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Thinking of getting an O/U. What do I need to know? Login/Join 
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Recently joined a club that offers trap and am looking forward to getting involved. Up until now, I have used a 12 Ga semi for hunting but have always wanted an O/U. So I ma going to use this new membership to justify buying (another) gun I don't really need.

I don't know much about them other than I love how they look. I'm looking for a 20 ga for use in the field and on the trap range. Budget is sub $1000. What do I need to know and recommendations are extremely welcome.

Thanks all.





"You know, Scotland has its own martial arts. Yeah, it's called Fuck You. It's mostly just head butting and then kicking people when they're on the ground." - Charlie MacKenzie (Mike Myers in "So I Married an Axe Murderer")
 
Posts: 1629 | Location: Seacoast, NH | Registered: July 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Buy a old Savage Fox - I suggest taking a little ride over to Marshalls in Boscawen and see Brad.
 
Posts: 1558 | Location: New Hampshire | Registered: January 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In general, if you are going to put a bunch of rounds through it a used "b-gun" is favored on the skeet/trap field over a new budget gun. B-gun being Browning or Beretta.

You can probably find a used Citori under $1k. I haven't seen many used Berettas at that price point. You are also highly likely to find a used Ruger Red Label - maybe even the all weather version.

I have a bunch of trigger time on Citori, some on Beretta semis, and 2 rounds of skeet on a Ruger. In that world, but what fits. Any of them should be good. If you plan to get into it and shoot thousands of rounds a year, I would really guide you to a Browning/Beretta product.

A buddy of mine has a CZ that he loves, but it probably has less than 1000 rounds through it in 6-7 years. He is a ting guy, and had a lot of cheek slap with other guns, but none with the CZ.

Another option is the relatively new FN - people who like them love them. No clue on used prices though.

-shooter
 
Posts: 324 | Location: VA | Registered: June 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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20 Ga is not a good choice for trap. For Skeet, 5 stand and sporting clays a 20 ga will work but will present more of a challenge than a 12 ga.

Beretta (Onyx) and Browning (Citori) are excellent choices. If you're buying new, plan on 2K+

There are less expensive o/u that you could get by with starting out like a CZ, Winchester 101 or Franchi, but they don't have the cool factor. Smile



Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools. And their grandchildren are once more slaves.

-D.H. Lawrence
 
Posts: 8907 | Location: Fort Worth, Texas | Registered: February 07, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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First, begin shooting trap with your existing 12 gauge semiauto. Determine if you like the game.

Then ask, beg, and borrow the other shooters' O/Us. Bring your own ammo and offer to shoot it in their shotgun. They may ask that you shoot their ammo in their gun, but it's a place to start. Offer to let them shoot your gun. Be inquisitive, be happy, and thank every one of them for the opportunity to shoot their "just awesome shotgun", even if you find it to be a total POS.

Trying different guns lets you understand the importance of fit to your body. Fit is way more important to clays games accuracy than brand or cost.

The further you are from the clay, the more handicapped you are with smaller gauges. I have 12, 20, and 28 gauge O/Us, plus a chamber adapter which allows me to shoot 410 in the 28 gauge. I've shot 25/25s in trap (from the 16 to 20 yard lines) in 12, 20, and 28. The smaller gauges are at some disadvantage for any target, but especially for the longer shots. I have competed well in clays games with my 20 gauge while my 12 was in the shop for repairs, but it required that my A game was working.

A field shotgun -- regardless of gauge -- is not of an optimal configuration for trap. Field shotguns tend to be lighter, and shoot "flat" -- that means Point of Impact (POI) pretty much equals Point of Aim (POA). Most skeet and sporting clays shotguns are set up for POI = POA. Trap guns tend to have POI which is higher than POA, since trap clays are meant to be shot while rising. Shooting a flat gun on trap clays means that you have to "cover" the clay with your muzzle. In other words, you lose sight of the clay.

Trap-optimized guns are more challenging to shoot in the field, in skeet, and in most sporting clays courses because one must point the gun below the bird/clay.

