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Old April 21, 2008, 07:02 AM   #1
Super-Dave
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Best barrel length for trap and skeet shooting.

Whats the best barrel length to use for trap and skeet shooting.

I am probably going to buy a shotgun for trap and skeet this summer. I have never shot trap or skeet. What barrel lenght do you recomend and what shells to use? 7 shot 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9?
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Old April 21, 2008, 08:33 AM   #2
oneounceload
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many are using 30 and 32 inch barrels - try different ones and find the one that swings the best for you....

As for shot size, 8's will break any trap or skeet target

If you don't want recoil to bother you, shoot 2-3/4 dram loads at the standard 1200 FPS and you should be able to shoot all day
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Old April 21, 2008, 10:39 AM   #3
Frank Ettin
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I shoot a lot of registered (competition) trap, and most guys using break action guns use 32 inch barrels on their O/Us and 34 inch on their single barrels. Most guys using auto-loaders usually use 30 or 32 inch barrels. I use a combo (a single barrel for 16 yard and handicap, with an O/U for doubles) and prefer 32 inch and 30 inch, respectively.

I think that for skeet, most folks tend to use 28 inch to 30 inch barrels. Probably the best compromise for both games would be 30 inches. You'll want choke tubes since you'll want a more open choke for skeet (the targets are closer).

As for shells, 2-3/4 dram, 1 oz. loads will break clays just fine. They'll have less recoil. Reducing recoil is desirable because, if you get serious, you'll shoot a lot; and recoil can get fatiguing after a while. I shot a competition on Saturday, and shot 300 targets. That's pretty normal. At our state championship, I'll shoot 1,400 to 1,700 targets over eight days (depending on how many events I enter).

For trap I shoot mostly number 8 shot. If it's windy, I'll usually use 7.5s. I think most skeet shooters use 8, 8.5 or 9. Most trap and skeet clubs prohibit shot larger than 7.5 and loads greater than 3 dram, 1-1/8 oz.

Trap is a fine game. It's fun and challenging. I hope you like it.

Both my wife and I shoot in competition. We also enjoy sporting clays, when we have a chance -- although it's a long trip to the nearest sporting clays club. We don't shoot skeet -- only because there's no club nearby with a skeet field.
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Old April 21, 2008, 02:53 PM   #4
BigJimP
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fiddletown gave you a good breakdown - and I agree.

I will add that in "Trap" I like a heavier gun - around 10lbs - like the Browning XT Trap 32" in an over under. There is less relative left and right movement on a trap target ( or less than skeet ) so a heavier gun is not a liability and it allows good follow thru, with the extra weight helping to keep the barrel moving on follow-thru. 22 yards and closer - Trap - I shoot 1 oz of 8's at about 1225 fps as a good all around load ( wind or calm makes no difference ). As I move back to 23 - 27 yards I shift to 7 1/2's at 1 1/8 oz at 1225 fps.

I will occasionally shoot a single barrel - like the Browning BT 99 or the older BT-100 but then I go to a 34" barrel. Honestly, I'm more confident with an over under than the single barrel. I like the weight and feel in my hands better on the over under than a single barrel.

For Skeet and sporting clays - I go to a 30" barrel over under like the Browning XS Skeet at about 8 1/2lbs. It swings a little quicker - and with more abrupt angles on the birds, meaning more barrel movement, a 32" barrel and a 10lb gun is just too much for me in Skeet or sporting - its just too clumsy feeling. Most of the time I stay with 1 oz of 8's at 1225 fps as my standard load. If I drop down in gagues ( 20, 28 or .410 then I shoot 9's ). For sporting - I always carry 5 boxes of 8's / a box of 9's / a box of Remington Nitro 7 1/2's at 1300 fps .

When I shoot a semi-auto ( because the gun is lighter, I go to a 30" barrel on a semi-auto ) because with the lighter gun, I have a tendancy to snap my swing short - which is not good. I will often put some lead tape under the forend on a light gun as well - to give me some more weight on the gun.

Last edited by BigJimP; April 21, 2008 at 02:57 PM. Reason: left out words.
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Old April 21, 2008, 05:01 PM   #5
oneounceload
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When I shoot a semi-auto ( because the gun is lighter, I go to a 30" barrel on a semi-auto ) because with the lighter gun, I have a tendancy to snap my swing short - which is not good. I will often put some lead tape under the forend on a light gun as well - to give me some more weight on the gun.

Have you looked at the mag cap weights for autos, or are you adding a LOT of weight?? I put an 8oz one on my 1100 28 gauge to stop my erratic swing with that light barrel.....works great now...
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Old April 21, 2008, 05:31 PM   #6
BigJimP
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I did test an end cap weight - but I don't like all the weight that far forward. On my 12ga Benelli super sport - I put some lead tape inside the forend - and some lead tape in the stock trying to keep the balance point about the same. I think I added about 10 oz total trying to get the gun up to around 8lbs ( even with 30" barrel on that gun it was only 7 1/4 lbs to start with ). Carbon fibre stock on that gun just makes it really light - but it is a very nice travel gun.

My 20ga Benelli super sport - is only a 28" barrel - but mostly I bought it for the grandkids to shoot - but if I decide to take it in the field myself, I may add an end cap weight to that gun.
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Old April 21, 2008, 05:54 PM   #7
Jim Watson
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Trapandskeet is not one word and it is not one game.
Pick one and learn it right, then try the other if you want to.
I think a skeet shooter can learn trap easier than a trapshooter can learn skeet. I know, I started out shooting trap and skeet is still tough for me.
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Old April 21, 2008, 10:55 PM   #8
bobn
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jim is correct. two very different games, different guns and different mind sets. bob
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Old April 22, 2008, 10:43 PM   #9
olddrum1
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30 Inch is my guess for an all around gun

All around for both would be 30 inch barrel for a break gun and maybe 28 for an auto. I have shot league in all three disciplines and probably the most fun that I have had was a time when we had eight or nine trap shooters with ten or eleven skeet shooters shoot league together. Two rounds of skeet and two of trap in the same night. They averaged the trap scores and if you were ahead you moved back in yardage. On the skeet you were moved to a smaller gauge firearm as your lead increased. You cannot imagine all the B@@#$@#*# that flew at these wednesday night shoots. My trap gun is a little longer and my skeet a little shorter. If you have a range close, just stop in when they shoot and ask their thoughts which they will gladly give.
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Old April 27, 2008, 08:00 AM   #10
SmokinTom
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How about 30" for Trap and 26" for Skeet.
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Old April 27, 2008, 04:12 PM   #11
oneounceload
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30- 32 inch barrels will work just fine - no need for 26...too whippy
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Old April 29, 2008, 07:28 PM   #12
ALP
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Let me start off by saying that I do not shoot trap. So the following information is from a skeet perspective.

The bbl length used today varies from 28 - 32 inches.
Having said that many world championships have been won with Remington 1100 26 bbl.

Some pretty big boys do well shooting the 32's on doubles.

Skeet is about a smooth swings and follow through.

My suggestion is to try the various types of guns with the different length bbl.

Something else to consider, trap guns "usually" shoot higher than skeet or SC guns. Yes, you can always compensate for the different shooting disciplines.

Find out for yourself what is the best length for you.
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Old May 1, 2008, 06:36 AM   #13
ozblitz
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i have shot at issf world cups competing in skeet and use 28". I also use the same stock and bbls for trap double trap and sporting. however i do believe that the 30" bbl are suitable for everything. best bet is to see whats in common use because if you don't like it, it will be easier to resell.
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