View Full Version : Does you skeet or trap club have minimum barrel lengths?

October 23, 2011, 09:06 PM
I am checking out my local shotgun club and they have a minimum 24" barrel length.

They allow non-members to shoot for $6.00, and they enacted the rule because guys were showing up with their 18" tac shotguns. They weren't hitting any clays and I guess the regular trap/skeet shooters felt it was a waste of time. Mainly a waste of time for the people who had to wait behind these guys as they blasted away at the clay pidgeons. So now they have a 26" barrel requirement.

I'm wondering if a lot of clubs have enacted something similar.

.300 Weatherby Mag
October 23, 2011, 09:17 PM
Ours does not have any such restrictions... Many shooters show up to shoot clays with defensive/tactical type shotguns... As long as they are safe and adhere to all the rules they are allowed to shoot...

I don't care what you shoot as long as you are safe...

October 23, 2011, 09:26 PM
That is one open to the public club where Weattherby and I shoot. The two next nearest are also open to the public, but do not permit short barrels. What is funny is the full service club sells a police type pump, but doesn't allow it to be shot.

October 23, 2011, 09:31 PM
a gun club should be a CLUB not an organization. you should be able to shoot whatever you want as long as it is safe.... they should be able to go out with a taurus judge revolver if they want as long as there safe.. ( shooting the shot shells out of the taurus of course).... i know people that can hit 20 out of 25 with a 18in barrel

October 23, 2011, 09:31 PM
Not around here. Some folks get their undies in a wad when I show up with a converted saiga and a bunch of magazines with 2 rounds per. But, for the most part, they don't mind much. I pay my dues, and pay my round. The fudds just need to loosen up a bit. They REALLY don't like it if you beat them. ;)

Most of the time, they ask if they can try it out!

However, if they every do enact a minimum length rule, I'll be SURE to promptly make an extension for my barrel to meet any silly requirement, and STILL bring the Saiga-12 out. Stupid rule, if you ask me.

October 23, 2011, 09:32 PM
heck yes haha! i have a sporting gun but those siagas are sweet :D:D

October 23, 2011, 09:58 PM
A club is an oganization; an association with its own rules or charter which may or may not be incorporated. Some clubs operate the range and others merely make special arranbements with range management for the benefit of the club's members. A particular range may have a deal with more than one club and a club owned range can have a deal with other clubs. Those who belong to or have belonged to actual clubs would know much better.

October 24, 2011, 05:45 AM
My club has a 24 inch minimum.
About the rationale for establishing a minimum length: I don't know why my club has this rule but I suspect that it has nothing to do with members thinking that shooters showing up with short barreled are wasting their time. It takes just as long to shoot and hit as it does to shoot and miss.
About shooters breaking 20 of 25 with a Taurus Judge. From the 16 yard line in singles Trap? Bird starts at 40 mph and 16 yards away. By the time the shooter has picked it up, tracked and fired, distance may have doubled.
I have trouble accepting that a shooter with a .410 pistol using a rifled barrel - essentially an open choke - can produce a pattern dense enough at 30 or so yards to break that many birds. Then again there are some remarkable shooters out there. Mechanically, though, it doesn't seem right. The pattern would be about five feet wide and not a lot of shot in it.

Mike Irwin
October 24, 2011, 07:50 AM
Several years ago I trounced Moderator Dave in a game of wobble trap using my S&W 3000 police cruiser with an 18" barrel and cylinder bore choke.

The next time I went to the same range, they'd instituted a barrel length minimum of, IIRC, 23".


October 24, 2011, 08:08 AM
The reason most clubs have barrel minimum lengths is for the blast and noise generated by the shorter barrel. It is especially prevalent on a trap line.

While I do not believe my club has a minimum rule, I do believe you would be hard pressed to find 4 others to stand next to you with it.

18" barrels may be fine for HD, but they really DO suck when it comes to swing dynamics - which is critical for moving targets. Also, since many folks think they need a child's LOP on their HD gun, their stance and form isn't really conducive to success on the trap, skeet or sporting fields - if it was, you wouldn't see the 30 and 32" barrel guns you do now

Some folks get their undies in a wad when I show up with a converted saiga and a bunch of magazines with 2 rounds per.

If you were an unknown at our club and showed up with that, there might be an issue, as the person working the field cannot easily determine whether you have only two in the mag or not - THAT is what will get many folks to be a little nervous at first

October 24, 2011, 09:49 AM
I shoot at a public range, 24" minimum barrel length.

October 24, 2011, 10:34 AM
If my club instated a rule like that, I'd make sure they knew why I was not renewing my membership.

I know blast and noise can be greater, but my ported 30" Citori isn't much quieter. Traditionalists might gripe about now knowing how many are in the mag, but the simple fact is that such is also an issue with everything that isn't an O/U.

Yes, I get weird looks from some guys when I use a 870 Tactical or converted S12, but so be it. No, I'm not as successful with those as I am with my Rem 105 CTi II or my Citori XS. But for a while, it's what I had and I shot those better than the 1100 I had used before. Furthermore, some clay shooting is a good way to build familiarity with a defensive gun... you not only gain experience operating it quickly without having to think about racking in another shell but you also get the hang for picking out a target and hitting it. So what if you miss a few more birds... it takes no less time to hit a bird than to miss it. If you're running 16/25 on a skeet field, you aren't going any slower than you are if you're shooting a straight. I do go off by myself when using these types of guns (but then, I usually shoot by myself anyway... autopullers are awesome).

It seems to me that such restrictions are more for keeping the club clear of shooters the traditionalists see as riff raff. I'm half surprised they don't also have a minimum list price for shotguns at the club too.

