View Full Version : Shot Trap with my Mossy 590A1

June 19, 2000, 03:19 PM
Well, you may remember that I posted a few weeks ago about getting Dad's old Mossberg and cleaning it up. He liked it so much cleaned and oiled that I gave it back to him. He's 85 and keeps it by the door. I'm so proud of him.

Anyway, I liked shooting his so much that I bought myself a Mossberg 590A1 to blow things up with. It works great. Although I am an avid pistolero, this is my first shotgun.

Tiring of blowing up earth-bound things, I went over to the trap area of the local gun club after finishing with pistols on Sunday.
What a blast! After the rangemaster told me that this was not a trap or skeet gun, he gave me a few tips and I was blowing up FLYING stuff! Unbelievable fun!

Question: Are there rules about what guns may be used for trap, or was the rangemaster just telling me that people don't usually use big heavy high-capacity short-barreled shotguns for trap? (I didn't have the bayonet installed, so that wasn't it.)

Maybe there should be an event where you shoot clay birds with home defense shotguns?

Anyway, I had a great day with my new shotgun. Thanks to Coinneach, jthuang and all of you who gave me excellent advice in my original post.


Ledbetter :D

[This message has been edited by Ledbetter (edited June 19, 2000).]

June 19, 2000, 03:26 PM
Ledbetter, glad you had fun. Scatterguns is a hoot! :D

For clays, there are no equipment restrictions... the rangemaster was just trying to tell you that a short-barrelled riot gun is no good for trap or skeet. Yah right, sez me. Best round I ever did was with my M500, 18" cylinder bore, pistol grips at both ends.

The most common gun for clays is an over/under with 28"+ barrels and chokes that are tighter than... uh, you get the picture. Makes the other shooters indignant when they see a newbie with a room-broom busting clays. :D

June 19, 2000, 06:14 PM
Nothing like pulling up to the arrogant bozos that (present company excepted) seem to congregate around the skeet houses and uncasing a folding stocked short barreled ghost ringed shrouded barrel room broom (thanks, Coinneach, I like that description) and running a 20-22 round.

Great fun was had by...um...me!


June 19, 2000, 06:25 PM
I wouldn't call them "arrogant bozos," although they were all carrying around their long shiny guns like Coinneach described. One of them asked me if my M590A1 was an over and under!

Anyway, I never had to uncase it. Out of the car, I had it riding on my shoulder from its sling that day.

Why would a smaller shot group be better for this sport? It seems to me that you couldn't do better than a short cylinder bore barrel for trap.

June 19, 2000, 09:19 PM
There are no official rules in trap, skeet or sporting clays that specifically prohibit short-barreled guns. There are restrictions on shot size and shell power. Some clubs frown on using short barrel guns but the majority don't care in my experience.

As for trap, a cylinder gun isn't the best choice because the birds are moving away from the shooter and usually don't have patterns dense enough to hit the longer birds. Cylinder guns are better for skeet where the distances are shorter.

A trap gun is usually a 30-34" barrel, tightly choked, set up to shoot high which means you can see the entire bird as you track it.

June 20, 2000, 12:13 AM
PJR, thanks. The fog is beginning to lift a little. And belated welcome.


Dave McC
June 20, 2000, 06:44 AM
I've shot some informal clays with a full bore HD 870, but have to admit I didn't do well, by my standards. The peep sight kept getting in the way,and a 9 lb shotgun wears one out fairly fast.

Do much better with a 21" 870 that weighs in at 6 lbs, 12 oz,and an appropriate choke tube, Skeet I for clays and skeet, Modifed for trap.Full would be better there, but I do OK since I'm not a handicap shooter.

If shooting that thing at flying clays floats your boat, go for it. And the "Bozos" at the course won't sneer or mock very much. After all, by their standards, you're a little odd, and armed(G)....

Oleg Volk
June 20, 2000, 12:20 PM
Shooting trap with a pump gun is a riot ;) That's why they were called riot guns way back when.

I like the room broom description, though. I found that even a 20ga pump gun has dense enough patterns for trap (I am good for 22 out of 25 or so, though much worse for doubles). Great practice for other uses.


June 20, 2000, 11:25 PM
Some of you probably saw my previous posts... I'm probably going to buy a 870 super mag 12ga, with a 26" bbl.

Can someone give me (or point me to) a quick rundown on skeet shooting? I'm probably going to go to an outdoor range, and I think they have a skeet range.

Anyway, I've no idea what the procedures are.. how it works, etc. Be nice to know a little bit going in. :)

Whats the usual shell one uses? Along those lines, what shell do you use for hanging target practice in an indoor range?

Thanks alot guys!


Dave McC
June 21, 2000, 04:39 AM
Brian,describing skeet is harder than shooting it, but basically one gets clays cloming from two houses, high and low,and shoots at various angles and points. A 1 oz load of 8s or 7 1/2s will work fine, I like the AA trap loads for most clay work. Use an open choke, IC or Skeet.

Where do you have a range where you can shoot shotguns indoors? Wish I could...

June 21, 2000, 01:03 PM
Brian, I will give you the benefit of my vast experience, gained over the last week and a half. It is a beginner's perspective.

Skeet is different from trap which is different than sporting clays. Trap seemed simpler to me so a started with that; all the clays come from one low house in front of you. You chamber and shoot one cartridge and one clay at a time (this is a safety rule).

You may be shooting as part of a "squad." There are 25 shots in a round. There are five shooting positions (with incremental positions behind them for added distance) layed out in a semicircle behind the trap house. After five shots from one position, everyone in the squad rotates to the next.
The clays move away from you after they are launched, so you should shoot fast. Point and shoot worked better than aiming for me, and I guess for most people.

