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Old September 27, 2008, 08:00 PM   #1
David56
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Trap shotgun

I would like to take up trap shooting but have a few questions.
What is the difference between a trap and a hunting shotgun?
I'm on a really tight budget and I would like some info. on models that would would be a good value for the least amount of money.
I have tried trap shooting two times now with a 16ga. J.Stevens single shot I picked up real cheap.
Not very good(about 6 hits out of 25 clays) but I really enjoyed it.
I would like to go to a 12ga. because the ammo is cheaper and easier to find.
I sure would appreciate any information from people who are trap shooters.
Thank you very much.
David.
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Old September 27, 2008, 09:18 PM   #2
dalecooper51
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Welcome aboard David.

There are a few differences between dedicated trap and field guns. Trap guns tend to have longer barrels, higher combs on the stocks, and typically shoot higher than field guns. Normally they have full chokes also.

I shoot trap with an old Wingmaster that I picked up for $159. It has a 28" vent rib barrel with a fixed mod choke. For trap singles, the shots are roughly about 35 yds and the mod works fine. The only thing I have done to it is add a new recoil pad and slightly shim the stock so it shoots 60/40.

If you are on a budget, why not look for a used wingmaster or mossberg pumpgun with a 28" barrel. While not dedicated trap guns, you can definitely break clays with them.
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Old September 27, 2008, 09:30 PM   #3
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A good used Remington Wingmaster or 1100 would be a decent gun that shouldn't break the bank. I'd try to a find a clean 12 ga. with choke tubes to get you started.
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Old September 27, 2008, 09:42 PM   #4
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The Remington 870 is one of the most popular trap guns ever made. While not a dedicated trap gun, an Express model with a 28" barrel is a good inexpensive choice for all types of casual clay shooting.

http://www.remington.com/products/fi...70_express.asp

There's also the 870 Wingmaster Classic Trap which is a dedicated trap gun, but it costs about 3x more than the Express model. Look around for used ones.

http://www.remington.com/products/fi...assic_trap.asp
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Old September 27, 2008, 11:13 PM   #5
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Hello David, and welcome aboard. Here's some thoughts about trap guns. For more general info on trap, check out the Amateur Trapshooting Association's site.
  • The main difference is a trap gun need not be a repeater, there's no second shot in trap singles. You want a shotgun that delivers slow and steady accurate shots. Most hunting guns are repeaters.
  • The trap gun is longer and heaver than a hunting gun, it swings smoother, kicks less, and you don't have to worry about toting it around all day.
  • The trap gun has a high stock and rib so you get comfortable mount and a great view of the targets, you don't need a gun designed for snap shooting.
  • The trap gun doesn't get banged around while loaded, so it can have a light trigger.
As was previously mentioned, you can start shooting trap with a an old Wingmaster or 1100; but, if you're at all serious, you'll soon want a single barrel (or combo) break open. Go to any ATA trap tournament and look in the gun rack at the shoot-off field. Some of the good old boys may be shooting their old custom Winchester M12's, but most will be shooting single barrel break-opens.

Folks will often talk down to the concept of a specialized target gun; but, they don't see the hypocrisy in customizing their field guns. When you go shooting, you want to do your best. If you use a different gun (or change chokes) for dove and geese, then aren't you specializing your gun for the conditions? The same goes for target shooting, if you want to do your best, then specialize your gun for that sport. If you don't take advantage of the technology available, then you'll usually loose to someone who does. If you're going to be a trap shooter, strive to be a AA 27-yard shooter.
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Old September 28, 2008, 12:12 AM   #6
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I would suggest a Browning BT 99 first then maybe a Remington 870TC. The T stands for trap and the C is I believe the third edition. They have TAs and TBs. I would look around for a used one of either with the Browning being my first choice. Zippys advice on where to look is pretty solid. Your State will have a State shoot and there usally will be vendors there with a variety of firearms.
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Old September 28, 2008, 10:54 AM   #7
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The BT-99 is a great gun. (Have one as my primary trap gun). It's a well made, relatively affordable, design that's been around for quite a number of years. A good solid, break open, single barrel made specifically for trap - doesn't have a safety so couldn't be used for hunting.

