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Old January 25, 2010, 05:44 PM   #1
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Pump Action for Trap?

Hello all,

I currently don't own a shotgun and know almost nothing about them. I am interested in shooting trap and was told that a pumper would be just fine for me as long as it had modified or adjustable chokes. Most things I read about trap/skeet people are using high dollar semi's.

So is it blasphemy for me to get a pump action? If it's okay, which one would be a good starting point?

If not which semi would be good? In all honesty I dont want to spend over $700 if I don't have to.

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Old January 25, 2010, 06:02 PM   #2
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Look at thr REM 870 Trap Special about 850.00 new!
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Old January 25, 2010, 06:12 PM   #3
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You can start shooting Trap with a pump gun ... It isn't probably the optimum gun, if you were to get real serious about it, and get into competition but ....doesn't mean it won't be fine.

You don't need a Trap specific gun -- to shoot Trap. If the guns fits you / so it hits where you look ...its fine. Most traditional guns with angled combs are referred to as "field combs" ...and while a lot of Trap shooters want a gun that shoots "high" in terms of 70% / 30% so they can float the bird over the barrel / if you have a gun that is 50% / 50% you just have to cover the bird and kill it vs floating it over the barrels.

The pump gun I like the best is the Browning BPS Hunter model / they also make a Trap model. But the Hunter model is selling for around $ 500 - $600 and its a good long term gun. I would go with a 28" barrel on a pump gun.

I will also tell you my own Trap gun / is a Browning XT Trap, Citori O/U 32" barrels at around 10lbs... I prefer it over any single barrel Trap gun / like a BT-99 ....and with an O/U you can use the same gun for Trap Singles, Continental where you get 2 shells to kill one bird, or for Doubles. But the XT is retailing new in the $ 2,800 range ....but its a very good gun ..if you want to go that way.

But I shot a lot of Trap when I was first learning / and budget was tight .... the Browning BPS was / and still is a very good gun. I still have the BPS's I bought in the late 70's ....

Last edited by BigJimP; January 25, 2010 at 06:23 PM.
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Old January 25, 2010, 06:21 PM   #4
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It sounds like you are an entry level shooter so you may want to consider an entry level shotgun. Find a nice, older used Remington 870 that will accept screw in chokes. I've had 870's, Browning O/U's, side by side's and I even like my Mossberg 835 for trap as well as hunting. The current batch of Stevens O/U's are really sweet for around $500. Several friends have them and really like them. There's some good Italian shotguns that won't break the bank too. Soo many shotguns, so little $.
Discover the sport, see if you like it and move up from there. If you like it you'll get in to reloading and have to spend $ there and eventually for another shotgun, more gear, a large yard to practice on your own, hunting dogs, etc.
Good luck, enjoy, have fun.
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Old January 25, 2010, 06:35 PM   #5
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i shot by first strait 25 with a rem trap 870 with a morgan recoil pad. you can find good used ones for 400-500. i shoot a browning broadway trap and a browning BT-100 trap now, but i could go back to a rem 870 trap with ease. eastbank.
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Old January 25, 2010, 06:38 PM   #6
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Is the only difference between the Hunter and Trap the 2"? Would someone even notice the difference. Both of those look like good choices to me.

I'm pretty sure I will never compete in anything shooting related (I'm half blind) so that's why I didn't want to break the bank and have the boss screaming at me.

Thanks again!
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Old January 25, 2010, 06:57 PM   #7
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No, there are a lot of differences in the Hunter vs the Trap model in the BPS - and yes, people will notice .....but that isn't the issue.

The question is which one fits you / fits your needs better. The Hunter model is chambered in 3" ( the Trap model is 2 3/4" ) so you can't shoot 3" shells in the Trap model ( 3" shells are more for hunting ..).

There is a difference in the receivers / but its cosmetic. The Trap model is only available in a 30" barrel / the Hunter can be purchased in a 26" or 28" barrel. The Hunter has no mid-rib bead .. There are differences in stock specs too - length of pull, drop at comb, drop at heel.

Not to be rude / but shotguns do not come in one size fits all. But at this point, I doubt you know what really fits you ....

