View Full Version : Advice Needed For Newbie Trap Shooter
July 23, 2000, 05:50 PM
Hello Everyone: I most recently made the decision to look into shooting trap as a hobby. I have been shooting for all my life and am very familiar with centerfire rifles and handguns, but haven't had that much exposure to shotgunning. I have an Ithaca 37 pump 12 ga. w/ Polychoke that I inherited from my father, as well as a 20 ga. SKB side by side double. I have had some experience shooting clay pigeons informally at my farm, but I have never shot in a structured, competitive environment. I have found that I thoroughly enjoy shooting clay pigeons and think this would be a great way to get more "social" in my shooting hobby. Now, I have a LOT of questions for your experienced folks and would love any advice you could give. First off, what are the most common and/or preferred shotguns used in trap. Autos? Over-Unders? Are pumps ever used? What is important in a trap gun? Is my Ithaca 37 good enough to start out with, or is it not a tool that will work in trap? Second, I understand that trap is normally shot at a series of five stations, with five pigeons launched at each station, correct? Are the pigeons launched one at a time at the command of the shooter, or are they launched automatically w/o the shooter's command? What are the normal costs associated with shooting trap for a day? I would imagine that the shooter has to supply his own firearm, ammunition, pigeons, and hearing/eye protection, correct? Is there also usually a fee per day or something? Also, at what angles & speed are the pigeons usually launched? I have an automatic launcher that I will probably use at my farm to practice with, but want to make sure that my practice simulates real trap shooting. Any help you guys could give would be greatly appreciated.
July 23, 2000, 09:58 PM
Ok, let's see what I can do for ya.
A trap gun is typically a 12 gauge. Specially designed guns can have a single barrel that breaks at the breech, or an O/U breech-break, and some still are autos. A few pros even use pumps. Most all guns no matter what action/bbl type have 30-34" bbls and are choked with Imp Modified for 17 yard or Full for 27 yard shooting.
The gun you have will suit you well enough to start out with. Make sure it is safe to shoot though. Later on, if you get serious enough, you may want to buy a special trap gun (32" bbl, O/U, high raised rib, etc. -- that sort of gun). But for now, shoot what ya got.
Trap is indeed shot at five stations. Five birds from each station. You call "pull" and the "puller" launches a clay. In single-trap, one bird is sent after each "pull." Typically the gun is premounted, then speak the pull, then fire. The speed of a bird is about 80 fps, and the angles range from (I am guessing) about 45 degrees left to 45 degrees right).
A box of 90 targets here costs about 7 bucks. A hand thrower costs about 15 bucks. A good quality spring thrower about 70. At the range I shoot, one round is $3 and includes everything but the gun.
No matter where you shoot, wear hearing/eye protection. Some trap ranges supply/rent protection, but it's best to just get your own of both. Even if you are shooting out at the farm, wear both ALL THE TIME. Just make sure that where ever you shoot, you are protected.
If you have any other questions or need clarification on anything, don't hesitate to email me or post again. Welcome to a great sport!!
(thanks for choosing trap over skeet)
July 24, 2000, 08:30 AM
Wow! Thanks for the line-by-line advice! I just have a blast shooting clay pigeons and think it might be fun to try a little friendly competition. I'm sure I'll get pretty well humbled, but ya gotta start somewhere, right?
Thanks again. I appreciated the input!
July 24, 2000, 10:32 AM
Hueco has pretty much covered everything except this......MOST Trap & Skeet shooters will go out of their way to help you in any way they can, Normally these are a great bunch of people.
Best of luck, I know you'll love it. :)
July 24, 2000, 04:28 PM
Hueco pretty much covered the details. You don't see many Ithacas on the trap line because of the bottom eject loading system which is not as convenient to load as a side eject like the Remington 870. But that's a minor consideration and your Ithaca will do just fine. Don't worry about what the other guys are shooting just practice at your own pace and enjoy.
The practice trap in a field is fun but it doesn't simulate actual trap targets. I started with one and as soon as I worked up the nerve to go to the local trap club my field shooting pretty much dropped off. Most clubs I've been to are pretty good about helping new shooters. My advice is to watch a couple of rounds, identify yourself as a new shooter, pay attention to the commands and don't take position #1 until you are used to shooting the game.
Hueco: Your post leaves the impression that the $3.00 charge includes shells. Does it? If so that's a great bargain.
[This message has been edited by PJR (edited July 24, 2000).]
July 24, 2000, 09:52 PM
PJR, no...sorry. I forgot to mention that in the EXCLUDE catagory. I'm glad they don't toss in shells, I reload and have a formula that can't be bought or given.
July 26, 2000, 03:15 PM
Hueco - LOL "can't be bought or given." Having just started trap shooting and coming from a "home thrower", I could sure use that formula, I seem to be having a lot of problems with getting over the 23 to 24 targets level.
20 is easy
21 is normal
22 is every now and then
23 is not very often
24 is twice so far (out of about 100 trys)
25 is ........
Yet it looks so easy.
July 27, 2000, 10:01 AM
Most clubs around Phila. have open trap night year round (under the lights). The Ametur Trapshooting Assn. has a website that lists clubs around the country (http://www.shootata.com) that have trap nights open to the public without membership. You can also join the ATA that has registered target shoots for 16yrd, handicap and doubles. good luck.
[This message has been edited by TRAP933 (edited July 27, 2000).]
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