Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Skeet and Trap Advice

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by boogerhook, Sep 9, 2015.

  1. boogerhook

    boogerhook Seattle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,153
    Likes Received:
    1,224
    I recently joined a range that offers archery, pistol, rifle and shotgun (trap & skeet). I do everything but shotgun, however, it sounds as if it could be a lot of fun to shoot reactive moving targets, instead of paper only. I know nothing about the discipline though, and very little about shotguns in general. I am thinking about starting with a lighter 20 gauge semi-automatic, mostly for recoil and flinch reasons. Do you guys have any advise on good beginner guns, articles like "skeet & trap 101" ? Thanks much.
     
    etrain16 likes this.
  2. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    8,487
    Likes Received:
    19,529
    I'm new to trap myself. I know folks that use low end pump guns up to rather spendy semi-autos. I've only shot trap twice, done both with a simple Mossberg 500, and it worked just fine for a single shot like trap. I have also owned Remington 870's in both 12 and 20 gauge and can tell you the recoil of the 20 didn't feel all that different than the 12, which kind of surprised me. And honestly, the weight difference between the two guns wasn't that much. My wife is not very big and she is able to handle a 12 gauge for trap herself.

    My recommendation, as a novice trap guy, is that, starting out at least, a simple pump, break barrel or double barrel should be fine. If you want to invest more in a semi-auto, then great. Maybe the more experienced folks might suggest otherwise, but that's my 2 cents.

    A few months ago, I picked up a used Remington 870 Wingmaster in a trade (one of the older models with the nice wood and good fit and finish) that is a bit worn, but really nice. That will be my trap gun next time out.

    Oh, and I haven't found a great website/resource yet. I'm leaning heavily on the old hats at the range, many of whom are more than happy to talk to you and share advice.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2015
    Joe13, druiseeker and boogerhook like this.
  3. Lilhigbee

    Lilhigbee SE Portland Visit Target550.com Gold Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    1,077
    Whatever you choose for gauge and action, have someone knowledgeable check to see how well the gun fits you BEFORE you buy it. Fit is everything in a shotgun!! If it doesn't fit you WILL NOT shoot it well. Nothing more frustrating than to do poorly at something new because of your equipment.
    If you have shot centerfire rifles a lot, consider starting with a twelve gauge. The recoil shouldn't bother you and more shot down range means more likely to hit something. There are a lot more choices in types and styles aimed at trap and skeet.
    More expensive does not mean better fit. You will shoot a $400 gun that fits you much better than a $10K one that doesn't.
     
    No_Regerts, decklin, Dyjital and 3 others like this.
  4. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    6,707
    Likes Received:
    10,870
    Some of my experiences:

    Get a 12ga - there is very little recoil off target loads (unless your small and maybe a 20ga would be better - I love both).

    Do NOT get a SxS double barrel and an O/U will be spendy. You have to compensate for those side by sides being on different sides of the bead.

    Pump, not simi. Its too tempting to try and get a clay you already missed (and most likely will again as its still moving away from you) and that leads to shoulder fatigue and twice the ammo cost.

    Singe barrel, pump, ribbed barrel if possible and a bead - you follow thru with trap, not aim at it so fiber optics etc are not helpful imo.


    My favorite skeet gun is an old JC Higgens 1950's single barrel pump. Bit heavy but she runs like a race gun.


    Oh, also this time of year - you can find 100 round packs of shot shells at walmart for $19.99 im either 12ga or 20ga.

    Good luck, its some of the best target shooting after a .22 and some coke cans.
     
    boogerhook and etrain16 like this.
  5. solv3nt

    solv3nt Portland Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,914
    Likes Received:
    1,298
    I just picked up a Beretta 686e o/u for trap/skeet. Get a 12ga, the recoil is pretty low for target shells. The 20ga will make it harder to break the clays. I'd stay away from the new Remington 870's, you'll find reviews about them rusting while you're looking at them. I had mine in my safe in my bedroom, and it started getting surface rust while sitting in the house. If you can get your hands on an older wingmaster, then I'd go that route. Also, there is a guy selling a very nice Beretta o/u in Washington, I think he wanted $1450 for it. Best of luck!
     
    boogerhook and etrain16 like this.
  6. B5Ben

    B5Ben Boise Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,095
    Likes Received:
    669
    I like trap. Shot skeet and am hooked, so much that I prefer it to trap. Fast action, moving target I can swing around on, and a great challenge! I shoot at hillsboro trap and skeet a couple times a month, if anyone is interested shoot me a PM.
     
    boogerhook and etrain16 like this.
  7. fyrediver

    fyrediver Seattle Active Member

    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    133
    I shoot some trap. Not as much as I'd like but I really enjoy it when I can. My suggestion is to go cheap.