New ones run in the $1100+ range for one without an adjustable comb and run up to over $3000 for the fancier models. Used ones will likely be $700+ depending upon age and conditions.
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Old September 28, 2008, 12:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWT
The BT-99 is a great gun. (Have one as my primary trap gun). It's a well made, relatively affordable, design that's been around for quite a number of years. A good solid, break open, single barrel made specifically for trap
+1
The introduction of the Browning BT-99 blew open the doors of trap shooting to the average shooter. Before the BT-99 there were two classes of shooters: everyday guys with their trap specialized pumps and auto-loaders and those with their high-grade single barrel break-open Ljutics and Perazzis. The high-grade guys had a tremendous advantage over the repeaters. The BT-99 brought a competition grade trap gun to the price range of specialized repeaters. It was an overnight success and it changed the face of trap shooting. In the early 70's you didn't have to hang around a trap club very long before you heard someone say something like, "I'm gonna get a new BT-99. Should I keep my Model 12, or trade it in?"
When I started shooting trap, I had an Remington 1100 Trap; but, before the end of my first year, I switched over to a Beretta trap combo. Had it not been for the BT-99, the market for entry/mid-grade combos might not have been created.
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Old September 28, 2008, 01:03 PM   #9
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bt-99

me too. the bt-99 is my main gun for trap singles. easy to find used. mine is 38 years old and shoots like new, have had it for over a year now with almost 10k rounds fired. i also see a lot of 870 trap guns. it seems that a more expensive gun does not always bring higher scores. most ranges can hook you up with classes. here at markham park in south florida there are some clinics offered free. good luck, glenn
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Old September 28, 2008, 02:06 PM   #10
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Sorry for this...
I don't know if I shoot trap or not. Sometimes I get to shoot clay pigeons that get flung out over a cow pasture. I hit more than I miss, but I don't get 'em all.
But when I hear "Trap Gun" I always think about the early 90's when I was asked to help raid a marijuana field in Ky. On a trail, I found and disabled a single barrel rigged up to a trip wire. Yup, I found myself a real-live 'booby Trap Gun'.

OK, I'll go away now.
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Old September 28, 2008, 02:22 PM   #11
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I shoot it occasionally, but I use my 1100. You can buy a decent used 1100 or 870 and fix the buttstock with a comb. You can use it as is and do much better than your single shot 16 gauge for sure, or you can buy a decent barrel used on Gunbroker or AuctionArms.com You can also buy weights for it to balance it out to make it swing a little better. They make fairly cheap recoil reducers also. A 12 g field model pump will beat you to death eventually! I see the Poormans reducers for under $30. With all the additions, I think you can shop around and have less than a used BT99...and still have a good hunting gun with a barrel swap! My 1100 is my favorite hunting gun, so I try to use it for trap also so I do shoot the same gun in everything I do. Sort of like owning a T/C Encore....same system for all calibers! If you're on a tight budget, try to find an 870 or a cheap 1100 and start there. You can convert it over time to a decent trap gun and still have a gun to hunt with!
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Old September 28, 2008, 07:38 PM   #12
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The Remington 1100 is definitely less expensive than a BT-99 and more versitile if you want to use it for skeet, trap doubles, or hunting.

I started shooting trap with an 1100 Classic Trap model and had the stock modified with an adjustable butt plate and comb. That allowed adjustments so that it fit me much better and my scores improved.

I decided I wanted to shoot a bit more trap and wanted a break open single shot. The BT-99 fit the bill very well and I tend to shoot it 'better' than I did the 1100.

To me one of the biggest 'pluses' on the BT vs. the 1100 is the ease of cleaning. It's much easier to have just a barrel and choke tube to clean than having all of the internal workings of the 1100 - at least in my mind.

