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Chris17404
December 3, 2005, 05:19 PM
Hi all,

I'd like to use my new 870P for trap and skeet shooting for practice and fun. The gun currently has an 18" barrel with IC choke. I have a few questions...

1. What length barrel would you recommend for trap/skeet? Would a vent rib be of any use?

2. Would a particular type of sight be useful?

3. What choke would you recommend?

4. What size shot should I use?

Thanks for your help!

Chris

Trip20
December 3, 2005, 05:33 PM
1. I typically see anywhere from 26" - 34" barrels. You can use 18", but your 870P was not designed for trap (hence the short barrel). Longer barrel = bigger sight radius. I like a long heavy barrel, it helps me swing through my shot. If I were you I'd pick up a new barrel for trap shooting.

2. There are plenty of styles from which to choose. Figer optic is popular; it's a matter of preference. You want something you can see easy as you swing through your shot.

3. It usually depends on from which yard-line your shooting. I use full, but modified and improved are OK as well. You need to pattern your shotgun using different shot/choke combinations, and take into consideration the yard-line you'll shoot from to determine what's best for your shotgun.

4. I use 7 1/2 or 8 shot for trap. Usually 8 shot.

Jim Watson
December 3, 2005, 06:15 PM
Trapskeet is not all one word and it is not all one type of shotgunning.

For trap, all targets are going away but at individually unpredictable angles, so a modified or full choke in a long barrel for close pointing is usual. Standard 16 yard and handicap (18-27 yards) trap is all singles, doubles are shot as a separate event.

For skeet, targets are at varying angles and two directions but are fixed, you always know what is coming up next. You need never shoot at a skeet target further out than say 25 yards so chokes are light to none. Barrels have been getting longer over the years. Doubles are thrown in every round, 8 out of 25 targets, so you better be good at shucking that pump handle.

Best compromise would be a 26 or 28 inch screw choke vent rib barrel. An ounce of No 8 shot will do you. The cheapo 7/8 oz loads don't pattern as well. 1 1/8 oz loads used to be standard but are not necessary except maybe for long yardage handicap trap.

kymasabe
December 4, 2005, 08:39 PM
I shot trap competitively for about 5 years, ran about 60,000 rounds thru my old 870 Wingmaster. Here is my 2 cents worth.

Personally, I liked a 30" barrel. Your 18" is useless for trap.
Vent rib...absolutely, or else you'll see heat rise off the barrel and possibly could distort your view down the barrel, causing a miss.
As far as sights went, Mine had two white beads. I just had to stack one on the other like a figure-8 and put the clay on top of that like the head on a snowman and I knew I'd have a good shot.
I tried various chokes but always came back to FULL choke, worked best for me, nice tight pattern.
And, I always used 7&1/2 shot.
Reloaded alot during those years too...Remington Premier cases, CCI primers, 700X powder, Claybuster figure-8 wads, and 7&1/2 shot. All in a Mec Jr. reloader. Awesome reloads, very reliable and very consistant.
If you're not reloading, pick a round that you like and stick to it to gain consistancy.

Chris17404
December 4, 2005, 09:21 PM
Thanks guys for all your feedback. This is some great information. I am new to shotgunning, and just tried shotting trap for the first time last week. I really enjoyed it, and this info will help start me off on the right foot.

Chris

Ruger4570
December 5, 2005, 11:15 AM
I would simply advise you to get a 28" replacement barrel with a set of choke tubes. This length, while not the ideal length for trap will work well and it will work for skeet too. There are many shooters that shoot skeet with a pump gun, but unless you can shuck shells real fast.

Chris17404
December 5, 2005, 12:31 PM
Thanks, Ruger. What are the ideal length barrels for trap and skeet? I assume it's very subjective, though.

kymasabe
December 5, 2005, 11:24 PM
I liked 30" on my Wingmaster and worked great for trap and occasional sporting clays. For hunting and for skeet though, I had a 26" barrel. ( I think it was 26", didn't get much use, I know it wasn't 28, was more than 2" shorter than my trap barrel)

Dave McC
December 6, 2005, 04:40 AM
For decades, skeet guns ran 26" barrels. Now, longer is viewed as better.

I like 30" barrels for most clays work. 28" is close enough for an all around target barrel for most people.

rugerdude
December 6, 2005, 08:36 AM
As stated earlier, 18.5" IC is useless for trap.....however.....it's DANG fun for skeet.

Will you get great swing from the gun? No.
Will you get a very quick swing from the gun? Yes.

I use nothing but my Mossberg persuader (18.5" barrel) for skeet, and I went to the youth national skeet and sporting clays shoot in detroit earlier this year.

I shot in the senior novice division, and I'm fairly satasfied with my performance, I shot a mossberg persuader (got some really great looks and comments) and my backup gun was a mossberg 590 mariner.

I shoot always shoot better with a short barrel, but I have seen some other people be able to hit fairly well with a riot gun as well.

For trap, get a 28" VR barrel with modified-full choke and some 71/2 or 8 shot. I use a 28" VR barrel with a mod choke and 8 shot.

Good shooting,
rugerdude

Ruger4570
December 6, 2005, 10:18 AM
Chris: I guess there are no hard and fast rules on barrel lengths. But, as mentioned above the 26" was the skeet standard for years and it is now giving way to the 28". In fact, a couple of guys at my club are using 29" or 30" barrels and they hit targets just fine. Personally I use a 26" Browning 4 barrel set for skeet and it works just fine. For Trap. I use a 32 " barrel on my BT 99. I like the longer length, not so much for any added sight radius, but for the weight that helps smooth out my follow through on the targets. I had suggested the 28" as sort of an overall comprimise. Best of luck