Shotgun for Trap and Skeet

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by Jackman, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    Well were going to try Trap and Skeet (new to us) , we need a shotgun first any suggestion? I am thinking a 20 gauge double barrel.....
  2. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    any of the brownings, winchesters, rugers, even the mossbergs will suit you well. The Mossberg silver reserves are sold at walmart and I believe they can be had in both 12 and 20 ga and start at around 500 bucks.

    I myself prefer the ruger red label for a fine O/U, but Im a SXS guy and love the ruger Gold Label, but that mofo is a 2000 dollar scattergun...
  3. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

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    What JLA said. I have a ruger red label that I shot competition trap all through college with. I love that gun, every bit of it. Don't fall for the pump guns though tempting. Many trap and skeet ranges don't even allow them and if they do, you can only load 1 round at a time. none in the magazine. Stoeger Condors, Ithaca 500's, S&W elite series, CZ sporting and redhead (my new favorites) are some I could add to JLA's list. IMHO don't go 20ga. If your worried about recoil just shoot 7/8oz 8 shot shells. 20 ga and skeet will just set you up for frustration. Just ask my dad. He's been trying to shoot trap with his Browning 20ga SXS for years, he just don't have the hit ratio like he does with his SKB or his Superposed 12 gauges. Skeet he's good with it but its that distance thing that is a killer.
  4. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Active Member

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    I think a pump shotgun is a good choice for trap and skeet. The Rem. 870 is popular around here. The interchangeable barrels and reasonable price are two benefits.

    I've been to more than a few trap and skeet ranges in my time and I've never seen one where a pump shotgun is not allowed. One round loading is pretty much standard, but an outright ban? In Europe maybe. I've never heard of such a thing in the USA.
  5. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    Any opinions on the Stoeger side by side 20 gauge, there made in Brazil nice looking gun with a good feel too priced under 400.. Strange thing the Stoeger come with three chokes, I would think four chokes for a double barrel ..
  6. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    If you are interested in shooting clay targets, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions. What game are you playing? Trap and skeet are two different animals and in some cases require a totally different approach to shotguns. If you are intending to shoot both, a compromise is going to be in order. I would recommend you look at a Beretta 391 for a do it all shotgun. It's soft on the shoulder, has an adjustable stock, screw chokes and in 12 gauge.

    A S X S is a poor choice for either game and if you are new to the sport you can end up rapidly frustrated at your misses. A good O/U will work as well, but the operative word is "good". I do NOT recommend the Mossberg, or the Stoeger. These guns are not designed for shooting a lot of shells. If you want to see what would work for you, go to a local club that is shooting Sporting Clays and see what THEY are shooting. Our club shoots twice a month, weather permitting and there isn't ONE Mossberg shot on the course. You see some pricey stuff like Kolars and Krieghoffs, but the majority are Browning O/U's and autos, Berettas the same etc.

    I am a skeet shooter and that requires a totally different setup than trap or Sporting Clays. You CAN shoot sub-gauge stuff there and it is pretty normal to see people shooting a .410 or 28 gauge there. I usually shoot .410 and either outshoot the others there or stay right on par with them.

    I hope this helps.
  7. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    Just getting started here honestly I don't know anything :confused: yet about the sport difference between skeet or trap, my gun club sends up two orange clay disc and two shoots per shooter, looks challenging and fun.. Think I going to just jump in with a Stoeger 20 or 12 gauge as a starter gun.......
  8. XP100

    XP100 Member

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    Stoegers are decent hunting guns but will loosen up after 1000 rounds or so. They just are not made for 50 to 100 rounds per week every week like you will be shooting in trap and skeet. I have had several customers in the shop a couple of months after getting a Stoeger(not from me) asking how to tighten it up.
    Most hunters won't shoot 100 rounds per season.
    Look for a good used Ruger , Browning or other quality O/U with choke tubes for skeet and trap. At least 30" bbls.
  9. hunter29180

    hunter29180 Well-Known Member

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    ok, im a idiot..whats the diffrence beween skeet and trap or clays?
  10. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    XP100 thanks good info :cool:, the Stoeger is affordable to me thats the main attraction for under 400 I can get started, I did look at a nice used but mint OU Browning for 1,000 nice gun but too much for my pockets, the owner of the Brownibg suggested a Mossberg said there cheap and ya get what ya pay for I think that was a warning :confused: anyway still looking but if nothing turns up in a week or two it will have to be a new Stoeger...
  11. J.D. Bass

