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Decision Made - SBE for Trap/Sporting Clays


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Hi All.


I have a 12 gauge Benelli Super Black Eagle that I dusted off some time ago and started to visit a local trap range I just realized was in my area. I also have gone to the skeet range and gave sporting clays a shot. After quite a few visits, as well as you may have guessed I was hooked on something "new" and fun to do and I was off and running reviewing the purchase of a new gun..Benelli models, Browning 525, XT, Beretta...


I came to a revelation last night and decided that I am going to continue to bust clays with the SBE and not make a new purchase. I figure that if the gun fits properly, I guess it can't be the gun that misses.


Sure I know that a gas powered may not leave my shoulder with some slight bruising but I have a fix for that. Going to order a new vest from Browning at Cabelas with that "Reactor" pad. Problem solved - I hope.


Also, the over/unders may have some advantages such as longer barrel, shot pattern, adjustments for proper fit, etc. but most things (besides fit) I believe may be able to be compensated with better concentration and form.


Don't get me wrong. I would love to also have a new gun specially designed for clays, but I am tired of hearing/seeing posts that trap/sporting clays cant be done with the SBE gun or that you must get this, that or the other. Maybe other guns can help and make it easier but I don't see why I can't make this work. I guess I just like the challenge.


Don't know if anyone else is doing the trap/sporting thing successfully with an SBE but I'm going to give it a shot to achieve some respectable scores and most of all have some fun. Maybe when I get the scores up I'll then consider something else or maybe I'll just continue to dance with the one that I brought.


I'm also hoping that anyone that reads this that has a pump or auto and not the "perfect weapon of choice" goes down to the trap range and just go for it and stick with it. I'm having a blast.


A few questions ... I am going to go to the range to check the shot pattern at 16-20 yards with modified choke. Any thoughts on how this is suppose to look?


Also, does anyone have any insight of improvements or tips of the SBE that may help in anyway such as fitting? The only other thing I was going to do is order a "HiViz Compsight" but wasn't sure if that would fit the SBE and would help anyway.


Thanks for any input and GO Team Benelli. :)

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Beware the man who has only one gun; he probably shoots it well.


Nothing wrong with using the SBE for trap or sporting clays. Its just not made for that purpose. Its a light weight hunting gun made to be carried in the field.


Does that mean you cannot enjoy shooting clays or become successful shooting clays with it? Of course not. I personally know two excellent sporting clays shooters who shoot Benelli Super Sport shotguns.


A couple of questions.


Why do you want to pattern your gun at 16-20 yards? That seems an odd distance. Most folks pattern at 13 yards to establish POI vs. POA, then at 35 yards or so to determine pattern efficiency. And you can't just eyeball it. You actually have to draw circles and count pellets. (go to trapshooters.com and search for posts by Neil Winston on the subject)


Why the HiViz sight? In my humble opinion, a bright, very visible sight distracts me from what is important, and in clay target shooting, what is important is both eyes on the target, and head firmly on the stock.


On the other hand, I do know a number of excellent shooters who like the bright sights, so as with all things, your mileage may vary.


Go enjoy yourself. That's what its about.

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I trap shoot with one of my Novas. Am I the best with it. NO. I shoot in the low 20's at the 16 yard and 20> as a move back. If I shoot it all the time, I could do better. But, I will shoot a round of trap, then a round of skeet with a different gun. The biggest thing is to know where the gun shoots and patterns.


Good luck and have a blast.



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Thanks to all for the replies and good advice.


ACFM74: I'm glad to hear that your SBE also cycles lighter loads. I have been using the Remington Gun Club loads without any problem. The SBE has been nothing but reliable. The only time is didnt shoot was when I had the safety on.


timb99: Thanks for the advice. I read somewhere about using 16 yards as I understand that is the distance for trap. I guess I'll have to reconsider and use your pattern suggestions. I have been reviewing the referred posts and I'll have to determine the POI to ensure I'm on target.


With respect to the sight, I thought that it may help to ensure that the barrel is in line with my aim. Ive been using the front and rear sights to ensure my head/eye is in the correct position and then just try to concentrate on the target. The gun seems to fit well and the sight was just reassurance that things lined up as the SBE doesnt have all the fit adjustments. I don't want to get started on a lot of doodads and if I can keep it simple and don't need anything I will. I'll keep with the current stock sight I guess and pattern it first.


Novaking: Those sound like good numbers to me. I am not trying to go pro here but also to be in the low 20s as well and have fun. Thanks for confirming about knowing where the gun patterns as important. Once I determine the pattern, I hope to be able to better adjust my shots at the range.

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For true "trap", 16 yards is how far back you stand from the machine.


By the time you call for the bird, see it, get on it, get a lead, and pull the trigger, the bird is 30 to 35 yards away from you. Closer if you're a quick shooter, a little more if you are a slow shooter.


That's why I recommend patterning (to establish pattern efficiency) at about 35 yards.


I shoot a lot of trap. Great fun.


Good luck.



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