View Full Version : A day at trap....

Dave McC
February 11, 2001, 05:39 PM
Well, in keeping with my New Year's resolutions, I got back into trap today after a long but active hiatus. Went to Marriotsville range(for us Md folks) and had a blast.And yes, I used my 21" bbled GP 870.Modified tube, field stock, single bead, and the cheapo Fed promo loads in 7 1/2.

The range gang were an interesting mix. Some folks had shotguns like BT-99s, others field guns. One guy had a Stoeger double, a CAS special with choke tubes.He went something like 16/25 first round, and had a great time.He was on my right for the first round, and a serious trap type with a BT-99 on the left. He ran the first 25,and had about the same amount of fun, near as I could tell.

FYI, the only autos I saw, out of maybe 15 shooters, were Berettas, all 390s I think.

I had a few problems. As usual, my old nemesis with muzzle light shotguns appeared. I stop the swing sometimes and end up shooting behind some clays and the extreme angle shots still have my number. Still, I ran scores of 14 to 20 per round, not too bad for what must be my first serious trap round in a decade.More practice, that'll improve.

Anyway, I should be back there most Sunday afternoons and having more fun. I do need to find a cheap buy on AA shells. The Heavy Trap load in both 8s and 7 1/2 pattern nicely in this shotgun.

And,I'm looking around for a trap gun. Haven't bought a new gun in way too long, and this might be a good excuse, tho Wonderful Wife might disagree(G)....

February 14, 2001, 08:44 PM


I have been shooting traps twice now and did much better the first time where I hit 8 out of 15 from the left side of the house to center. When I rotated to the right side, 10 oo 10 misses. The second outing, I only shattered 15 oo 50 but splintered a few. Most hits were also from the left side of the house- it feels more natural on that side for some reason.

As a beginner, with little guidence, what should my performance expectations be? I realize that 25 oo 25 is not possible for a while- if ever, but is 15 oo 50 a little too weak.

Any tips, as I would love to report having a blast, but right now with my small percentage of hits, I am being too hard on myself.

I am glad that you are posting the different types of guns that you see. Both times that I have been to the range, I have been the only one shooting so I have nothing to reference.

February 14, 2001, 09:54 PM

go down to the library, and look under the Dewey number 799. There will be a great book on Trap, Skeet and Sporting Clays. For the life of me, I cannot remember the name, but it has a picture of 2 Ruger Red labels on the cover. It gives great advice, and I am sure it would be of help to you. It certainly helped me.


February 14, 2001, 10:32 PM

Not sure what you mean by shattered or splintered but any visible piece of the bird means that it is scored dead. Last weekend at a trap meet I watched first prized decided when the tiniest sliver came off a bird. Three of us saw it and it decided the match. We all like to turn those clays into smoke balls but any visible piece and it is a dead bird.

Dave McC
February 15, 2001, 07:39 AM
Like PJR said, a chip counts the same as a little puff of smoke, Hube.

Bowser, kudoes. Not enough people realize that a library contains info on just about any field of human endeavor, including the rather specialized shotgun sports. One of a shotgunner's best tools is a well broken in library card...

Hube, I have more misses on stations 1 and 5, possibly more on 1. The extreme angles complicate the shots.I think this is universal. And, some folks do better on left to right shots, and vice versa.

Also, Rome wasn't built in a day. Keep on working on it, and get some expert instruction when you can.Two trips to the trap range are tiny little steps.

And, here's the things that are my personal glitches with shotguns and clays.

First, stopping the bbl instead of swinging through the target.This is one of the reasons dedicated trap guns have long bbls that balance further forward than field,skeet and SP guns.Inertia aids a smooth and continous swing.I find using the support hand a little farther out on the forearm than I do in the field helps a bit.

Second,the mindset,"It's getting away so I better shoot NOW!!". We usually have more time than we need at this game, depending on reflex speed, choke, loads, et al. Get everything right,then squeeze that trigger.

Tied in with #2, yanking the trigger instead of a fast, clean squeeze.

And maybe biggest of all, concentration. focus on the tiniest part of the clay. I like the leading edge, or dead center on straightaways.

Relax,enjoy and have fun. When you do, your scores will climb, you'll become a local legend, tyros will hang on your every word and duplicate what you use, wear and say,and you'll have wild sex with the trap groupies(G)....

February 15, 2001, 01:12 PM
The most helpful to me, a fellow newbie, was getting some personal instruction from the trapmaster at my shooting club.


