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Old 01-12-2021, 02:39 PM
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Hello All,

I'm thinking about getting into trap shooting and was wondering if anyone could give some advice on a shotgun that would serve this need. I haven't done much research, but I have read a few reviews on Cabela's website. My concern is buying a pretty expensive firearm that leaves a bruise on my arm. Any help out there?
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Old 01-12-2021, 03:00 PM
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HKB what's your budget? Trap guns range from $500 - $25K+
I'm a die hard Browning guy. I have Gracoil recoil reducers on both of my regularly used trap guns, I really like them.

Highly recommend trapshooters.com

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Old 01-12-2021, 03:03 PM
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Iíd look for a used Remington 1100 if recoil is a big issue or if youíre going to shoot doubles.

Alternatively, a Winchester Model 12 or an older Remington 870 (pump guns) are great trap guns. Folks usually want full choke on a trap gun and there are a ton of them available in these models.

You can spend a ton on a new gun, but your score wonít be any better than your score with the guns Iíve listed here.

As you gain skill at the trap game, you may want more expensive guns, but by then you wonít be looking for advice on the internet.
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Old 01-12-2021, 03:07 PM
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A basic Browning BT99 with a 34" barrel works for us as does an 870 with a long barrel.
Trap loads are light and lotsa 12-15 year old kids have no issues with the 12 gauge.
An O/U has advantages as do the pumps for more than one shot when playing different games.
You can break 25 with an 870.
Trap can get expensive in ammo and range fees.
28" minimum barrel length might be required at some ranges.

Pic of BT99 and 870 Super Mag.... which with 3.5" HV shells is brutal... but fun.
The only downside to the pumps is the extended position of the left hand, for righties, compared to the BT99, O/U and SxS guns.

Having a coach/teacher to get you started is prudent.
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Old 01-12-2021, 03:10 PM
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If you can find a nice 870 Classic Trap you’ll be all set...preferably an older model.
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Old 01-12-2021, 03:10 PM
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I’ll second Remington 1100 but with the recent bankruptcy of Remington I cannot avow for quality
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Old 01-12-2021, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by HKB View Post
Hello All,

I'm thinking about getting into trap shooting and was wondering if anyone could give some advice on a shotgun that would serve this need. I haven't done much research, but I have read a few reviews on Cabela's website. My concern is buying a pretty expensive firearm that leaves a bruise on my arm. Any help out there?
Go hang out out at the trap club and talk too the good trap shooters and see what they shoot and why. I am sure some of the shooters will let you shoot their guns and you can make a more informed decision. Larry
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Old 01-12-2021, 03:28 PM
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Just went through this with my daughter who joined the Skeet-Trap team at her High School (yes, she has a weapon on school grounds). The best advice I got (I'm not a shotgun guy) was to let her try a few at the range and see what she liked and what worked for her. We decided on an Over&Under 12ga but the other girls ALL opted for a automatic in 20ga. Anyway, the cost for these shotguns ranges from $400 to $1m (seriously) with many of the know-it-alls saying you can't get a good skeet gun for <$5000 (they're WRONG). Hope that helps.

BTW, She out shot each of those girls with the lighter and auto weapons.
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Old 01-12-2021, 03:36 PM
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after a lifetime of trap i can tell you you'll own several guns over your 'career' in trap.
I would suggest a semi suto of Beretta or Remington quality trap model.
that way you can shoot doubles as well..
very few shooters shoot an o/u for singles as there is a lot of barrel in the way of your under gun vision-althoiugh it sounds like a great deal.

OR buy a nice used BT99 and THEN if the bug bites for doubles, then a second gun..
if you buy a good used BT99 it will always be worth what you paid for it. unlike one of the thousand lesser quality guns now availalbe.
you will get as many opinions as shooters you ask but i've seen it lots ofr times.
good luck
Larry
also if sporting clays is a possibility, a trap gun is really not suitable ,, so buy a good sporting clay O/U and use it for both.
if you get more serious about one or the other, go from there.
again, used guns are the way to go.
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Old 01-12-2021, 03:44 PM
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Another 1100 fan. I shot a Tournament Grade Trap for doubles for many years. I won more with it than either of my Perazzi single barrel guns.
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Old 01-12-2021, 04:28 PM
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The most important thing most have eluded to indirectly is the stock fit. There is a difference between a Trap gun and a field/skeet gun. It's the fit of the stock keeping your head more erect. I would definitely recommend a break open gun, either a BT99 or Trap stocked over/under. Look at used guns. Lots of value if they are tight and the lever is right of center.

