I think I am going to start shooting skeet, trap, and/or sporting clays for fun.
I have some 8 shot, 12 ga. Dove and Quail shotshells already (about 200) to get me started.
I found some NobelSport Italia target loads online. Does anyone have experience with this brand? Good to go, bad, other? No plan to hunt with them.
Am I just getting into another aspect of the gun hobby that I'm going to regret due to lack of shotshell availability?
I have a Browning A5 Stalker 12 ga. shotgun that I plan to use. Should I just take the plunge and get a 20 gauge shotgun to save my shoulder? I believe 20 ga is good to go for skeet, right? I'm finding some 20 ga. shotshells online too, NobelSport brand.
Thanks for your help.
Seems to me the quintessential trap, skeet, clays gun is an over-under. The big players are Browning, Beretta, & the Turkish copies. Yes, there are others.
That said, I know a guy who did just fine with his older 870.
I wouldn’t have anything against a 12 ga, shells costs are about the same, recoil with lighter ammo no biggie.
One thing to think about is how much $ you want to allocate if just testing the waters?
I wouldn't necessarily recommend 20ga starting out. A 20 is going to be much more sensitive to choke selection and is going to struggle making longer hits, especially if you're trying to stretch in trap or clays.
Not that a 20 isn't perfectly usable, but I found shooting a 20 when that was all I had it put me at a disadvantage.
I'd recommend patterning your gun as well. Some guns with some loads may not fly straight, or may react more/less to certain chokes.
Someone may disagree, but I felt skeet was the most agreeable to shooting smaller guns.
And personally, sporting clays is my favorite, followed by trap. You might fall into liking one more but shooting another more often due to leagues, availability, cost, etc.
Use whatever you've got at first. A pump will be a slight disadvantage, but not much if you can work the action smooth and quickly. Heavier longer guns can help with swing and followthrough, as well as absorbing the pounding of a few hundred shells. A clays gun will/should weigh significantly more than a field gun meant to be carried a lot and shot a little.
|I Deal In Lead|
I've been shooting trap for over 50 years and Sporting Clays for around 8 years and skeet for a year and a half.
A 20 gauge will be easier on your shoulder, but it will give you a handicap with Trap and Sporting Clays. I guess the handicap at around 2 or 3 birds per 100 based on my own personal experience.
I have shot 75 straight at trap and 99/100 with a 20 gauge, and I've shot a 99 at Sporting Clays with a 20 gauge, so you can do impressive scores with one. If you're competing, you're handicapping yourself, though.
Skeet is a different matter. I've only shot 20 Gauge and .410 bore at Skeet and breaking 25/25 with a 20 gauge is not all that hard. Doing it with a .410 is hard.
Your A5 is a good gun to shoot Skeet and Sporting Clays with, but since it's a semiauto, your fellow trap shooters won't like you very much when you're shooting doubles. They don't like other people's empties bouncing off their personal guns.
Last but not least, the NobelSport Italia target loads are GTG. Quality stuff.
Trapandskeetandsportingclays is not all one word and it is not all one game, little in common but the clay pigeons.
Your Browning will be fine. There are some light target loads that will not kick any worse than a 20 ga and the heavier gun will move you less.
The screw chokes will equip it for any range, Cylinder or IC for Skeet, Modified or Full for Trap, maybe a "Light Modified" for SC.
Dedicated Trap guns have high stock combs for shooting at rising birds. You can get strap on or stick on pads to get you there at low cost.
Trap and Skeet are standardized, you know what is going on for every target. Sporting Clays can range from simulated hunting, to "try this, sucker."
So I recommend you start out with Trap or Skeet and when reasonably proficient at that, do the other. Then take up SC after you know how to handle the gun and get your leads.
A coach who would start you out at one position at a time until you learned it would be good, trying to get the basics in a Trap or Skeet squad with all the movement and differing target angles is challenging.
I haven't shot skeet, trap, or sporting clays in a while, but, back when I did it was not uncommon for me to shoot two-three rounds of of one, the other, or some combination of the three in one go.
IIRC, anything over three rounds would leave me with a sore shoulder.
I shot a 12 ga. SKB O/U.
"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
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Does anybody use a side by side? Asking because thats the only shotgun I have that might be useable for this. Its a 16G if that matters.
|Retired, laying back |
and enjoying life
Lots of people still do. In fact there are Skeet tournaments that are for SXS only. Takes a different skill set to be good with a SXS as opposed to OU or semiauto/pump but not difficult to master if one is used to shooting SXS.
Freedom comes from the will of man. In America it is guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment
Thank you for the replies everyone.
I'm looking forward to getting out this fall and giving it a try.
The folks at the gun club I visited this weekend were very nice and I had a handful of offers to show me the ropes. Lots of nice folks in the shooting sports world.
