun-28in/p/1134161

 

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2 minutes ago, kc17 said:

Speaking of Mossberg 500, I stumbled upon them in stock in Pa, pickup only. Tempting to call and verify they'd let me buy and take procession same day. Roughly 2.5hr trip each way. The time to get there and having never shouldered one is stopping me.... for now.

https://www.sportsmans.com/shooting-gear-gun-supplies/shotguns/mossberg-500-hunting-all-purpose-field-blued-12-gauge-3in-pump-shotgun-28in/p/1134161

 

I stopped at sportsman in PA driving home from WV, They will not to sell to NJ residents. Company policy 

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Man up and buy a good quality Beretta or Browning O/U. It's a decision you will never regret. If you can find something good for $1,200 you can always sell it for the same. Once you start bustin clays out of the sky, you will enjoy it better than shooting fixed paper. A fitted O/U will almost eliminate recoil and shooting 150 rounds: no issue.

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