    I have a $200 870 Field gun that I added padding to in order to get it to fit "correctly." Still not perfect but neither am I. I shoot against guys with $10,000 guns and I'm having just as much fun as they are. Maybe more. I'll eventually get a better gun so I can shoot 5 stand or doubles, but until then I'll just be running my simple pump. (Advantage is that I also have an 870 for home defense so I'm running the same action)

    You only load one shot at a time for trap so, again, my advice is to keep it simple until you learn more.
     
    boogerhook likes this.
  8. B5Ben

    B5Ben Boise Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,095
    Likes Received:
    669
    As for figuring out what type of shotgun to use, talk with your club and see if they have some loaners you can check out to see what you like and fits decently well. I'm sure there are instructors on-hand that will do an intro class for a pretty reasonable fee that should include shogun fit checks along with the trap/skeet basics and techniques. I would start inexpensive though. The cost/benefit begins to fall off pretty steep after a few hundred dollars. I can do the same thing with a $300 shotgun as I can a Browning that would be several thousand. The browning would get more compliments, but if they yield the same results, does it really matter? Of course if you have the scratch laying around, Browning makes some very fine guns.

    My preference is a 12G O/U for skeet. They make for a compact, more naturally balanced and swingable package. I personally like dual triggers. It's a bit of a learning curve, but it lets you choose the barrel/choke for a particular shot instead of the mechanism defaulting to one barrel or the other with a single trigger.

    Another benefit of an O/U or break barrel is that if you have extractors (not ejectors) you don't have to pick up your spent hulls when you are done since you pull them out when you reload. Just put them in a different pocket when you go to grab fresh rounds from your vest. A nice perk if you ask me :D
     
    boogerhook likes this.
  9. semperfi68to70

    semperfi68to70 South Salem, Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    367
    I have shot a ton of both trap and skeet and in younger days I actually shot regularly in competition. Here is my advice:

    Trap is most definitely a 12 gauge sport. Most trap shooters use a full choked gun and size 8 shot usually with 1 1/8 oz. loads. No one will stop you from using a 20 gauge gun, but you are really handicapping yourself and it is easy to become discouraged. If recoil really bothers you consider using a semi-auto action type shotgun as the gas system will take up a significant amount of the recoil. I always preferred field guns to trap guns as the way you hold on the bird is completely different. I’ve owned several different trap guns from the BT-99 to the Winchester 101, but I always returned to the Remington Model 1100. That is just my personal choice. They make a small metal clip that attaches to the receiver that keeps the gun from ejecting the shell if that is a concern for you.

    I think skeet is much more interesting than trap and I much preferred to shoot skeet. I also take my skeet shooting more seriously than trap, so for that I invested in a skeet gun. Most serious skeet shooters will go for the over and under gun for many different reasons. If you decide to become serious about the sport, I will be glad to explain the reasons for choosing the O/U; it is a lot more than just show. If you are just going to be a casual shooter, then the semi-auto is still a good choice. Use #9 shot and if you want to drop to 1 oz. loads this is the place to do it. Your 20 gauge is fine for skeet, but smaller equals fewer pieces of shot and that equals a higher level of difficulty. Whichever gun you choose to use, make sure you use a skeet choke or at very most an improved cylinder. No constriction is really needed as you are very close to the birds and the open choke is an advantage. As doubles are a big part of skeet, I consider pump guns to be a real handicap and single shots are of course, out of the question.

