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Pump vs. over/under

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Old 01-02-2014, 01:20 AM   #1
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Default Pump vs. over/under

Hello all!

I've just recently taken up trap shooting with my local club, and I'm thinking over getting a cheap shotgun to call my own (currently I use one of the 870s my club owns when I shoot trap).

Since it will be the only shotgun in my arsenal, I want something relatively all purpose (useable for home defense or trap). I've considered semi-auto, but I think what I want is either a pump or a over/under, namely because I love the classic look and feel of both of those styles. Definitely 12 gauge, and ideally not too pricey since it's just a starter gun.

What do you guys think, any suggestions out there?

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Old 01-02-2014, 01:28 AM   #2
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Buy an 870 if you shoot it well. Mossberg 500 is a good choice. I wouldn't want my only shotgun to be an O/U. If you are going to buy it for dedicated trap shooting that is one thing. But you said a multi-purpose so a pump is your best option.
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:35 AM   #3
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my preference is for side by side for trap skeet birding. i just prefer the more classy look. for me the side by side tracks better on moving targets.

the difference tween side by side and o/u is mainly cosmetic but the diff tween those and a pump or semi is speed. a double barrel is faster than a pump or semi. there is no round to cycle into the chamber both barrels are already loaded. doesnt get any faster than that.

the other choice is double or single trigger. i have two sxs one with a double the other a single. my pref is the double trigger since i can have two different shells and two different chokes and not have to muck with a barrel selector switch to set off one barrel or the other as needed for target distance. VERY handy for birding.

pumps and semis offer much higher capaciy and easier loading but a lot of trap shooting you only get two shots. a lot of states only allow two shells in the gun, which negates the advantages of the pump or semi in such things.

sxs and o/u arent very good for home defense and other things like three gun competition and other shooting sports which arent trap/skeet
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:39 AM   #4
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For trap shooting only I would go over/under. But for everything else I prefer a pump. I have a buddy that uses his over/under as his home defense as well, but that is only two shots before you have to reload. My sister's house got robbed by four guys. Two shots is not always enough.
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:48 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by aandabooks View Post
Buy an 870 if you shoot it well. Mossberg 500 is a good choice. I wouldn't want my only shotgun to be an O/U. If you are going to buy it for dedicated trap shooting that is one thing. But you said a multi-purpose so a pump is your best option.
I agree an 870 is a great trap and self defense shotgun, I shot trap for about 10 years with an 870 before I bought my Ruger Red Label o/u. The Mossberg 500 is also a good choice, a friend of mine had one that he literally shot until it fell apart, this took over 20 years of trap, hunting, and various other pursuits.

A used Remington 1100 is also a very good choice, a little less recoil. With either 870 or 1100 go with a 28" or 30" barrel with the interchangeable chokes.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:01 AM   #6
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My personal preference for clays is an over and under. For me, it's the weight / balance that seems to work for me. I find I can grip the O&U more comfortably and bring it up to my shoulder without thinking about the aim. It just seems to fit well. I do have a single which I have used for fun on clays but it knocks the crap out of me for some reason. (weight, no doubt) I also have a Moss 500 which I started with....and still shoot clays with. But I always gravitate back to the O&U.
Never waste time deciding between two both of them.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:45 AM   #7
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Buy a pump for now as a do it all option. Remington offers a 21 inch Rem Choke barrel with some of the newer 870s that with a change of a choke tube, most needs would be covered. If you shoot the club 870s well, I would get an 870, as you are already used to how they operate.

Should you decide you want a trap only shotgun later see if some of the other club members will let you try out a round with one of their shotguns. That way you can find out if a SXS or an O\U would work well for you.
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:03 PM   #8
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You can get a Mossberg 500 combo with a 28" barrel and a 18.5" security barrel for the cost of an 870 express. At this point you are not prepared to lay out $2,500 or more for a decent double barrel when you might quit shooting skeet and trap in six months. Don't settle for a pump with a security type barrel even if it has screw in chokes. You need as much sight plane as you can get. If expert skeet shooters feel the need for a 30" barrel you will not do better with a 20" barrel.

Don't cheap out on a double barrel. The minimum double barrel you should consider is a graded Browning with a 30" barrel. Unless you can find a stevens made in the 60's a cheap double barrel is not going to have the balance of a well made skeet gun.

Last edited by John_Deer; 01-02-2014 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:57 PM   #9
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I've had a few pumps over the years and they are reliable, cheaper to buy, and more versatile, as you can add another barrel. However, I find I shoot much better with an O/U. Whether it's clay pigeons, pheasant, grouse or quail, I prefer an Over/Under. Not for home defense, I'll stick with the 8 shot scattergun for that. I would stay away from the Chinese made O/U's that you see for $300-400. Check out the O/U models from CZ, $600 to $800, but they are some of the best handling double guns I've seen.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:10 PM   #10
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Here is my 2 cents worth – buy an auto loader and get as good a one you can afford and feel just a little pain when you pay for it. I am not saying pay more than you can afford, but if you can back of on eating out (assuming you do) for a month – do it and apply those dollars to your “only shotgun…”
If you were not going to be set on one shotgun here is the rundown on what I would recommend:

• Trap singles – Pump Action full choke 30” barrel
• Trap doubles – O/U, SxS, Autoloader, just not a pump 30” barrel full choke
• Skeet – O/U or Autoloader, if you want “the look” SxS is fine 26 – 28 inch barrel skeet choke
• 5-Stand and Sporting Clay’s – O/U 30” barrel screw-in chokes
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