Get some instruction, a lot is available on You Tube. A BT99 is heavy enough that it mitigates the recoil. If you use a semi-auto you must be prepared to bend over and pickup your empties, most ranges require you to keep them cleaned up.

A minimum of 28/30 inch barrel, with 32" preferred.

Visit your local range and I'll bet you might know some of the shooters. Talk to them and try a few different guns. Over 25 years I went through pump guns, to O/U's to BT99+. With each upgrade I got a little better.

I load a 1 oz. load at 1200 fps and it has no real recoil used in the trap gun. Winchester makes a white box 1 oz. load about the same that isn't too expensive, maybe in the $60 - $70 per case (250 rounds). That would let you shoot 10 courses of 25 birds. About $6 for shells and from $5 to $10 to shoot a round. $10 to $15 total in my area.

If you find you don't like it, you can sell used guns for about what you paid for them. If you like shooting, you'll like Trap.

Do not get any gauge other than 12 gauge.
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Old 01-12-2021, 04:47 PM
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I also would suggest a Browning BT-99. They are a dedicated trap gun and will last for years while not breaking the bank.
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Old 01-12-2021, 05:00 PM
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Been shooting a lot of trap over the last 2+ years and own a couple of trap guns.

Personally, I would recommend either an O/U or a single barrel shotgun. Nothing against semi-auto's, but you will not be popular on the line if your gun is ejecting shells at your neighbor. There are fixes for this, but I think the O/U and single barrels are generally less finicky and less likely to cause you problems on the line.

As other posters have pointed out, you can spend a lot on a trap gun. It is definitely worthwhile considering a used shotgun (if it is a high quality one). A well made gun is capable of shooting 100,000+ rounds with only minor servicing, so you shouldn't be scared of a used gun.

If you have the budget, I would look at Browning and Beretta. The Browning BT-99 is a very popular single barrel option and you will see a lot of them. Browning Citori (which I have) is also an excellent option. As is a Beretta Silver Pigeon.

If you can, it is worthwhile shouldering, and even shooting, a few different models. Fit is critical to getting decent scores and the best shotgun in the world will not get you good scores if it doesn't fit you. I would therefore suggest an adjustable comb, which will help you get a good fit. Also, if you plan to shoot nothing but trap get a dedicated trap gun.

As others have said, most trap guys are pretty friendly and, if you ask nicely, will let you try their gun ... although I wouldn't walk up to a guy with a $15,000 Perazzi and expect him to let you shoot it.
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Old 01-12-2021, 05:11 PM
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Iíd look for a used Remington 1100 if recoil is a big issue or if youíre going to shoot doubles.

Alternatively, a Winchester Model 12 or an older Remington 870 (pump guns) are great trap guns. Folks usually want full choke on a trap gun and there are a ton of them available in these models.

You can spend a ton on a new gun, but your score wonít be any better than your score with the guns Iíve listed here.

As you gain skill at the trap game, you may want more expensive guns, but by then you wonít be looking for advice on the internet.
Sound advice. Don't spend a lot of money on your first gun. I started with an 870 and ended up with Beretta 682.

Lots of really good trap shooters at my local small town range used model 12's and 870's. The nice thing about those is you can find them in trap configurations for less than 1K.

If you have never shot trap before it's a bit different than sporting or skeet. Clays are always going away and rising. Trap guns usually have higher combs and ribs to force a shot to meet the rising trajectory. For this reason shoulder the gun you buy to check the fit. You should see more of the rib than say a field gun or sporting gun.

