View Full Version : Trap and Skeet

March 9, 2001, 09:05 AM
and I can never remember which is which but our company is forming a club or team (one or the other)and I will try again. About 20 years ago I joined the company "team" and dealt with 2 years of humiliation but we had fun. We were doing the one that has a single house out in front of you and one shot from a single station vs. the one which has two houses and you move from point to point and shoot.
I was using my Remington 870 field 12ga. and sometimes I thought I had it al figured out and would dust 12-15 in a row and then miss the next 10. Next round often reflected the first. A friend loaned me his 870 Trap and I missed probably 80 - 90 percent, though I liked the feel of the "Trap Gun" there was definitely no improvement.
Fast forward to present.......
A friend came over one Saturday with his brother and brought a hand throwing "device" a box of clays and his 12Ga Remington auto. I threw and he broke about 15 out of 25 and few times and asked me if I would like to try and did about the same maybe not quite as "good".
I took a moment and remembered I had a 20Ga English Essex SxS in my shop and brought it out. He threw and I hit about 23-24 out of 25 consistantly.......it was actually the first time I had tried it since I bought it up years ago with the exception of corking a few rabbits when I first got it. Well I ended up eventually selling the Essex to someone in a weaker moment and went a while with no shotgun untill my brother stopped by and dropped off a rustly old Sears and Roebuck 20Ga pump (same as the Winchester 1300) I discovered as I replaced a couple of missing parts and commenced to clean it up. I decided to get one of those fancy "pull a string" throwers, a box of clays and a case of real cheap 20Ga "club" ammo. Killer! 23 24 25 regularly.
Now comes the question......this company club is going to have a lot of Ruger Red Labels, Brownings and so forth. No doubt 12Ga. except for a few ladies who will probably shoot 20's. and I want to buy a new gun just for this event. Like a top (well middle) of the line something and not sure what. A friend who asked me to get all the guns out of his closet and clean them up for him (he's become very ill and it doesnt look good) yeilded 10 .22s and a .30-.30 a 30-06 a LCSmith SxS 12, an old Savage 720 auto looks like a BrowningA5 16ga and a very old Browning Belgian A5 16Ga. All are in very good condition. Ill probably buy the shotguns from and a couple of the .22's and thought about maybe using the 16 Browning
Are 16s "Trap worthy"? or too small? How do 20's do in Trap? Would I be best off shooting what Ive got untill I get the swing of things and move into a 12? If I do better with a 20 is a 20 "respectable". How about that Browning 16? or even the Savage 16 maybe even my Sears pump 20? Though I would enjoys a new gun just for this event unless the 16 Browning is something that works well. Its sure is a beauty.
Would enjoy hearing from of you who shoot this kind of event regularly and maybe I can find out the right way to get started and still have fun!

March 9, 2001, 12:16 PM
One house, birds flying up and away at random angles, five positions, five shots at each position for a total of 25 is trap.

Two houses, crossing birds on preset flight paths, 8 stations is skeet.

The gun to use is the one that fits you best. From your description the 20 gauge pumps seems to work best. Don't worry about using the lighter load or consider the 20 gauge as a women's gun. Better to have a gun that fits and a smaller shot charge than more shot in a gun you can't hit with.

The trouble with the 16 gauge is an absence of low-priced target ammunition. Although the 16 is the darling of the upland game set and popular in continental Europe, acceptable loads might be hard to find.

Given the guns that you mentioned I'd probably pick that LC Smith sxs just to be different but then I am a sxs nut.

Bam Bam
March 9, 2001, 10:19 PM
Use whatever knocks 'em down. When I shoot trap with friends I let them use the nicer 12 ga. and I use a 870 20 ga. Usually shoot 14-17, not great but it is not the gun. I just don't get enough practice. So use the gun you like and shoot well. If you want a new one then there were some recent threads about Over-and-Unders O/U that may be helpful.

One thing to consider, how many birds will you be shooting and will your shoulder stand up to the pounding? I once shot 2 rounds of trap and by bird #35 the only thing I could think about was when it would end. A friend who thought he was a tough guy tried to shoot two rounds of trap with the 12 ga. BPS and gameloads and ended up holding the gun off of his shoulder during the second round. Final score was 8. After that I bought a vest with a pad. Only wish I spent a little more for a brand name.

So, I recommend investing in a nice shooting vest with a padded shoulder. Whatever gun you use, the vest will be good for your body.