Look at it this way / if you buy the Hunter model, in a 28" barrel - and you don't like shooting Trap, or hunting birds, etc ....down the road, its a real easy gun to sell. The Trap model not so much / because most of us wouldn't pick a "pump" gun as a serious or semi-serious Trap shooter...

If $ 500 is in your budget / you're better off with the Hunter model in the BPS. But there are a lot of good used guns around too. You might consider going to a club / maybe renting or asking some shooters what they're shooting / why ....they may let you fire their guns .....

If you get into "Trap" shooting / a good Over Under ( like the Browning XT ) will be on your list pretty quickly / but it doesn't mean a good pump gun is a waste of money either. Like I think I said, I still have the BPS's I bought in the late 70's even though I don't shoot them much anymore - I'll never get rid of them.

The Browning BPS is a good entry level gun / I've bought a number of them for grandkids, etc when they turned 16 ...... If they really get into "clay Target games" ....then I'll probably consider getting them a good O/U down the road ( maybe for college graduation / good grades / a wedding gift or something just depends.
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Old January 25, 2010, 07:25 PM   #8
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It sounds like you have a sight problem all the more reason to go into clay target shooting slowly ( vs higher end $ 3,000 guns right away ).

I shoot with a very accomplished Skeet shooter / that only has one eye - lost it when he was very young .....but he takes a back seat to noone on the competitive scene / even at 68 yrs old now .... running 100 straight in Skeet is not that big a deal for him ....( in 12, 20 or 28ga ...for that matter ) and in fact, he's probably best in a 28ga.

I've developed a "blurry vision" problem in my dominant eye, in the last 2 yrs or so .....its a muscle problem ....muscle gets lazy / target just blurrs out. The good news, for me, is it probably won't get any worse ...but it comes and goes. Its worse in "poor light" ......but if you go into these clay target games, just to have some laughs, get a good serviceable shotgun ...maybe take a lesson or two ....its a great pastime. I've enjoyed shooting clays now for about 40 yrs .....and expect to do it ( some days poorly ) for another 30 yrs or more ....

Nobody really cares what gun you shoot / just be a gentleman ...follow the rules and etiquette ....and you can't go wrong.
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Old January 25, 2010, 07:31 PM   #9
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+1 what Jim said...
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Old January 25, 2010, 07:58 PM   #10
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The first time I shot trap - at a charity event. Shot two 50 round sets. Everyone on my team had OUs. Me, my old beat-up Beretta Al390 (a semi). I shot 81 out of 100. I think that is pretty good for a trap virgin. I had my Highflyer modified tube that I bought for ducks and geese and it is all I use - sporting clays, trap, 5-stand and in the dove field. I don't mess around changing chokes. I am thinking about a pump so I don't pelt the guy to my right when shooting. I am going to try the rubberband trick first though. I am a hunter first and clay buster second.

I'd get something that is affordable and fits you well enough. If you really get competitive then you can step-up if you want. Too much of shotgunning seems to be fashion and bragging rights.

The key is have fun. I'd buy a used pump and if you decide to change, it is easy enough to sell and being used you won't take a bath on it.
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Old January 25, 2010, 08:39 PM   #11
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Lots of people have shot trap successfully for many years with Winchester Model 12's, Remington 870 Wingmasters and Browning BPS pump guns. Probably lots of other brands as well. Some might disagree with me, but as long as the gun shoots where you point it, you can shoot trap just fine with it. Sadly, the Model 12 is no longer manufactured and used ones can be pricey. The Browning BPS is in your price range and a darn nice pump gun. Some ranges get excited because of the bottom eject - the less observant can't see that the chamber is empty and the action open. The Remington 870 in one of it's many variants will work fine. Maybe have a look at a Benelli Super Nova in addition to some of the others just to compare.
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Old January 25, 2010, 09:19 PM   #12
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I wouldn't call it blasphemy. I just started shooting trap back in October with two old guns my grandpa gave me. One being a Ithaca 37 pump. I'd like to buy a nice O/U someday, but I think a pump is a perfectly good gun for a beginner. I certainly can't blame my novice shortcomings on my guns.
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Old January 25, 2010, 09:52 PM   #13
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JesusQueen, Let me toss my 2 cents in with BigJim on the Browning BPS used or new. I have one that is about 20-25 years old. It is the same gun he mentioned. The 28" bbl. is nice because it lets you reach out a bit farther. The bottom eject is nice and so is the top safety, makes the BPS an easy gun to use yourself or to re-sell with righties or lefties in mind. Don't forget you can always turn the single switch from the repeating position, if you want to practice with 1 shell at a time, instead of multiple shells in the chamber.
"And some like two guns. But one's all you need if you can use it..."
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Old January 25, 2010, 09:57 PM   #14
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I am thinking about a pump so I don't pelt the guy to my right when shooting. I am going to try the rubberband trick first though

