Skeet Shooting with Just One Gun

By Jim Kesel

In the world of shotgun sports sporting clays has grown exponentially. It is a great game that has been likened to playing golf with a shotgun. Many hunters like it because it is similar to the shooting conditions and aspects of hunting. Most sporting clays shooters use a 12 gauge in this game. When it comes to costs it is quite a bit more expensive. Part of this is due to the fact that most sporting clay courses field 100 targets which is same as shooting 4 rounds of skeet or trap. If you cannot afford to spend $50.00 to $75.00 for a round of sporting clays and you want to simulate hunting conditions you might consider shooting skeet. It will sharpen your eye for small game hunting and is more reasonable in price. Any good field shotgun can be used to shoot this game

Just prior to the hunting season you will see all sorts hunting guns that will never win a skeet tournament, but the shooters are having fun and that's what is important. Turning clay birds to dust is great fun.After shooting a couple of rounds of skeet some of these seasonal shooters become interested in becoming a regular or registered skeet shooter. One of the first questions they have is "can I shoot skeet with just one gauge or one gun". The answer is both yes and no. You can shoot a one gauge event and that is what most beginners do. The 12 gauge event is the most common event shot by these neophytes. Soon the new shooter becomes interested in shooting all the skeet events but cannot afford 3 more shotguns. An option is to buy a skeet shotgun with a 4 barrel set. This is not an inexpensive option. It is not uncommon to layout almost $4000.00 for a good used setup. During the last 15 years more and more skeet shooters are shooting all skeet events with one gun through the use of subgauge tubes.

At the next tournament check out what the top shooters are using and will find many are using tubed guns. The most important part of this process is finding a 12 gauge shotgun that fits the shooter very well. This is not a place to cut corners or cost. The most popular shotguns found on the skeet field are Browning, Beretta, Krieghoff, and Perazzi, primarily due to their reliability. You could easily spend up to $8000.00 for the high end models. However, you can purchase new good quality over and unders for between $1800.00 and $2200.00. Once a shooter finds a 12 gauge over and under shotgun that fits him or her well, the purchase of subgauge tubes comes next. If you are on a budget you should consider purchasing a set of 28 gauge tubes first. National Skeet Shooting Association rules allow a shooter to use a 28 gauge shotgun in both the 28 and 20 gauge events. If you check out the NSSA scores for both gauges you will find that there is just a slim handicap. To shoot the 28 gauge you must become a reloader as 28 gauge ammo is twice the cost of 20 gauge. However, shooting ¾ oz of shot and not much powder you can load for less than what you can buy 20 gauge shells. Again saving money. The next set of tubes you should purchase should be 36 gauge or 410. Again you will need to reload this gauge to keep within your budget. You are only pushing ½ oz in the 2 ½ inch hulls. The last set of tubes you should pickup will be 20 gauge. If you are on a budget you can purchase a set of tubes once a year without breaking the bank.

One piece of advice for tube shooters is to get a good case for your tubes. Tube manufactures provide a cheap plastic sleeve that does not protect your investment. The simple mistake of dropping or sitting on a tube will make it unusable. A hard case is not just an accessory it is a requirement to protect your investment.The most popular manufactures of tubes are Kolar and Briley. You can get all the information you need by visiting their websites. Some models like Briley's companion tubes do not require that you send the shotgun to the manufacture to be fitted. These are great tubes and have sold on eBay for less that $350.00. Most dedicated tube shooters choose to send there guns to the manufacture to assure a good fit.Now that you have a good set of tubes and shotgun that fits you it time to work on your game. Just remember shooting skeet is supposed to be fun.

Bruce point Outdoors [http://www.brucepointpartners.com/huntproducts.html]

 


1 Comment

Mario
Mario

March 20, 2015

SIngle shot is fine. I started with a sngile shot 410 when I was 7 and could get consistant doubles on the skeet range by the time I was 9. Stoeger makes a very good sngile shot with removable chokes which is lacking in most sngile shots. they are relativley inexpensive and are made well. I bought my son one last year (20 ga) and he has had no problems in the field taking game. As with any firearm, the more comfortable you get with it, the faster you will become with it, especially reloading. As far as ethics go, be the best shot you can be and choose your shots well and you won’t have a problem.

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