View Full Version : Trap
October 8, 2001, 11:36 AM
Anyone have any recommendations on what choke tube I should use when trap shooting? I'm unsure of what the appropriate choke tubes are, or even what the designations mean. Thanks for the help!
( by the way, when I went to shoot my Nova yesterday, the trap range was closing in 20 minutes. Instead, my friend and I had to settle on shooting about 10 rounds a piece out of his AK. ):mad:
Wonderful gun, but man, now I have to sit here and look at this Nova being unused, until the weekend!!!
October 8, 2001, 12:20 PM
Dave McC has gotten into trap in a big way, but I can get you headed in the right direction to start out.
I'd start from the 16 yard line with a Modified choke, which should measure out to about a .0020 constriction from the bore of your 12 gauge. As you gain experience you will want to "choke up" to a tighter constriction (such as Full) to help you better center your hits, and start backing up to the handicap yardages.
October 8, 2001, 05:14 PM
There's a coupla ways to go about this....
First, I see chokes from Extra Full to a Light Modified used from the 16 yard line with good results. Centering the bird each and every time means choke is a little less important than we might think. Of course, we don't always center the bird in the pattern,which is why we HAVE patterns.
A little spread can be good insurance. According to Gough Thomas. the late British gun writer, one degree off in pointing means 25" the pattern moves at 40 yards.
When I had "Gotten into Trap in a big way", I settled very shortly into using a Full choke, even tho a Modified would, by common wisdom, throw a better sized pattern.
My reasoning was simple and my choice aided by input from this and other BBs. The tighter pattern taught me to hold closer. Swapping a few lost birds now in exchange for a faster climb to proficiency made sense, and still does.
Remember,the markings on choke tubes are jsut educated guesses on the maker's part.What matters chokewise is the difference between the bore and the constriction,measured in Points Of Constriction. Example....
My 870TB runs .733" in the bore, and .695 in the choke. That means the choke is 38 POC tighter than the bore. That borders on Extra Full, and the patterns are tight,but there's some fringe pellets. These are shot deformed by the passage down the bore, and while they fill out the extreme edges of the pattern, they're soon gone from the effective portion of the charge. They're also unpredictable.
The best working choke for 16 yard singles is probably around 25 POC, according to a gunsmith I talked to and some personal observation. IOW, PROBABLY something from Modified to Improved Modified would work best.
Here's what I suggest in your case. Find the choke that best covers 24" or so with lots of pellets at 36 yards or so and use that. Stay with it, even if you're dropping some birds. Then, if you decide to compete,or want to start working towards that end,go to the next tightest for pratice and lossen up one increment for competition.
Me, I'll stay overchoked for a while, then I may have the TB reamed out to 25POC, do the cone, and see just what happens.
October 9, 2001, 09:38 PM
I started with, and still use a fixed Full choke(Remington 1100). I started with that because that was what Gramps had. Dave points out the validity of such a choice.
For another point of view, I have a buddy that uses Improved Modified almost exclusively. Works for him.
October 10, 2001, 12:18 PM
the modified choke that came with my Remington 1100 works well for me.
October 10, 2001, 01:15 PM
I hope that you guys are pleased now that you have successfully deflated my building ego that had been growing as a result of my new found expertise of clay busting with my 870 IC 20".
I guess I'll have to spend some bucks on a IM or full choke barrel in order to prove myself eh? :D
October 10, 2001, 02:43 PM
I would think that different chokes even out for trap, and that in the end, your overall score is what counts.
Wouldn't it stand to reason that with the tighter choke, it is easier to miss, but when you don't miss, you are much more likely to break it?
And with the wider chokes, or no choke, your pattern is wider, it is easier to "hit" the clay with the wider pattern, but you are compensated by the fact that you're more likely to dust a target but fail to break it, getting a loss.
Does anybody else think that choke size evens out this way a bit?
Just wondering. It's obviously suicide to use cylinder bore in Skeet or sporting clays, where many of the targets start near the end of the field, but for trap where it starts right in front of you, I would think that pattern density would counteract pattern size and have an averaging effect, all other things being equal, on your overall score of broken clays.
October 10, 2001, 04:23 PM
Just a bit of clarification, Andrew.
The longest shot that you will probably ever take on a skeet field is a station 3 high house, if you really let it ride out. That's right at 25 yards, and a cylinder choke is plenty for that.
Likewise, a lot of the "softer" sporting clay targets can be broken with cylinder, but an Improved Cylinder is much more common.
If you are shooting trap at an actual trap field, you are starting at a minimum of 16 yards behind the traphouse. Some really quick guns can get on the target when it is still 18 - 20 yards out of the trap house, and they *can* break it with an IC choke. If you are not so fast, it's nice to have a denser pattern such as Light Mod or tighter so that the going away bird will not fly through the ever-increasing holes in your open choked pattern. I'm a proponent of the "tight choke and smoke 'em" mentality, as that method tells me when I am "right on" the bird.
If you are playing around with a manual trap, cylinder choke is fine.
Hope that this helps.
October 10, 2001, 04:25 PM
Mike, shoot what you want to. It's the shooting and hitting that count.
Andrew, there's many factors in patterns and shot string, choke's just one.Most trapguns, especially older ones, go very tight. The birds are flying away as well as climbing, so it takes a litle more choke to reach out there. Most birds are hit at 35-40 yards or so for singles shooters, over 50 for the 27 yard, fence shooting deadeyes.
Skeet birds are shot within 25 yards, mostly. A straight sylinder bore works, and some skeet chokes are more open than cylinder. Think, Blunderbuss.
Best to use a choke/load combo that puts a nice thick pattern 28-30" wide at the distance you want to break the bird.
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