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Old July 1, 2010, 09:42 AM   #1
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Looking for a nice trap gun

I have a Mossy 500 that I can get by with when shooting trap. I have been interested in buying a nice gun that would last a lifetime. I am overwhelmed by the choices and the costs. Would a Remington 1100 Classic Trap fit the bill? I have a Mossy 500 that I can get by with when shooting trap. I have been interested in buying a nice gun that would last a lifetime. I am overwhelmed by the choices and the costs. Would a Remington 1100 Classic Trap fit the bill? I feel like the autoloaders have less recoil than the pump and over/under guns. That is a plus when my girlfriend wants to come shooting.
I have a friend who is willing to sell me his very lightly used Beretta AL 391 Teknys Gold 28" barrel for $1500. Is this a good candidate? It certainly feels and shoots nice. I don't want to buy the wrong gun just to get a good price.
Is there a real benefit to Over/Under for trap? These guns seem to all cost a lot more. The autoloaders are cheaper. Besides the prestige factor, is there any reason that they would be less desirable for trap?
Everyone on shotgun boards seems to feel that Beretta and Browning are the only two choices (barring even more expensive options). Are they made that much better than a Remington?
Thanks in advance for your advice to a shotgun newbie.
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Old July 1, 2010, 10:20 AM   #2
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I started shooting trap with an 1100. It fit the bill well. There are many advantages to the over/unders, not least of which is dealing with spent hulls. It's very rude to shoot an autoloader in trap and spit your hulls at the shooter to your right, just while he's preparing to shoot. Many clubs won't even let you shoot an autoloader or pump for just that reason. I had a shell catcher on my 1100, but it was still a hassle loading and removing the spent hull. Much, much simpler on an o/u.

Which o/u is a subject of lively debate here. You want it to last a lifetime? Then yes, you're looking at Browning, Beretta, and Beyond. Handle one of them vs. a Stoeger -- the difference is immediately apparent.

On the forums you'll get responses roughly split between "don't waste your money on less than a 'B' gun", and "I shoot a Stoeger/TriStar/Spartan/Whatever and have no complaints". The simple fact is, you get what you pay for.

I myself love the feel and balance of the Berettas. But I can't afford one now, so I got a Stoeger Condor. Compared to a Beretta, it feels like a club. But it shoots well, and once I save enough for my 'B' gun, I've got people that'll buy it from me.

Ultimately you'll be much happier shooting trap with a good o/u. Most will advise a nice pump or auto until you can afford at least a used Browning, and that's good advice. I just also think a $350 Condor fits the 'until I get a B gun' category as well.

But if you do go with the autoloader, on behalf of all the shooters that will be on your right, please put a shell catcher on that thing.
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Old July 1, 2010, 10:53 AM   #3
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i started shooting trap a year ago april again after not shooting trap for over 30 years. i used a rem 870 light contour 12ga with a mod. choke tube and got back into the game,then i got a browning centori field o/u and did better and then found a used browning BT-100 with a 34 inch ported barrel,invictor plus choke,adjustable comb, adjustable trigger and selective ejector on line at a very good price, after getting every thing to fit me(comb and cast off) i have shot three 25 straits and one 50 strait since april this year. you can find the BT-99,s and once in a while a BT-100 for a good price on line,for around 1000.00. good luck. eastbank.
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Old July 1, 2010, 11:31 AM   #4
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If you're JUST shooting trap, a trap-specific gun is set up differently and would be a help to you. If, however, you might also do trap doubles, skeet, 5-stand, sporting clays, FITASC, etc., then it would be a hindrance. Many folks who shoot trap singles look at guns like the Browning BT-99 - it is a purpose-built gun - made for trap singles.

The autoloaders are cheaper - however many of the folks on your right do not like getting pelted with empties. An O/U prevents that minor annoyance, but more importantly, it allows you to capture your empties for reloading more easily.

For the other games mentioned, an auto or O/U works very well as those games have true pairs as part of the game, and those action types make the second shot a little easier. I'm not saying a pump can't be used, and used well; I Am saying that follow up shots are easier with the others. When you go to your gun club, ask folks what they are shooting and WHY they chose that particular gun and set-up. Ask nicely, and they'll usually let you borrow their gun for a few shots or rounds. This will give you a MUCH better idea of how YOU will perform with a similar gun. Just shouldering the gun in a store isn't as good an indicator as actually firing one.

Basic rule of thumb for most clay games - heavy gun plus light load equals more success and less recoil.

An 8# plus 12 gauge shooting a light 1oz or even a 7/8 load will smash target, even at a distance. Bunker trap is proof of that - they kept reducing the shot payload in an effort to make the scores go down - the opposite happened.

Good luck
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Old July 1, 2010, 11:35 AM   #5
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In the clay target games - Skeet, Sporting Clays and Trap - Trap is unique in that 100% of the time it is a "rising target". Skeet and Sporting Clays typically have more crossing shots / not just rising targets.

In general - "Trap" guns tend to be heavier and longer. " Trap" guns tend to shoot a little higher patterns ( like a 60%/40% or a 70/30 over point of impact) because most "Trap" shooters like to float the bird over the bead ( so they never lose sight of the target ) and they need a little higher pattern to do that. In general - "Trap" guns tend to be heavier and longer ( 32" or 34" Over under or single barrels ) because the sight plane being longer helps a little and the extra weight ( around 10 lbs ) helps smooth out a swing and give you better follow-thru. There is less left to right barrel movement in Trap - than Skeet or Sporting - so the heavier gun is not a dis-advantage.