October 24, 2011, 10:38 AM
I shoot primarily at two public ranges. One has a 22" minimum barrel length, and the other does not.

Their range; their rules. I don't have a problem with it either way. I have 2 shotguns that I primarily use for clays, both have 30" barrels. If I want to shoot my 20" or 18" shotguns, I just go to the range that allows it.

October 24, 2011, 11:08 AM
Traditionalists might gripe about now knowing how many are in the mag, but the simple fact is that such is also an issue with everything that isn't an O/U.

Maybe that is the case at YOUR club - it isn't at mine - it is purely a safety thing. If you are a known member and know that it is a two-shot maximum in ANY gun, and behave accordingly, no one could care what you shoot - but we have had a few mishaps, shooters' fault, they sued and won - so safety is absolute and foremost - (as it should be anyway)

ANY new shooter, especially if they are acting like this is their first time handling a gun gets the scrutiny from everyone there, no matter the gun itself

October 24, 2011, 12:54 PM
The club I shoot at is public .../ but members shoot at reduced prices ..and have other benefits like being able to buy reloading supplies - that the general public cannot do / ---- there are no barrel length restrictions / but it is limited to shotguns only ...so no handguns like the Judge.

But noise on a firing line - for Trap or 5 Stand - with short barrels is a big issue. I'm not standing next to anyone shooting a barrel shorter than 24" or so ...as they swing left or right in front of me - to take a target with a short barreled gun ( they are way louder than any porting in a 30" - 34" barrels).

In my experience, if you want to shoot a barrel under 24" or so - I'd recommend you talk to the range master first.

Barrel length issue would not be a problem on a Skeet field / or a sporting clays course - because the other members on a sqaud are not abreast of you - they are behind you / and its easy for them to step back a couple more steps ..when a short barreled shooter is coming up.

Dave McC
October 24, 2011, 03:19 PM
PGC has a 23" minimum rule, waived sometimes for kids with "Yute" shotguns.

They say it's because of blast and noise, but ported barrels and chokes are much,much louder and they're allowed.

Hypocrisy rankles me.

October 24, 2011, 03:48 PM
Yeap, they decided anything shorter than my 10 inch Contender was too short. :D

October 24, 2011, 04:10 PM
It may be a cultural thing, they just don't like guys showing up with Tac Shotguns - I don't know But the other thing is that these guys showing up with Tac Shotguns were not interested in the sport of skeet, they just wanted to fire their guns. None of them ever got into the sport and became regulars. I think though that it rankled the members that the guys would blast away and miss like crazy. Yes it takes as long to miss as it does to hit. I think their attitude was that they'd rather those guys just didn't show up. (shorter lines)

October 24, 2011, 05:22 PM
It makes no sense to me ...one way or the other ...except the noise issue..

But there are lots of places to shoot tactical shotguns...just like there are places to shoot clay targets.../ it would be like me, signing up for a Tactical Shotgun class...and bringing a pump gun or a semi-auto shotgun with a 28" or a 30" barrel ...not that I couldn't participate / and maybe beast most anyone shooting there...but why ???

If I want to shoot clays ...I have tools for that ...
If I want to go tactical...I have tools for that...

But if they pay their $ 6 like everyone else ...they can shoot whatever they want, as far as I'm concerned ...as long as they obey the range safety issues of no more than 1 or 2 shells - depending on what they're shooting. Just not next to me on a "Trap" or "5 Stand" ...

Deja vu
October 24, 2011, 06:33 PM
There is a guy that shoots at the out door range I go to that has an 8 inch barrel on his "coach" gun. I have seen him shoot skeet and he will even get a few!

It is not an effective gun for the task but it is fun to shoot light loads through... yes he has NFA paper work for those of you worried about it.

October 25, 2011, 08:38 AM
No minimum barrel lengths at the clubs I belong to. The open and out and no more than two in the magazine rules apply at all of them. The only other restrictions are that targets must be shot from the designated firing positions and all guns must be shot from the shoulder. The later rule is less about not permitting pistol grip only shotguns but to discourage hip shooting.

Although I have shot skeet with a 14" 870 at my club it was a stunt and I've got more suitable guns for the purpose.

October 25, 2011, 12:40 PM
The reason most clubs have barrel minimum lengths is for the blast and noise generated by the shorter barrel. It is especially prevalent on a trap line.

I've heard that line before, too. However when you ask them if they forbid fully ported trap and sporting clays guns for the same noise reasons, you get dumb blank stares.

October 25, 2011, 01:00 PM
That's because the majority of the harsh blast is with shorter barrels and closer to everyone. Personally, I HATE ported barrels for the same reason - they serve no purpose on target shotguns except to make more noise on the side. It would be great if Browning offered target guns without them - you'll notice their field guns do not come equipped as such

October 25, 2011, 07:49 PM
Excessive noise had nothing to do with the rule at my public range, at least that's what I was told. The county employees were tired of the safety violations they witnessed by a large percentage of the HD gun crowd. I was told that it was common for someone to show up, hand the puller his ticket, then pump out 7 rounds of buck shot there on the table.

I've been doing this long enough to know that safety has nothing to do with what kind of gun you shoot, but these employees felt that a certain 'type" of gun was more prone to have an unsafe shooter behind it...management agreed.

October 25, 2011, 07:53 PM
I've been doing this long enough to know that safety has nothing to do with what kind of gun you shoot, but these employees felt that a certain 'type" of gun was more prone to have an unsafe shooter behind it...management agreed

If their experience showed them to more right than wrong, then that becomes an image problem that HD gun owners need to correct