Shoot a whole boat load of shotguns before you buy one. If you really want to get serious about trap, and I mean high volume trap, the better guns will stand up to the thousands and thousands of rounds. Browning and Beretta are pretty much the entry level. Next down is likely a Ruger, then a CZ. Berettas tend to feel light and swing well for most people. Some consider a Browning a little heavy on the barrel end. Most people find the Ruger not as well balanced as either Beretta or Browning. I find the CZ to just feel odd, although they shot fine for me.

B guns should last at least 50k rounds, maybe 100k before they are just worn out. Maybe even 200k rounds. About half way through their lives, their actions need to be tightened up. My Browning 12 gauge has some 25k rounds on it. The action is still good, but the lock will be need tightening in another 15k (+/-) rounds -- assuming my gunsmith's guess is good.

I've seen some Rugers pretty much become expensive door stops after 15k rounds. Others are going strong after 30k or 40k. Consider that an O/U really has the firing mechanisms of two guns. And two barrels, which should be aligned so their point of impact converges at around 30 yards.
 
Posts: 4950 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Festina Lente
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What Fritz said.

In addition, an effective short cut to getting to proper fit (Length of pull, pitch, drop, and cast) is to find somewhere with a "try gun" where they'll dial in the fitting while having you mount and shoot it repeatedly. as your eye is the rear sight, getting all the parts in the right place is crucial to accuracy. problem with trying other folks guns is figuring out their specs once you find one that works right for you.

I had it done at the Orvis Sandanona facility in Millbrook, NY. Probably somewhere in NH can do it, if not, call Addieville in RI http://www.addieville.com/index.htm Most places that offer high-end instruction should be able to help.



NRA Life Member - "Fear God and Dreadnaught"
 
Posts: 5671 | Location: in the red zone of the blue state, CT | Registered: October 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for all replies so far. I have long admired the Citoris and Beretta. My semi is an entry level Beretta and it has been great so far. My plan is to keep using that for ducks and geese and use the O/U for grouse. Both will be used on the trap range. I am hoping to get to handle some in the coming weeks. I am heading to NYC soon and will drop in to the Beretta store.

Thanks for the heads up on Addieville. Even if I don't go there for a fitting, I am going to try to get some friends together to head down for a hunt.





"You know, Scotland has its own martial arts. Yeah, it's called Fuck You. It's mostly just head butting and then kicking people when they're on the ground." - Charlie MacKenzie (Mike Myers in "So I Married an Axe Murderer")
 
Posts: 1629 | Location: Seacoast, NH | Registered: July 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Be Well and Keep Your Rifle Clean
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One of my "regret I sold it" guns is the Citori. it got caught up in my divorce.




"..AGAINST ALL ENEMIES, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC,...SO HELP ME GOD."


 
Posts: 20853 | Location: Czechtown,Minnesota | Registered: October 17, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Delusions of Adequacy
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When I started I used what I already had to see if I'd like it. A used Mossy 500 that cost me all of 85 bucks.

After a few weeks of meets, I upgraded to a very lightly used SKB that I got a great deal on. Definitely upped my game.




I have my own style of humor. I call it Snarkasm.
 
Posts: 16125 | Location: Virginia | Registered: June 02, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I was very impressed with my buddies browning crossover.

Shoot B4 you buy!

You will have to spend more $$$ cry once.

http://www.browning.com/produc...-production/cxt.html



 
Posts: 1106 | Registered: February 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have had a Beretta Silver Pigeon and Browning Citori. Still have the Citori, fits me perfectly and because of that I do pretty well at sporting clays or hunting. Lots of great O/U shotguns out there and picking one is very personal, like trying on shoes.
 
Posts: 1907 | Location: Massillon, OH | Registered: January 22, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Glorious SPAM!
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What about the Ruger Red Label? I shot my buddies 20ga once when we were just hand tossing clays and oh boy it was awesome. I hadn't shot at clays in over a decade and he accused me of sandbgging. I hit everyone with that thing.

I'd love to buy my own.
 
