View Full Version : Newbie to trap & Skeet

April 5, 2006, 06:19 PM
I would like to get started shooting trap & skeet. I want an o/u.Whats a good entry level shotgun? Also barrel length and gauge? Thanks

April 5, 2006, 06:32 PM
870 Express in 12 ga. Any barred length, what ever fits you. 870 is the best group of shotguns made imo.

April 5, 2006, 09:34 PM
The 870 is without a doubt a great gun, and would serve you well for Trap/singles. However, when you start shooting doubles in skeet you'll soon tire of racking that slide. :(

April 5, 2006, 10:04 PM
Anyone serious about trap and skeet, doesn't use a pump or semi-auto. Gun of choice is an over/under. Any variation of the two games require no more than two shots. It is not proper form to chuck your hulls all over the field and distract other shooters by picking them up. Sure you can use a shell catcher, but O/U's allow the shooter to retrieve hulls easily and efficiently. Over/unders allow you to have a longer barrel without the extra length of an action, like pumps and autos. Skeet shooters like shorter barrels (26"-30"), trap shooters prefer longer (28" or longer)

12 gauge allows you a wide variety of shot and weight options. Smaller gauges like 28 or 410's are more for the experienced shooter. With a 12 gauge you may have 2-3 times the pellets found in smaller gauges....more pellets mean a better chance of breaking the target. Most Trap shooters will use 7 1/2 -or- 8 shot, skeet shooters like 9 shot. 1 1/8 oz loads should work well for both games.

Skeet will generally use open or modified choke, (some guns have "skeet" chokes) which are similar to an unchoked barrel. Trap shoots at longer distances requiring a tighter choke....full or xtra-full is prefered.

You can shoot both games with the same shotgun, but sighting configurations on dedicated trap guns are quite different. If doing both games with the same gun, I'd suggest a field or sporting clays model shotgun. Interchangeable chokes will allow you to switch from trap to skeet and back again.

Browning and Beretta have some nice models that should fit your criteria. There's a lot of nice used over-under available at considerable savings.

April 5, 2006, 10:07 PM
Look on Gunbroker.com for O/U shotguns to get an idea. The Khan Arthemis/Mossberg Silver Reserve as well as the Remington Spartan would be good choices for starting guns.

April 5, 2006, 10:38 PM
I've seen quite a few serious trap shooters use non-O/Us... although O/Us are definitely dominant. The best I ever saw, an elderly gentleman who missed exactly zero shots the entire time I observed - straight 25s round after round all afternoon - was shooting with an 'ancient' trap-grade Remington Model 11.

April 5, 2006, 11:44 PM
If you are serious and have the money do it right the first time it will save you in the long run. Which is right for you is a ? that you will have to answer for yourself . If you already own a shotgun take it and try and find out if you like the sport .Plus while you are there ask ? and most will let you handle and even try there gun . Alot cheaper then buying 5or 6 before you find one you like. Myself I like the Ruger red lbel for trap

April 6, 2006, 04:45 PM
If I'm not mistaken, the nationals a couple of years back were won with a pump gun.

April 6, 2006, 05:16 PM
Again, if you're shooting only "singles", most anything will do. However, if you're planning on doing any serious skeet shooting a pump would be a big mistake.

April 6, 2006, 05:31 PM
I use an 870 but am looking to purchase an o/u 25 shots of skeet are not to bad but a 100 shot of sporting clays gets painful some sporting clays offer a 5 shot handicap for using a pump.

skeet are not hard to break just easy to miss

fairview mick
April 6, 2006, 05:52 PM
I've got over 50,000 registered target, so I'll share some advice-Take it for what it's worth(I was 9th in the state of Ohio quite a few years ago) Now like the Cleveland Brown's Bernie Kosar- I have diminishing skills. An 870 express would make you very sore after an afternoon of shooting. When going to a registered match for example, you will start the day with 25 or 50 practice. Then 100 16 yard targets. After that, perhaps 25 of handicap practice, if there's time(as a male shooter, you'll start at the 20 yard line). Then 100 handicap targets. If you so desire, then you shoot 100 doubles. No way are you going to shoot well in doubles with an 870, or any other pump. I've shot K-80's, Krieghoff's and 3 or 4 different configuration Perazzi's but the best scores I ever shot(especially on handicap from the 25 yard line) was with a modified remington 1100. I had an adjustable stock with an adjustable soft comb built for it. The barrell was backbored and ported, the forcing cone lenghtened and it was by far the softest shooting gun I ever shot. There were many times I shot 500 bird marathons in 16 yard and handicap. Then after those rounds, some doubles. You can use a shell catcher that slips easily onto the gun to catch the shell when only shooting one shell at a time. Also, so I didn't hit the shooter to my right, I had a dot(looks a little like this^) welded to the top side of the barrell on the inside. I works wonders by throwing the shell right at the ground by your feet. "ONE THING YOU NEVER, EVER DO IS PICK UP YOUR SHELLS FROM THE GROUND WHILE THE SQUAD IS SHOOTING. MOST CLUBS WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO PICK UP SHELLS PERIOD, WHEN SHOOTING OR NOT I hope this helps you a little. As far as skeet, I shot a lot of it, but never registered. I didn't care for the repepitive, same o, same o. It is fun though to shoot it with a 28 gage or .410.
That's a lot more of a challenge. Another thing to look into is Sporting Clays. I simulates hunting more than trap or skeet. It's fun and really gets you into practice for hunting.
Go for it and have fun. Don't forget, YOU WILL WANT TO RELOAD IF YOU SHOOT. IT SAVES YOU ABOUT 60 TO 70 ON AMMO

