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Suggestions for a trap or skeet shooting shotgun?


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#1 cnwfan3

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 01:31 PM

I'm considering buying a shotgun for trap and/or skeet shooting.  I might also use it to shoot some targets at the range as well.  I would like to keep it under about $600.  Anyone have any good suggestions?



#2 CM_50BMG

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 01:33 PM

Wife and I both have a Mossberg Silver Reserve over/unders, look really nice and are great guns in that price range


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#3 hgmeyer

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 02:02 PM

You are hard pressed to make a bad choice, if you choose to start with a Remington 870 as your first shotgun (I am making such an assumption here, that this is your first).    Semi-autos are sometimes less than enthusiastically welcomed at trap ranges because they "fling" their empty hulls around.   OUs are "the look" shotgun for the trap range.   Mine is a 40+ year old Miroku/Charles Daly 12ga OU that I am extremely comfortable with at informal trap and dropping pheasents.   It is not a "trap" specific OU.   So choosing one of the Mossberg OUs is neither right nor wrong.   You will probably find that if you get hooked on formal trap shooting you will want a much more refined trap specific OU.   


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#4 cnwfan3

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 02:13 PM

hgmeyer, Yes, this would be my first so I was not sure if there was something specific to trap and skeet shooting or not.  I have heard that longer barrels are better for trap and skeet, but I wasn't sure how long or if there was something specific that I needed.  I have heard many good things about the Remington 870 and the Mossberg 500 shotguns.  I was just not sure if those where more for hunting or would work with trap and skeet shooing.  I have not been trap shooing in quite some time (probably 30 years) and thought it might be time to get back into it.  Thanks for the recommendation, I'll look into the 870 a little bit more.



#5 domin8

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 02:17 PM

Only shotgun I own is a Remington 870 Express Tactical. Got it for $400. It does just fine shooting clay disks.
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#6 lawman

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 02:24 PM

I have a few different shotguns, but my first one was a Remington 870.  I still have it.  I have shot both trap and skeet with it, using a 28" mod and a 26" i.c.  I was a lot better trap shooter than skeet shooter.  Very few skeet shooters choose to use a pump gun.  If skeet is your true passion, you may want to consider either an over/under or an autoloader, but a good o/u or auto in your price range is going to be hard to find..



#7 cnwfan3

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 02:25 PM

domin8, is that a short barrel shotgun (being a tactical shotgun)?  I would prefer a shorter barrel, but was told you need a longer barrel for trap and skeet.



#8 cnwfan3

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 02:27 PM

I think I'm more looking to shoot trap than skeet so I should be good starting out with a pump action.  I think the main question now is can I use a short barrel or do I need something in the 26" to 28" range?



#9 xrlke

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 03:12 PM

I started shooting trap with a bps 28". Things progressed and I started shooting leagues and then ata competition on the weekends. I went from the bps to a browning bt100 then perazzi. I can be addictive. I met many people and have made many friends. A decent pump gun will be a good start. I wouldn't go any shorter than 28". Most single barrel trap guns are 32 and 34, some 35. The o/u are typically 30 or 32 and some can be 34.

#10 RacerDave6

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 03:14 PM

Longer the better.

Many prefer OU or SbS for trap as it's easier to load.

You are only allowed to load the number of rounds you need, so for trap it's loading 1 at a time. I find this to be a PITA with a pump.

I have been on the lookout for a nice OU, put have not made the purchase yet.


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#11 cnwfan3

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 03:37 PM

Thanks.  So nice 870 with a 28" barrel is good enough to get me started and then I can see where it goes from there.



#12 us820

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 03:53 PM

You can shoot both games,hunt,and defend your house with 870 28" with choke tubes.I would spend extra and go wingmaster over express.

 

Little more money will get you an old BT-99 for trap 32" or 34"

 

For skeet a used Browning Citori ideally 30".A 28" will be fine.

 

I have 20 years in if you need more info.


Edited by us820, 08 March 2015 - 03:55 PM.


