View Full Version : Good shotgun for Skeet/trap?

Northslope Nimrod
December 12, 2008, 07:38 PM
Buddy is asking me to recommend a good 12 guage shotgun for his 30 year old son to shoot clays. I think he will shoot skeet not just trap, so he needs something versatile. He is asking me because I am a "gun guy" but I'm not really into clays. I think he is after a semi-auto.
I recommended the Remington 1100, about a 28 inch barrel. But what do I know? He doesn't have a ton of $$.

What do you recommend?

December 12, 2008, 08:01 PM
Any shotgun with a 28" or 30" barrel is fine for casual clay target shooting.

The gas operated semi-autos Beretta 390 or 391 and the Remington 1100's are still popular. Lots of them around / around $1,000.

There isn't anything wrong with a good pump gun either - like the Browning BPS pump gun / 28" - new for about $ 500. They make a BPS Trap grade as well - but its not commonly available.

If he's looking for a serious Trap gun - a specialized Trap gun - that's a different story. I think the most versatile Trap gun is a Browning O/U called an XT model - its one of the Citori models. 32" barrels are probably the most common / lots of them around use / new they are about $ 2,500.

The most versatile " Clays " gun - for Skeet, Sporting Clays, Trap, etc is a Browning Citori XS Skeet model / and they retail for about $ 2,750. I like that gun in 30" barrels.

There is a very nice semi-auto Benelli Super Sport, 12ga, 30" barrels - new they are about $ 1,800 but I just picked up a real clean used one about a month ago ( hardly fired ) for under $ 1,500. Its a really clean shooting gun, lots of adjustabilty, its inertia not gas operated.

But there are lots of good options out there.

December 13, 2008, 10:44 PM
I think he will shoot skeet not just trap, so he needs something versatile... He doesn't have a ton of $$.
BigJimP's on course about the availability of sporting guns and the ones that seem the most versatile. However, one fact can not be overlooked, Skeet and Trap are vastly different games. The specialized guns that have evolved for these two sports are significantly different. In selecting one gun for both trap and skeet is at best a compromise. A gun that swings quickly for Skeet's Station 8 will do poorly trying to make the smooth and minute adjustments required for long yardage trap. A gun with the weight and long sighting plane required for Trap will be cumbersome on the Skeet field.

In the past two decades, target guns with barrels too long for Skeet and too short for Trap have been dubbed by their manufacturers with names like Special, Sporting or Clays. In reality they are compromise guns, too, and will perform only marginally when compared with special purpose Trap and Skeet guns.

So, what's a shooter to do if he can't budget for two guns, and doesn't want a compromise gun? The answer is fairly simple and goes back to the days of the field shooter who wanted a SxS for waterfowl and upland birds. He, like many others, ordered his SxS with two sets of barrels.

For a contemporary version of the venerable two barrel set, your friend might consider a Remington Classic Trap, pump or autoloader, with an extra Skeet barrel:
Model 870 Wingmaster Classic Trap (24857) $1015 + Skeet barrel (24582) $235 = $1250
Model 1100 Classic Trap (25333) $1129 + Skeet barrel (24490) $275 = $1404

December 14, 2008, 04:52 PM
Zippy makes some good points - but don't forget " fit " on a shotgun is the single most important issue in selecting a shotgun. Since your eye is the rear sight - its imperative that the shot's Point of Impact is exactly where you're looking. Shotguns dont come in one size fits all.

There is a good chance your buddy doesn't know the right dimensions for the "Fit" his son needs. The guns we've recommended can all be adjusted to some extent - or you can put aftermarket pads on the comb / change the recoil pad, etc . But adjustment is a big deal - and some guns have adjustment built into their setup / like the Browning XS Skeet model with the adjustable comb built into the gun - some semi autos come with shims so you can change the angle on the stock - some guns don't.

Since this gun for your buddy's son might be a Xmas present - he may not have enough time to really figure out "Fit" - but regardless of what gun he buys, mutiple barrel sets, etc - he'll still need to spend some time adjusting the fit. But recommend to your buddy he look at adjustability of the gun as a key issue when he is picking a gun for himself or his son.

December 15, 2008, 12:00 AM
Browning BPS or Remington 870 with a 28 inch barrel and tubes. Used, will not break the bank. If they are going with more trap than skeet, the BPS, more sheet than trap the 870. Either one is a good starter gun until they figure out what they want.

December 22, 2008, 09:10 PM
I'm looking for my first trap shotgun, and want to keep the price low. Still learning the absolute basics and really appreciate what I am reading here.
Question: What would differentiate a trap gun from a skeet gun?
Thanks again!

December 22, 2008, 11:43 PM
The biggest difference is trap singles and handicap don't require a repeater, where skeet requires a second shot at four stations, as well as all doubles events. Tournament trap is typical shot with a single shot gun and skeet with an O/U. However auto-loaders and pumps can be used in both sports.

Skeet targets are shot at a closer range and greater angles than trap targets. So, skeet guns are "quick" and trap guns are "accurate." This is typically accommodated by longer barrels with tighter chokes in trap guns. More specialized trap guns will also have higher stocks and ribs.

December 23, 2008, 08:14 AM
Stocks are different and sometimes the rib will be different. Check out the measurements on some of the websites and you get a little of the idea. Trap guns most times have a little less drop at the comb.