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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I enjoy shooting and have decided to start Skeet/trap/sporting clays. The last time I shot sheet was over 20 years ago. This is for fun ... not for competition.

I am asking for recommendations for which shotgun to purchase ... a semi auto or an over/under? And do you recommend a 12 or 20 gauge?

My initial research has led me to two guns: Baretta Silver Pigeon for over/under it a Benelli Ethos (semi automatic).

I would like to learn your advice. Thanks!




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I have a CZ Sporter model which is the best shotgun I have ever used. I’m a CZ fan in general and any of their over/under would be fine. You can get some basic models for $500 or so like the Drake or Redhead
 

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I will second CZs for over-unders. They have lots of quality for their price point. If this is a skeet/trap only gun that is where I would look. If you plan on hunting with the shotgun at some point I would get a semi-auto. I shoot trap/skeet with my hunting shotguns for practice.

As far as 12g vs 20g........ really depends. Once again if you are going to hunt at all with it I would go 12g. Lots more options and the shotgun will have more uses. If this will be a trap/skeet only shotgun...... or used for dove/quail a 20g is a great option. Lower recoil for longer shooting sessions.
 

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I shoot trap at least once a week, and as stated above I own and LOVE my CZ. I have the CZ Redhead Premier Target over under, and its awesome! If you are going to use the Shotgun for trap/skeet/sporting clays, over under is the way to go. It allows you to have two separate barrels with two separate chokes which you will want with different trap/sporting clays events. For instance, if you are shooting 5 stand you are shooting two clays at a time. The first clay you will want an improved modified choke and the second a full choke because your second clay will be further away as it has been flying longer if that makes sense to you. So an over under gives you the advantage of having two barrels and two chokes. For an all around gun the CZ Redhead Premier Target can't be beat IMHO. MSRP is $1430.00 so not breaking the bank and they are very well made. I've owned mine for 2.5 years and it has worked flawlessly and powders those clays! I'd go 12ga if you are not averse to its recoil which is minimal if you are shooting #7.5 or 8 shot size. Hope this helps and feel free to PM me if you have any questions I may be able to help you with.��
 

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Either of the guns you mentioned are pretty light for a target gun but will work fine for casual skeet and sporting. They would be more of a compromise for trap, as trap guns shoot high so you don't have to cover the target. From a recoil standpoint, and to a lesser extent, wear and tear, you would be better served with a target gun for target shooting. Beretta makes plenty of them if you are partial to that brand. If you are only going to have one gun, get a 12 gauge.
 

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CZ all day long. Best shotguns money can buy. Like someone said earlier, they hold up well and if you get the 20ga you’re all set. 12 is too much for trap or skeet
 

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Agree with other’s recommendations for an over / under for regular clay sports. The point about having two barrels with different chokes for use in sporting clays is a good idea. O/Us also reliably handle reloaded shells. If you’re going to shoot clay sports a lot it won’t be long before you’ll want to reload because you can cut your ammo costs almost in half once you invest in a reloading tool like a MEC. A lot of guys will tailor their reloads a bit to soften the kick a bit. I was in a skeet league for years. When you shoot 100 - 150 rounds a week you want to manage recoil because otherwise you can develop a flinch. It’s the weirdest thing because you don’t think the kick is uncomfortable but your brain & body conspire and when you go to pull the trigger there’s this unconscious hesitation that results in a miss. Also, it’s easy to catch the empty shells when you open the action on a O/U right in your hand. With an auto they get ejected and you gotta bend down and pick them up, sometimes they land in snow or mud.

For O/Us I’m a Browning guy and for an all purpose gun that can be used for the major clay sports (skeet, clays & trap) and field I’d suggest a Browning Citori CXS. If you really get into it you’ll want tools for each event but one all purpose gun is better when you’re getting going.

Benelli makes really nice autos. I have a friend of mine who uses one at the range and in the field and he loves it if you go that route.
 

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I really love O/U's for clay target shooting. And for hunting. I now have 6 Perazzis and my wife has 2. We compete in Sporting clays and shoot other games for fun.

Use your Benelli in good health. Shoot it. Enjoy it.
 

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If you get deep into the shooting sports be prepared to put that Benelli in the safe in favor of an O/U. I love my SBE3 for ducks but you cannot beat an OU for skeet trap and SC. Being able to use two chokes depending on the situation is huge. The fit modifications that can be made to wooden stocked guns cannot be touched by synthetic. Shoot your Benelli in good health but be prepared for that watch budget to get eaten up by a new shotgun budget :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If you get deep into the shooting sports be prepared to put that Benelli in the safe in favor of an O/U. I love my SBE3 for ducks but you cannot beat an OU for skeet trap and SC. Being able to use two chokes depending on the situation is huge. The fit modifications that can be made to wooden stocked guns cannot be touched by synthetic. Shoot your Benelli in good health but be prepared for that watch budget to get eaten up by a new shotgun budget :)
Thank you Bsubtown!

I actually have an Ithaca side by side that was my Dad’s (he got it when he was a kid) and I wanted a more modern version of shotgun technology with classic styling and engraving ... a gentleman’s gun. I don’t know if I’ll ever get deep in the sport (but who knows ).


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Shot competitive trap and recreational skeet in the eighties and nineties.
IMHO

PERAZZI

Thousands of rounds fired,
Not one issue.

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I'm late to this but my two cents anyway.

Skeet and Sporting one can get by pretty well with most any good O/U with tubes or even moderate open chokes in 12 or even 20 ga. I shoot a 30" K-80 with a Briley tube set. I usually just shoot 20 or 28 for skeet, and 12 ga for Sporting Clays. Unless it's a short range course then I can shoot the 20 ga tubes with their skeet chokes.

Trap is a much different game. IF one wishes to be competitive I really feel you need a TRUE, dedicated tarp gun. I've shot Browning BT-99's, M-12 Win's, Perazzis single barrels , currently shooting my old Ljutic mono gun. A super over engineered single shot.

For doubles I shoot the K-80
 

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Congratulations. I have a SBEII and Vinci, with a Super Sport in 20 en route for my girlfriend. Working my way up to a proper sporting tube gun, but haven't narrowed it down just yet. Enjoy your new purchase.

ETA: Apologies for the old thread bump. Just realized how dated this was...
 

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Been shooting same Browning Citori for clays, skeet, trap, golf balls, and birds for 30 years. No complaints.
 
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