View Full Version : ?? about trap shotguns

October 19, 2000, 08:54 PM
Hi, all. I shot trap for the first time this past weekend (at a Ladies day at the Range), and I'm hooked. Caught on pretty quick, and surprised myself. I used a 20 ga. Beretta AL390 Gold Mallard, and did well with it, but then we were shooting from short distances. Am I at a real disadvantage using a 20 ga.?? I've heard pros and cons on this, and would like some input from those of you who shoot tra. One of the instructors mentioned the disadvantage of a 20 ga. during the day, and it got me to thinking about a 12 ga. Course, it's always just a really good reason to buy another gun, I 'spose!! Thanks for any help you can provide.

October 19, 2000, 09:21 PM
It's really only a disadvantage if you think it is. The benefit to a 12 gauge is heavier shot loads in target rounds 1 ounce to 1-1/8 versus 7/8 to 1 ounce in the 20. If recoil is an issue you may be happier sticking with the 20. I don't know of a single trap shooter who prefers the 20 but many shoot lighter loads in the 12 to reduce recoil.

But if you really need an excuse to buy a new gun then this is definitely it. If you like your 390, Beretta makes the new 391 in a trap configuration. I shot one recently with a high stock and a stepped rib and it was very nice.

Dave McC
October 20, 2000, 07:11 AM
PJR is correct, If the mission is to break ALL the clays,use a 12. If the mission's to have fun shooting, get what you want.

I've used a Beretta 390 on trap, did OK. Nice shotgun.

Arizona Eric
October 21, 2000, 01:23 AM
My Sig Other has a 390 12 gauge and I can't pry it out of her hands. I still outshoot her on the trap range, but I am hearing footsteps . . . ;)

October 22, 2000, 11:59 AM
Wait a minute...there are loads for the 20 gauge that weigh exactly the same as a 12 gauge and have the same velocities but yet your recommending a 12 gauge? Shooting a 1 ounce load at 1200 fps from either a 12,20, or a 16 will get the job done. Also have to figure in the advantage of a lighter gun.

Dave McC
October 22, 2000, 04:27 PM
It's not just the shot weight,Bob. The larger the bore, the shorter the shot column. The shorter the shot column, the more pellets in the pattern,if all else is equal.

And 1 oz loads in light 20s are punishers to many people,specially in the high volume of shots games like clays,skeet and trap, tho the shotguns are a joy to carry in the field. Tradeoffs..

OTOH, my bird 870 weighs around 7 1/4 lbs, and 1 oz loads are easy kicking.So are 1 1/8 oz trap loads,my usual choice for clays and casual trap.

I think the idea is to shoot what you want to, just be aware of the choices.

October 22, 2000, 08:00 PM
Thanks for explaining that Dave, appreciate the feedback, never thought of the shot column having anything to do with it.


Dave McC
October 23, 2000, 04:43 AM
Glad to help, Bob.