April 6, 2006, 06:05 PM
I buy used Browning, Beretta and recently a Perazzi. The only semis i have are a matched set of Remington 1100 28ga & 410. If I had to do it all over, I would buy the best QUALITY 28ga with adjustable stock,and screw in chokes and be done with it. I hit just as many birds (seems like just as large) with 28ga as with 20 ga or 12 ga. Buy one good MEC loader.

I really believe I would be a much better shot had i got one gun & stuck with it. I for sure would have many more thousands of dollars in my pocket.(Yeah Right............I would have bought a few more Colts)

fairview mick
April 6, 2006, 07:01 PM
Amen, Amen to that "buy one good gun and stay with it". You'll find that every time you have a bad day shooting, you'll blame it on the gun. The gun store owners love peole like me and you.

April 6, 2006, 07:13 PM
Hey, I myself am getting into the sport and was looking at the 870's. Can someone name some specific models that I should take a closer look at?

Jim Watson
April 6, 2006, 07:38 PM
Trapandskeet is not one word and it is not one sport. They have little in common besides the clay pigeon and some sort of shotgun. DIFFERENT sorts of shotgun.
Try to get to a club and watch what is going on. I recommend you start with skeet, it seems easier to transition from skeet to trap than vice versa. At least I have had trouble learning skeet after years of trap.

You will need a 12 or 20 gauge shotgun with not much choke - improved cylinder is more than enough, nominal skeet chokes are about .005" constriction if any at all. It must be able to fire two shots rapidly, doubles are shot on every round. That takes a good deal of pump-shucking skill. GOOD O/Us are expensive, I think you would be better off with a good auto than a cheap O/U.

fairview mick
April 6, 2006, 08:59 PM
Hi, Jim
It's interesting that found it hard to go from trap to skeet.
I found just the opposite. I shot trap for many years and then one day I took the trap gun(full choke) to the skeet field. I certainly didn't break them all, but when I did hit one squarely, it was impressive. I then bought a browning Midas .410 and really fell in love with the game. I was even able to break a few straights with a .410, but i think the 28 gauge was my all around favorite.

April 6, 2006, 09:24 PM
Depending on your personalty you might decide one of the many clay sports are suitable for you. As for me, I get bored quite easily and need change. I started out in skeet, tried trap (didn't much care for it), shot five stand, and finally sporting clays. Now the skeet is just when there is nothing else to shoot.

I shoot a Browning o/u Citori, screw in chokes. The sporting clays courses are always different, always offering different shots.

When I do shot skeet, it's with a 28 or 410 tube in my Browning (so I have the same feel of the same gun). And always shoot it gun down.

I highly suggest an o/u, and use lighter loads. Heck, it mostly for fun anyway.....................ck

fairview mick
April 7, 2006, 05:11 PM
Hi, Buck
The only 870 I would recommend is the 870 Comp. It came out about 20(?) years ago and became very popular. It was a single shot only, had a nice high Monte Carlo stock for trap and had a gas operated recoil system. One disadvantage, though, was the recoil piston got very dirty. I don't belive they are still made, but there some very good ones still out there for about $500.00. It can't be used for any double shooting, obviously, but it's a nice soft shooter. I got one for myself and one for my son. For some reason we both sold them, but I still have one in my gun safe that belongs to a friend. It's jus like the day it came from the factory and he does now want to sell it.
Give me a shout if you're interesed and I'll hook you up with the guy.

April 7, 2006, 05:40 PM
>>I got one for myself and one for my son. For some reason we both sold them<<

Let me guess... cuz they wouldn't shoot doubles?? :D

fairview mick
April 7, 2006, 06:02 PM
That would have made sense, but I had a Perazzi and Krieghoff Crown that I shot doubles with. I guess I just got bored and traded it for something else.