I've kept the 1100 as a back up gun but seldom shoot it - just like the BT-99 too much to use the 1100.
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Old September 28, 2008, 08:19 PM   #13
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The browning BT -99 will run you around $800 used.I'd only buy a bt-99 if
you plan on shooting alot of trap and it doesn't even address doubles so
I'd do what the poster recommended buy a 1100 or 1187.During my years of
shooting registered trap I only saw one contestant shoot an 870 pump.
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Old September 29, 2008, 11:30 AM   #14
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Single barrel trap guns are "very specialized" as Trap Guns - and they aren't good for anything else. I don't care if you're talking about a BT-99, a BT-100, a Lujtic, a Kriegoff KX-5 - they're all good guns - but way to specialized for someone that wants a versatile gun.

You can shoot any gun you want for trap - and if it fits you - it'll be fine ( a pump, a semi-auto, or any over under ). Most important issue in picking a gun is to get one that fits - or it will not hit where you look.

The most versatile new "trap" gun - a Browning XT (T is for Trap ..) in a 30" barrel is pretty versatile - and if you find a used one it could be a good buy for around $2,000. New they retail for about $ 2,400 without the adj comb / about $ 2,700 with the adjustable comb ( and I won't recommend it without the adj comb ). 30" barrel will give you a little more versatility - rather than go to a 32" barrel which is what most of prefer for "Trap".

A truly more versatile gun in Brownings lineup is the XS Skeet / or the XS Special - and you can get the XS Skeet in 28" or 30" barrels - new at about $ 2,800 and used around $2,000 again. The XS Skeet in 12, 20, 28, .410 is my primary gun for skeet or in the field ( quail, pheasant, etc ).

A paralell comb gun seems to fit more people than the traditional field comb with a drop to it - so I would suggest you find a gun with a paralell comb. Another gun with a lot of adjustability are the semi-autos from Benelli - like the Super Sport - synthetic stock, comfort tech system in it - I'm seeing them new in the big sporting goods stores for around $ 1,650 ( and in that gun, I like the 12ga, with a 30" barrel ).
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Old September 30, 2008, 12:22 AM   #15
David56
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'Lots of info.

I can see there is a lot of knowledgeable people out there.
Looking at all the recommendations, one thing I find is, trap shotguns are expensive.
I've come across a few cheap ones looking around on the net.
Any opinions on H&R models SB1118, SB1218, or SB130T?
I also like the price on the Remington Model SPR100 Sporting Shotgun.
A lot of the models you gentleman suggest will involve about a year or better of saving up.
Single income family.
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Old September 30, 2008, 06:39 PM   #16
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The Remington SPR100 is in fact a Baikal (Russian made) shotgun. If you like it, you could probably find the Baikal BRAND for a little less. It definately isn't a BT-99! They have the regular field guns for under $100 and these fancier models aren't much different.

You can find a Rem 1100 used for $325 or less if you look around. One thing to check on is the Remington Sportsman 12 autoloader. It was a plain-Jane Model 1100 they made in 1985 and 1986 at a lower pricepoint for the hunters. They made "Sportsman" models in alot of their firearms. They made a Sportsman pump that is an 870, just not as fancy as the Wingmaster was. They also made a "Sportsman" version of the 7oo series rifles. Recently I picked up a Sportsman 12 Autoloader (i.e. 1100) for $252 shipped and ffl transferred. All it needed was a forend! Now be carefull that is is indeed a Sportsman 12 version of the 1100, not a Model 11 Sportsman, or Model 58 Sportsman, or even an 11-48 or Model 48 Sportsman! I bought a Synthetic stock set for $52 shipped and sold the other set for $25 to someone looking for a cheapie cracked stock to repair! I wanted a lighter more durable field gun, so synthetic was the way to go for me. For trap, you want some more weight, better to stay with wood. A good barrel with the right choke will go a long way in improving your skills. I use this or my Mossberg SA-20 semi auto 20 gauge for fun trap shooting! I got my Mossberg SA-20 20 g for $365 out the door, brand new last spring. Turkish made for Mossberg for the International line, but decent quality, not problems so far. I've been told by several shooters that it appears to be a clone of a Beretta 301, 302, or 303. You'll have to be a little better with 20 gauge shells (less shot) verse 12 gauge shells (more shot), but your shoulder will appreciate it more also!