Don't be an arrogant bozo, and don't let them bother you either. Do everything the rangemaster says; don't chamber a round until it's your turn and you're ready to shoot. Ask the rangemaster if there's anything you don't understand. People get their legs shot up too often, watch your muzzle and the muzzles of the other gunners.

Expect to have more fun than you've ever had shooting a shotgun. Blowing up flying stuff--the ultimate reactive target. As Oleg said, great practice for other uses.

For indoor practice at hanging targets, nothing beats Brenneke Rottweil slugs. Just kidding. I never heard of indoor shotgun practice, but I bet they have it somewhere.



June 21, 2000, 04:52 PM
Well, FWIW, if any of y'all are close to Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, there is an indoor range off Route 202 called Targetmaster (http://www.targetmaster.com). You can shoot shotgun indoors.


Justin T. Huang, Esq.
late of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

June 23, 2000, 03:35 PM
I regularly shoot skeet with my 590 - ghost ring, sling and all. All I ever hear about is the "bark".
Anyway, it works great, and someday, maybe I can afford one o' them fancy o/u's.


Die Wahrheit ist eine Perle. Werfen sie nicht vor die Säue.

Those that beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those that don't.

June 26, 2000, 01:46 PM
Dave: I'm referring to shooting hanging targets indoors. We've got a range called Bullseye here (University/Atlantic for anyone in Jacksonville) that lets you shoot "anything that your shotgun will take" according to the rangemaster! Though I'm guessing a dragonsbreath would be a bad idea... :)

Ledbetter: Thanks, thats just the kind of writeup I was looking for. :) I was pleasently surprised to see that the aformentioned range lets you shooting SG's indoors!

Thanks again,


Dave McC
June 27, 2000, 06:55 AM
Thanks, Brian, tho I think a Dragonsbreath is a bad idea anywhere(G)...

Ned Roundtree
June 27, 2000, 09:57 AM
I'm still chuckling. Would have loved to see you shoot trap. Being more of a USPSA three gun person (tactical shotgun), I've been known to venture over to the skeet houses. Never tried trap though. Lots of fun, though I use a Beretta AL390 or Beretta Silver Pigeon O/U. Would love to have seen that Mossy 590A1 cut down birds!

Dave McC
June 27, 2000, 08:07 PM
Ned, the first shotgun I did well with on quail was a riot bbled 870. It was illuminating. Got me into the concepts of balance and swing that I had missed the improtance of before.

I know a sporting clays range at a high priced Yuppie hangout. Average retail price of the guns they like there runs well above 4 figures and I see the occasional Perazzi. I'd like to do the course there with something semi auto, black, and belt fed just to see a few folks turn kinda pale(G)...

August 22, 2000, 04:27 PM

Over the weekend, I shot a 19/25 round with my unmodified full-length magazine M590A1. Woo Hoo. :D

I know it's not the greatest round ever shot, but it's the greatest round I ever shot. To be frank, one of the birds only got hit by one pellet, breaking it into two pieces. I counted it.

Hope you all had a good weekend too.



Dave McC
August 22, 2000, 04:40 PM
Congrats and Mazeltov,Led. For the record, my trap average is about 22/25, I guess. But I'm a generalist, not a specialist...

August 22, 2000, 09:57 PM

Darn straight you count that bird that you broke in two. Rules are that any visible piece means a dead bird. I've seen some trap contests won due to very tiny chips which count just as much as a smoked bird. The real frustration comes when you don't see a visible piece but only dust around the bird. This means that you probably put holes in the target but it didn't break. Keep shooting. Clays are fun no matter what gun you use.

August 22, 2000, 10:12 PM
Thanks for the comments. I appreciate knowing the specifics of the game. Dave, my average is still only around 14 so no worries there for you yet.

After the 19/25 I shot a 17/25, guess I was getting tired on my fourth round. I try to be a generalist by firing a few slugs and buckshot shells into the hay bale plating area after every trap session. Which brings up the question of

How Do You Develop Appropriate Shotgun Skills for Using the Weapon as a Defensive Tool?



Dave McC
August 23, 2000, 07:53 AM
You're doing that now, Led.When you know the weapon well enough that taking off the safety during mounting is done without thinking, when one can reload in the dark, when the action is pumped during firing so "instinctively" that a semi auto has little or no speed advantage, most of your skills are honed.

For the rest, try some things from some of the older threads, I'll see if I can bring up one or two.

August 28, 2000, 01:35 PM

I just started shooting trap to develop my wingshooting and bunny-tail blasting skills.

The RO at the local trap range says that 14-15 is where most beginners start. ; )

But with practice and some good coaching from great trapshooters, you should be able to get to the 20 range.

I'm at 18-20 right now. There's a good book on Upland game Hunting that has the best target shooting instructions I've seen.

Find out whether you like to paint the target then shoot, surpass the target and maintain the lead and then shoot, or whether you like to snapshot in front of the target then shoot.

Three techniques, Snaphot, Follow Through, and Sustained Lead. Most trap shooters use the Follow Through or Painting technique.

If you want to be a good hunter and trap shooter, you should master all three techniques. Right now, my best is with sustained lead.

The difficulty is that is you started your firearms training with a pistol, leading is not natural - stillness is.

Oh well, something to work on!

The Seattle SharpShooter - TFL/GT/UGW/PCT/KTOG

August 28, 2000, 05:51 PM
jtduncan thanks,

I guess I'm a Painter when they fly from side to side and a Follower-Through when they're flying away from me.