View Full Version : More trap shooting questions??

February 12, 2008, 08:48 AM
I plan on taking my wife with me the first time I go trap shooting.

How many shotgun rounds of #8 should she or even I be able to fire before discomfort begins to develope in our shoulder?

We will be using a mossberg pump shotgun.

Do they make reduced recoil loads in #8? I do not want her first experience with shotguns to be negative.

February 12, 2008, 12:12 PM
I've never shot trap , want to learn myself :)

But I think your question is relative to the person. For me ... the light loads shot out of my Remi Marine Magnum with factory stock , don't bother me at all. With a padded jacket I feel I could shoot it all day with light loads. Then again ... I'm 6' 230lbs of muscle :D ;)

You may want to pick up one of those shoulder pads I see sold at the local hunting stores and possibly a additional pad for over the stock. Especially for your wife.

How many rounds you or your wife can take is anyones guess.

Bring a case of shells and shoot til you find out! The rest will work the next time you go. :)

I have a case of 2 3/4 - 1 1/8oz 8shot 1200fps paper target loads .... my wife and daughters, shoots them just fine.

Jim Watson
February 12, 2008, 12:42 PM
I recommend something like the Winchester Extra Lite 2 3/4 d.e. 1 oz #8 or equivalent of another brand. NOT cheap-O cheapmart promotional shells with light shotloads but a lot of powder.

I estimate her recoil tolerance to be one round of trap - 25 targets AT MOST.
Yours maybe two rounds.

Doesn't sound like much, but better to stop while you are feeling good than to try for an endurance test and go home sore.

February 12, 2008, 12:48 PM
90% is related to fit and technique. The remaining 10% is tied to padded stocks and such.

Holding the gun properly and having it fit will allow you to shoot without discomfort. Odds are neither of these will be done properly the first time out so I would say 50 rounds will be your limit on the first day.

Hopefully you will get some help in which case you will fire a little more as the instructor shows you what to do on the line. Two boxes will not be enough then. I would bring 4 boxes each and count on 2-3 rounds of trap.

February 12, 2008, 01:26 PM
Yep, proper fit and mount are key!!!! Then recoil is negligible.

And, 1oz loads are very adequate. Have used only 1oz for years, trap and skeet. I DO NOT use Wally-World steel based junk. Will not work well in a couple of my guns. Winc AA or Rem STS are not that much more even at my 6 -10 rounds per week! I recommend professional help in fitting. My spouse has a pro stocked and fitted Browning BT-99 for trap and an Orvis Beretta custom 20 for birds. The fit makes the difference between enjoying and quitting! And between hitting and not! It is no fun if you beat up ... and no fun if you miss all the time.

Frank Ettin
February 12, 2008, 02:35 PM
As everyone has said, you don't need heavy duty shells. Unfortunately, most "promotional", less expensive shells are 1 1/8th oz./3 dram and kick more than you need. One ounce of #8 in a 2 3/4 dram equivalent load is plenty and has a nice, mild recoil.

And I also agree that gun fit and technique have a lot to do with it. One or two rounds would be a good start.

February 12, 2008, 03:50 PM
Absolutely, proper technique is going to be what determines how many shots you fire before you start to feel it; I notice that when I've fired 5 or more rounds of skeet or trap in a day, I get a low-grade headache, probably caused by the brain matter sloshing against the inside of my skull everytime I squeeze the trigger. A lot of newer shooters figure that the way to make sure that recoil doesn't hurt is to hold the butt slightly off the shoulder, but this is a guaranteed way to MAKE it hurt; the lightweight shotgun ends up being driven back into your shoulder faster and harder than it would otherwise. You want to make sure that the shotgun is pulled back into your shoulder pocket firmly, so that the recoil of firing a shot is forced to make your whole upper body move slightly.

February 12, 2008, 04:42 PM
Yes..smart thinking ...get low recoil loads and yes..they are more expensive but that gun will pound her. consider getting her a recoil pad for her shoulder. I picked up a browning reactor pad years ago for my wife. She pins it on her shirt under the jacket so it is a big help in felt recoil. I know there are some companies who make them that strap on, well worth it for her.

It is too bad you can not get your hands on a 20 gauge for her. One more thing while I am yacking, if you are in a cold weather state, the recoil of the gun also slaps or "bites" your face. It hurts and one of the frequent side effects is people pick there head up cause it hurts, gives you a head ache and often a sore jaw. I have a commercial pad that allows the gun stock to slide under the pad and not clobber my cheek in the cold weather. I just saw you are in warm florida, it can also happen in a hot area with sticky stocks from sweat. Before I had this pad (can not remember the manufacture it has been a while) a bunch of us would put baby powder on our face to help the stock slide on our face. Just hope your wife has a good experience.