Good luck!
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Old September 30, 2008, 11:57 PM   #17
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Beg to Differ

Single barrel trap guns are "very specialized" as Trap Guns - and they aren't good for anything else

Several years ago we bought the family farm and with it came an openended shed that had an infestation of nuisance birds. I would go out and take my pellet rifle to see if I might rid myself of said animals. After a couple of days the true light shown down and I had an inspiration. Into the house I went for my BT-99 Plus. I grabbed my favorite trap load which at the time was chedite hulls, 209 primers, Winchester 540 powder and an ounce and 3/16th true weight of number fours. (1450 fps) A new sport was born. Yes they can have a second use.
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Old October 1, 2008, 03:36 AM   #18
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My staments were directed to the fact that he can build a trap gun out of an 1100 that he can change barrels and use for hunting also. I also meant that in respect to the Remington single shot he asked about, it is merely a fancier version of the single shot field gun they get from Baikal, it has a vent rib and a recoil pad. Those items do not make it a TRAP gun! The rib is a standard rib, not a high rib, it appears to have the same buttstock, just a pad installed, no adjustable comb...doesn't look like a comb at all? The Rem, Single shot is just a fancy field gun!


http://www.remington.com/products/fi...ingle_shot.asp
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Old October 1, 2008, 11:55 AM   #19
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olddrum1 - I will still stand by my statement that single shot trap guns are very specialized - and they are certainly not useful for any other clay target game where you need to fire 2 shells reasonably quickly.

A single shot Trap Gun - like Browning's BT-99 or the older BT-100 are very nice guns, and I own one of each, but for a shooter just getting into Trap - and wanting a versatile gun, either of those guns is a mistake vs the more versatile Browning XT Over Under.

David56
At this point, it seems like you are looking for an inexpensive shotgun - that you can use for Trap and other things. I suggest you look at a good pump gun - and my preference is the Remington 870 or the Browning BPS both
$ 250 - $ 500 new depending on which model you like - and there are lots of them on the used market as well. Starting out, I would suggest a 28" barrel and make sure the gun has screw in chokes. If the gun comes with an IC, Mod and Full choke that will be all you will need for now. You can put stick on pads on the comb, etc to make the gun fit and you will be all set.
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Old October 1, 2008, 01:15 PM   #20
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Why wouldn't a trap gun be useful for hunting? Dove for example. I don't see how not having a safety would be all that big a deal on a single shot. Just open the action if you're not going to shoot right away. Dove hunters pretty much stand in the same place all day.
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Old October 1, 2008, 02:04 PM   #21
Jim Watson
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One of our guys said a 34" full choke BT-99 would take a squirrel out of a very tall tree.
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Old October 1, 2008, 09:26 PM   #22
Kestrel
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How crazy would it be to try one of these?

NEF Topper Trap Gun


http://www.hr1871.com/Firearms/Shotguns/toppertrap.asp

Has anyone seen one, much less shot one?
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Old October 1, 2008, 09:42 PM   #23
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That H&R Topper Trap certainly looks intriguing and the prices I've been able to find look reasonable. Would be very interested to see posts from anyone that's actually seen or shot one of them.
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Old October 1, 2008, 10:21 PM   #24
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Bigjimp, I think that we have agreed to disagree on this one. David56 said he was using a single shot at present. It does not sound like hes shooting doubles and did not mention hunting with the gun. I have seen a lot of people start out with a pump hunting gun like a 1300 or 870 but what usally happens is that they go to something a little more specialized in short order or they just quit. I think that one of the BT-99s that was made before the BT-100s with the choke tube would be a pretty good choice with the newer 100s and 99s still being a little pricey. Then again if he did not stick with it the Pump would be a better choice. I guess its just how serious he wants to be with this. Model 12 is a good gun also.
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Old October 1, 2008, 11:24 PM   #25
Jim Watson
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I have not seen the H&R but knew a shooter who often used one of the old Lefever single shots. Same idea, a utility grade single with a vent rib and recoil pad added. It was at least a hammerless, though. Light guns, they are bound to kick over a hundred target race.
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