20 gauge trap and skeet

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by Jackman, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    Is a 20 gauge suitable for trap and skeet clay pigeons?
  2. JUNKKING

    JUNKKING Active Member

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    Absolutely!! Alot of the grand champions shoot skeet with a .410. Just make sure it is a trap or skeet gun or it will make you pretty sore from a field gun. 25 rounds is alot to pound you repeatedly.
  3. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    Its a Stoeger O/U , my 15 year old wants to shoot the clay pigeons. I know Stoeger is a cheapo but were just wanting to get started with out spending too much. Thanks for the encouraging reply :thumbsup:
  4. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Jackman,
    I shoot quite a bit of Trap, have been for about 2 1/2 years now - got started late in life but really like it. I usually shoot 100 rounds a week of 12 ga. 2 3/4" 1180 - 1250 fps "competition" loads - and I don't get "beat up", at least not when I hold the gun properly.
    I see a lot of new shooters, especially youngsters, who start with 20 ga - from what I see, they are starting out with a bit of a handicap - fewer pellets being the main part.
    Other youngsters handle the 12 ga loads well and seem, in general, to do much better when starting out. We've got one kid (14yrs old) who started shooting with a 12 ga. about 6 - 7 months ago - has shot almost every week and is now hitting regularly 18 - 20 birds out of 25 on our Wobble course (more and different flight paths than traditional trap).
    Take your kid, let him try the 20 ga. if he shows some ability and interest remains high - get him a 12 ga and I'm betting his scores will improve.
    Selling price of the gun used does not predict proficiency. I started with a $250 used Mossberg 535 pump and was shooting consistently over 20 after a few weeks. I now shoot a 1970 made for H&R by Lanber in Spain, o/u that cost me under $400 and consistently shoot 22 - 24 (can't quite get that 25th hit, dang it.) There are guys that have Perazzi, high end Beretta, Cesar Guerinni, etc. shot guns who don't hit as well as I.
  5. flyingtiger85

    flyingtiger85 Well-Known Member

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    It would be much easier with a pump or auto shotgun because you have a follow up shot while the clay is still in the air.I have an H&R single shot 20 gauge and I have done it but you have to be a much better shot.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  6. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I second the 12 too. But 20 will more than work, it is just a bit of a handicap because youre not putting as much lead in the air to get the claybird.

    A friend of mine just bought a Yildiz 12 from academy sports for 399 + tax and i am rather suprised at their fit and finish. they are very well made guns from my initial inspection and breakdown and come fully engraved. Id say they are comparable to O/Us costing twice what they cost.

    I myself am a SXS guy, I learned to shoot skeet with an old hammer double 20 ga my grandads got (King Nitro), so naturally thats my preference. But O/U shotgus were expressly designed for the sport and balance accordingly..
  7. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    Thanks Jim and Tiger ,,,,, We would much rather start with a Vintage 12 gauge Fox model B or Savage side by side however the pick-ins are slim in the local used shot gun ads. We may settle on the Stoeger O/U just to get started before winter comes in..

    There also is a nice Mossberg 500A pump available but I'am not so sure I like the pump idea for clay pigeons.
  8. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Pumps are easy to use - just open the chamber - pop a shell in and close it. Want to shoot doubles - put one in the mag tube, load it and put another in. Pumps work well for trap. A majority of shooters that I see have O/U and pumps, lots of semi/auto loaders, a few dedicated single shot (BT99s mostly) and a couple SxS drawing up the rear (so to speak.)
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  9. ka64

    ka64 Well-Known Member

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    Skeet yes trap no............
  10. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    trap isnt for the faint at heart. Skeet gives you the fundamentals of swinging/beading/leading and finally grinding the pidgeon to dust, but trap puts it all to the test with a narrower playing field and pidgeons flinging from random heights, speeds and angles. I hate the suprise bunnies.. But it does make you a better fieldsman, even if you kinda suck at trap, youre twice as likely to bag a bunny for dinner in times of necessity having played a few games than not. It is a wonderful hone for shotgunning skillz.
  11. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

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    Both will work but in trap your at a high disadvantage. Not a large enough pattern with enough stank for the long shots
  12. bakerconch

    bakerconch New Member

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  13. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    One of the worst things you can do to a novice, is to give them a tool that is insufficient for the job and after repeated failures, they become dicouraged and quit before they become proficient.
    I've shot rounds of trap with 16 ga, 20 ga and three with a pump .410 bore. I always went back to the 12 ga - price of shells for the other gauges being one reason - but lower scores being the major. Heck, I even shot a round of trap with my Sav.Stev. 311H SxS 18.5" barrel, cylinder choke - it was a comp. between me and a shooting buddy who had recently bought a Stoeger 12 ga "Coach Gun" with 20" barrels. I beat him by one - I got 12 out of 25 - had to shoot fast and early in the "bird's" flight before the pattern opened up too wide.
  14. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    If you shoot ATA, you have to shoot a 27 gram 12 gauge load. That's very little more than a standard 20 gauge payload.

    You are probably better set up for skeet though.
  15. CHW2021

    CHW2021 Member

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    My opinion, the Stoeger is a damn fine shotgun for the money (as long as it fits the kid) and 20 ga. would be a good starting place. The 20 ga. (light field load) would let the kid shoot without beating him/her up and if he shoots well with a 20, he will do better with a 12ga.
    If the shotgun accepts screw in chokes, make sure to use the skeet or cylinder tubes for skeet and improved/full for trap.
    The most important thing would be for the kid to HAVE FUN and learn to shoot a shotgun (he can learn some good excuses too...) and use trap/skeet as a learning exercise.
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