    J.D. Bass New Member

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    Stoeger will be a good choice IMHO. That is if you don't want to drop 2k on a shotgun. I've heard the 20 ga / 12 ga conversation about skeet shooting before. It's always settled on 12 ga. The general censuses (which I agree with) is that the 12 ga low brass has more shot in the shot shell than the 20 ga. Also, you get a more yardage with the 12 ga....(for the clays that get away from you for a second).

    Choosing a skeet gun is more than buying the best rated gun. Its also important to choose a gun that is super comfortable to you, an extension of your body if you will. If you find this elusive extra appendage, then maybe it will be worth the $. Unconventionally enough, I shoot skeet with a 50 year old Remington semi auto 12 ga. I know....crazy, but it fits me like a glove. I've had great success with it.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2011
  12. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Thats a good question, about trap vs skeet.

    Trap uses one house, that shoots the bird out a headn of the house, at a set range....usually 16 yds, but there are other distances too...

    5 shooters at a time, 5 shots, then you rotate to the next station, for a total of 25 shots. Usually only ONE shot although some clubs shoot two birds at a time, so the standard TRAP gun is a tighter choked single shot. In fact many are modified semi autos turned into single shots.

    It's a lot more formal, and while the birds can come out at different angles, high and low as well, they are pretty predictable, but are shot at longer ranges so at LEAST a modified choke works best.

    Skeet is a whole different animal, the trap houses are on either end of the line, and there are 8 stations. One house is a "high" house, and the other is the "low" house. The first station is right under the High house so when you say pull, the bird comes over your head. You shoot "doubles" at stations 1 and 2, and 6 and 7 right next to the low house where the bird comes out at your feet. Station 8 is right in the middle, andx they more or less come right AT you. You need at LEAST a double barrel for skeet, and it takes some thinking, especially on the doubles, where they both launch at the same time and you have to decide which to shoot first.

    Usually about 4-5 shooters shoot a round of skeet at the same time, but they all complete each station before moving on to the next.

    Not only is the action much faster, but at much closer range. Choke is open, IC or LESS, I shoot pretty well with my Cyl WInchester 97 Riot gun!

    I have never shot sporting clays, but it is supposed to be more like actual hunting....

    I shoot both Trap and Skeet, but more for fun than competition, but the competition guys are pretty radical about their stuff and their are some HIGH dollar modified guns out there.

    But I have just as much fun with field guns at trap, and while you won't do as well, a field gun on Skeet is fun as well, and REALLY will tell you first how good your gun FITS you and THEN how good a "wing shot" you are...

    While the guys are right, the stoegers and the cheaper field guns MAY not work out over the long haul if you are planning to shoot thousands of rounds a month, but for 50 rounds a week or so you will be OK for a while, and if you get into it then you will be looking to upgrade anyway, AND you will have seen and probably have been able to shoot other guys guns so you will figure out what's best for you while learning the sport(s).

    When you start out just learn first to be SAFE, and all the range commands and practices, and don't worry about your scores so much.

    TRUST me I have seen many a shotgunner with GREAT equipment humbled their first couple of times out, especially at Skeet....and even if you miss them ALL trust me, you won't be the FIRST to go 0-25 there!:p But you WILL get a couple even your first time out when you aren't sure WHAT you are doing, unless your eyes are closed!:p


    Bottom line is, the guys who struggle the MOST are the confirmed "rifle" guys with little wing shooting experience, they struggle until they quit AIMING....a shotgun is FEEL and SWING and not AIMING...per se

    Just remember....FOLLOW THROUGH....:p:p:p

    You WILL figure out what that means eventually, and when you do your scores will suddenly explode....;)
  13. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    And if you are new to the game, I will share with you some lessons I learned the hard way, so you don't show up your first time looking like the Polish FNG that I looked like MY first time....:p

    Equipment is minimal to start, but besides your shotgun, hearing protection and ammo (25 rounds per round, the 250 round boxes of #8 shot 1 oz loads for $25 at WalMart work FINE, and give you enough for 5 rounds of either Skeet or Trap...) some kind of shooting box or range bag to CARRY your ammo and hearing protection in....

