wanting to get back into shotguns

1
Long long ago in a land far far away I used to amuse various bird species with my imitation of a hunter. Mostly it was freeze my ass off sitting in a blind about two hours before the sun woke up or wandering through the woods entertaining squirrels and various birds. Sometimes it was on a friends farm annoying doves or turkeys or quail or such but I never seemed to annoy them too greatly

Anyway, about two years ago I joined the local Trap and Skeet club but the Covid and I never even got a single chance to use any of the facilities. I still have my old guns, a Remington 48 Sportsman with a polychoke and a Winchester Model 12. Both were hand-me-downs, the Remington made in the first year for that version, December 1949 and the Winchester from 1925. They are in good shape but haven't been fired now in over 40 years. I also have a newer Winchester but it just plain feels wrong. Maybe if I get using it I'll tend to appreciate it.

All three shotguns are 20 gauge which was the norm for birds at the time. My father in law used a Browning Sweet 16 but I seem to remember more 20 gauge users than anything else.

I've never shot trap or skeet and as I said I haven't shot any shotguns in over 40 years so I feel about as novice level as imaginable.

Thus the adventure begins. I picked up a few boxes of bird shot back before prices went crazy so I should be able to at least get started.

So any of you good folk got any advice for an old, somewhat decrepit trap and skeet novice?
To be vintage it must be older than me!
Stories coming to you from Deep South Texas!
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Re: wanting to get back into shotguns

3
Don’t stress, just go enjoy yourself. Clays don’t get amused or entertained. I’ve been wanting to go out myself and shoot a few. If you turnout to like it, get a 12 gauge O/U 30” ish barrel length. Trap is usually with a single barrel.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: wanting to get back into shotguns

6
sikacz wrote: Sat Mar 26, 2022 8:39 pm You may have some plus points with the 20 gauge for a beginner.
https://www.shooting-school.org/12g-vs- ... un-caliber
Well, I have the 20s mostly because my introduction to shotguns back in the 1950s and 1960s was in walking woods annoying squirrels, wandering across fields aggravating doves, quail and pheasants and sitting in a blind amusing ducks and geese. The 16s and 20s were generally slightly lighter, very maneuverable and great for relatively close shots on fast moving targets.

That is, if I were any good all those would be true. The reality I fear was more me being scolded by squirrels, doves, quail and pheasants following behind me feasting on whatever critters I stirred up and mother ducks bringing all the ducklings to whatever blind I was in so they'd be safe.
To be vintage it must be older than me!
Stories coming to you from Deep South Texas!
The next gun I buy will be the next to last gun I ever buy. PROMISE!

Re: wanting to get back into shotguns

7
sig230 wrote: Sun Mar 27, 2022 8:25 am
sikacz wrote: Sat Mar 26, 2022 8:39 pm You may have some plus points with the 20 gauge for a beginner.
https://www.shooting-school.org/12g-vs- ... un-caliber
Well, I have the 20s mostly because my introduction to shotguns back in the 1950s and 1960s was in walking woods annoying squirrels, wandering across fields aggravating doves, quail and pheasants and sitting in a blind amusing ducks and geese. The 16s and 20s were generally slightly lighter, very maneuverable and great for relatively close shots on fast moving targets.

That is, if I were any good all those would be true. The reality I fear was more me being scolded by squirrels, doves, quail and pheasants following behind me feasting on whatever critters I stirred up and mother ducks bringing all the ducklings to whatever blind I was in so they'd be safe.
:roflmao: Nice! LoL.
I’ve been very pleased with my CZ shotguns, made in Turkey. For the price they’ve been great quality, both 12 gauge. Still, I hadn’t thought there would be an advantage to using a 20 in some instances, so I’ve learned something. Although, 12 gauge is pretty much a standard in some of the charity competitions I’ve know about.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: wanting to get back into shotguns

8
sikacz wrote: Sun Mar 27, 2022 4:38 pm
sig230 wrote: Sun Mar 27, 2022 8:25 am
sikacz wrote: Sat Mar 26, 2022 8:39 pm You may have some plus points with the 20 gauge for a beginner.
https://www.shooting-school.org/12g-vs- ... un-caliber
Well, I have the 20s mostly because my introduction to shotguns back in the 1950s and 1960s was in walking woods annoying squirrels, wandering across fields aggravating doves, quail and pheasants and sitting in a blind amusing ducks and geese. The 16s and 20s were generally slightly lighter, very maneuverable and great for relatively close shots on fast moving targets.

That is, if I were any good all those would be true. The reality I fear was more me being scolded by squirrels, doves, quail and pheasants following behind me feasting on whatever critters I stirred up and mother ducks bringing all the ducklings to whatever blind I was in so they'd be safe.
:roflmao: Nice! LoL.
I’ve been very pleased with my CZ shotguns, made in Turkey. For the price they’ve been great quality, both 12 gauge. Still, I hadn’t thought there would be an advantage to using a 20 in some instances, so I’ve learned something. Although, 12 gauge is pretty much a standard in some of the charity competitions I’ve know about.
Currently 12 gauge is pretty much ubiquitous and in many if not most cases the 12 gauge version of a given shotgun is considerably less expensive than the 16, 20, 28 or 410 versions. I do have a newer Winchester that is made in Turkey but the others are ancient and were hand-me-downs or in the case of the SxS a medium priced Spanish import. I seem to remember it was less then $200.00 back in the mid 70s so not the cheapest but also certainly not really expensive.