Posts: 6761 | Registered: June 13, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I have not yet begun
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What about the Ruger Red Label?

They're reputation for durability is bad.
Very hit and miss as far as if you buy one, will it work in the future. Ruger redesigned them and I haven't seen a review or report on the new ones.

OP: I am currently trying to change my gas gun's barrel and stock to a trap model. Barrel is no big deal, just put a high rib on it. New trap style stock can be pricey.

I understand wanting an O/U, that's why I bought my Browning 625 as a retirement present for myself.
The gas guns are so much more pleasant to shoot thousands of rounds out of.


--------
After the game, the King and the pawn go into the same box.
 
Posts: 2177 | Location: AZ - West side of the valley | Registered: October 26, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I bought a pair of Silver Pigeons, a 20ga B-Fast for me and an SP1 baby frame in 28ga for the wife. She's shot the gun at a world class range and liked how fast she could follow with it over my 20ga.

I looked hard at buying inexpensive turkish guns but decided to buy once/cry once on these.
 
Posts: 1077 | Location: Leesburg VA | Registered: December 21, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by PGT:

I looked hard at buying inexpensive turkish guns but decided to buy once/cry once on these.


This is certainly a case of buy the best you can afford. I’ve seen quite a few cheaper over unders fail after a few thousand rounds on the trap and sporting clays field. The more you spend, the longer it’s going to last.
 
Posts: 236 | Location: Hatboro, PA | Registered: May 25, 2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The recommendation to look at the Browning Crossover (CXR) is a good one. There are differences with shotguns that you would use exclusively for trap, but the CXR is a really good gun for multiple clay sports and hunting. It uses the Invector choke system.
For a dedicated trap gun, you see that the comb is parallel with the rib, for a head up orientation that gives a wider peripheral field of view to pick up the target. This is important in trap since you start with the gun mounted before you call for the bird. In skeet or sporting clays, it mimics the actual sport more where a target flushes and you have to go from a ready position to see the target, mount the gun and shoot. The more pronounced drop of the stock is easier to mount quickly; less likely to snag on clothing.

The other thing is barrel length. Since trap has shallower angles to deal with and no real hard crosses, a longer barrel gives a longer sight radius and should improve accuracy. Trap barrels are usually 32 inch and up to 34/35 inches for single barrel un/top single guns, while skeet and sporting clays start at 26-28 inch barrels for a faster swing.

So a lot of compromising can be done, you see something like the CXR with a 30 inch barrel which is ok for all of the games.

The final issue for me was gun fit. How the gun fits into your shoulder instinctively, then length of pull to where your trigger finger falls on the gun, and then an adjustable comb to have your dominant eye, with a proper cheek weld to the stock, fall right in line with the bead(s) on your barrel. I could never really find a gun that fit me without some level of adjustability to the comb. Everyone's eyes are different distances apart and above where the cheek sits on the stock, so that was really helpful to me when I got more serious about shooting trap.

And when I am in a trap slump, I go shoot sporting clays. Going back to the trap line after that the birds seem like pumpkins to me.

I guess it's just how much you want to get into it. But off the rack, I don't think you could go wrong with the Browning Crossover. I have seen them used for just around your price, new from about 1500 and up a bit. If you decided you wanted to trade into a more adjustable gun after that, or more trap dedicated, you would never have a problem moving that gun. You can get the CXR in 28, 30 or 32 inch barrels.

Full disclosure, I currently have a Browning 725 Sporting with a high rib. I also have a Beretta A400 Multi-target semi auto. Before the 725 I had a Browning Citori XS Special w/30 inch barrel. Was a great all around gun too.
 
Posts: 13 | Location: Western PA | Registered: March 30, 2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It's hard to find a well made sub $1k O/U. A new Weatherby Orion is around $800 and the Winchester 101 can sometimes be had for just under a grand. They're nice guns but they're field guns so barrel length is limited. Like everyone else here has said, a used Citori is always a safe bet. If you're patient a good one will come up on Gunbroker for just less than a thousand.
Have you shot any skeet, 5 stand or Sporting Clays?