Start with what you have. Your Browning 12 gauge will work just fine.
Shot loads vary greatly in power, and thus in recoil. To minimize recoil, look for 1 ounce loads with a muzzle velocity of 1170 to 1185 fps. If you have a reasonably correct choke and point the gun in the proper direction, you can break clays a longs ways out. If you feel you must use 1-1/8 ounce loads, go with a muzzle velocity of 1145 fps.
I don't fret over what type of shotgun people use. Never had an issue in trap with an auto loader to my left. IMO those who get distracted by hulls bouncing at their feet should find another game to play.
Find folks who welcome new shooters and shoot with them. Steal shamelessly the knowledge they have learned over the years, and their thousands upon thousands of shots. Shooting moving clays is a lot different than paper targets with a rifle. Shotguns are much about feel and intuition, and it may take quite a bit of time to develop the technique to shoot high scores consistently. Each type of clays game has its best methods of shooting. An all around shotgun shooter can perform well in all events.
Most of all, have fun. Consider your missed clays as a learning experience, not as a failure.
|I Deal In Lead|
You'd be amazed how many people shoot a side by side in Trap, Sporting Clays and skeet. I see it every week.
The guy I shoot with every week owns a lot of SxS shotguns and brings a different one each week. Sometimes 12 ga, sometimes 16 ga sometimes 28 ga and sometimes .410 bore.
Once in a while he brings a 28 Gauge O/U just for variety.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Flash-LB,
|Dean of Law|
NobeSport Italias. Not on my list to purchase.
Out of the 2,000 rounds I’ve shot I’ve had 2 failures to ignite causing the wad to get stuck in the barrel. That’s not good considering I’ve never had a problem with any other recently manufactured shotgun ammunition.
It is also very dirty. Despite these 2 shortcomings, it will kill a clay target.
If it’s the only ammo you can get, buy it.
H. Dean Phillips
$99 Gun Trusts
Thanks for the replies.
Shooting anything out of the air is such a rush, enjoy your new found hobby!
The trap league I shoot on typically has 80-100 shooters each season, easily the majority are shooting pump 12ga's. After that its over unders a few single shots, and auto's are far and away the minority
*Handguns are fine, Shotguns are final
|I Deal In Lead|
And there aren't many that get really good at it, so you don't need to be embarrassed when you're starting out and don't do well.
Be aware that shooting Clays is just another variation of BOAT, as in Bust Out Another Thousand.
Back in May I spent 5K on a 28/410 Combo kit and it's probably the best value for money spend because the gun is a perfect Fit and wonderful to shoot. Use the 410 all the time for Skeet and have shot SC with the 28 on a few occasions. Was a time when I thought spending more than 2K on a shotgun for shooting clays was foolish, nowadays I don't have that sentiment. With a Shotgun Fit is CRITICAL and and once a shooter realizes that they will spend what ever is required to get an ideal fit.
First off there are reloading presses, so you go cheap and get a basic MEC or go all out and get a Progressive. With a Sizemaster it's about 300 bucks for each caliber and the powered Progressives range from about 700 to nearly a thousand for each caliber.
There there is always a need for Another shotgun, which can range from about 1000 dollars up to 30-50 Thousand. Note the really high dollar guns come with a custom factory fitting which can improve your score so spending 20K may be worthwhile for some. However most of us can't afford that particular option so looking for an ideal fitting shotgun can become a bit of a quest.
Then there is the cost for reloading supplies. I am currently going thru 7000 primers per year and some consider that as being a "lightweight". However a Skeet Registered Shoot can typically mean shooting 100 rounds for each of the 4 calibers (410 28 20 & 12) plus some side shoots for another 100 to 200 rounds. If you start shooting the competitions you will use a LOT of ammo. Which is one reason why any competitive shooter reloads. With that volume of shooting the standard loads become just too much recoiling loads. Typically a Skeet shooter will practice with 7/8 or 3/4 ounce loads in the 12, 3/4 ounce in the 20, 58 to 3/4 ounce in the 28, and 1/2 ounce in the 410. You'll also find that the shooters want every single load to have a matching velocity and will chronograph their loads to insure that they all match. Then there are the match loads, 12 gauge will be loaded to 1 ounce, 20 is 7/8 ounce, 28 is 3/4 ounce, and 410 is 1/2 ounce. Note all this fooling with charge weight is due to Recoil. I know some very good older shooters who shoot 20 and 12 gauge events with a 28 gauge load because their shoulders cannot tolerate the recoil of the 20 or 12 gauge. It's why I've started using 28 gauge for all of my practice shooting with 410 thrown in on occasion because it's cheap to reload and rather fun to shoot due to the near complete lack of recoil.
I've stopped counting.
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