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Shotgun for Trap

Clays, Trap, Skeet etc, all shotgun related queries and information.

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SR9
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Shotgun for Trap

Postby SR9 » Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:09 am

I did some trap shooting this weekend with a friend at his club and I am hooked. He uses a Browning 12ga.

I am interested to know what shotgun any of you use and what you think might be a good entry level shotgun for future purchase.


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Postby Mopar » Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:27 am

best entry level is the one you already own. While not optimal, you can use just about any full stocked shotgun. My wife is more into trap then I, and she uses a Browning BT99, but that's not really entry level. One of the best trap shooters at that club you shot at Saturday uses a Remington 1100. Many would say that's not the best trap gun, but those who say it rarely outshoot Steve sooooo... I also use an 1100, mainly because I'm not a big shotgunner so for me it's a good all around gun. With a quick change of the barrel it goes from trap to skeep to hunting.
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Postby GreggAndrews » Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:24 pm

While not a champion trap shooter by any stretch of the imagination, I use my old Ithaca Featherlight (Model *87*).

If you look around, the 87's can be had for ~$300 in pristine condition used (WITH THE 22'' SLUG BARREL AS WELL!!). While not as well finished or pretty as an older 37, they still blow an 870, 500, or Nova out of the water, hands down.

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Postby SR9 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:18 am

Very interesting. Thanks for the input, ya got me think'in (dangerous). I will look around to see what is out there.

I was under the impression that hunting style shotguns would be worn out quickly thus the reason for dedicated trap guns.

I do own a shotty, it is a Mossberg 500 pump with a slugster barrel. Not sure what choke that represents when shooting shot through it. Maybe I should look at getting another barrel for it. Might be a pain to use due to recovering the shells between rotations. The O/U I used Saturday (Browning, not sure of the model) made it pretty easy to grab the shell and put it in my belt pouch.

How do you handle that with the 1100? If memory serves it is an auto loader.

I am more into rifle and pistol so this shotgun thing is all new to me. I shot my brothers shotgun about 25 years ago so it has been awhile. I put more shot down range Saturday than ever. I have a lot to learn but that is what makes it fun for me.
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Postby SR9 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:20 am

GreggAndrews wrote:While not a champion trap shooter by any stretch of the imagination, I use my old Ithaca Featherlight (Model *87*).

If you look around, the 87's can be had for ~$300 in pristine condition used (WITH THE 22'' SLUG BARREL AS WELL!!). While not as well finished or pretty as an older 37, they still blow an 870, 500, or Nova out of the water, hands down.


Interesting, I will have to look around for one. Seems very affordable.
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Postby Mopar » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:01 am

SR9 wrote: Might be a pain to use due to recovering the shells between rotations. The O/U I used Saturday (Browning, not sure of the model) made it pretty easy to grab the shell and put it in my belt pouch.

How do you handle that with the 1100? If memory serves it is an auto loader.

I have a shell catcher for trap. It's just a little piece of plastic that clips on the ejection port. It lets the shell eject 1/2 way out so you can grab it. Not this exact one (and I'm pretty sure mine was about 1/2 that price!) but looks something like this: http://www.cabelas.com/barrels-chokes-brownells-t-s-shell-catchers-1.shtml
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Postby GreggAndrews » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:41 am

SR9, you will NEVER wear out a good quality shotgun.

You certainly won't wear out an Ithaca either. If you can find an older 37, that will be even better (especially if you're like me, and you like to slamfire :twisted: ).

The reason I recommend them, is because they are light, and superbly balanced. Not to mention that even the examples made in the seventies/eighties (quality cuts) are STILL very well made.

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Postby SR9 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:48 am

That's great, I did not know they made shell catchers for shotguns. I will have to look around and see what is available.

The Ithaca sounds like a nice gun, I will be on the look out for one. Appreciate the info.
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Re: Shotgun for Trap

Postby jtf650 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:51 pm

SR9 wrote:I am interested to know what shotgun any of you use and what you think might be a good entry level shotgun for future purchase.