The Winchesters are both pump while the Remington is a migrating bird specific semi-automatic that has a dimpled magazine tube to only allow 2 shells + 1 to meet the hunting regs. Some folk I know either drilled out the dimples or reamed the magazine to allow a couple more shells to be loaded but since I never used it for anything but fowl mine is still just 2 + 1 max. It does have a poly choke that a prior owner had installed on the Full barrel and I generally used either the Improved or Mod positions. IIRC I did sometimes shoot using the Cylinder and Full choke settings but only when it was in a wide open field.

I've pulled it out, cleaned it back up and lubed and tested cycling with snap caps and everything still works as it should. It's a 2¾" chamber. The three experienced guns are all 2¾" chambers and the new Winchester is a 3". The old Winchester pump is a mod choke and of course the new Winchester is coke inserts. IIRC the Spanish SxS is either IC/Mod or Mod/Full but I need to finish getting it cleaned up and check to see which.

Regardless, any of them should do while I learn the basics. The SxS is the simplest so may be my starting point.
To be vintage it must be older than me!
Stories coming to you from Deep South Texas!
The next gun I buy will be the next to last gun I ever buy. PROMISE!

Re: wanting to get back into shotguns

10
I have the single shot 12ga Pardner named Keith. What I really need is a good clay launcher I can trigger with my foot. The few clays I've managed to break likely were frightened more by the noise than by any pellets I may have flung at them. Need some practice. Anyone got recommendation of a good and inexpensive spring powered foot triggered clay flinger?

CDFingers
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Re: wanting to get back into shotguns

11
I used to compete in sporting clays, so I have owned a lot of shotguns over the years. Now that I'm just a "for fun" shooter, I have sold off my competition guns and picked up a vintage Browning A5 Light Twelve, and a vintage Remington Model 11 Sportsman 20ga. Those are my two do everything guns these days. I choose them because the A5 was just my first love, and I'm happiest with an A5 in my hands. I'm a BIG fan of the 20 bore; perfect for just about all upland hunting.

Whether you buy yourself something new, or continue to use your classics, my advice would be to plunk down a $100-$200 for some lessons. Completely changed my world with shotguns and the best money I ever spent. In fact, it launched me into competition and I was always in the top 10 (and even too first once).

There's about a Jillion different guns to choose from. Unless you go really cheap, it's very difficult to get a "bad" gun anymore; they're all pretty great.

I have to shoot trap and skeet rather sparingly, otherwise the bug takes hold and I spend my kids college money buying more target loads!!!
“I think there’s a right-wing conspiracy to promote the idea of a left-wing conspiracy”

Re: wanting to get back into shotguns

12
FrontSight wrote: Mon Mar 28, 2022 1:59 pm I used to compete in sporting clays, so I have owned a lot of shotguns over the years. Now that I'm just a "for fun" shooter, I have sold off my competition guns and picked up a vintage Browning A5 Light Twelve, and a vintage Remington Model 11 Sportsman 20ga. Those are my two do everything guns these days. I choose them because the A5 was just my first love, and I'm happiest with an A5 in my hands. I'm a BIG fan of the 20 bore; perfect for just about all upland hunting.

Whether you buy yourself something new, or continue to use your classics, my advice would be to plunk down a $100-$200 for some lessons. Completely changed my world with shotguns and the best money I ever spent. In fact, it launched me into competition and I was always in the top 10 (and even too first once).

There's about a Jillion different guns to choose from. Unless you go really cheap, it's very difficult to get a "bad" gun anymore; they're all pretty great.

I have to shoot trap and skeet rather sparingly, otherwise the bug takes hold and I spend my kids college money buying more target loads!!!
Interesting that you mention the A5. My Remington 48 Sportsman is also an recoil operated action like the A5 and your 11. The biggest difference IIRC is that the Remington is more streamlined without the hump and the recoil mechanism change to allow light or heavy loads without changing anything. It's the hunting version of the Remington 11-48.
To be vintage it must be older than me!
Stories coming to you from Deep South Texas!
The next gun I buy will be the next to last gun I ever buy. PROMISE!
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Sportsman 48-1.png

Re: wanting to get back into shotguns

13
A modified choke on a skeet range is a tough road to start. Not to bad for trap but 20 gauge is also a little light in the shot. You really need to center punch those birds to get results. It can be very maddening to start. I would suggest the newer Winchester with an Improved Cylinder choke. I played hell getting my daughter interested when I was trying to teach her with a 28 ga. When she ran my 12 ga she started getting hits and stayed around. It took a little while before she could score with a 20 ga. But, whatever get out and shoot. If they have a wobble trap station that is even better place to start.