Oh..before I head to the trap range, would like to take her to some place and just let her shoot the gun at stationary things to get the feel for it and practice basic skills, loading, unloading, safety management. She is going to really feel lots of pressure with a bunch of people watching so the more basic skills she has before shooting moving targets the better.

February 12, 2008, 06:10 PM
If the gun is ill fitting discomfort will set in on the first shot. If the remotels fits you may be able to last a round or two. If the is properly fitted you will be able to shoot all you want. I have a gun that is fitted to me and I have shot on several occasions 1700 shells in one day and routinely shoot in excess of 1000 per day.

Gun fit does make all the difference!

chris in va
February 13, 2008, 12:36 AM
If you're shooting at a clays range, just rent a small 20ga for her. She'll really be turned off by a fullsize 12ga 500. I have a Pardner 410 for any females that want to try hitting clays, and even then they don't like trying to hit moving targets. Every single time they head back to the car for something to drink.

Frank Ettin
February 13, 2008, 01:15 AM
With due respect to chris in va, I recommend against a .410 for beginners. It's really an expert's gun. Although a .410 is light and recoil very modest, it also throws a somewhat anemic pattern making it very hard to break targets at 30 to 35 yards (the distance at which trap targets are usually broken from the 16 yard line). If one is not breaking at least some targets, it's no fun.

A 20 gauge is the best compromise between a light, manageable gun and a dense enough, and large enough, pattern. My wife started with a 20 gauge, and she's now very good with her 12 gauge.

Over the last few years I've helped quite a few folks make a start at trap and wing shooting. I've helped our club coach with his beginner classes. I was also one of the first coaches for our club's Scholastic Clay Target Program group. A .410 can be a lot of fun to shoot, but I've also seen many new shooters terribly frustrated with one.

February 13, 2008, 10:07 AM
DAVE: winchester makes some light load 12s in double A.s Can be had a wally world.. Even though I find shooting trap with a mossy 500 to be a bit painful after a few rounds.. Mossberg was not made to be a trap gun.. You will find most trap guns to be heaver than a field model,

Buy the light loads for the lady. if they hurt with the mossberg get a different gun for her.

I shoot trap and Skeet with a .410 but I do not reccomend it for any beginner.

February 13, 2008, 01:36 PM
The size of the shot is irrelevent in terms of recoil ( so go with 8's, 9's or 7 1/2's ) / look for a shell that has 7/8 oz of shot in it / and look for a load that is less than 1200 fps - it'll be your softest shooting option. If you can't find a load with 7/8oz of shot in it - then go to 1oz - but stay with the slowest load you can find ( and not over 1200 fps ).

Most adult men, with at least average upper body strength - can easily handle 4 or 5 rounds of trap / but if that gun doesn't fit you properly / or your fundamentals are bad - a round or two of trap can be a lot. Personally, if I'm shooting a light field gun or a heavy trap gun - the number of rounds I shoot doesn't vary - but I usually stop at 5 rounds because I lose concentration after that and then its just shot going downrange for no good purpose / or bad practice. But in any given day I may shoot 4 or 5 rounds of trap, 4 or 5 rounds of skeet and a few rounds of 5 stand ....just depends ( and I switch gagues or whatever ) - but all my guns, field, etc all have been adjusted to fit me.

For your wife, or any new or young shooter that doesn't have a lot of upper body strength - a longer and heavier gun may be a big problem / so the shorter and lighter Mossberg you have may be ok. But get the lightest load you can find - something akin to a 20ga round ( 7/8 oz and not over 1200 fps) in your 12ga. Again fundamentals are the key - proper placement on shoulder, proper elbow angle and height, foot position, etc - and no matter what - make sure she has fun, and stop when she doesn't. If you push her or any new shooter to do something she doesn't want to do - its a big mistake. If a gun beats you up / or you have any soreness in your shoulder - either the gun doesn't fit you or you have some fundamentals to work on - or both (which is likely). Shotguns do not come in one size fits all - and shooting trap is not genetic - it takes some understanding of the fundamentals, some gun fit issues probably and some practice. Just relax and focus on having a good time / don't worry yourself into a puddle over this stuff.