    ....and MOST important, either a "Trap Vest" or a belt 2 pocket ammo pouch, and MONEY.;) (Usually around $5-8 per ROUND to shoot....)

    You can buy a cheap ammo pouch at Walmart when you buy your ammo, it even comes with a web belt.

    It has two pockets, one holds the box of shells, you leave them in the box, makes it nice and handy, and the big pocket is for your EMPTIES.

    It is considered rude and unthoughtful to leave your empties on the ground, even if you do NOT reload, so you WILL be picking them up.

    And empties do NOT fit nicely back into the original box! LOL

    That is why, for trap anyway, guys prefer guns with extractors not ejectors, and will fit little 'brass catchers" to their pumps and autos to "stovepipe" the empty, so they can simply pluck it off and drop in the pouch, and use them as single shots.

    You also have to learn to open, and reload quickly, becasue it moves right along and guys like to get a rhythm going, so you don't want to be the one NOT ready when it is your turn. (Again, Trap draws the "anal retentive' "perfectionists" ;)more than the Skeet guys, in my experience, Skeet guys will cut you more slack...)

    On the trap line, say with a shooter at every station, when the command is given, usually "Ready" the guy at station #1 shoulders, aims at the LEFT corner of the trap house, and says PULL, and shoots....the second shooter is now ALREADY aiming a little to the left of the center of the house, and immediately says "Pull!" pretty quickly after the first, and it goes down the line....you HAVE to be ready and aiming for your SECOND shot before shooter #5 says "Pull," and you will say "Pull!" right after he does....for five shots. Then you will make safe, quickly rotate to station #2, and repeat, only the NEW station #1 guy will start.....

    It's not really RUSHED, but don't be the guy dilly dallying.....:cool:

    Which is why you use the VEST or AMMO pouch....kicking your empties along with you or having the plastic WalMart bag you tied to your belt RIP and spill all your empties out on Station #4 SCREAMS "F-ing NEW GUY!!!":p:p:p:D

    Trust me, I KNOW!:cool:
  14. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    I would like to add further to the differences between Trap and Skeet and Sporting Clays.

    Trap is shot starting at 16 yards and moves back depending on how well you shoot at 16. The 12 gauge is the norm here for a couple of reasons. The bird is always traveling away from you presenting a difficult edge to hit with enough pellets to break it. You are also facing the target with your gun mounted in such a way as to provide the least protection from felt recoil. The shells allowed are smaller payload now; I could be wrong but I believe they are 27 grams. The velocity is higher to provide more pellet energy to the target. Chokes are somewhat tighter to very tight to get the number of pellet hits on the target to break it.

    Skeet is shot at much shorter distances and usually the presentation allows for some top, bottom and side hits. Chokes are more open because a competent skeet shooter will not shoot beyond about 18 yards or so. Softer loaded shells and smaller gauges are very common on the skeet field because the closer distance and target presentation don't require heavy loads to reliably break the targets. Competition skeet requires one to shoot 100 targets each in the 12, 20, 28 and .410 gauges as well as doubles. The top shooters, if they miss, will usually miss with a 12 gauge, not a .410! That ought to tell you something about shooting skeet well.

    Sporting Clays is shot on a walking course that usually changes from event to event, with a nearly infinite variety of target presentations. Mostly "true pairs" or "report doubles". You will see different kinds of clay targets as well: batues, minis, rabbits, and bizarre presentations like the chandelle and springing teal. Many of these targets will be thrown at distances a hunter would NOT shoot at if it was a dove or quail. Very challenging. A perfect score is vanishingly rare.

    As to gun and gauge; the 12 gauge is your gun of choice due to it's ammo cost and availability and versatility. Save your money and buy a GOOD shotgun. You will never regret it.

    Finally, here is the most important advice for shooting clays you will ever get: "Look at the target".
  15. hunter29180

    hunter29180 Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the info..never knew the diffrences...
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