10 Great Shotguns for Sporting Clays
Sure, you can bust clay pigeons all day long with the hand-me-down pump tucked away in the back of your gun safe, but why would you? That's like driving a 1996 Ford Taurus to your high school prom. It will certainly do what you ask it to, but really, who wants to be seen in it?
Of course, a day on the clays range isn't about how good you look. It's about performance. Fortunately, some shotguns not only look good, they are built for shattering those orange disks that can give us so much grief. Many have adjustable stocks, weight balancing accessories and other features designed specifically for the range.
You can spend a lot of money on three different clays guns, but Beretta gave you a reason not to. The A400 multi-target is exactly that, a perfect clays gun that is ideal for skeet, trap and sporting clays. The fully-adjustable design allows you to switch the gun's configuration to meet your specific demands at each course.
It comes with an adjustable rib, an adjustable comb, an oversized bolt handle, a balancing cap, extended choke tubs and Beretta's standard high-quality craftsmanship and materials. The barrel is either 30 or 32 inches. $3,000
If it's a Citori, you know it's a quality gun. The line has a rich and storied tradition on the range and in the field and is as reliable and solid as it is smooth and comfortable. The CX is even better for clays shooters. Built with a handsome high-gloss Grade II walnut stock and a polished blued steel receiver, you'll not only shoot great, you'll look great.
The CX features lengthened forcing cones, three extended Invector Plus choke tubes, a 60/40 point-of-impact and 32-inch barrels. It also comes with a high post rib and ventilated side ribs. $1,999.99
There's nothing more rewarding than busting clays with a 28-gauge and there's no better gun to use than Benelli's new ETHOS 28. Built with the same high standards and materials as the 12-gauge ETHOS, the 28 weighs just 5.3 pounds and comes with Benelli's patented Inertia Driven System for smooth, reliable operation even after hundreds of rounds.
It includes a Progressive Comfort recoil pad, an engraved nickel-plated receiver and a Grade AA walnut stock. The barrel is 28 inches. $2,199
Blaser | F16
Although Blaser isn't a popular name among American clays shooters, the company has a great reputation among competitive shotgunners world-wide. Their new 12-gauge F16 over-under is as good a range gun as you'll find and it will last a lifetime.
The F16 comes with the lowest profile receiver on the market and a low center of gravity for a fast, smooth swing. The weight in both the stock and the barrel can be adjusted with Blaser's optional balancer system and the F16 is available in three wood grades. It comes with either 30 or 32-inch barrels. $4,195
The Remington name may be attached to some of America's most famous and reliable shotguns, but they didn't have much in the way of clays guns. The 1100 Competition changes that. Built on the famous 1100 action, the Competition includes features that will help you become a better clays shooter in no time.
It comes with a synthetic stock and adjustable comb and cast, along with a nickel finish receiver, nickel coated internals, a set of five Briley target choke tubes and a recoil reducing stock. It has a 30-inch barrel and weighs 8.25 pounds. $1,305
Beretta | 692
Built specifically for clays shooters, the 692 is as functional and as it is handsome. It's customizable with an adjustable single selective trigger, as well as an adjustable cast, an optional adjustable comb and even an adjustable extraction-ejection.
The 692 also comes with a balance adjustment, allowing you to find the perfect fit without any noticeable added weight. It's available with either 30 or 32-inch barrels and weighs a hair over 8 pounds. $4,800
It doesn't matter if your favorite game is sporting clays, five-stand, skeet or trap, the Winchester 101 Sporting is well-suited for all of them. It comes with five Invector Plus extended choke tubes to help you break birds at every conceivable angle and distance. The trigger is adjustable and the barrels are ported.
It also comes with a Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad so you can shoot until you run out of daylight. The 101 Sporting comes with 28-inch barrels and weighs 7 pounds, 2 ounces. $2,379.99
This may be the best shotgun you've never heard of. Well, until now. Don't be fooled by the brand's obscurity, though. CZ builds some great guns, including the Sporter G2. One look at it and you'll agree they also build some beautiful guns, too.
It's made with Grade III Turkish walnut stock that has an adjustable comb and a hand-engraved receiver. It comes with six Kick's stainless steel, extended choke tubes and 30 or 32-inch barrels. $2,497
Can a shotgun be too beautiful to shoot? Nah, but the Guerini Magnus Sporting over-and-under is one heck of a pretty range gun. You'll not only look like a pro, you'll shoot like one, too, thanks to the craftsmanship that goes into every Guerini shotgun.
The stunning hand-carved receiver is matched by the equally beautiful oil-finish stock. It's available in 12, 20 and 28 gauges and comes with 30 or 32-inch barrels, six MAXIS competition choke tubes and a hard plastic case. $5,250
Designed for clays enthusiasts who need a shorter length-of-pull and a thinner wrist, the XLR5 Compact is ideal for young or women shooters. It weighs just 7 pounds, 6 ounces and uses a reliable, soft-recoil gas operation system.
The high-grade Turkish walnut stock is oil-finished and the action is available in either left or right-hand. The XLR5 Compact comes with five EXIS competition choke tubes, a hard case and a five-year warranty. $1,990