Shotgun for defense and skeet shooting

This is a discussion on Shotgun for defense and skeet shooting within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I killed a lot of clay as a teenager with a Winchester Model 12 20ga. Killed plenty of doubles and a few triples even though ...

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Thread: Shotgun for defense and skeet shooting

  1. #16
    Member Array cdynaco's Avatar
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    I killed a lot of clay as a teenager with a Winchester Model 12 20ga. Killed plenty of doubles and a few triples even though its a pump. Though a full choke is generally not recommended for this, on its 26" barrel it did as well or better than my Dad and his friends with their 28" modified choke 12's. I could reach out and tag that last bird when it was a bit further out and about to hit the ground.
    So don't hesitate at the pump guns. Very dependable, fast, less expensive.
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  3. #17
    Member Array Wreckr's Avatar
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    What is a full choke? What is a modified choke?
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  4. #18
    Member Array cdynaco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wreckr View Post
    What is a full choke? What is a modified choke?
    Back in the day you bought specific barrels. Now you can usually buy barrels with interchangeable chokes. The choke is the narrowing of the barrel diameter at the end which controls how wide and how quickly the shot pattern spreads out down range. I don't know the specific measurements, but:
    full choke has the tightest pattern - therefore will reach out farther before the shot has spread wide;
    modified choke has a slightly more open choke than full and therefore the shot spreads quicker - but I'm sacrificing some distance;
    improved cylinder has a slightly more open choke than modified;
    skeet choke has a slightly more open choke than improved cylinder.

    So if I'm hunting turkey, or geese out in a field, I would want a full choke.
    If I'm hunting birds like doves are quail that fly away fast, I would want modified so the shot spreads out quicker and therefore improves my chances of killing it.
    I believe improved cylinder and skeet are mostly used for clay birds. Never knew anyone that hunted with anything other than full or modified.

    Here's a good chart:
    http://www.shotgunlife.com/shotguns/...un-chokes.html
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  5. #19
    Senior Member Array zamboni's Avatar
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    My cousin puts ah full choke on his 870 Tactical Express Pump and downs honkers with it . . . yep he doz

  6. #20
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    Having shot Skeet, Trap and Sporting Clays (my favorite) and action (IPSC and knockdown Steel) shotgun shooting, you really want a long barrel on your sporting shotguns for the first three which does that make it good for home defense. You can buy some shotguns like the Remington 870, I believe, with two barrels. A long one for play and a short one for defense. This would be your best bet. For action shooting I used a Benelli M1 and that is also very good for home defense.

    A pump will have more recoil than a semi auto shotgun. Sometimes, significantly less depending on the design. I started with a pump, went to a semi auto and then ended up with a lot of side by side and over and under shotguns. It gets to be an expensive habit when you try to purchase the best shotgun for each of the four sports I shot each month. I ended up with an entire safe with just shotguns. I had 18 of them when I moved and I sold them all off because there is no place to shoot them around here and I went from right eye dominant to left eye and that is not good for shotgun shooting.

    I have had good luck sticking with the popular and quality brands like Remington, Mossberg, Benelli and Browning, although there are a lot more quality shotguns out there. We had guys shooting Saiga's and their home defense shotguns at my club because it was very informal. However at my other club where they had voice activated clay throwers, the shotgun sports were taken a lot more seriously and you would feel out of place with a home defense shotgun among all the fancy over/under ones in use and the skill some of those guys had. I ended up with over and under and side by side simple because that is all that is needed for the sports and there is less to go wrong and it is easier to load and unload, etc.. Plus it was safer as you normally would walk with the shotgun broken and over your shoulder so everyone could see it was empty. If you had a semi or pump, you had to clear it in front of the range office and put it in the rack. You could not walk around with it.
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  7. #21
    Member Array DallasCMT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdynaco View Post
    I killed a lot of clay as a teenager with a Winchester Model 12 20ga. Killed plenty of doubles and a few triples even though its a pump. Though a full choke is generally not recommended for this...
    Interesting, as I've been lightly restoring a Winchester model 1912 20 gauge that was made in 1912, but never thought of shooting skeet with it. I enjoy skeet shooting, I'll have to give it a try! Mine is full choke as well, but with a 25" barrel.