#13 Jeckler

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 03:54 PM

Trap, Skeet, Sporting Clays, Five Stand, etc.  each has differences and small nuances in "specialized" equipement.

 

Longer barrels are generally used in trap when compared to the barrels used for skeet.  Sporting Clays is somewhere inbetween.

 

Trap is always going away from you and not a long of motion or swing is necessary.  Skeet has crossing shots and requires quick motion.  Shorter barrels swing quicker.  Skeet targets are generally broken at a closer distance than trap.

 

If you are going to do skeet, you should consider a semi auto or over under.  A pump is difficutl to use when shooting doubles.  Yes, it can be done, but makes it more difficult.  Especially when you're starting out.

 

The Mossberg Silver Over Under as mentioned above is a great gun and looks very expensive for the price.  Great suggestion.

 

Screw in chokes are another key thing to look for.  Don't get a fixed choke barrel.  Most new guns have threads and screw in chokes.  however, if you decide to look for used gun, then be sure it can take chokes.



#14 hgmeyer

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 03:55 PM

A 500 Mossberg, 870 Express, an economical pump 0f most brands, maybe a combo set, with choke tubes, 26 or 28" (I would pick 28) that you like the look and feel of would be an excellent first shotgun.    A 12 gauge would be the most versatile but you could start with a 20 gauge if you are concerned about recoil.  (I do a lot of informal trap shooting with a 20gauge and usually do well enough to make my son pay for the coffee bet! so you won't be severely handicapped...lol).   Any of these possibles will be a gun you may trade up or retain for life.   Don't try to hit a home run, a single will do.   Your first shotgun will be a learning experience so that is the key, learn.


I've matured enough to where I am like a rodeo bull... If you can hang in there for eight seconds you just might win... But, those eight seconds are gonna be the toughest of your life.

 

"An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it."     Jeff Cooper


#15 GTX63

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 04:23 PM

870 was the first gun I ever bought and it has never let me down. I've used mine for target, hunting from squirrel to deer and popped clays every wed night for quite a few years. Slug barrel or with the 28" it is a very versatile shotgun.



#16 Crypto

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 04:27 PM

Ruger OU. Lotta gun for the money and a lot easier to load and unload than a semi or pump.
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#17 CHOPPER

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 05:25 PM

I've been trap shooting for over 35 yrs. and skeet for 2. If your looking for one gun for everything I strongly suggest an Over/Under in 12 ga. with screw in chokes and the best you can afford. Nobody touched on it but RECOIL is something to keep in mind.

Field guns are light weight and if you plan to shoot a lot they will hurt. They have more recoil.

Trap guns are heavier and the barrels are normally ported. Less recoil means more comfortable to shoot. They are more money but well worth it. 

As with hand guns it's worth a try to shoot as many as possible before buying. For shotguns try to locate a gun club for trap/skeet. You might find people to let you try theirs. Don't be surprised, they just might.

Good Luck!


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#18 cnwfan3

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 05:28 PM

Mossberg sells a version of their 500 as a combo (comes with both a 26" vented rib barrel and a 24" ported slug barrel), any thoughts on that, or should I stick to one that comes with a single 28" barrel?

 

I have shot trap many time, but it was a long long time ago.  I have shot shotguns so I do have experience shooting them, I have just never owned one.



#19 CHOPPER

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 05:39 PM

Mossberg sells a version of their 500 as a combo (comes with both a 26" vented rib barrel and a 24" ported slug barrel), any thoughts on that, or should I stick to one that comes with a single 28" barrel?

 

I have shot trap many time, but it was a long long time ago.  I have shot shotguns so I do have experience shooting them, I have just never owned one.

I have a mossberg 500 combo I bought for deer hunting. My wife uses it for trap shooting but I load my own very light shells. I works good for trap but I don't know it would be good for skeet. I does have screw in chokes witch is a plus. Not bad but there is better.

A single barrel isn't good for skeet or shooting doubles on trap. Over/Under is the all around best.


Edited by CHOPPER, 08 March 2015 - 05:41 PM.