    As other as said, make sure the gun fits you. Find someone who knows what they are doing (and that is not particularly easy), have the gun fitted to you and go from there. Learn to shoot with both eyes open if you don’t already and like any other sport or game, it takes time to become good at it. Above all else, enjoy yourself.
     
    BWH, No_Regerts, boogerhook and 2 others like this.
  10. boogerhook

    boogerhook Seattle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,153
    Likes Received:
    1,224
    After reading your advice, a CZ Mallard is looking pretty good. Anyone have experience with it?
     
  11. v0lcom13sn0w

    v0lcom13sn0w Keizer, or Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,286
    Likes Received:
    3,758
    ive been shooting clays regularly for over 20 years. started when i was 6 or 7 and i have always used a pump shotgun because thats all i/we had. last weekend, i used my brothers new 20ga semi auto weatherby. it was fun. but,theres something about pump action i just cant get enough of. i use a mossberg 535ats 12ga that i bought the day i turned 18. my brother uses his maverick 88 12ga. and now his weatherby 20ga semi. it doesnt matter what you use wheather it be a $250 maverick 88 or a $2000 benelli. the concept stays the same. get out there and have fun!!
     
    etrain16, boogerhook and Joe13 like this.
  12. decklin

    decklin WA Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    462
    Likes Received:
    584
    My favorite shotgun for this is the same one I prefer for grouse and rabbit.
    It's an old Savage Arms 12ga single shot. It belonged to my father in law and he got it from his dad after he died.
    Unfortunately the ejector assembly broke and I haven't fixed it yet. It's a $12 part.
    The shotgun I've been using is actually the first gun I ever bought.
    A mossberg 500a with an 18" barrel. You'd be surprised how much game I've taken with that.
    As others have noted get one that fits you. And don't worry so much about the price. I bought my mossberg for $200 when I was 18 and I'll probably never get rid of it. It works every time.
     
    etrain16, boogerhook and Joe13 like this.
  13. semperfi68to70

    semperfi68to70 South Salem, Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    367
    No real experience with it, but I am familiar with it. It's a field gun and the difference between field guns and skeet guns is significant. From it's price point I can assure you it is not considered to be a high quality over and under.

    I will be glad to go into that, but first let me ask you a question; when you say trap and skeet are really talking about shooting trap and skeet or are you talking about having friends throw clay birds with a hand trap or even one of the better individual traps with the seat on it? The other thing worth knowing is how serious are you about shooting trap and skeet or do you plan to shoot a few times a year with friends just for fun? There is nothing wrong with that, but it changes my advice tremendously.

    I've seen other members write that you can shoot as well with a $200 pump shotgun as you can with a $2000 skeet gun and I am telling you that with all due respect that is not true when you begin to get really good at the sport. There will come a point to the serious shooter where his or her ability to surpass that of the equipment. It's true in rifle shooting and pistol shooting as well.

    If it is just a casual something to do once in a while, then I would agree and I wouldn't waste my money on an expensive gun (although I never consider buying a quality firearm to be a waste).

    I would put it in these terms; if you were going to become a serious bicyclist you wouldn't go to Walmart and buy a cheap beach cruiser. If you wanted to ride a bike with your kids a couple of weekends a year, you wouldn't purchase a $4000 titanium frame racing bike. Same principle.
     
  14. No_Regerts

    No_Regerts United States Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,409
    Likes Received:
    2,857
    +1

    If you are a hunter already, it might make sense to purchase a less expensive field gun like the CZ you mentioned and build experience until you are good enough to begin yo realize the benefits of the purpuse built shotgun.

    Just like giving a kid a barbie pole at first rather than a g.loomis.
     
    boogerhook likes this.
  15. Lowpower

    Lowpower Spokane Valley Member

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    32
    I started shooting trap around 1972 i think with an 1100. While a nice gun I just needed something else. I could't put my finger on it and I've probably owned and sold 5 of them over the years. I still have a semi but it's a Beretta 303 that is fun for sporting clays. I also own two SxS's and shoot them regularly and an O/U which is my pheasant gun. My current favorite is my 1897 Winchester that runs perfectly 'kept for one thing. I was shooting skeet the other day and went after doubles on the 1st station and boom, nothing! I then asked my buddy who was hitting button to tell me to pump another round into the chamber for the second one. Doh! All 5 of my current crop are 12 ga.