That will work fine for your empties

Pumps will work fine for singles, but shucking the pump MIGHT give you some issues on doubles.
Shoot light loads and get the gun ti fit you and recoil abuse goes down a lot.
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Old January 25, 2010, 10:20 PM   #15
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you can shoot skeet and trap just fine with a pump, but its going to take a little extra practice to be able to do it as well as someone with an O/U or a semi auto.

I have a pump and can shoot three hand thrown targets and some people can shoot more. the world record i believe is 9 clays with a pump, but of course that is by Tom Knapp himself.

ps- this is with a stock mossberg 500 20 gauge. with a shotgun it doesnt matter how much it costs as long as it is reliable and you can shoot it quickly and it fits you well. practice is more important than anything.

I would bet on a guy who practiced every week with a lousy old beat up shotgun that a guy who practiced once a month with a really fancy $5k O/U... practice makes perfect.

Last edited by the rifleer; January 25, 2010 at 10:31 PM.
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Old January 25, 2010, 11:05 PM   #16
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I personally prefer a pump to an o/u when shooting singles. I would suggest an 870 Trap in your budget spread. I find it to be more comfortable to shoot on trap than my BPS.
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Old January 26, 2010, 12:14 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the replies guys, I feel I have received good direction to pick up my first shotgun.
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Old January 26, 2010, 04:57 PM   #18
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I shoot at some of the trap ranges in the local farming area, most of the kids (hi School age) are shooting Remington 870 express models, and doing very well. Have owned a number of trap guns (o/u, single barrels and autos) and still prefer to use an 870 or Browning A5, but am a B class shooter. Doubles are more of a challenge with a pump but a lot of people can shoot them OK. For singles and handicap I don't think a pump is any better or worse than the other action types. JMHO : Bill
The best gun is the one you have when you really need one
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Old January 26, 2010, 05:00 PM   #19
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For singles and handicap I don't think a pump is any better or worse than the other action types. JMHO : Bill
As long as your gun fits you properly, that is 100% correct.
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Old January 26, 2010, 05:21 PM   #20
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No problems.

Once upon a time the Winchester Model 12 Trap was THE Gun to have for ATA singles and handicap.

If you wanted something REALLY nice in those days you could buy a Remington Model 31, "The Ballbearing Cornsheller" which I and my neighbor the gunsmith consider a superior pumpgun.

Nowadays the Remington 870 is the default.

I guess you could get by with a Mossberg. They made some real trap guns at one time with a tall Simmons rib that probably cost more than the rest of the gun, but those are no longer made.

A field grade gun will do, though most people have to "blot out" the targets to break them on the rise. A trap gun will have a higher stock comb to let you see the rising targets as you shoot at them. There are all manner of pads and blocks to add on to a field stock to shoot trap.
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Old January 27, 2010, 02:06 AM   #21
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While I was shooting ATA trap I used a R-1100 Trap and then a B-682x combo. The Beretta worked just fine for an entry level trap specific gun. Nevertheless, I always kept my eyes open for nice Winchester Model-12, Pigeon Grade Trap gun. I kept hearing of great deals being turned up, but during several years of searching all I ever ran into were owners who knew exactly what their M-12 PG's were worth, and they usually wanted more than fair value.

Last edited by zippy13; January 27, 2010 at 06:07 AM.
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