March 10, 2001, 11:16 PM
I remember we were shooting 3 rounds and that 870 12 was wearing me out.
Enjoyed your comments and suggestions and think the 20 will probably serve up just fine.
I enjoy getting a little different myself and will slide the LCSmith in a case and take it along. Its to fine to leave at home.
Ill sure take that advice about the shooting vest.
I have never loaded any shotgun shells but it might be the right time to start. Could make the 16 affordable.
For store bought loads what would be the right for each of the three gauges? Whats the difference between like 20ga. Dove loads and 20ga "club loads". I load and shoot a lot of handgun and rifle but have done little shotguning out side mostly rabbit and squirrel. Matter of time and convience mostly and its really a good time to start enjoying some shotgunning.
Again enjoyed your feedback.

Dave McC
March 11, 2001, 04:40 AM
Club loads and other loss leader ammo is made from softer lead shot, and usually other components are not up to snuff.
Patterns tend to be not only larger but irregular. For funshooting, they'll work fine.

In 12 ga, I use the Winchester AA Heavy Target load(3 dram, 1 1/8 oz, 7 1/2 shot) more than any other. This might be a little tight patterning for skeet,but works fine for trap, SC and hunting. In 20 ga it's the AA field load in either 7 1/2 or 8, I got a deal on them a while back.

And, while most folks will hit more with the right 12 ga, use what you want to and have fun....

March 11, 2001, 07:05 PM
Is there a reloader thats sort of the norm? Will I need one for each gauge? or would I swap shell plates my in my Lee pro 1000. Do shotgun reloader rates run about the same as hand gun progressive, 200 - 300 per hour, something like that. What would you recommend?
I wonder why shotguns reference in drams? Do you do any shotgun reloading?
On the LCSmith the barrel has reference to "Armurors Steel" would this be ok for the heavy AA loads? forgive the spelling.

March 11, 2001, 11:51 PM
The most popular reloader for shotguns is the MEC 9000G. Yes you will need one for each gauge. A MEC runs about $260 to 300. I find that shotgun reloading goes faster than metallic reloading with a dillon 550B. The MEC is progressive and advances by itself.

Reloading is only cost effective if you buy components in bulk. Powder in 5# or 8# kegs. Wads by the case of 5000, shot in lots of 10 25# bags or more. Primers by the case (1000). Purchases in small quantities are not much of a savings over the promo loads. IMHO

The Dram measurements are a holdover from blackpowder days, why they are still used is beyond my limited powers of comprehension:)

As to the markings on the "Elsie". Sounds like the barrels are fluid steel which would be safe with modern loads. If the barrels look like they have a pattern of swirls and lines they may be damascus and are not generally safe with smokeless powder. With a SxS I would start with lighter loads, those old guns are brutal kickers. I would have the gun checked out by a competent gunsmith before you shoot it.

Geoff Ross

Dave McC
March 12, 2001, 06:50 AM
TGS, to second Geoff's excellent advice. Have a decent gunsmith check out the LC BEFORE firing one single round. It's not just Damascus bbls, but the weaknesses that creep into old guns.

However, if the piece is sound, AA target loads whould make excellent hunting loads, target loads(DUH!) and all around fun loads with reasonable pressures and kick. I'd avoid steel shot, turkey loads, slugs and anything labeled Max.

March 12, 2001, 10:24 AM
Im sure its not a Damascus barrel but I will swing buy the gunsmiths this week and have him look it over. It appears sound, have looked close for any signs of fatigue and I dont see any cracks but Im sure there are other elements. It locks up tight.
I sure appreciate all the feedback.
Its a shame that the guns havent been properly stored. There is a little rust. The bores are spotless and the barrels outside has "areas" of rust.
Considering I probably wont be considering "resale" my thought are refinishing them. Ive done some "Slowrust" on a couple of old 12's of mine and they came out really nice. Ended up a dark soft plum color. Had to put them through the sweat box about 6-8 times but they took very well. Did also a pretty mistreated three screw ruger and buffed out the alloy grip frame and it took real well also. I think maybe the Elsie could use a face lift. Like I mentioned they werent stored well and would put them at about 40-50% on the reciever and 70% on the outside of the barrel. I will have to think about it. I really like to keep things original so maybe, maybe not.

March 12, 2001, 10:56 AM
I think you should copy your post on this board then go to --www.shotgunsports.com--the go to their discussion group and paste your post onto the "shotgun" or "trapshooting" boards. You will get more expert advice than you can handle.

Advice # 1 will always be --shoot the gun that fits you.

Advice #2-You are loosing your cheek weld to the stock and raising you head when you start missing.

March 14, 2001, 10:32 AM
Thanks for the reference. And I do recall now about raising my head when i fire. Thats really interesting.
Getting a gun to fit......that could be a task couldnt it? It seems like were at the dealers mercy. There is, if I am not wrong, a lot to a well fitted stock. I know like the Beretta has a spacer for making a change to the lob and drop but I dont see a lot of other manufacturers offering these adjustments. I suppose as with anything the cost will be reflected in the detail put into the gun. But thats acceptable. Im going to the sight you suggested and see what I can find out, no doubt a lot!