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#20 domin8

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 05:45 PM

domin8, is that a short barrel shotgun (being a tactical shotgun)?  I would prefer a shorter barrel, but was told you need a longer barrel for trap and skeet.

Yep. Iirc, 18" barrel. The thing I like the most about the 870 is the interchangeable barrels. It's very easy to swap them out. 1 screw and slide the pump only halfway. Concerning recoil, I installed Blackhawk's Spec Ops 2 package myself. It was way cheaper to do it myself than to buy a Remington 870 with the kit already installed.

Edited by domin8, 08 March 2015 - 05:55 PM.

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#21 tkroenlein

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 06:07 PM

If you only want a shotgun for clay and wing shooting (not deer or defense) get an O/U with a single selective trigger. Most will come with 5 chokes which will be handy shooting skeet, sporting clays, 5 stand and the like. 28" barrels minimum.

#22 Jeckler

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 07:22 PM

If you only want a shotgun for clay and wing shooting (not deer or defense) get an O/U with a single selective trigger. Most will come with 5 chokes which will be handy shooting skeet, sporting clays, 5 stand and the like. 28" barrels minimum.

+1

28" 12g over under.  Screw in chokes.



#23 cnwfan3

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 09:14 PM

Thanks everyone.  This gives me more information so I can make an informed decision.



#24 DD123

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 09:44 PM

I went through this last spring. After joining ASC, I really wanted to get into shotgunning. I had an 870 already but it is set up as an HD gun. Picked up a longer barrel with screw in chokes and tried it out. It's far more difficult to shoot doubles and true pairs. I mostly shoot sporting clays, but do get out for trap and skeet as well. I ended up getting a CZ Redhead Target model o/u, 30". It was a bit pricy but I felt that it was a great way to get into the game. Eventually I'll probably end up getting a Beretta o/u at some point but not for at least another year or so.

Edited by DD123, 08 March 2015 - 09:44 PM.

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#25 jfd287

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 10:42 PM

I first bought a rem 879 home defense. I then got a 26" barrel with the various choke sizes. I also put on the Blackhawk tactical stock on it. I have used it for thud past two years for duck and goose. I have also used it for two annual charity sporting clay/skeet/trap competitions. It's not as pretty as the over/ unders as the semi pro or dedicated recreational guys use but it can work.
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#26 Xwing

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 09:57 AM

+1 on the Remington 870 Express. My wife and I have one in 12G and one in 20G. A great, very reasonably priced shotgun for trap. For skeet, you're at a disadvantage on doubles. (You really want a semi-auto or double-barrel for that.) But if just having fun and not really competitive or serious, it'll do the job. It also comes with removable chokes, which was a nice bonus for both skeet & trap.

Edited by Xwing, 09 March 2015 - 09:58 AM.

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#27 martho

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 11:04 AM

Jeckler's post is very good!  

 

Remember, skeet and trap are completely different games!

 

I was a RO on a shotgun range for several years.  One thing to keep in mind is that anything will "work" to some capacity.   If you are going to shoot trap two times a year, I don't know that spending money on an O/U is the best way to go.   However, just like anything else, as you get more involved in a hobby the equipment needs increase and you are going to spend more $$$

 

At one time, I bought a 12ga Beretta AL391 Urika Sporting 30" as a way to have something to use for both games.  I quickly decided it wasn't right for me and it sits in the safe and has been shot once in 4 years.   I added a 12ga O/U for trap and a 20ga O/U for skeet.   YMMV

 

Trap - nearly any shotgun will work as you only load one shell at a time and the action remains open during the other 4 shooter's turns. There are tons of people on the range with 870s, 500s etc etc.   Most people shoot modified and up (toward full, extra full etc etc)    An autoloader on the trap field can be a negative if you have to pick up your shells at that range. Many of the ranges now require you to pick up  your hulls after your round.   You can add a shell catcher for a couple bucks or use a rubber band, but peppering the guy next to you with your hulls will start to get old after awhile. 

