It’s hard enough to hit clay pigeon targets as it is, so it’s crucial that you’re using the best shotguns for the job. Whether it’s trap or target, these are the best clay pigeon shotguns around.
Lanber Sporter Deluxe
Many clay shooting enthusiasts have been singing the praises of the Lanber for a long time now. It’s classed as the dependable yardstick by which the flashier Beretta and Browning’s are measured, some even nicknaming it the ‘sliced white bread’ of shotguns. But what’s the issue with dependable? For a clay shooting shotgun, dependability and accuracy should be prized above all else – and the Lanber delivers.
What’s most beloved about the Lanber is its handling. Some guns can be unwieldy to mount and fire, particularly for newcomers – but the Sporter does an excellent job of balancing the weight to avoid being forward heavy and hard to aim, or back heavy with twitchy muzzles. Combined with a supremely comfortable stock and around £700 new? Maybe sliced white bread is just the thing.
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There are hundreds of reasons why people enjoy clay pigeon shooting. It could be a hobby. It could be stress-relief. It could be to improve focus. But let’s face it, no matter the reason – we all want to hit the clay and see it scatter into hundreds of pieces across the ground. That’s why the Perazzi is so popular. It’s a proven winner.
First introduced in 1968, it has become the standout choice for a competition gun ever since handing Elio Matarelli a gold medal at that year’s Olympics. Perazzi guns have won 53 Olympics medals since – the most in the history of clay shooting. If any more proof was needed, in the 2008 Olympics, 15 of the 16 placed Trap shooters used a Perazzi. Not bad for a small Italian factory that still only produces around 7 handmade guns a day!
The gun’s own features have become legendary in their own right too, the drop-lock trigger group, in particular sparking passionate admiration and as such, remaining a customisable choice in their latest model – the Perazzi High Tech Sporter S. Want to win? Get a Perazzi.
Image credit: Perazzi.it
Browning B525 Sporter
You knew we’d get to Browning eventually. One of the most recognisable shotgun brands on the globe, and for good reason.
This version ticks all the boxes you’d want to hit some clays. Back-bored with reduced barrel weight, it’s responsive and intuitive without becoming jumpy. Combined with a longer forcing cone, it’s the right side of lively. Reduced felt recoil also makes controlling the shot much easier – so you’re even more likely to hit the clay dead centre rather than just winging it (although a hit is a hit!)
For a grand and a half, it’s clear that this is an investment and not for the occasional shooter, but there’s no denying the supreme quality – which you’d expect from Browning’s reputation.
Image credit: Browning.eu
Beretta Silver Pigeon
The all-rounder to end all-rounders. Shooting fans have been lauding the Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon 1 since it was first released in 2010, an over-under shotgun built on the iconic 686 action.
Despite being a hunting shotgun in every sense, it’s particularly prized for accuracy in clay pigeon shooting as its locking lugs are placed mid-action – creating, as Beretta themselves state, the advantage “that the eye of the shooter is a lot closer to the plane of his supporting hand” meaning vastly improved swing and hand-eye coordination.
With a scroll-engraved receiver and oil-finished stock, we have to admit that Silver Pigeon’s don’t come cheap, clocking in at about £1,500 new – but this is a lifelong gun. You get what you pay for, and you get a lot.
Image credit: Beretta.com
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