If you can find an old BT-99 or 100 cheap those are also good.
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Old 01-12-2021, 05:13 PM
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The main thing is fit. The Beretta line of auto guns allow you to adjust the stock for a proper fit for right and left hand shooters, you can adjust them for cast on and off plus the drop of the comb.they also are very soft shooting and will hold up to the demands of the game. I have shot some of my best scores with a Remington 870 but had bruise on my shoulders after shooting.
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Old 01-12-2021, 05:22 PM
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My trap gun is a 12ga Browning Citori. I shot trap regularly for 9 years with a group of friends and I have probably put at least 50K+ rounds through that Citori. At the time I purchased it, it was the most expensive firearm I had ever bought, it was well worth the expense. The Citori still locks up tight as a drum and I don't see how you could ever wear one out. A couple of guys had cheap, (Turkish?) OU's that you had break open over your knee after a few rounds, total junk.
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Old 01-12-2021, 05:26 PM
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Always fun when an autoloader, in the hands of an idiot, fires when chambering, and the lead/concrete fills the air.
I use a full or Xfull choke on our BT most often.... the basic extended Brileys.
Tracer Trap shells would be helpful...... or thermal vision shooting glasses.
When FLIR bought Raymarine I got a negative on borrowing a thermal scope to take to the range.
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Old 01-12-2021, 05:41 PM
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Shot a lot of trap with the old 870 which I still have. Get someone with experience to help you select a gun that fits you. For my 870 all I had to do was add small spacer under the recoil pad to get the proper length. I also shot a Browning o/u that I had to have the comb shaved down. For comfort and good scores fit is very important
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Old 01-12-2021, 05:59 PM
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Only used a Rem 1100 TB grade for my bird shooting. Light recoil and my scores have not been bad lately. Plenty of O/U that are much more expensive at my club but I am stickin with what I have.
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Old 01-12-2021, 06:15 PM
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A lot of good advice above, but the most important thing is that the shotgun fits you. If it does not fit, you will be in pain and not be able to break birds consistently. It takes practice, practice and more practice. I was told by Perazzi trap team, when you are up to your a** in empty shells, you possibly could become a good trap shooter.
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Old 01-12-2021, 06:53 PM
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What HRichad posted in #11. Standard trap chambering is 12g 2 3/4 " shell. My range don't care what you shoot but do not get stupid! Proper range behavior is paramount! 1 oz - 1 1/8 at 1150 to 1200 fps with #8 shot will do the trick. Along with the BT 99 an 870 TA, TB or TC are good options along with an 1187 as long as the fit is good. An auto with a shell catcher works wonderfully on an older shoulder like mine, though hotter rounds may find their way past the catcher. Trap shooting is very addictive but you don't need an expensive gun to participate. Got a friend that can shoot 25s with a worn out Winchester 1897!
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Old 01-12-2021, 06:56 PM
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I'll add that personally I don't want a used trap or skeet gun unless I know and trust the previous owner. They can often appear in super nice nice condition, but have loads of wear inside. They aren't carried in the woods and beat around like a hunting gun, but may fire several hundred rounds each weekend. I saw my dad wear a Beretta over and under skeet out that looked excellent condition on the outside. The cocking rod and some other internal parts had just worn down from several thousand of rounds of shooting.
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Old 01-12-2021, 07:03 PM
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The most important thing most have eluded to indirectly is the stock fit. There is a difference between a Trap gun and a field/skeet gun. It's the fit of the stock keeping your head more erect.
Don't be afraid to use a field model shotgun if it fits you. I bought a used Remington 870 back in 1966. I started shooting trap with it at my dad's club. The shorter stock of the field gun compared to a trap gun was a better fit for me because my arms are an inch shorter than the arms of the average guy my height. I shot a lot of trap with that gun through junior high and high school and was fairly respectable as a trap shooter. i still have that gun and it's going nowhere.

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Old 01-12-2021, 07:04 PM
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I use a vintage (late 1950's) 12 Ga. Browning Superposed but a modern Citori is also a fine Trap gun.

Some have suggested Pump's and I'd recommend staying away from them not because I dislike them for hunting and/or HD - but for Trap and Skeet why beat yourself up with more recoil than necessary? They do tend to have much harder hitting recoil IMO and you will be firing quite a bit at the Trap game.