 

Skeet - This is a much faster game with doubles.   You see shorter barrel guns and also lots of 20, 28 and .410 on the skeet field.  Pumps are rare on this field and you see autoloaders and O/U. 

 

IMO - you don't want a 18" barrel for either game - ESPECIALLY trap.

 

 

 

Like anything else, you will get tons of opinions.  These are mine :rofl:

 

Trap, Skeet, Sporting Clays, Five Stand, etc.  each has differences and small nuances in "specialized" equipement.

 

Longer barrels are generally used in trap when compared to the barrels used for skeet.  Sporting Clays is somewhere inbetween.

 

Trap is always going away from you and not a long of motion or swing is necessary.  Skeet has crossing shots and requires quick motion.  Shorter barrels swing quicker.  Skeet targets are generally broken at a closer distance than trap.

 

If you are going to do skeet, you should consider a semi auto or over under.  A pump is difficutl to use when shooting doubles.  Yes, it can be done, but makes it more difficult.  Especially when you're starting out.

 

The Mossberg Silver Over Under as mentioned above is a great gun and looks very expensive for the price.  Great suggestion.

 

Screw in chokes are another key thing to look for.  Don't get a fixed choke barrel.  Most new guns have threads and screw in chokes.  however, if you decide to look for used gun, then be sure it can take chokes.



#28 cnwfan3

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 01:50 PM

I'm mainly looking at trap shooting.  I just want to get my feet wet and see if I like it.  So from what everyone says, an 870 or 500 should be good enough to get me started.  And I'm looking at at least a 28" barrel then.  At least this way I can use it for hunting and/or home defense.

 

I was considering a 20ga as I have always heard that they have 75% of the power of a 12ga with about 1/2 the recoil.  Would 20ga be OK for trap?  I recall at Boy scout camps they use 20ga for trap shooting, so I would assume that should be ok too?  Again, this is just to start out and not spend a ton of money on something entry level.  If I like it and decide to pursure this further, I understand I will probably need something a little better.



#29 martho

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 03:02 PM

Once again - anything will work.   You can take a bolt action .410 and shoot trap if you so desire.  I agree with 870 as a good option for everything - except skeet.

 

My comments below are specific to shooting trap.  They are not part of the overall discussion on a multi-purpose shotgun for you. 

 

For trap, with a 12ga you are typically going to shoot 1 1/8 oz target loads #8.  That is what you will find at Wal-Mart and the other stores for target loads

There are APPROX 450 pellets of #8 in that load with 12ga ammo. 

With a 20 ga load, you are going to have 7/8 oz target loads #8.  There are APPROX 350 pellets of #8 shot

 

Your load of lead flying through the air is reduced 23% at the target by going to a 20ga.  What that means depends on how good of a shooter you are.   Some people need every pellet they can get.  Others are great shots and can use lighter loads. YMMV

 

Since you mention this is your first shotgun here is some good info.  If you already know this, great maybe it can help someone else reading the thread.   With a shotgun, the pattern of the shot is the main item.   That is why chokes "tighten" the pattern (diameter) of the shot.   https://www.hunter-e...tern_spread.pdf

 

Trap is shot from the 16 yard line which means the second the bird comes out of the house it is already 16 yards away and going away from you traveling APPROX 50mph.     For our discussion, let's say you shoot every time the bird is exactly 25 yards from you.  If you believe the numbers on the internet, with a modified choke your pattern is APPROX 30" in diameter.  With a 12ga, you have 450 pellets in that 30" circle.  With a 20ga, you have 350 pellets in that circle.     Here is a picture which might help to illustrate why more pellets might be better for a beginning shooter  http://www.donheins....7/Pattern2.jpeg    While this picture may be a bit manufactured, you get the idea.   The area with no holes inside that 30" circle mean a miss of the bird. 

 

 

There are other factors but this is a basic description of the differences.     



#30 us820

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Posted 11 March 2015 - 06:44 PM

For trap you want 12ga.I started out with a $300 870 just to try out and am now on a K-80.Things happen.