I've been shooting trap for a while (not well, just for a while) and I've managed to accumulate a Remington 11-87 Trap, a Beretta 390 Trap, a Browning XT , and a Browning BT100. The 390 and the BT100 have been converted to release triggers in a mostly successful effort to work around a flinch.

The traditional entry level trap gun is probably a trap version of a Remington 1100 or 870, and there's nothing wrong with either. The trap versions have slightly different stocks and ribs, and are supposed to shoot a little high so you have a little built in vertical lead for the rising trap target. As noted above, if you use an auto get a shell catcher, it's the courteous thing to do. The guy standing next to you with the $20k Perazzi might not appreciate it getting dinged by your flying hulls. With a pump, it's easy to just grab the hull as you retract the slide. I would advise against a light gun- light guns are fine for carrying afield all day, but the continuous recoil of trap shooting with a light gun will pound you.

All that said, if a field gun is what you have, then shoot the field gun, at least until you're sure you want to invest in a dedicated trap gun. You want a 28"-30" barrel on an auto or pump, and a 30"-34" barrel on an O/U or single barrel trap. For 16 yard trap, it should be choked mod (a little too open), Imp Mod (ideal), or Full (a little too tight)- those are only my opinions, others will disagree vehemently.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do. Trap, skeet and sporting clays are all a lot of fun with mostly good people, just like anything else.

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Postby Mopar » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:09 pm

For what it's worth, I have an extra 1100 trap with (if I remember right) a 30" full choke magnum barrel on it. It's not a magnum reciever so despite the barrel you still can not shoot 3" magnums thru it, but you could use 2 3/4 steel shot if so inclined. Several months ago a certain forum member here (coughnvisncough) decided he wanted an 1100. Well, I found this one at a fair price, only someone (coughnvisncough) didn't have any money that week. It was a decent gun at a fair price so I went ahead and snatched it up for him. Of course, by the time that someone (coughnvisncough) had the money, he had already decided he wanted something else. Not a big deal, like I said it was a decent gun at a decent price, I'm not worried about beiing "Stuck" with it. So if you decide you might want an 1100, lemme know and I'll bring it up to the club after I get back from vacation for you to check out.
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Postby newguy » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:15 pm

I will tell ya from personal experince i am useing a bolt action 1958 JC Higgins Shotgun with a Factory installed adjustable choke and i love it looks brand new and it only holds 3 shells which makes it hunting legal and defently the straightest shooting shotgun i ever fired

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Postby SR9 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:44 am

jtf - thanks for your input I am learning a lot from all of you that have been there and that is a big help. I did like the Browning I was so generously lent on Saturday. I appreciate nice hardware. Sounds like I have a lot of options. You have a nice collection to pull from for sure.

Mopar - Thanks for the offer on the 1100, that might be a good place to start. Right now I am gathering up the $$ to join and will have to look at the "toy" fund to get a time frame on any new acquisitions. I will keep your offer in mind. appreciate that.

newguy - That sounds like a real classic. I like the unique firearms like the JC Higgins. Some of the older gun are really good shooters too. I am sure it makes for good conversation as well as fun to shoot.
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Postby GreggAndrews » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:40 am

Newguy, I have an old 20ga. Mossberg bolt action exactly like that (C-lect choke). Good, solid shotgun.


(Also, they're the perfect foundation for the slug guns from hell... look it up. :twisted: )

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Postby jtf650 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:12 pm

If you're shooting at Wolcott or Bristol and you'd like to try one, let me know. I can get up that way with a little notice. I wouldn't recommend the BT100 with its release trigger, but the other 3 are either pull triggers or can be easily converted. Come to think of it, Wolcott used to have loaners- an 870 and an 1100, I think. If they're still available, give 'em a try. Next thing you know, you'll be looking into reloaders and components and... Welcome to the asylum.

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Postby Mopar » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:50 pm

Wolcott still has loaners, though the only one I've seen was a 20gauge 1100 that my stepson used to borrow until we got him his own for his 14th birthday (a 12ga 1100 built by the guy that knows more about remington 1100s then anyone still working at remington).
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