The Remington 1100, 11-87 or similar are great guns, but since you will be loading only two rounds at a time, a semi auto has little real advantage other than light recoil.

Just my opinion of course - YMMV.
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Old 01-12-2021, 08:01 PM
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The most common difference in a Trap gun vs a Field gun is that Trap gun is made so the shooter purposely shoots 'high'. That's done by the stock comb being high by design placing your line of sight above the guns rib.
You see the bead at the end of the bbl AND you see plenty of bbl rib.
You are pointing the gun high and it shoots and hits high.

Thats a built in function to more easily hit the Trap target which is always rising as it is going away.

Some shooters like more,,or less of that to be built into their particular gun. Along with Length of Pull (LOP), cast off (or cast on) on the stock, and a few other measurements that shooters can call on to make changes to up their score.

Trap shooters gun stocks are much like Bullseye shooters pistol grips.
Altered, spliced in, rasped down, taped up, lengthened, shortened, canted, all sorts of adj trying to find that just right fit.

You don't absolutely need any of these. Just a well fitting stock that doesn't beat you up when you shoot plus it doesn't require you to assume a yoga position to cheek the gun and sight the target.

Learning the different leads and basic shotgun wing shooting techniques go a long way to success.
1oz loads in a 12ga will do just fine. Even the 7/8 oz in #8.
Full chokes print a dense pattern out there and unless you are going to buy tickets and ride those targets till they nearly hit the ground before taking a shot, the lighter loads will do. They are much easier on the shoulder.

I wouldn't recommend a specialized 'Trap' gun to start out with. If you have or have access to most any well made repeater in Full or Mod choke, take it out and give it a try.
You'll soon know if the sport is what you think it is. Or maybe it's not and something else may be a better fit like Sporting Clays or Skeet.
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Old 01-12-2021, 09:25 PM
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My choice would be either the Browning BT-99 or the XT Trap. I have both and think they're perfect for Trap Shooting.

Top: Browning BT-99 Grade III, Bottom: Browning XT Trap

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Old 01-12-2021, 09:29 PM
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I started my trap shooting with an old Monkey Ward double barrel 12 gauge. Went from there to a Winchester 1200 pump before moving to a Remington 1100. Shooting the 1 oz. loads is real easy on the shoulder regardless of what you are shooting. If it was me, I would find a Remington 1100 of any vintage and start there. The biggest difference between trap guns and hunting guns is the trap guns allow you to sit the bird on top of the sight and the hunting versions you need to cover the bird. Start this way and and it will take care of you until start breaking 99% then start asking all of your new shooting friends to try theirs out and deciding what you really want. Just relax and have fun.
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Old 01-12-2021, 09:35 PM
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No problem if you go semiauto but be sure you can outfit a good shell catcher or deflector. There are folks that don't care if their ejected shell hits a the person next to you. Most of them are all about themselves. Respect the game and fellow shooters and you will have a lifetime of fun.
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Old 01-12-2021, 09:52 PM
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HKB what's your budget? Trap guns range from $500 - $25K+
I'm a die hard Browning guy. I have Gracoil recoil reducers on both of my regularly used trap guns, I really like them.

Highly recommend trapshooters.com
I want to keep it under $3,000.
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Old 01-12-2021, 09:56 PM
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Iíd look for a used Remington 1100 if recoil is a big issue or if youíre going to shoot doubles.

Alternatively, a Winchester Model 12 or an older Remington 870 (pump guns) are great trap guns. Folks usually want full choke on a trap gun and there are a ton of them available in these models.

You can spend a ton on a new gun, but your score wonít be any better than your score with the guns Iíve listed here.

As you gain skill at the trap game, you may want more expensive guns, but by then you wonít be looking for advice on the internet.
Thanks, I don't have high expectations; I just want to have fun.
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Old 01-12-2021, 10:16 PM
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Not an ardent target shotgunner per se, but have been known to show up at the trap and skeet ranges now and again. Remington's 11 (ca. 1939), 870, 1100, & Win 97 have impressed some of "pros" on both ranges. Have gotten lucky in breaking 25 straight (O.K., only once).