    I did own a Savage 20 ga O/U once but it was a poor fit for me and it kicked like my 12 ga.'s so why go with less shot for the same amount of recoil?

    On a side note, on of my SxS shotguns was a Steven 311a in 12 ga. The darned thing painted left of center on both barrels. I got it so cheap I figured I would work on it some. The stock was too short and looked it's age which is quite old. A new stock and some spring work and the gun shoots better then me now. I would take it out Pheasant hunting but I'm getting old and it's a lot heavier than my O/U.

    Most semis are gas operated although some are not like the Browning. Many of those were blown back design and imho kicked like a mule for anything other than hunting and the only reason they didn't kicks much is because you were so busy shooting birds. As a target gun I'd shy away from them. With all the rest of them the only thing happening with the shell is the wad and shot column is going out one end of the barrel and the recoil is coming out the other end, or into your shoulder.

    You can't go to wrong with an older Rem 1100 12 ga. The only thing that goes wrong with them is the little rubber o-ring for the gas system. A buck or two and your up and running again.
    The last one I bought about 6 years back was around $250 for a 1970's version. I shot it, hit ok with it on the trap range and sold it.

    Lp
     
    boogerhook likes this.
  16. boogerhook

    boogerhook Seattle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,153
    Likes Received:
    1,224
    At this point I am not serious. I just want to try it out for a while - enough time to get over the beginner's challenges of shooting moving targets vs static paper. If after a year I still like it, I may invest into a "real gun" for the purpose. I had an 870 a while ago, but only shot buck shot ammo - indoors limitation by the range operator. Did not enjoy that all that much. I was thinking of it as an HD rifle. I mentioned CZ because I am happy with other items from them, and if it turns out that skeet/trap is not my cup of tea, I would still have a usable field gun. Also like the idea of two triggers, and the overall presentation of the gun - wood and metal mostly. BTW, no friends will be throwing ... the range has a very nice setup ;-) which got me interested in the first place.
     
  17. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    7,548
    Likes Received:
    10,534
    I shot trap for many years with pump, duck guns, because that's what I was actually practicing for. They work fine. If trap becomes a mania for you, then go out and buy a purpose built shot gun. There are certainly worse manias to be afflicted with!
    12ga low base, trap loads recoil about as much as an AR-15 carbine in 5.56N. Have fun!:)
     
    boogerhook likes this.
  18. Lance Jacobs

    Lance Jacobs South Willamette Valley Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,683
    Likes Received:
    2,533

    If you like CZ products, you should get a gas operated semiauto CZ 712. The standard model with wood stock can be found for only $450 Felt recoil will be dramatically lower than with a pump or double barrel shotgun, despite comments made here in this thread. If recoil is an issue for you, then a gas operated semi is the gun for you.

    CZ also makes a CZ 712 Target model that is specifically meant for trap shooting. It has a longer 30 inch barrel, and a vent rib specifically designed for hitting rising trap targets. It sells for about $650.

    One nice thing about the CZ 712 is that the entire action and recoil system is chromed. Makes for very easy cleaning. The inside of the barrel is also chrome lined.

    Here is a video from a happy owner.




    And a link to the dealer he bought it from:

    https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/11861
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
    boogerhook likes this.
  19. semperfi68to70

    semperfi68to70 South Salem, Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    367
    Knowing that, I would recommend an autoloader to you and would recommend you stay away from the low end over and under. I really like the Remington 1100, but there are many good autoloaders. I like a 26" barrel because that and the 4" of receiver gives you a perfect 30" sighting plane. You get a quicker swing and you don't get anymore velocity or advantage from a longer barrel. I would make sure I get a gun with a variable choke system and get a skeet choke for skeet and a full choke for trap. I also recommend #9 shot for skeet and #8 for trap. The 1100 is also a great field gun and is wonderful to hunt with. Best of luck and do enjoy yourself whatever you decide to do.
     
    boogerhook likes this.
  20. boogerhook

    boogerhook Seattle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,153
    Likes Received:
    1,224
    much appreciated...