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kayaker
10-20-2009, 01:44 PM
I recently posted a thread looking for handgun ammunition info (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=532099), and it was a big help. I learned that I could use 38 caliber ammunition in my .357 magnum (less recoil) and I have been doing just that and it's been fun.

I took the gun to a friends property in the mountains near Bedford, PA. Turns out he had a single shot 20 gauge shotgun, some clay birds, and a thrower. We had much fun, and I even hit a few.

I had so much fun, that I wound up looking at shotguns. Airman Doors, USAF mentioned in my ammunition thread the Mossberg 500, and a guy at the gunshop also mentioned it. So I bought one. Now I have some questions:


Another ammo question: what shotgun shells (20 gauge) for clay pigeons?
My neighbor told me I will eventually need to get a 12 gauge. True?
Can I practice with it on a range (indoor/outdoor)?
Cleaning tips: Hoopes#9?
Second barrel came with the gun, rifled for slugs. Any use other than hunting?


Oh, and one more. Both my .357 magnum and my 20 gauge shotgun have instructions for adjustment of the sites. Do most people do this? Will it make a difference?

Thanks for reading!:D

GaryM
10-20-2009, 02:18 PM
For shooting clay pigeons, it's usual to use #8. Many commercial establishments prohibit shot larger than #7 1/2. We usually use #8 for skeet and sporting clays.

As a routine cleaning, I use a Bore Snake (http://www.hoppes.com/products/ca_boresnakes.html). Occasionally clean more vigorously with patches etc. Lubricate with Breakfree CLP (http://www.botachtactical.com/breakfree.html) or other lube. Breakfree will clean as well as lube. I use it on most of my collection.

Only reason to get a 12 Ga is to throw more shot. If you're breaking birds with a 20, no need to change. My BIL often uses a 28 Ga or a .410. Mush harder to break birds, but very satisfying when you do.

Nitpick, Trap is an organized game with rules and a specific field layout, as is Skeet.

kayaker
10-20-2009, 02:35 PM
Nitpick, Trap is an organized game with rules and a specific field layout, as is Skeet.

hehe. OK, I kinda sorta knew that. I read the wikipedia articles on trap, skeet, and sporting clays and thought I had it down. A local sportsmans club has trap shoots every Sunday, advertised on their sign, which made me think of the term.

That bore snake looks like something I need.:D

engineer_comp_geek
10-20-2009, 02:36 PM
GaryM answered it pretty well.

For ammo, like GaryM said you want small pellets like #7 or #8. There are several brands of "target" shells which you can look for.

The range I go to (Hap Baker in Maryland) allows shotguns set up for slugs only. They don't allow you to use scatter shot. Most of your typical indoor and outdoor ranges will be similar. There are skeet and trap ranges that you can join that will give you someplace to practice. They aren't as common as regular ranges but you should be able to find one in your area.

kayaker
10-20-2009, 02:39 PM
Yep, I have a range locally and have joined, but I'd like to get better before I shoot in public.

GaryM
10-20-2009, 03:51 PM
Yep, I have a range locally and have joined, but I'd like to get better before I shoot in public.

Same way you get to Carnegie Hall, practice, practice, practice.

If you were using a hand thrower for the targets, spring powered models are not too expensive and make it a lot more fun.

You might want to look into Sporting Clays, also called Golf with a shotgun. Much fun.

Welcome to shotgunning, you'll be buying a reloading press next. :D

butler1850
10-21-2009, 10:55 AM
Yep, I have a range locally and have joined, but I'd like to get better before I shoot in public.

Like in the last thread, I'll throw out that you shouldn't be afraid to look silly on the range, as long as you're safe. My first outings with the shotgun were at my club at an organized shoot. I got some good natured ribbing about my ability, and some good suggestions on how to improve quickly. Gun people like newbies, we like teaching, and we love to make fun in a joking manner. On our course, I routinely hit 18-20 birds out of a round of 25. Some days better, some days worse, but it's fun for me, not real competition. I shoot as well with my inexpensive pump Mossy 500 as far more experienced folks with very expensive over-unders.

I'm not the best shooter, but I've a ton of laughs as folks have forgotten to load, cycle, turn safetys off, or simply didn't see the bird leave the traphouse. Good natured fun.

For ammo, I have the 12ga Mossberg 500, and I buy whichever Federal or Winchester #7 or #8 bird/clay shot is available at the best price in case lot at Wallyworld, or other big shop. They all shoot fine out of my gun, with the standard "Improved Cylinder" choke. (There are other chokes to change the pattern -spread- of the shot, but IC works fine for my purposes. This is Shotgunning 303 anyway)

kopek
10-21-2009, 12:17 PM
Yep, I have a range locally and have joined, but I'd like to get better before I shoot in public.


A) Don't worry. I've had days on trap ranges and sporting clay courses where I would have broken more birds throwing the shells rather than shooting them. It happens.

B) I assume you are also in Pennsylvania. Check with your local Game Protector or field office and see if any of the game lands near you have a dedicated range area for clays. We have one at Wexford and may still have one at Dunbar (haven't been there for a bit) and they are almost never used. With a cheap mechanical thrower, you can get some practice there first if you want.

kayaker
10-21-2009, 12:35 PM
I assume you are also in Pennsylvania. Check with your local Game Protector or field office and see if any of the game lands near you have a dedicated range area for clays. We have one at Wexford and may still have one at Dunbar (haven't been there for a bit) and they are almost never used. With a cheap mechanical thrower, you can get some practice there first if you want.

I have heard about the area in Wexford. A friend told me of another around Clarion (a bit closer for me). I have this thrower (http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/product/standard-item.jsp?id=0012730221110a&navCount=0&podId=0012730&parentId=cat601042&masterpathid=&navAction=jump&catalogCode=QZ&rid=&parentType=index&indexId=cat601042&cmCat=netcon&cm_ven=netcon&cm_cat=Google&cm_pla=clay%20pigeon%20thrower&cm_ite=netcon&hasJS=true), although I bought it used so it is "rust colored" instead of red. Works fine.

I also have access to a friend's property, though it is about a 90 minute drive. We were wondering about how quickly the clay degrades. Any thoughts?