The problem I've noted as of late is the availability of factory ammo. Plenty of 12 & 20 ga. loads were available in my local Walmarts until recently...shelves were bare last visit; only a few boxes of 28 ga.

Future is very uncertain at best.
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Old 01-12-2021, 10:59 PM
HOUSTON RICK HOUSTON RICK is offline
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I have used both the Remington 870 Marine Magnum and the Beretta Silver Pigeon. Try them out and see what you like. Several friends use and say the inexpensive Yildiz models are just as good.
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Old 01-12-2021, 11:02 PM
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I want to keep it under $3,000.
Oh boy, the world is your oyster. Get yourself to a range that has someone that can fit you for the stock dimensions you need. Everyone is different just like buying a pair of shoes. The stock dimension you are looking for is drop at heel, drop at comb, cast and LOP.

Once you have that you can start looking for a shotgun. Be aware that most people don't have a clue about that and wouldn't know how to measure stock dimensions. You need to avoid those individuals when purchasing a shogun. Buy one from someone who understands what you need.

Good luck.
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Old 01-12-2021, 11:06 PM
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HKB,

Read as much as you can, shoot as many different ones as you can, and join a local trap club or league/hang out at an ATA shoot.


Assuming that youíll be wanting one gun to eventually shoot all three disciplines in American trap (singles, handicap, doubles) even for fun...

New:
You canít go wrong with the numerous cx and 725 offerings from Browning, a Beretta 682/686/687 O/U or the like, especially when fitted with an adjustable comb.

If youíre wanting singles/HC only, a single barrel trap gun like a BT99, or used options like a used Perazzi TM-1 or TMX are Also good choices. Remingtonís old 90T is another good gun in your range.

A used combo set can be had for around 3k if you look in the right places.

Last, but not least And in echoing The others - older or even newer Remington 870 trap models (TB, TC, All American Trap), the 1100 in its various trap grades thru the 1100 Competition Sporting, Beretta 303/390/391/ in trap configurations (donít forget a shell catcher if youíre next to people and/or are competing), the Beretta A400 in step rib or multi-target variations, and the old Winchester Super X1 And Model 12.

Even in an age of high dollar SBTs and O/Us, Pumps and autos will serve you well for singles and handicap, and doubles if youíve got the will to practice with a pump and a deflector on the auto. If it works for you, it works for you.

Like the others said, fit plays a big role in the shotgun sports. And if buying used/older, know what to look for.

Fun sites to drool:

Joel Etchen Guns
Pacific Sporting Arms


For what itís worth, my first 25 was with a stock Benelli Montefeltro, and my 1st 100straight was with a simple, stock 2008 manufactured BT-99 I also like flatter shooting guns up to about 60/40 since I also shoot sporting and skeet and I donít like high patterning guns.

Last edited by RayRay7; 01-12-2021 at 11:19 PM.
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  #35  
Old 01-13-2021, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Imissedagain View Post
A basic Browning BT99 with a 34" barrel works for us as does an 870 with a long barrel.
Trap loads are light and lotsa 12-15 year old kids have no issues with the 12 gauge.
An O/U has advantages as do the pumps for more than one shot when playing different games.
You can break 25 with an 870.
Trap can get expensive in ammo and range fees.
28" minimum barrel length might be required at some ranges.

Pic of BT99 and 870 Super Mag.... which with 3.5" HV shells is brutal... but fun.
The only downside to the pumps is the extended position of the left hand, for righties, compared to the BT99, O/U and SxS guns.

Having a coach/teacher to get you started is prudent.
A pump for singles trap can be a bit of a pain carrying it around the trap range as a break open single barrel shotgun is much easier on the hands and forearms

I would go with a used BT 99. Just make sure that it is comfortable when you shoulder it.

BTW -- The cost of target shotshells is quite high right now.
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:04 AM
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I would buy a 870 or 1100 trap. You can pick up one reasonable and if you find you like the game, upgrade. The 870 /1100 will be easy to sell if you decide to upgrade or don’t get involved. Trap guns can be hard to move unless there are a lot of ranges and shooters in your area.
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:05 AM
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With a $3000 budget, the world is your oyster.

