Bought my first shotgun. Sight and barrel length for clay shooting?
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:50 PM   #1
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Default Bought my first shotgun. Sight and barrel length for clay shooting?

Bought a Remmington 870 (Security) pump action shotgun with a 20" barrel, and extended magazine (6 shots... +1 chambered? or do you say that with shotguns?) last month and have been to the range a couple times with it for some clay shooting... Nobody told me how much fun shotguns are! Did the Tom Knapp thing where you throw clays with you hand (no thrower) and shoot before they hit the ground, and I can get throw and shoot two at once this way, about 1/5 of the time, and throw and shoot one 80+% of the time.. Went to another range that had a pneumatic thrower, and I'm about down to about 30-40%.

So I'm wondering, what can I do/have done with the shotgun for greater clay destruction? Barrel length? fiber optic sight? Just practice more? I'm really just winging it right now. I have NO instruction on the thing (other than basic gun safety). Recommended reading? tips? investments (besides a different gun)?

oh, and not to act like a big sissy about it, but 100+ rounds per range visit beats the hell out of my shoulder. is that normal? or is it more likely I'm not doing something correctly with the butt of the gun? Should I buy a recoil pad? or just suck it up?

So many questions!! thanks for your help!

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Old 09-21-2010, 07:57 PM   #2
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Sounds like you're shooting clays with a home defense shotgun. While it works, I doubt you'll ever get optimum results. Does the gun have a choke at all I wonder? It's been many years since I shot clays but I generally preferred a longer barrel semi-auto shotgun with a comfortable stock and thick recoil pad...

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Old 09-21-2010, 08:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NGIB View Post
Sounds like you're shooting clays with a home defense shotgun.
I am
Quote:
While it works, I doubt you'll ever get optimum results.
ii figured. Not that I expected to be getting 100% with it, just looking to have some fun and gain resonable prificiency with my new firearm.
Quote:
Does the gun have a choke at all I wonder?
nope, no choke, would that help compensate for the shorter barrel? Noob question: can you put a choke on any barrel, or is there a threading ot attachment system at the end of barrels you can choke?
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It's been many years since I shot clays but I generally preferred a longer barrel semi-auto shotgun with a comfortable stock and thick recoil pad...
Seems to be the common consensus in these parts. 20 guage semi auto with a 28 inch barrel would have been a better gun for clays from what I gather... glad to hear I'm not alone in wanting a recoil pad though!

So should I look into getting a longer barrel then? Thoughts on sights or chokes?
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Old 09-22-2010, 01:59 PM   #4
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An 870 can be a great skeet or trap gun, but you limit yourself with the short barrel and many ranges won't allow barrels under 24 inches on their ranges because of the noise and blast issue with the people shooting next to you. You can pick up a spare 870 barrel in 28 or 30 inch with chokes tubes and do about any type of clay shooting you'd like. The longer barrel will make the gun swing much smoother and the extra weight will lesson the recoil some. For skeet, which is what I'd recommend, buy some light 7/8 ounce loads in 8 or 9 shot and you will be pleasantly surprised how nice they are to shoot. Use an IC or Skeet choke tube. Warning, once you start shooting skeet you may catch the bug and end up buying about 10 more shotguns...

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Old 09-27-2010, 05:20 AM   #5
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Yeah, its already bad. I got this 870 and now I really want a double barrel (I fired daggle's about a month back and it was damn fun) and really I'm gonna need a semi auto to really break clay, so consider the bug already caught. In the meantime, any thoughts on where to buy a cheap 28 inch barrel? I was looking at bass pro shop today and saw they cost mottle than half as much as my gun. Is 200 about right? Got any brand recommendations? Or is Remington the only one I'm gonna find?

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Old 09-27-2010, 01:38 PM   #6
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If it's a new one $200 is about right. There are some after market brands other than Remington but they tend to be more expensive as they're made for specialty trap purposes. Check online for a used one--should be able to find something in the $100 range. Guns America may have something...

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Old 09-27-2010, 04:24 PM   #7
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28" used to be the norm for a sporting barrel. Many have switched to 26" as they tend to be less muzzle heavy and swing faster. It really depends on the shooter. I have demo'd 5 hand thrown clays (to be honest it took me six shots) with my Saiga. It has a 14" barrel with 4" breacher welded on to make legal length. This gun cycles fast, but will beat you up a bit.

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Old 10-08-2010, 11:13 PM   #8
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The first problem you have is that your 870 has no choke. Try and find a barrel 26"-28" that has threads for multiple chokes or a permanent choke that suits you. I would recomend full choke for trap and modified for skeet and sporting clays.

Your issue with recoil can be caused by a number of items.
1.) pump action shotguns kick more than semi's so you might think about switching.
2.) make sure the butt of the gun is secured firmly against your shoulder, that way the recoil pushes your whole body back instead of just punching your shoulder.
3.) There are slip on recoil pads available that can help soften the blow
4.) There are "shooting shirts" available that have extra padding sewn into the shoulder which minimizes pain of recoil.

As for dusting more clays, nothing beats practice. Barrel length and choke will affect your pattern but you have to point and shoot.

I would definitely recommend buying a different gun if your gonna shoot for more than home defense practice. I like the semi's because they hold more shells and have less recoil. Hope this helps!

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Old 10-15-2010, 11:17 PM   #9
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ok, The recoil problem has been all but eliminated. amazing how much of a difference a good recoil pad makes. Went out and got a limbsaver, and the difference is night and day. no more bruising, no more soreness, no more problems.

I'm sure that I'll get a semi-auto in the future, but right now the barrel seems to be the next investment. Found a good price on them on guns america (144 after shipping) so soon I'll be able to make that happen. For now though it looks like I'll be practicing witht he 20". When you guys were first reccomending the longer barrel it didn't make sense to me, untill I started letting the clays get further out. at a certain point the spread seems so wide (visible on the backstop) that some of the shot is hitting the clay and it's not breaking. Is that possible? or is that just me compensating for poor aim?

I saw the recoil shirts at the gun shop and didn't know what to think of them until I noticed guys walking around the range with them on, but with the limbsaver I don't have much of a problem. If I had a wooden stock without the recoil pad I'd DEFINITELY look into them.

Thanks for your help everyone!

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