Someone who's watching you can tell you if you're standing wrong, or pointed the wrong way for the station you're at, or shooting high/low/behind/in front of the clay bird, or waiting too long to shoot, etc. Note: Only listen to advice from people who know what they're doing. If the trapmaster can't spare the time, shoot to the right of the guy about 60 who's breaking 23 out of 25 and tell him you admire the way he shoots before the round starts.


Dave McC
February 16, 2001, 07:23 AM
Videotaping your shooting would also serve to ID problem areas.

February 16, 2001, 08:45 AM
Trap groupies?

Sounds like I better start shooting in Maryland :D

Dave's advice is good. I shoot a lot of trap and am just emerging from a truly wicked slump by slowing down and going back to the fundamentals. They key is to shoot smoothly and to pick up the bird as soon as it leaves the house. I see many shots missed because a shooter anticipated where the bird might have been going instead of seeing where it actually went.

There are lots of different methods and all kinds of people willing to give you advice. Pick one and stick with it. This is where getting some instruction from a qualified instructor is a good idea. That doesn't necessarily mean the best shooter at the club. Often he or she can't explain why they break more targets or their method won't work for you.

February 16, 2001, 12:40 PM
If you are shooting a field gun, remember to pull the trigger just as your muzzle COVERS the bird. Trap targets are always rising (until they begin to drop) and a field gun almost always has to cover the bird to hit it.
That's why if you get really into trap, you will eventually buy a trap gun. They are stocked higher so that the bird can balance on the SIGHT and still be hit. This is important on SEEMING straightaways where the bird is just SLIGHTLY moving to one side or the other in which case if the muzzle is covering it will be too slight to see and will cause a miss.
NOW...I will bust a RULE and say: Try shooting with one eye like a rifle if you are a rifle and pistol shooter. I know it is taboo and won't win any tournaments because it will negate about 6 yards of target flight.
BUT....I went back to one eye shooting and now average 24/25 almost every time unless the weather is bad.
Even at handicap (23 yards for me) One eye took me to 49/50 at the club shoot.
It may be "wrong" but it works for me because I didn't grow up on a shotgun.

Dave McC
February 16, 2001, 05:35 PM
Maybe I'd better back off on the trap groupie comment, still catching much flak for breath mints and Loudenboomers.

PJR, Pop was one of the best wingshots I've ever seen, but he didn't know why he was good, and thought that anyone with problems at wingshooting was sadly lacking in something. After the basics, I learned elsewhere. SO, the best teacher would be one with experience in both shooting and teaching.

BTW, Frankenstein's stock has been shimmed a bit,drop at comb is about 1 1/8",IIRC. Most of the pattern is over the bead.

Lavan, whatever works.

February 17, 2001, 09:38 AM
There was a Trapper at one of the local clubs who , after some prodding, demonstrated her new "Tweetie" tatoo to a group of shooters:) Some of them are in BIG trouble with their wives over that.

Geoff Ross

Dave McC
February 18, 2001, 09:32 AM
Geoff,I can see it now. Hubby stumbles in in the wee small hours,and wife, w/ rolling pin, stands at the door and listens as he mumbles about a drunken bacchanalia. She hears him out and says....

"Pouring cheap perfume and beer on yourself doesn't fool me one bit.You're been out shooting trap with 'Tweetie' again, haven't you?"....

February 18, 2001, 11:00 AM
I ain't afraid'a no rolling pin!!! So, where can one meet this "Tweetie"???....mikey357

Dave McC
February 18, 2001, 04:11 PM
Back to trap....

Shot again today, had a great time, and averaged about 17 on 5 rounds. I've ID'd a couple of areas for me to work on, and I'll post reports later.

I note that with Frankenstein,it's best for me to get right on the bird and speed the shot a bit.Plan B involves getting a tighter choke than Modifed, and waiting the birds out a bit. Since I've no tighter chokes except a turkey extra full,this involves expense.Maybe Geoff and the other trap mavens have some input on this.

A nice mix of shotguns out there today. I admired a really nice Lefevre 20 ga double that one guy was shooting for fun, and the guy that showed up last time with a CAS double was there today with a beautifully engraved and voluptously stocked Model 12. Drool(G)....

Others included a couple of Mossys, a handful of BT-99s, several Berreta gas guns, and an OLD Ithaca trap single of higher grade.

I may get a longer bbl, or maybe another 870 if I can find a good used one.I will mount a bbl weight to smooth the swing, one of those problem areas I mentioned....