Again, my preference would be for an O/U or single barrel. And if it will be used exclusively for trap, get a trap gun. As others have explained, it will be designed to shoot a rising bird - i.e. if you were to put the front bead in the center of a bullseye 60, 70 or 80% of your pellets would be above where you were aiming.

If you're going new I would focus on Brownings and Berettas. If you're willing to buy used you might be able to step up to a Browning 725. You could also probably find a Perazzi TM-1 or a Ljutic Mono.

And I'm going to respectfully disagree with one poster about the risks of getting a "worn out" shotgun. My main shotgun is a Ljutic that I bought used a couple of years ago. The gun is 30 years old. I suspect the prior owner put tens of thousands of rounds through it. I've put 7-8000 rounds through it. I have had zero issues with it and suspect the gun shoots as well today as when it was new.

One of the guys I shoot with has a Beretta DT-10. He has probably put 100,000 rounds through that gun. Another guy shoots a Perazzi. Again, he shoots about 15,000 rounds a year and has owned the gun for approx. 10 years. Other than a couple of minor parts he has replaced himself the gun has been 100%.

That's part of what you're paying for when you spend $2-3000 on a shotgun, particularly a single barrel or an O/U - quality and reliability. And if you want to go used take a look at Joel Etchen, and Indiana Gun Club (a guy named Michael Gooch). Both will have a very good selection of high quality used guns.
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:07 AM
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Oh and others have said, the three most important things to consider in buying a shotgun are fit, fit and fit.
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Old 01-13-2021, 02:12 AM
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With 5k to spend my boy went to buy a Trap gun.
He came home after breaking 15, on his first ever flight, with his new 870 Synthetic.
We went out the following day and I bought a BT99 and White Satin Hunter.
He kept his remaining $4700.
Whether you shoulder the gun before the Pull or raise it after, foot position at each station is important.
Some of the top shooters, that teach, recommend the WingMasters for the student's first Trap gun on a budget.

While the games are great... knowing you can pick up any reliable shotgun, leave the house with a box of shells, and come home with dinner... is great as well.

Wish the BTs had a safety.
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Old 01-13-2021, 07:06 AM
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I am surprised no one have mentioned the Winchester Model 12. In trap configuration many can be found at a good price...
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Old 01-13-2021, 07:32 AM
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Plenty of good advice. Donít spend a lot on a trap gun, until you decide if you really enjoy the game. Nothing wrong with buying used, if youíre able to evaluate the condition. It common to find used trap guns advertised on the bulletin board at clubs.

Trap shooters can be a serious and fickle bunch. If you start with an autoloaders, invest in a shell catcher. You wonít make a lot of friends if your empties bounce around at their feet! Socializing is fine in the clubhouse, but they donít like distractions on the line.

If you get hooked on the game, youíll probably go through a number of guns looking for an advantage. Youíll also want to get into reloading, because factory shells get expensive. If you want to get really good, youíll need to shoot tens of thousands of shells a year.

About 15 years ago, a ďkidĒ won the Grand American shooting an 870. Thatís a good way to really tick off the competition shooting $20,000 Perazziís and Kreighoffís!
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Old 01-13-2021, 09:11 AM
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Good luck with you selecting a trap gun. Very seldom will you wear out a shotgun. If you a used one you like don’t be afraid to buy it. With a used one should be able to try before purchasing. Take your gun to the range and check the pattern on large piece of paper. Most of pattern should centered right to left and above center.
Back in my day I was fairly decent shooter at handicap. Bought a new gun and could not get a decent score. After checking pattern I found the thing was shooting way left. Had it replaced.
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Old 01-13-2021, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
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Thanks, I don't have high expectations; I just want to have fun.
High scores are more fun than low scores!
I have Beretta O/U field and sporting clay guns and the best scores that I ever shot at trap were with a borrowed Kriegoff unsingle. For me the high rib makes it easier to focus on the target. I still couldn't shoot a straight .
I will agree that you can shoot trap with any kind of gun and you can enter a mule in a horse race but the chances of doing good at anything without the proper equipment are slim and none. Larry
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