  8. #22
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    I have a question related to this, as I'm potentially in the market for a Rem 870.... I know I can swap barrels, chokes, etc, but can you take a standard Wingmaster and extend the magazine tube (not just take out the plug) and add an extended tube like a 7 round home defense shotgun, with an appropriately matched barrel?? Have had Browning, Winchester scatter guns in the past, but have never considered doing the above, or even if it is possible - I know dual barrel kits and combos are available, but wonder about the tube extension piece....

  9. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdt1911 View Post
    I have a question related to this, as I'm potentially in the market for a Rem 870.... I know I can swap barrels, chokes, etc, but can you take a standard Wingmaster and extend the magazine tube (not just take out the plug) and add an extended tube like a 7 round home defense shotgun, with an appropriately matched barrel?? Have had Browning, Winchester scatter guns in the past, but have never considered doing the above, or even if it is possible - I know dual barrel kits and combos are available, but wonder about the tube extension piece....
    Can do easy, just take the spring retainer and the plug and install the extension, should take at least five minutes max.
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  10. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wreckr View Post
    My cousin said it only happens to him with that particular ammo. Do you think that's the case or a broken part inside? I had to rack it a few hard times to eject it. With no short strokes.
    I'd look at the extractor and the extractor spring . However, that Estate brand stuff appears to have some very wide dimensional tolerances. I'd try a bunch of Rem/Fed/Win promo loads to see if it's just the Estate stuff making the gun choke.
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  11. #25
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    Choke selection is highly dependent on the type of shooting you're doing. For defense, cylinder bore (= no choke at all) or Improved Cylinder are just fine.

    A generation and a half ago when I was shopping for my first bird gun, the 'standard' gun shop advice was 12 gauge with Modified choke. Then I did my research. For the New England woods and fields I was hunting, a 20-gauge choked Skeet turned out to be ideal! Fisherman brag about how big their catches are, bird hunters brag about how long their shots were. For my venues, a long shot was 30 yards or so, and a Skeet choke proved deadly.

    30+ years later I'm in the Arizona desert shooting doves (darned few pheasant and partridge out here). I use a 12 gauge over-under choked Improved Cylinder and Modified, because the shots are rarely inside 25 yards and some go out past 40 yards. Skeet choke would be near useless, and Full choke would still be too tight for 3/4 of the shots I take.

    My point is that your selection of choke for all but defensive purposes really depends and what you're hunting, and the type of terrain in which you're hunting.
    Smitty
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  12. #26
    Senior Member Array NH_Esau's Avatar
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    You can get an 870 Express combo with a slug barrel and bird barrel (with interchangeable choke) for under $400, sometimes much under. That's what I've shot trap/skeet/birds/rabbits/etc with for the past ~20 years since upgrading from the old single-shot. Not the ideal skeet gun, but if you really get into clays, you're going to eventually get a specific gun for that anyhow.

    The only downside for modifying for HD is that I heard the new 870 Express models don't take the standard Remington mag extenders.

    Your idea of trying out the club's guns is a good one, though. And I'll bet a few of the guys you shoot with have 870s/1100s/etc that they might bring in and let you try out if you ask.

    Edit: And the ONLY time I've managed to get a failure with my 870 in untold cases of ammo ranging from superlight to 3" magnum goose and turkey loads, in the worst conditions (cold of Alaska and the Dakotas, heat of North Texas) was when I got invited dove hunting right after coming home from a multiyear overseas jaunt. The gun had sat unused and over-greased for a few years, and I didn't bother to clean it. It jammed up on my first attempt to get a double. I pulled it apart right there, wiped it down, used some of the excess grease I'd wiped off to lube the slide arms and bolt assembly, then got it back in the action within 5 minutes. No problems at all after that.

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