In general - Skeet and Sporting Clays guns - tend to shoot flatter ( 50%/50% pattern ) - be a little shorter 28" or 30" barrels - and lighter ( around 8 1/2 lbs )...

You can shoot all 3 games with any gun you want - pump, semi-auto or Over Under. At Trap especially - since its usually singles - there is no disadvantage to shooting a pump gun. When you have pairs of birds in the air / most shooters would want a semi-auto or O/U.

The most versatile "Trap" gun in my opinion - is the Browning XT with 32" barrels with an adjustable comb ( so you can move the point of impact up or down and side to side ). There are single barrel Trap guns - Browning BT 99 or the older BT-100 and they're both great guns / but not for a rookie - they are very specialized in my opinion - and while I have some of both - I shoot the O/U Browning XT a lot more for Trap. The XT just feels right to me - weight, balance, swing, etc ...

New, the Citori XT Trap is around $ 3,000 - but I see a lot of good used ones for around $2,000.

If you want a "Lifetime" gun - it means they better stand up to at least 100,000 shells without any major issues - most of the guns in the Browning Citori lineup will do that ( but there are about 30 different models ) - and the only Citori, I consider a Trap gun is the XT Trap or the BT-99 or BT-100.

A more versatile gun - than the Browning XT Trap - in my opinion is the Citori XS Skeet model ( in 28" or 30" barrels, with the adj comb ). Its a very good Skeet and Sporting or field hunting gun ( in my opinion ) - and not a terrible Trap gun. New - its about the same price as the XT Trap...

The question is do you really want a "dedicated Trap Gun" or something more versatile...

Very few ladies are going to like a 32" O/U that weighs 10 lbs ....its too long and too heavy. If you're really searching for a gun that both of you can shoot / I think it means a gas operated semi-auto -- like the Beretta. I would not go with a "Trap" version --- most any of the Beretta's will be fine. But Browning makes a Silver Hunter that is not a bad gun ....and there is Remington, Winchester, etc .....

My wife doesn't shoot / she is very strong - but 5'10" and 115 lbs with small hands ...where as I am 6'5" and 280 lbs ....( with large mitts ) ....and its going to be very hard to pick 1 gun for both of us / or for you two probably.


If you really want a dedicated Trap gun / but an XT for yourself ....and buy a nice semi-auto for her to shoot ....that you might use for Skeet or Sporting Clays ( unless she wants her own gun ) ..... realistically about $4,000 will get you both guns new / maybe $ 3,000 used. Respectfully, I think the gun your buddy is trying to sell you is a mistake / priced too high - and not the most versatile option for you.

Last edited by BigJimP; July 1, 2010 at 03:57 PM.
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Old July 1, 2010, 04:50 PM   #6
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Is there a real benefit to Over/Under for trap? These guns seem to all cost a lot more. The autoloaders are cheaper. Besides the prestige factor, is there any reason that they would be less desirable for trap?
Have you ever been to ATA tournament to see what the comp shooters use? I think you'll find that there is no prestige in shooting a U/O except in the doubles events. O/Us don't rule in trap, most serious shooters use single barrel break open guns and there are some pumps that are set up for trap and even fewer autoloaders.

Folks who want to shoot the singles (16-yd), handicap and doubles events frequently opt for a "trap combo" -- basically an O/U with an extra single barrel. You shot it as a single barrel except for the doubles events.

The reason trap shooters shoot the guns they do can be simply stated: To get higher scores. This applies to all the shotgun sports -- the game specific guns evolve to improve a shooter's chances of winning.

When I dabbled in ATA trap, I started out with a Remington 1100 Trap model. It wasn't long before I changed to a Beretta combo. I had to have my stock custom fit, but many of today's guns have adjustable stocks. Of course, if you chose to use a basic single barrel trap gun, the BT-99 is hard to beat. IMHO, it will serve you better than a used Beretta AL 391 Teknys Gold.

Beretta 682 Gold E, Trap, Combo Top Single MSRP $4,800

Beretta 682 Gold E, Trap, Bottom Single Combo MSRP $5,150

Browning Cynergy Classic Trap Unsingle Combo MSRP $5,549

Browning BT-99 MSRP $1,599
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Old July 1, 2010, 05:58 PM   #7
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Following up on Zippy's comments:
When I lived out West, I had the chance to watch a trap legend, Dan Orlich, shoot at Sage Hill in Reno. He used/uses a Ljutic, one of the simplest, expensive, and best, trap-guns there are - his single and doubles guns are serial number 1 - his guns have an estimated 1,500,000 through them - and they still work perfectly.....THAT is what a serious trap shooter wants - the trigger is the same, the gun fits, and it goes bang EVERY time.

There is a reason those folks buy what they do - I am NOT saying it's mandatory....but if you are going to be a competitive shooter, look at the winners, ask them what they use and why.........while their guns may be different, their answers will be the same

the trigger is the same, the gun fits, and it goes bang EVERY time.
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