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Lawnmower2021

Best way to practice with a shotgun?

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Hey All,

I have a semi-auto 12 gauge that I bought to serve home defense and casual clay shooting.

I mostly go to an indoor range; I tried it once with some 00 buckshot and the paper target was obliterated by the wads. 

It's still entertaining but seems counter-productive. Should I try cardboard? Any recommendations to get the best experience with shotguns?

Thank you for your patience with silly questions. :)

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If you don't already have one, get a hunting license.  That allows you to use the WMA ranges.  My favorite target for shotgun is clay pigeons, but for just getting the hang of using a shotgun and patterning, I like Coroplast, ie corrugated plastic used in political lawn signs and we buy used cars, ugly houses etc. bs.  You can just pull over and pluck free target stands, backer wherever you see 'em.  The signs make for a good target backer/stand for rifle too.

  

29 minutes ago, My1stGlock said:

Maybe an outdoor range and gallon jugs w/ water

This too.  Reactive targets are fun.  I love blowing up 2L bottles and gallon jugs at 200 yards as much as I like getting sprayed on a hot day when I annihilate a gallon jug with buckshot.

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30 minutes ago, Scorpio64 said:

If you don't already have one, get a hunting license.  That allows you to use the WMA ranges.  My favorite target for shotgun is clay pigeons, but for just getting the hang of using a shotgun and patterning, I like Coroplast, ie corrugated plastic used in political lawn signs and we buy used cars, ugly houses etc. bs.  You can just pull over and pluck free target stands, backer wherever you see 'em.  The signs make for a good target backer/stand for rifle too.

Just pull them off off the lawns from the dem supporters  after the elections! LOL.

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I have used heavier paper targets from Action Targets at GFH with 00 buckshot, and they seem to hold up pretty well.  Also, as long as you shoot at GFH, consider taking one of their Urban Shotgun classes, where you will get plenty of running and gunning.

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45 minutes ago, Lawnmower2021 said:

Thanks for the input :)

Ironically, though I had clays in mind for this gun I haven't actually had a chance to try. Will have to lookout for target loads then as I haven't happened on any yet.

 

Simmons has 'em.  What semi auto do you have though?  Some are picky with lighter target loads.

These are 1200FPS and should cycle better.

https://www.simmonssportinggoods.com/remington-ammunition-20030-lead-game-loads-12-gauge-2-75-1-oz-7-5-shot-25-bx-10-cs/

These are lower FPS (1145 FPS) and may not cycle.

https://www.simmonssportinggoods.com/federal-tgl1275-top-gun-12-gauge-2-75-1-1-8-oz-7-5-shot-25-bx-10-cs/

 

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6 minutes ago, Krdshrk said:

That''s a relatively good price right now.  About $20/case below average.  If I needed target loads, I'd snag the max of three cases.

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41 minutes ago, Krdshrk said:

Simmons has 'em.  What semi auto do you have though?  Some are picky with lighter target loads.

These are 1200FPS and should cycle better.

https://www.simmonssportinggoods.com/remington-ammunition-20030-lead-game-loads-12-gauge-2-75-1-oz-7-5-shot-25-bx-10-cs/

These are lower FPS (1145 FPS) and may not cycle.

https://www.simmonssportinggoods.com/federal-tgl1275-top-gun-12-gauge-2-75-1-1-8-oz-7-5-shot-25-bx-10-cs/

 

Thank you for the links and the tips!
I have a Browning Silver Hunter. Which of these two would you guys recommend for it?

I didn't consider heavy paper targets, I will check that out as well. :)

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In my opinion - step one is to get to a quality training course with a reputable instructor that can show you the initial methods to deploy the shotgun properly. I highly recommend Joe Reidy at Sights & Trigger in Bethlehem, PA. His shotgun class is an excellent value, close by, and a requires a reasonable round count. You’ll use target loads to learn, your chosen “duty” ammo to verify, and slugs at distance out to 100 yards to build confidence.

That being said - the hardest part of running a shotgun is keeping it fed. Once you are trained on the proper manipulations, you’ll probably get the best return on practice time by getting some quality dummy rounds and practicing loading and manipulating the gun and shells coupled with dry fire. The mechanics of actually shooting are no different than any other long gun. Line up sights and move the trigger straight to the rear without disturbing the sight. 

With live fire at the range, use cardboard or the plastic sheets @Scorpio64 was talking about. Paper sucks by itself - however it is useful to face the cardboard/plastic backer for a clean target when patterning.

It is paramount that you pattern your gun with the ammo you plan on using and at ranges that are appropriate for your needs. You need to know what your gun does with your ammo at the ranges you will likely deploy it. 

Unpopular Opinion - Clays are an excellent way to test yourself, and it’s tons of fun, but it doesn’t translate very well to “tactical” or HD application. 

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