View Full Version : Trap question

October 16, 2000, 03:44 PM
Yesterday I shot 2 rounds of 5 stand trap for the first time in years. Since my main interest in trap,skeet or clays is to improve my shooting abilities for hunting, I almost always start my gun at belt level to simulate the need to mount quickly. This also forces me to learn to mount the gun properly. The guys at the range seemed surprised that anyone would do this! I shot 72% (lots of bad breaks though). For those of you who shoot trap frequently, do you start low gun, or is it common at your local ranges???

Dave McC
October 16, 2000, 04:03 PM
I'm no trap expert, but I do shoot it a little. other than myself, I've seen few folks start from a low gun postion. The local legends use trap style stocks, longer than usual on a field gun, which makes starting the gun at the shoulder nigh mandatory.

October 16, 2000, 07:13 PM
Used to work at a trap and skeet range and I never saw any of them shoot (in the big matches)without shouldering the weapon first. I have seen them snap shoot like that during pratice when they were screwing around but it is not doen during a serious tournament.

I do know that in International Skeet you do start with the weapon low by the belt line.

October 16, 2000, 07:14 PM
It's rare to see someone shooting low gun at trap. It's unheard of in trap competitions. Although you might be shooting to tune up for hunting season, there are a lot of trapshooters who never hunt. As Dave mentioned trap stocks are longer. They are often higher and have very thick recoil pads that would make a smooth mount very difficult. The other point is most dedicated trap guns are in the 8 pounds plus range and you might get a little weary lifting up that weight a couple of hundred times during a registered shoot.

It's good practice before hunting season to start shooting low gun if you are regularly shooting pre-mount games. It helps me get readjusted to double triggers, auto safety and lateral barrels. I like to wear my hunting vest and boots, too.

I can recall visiting one club just before hunting season and trap shooters insisting I was "doing it wrong." I figured I paid for the birds so I can shoot them anyway I want and did.

Dave McC
October 16, 2000, 07:25 PM
Pintail Point,on Md's Eastern Shore, provides a variety of services to us shotgunners, including a clays course that must be the equivalent of Pebble Beach. Everything is first class, and you see a lot more Jags and Volvos in the parking lot than P/U trucks w/ EZ rider gun racks.

I go there sometimes for the clays, or 5 station. And,yup, I bring the bird 870,with its Parkerized receiver, Matte bbl, and wood so ugly I painted it flat black. I hit enough targets usually to keep me happy. I do get a few stares, but no comments. After all, I'm 6'2*, 240 lbs, look like the retired prison guard I am, and am armed(G).

As for shooting the clay games with your shotgun of choice, do it. You may not hit quite as many with your GP birdbuster pump as you would with a custom Perazzi,but you'll have as much fun.Maybe more...

October 17, 2000, 12:16 PM
More if you discreetly note the looks on the faces of those whose shotguns cost ten or fifteen times as muchas yours.



October 17, 2000, 03:52 PM
Better yet is when their gun costs more than the one you use and it is in allot smaller guage. After a round of skeet, the look on their face is priceless when I score higher than they do and do it with a plain old Rem 870 .410 skeet gun.

October 17, 2000, 04:29 PM
Poodleshooter. I am confused, did you shoot Trap or 5 Stand, they are two different games. It is normal in ATA Trap to shoot with a mounted gun. ATA Trap is the most popular game in the US and yes it has five shooting stations with one trap machine. 5 Stand is a different game, although it uses 5 shooting positions, it has anywhere from 5 to 8 trap machines throwing targets from all different angles. Originally 5 stand required the gun to be below the armpit untill the bird was visible. This rule has been regretably changed to make the game easier.

I shoot trap for practice only and start with the gun below my armpit. This often results in other shooters commenting on my style and on at least one occasion a complaint from another shooter that I was throwing him off his game! The range manager will not let me shoot with the ATA hardcore shooters for that reason.

ATA trap has become a game of stamina as no one misses anymore. The targets are not as difficult as the international version. Skeet has gone the same way, with the gun started mounted instead of unmounted as the game was first designed. Now Sporting Clays allows the gun to be pre mounted, in my opinion ruining the flavor of the game.

Continue to shoot with the gun started low, it will make you a better shooter. I persist in starting the gun unmounted and have suffered accordingly as my scores have not kept pace with those who premount. I gave up on shooting competitively when the rule was changed, only shoot socially now. I tend to enjoy shooting more.

If you really want to freak out the Trap boys, try shooting with a 28 ga from a low start. You will not hit as many but when you do the trap boys will really loose it! ;)

Geoff Ross

October 17, 2000, 09:48 PM

They still shoot FITSAC low gun but that's a hard game to find and an even harder one to play. Just like International Skeet it does tend to separate the men from the boys.

As for five stand, I've never been able to shoot that game anything other than low gun. I find it better to see the bird first and have a premounted gun can make finding the bird a lot harder.

I've pretty much stopped shooting registered ATA trap and now just shoot the game for fun. The serious trapshooters are the biggest whiners and complainers in the shooting sports as witnessed by the complaint that your shooting low gun was "throwing them off their game." I belong to a club where shooting is fun. The guys I regularly shoot trap with will sometimes let go with a blackpowder load during a practice round with all the attendant noise and smoke. No one complains. I imagine if you did something like that around those high falutin' types they'd stain themselves.

October 17, 2000, 09:56 PM
PJR, you are right about FITASC. Except that you didn't mention that it is very expensive to shoot. A local range here in NY has a parcour set up on a skeet field that is open 5 days a week. Other than that FITASC courses are nonexistent. It is a shame because it is the caviar of clay target shooting.

Geoff Ross

October 18, 2000, 08:10 AM

That's a great comparision between FITSAC and caviar because both are expensive, hard to find and, if you are not used to it, can leave a bad taste in your mouth. But when you are a connoisseur there's nothing else like it.

[This message has been edited by PJR (edited October 18, 2000).]

October 18, 2000, 12:28 PM

In defense of our more well-heeled gamesmen, let me say that at Winchester Canyon Gun Club in Santa Barbara County, California, they are all friendly, helpful and pleasant to shoot with. Even when, like me, all you shoot is a Mossberg 590 A1 with 20" cylinder bore barrel.


We have a trap field and a skeet field open on weekends to members and the public, sporting clays once a month, and Thursday night trap during the summer. Everything in the parking lot from new Jags to one guy with the Chevy Blazer from hell (pointed lugs on steel trim, olive drab paint and a mean face painted on front like a WWII fighter).

Great sport. If any of you shooters are ever in California, you can be my guest.