Ithaca M-66, I want to try trap. Help

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by fuzebox40, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. fuzebox40

    fuzebox40 Active Member

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    I’d like get your thoughts on using this for trap, and any advice on the sport. I should point out that I’ve never shot trap, skeet, clays or whatever and until last weekend I thought it was all the same thing! I still don’t know what is what, just that there is a difference.
    I never shoot my shotguns because the range I use only has a trap area for them. So I asked the guys about it and was told to bring a single shot because you only load 1 round at a time and a 12 gauge was best. Well I have two 12 gauges, a 1949 Ithaca model 37 pump with a chopped barrel (21”), and an Ithaca model 66 Supersingle with 30” barrel (3” full choke). BTW I haven’t been able to determine the year on this one if someone can tell me, s.n. 138,229.
    Anyway is this M-66 good for trap? I’ve never shot this one and I’m curious about the aim. It’s got the small brass bead at the muzzle and the odd long blockular shape thingy sticking up from the receiver which looks like it would inhibit vertical aim. (Don’t look for “blockular” in the dictionary).

    My other available sg's are:
    H&R Topper model 148 20g single (28").
    N.E.F. Pardner model SB 410g single
    Winchester model 37A 410g single
    Rem. 870 12g pump ribbed barrel (brother’s gun I could use)

    Are any of these others good for the sport?

    Attached Files:

  2. jaydub

    jaydub Former Guest

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    not if you want to be competitive, if you just want to learn the sport and have fun shoot what you got, and watch what the other shooters are using
  3. CHW2021

    CHW2021 Member

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    It will get you started. Trap guns are generally tight choked and not unlikely double barrel. Most shooters change the choke using screw in tubes, your Ithica likely has a fixed choke (likely full).
    The 870 you mentioned is a fine type for skeet/trap if you are comfortable with a pump gun. If the 870 has screw in chokes and a regular length barrel learn to shoot it and you have a better starting point than the Ithica.

    Talk to the guys at your range and bring both guns, learn a few basics, ask for help and have fun.

    Should you use the Ithica there are cilp on front sight beads that are much more visible, it may help.
  4. gvw3

    gvw3 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Ithaca model 66 Supersingle with 30” barrel (3” full choke)

    That should do it. I use a full choke for trap in my Ruger Red Label.
    Your brothers 870 will also work fine. My son uses his for trap all the time. You need at least a 28' barrel for trap. I know a guy that uses a 26' as it's all he has but his scores are low.

    You don't aim in trap. You point. Don't focus on the sight. Focus on the clay.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
  5. fuzebox40

    fuzebox40 Active Member

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    Thanks everyone. I'll give this model 66 a try then and see how it goes and borrow the 870 to take along too. Can't hurt to have them both with me.

    jaydub, why do you say it would be uncompetitive? I appreciate the advice but if I'm to be perfectly honest it's lacking in substance. I've heard one of the regulars does surprisingly well with a short barrel, which is to say experienc and skill can make cheap tools look golden.
  6. gvw3

    gvw3 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Browning BT-99 Shotguns are what the best shooters use in my club for trap. They use 32 or 34 inch barrels. These guys hit at least 96 out of 100. Much better than me. I am in the 70 to 80's on a good day.

    My Ruger Red Label works for trap/skeet and sporting clays. Most serious trap shooters have a gun just for trap like the Browning. I have seen guys try to shoot trap with a short barrel. Last week a guy came in and tried to use a Sega with a 20 inch barrel. He them tried his Mossberg 500 with an 18 1/2 barrel. He couldn't hit anything.

    You have the guns to start. You can learn the basics with what you have. I started less than a year ago with a Mossberg 535 pump. I got hooked on the game. If you try it and really like it you will be wanting to get better guns down the road.

    Good luck and have fun. Let us know how you do.
  7. fuzebox40

    fuzebox40 Active Member

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    Today was a perfect day but the wife made other plans so I'm hopen the weather hold good for next Saturday. Itching to try my hand at it. Anticipation...
  8. CHW2021

    CHW2021 Member

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    The comment re. uncompetitive (I believe) comes from the fact that you would be shooting against people with the "proper" tools for the job. The guns they are using are virtually built to shoot the game with optimal barrel length and choking to swing,balance and place the shot more effectively than other guns. Look at the assortment of golfclubs at a sporting goods store and you can begin to get the idea.
    Skeet uses shorter barrels and open chokes for fast swing and spread patterns, a skeet gun is exactly what you do not want for trap where longer barrels and tighter chokes are the rule of the day.

    In the shotgun world age and experience is more than a match for youth and enthusiasm; the old guys with the right tools looking at the new guy thinking "he will get there". I should know, I shoot hunting guns against purpose built trap/skeet guns with my more well heeled buddies; I give them a good run but my guns are a handicap to my shooting (like a handicap in golf); I will continue to enjoy my version of skeet/trap but will harbor no illusions about my score.
  9. XP100

    XP100 Member

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    66 will work just use 2&3/4" ammo. Take it out and shoot at a 36" square target with a 1" dot in the center, aim at the dot and then check the pattern. See where the most pellets hit. Above, below or about equally above and below point of aim. Then yo ucan tell where to hold on thagrt when shooting. 66 will kick pretty hard also.
  10. fuzebox40

    fuzebox40 Active Member

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    CHW2021, well put, thanks!

    XP100, you bring me to another question, ammo. The model 66 has a 3" chamber. I assume that means it's suitable for 3" or anything less than that. Correct me if I'm wrong on that, but just so I'll know, why am I using 2 3/4 shells rather than 2 1/2 or 3?
    Shotguns are obviously not my strong.
    Oh, one more while we're on that toppic... In order to shoot slugs, do you "not" use a choked barrel? What is the criteria for shooting slugs?
    Most of my collection is full choke except the Ithaca 37 has the barrel chopped to 21" which eleminates the choke.
  11. gvw3

    gvw3 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    12 Gauge 2-3/4" 2-3/4 DRAM 1 oz. Oz. Shot # 8 Velocity 1,180

    Stay away from 3 DRAM as you don't need the extra power for trap. You want light target loads. A round is 25 clays. Shoot 4 rounds or 100 clays and you will want as light recoil as you can get.

    I know all this because I did everything the wrong way when I first started. Made every mistake you can make at least once.
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