No one's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session.- Mark Twain
 
Posts: 1800 | Location: TX | Registered: October 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for all the replies.

I am new to trap and have yet to shoot my first round. Hope that will be resolved within a week or so. I will start with my 12 ga Beretta 3901 semi and use that for now. Hopefully I will get a chance to shoot some O/U's at the club.

In the meantime, I will keep adding to the gun fund and increase my budget.





"You know, Scotland has its own martial arts. Yeah, it's called Fuck You. It's mostly just head butting and then kicking people when they're on the ground." - Charlie MacKenzie (Mike Myers in "So I Married an Axe Murderer")
 
Posts: 1629 | Location: Seacoast, NH | Registered: July 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I started with a Remington 1187. After a while I Bought a Citori, and eventually a Beretta 682. I developed a big flinch with these O/U shotguns. Went back to shooting a 1187 and my scores went up again. On days when I shot 500+ shells, the O/U just beat me up. I don’t know how the little girls like Kim Rhoads do it. I tried light loads 1oz, and still flinched. Make sure the recoil doesn’t distract you. I have over 30k shells through both of my 1187 and never even replaced the little o-ring seal. I just cleaned thoroughly every 500 or so shots. I shot well enough at that time to be in several National Tournaments


Never be more than one step away from your sword-Old Greek Wisdom
 
Posts: 1618 | Location: SE Mich-- USA | Registered: September 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by greco:
I developed a big flinch with these O/U shotguns. Went back to shooting a 1187 and my scores went up again. On days when I shot 500+ shells, the O/U just beat me up.

I don’t know how the little girls like Kim Rhoads do it. I tried light loads 1oz, and still flinched.

Kim Rhode is fairly short, but I wouldn't call her a waif of a girl. She's a strong lady with impeccable shooting technique. Videos of Kim's shooting are easily found by googling "Kim Rhode".

Regardless of whether Kim is shooting trap or skeet, using Perazzi/Krieghoff/Beretta, her technique remains consistent and recoil doesn't affect her much. Good gun fit, proper gun mount, her weight being forward on her front foot, strong core muscles, and a tight gun to the shoulder pocket all help in managing recoil.

Flinching is a challenge for many shooters, regardless of whether it's shotguns, high power rifles, or handguns. Things we can do to minimize flinching:
- dry firing, dry firing, then dry firing some more

- minimize slapping the trigger. People who pin the trigger to the rear throughout the recoil cycle, and thus who follow through the shot better, are the ones who have less flinching problems.

- having one's body properly aligned behind the gun to manage recoil

- learning to follow the shot/bullet all the way to the target, and see it impact the target. This is key in precision/steel rifle matches. On good days, when the light is right, I can also do this with shotguns -- meaning I see the grey blur of shot going to the target.

- maintaining firm contact between buttstock and shoulder pocket. Most of the shotgun guys I see who let the guns bounce off their shoulders after breaking the shot (trap, skeet, or sporting clays) are the ones who suffer most from flinching.

As I rose through A and AA classes the sporting clays competition, I seemed to have 1 or 2 flinches per 100 clays. About this time I got serious with precision rifles and learned the above techniques to minimize flinching. By the time I got to Master Class in sporting clays, I had virtually eliminated any flinching. And that's with a Browning 525 Sporting O/U that weighs right at 8 pounds. I like the softer recoil of a good semi-auto (say a Beretta 391 Teknys), but I don't like the parts moving around after breaking the shot. In pairs that require a rapid shot and noticeable gun movement, I have always been faster with an O/U -- even though I'm absorbing more recoil from the first shot.

IMO to eliminate the flinch, one needs the gun to fit correctly, the technique to manage recoil, and the mental understanding that each 12 gauge round will produce recoil not that much different than a typical hunting rifle. Light loads also help. I only use 1 ounce at 1180 fps or 1-1/8 ounce at 1145 fps loads in my 12 gauge. Of course, the loads in my 20/28/410 are lighter.
 
Posts: 4950 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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