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Re: wanting to get back into shotguns

15
Rickoshay wrote: Mon Mar 28, 2022 5:35 pm A modified choke on a skeet range is a tough road to start. Not to bad for trap but 20 gauge is also a little light in the shot. You really need to center punch those birds to get results. It can be very maddening to start. I would suggest the newer Winchester with an Improved Cylinder choke. I played hell getting my daughter interested when I was trying to teach her with a 28 ga. When she ran my 12 ga she started getting hits and stayed around. It took a little while before she could score with a 20 ga. But, whatever get out and shoot. If they have a wobble trap station that is even better place to start.


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All of my shotguns are 20 gauge since back when I did use them 20 gauge was actually the preferred (and 16 gauge) choice for both ducks and game birds. So I'll use what I have at least until I find I actually want something else. Of the shotguns the Winchester Model 12 had a modified choke. The Remington 48 Sportsman is a poly choke so anything from cylinder to full. IIRC the SxS (I need to clean and service it still, it's the last one to get out of the box of shame) is IC/Mod or Full/IC.

I have a new Winchester SXP 20 so can set that to whichever coke I want but honestly it still feels really clumsy and cumbersome. I'll start out with the oldies. It's been to long since they got to go WalkAbout.
To be vintage it must be older than me!
Stories coming to you from Deep South Texas!
The next gun I buy will be the next to last gun I ever buy. PROMISE!

Re: wanting to get back into shotguns

16
Rickoshay wrote: Mon Mar 28, 2022 5:35 pm A modified choke on a skeet range is a tough road to start. Not to bad for trap but 20 gauge is also a little light in the shot. You really need to center punch those birds to get results. It can be very maddening to start. I would suggest the newer Winchester with an Improved Cylinder choke. I played hell getting my daughter interested when I was trying to teach her with a 28 ga. When she ran my 12 ga she started getting hits and stayed around. It took a little while before she could score with a 20 ga. But, whatever get out and shoot. If they have a wobble trap station that is even better place to start.


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My A5 has a modified fixed choke, and I primarily use it for trap. At some point I will have it opened to IC as that's my favorite all around choke for a 12 bore. My M11 20ga has already been opened up. It started life as a full choke, and it has been opened up to SK2, my favorite all around choke for a 20 bore.

Back when I shot sporting clays, I monkeyed around with different choke tubes a lot, and found that I never missed because of choke. So I went IC for pretty much everything and always placed rather well.

In the field, same thing. I always bring home more birds with an IC gun vs any other choke. I'm not a waterfowler, and I have had NO problems dropping pheasants with IC in either 12 or 20ga. Just my .02
“I think there’s a right-wing conspiracy to promote the idea of a left-wing conspiracy”

Re: wanting to get back into shotguns

17
Got the SxS out of storage and did a buff and polish on it and damn, it is even prettier than I remembered. As remembered it is Full/Mod choked but it is a 3" chamber rather than 2¾". I gotta admit that just bringing up was like putting on that old pair of jeans that simply are the perfect fit.

The Star Gauge cost me $150.00 back in 1972 when I bought the little jewel but today that would be over $1000.00 Walnut furniture but a shiny glaze most likely poly. But still purty. Lockwork all case hardened and the gun way over proofed at 1300Kgs which should be over 18000 PSI. I found one smilie under the forearm that I didn't remember so I'll likely touch that up.
Satr Gauge1.png
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Last edited by sig230 on Fri Apr 01, 2022 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
To be vintage it must be older than me!
Stories coming to you from Deep South Texas!
The next gun I buy will be the next to last gun I ever buy. PROMISE!

Re: wanting to get back into shotguns

18
FrontSight wrote:
Rickoshay wrote: Mon Mar 28, 2022 5:35 pm A modified choke on a skeet range is a tough road to start. Not to bad for trap but 20 gauge is also a little light in the shot. You really need to center punch those birds to get results. It can be very maddening to start. I would suggest the newer Winchester with an Improved Cylinder choke. I played hell getting my daughter interested when I was trying to teach her with a 28 ga. When she ran my 12 ga she started getting hits and stayed around. It took a little while before she could score with a 20 ga. But, whatever get out and shoot. If they have a wobble trap station that is even better place to start.


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My A5 has a modified fixed choke, and I primarily use it for trap. At some point I will have it opened to IC as that's my favorite all around choke for a 12 bore. My M11 20ga has already been opened up. It started life as a full choke, and it has been opened up to SK2, my favorite all around choke for a 20 bore.

Back when I shot sporting clays, I monkeyed around with different choke tubes a lot, and found that I never missed because of choke. So I went IC for pretty much everything and always placed rather well.

In the field, same thing. I always bring home more birds with an IC gun vs any other choke. I'm not a waterfowler, and I have had NO problems dropping pheasants with IC in either 12 or 20ga. Just my .02
Agreed - I use IC for pretty much every bird hunting application as well. My mainstay was my Winchester 1300; and I lost the other choke tubes. I just throw IC in everything and call it good. Steel shot supposedly acts like a “modified” in a IC so that works too, for water fowl. I did buy a “skeet” choke tube for my benelli but I have yet to use it.


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